Sunday, 16 November 2014

Wandering Witches Fayre

Just a quick note to people who came to visit me at the Witches Fayre today, thank you for stopping to chat and thank you to those people good enough to buy my art.

For the most up to date details of hats and latest paintings, you can find me on Facebook at this web address

Tomorrow I'll upload my photos as I've finally persuaded my camera to behave!  Meanwhile the house is a post Fayre wreck, which for some reason has driven the cats to run riot.  Nothing and no one is safe, apart from maybe Cotton as she's glaring so hard that there's an exclusion zone around her!  I'm too tired to sort them out.  They'll have to fight it out until supper time, which always calms them down :D

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Troubles with technology!

Well, I've had quite a few issues lately with my laptops and now finally my camera.  It's been so difficult to blog without my faithful tools to back me up.  I'm going to have to get my old camera out, as that loads up with no problems!!!

So here are a few words to say that life is good, work at the Studio is fantastic and I've been making hats galore!  I have a large Witches Fayre to attend on Sunday, so I'm hoping to have the camera and laptop sorted by then, fingers crossed!!!

I hope all my blogging friends are well and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all in the coming days :D

Saturday, 13 September 2014

An unnusual week and magical!

This week has been all about felt!  I had a lull in commissions of portraits and so sat down to make a hat for my upcoming Witches Fair. The process was so much fun, if a little messy and complicated, but I have a very clean kitchen floor now!!!

I was surprised by the reaction on Facebook when I posted the pictures and the first hat sold immediately.  The next hat was much easier to make as I'd figured out what equipment to use and how to make some templates for a uniform finish. Most of my equipment is improvised from whatever was lying around at the time.  No expensive moulds for me!

So here it is, the collapsible Witches hat inspired by the hats worn by the Owen Sister's in Practical Magic!  This hat is The Midnight and here it is with center extended, you can see the point in the shadow!
With the point collapsed it looks like any other regular hat (sort of !)
This hat is The Autumn hat and is lined with lovely thick blue-faced Leicester wool that I happened to have for my spinning!!! It's my favourite hat and hasn't sold yet, so I'm quite happy about that, hehe!
With the point extended it reminds me of the Sorting hat from Harry Potter :D  I may have to watch all of those movies again, in the name of work, of course!!!
I adore this hat and the colours go so well with my hair colour.  It has a droopy back to keep the neck warm as well!
 This is how the beret started off and you can see how much wool is used for quite a small hat!  It starts with two layers of super soft Alpaca, (luckily I have an entire fleece in the shed!!!), two layers of red and then another layer of contrasting dark reds.
It looks kind of pinky in this picture, but that's just the poor lighting!
This is a truer colour and you can see the tiny hairs of Alpaca poking through from the inside.  If I'd had a darker fleece the beret would have looked more scarlet, I think.  I'm calling this one the Rowan Beret (get it? Rowan berry :D )
Suddenly I have some hat orders to fill this week and in between times, a couple of horse portraits.  I love being this busy, it doesn't feel like hard work at all, but I'm normally asleep just before I hit the pillow!!!!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


When I don't have the time to sit and start a full painting, I fill my sketch books.  Pretty soon, I'll have to make a decision about what's going to be painted and what will sit and wait for another day.

I don't often sketch men, but I did fancy doing a picture of Odin and his two Ravens Huggin and Munnin.  These crows make me smile a lot as they're looking a bit dippy!  The one on the right is trying real hard to be a Tucan, while Odin resembles a grumpy Gandalf!  I like the layout though and when I get my problems sorted with the paper stretching I'll probably have a go at this one.

Meanwhile, I'm working on some new horse portraits and hope to get those share soon.  Have a good week blog-friends :D

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Sketching and stuff!

I've been sketching and scribbling this week. Here are a few that are ok to share :D

Crows will be featuring a lot soon, I love their rude and  rowdy manners.  We have a lot in my village!
Some exotic styled cats.  I need to do more!
Moomin was good enough to pose for me again.  I love drawing feet!
In the woods, one of our regular pathways was blocked by this poor tree.  I've been watching it for months, not realising how deep the decay had settled!  A strong wind was all that was needed to tear it in half.  I doubt that it will survive as the rot is creeping into the live half!
Moomin and Manchee at the beach on our first cool day!
The Supermoon!  Not a great picture but as good as my phone could manage :D
Now it's back to the sketchbooks :D

Monday, 4 August 2014

Mving forward.

Of course that's the only way we can really go after all! Sometimes I may feel like I'm going backwards, but it's actually about learning new skills and that takes time!  I've enjoyed playing with different techniques, learnt what I'm good at and what needs more work, but now it's time to settle and get some real marks on the paper!

I adore playing with gold and silver leaf, so there will be more of that to come and I have a new printer, so bookmarks will be appearing soon.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit and comment, it's good to know I'm not just talking to an empty void :D

Friday, 1 August 2014


As my last post was going backwards, I think this post should be about how many different directions I go in!!!

This week I've tried different styles and formats, discovered what makes me happy and what gives me a real headache!  What I've learnt is that I need a cohesion to my art and direction.  Not quite sure how that will come about, any ideas???  I'm half tempted to scrap it all and start again!!!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Too many ideas!

I read recently, in an art magazine, a letter from someone complaining that they had too many ideas!  The reply was along the lines of 'how lucky!' But actually, this is something that I can sympathise with.  Having a head full of ideas can be as difficult as having no ideas at all.  Where do I start, what shall I paint today?  The very thought of committing one idea to paper while the other ideas form an unruly queue can actually cause me to grind to a halt!

If I restrict myself to one style of drawing or painting, say Equine, then I start to get restless and itchy to draw something wildly different, like faeries or monsters.  I guess the answer is to somehow combine the two but that doesn't always work.  What I'll be doing this week is just drawing anything that comes to mind and exploring where that takes me.  Expect some very different sketches :D

I'll try to be strict and do a sketch a day and post them here.  For a change I'm not going to think this through, I'll just let my pencil go where it will, should be interesting!

Friday, 25 July 2014

I wish I'd written it!

Many years ago I began writing a book.  Not because I believe myself to be a budding author or because I wanted to jump on the back of many self published authors, but because I wanted to read a book that hadn't yet been written!  A book about horses and people and adventures. Not a children's book, but one that anyone could lose themselves in.  Now finally I've discovered what might be the very book I wanted and it was written around the time that I was looking.  Now, though, it's been made into a film and so has been republished and found it's way onto the front shelves of popular bookstores.

The book is called 'A New York Winter's Tale' and the movie features Colin Farrell, swoon, and the most stunningly beautiful white horse.
I hope the story proves to be as wonderful as the opening chapter and I'm finding so many inspiring images filling my head as I read.

I'll leave you with these words from the author, Mark Helprin. (and yes, I really wish I'd written this!)

'The tail of the white horse swished back and forth as he trotted briskly down empty avenues and boulevards.  He moved like a dancer, which is not surprising: a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music.'

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Moomin and I took the dog to a nearby thicket. It was hot and humid and we were alarmed at the colour of this pool. Thankfully Manchee didn't fancy a dip in it!!! It might make an interesting backdrop for a painting!!!
There were so many golden butterflies.  I think this one is a Dark Clouded Yellow butterfly.
My golden boy.  He posed for many new paintings.
The latest addition to my flock.  Can you tell that it's a he???  The tail is a giveaway.  He has buttery golden legs and the girls adore him!!!
Playing with gold leaf.  I had way too much fun with this, although I did end up with it all over my fingers and the carpet!!!
Kingfishers will soon be for sale in the Etsy shop or on my website.  I hope your days are golden and happy my friends :D

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Early morning or late evening is the best time for dog walking. Neither Manchee nor I enjoy the scorching heat. It's always cool in the woods though.
At the edge of the woods are the fields of wheat.  The stray bundles look so interesting, like they're not talking to the main crop! 
Even though it's early morning, I can feel that it's going to be a hot day today.  I'll be painting water and Kingfishers and the cats will sleep and dream of mice :D

Sunday, 13 July 2014

This week in pictures.

A tiny rodent skeleton. I'm strange, I know, but I find skeletons fascinating!
Coming back from walking the dog, the cats walk home with us.
There are normally more, but today just three.
Fae, looking beautiful in the window :D
The cats move in to the Studio, but no room for Manchee.  He is most put out!
Beautiful cygnets afloat on the soft green grass.
Manchee playing with a speeding bundle of black fur and showing how to tuck your legs under for maximum velocity!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Early morning walk.

Beside the lake this morning, the cygnets had grown and were utterly enchanting.  The dog made a new friend and I came away with a head full of paintings.  There will be photos later, but my new camera is fiddly to upload!

The cats have moved in to the studio and I've been painting Kingfishers.  I'm in love with my Studio and so are the animals :D

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Reckoning!

Of course there is always a balance of energies, I know this well, suffering from a health issue that depends on me being aware of my energy or lack of!  The Studio is all but finished, but unfortunately so am I!  Details aren't needed but suffice to say that I've been very unwell this last week and I woke this morning with laryngitis on top of what's become a nightmare of a cold!  The good thing is that it's cosy in the studio and I'm starting to feel like working again :D

There's a great post by one of my favourite artists Stephanie Pui Mun Law about dealing with our Muses and it's helped me with a lot of sketching and doodling.  Hopefully some new paintings will emerge :D

I may venture out soon to walk the dog, as some household members still need a lot of attention, whether I feel like it or not!!!

This picture is from last week, when we went along the green lane near my home.  It's so overgrown that I'm hoping the farmer cuts it back soon as it was quite a struggle wading through brambles and nettles!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Studio - part 2 (or, the cats are waiting!)

In my garden you will find bookcases and discarded pieces of furniture.
Playgrounds for cats, or as often displayed on Facebook, storage units for crazy cat ladies :D
Why has my garden turned into a junkyard, you may be thinking?  Well, it's the discarded contents of my Studio.  The tall shelves held pieces of pottery in various stages of making and firing before going to exhibitions or shops. Now they will be finding a home in the garage where my new pottery studio will be, eventually.  But for now, the cats are waiting.  Waiting for what?  To see who will be living in the cute little house at the bottom of the garden.  Their wait is nearly over :D

The ceiling and top half of the walls were painted white,
then the lower half of the walls was stained light oak. This took forever, but Seth Lakeman helped, in the background, of course :D
Finally, I fitted dado rail but this nearly finished me off and I had to get help cutting the mitered edges!  My new to me desk was sanded and scrubbed and fits perfectly into the area beside the window.
Withe the carpet and bookcase in place, it's starting to come together, but there is still a lot of work to do, especially outside where the wood needs weather proofing.  The style I was originally going for was something from Lord of the Rings, hence the tree in the corner.  I wanted an elvish type home, but then after watching Totorro (again!) I decided on the stained paneling which is how many Japanese houses are decorated (in Anime at least!).  To be honest though, the interior is just developing it's own style as I go.  Already there are paintings lining up to be discovered, the Owl Girl and the Moon Cradle are but two in my head right now :D
Life continues elsewhere, and my new chickens are laying well :D
The two yellow birds are Cersei and Sanza (Game of Thrones) and the black girl is Celtie from an Anime we like.  Poor Celtie is quite timid and stays away from the others as much as she can and my dear little Arya was taken by the buzzard because she was white and was an easy target!!!  The whole run and it's little village of huts was moved to a safer place, so everyone is happy again!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Blogs revisited.

I'm not sure it's a good thing, dwelling on the past, but people who blog have an opportunity to view their past in a unique way.  More so than people who keep a journal or no records other than photos.  Bloggers capture words as well as images, snippets of your thoughts at that precise moment of typing and the words may be different to what you put in a journal.  My journal is for my eyes only, so I feel comfortable throwing in the odd swearword or cuss at a situation but I would never write that way here.

My old blog tended towards the 'warts and all' approach, but when I found myself alone in the world and had to begin again, I pulled back from sharing so much.  What was lost along the way, was the poetry of my life.  I'm amazed at how much I've changed and I need to reconnect with that part of my soul, so there may be some flowery descriptive pieces dropping in from time to time as I explore the beauty once more.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Studio - part 1

With all the warm weather we've had lately, I decided it was time to tackle the outside Studio. I needed a long, dry spell as I knew the work would take a very long time! Emptying the contents and then sorting through what I was keeping took an entire day.  So much junk had accumulated!
With the walls laid bare, I could assess the damage, and it was worrying!  The outside floor supports had rotted, so the whole structure had sunk on either side, raising the floor in the center.  A lot of earth had piled against one side and the wood had rotted through.  With the floor raised, the doors wouldn't shut, so more water had come in from outside, along with an army of snails and some pretty enormous spiders!
There was light showing between the boards and the walls and ceiling had twisted.  I reinforced the wood with new planks and in some places put new wood inside and out to strengthen it all.
Next came the membranes, waterproof for the walls and breathable for the ceiling, which should be waterproof from the outside.
It was then lined with silver insulation and clad with pine tongue and groove planks which slot neatly together.  Not the cheapest solution, but it was an easy one for someone of limited ability!  My lovely son did a lot of the sawing and spent an afternoon tackling around 50 planks!
The ceiling was lined with hardboard as I felt that the plyboard would be too heavy for an already weakened structure.  I did put extra supports at the corner, as the window had a tendency to twist when opened and then I couldn't get it shut again.  Hopefully it's sorted now.  Manchee has enjoyed helping me :D
There are a few places inside where the linings aren't as neat as they could be, so I'll be using a mixture of logs and branches to 'decorate' and hide the unsightly bits.  I also have plans for rustic shelves.
All of this work has taken about three weeks, as I've needed frequent rest breaks and during this time, my beautiful Finn cat went missing.  I was a wreck for the whole time he was gone and could barely function for worry.  Posters were put up and doors knocked.  I put leaflets through most doors within a cat's distance from my house (that's quite a long way!) and finally, after 5 days he returned, very thin and with almost no voice at all.  Clearly he'd been shut in and my biggest fear, during such a long hot week was that he would die locked away and unable to escape.  The other cats were so pleased to see him and happily shared his supper of tuna and turkey.  He then spent the night in my bed and now feels that it's actually his!!!
Meanwhile at the field, Merlin escaped from his paddock and spent a night in with Bo, I arrived to find them happy and peaceful, so decided to let them have time together.  As it was all going so smoothly, I decided to put Toffee in as well.
This gradual combining of the herd took two weeks to achieve, but the boys are now together in their little bachelor herd and all is peaceful.  Toffee spends a lot of time on his own at this time of year, due to too much grass making him overweight and ill, so it's good to be able to move them around to suit their needs. So when Merlin has eaten his fill, he can go back to the starvation paddock with Toffee and Bo gets some peaceful time alone.  He doesn't mind this as he's a very independent little soul.
Thankfully, the rain has waited until now when the studio is all but finished and in fact, the sound of it pounding against the window has been a welcome relief. So this weekend will be spent sketching and resting and then I'll be back in the studio to continue with decorating and painting of a different kind.