Featured Artist!

Do you ever do anything on the spur of the moment?  Is there ever a time you’ve woken up and decided ‘yep, I’m going to do this today!’? 

Well, I did just that on Saturday.  I woke up and announced to my youngest that we were going on a train.  She didn’t react with the same kind of enthusiasm: ‘But, I’m busy!’ she groaned, not even bothering to ask where the train was heading. With a little … OK a lot of persuasion … we caught the train with five minutes to spare and she finally cheered up when we arrived at our destination two and a half hours later in Portsmouthnd I managed to squeeze a drawing in, using my 6″ x 6″ sketchbook on the return journey.

 We were met with glorious weather and a bear hug from her big sister.  She bounced out of the station and took you straight to a massive ice cream parlour.

 It’s been an exciting week.  Not only was I featured in an eco e-magazine sharing about my art and creativity using natural products for painting and my passion for recycling, upcycling and using items found around my home to create, but I am this week the featured artist over on an amazing Facebook group site called DoodleArt πŸ˜€

How did this happen?  Well, I posted one of my forty-five minute doodles of my OH and the cat, Nikon onto the page challenge: portraits.  It was selected as receiving being among the top three with the most ‘likes’.  The group runs a different challenge a month, so there’ll be a new challenge set on June 1st.

The irony of the icecream parlour visit and eating in a restaurant, aptly named Giraffe, was that my latest doodle depicted both icecreams and a giraffe all painted using naturally made inks from coffee, tea and strawberries!



Win a copy of my book!

Hi guys and gals πŸ™‚

Recently, I was delighted to receive limited edition copies of my doodle books and I’d like to offer you, yes you, the chance to win a copy!
The competition giveaway is running on my facebook page and it would be lovely if you popped over there and said hi.


all you have to do to be in the chance of winning is to ‘like’ my page by following the link above and comment on the pinned post ‘WIN book’ followed by your name. Β Closing date for entries is Sunday 26th April 2015. Β I’ll then select 1 winner who will receive a copy of my pocket doodle ink book!


Competition time :-)

Morning everyone! Β It’s tipping down in the UK and I’ve woken up to the sound of rain hammering on the roof, but I’m delighted to share with all you lovely people my latest doodle and competition giveaway. It’s time to celebrate! Β  Good luck everyone πŸ™‚ xxx



Still time to enter – free Christmas Giveaway!

Entries are being accepted up until midnight Friday 12th December. Thanks everyone who has entered so far – mostly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarebird.co.uk
Tgis is just to remind you that entries are accepted here on WordPress too. All you have to do is comment on whether the limited edition print will be for you or a gift before the deadline tomorrow. Good luck.
Here’s a reminder of the prize:


Lino print hare and free Christmas giveaway

Hi and welcome to my blog, if this is the first time you’ve come across squarebird :-). Hello to all newcomers and old friends in the bloggesphere.

Today marked the day when work put up the Christmas tree and so I decided to run a Christmas free giveaway! I’m also promoting this on my
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/squarebird.co.uk and my printing blog at http://www.theelevatorpress.wordpress.com

First let me show you the actual lino cut I sketched out and cut this evening, then I’ll show it to you inked up for the first time. Finally, I’ll show you the limited edition lino-gelli print you have the chance of winning for yourself or a friend.


I chose to do a hare simply because I like nature and the hare is almost an iconic feature in the UK.

Once inked up with black, I found that I liked how the brown from the lino showed through against the acrylic paint.


Finally, I began to play around with a Gelliprinted background and then printed the hare over the top.


To win, all you have to do is comment after this blog post (or on my facebook page using the above link and commenting under the hare post) whether you would like to win it for yourself or if it will be a gift for someone. Entries will be accepted up until midnight Friday 12th December -all time zones and I will announce the winner (chosen at random) on Saturday.

Good luck everyone and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

Well the day’s been interesting … And successful

On 27th November, the Bath Christmas market opened to the public, so I decided to take my youngest there to see the wooden cabins and possibly eat the hot chestnuts. But when we arrived at the bus depot the queues were substantial and I thought we’d be standing there going nowhere for at least an hour. We made the decision to abort the idea of going into the city and chose a shopping centre somewhere else. It turned out to be a successful trip: my daughter was about to actually eat her lunch of beans on toast (she’s just had braces fitted on her top and bottom teeth) and we were able to find some Christmas presents and a birthday present. Quite probably, we found more success shopping away from the city than if we’d battled through the crowds.


I also bought some cardstock so I can make some more prints – Christmas cards. Although these Gelli ducks printed on fabric aren’t Christmassy, my polar bear ATC is!



Also, as you know I’ve been busy typing away at a first draft novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. Tonight I reached the 50,000 words target. Whoop! Whoop! The story’s still not finished, so I plan to write some more tomorrow, but at least I know it’s backed up and ready to validate so I can get my certificate πŸ™‚


This is how many pages 50,000 words takes up on my laptop.

Hope all you lovely people are enjoying the run up to Christmas and that you’re all having fun creating. Now it’s off to bed for me – night all πŸ™‚

A further update on National Novel Writing Month …

My progress chart … This is one of the reasons why I like taking part: there’s a word counter which informs you how many more words are left to go.

Although I’ve not been posting a craft daily this month, I’ve been busy beavering away at the keyboard and creating my first draft of a novel; working overtime at work and being a mum! Hope you lovely people who take time to visit my blog are all well and I promise there will be some more handicrafts in the run up to Christmas including a fun giveaway. Yay! πŸ™‚

Hand printed felt and an update

It wasn’t my intention to stay away from blogging for long, if at all, but illness meant I had no choice but to stay away from the computer. Sadly, that meant also not being able to showcase what I’ve been working on in secret as it’s not quite dry yet. Watch this space for a special Christmas giveaway coming up shortly; I do hope you lovely people will like it and want to take part. In the meantime I managed to do a bit of handprinted felt this afternoon and catch up on my novel writing – I had to even miss two days of writing because of a migraine :-(. But, I’m back on track with my characters jumping off a freight train and my word count is almost up to what it should be for this weekend.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my daughter is also writing a novel … She’s up to chapter 34 now and over lunch we discussed the excitement of knowing other people have been reading her story-in-progress as she writes each chapter. I haven’t read any of her book yet but she tells me that if you type the title in Google it comes at the top of the list. She gets a buzz out of that. I hope her enthusiasm continues and who knows, maybe next year she’ll join in National Novel Writing Month or even win a creative writing contest πŸ™‚

My printed felt which will be turned into a journal cover.
Also, an update on the craft fair I took part in recently. I received a letter yesterday informing me on how much was raised for
Children’s Hospice. Thanks to everyone who braved the thick fog and either participated in running a stall or bought from the stalls, we raised a respectable Β£635 πŸ™‚


31,129 words … Still going in the right direction

NaNoWriMo update: today is the day we’re able to validate our novel by uploading and verifying our word-count – can you believe some people have already gone passed the 50000 word mark and we still have ten days to go! I can’t verify mine until I’ve reached 50,000 words (so for now, you’ll just have to believe me). I have some catching up to do over the weekend with a surge of writing and flexing my typing fingers. In the meantime, I’ve saved it all and it’s stored on here

and on my computer. I’m tempted to print it all out and see what that many words look like on paper! I can always remember when I owned a computer which had a floppy disc drive and the printer was a dot matrix (very noisy and to create bold type, it would ink over the page once then go over the text again!). Not only did it go through a lot of ink, there was not much else it could do apart from play ‘Snake’ and word process letters!
When my son was about eighteen months (he’s now 18 years) I was busy typing up letters to publishers and sending out submissions and manuscripts. While busy typing a new story, my son became very inquisitive and before I knew what had happened, he’d pressed the power button off and I lost pages and pages of creative writing. I could only hope that the second draft was better than the first! Thanks son!

Nano journey continues…

Just over 28,000 words and reconsidering the title of my draft novel. It’s definitely a journey and I’m encouraged by the fact my twelve-year-old daughter is inspired. She’s currently on chapter 30+ of a novel she’s writing using the Whatpad app. Her friends can log in and read what she posts daily and comment. They tell her how frustrating it is when she leaves the chapter on a cliffhanger! She’s learning fast. The only snag is she won’t let me read it until it’s finished (I’m hoping it’ll be complete for my birthday in December, but she tells me she has no idea how long it’s going to be).
I wrote my first ‘long’ story when I was ten. It was called Beno. I also began to write a long tale as part of English at school when I was in year 6. There was a number of us chosen in the class to write about an imaginary family. When I joined secondary school, my English teacher organised for me to meet the author, Jean Ure, who went on to read and comment on three chapters of a novel I was writing. I wonder if my youngest child is going to follow suit? She says she wants to be an author … So watch this space πŸ™‚