Saturday, 18 December 2010

Winna Winner!!!

I am so sorry it has taken me until now to announce the winner of my little giveaway... I don't know about you but I have had a really hard time using my Blogger account this last week?  Anyway, fingers crossed I will get to the end of this post and it will actually upload!

So, as you can see - the winner is the lovely Winna!  I will be in touch as soon as I finish this post and will put the finishing touches to my parcel tomorrow.  Though I have decided to leave sending it until after the festive season, then hopefully it won't risk being lost in all the extra Christmas post whizzing around our little planet....

Back very soon! L x

Friday, 3 December 2010

I missed my first birthday...

Gosh, it's been way too long!  I can't believe I missed the first birthday of my little blog, and I really can't believe that it is now over a year since I started it!  Anyway, for all you lovely people who visit here from time to time (EDMers etc) I would like to offer a little **GIVEAWAY** as a way of saying thank you for all the support and comments and, well for just quietly reading my ramblings over the last twelve months.  It is all very much appreciated you know.  The main part of the giveaway will be a set of three of my polar bear cards...

...they have been left blank so you can use them for anything really, just as a snail mail treat to send a friend, who doesn't like snail mail from time to time?  I will also add something 'Yorkshire' to the package and, after everything I said in my last post about Mail Art, I will add a little artwork to the parcel itself, just to make things a little more interesting!  If you approve and fancy owning the eclectic collection just leave me a comment here.....  I will draw a name from a (Santa) hat on Saturday 11th December.

Sadly I still don't really have much finished artwork to offer up at the moment, but not because of lack of inspiration this time thank goodness - rather a case of life getting in the way.  I do have these little tomato sketches, not the most exciting subject but I just loved the colours and had to have a go at painting them.  Really good fun and all good watercolour practice!  They cover EDM 24 - because technically they are fruit, right?

I am also working on this little fella, a snowy fox.  I started him a few weeks ago, with the intention of creating another Christmas card - then life intervened.  I'll try to get him finished this weekend though, no excuses - I'm on my own, then maybe I could at least make up some cards to share with family and friends this year.  Hey, if I get it finished I'll add one to my giveaway!  Here he is in his half finished state:

...pop back soon and he'll be here all finished :o)

Once again here in the UK we are in the grips of icy, snowy wonderfulness.  This has meant that for three days the school I work at has been closed, which means things must be really bad because our school hardly ever closes!!  After two days of horrendous car journeys at the start of the week though, I'm just grateful I didn't have to struggle in - I have also had a streaming cold, you know the type where you feel really, really ill but you can't justify time off work?  So, luckily I have been able to stay tucked up and warm and today I am feeling much more myself, though with a bright red nose and still unable to move more than 6 feet away from a box of hankies!

Oh, and Scout thinks the snow is marvellous!

Hope you are all cold free and keeping happy!  Back soon, L xx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Snail mail, balloons, Wild Things, and tomatoes

I’m at home this week and feel it is definitely time I posted something on my blog. I have lots of little things I thought I would share today, here goes:

Since my last post I received a card from Alex Tan featuring one of his wonderful pictures.....

It’s such a treat receiving something like this via snail mail and even more so when it is from someone I have got to know through the EDM group who shares a love of art. I could really get into this whole swapping artwork thing.  Mmm, I’ve been trying to think of something to celebrate my first ‘Blogaversary’ – watch this space. In the meantime a small parcel is winging it’s way East from here in sunny Yorkshire, just a little something to thank Alex :o) x

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had produced a painting of a flower that I hoped would be used in some way to raise money at a memorial event for one of my work colleagues who died over the summer.  Well, on Sunday November 14th we are going to have an event at the school – a balloon race. The balloon that travels the furthest will win a prize for it’s owner. All the money raised at the event will go to charity and to pay for a permanent memorial at school – an outdoor, flower-filled classroom which should be beautiful.  I have produced a one-off necklace that will be auctioned, and a print of the flower will be signed, framed and also auctioned.

I’m so glad I decided to paint that gerbera, it’s great to know it might raise some extra funding. I will take pictures and post here to let you know how the event goes.

As far as my Wild Things are concerned things are ticking over slowly, but surely. I’m certainly getting lots of lovely feedback! I have decided that as I am at home this week I will remove all postal charges from my items, to anywhere in the world until noon (GMT) on Saturday, October 23rd. I figure a little saving is always good in the lead up to Christmas! I have also had my polar bear printed up onto cards and he looks quite smart so they are now available to purchase.

If I can complete the new ‘snowy fox’ painting I have started this week hopefully he’ll be arriving in the shop in one form or another very soon.  Also, a lovely lady has also requested a small, silver pendant version of my wolf – it’s taken me ages to get him to fit the charm! Hope she likes him.

I am also finishing lots of experiments I have been doing with my soldered items and patinas, and in making my own copper findings!!! Never a dull moment!!! My poor old fingernails are shot to pieces though!

Anyway, as a shameless plug... do pop across and have a look in my little shop, you never know, a Christmas treat might be lurking there just waiting for the right person to come along!

Today I decided to start working in my new A4 Moleskine - though I have stuck a sheet of watercolour paper onto the page I am working on as I am painting a series of little pictures of some beautiful tomatoes my lovely neighbour Colin has given me.  They are all different colours and shapes, such simple things and yet so pretty.  All good observational practice.  In fact, I shall finish off here now and do some more before the light starts to fail (must buy me a new work lamp this year).

Oh, and finally, remember I sent in a piece of art to the ‘Mail Me Art 2’ project?   Well, the book is finally out and my piece made it into the tome – albeit in a little corner of a page – but I’m really chuffed!!! I really enjoyed taking part in that project, it was great having a goal to work towards. 

Mmm, mail art – now how about that as an idea to get us all communicating via snail mail as well as over the Interweb? That could be a fun thing to do as a Blogaversary event...... Mmm, I’ll have a think and get back to you on that one   :o)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The crayons are out again :o)

This is my response to EDM# 161 - Draw something you think smells wonderful.  It is a lovely leather wallet I bought to keep my iPod Classic in.  The old case fell apart at the seams so I decided to treat myself to this handmade leather beauty from hollyhawk designs on Etsy.  Even though I have had it for a couple of months now it still has that wonderful new leathery thing smell.  I love it.  As you can see from the notes around the sketch, I started this drawing in August.  It fell victim to my creative block and I only just finished it last weekend! 

You'll be pleased to hear that my head is now buzzing with ideas again.  I have just ordered some properly printed Christmas cards with my polar bear on that will be available through my Etsy shop.... I have just realised though, that in a months time it will be the 1st birthday of my little blog, so I think I will hold a card giveaway in celebration :o)

I also received a beautiful card from Alex in the post - from way across The Pond!  How lovely to receive such lovely post, it has helped me feel inspired again - thanks Alex, and watch your post box!!

Right, I'm off to catch up on creative lost time - while I listen to my new 'Them Crooked Vultures' cd :o)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

My mind went completely blank

I can't believe it's been so long since my last post!  Even longer since I posted any finished art work.  This has been down to a mix of 'life happening' and creative block.  For the last few weeks I have hardly sketched or painted or created anything, apart from that is, the painting of this pink gerbera flower, and this has a sad tale behind it. 

As many of you may know I work as a professional librarian in a school.  The school is made up of a primary and grammar school and part of my role is teaching library skills classes to the junior pupils.  The best part of the job!  Through the last academic year I worked with and got to know a lovely young teacher, in fact during the summer term we began to make plans to start a junior book club - coming up with lots of fun ideas for the kids to do - us too.  I knew at the time that she had not been feeling too well, food allergies she thought.  Then two weeks before the end of term she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and, unbelievably on August 18th I attended her funeral.  She had just had her 31st birthday, it doesn't really compute.  I was really only just getting to know her but I have really felt her loss.  I think we could have been good friends.  I can't imagine how her close family and friends must feel.

Anyway, all her colleagues who attended the funeral wore a pink gerbera buttonhole. It had been her specific wish that we all wore bright colours, especially pink (her favourite).  The day after the funeral I decided to paint this picture of her flower, just because it looked so pretty and because I wanted to remember how it looked.  Now I am about to make a set of pendants using the image to help to raise some money in her memory, and the junior school have decided to use the image for their fundraising campaign in her memory - how cool is that?  I'll let you know how things go.

Apart from that I seem to have started more pictures than I have finished and really have struggled with motivating myself.  I can't give a particular reason I'm afraid, it's just how it has been.  Well, last weekend I couldn't sit down and work on some jewellery pieces as I'd planned because I had ended up in A&E on Saturday morning with a scratch on my left eye  :0(   however, this Thursday gone I did manage to finish a sketch I had started on a beach, Hunmanby Gap on the Yorkshire coast in July.  It's pretty basic but I'm happy with it.  Wonderful beach too - I always manage to find lots of fossils there :0)  I also did a bit more work on a coloured pencil piece I did to illustrate EDM # 161 Draw something you think smells wonderful - I will definitely get this finished, hopefully tomorrow and post it here.  Oh and I managed to list a few more pieces in my Etsy shop so not too bad a day I suppose!

Anyway - here's the beach picture which I will say is EDM # 100 Draw or paint a landscape:

I promise I shall be pulling my finger out in the next few weeks and getting some more work done.  I have ordered myself a new A4 Moleskine sketchbook and a book to inspire me on digital artwork so no excuses!!  I'd be interested to know what you people reading this do to try to overcome any creative block!

And if the last few weeks haven't been the kick in the pants I needed to remind me that life is just too damn short to dither about, well I don't know what would remind me, do you?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Yey, I'm a Versatile Blogger :0)

I found out yesterday that I have received a ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ from jewellery designer / maker Shirley! You can see her gorgeous work on her blog Mamasakio.... Thanks Shirley! X

As part of the award I have to reveal seven facts about my good self. I’ll try to do this without being scary   ( or boring)    :0)


I love to laugh. This is a good thing, but sometimes it can get me into trouble because when I am nervous I tend to get a bit too giddy. I think some people might think I am too loud at times which is a shame... I’m like the anxious puppy who wants everybody to be happy, bouncing up and down too much wagging my tail and knocking over furniture. The secret truth is I am actually quite shy, this has been may way in life of dealing with it. I adore comedy in film and on TV... I love Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton so very much that sometimes I get teary because I can’t stand the fact they are so long gone! Seeing Monty Python’s Life of Brian at the cinema when it was very first released – was for me, a poor Python-deprived teenager (my parents weren’t fans) a complete comedy revelation. When I feel really down, I watch Matthau and Lemon in The Odd Couple or Curtis / Lemon / Monroe in Some Like it Hot. Spinal Tap makes me laugh hysterically; I love Ealing Comedies and Ben Stiller movies. TV programmes like Family Guy and Green Wing, Spaced, Black Books all have me snorting with laughter, BUT, here’s my comedy ‘dirty secret’.... something I have never announced in public before so please don’t tell anyone else. I never, ever (not even once) found Seinfeld funny. Please don’t hate me.


One of my most favourite fiction reads ever is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Please, please read it if you haven’t before. It is magical and achingly sad in parts but well worth it. Just keep a hanky with you! I’m a professional librarian so I had to get literature in!


As I noted in my previous post, I once sat on a wasps nest. I was playing hide and seek with friends in the local woods and I found a big tree to hide behind. As I settled down I heard a ‘buzzy’ noise get louder and louder. As I stood up I realised I was surrounded by really annoyed wasps and that was when I saw the smashed up nest. I ran, the fastest I have ever run back home. It probably took me a good seven or eight minutes but I kept up the speed the whole way. When I got home I had been stung everywhere and still had the odd wasp in my hair, on my socks etc. I was actually being looked after by my lovely elderly neighbours that day – they were my adopted grandparents, and they were mortified when they saw me. Now, if that happened to a seven year old child today you would be rushed to A&E pretty swiftly. Back in 197? The cure for all my sting wounds was a liberal application of Dolly Blue. I don’t know how many of you remember Dolly Blue. It might have been called something different outside the UK. It was a substance put in a clothes wash to give your whites that ‘bluey whiteness’ all good people crave. Back in 197? it was already really old fashioned, my mum didn’t use it but thank goodness for Mr and Mrs Dunning’s Dolly Blue! I don’t know what it contained but it took the pain away from all my stings and once I had stopped crying I loved the war paint all over my body!! I can still see the look of horror on my mother’s face when she came to pick me up later that day. I looked like William Wallace.


I would love to get a tattoo of a sparrow – a proper, photo-real image of a sparrow sitting on a cherry blossom branch (again a botanically correct drawing of the blossom) but I am too scared to do it  :0\   Or am I?  :0/   I probably am   :0|   Ooh, but I would like one.....   :0)


I love music... I carry my iPod everywhere with me. My all time, forever-favourite band is Rush. My main love is rock / punk / grunge and I play music very loud. I love going to gigs and have seen most of the artists I would like to see. I shall finally be seeing Nick Cave in October (woo hoo!!). Of the artists I still haven’t seen, the one I must see before I die is David Bowie. Some favourite live shows: Eels, Buzzcocks, Futureheads, Rush, The Who, Iggy Pop, David Byrne, The Hives, Mark Lanegan (oh too many to list). Most tedious live show – The Blue Aeroplanes... I was given the ticket.


In another life, where science instead of the arts are my forte, I would be a geologist. My alter ego is actually a paleo-archeologist / geologist :0)   But I was useless at physics etc so I’m not. I am an artist with a large collection of rubble.


I like to go for long, long walks – get away from everything. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like at the moment. I like to have a sketchbook and a camera with me and just dawdle along taking everything in. If a particular walk is supposed to take around three hours, I need to allow at least six, because I have to look at all the flowers, paddle in streams, sit and watch birds, sketch, climb trees, collect rubble, make daisy chains - you get my meaning. I am very much a rambler.

See here I am, just sitting again... I was watching some finches flitting about in the trees.

I think there are actually way more than seven points there.  Point 8 = I’m value for money!
Now the next part of my award entails me selecting 15 blogs that I would like to pass the award on to. This is a toughie because I subscribe to many blogs and I try to keep up with them regularly and I could very easily have chosen many, many more! So, please know I love you all, every blog I have ever left a comment on has been written by a person who has inspired and held my interest or made me laugh in some way, but here are the fifteen I managed to select, blindfold, with a pin:

1 Debra Morris Sketchblog
2 Down a Dusty Lane
4 Impoftheyard's Photojournal
5 Mimilove
6 Dan's Canvas
7 Image Maker
8 Raena's Sketch Journal
9 Winna's World
10 Weekly Art Assignment
11 Nanke's Stuff
12 Inklings
13 Colour Blob
14 Andrea Joseph's Sketchblog
 and last but absolutely not least this wonderfully inspiring blog:
15 Patrick the incurable optimist  I can't remember which of you lovely blogosphere people led me to this site, but thank you, whoever you are x

So, all you winners, if you would like to - cut and paste yourself the award badge from my site and then, if you feel the urge - give us seven interesting facts about yourself, then select 15 other lovelies to receive the award.  You don't have to waffle endlessly like me! xx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Buzz if you like, but don't sting me

Didn't realise how little I had been posting recently.... partly because I've been busy in the proper job and partly because I have been producing some new artwork both for my jewellery and a couple of EDMs on the boil (so to speak - will post these over next few days whan I have caught up with everyone elses offerings).  Here is my latest Wild Thing... a bee!

I have a sheet ready to print so that I can start preparing some soldered bits and pieces.  I am going to make some little charms and pendants with a 'Halloween' Wild Things theme.  Yesterday I started a painting of a spider... now, let me explain that I have a very stupid and irrational fear of spiders.  I live in a country where spiders are not a threat, yet just the thought of one scuttling along makes me want to run for the hills.  Ridiculous!  So I am finding myself as normal, totally engrossed in the painting I am doing and then, every now and again... shuddering at the subject matter.  I have no real fear of any other living thing.  As a child I once sat on a wasps nest (long story) and was stung everywhere.  Am I frightened of wasps / bees / stingy things?  No.  I once had the little finger of my right hand almost ripped off (no seriously - I have a cracking scar to prove it) by a rearing pony.  Am I scared of all things equine?  No.  As a child I was bitten several times by dogs - once on the face (again small scar to prove it) - I'm not frightened of dogs, never have been, which is why I got myself into so many scrapes with them because I always threw my arms around any dog I saw as a child  :0)

Being scared of spiders is silly.  I have never been hurt by a spider, never had a spider trauma... apart from the time my friends child held the biggest one up under my nose saying 'Look what I found Lesley....'.  I was horrified, my instinct was to leap over the fence into the neighbour's garden, or worse still chuck the child and her find into next door's garden.  I told her I thought it was beautiful and she should put it back where she found it because it's family were missing it, which she dutyfully did.  I think (hope) the rictus smile and my googling eyes passed her by. I would hate to be responsible for imprinting the same fear in another generation.

So, deep breaths, keep calm Lesley, and get that painting finished!

TTFN, xx 


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