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 😀

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!

  

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Doodling bunnies

Today, I glanced out of the window at work to a field that usually has three horses nibbling the grass.  By mid-afternoon, the horses had vanished and ten wild rabbits ‘binkied’, hopped and sniffed around.  Every one of them was a character that I could bring into a story.  However, having just got a baby bunny rabbit two weeks ago, I can’t stop drawing her!  She hops up and down from the sofa, scoots around my rainbow rug and loves having the run of the lounge!  

She is going to be a character in my children’s story I’m writing, so I guess, the more I sketch her, the better!  Can’t wait to do the proper illustrations, but first I’m jotting down the bones of the story.  Maybe I should start a new blog dedicated to the adventures of Willow.

   
     

Elephants Never …

Good morning everyone!  Have you ever had to do something in secret?  Have you ever had to go ‘undercover’?

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Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the UK and sadly I didn’t get to see my own mother.  But it got me thinking this morning about the time i helped a neighbour secretly arrange a surprise birthday party for her.  In the week leading up to my mum’s birthday, I made my excuses and popped around to my neighbour, Sheila’s (who incidentally told me she’d always wanted a little girl, but couldn’t), to bake.  In previous posts, I’ve revealed that I dislike cooking, mainly because my mum was a qualified chef and a perfectionist.  Anything I did had to be perfect, so I didn’t like baking cakes with her …

in the space of a week, Sheila and I prepared trifles, traybakes (flapjack), a birthday cake and savouries so colourful that there was no need for a table cloth!  I faced the complaints by my mum as I kept asking to go over to Sheila’s.  We fell out over it, but I couldn’t tell her what we were really up to.  That’s a hard thing to do when you’re ten years old!

On the day itself, my mum had to eat her words (she’d said some spiteful things in that week) and I watched as her mouth fell open in amazement when she saw the spread of food.  It was a good celebration, but I still hate baking!

Hurtful words linger and dig deep; they create invisible scars.

One person posted a quote and image on Facebook (the social networking site is usually littered with them).  I’m not sure where it originated, but on a search, it informs me that it was written by ‘Anonymous’

“One day someone is going to hug you so tight that all your broken pieces will stick back together.”

I wish I could have hugged my mum yesterday, especially after the weekend I’ve just had.  I hope she’s enjoying her holiday.

Happy Mother’s Day

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Hi everyone.  I’ve been awake since 3am on what is Mother’s Day in the UK, so I’m going to do a shout out to all mothers, mothers-to-be and those who just need a virtual (((hug))), perhaps because they miss their mums or fell out with their mums or have been separated for whatever reason.

My aunt, an American, married my uncle, a Brit many years ago.  My uncle lived in the US for more than two decades … could have been three earning a living with his Geology qualifications.  He vowed he’d return to the UK when his elderly parents became frail, and that’s exactly what he did.  He brought his wife to England; she thought our houses were ‘quaint’ and laughed at the disastrous ways we deal with a dusting of snow and the whole country grinds to a halt.  But, like most in the UK we Brits like to drink tea and are renowned for our trailing teahouses and cafes snuggled in narrow lanes and along cobbled side streets.

When I was very young, my uncle’s parents (aka my grandparents) were invited over to what we call ‘tea’ (sandwiches, cake and beverages of squash or hot drinks) – which was usually on a weekend because my parents worked and we children were at school in the week – and they turned up in their Triumph, which I then thought was a Mini.  My brother, a bit older than me, was prompted by my mother to make them a cup of tea on their arrival.  Assuming he knew how to do this task, he was allowed to set to work.  Minutes later, with the kettle boiling, there was a moment similar to: ‘You didn’t put diesel in petrol car, did you?’ moment as my mother stood, mouth agape gazing into the kettle.  Her son and my brother had added loose tea leaves to kettle instead of spooning them into the teapot.  She watched as the brown soggy leaves danced and pirouetted in the bubbling water, wondering how she was going to clean up the mishap.

Similarly, well maybe differently, my own son offered to make me a cup of hot chocolate when he was little.  I felt proud of this moment as I waited patiently for him to bring me a mug of steaming chocolate.  I took a tentative sip and found it weak and watery rather than thick and creamy or indeed chocolatey!  ‘How did you make this?’ I asked.

My little boy described how he had one MINI rolo left and wanted to give it to me … so he boiled the kettle, placed the mini rolo in a mug and added hot water to it.  Endearing.  I haven’t tasted anything quite like it!

Tea, on the other hand, is drunk black in our house.  I sometimes drink fruit tea at work.  My mother-in-law, however loves her tea from a teapot and then adds milk.  She likes Earl Grey and is content to receive a box of teabags for any occasion be it a birthday or Christmas.  I hope she likes her Mother’s Day present.  It’s not tea, but a bouquet of flowers will sit nicely on her table while we sip our drinks 🙂image

Ok, it’s been a while!

I’ve been away on holiday you see, soaking up some much needed sunshine in Cornwall. We had limited access to wi-fi and so I made the most of the break away from technology and drew, doodled

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and watched my youngest paint a picture of a labrador puppy.
Then of course, like all holidays, they eventually come to an end :-(. I had to play catch-up at work and still slot in some me and family time. So what have all you lovely people been up to? Have you been glancing across the road for the first buds of spring? I spotted snowdrops this week and suddenly daffodils are shooting up on the verges. My favourite season: spring! Excited! Not only do I wait in anticipation of the appearance of flowers and blossoms, but some gorgeous leaves that I will be able to print from.
Anyway, for today’s WordPress post, I’m going to share with you some photographs of my little getaway trip to Cornwall to accompany one of my drawings from my time away – hope you like them.

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This was a hidden underground pool found in a disused slate mine – isn’t it wonderful?

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For literature fans – we visited Jamaica Inn, the setting for one of Daphne du Maunier’s novel of the same name. According to some people, there are parts of the inn which are haunted and when we toured the adjoining museum we were treated to memorabilia by the author and details of smuggling that took place over the centuries across Cornwall.
As well as taking a sip of a cool drink, we were able to watch a fifteen minute video about the history of the inn and surrounding areas.

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One of many smugglers’ caves … This one was found at Polperro. When we weren’t exploring caves, we played around with our shadows. Even though it was February half term, the weather was glorious 🙂

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Interesting then that we returned home to snow, sleet and rain making it feel all the more real that we’ve been away on holiday 🙂

Random Craft Swap

How much do you love receiving gifts in the mail? Do you clutch the unopened envelope for ages and try and guess what’s inside? What about receiving something handcrafted? The person sending has taken a lot of thought into creating something special and unique. They’ve considered what the other person might like. When I started on a craft to swap I went over to Gladeridercrafts blogger’s page – check it out as there’s some gorgeous stitching on there! We did a random craft swap this week and I was so excited when my craft packet arrived.

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Isn’t it lovely? Thank you so much Gladeridercrafts 🙂

Also this week, I opened the post at work to find my OH had sent me a large padded envelope with the word fragile written on it! I would never have guessed what was inside…a box of Matchmakers – I love these chocolates!

It made me giggle just like a few years ago when I had a postie calling card to collect a packet from the depot. When I arrived with my ID, the postman looked at me apologetically as he handed over the mail.
‘Should it feel like that?’ He asked.
I admit it did feel as though the contents had smashed. Also, as I hadn’t ordered or been expecting anything, I had no idea what it was. The contents shifted and chinked beneath the padded envelope. I gulped.
Finally, As I sat in the car, I opened the packet to find 200 buttons of all different colours (nothing broken or smashed) inside. Lovely!

So, what have I posted out this week? Well two lucky people received handprinted fabric goodies: an ATC

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and an expanding notebook

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That was fun 😀

Lovely Blog Award

What a lovely gesture! I’ve been nominated for the lovely blog award by fellow crafter and blogger Irene from http://www.sewstitchknit.com

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I am thrilled to accept this award and so will reveal 7 things about myself (that was the deal!) and nominate up to five people that I consider also worthy of the award.
So here goes …
1 – I started blogging just over a year ago to demonstrate, try out, create, make up and revisit as many different crafts as I could. Along the way, I’ve connected with lovely people, fellow crafters and delighted in sharing craft swaps.

2 – When I was seven I took part in a national art competition and won a packet of plasticine (a bit like play doh); a watercolour set and met the Queen for my picture of her on horseback in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace.

3 – I’ve only ever driven on the motorway once and will avoid it at all costs. My kids tease me about ‘big roads’! It was a case of: tried it once and didn’t like it

4 – I love exploring new places and have a strong desire to travel – my dad lived and worked in several different countries and I grew up surrounded by lodgers from around the world – yet my DH gets severely travel sick so it took me nineteen years to get him on an aeroplane

5 – I’m allergic to bee and wasp stings and discovered this when sipping white wine and got stung on the forehead

6 – I’d always wanted to own a cuckoo clock as my dad kept one in a cupboard. I later found out that he kept it unwound because it was so noisy. I dislike ticking clocks and can’t sleep if there is anything other than a digital clock in the room or one that I can silence.

7 – I once thought that a cream tea was tea with cream in it.

and now, a couple of nominations for the lovely blog award are
http://craftingwithfelt.com

Plus

https://prettylittlethingsinabox.wordpress.com

There are many more I could also mention, if I had more time to comment

Thanks again Irene for the nomination 🙂

Hares … A new craze for me!

Happy first of the month everyone! I’ve been busy creating art with hares being the main feature recently. This includes doodling at work during my short lunch break!

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..and another that I really love, just because it took me ten minutes to do and I like the expression:

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Then I wanted to explore making a large gelliprinted collage of a hare using feathers, sweet peppers, bottle tops and gel pens on a large board:

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Hard to know when to stop really, so I began doodling in my journal for February 1st in memory of my rabbit Pom Pom who sadly passed away at the end of last month and I don’t think we will be able to find another as placid and quiet as she was. Just as the dandelions dance away on the breeze, I hope she’s happily hopping over lush green pastures.

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Interview

Tonight, loyal followers and likers, I am delighted to be the guest on http://greeneearthoriginals.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/gelli-printing-guest-post-3-with.html
and being interviewed about my gelliprinting. Hope you take time to read it; comment and get inspired 🙂
Some of the images shown in the interview are also found in my recently printed book on printing:

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