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 

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Street art by C215

Hi all! Really quick post here because I have been meaning to share this with you all for ages. I am really into street art... by that I mean the clever, thought provoking stuff. This guy's work, I think, is simply beautiful. I kept my eyes peeled on my recent trip to London & Paris in the vain hope of spotting one of his works, but I didn't, one day! He is known as C215 and I think this video sums his work up. What do you think? Hope you like xx

Friday, 16 July 2010

Rainy days can be good

I am nearly half way through my summer holiday - though this last week has been so rainy and blowy it hasn't been the expected week of day trips and ice cream I had thought it might be.  Still, just being off work is bliss, and the weather has meant I have felt justified in getting on with more making of Wild Things.  So, here is a very quick post about my newest item, just listed in my Etsy shop, a necklace made using my seahorse painting.  I'm really pleased with this piece, I have used chain instead of ribbon for the necklace and think it works really well.  Fingers crossed someone else will love it too :o)

I'm off to work on a big, fluffy bumble bee painting that will hopefully be used in some jewellery pieces too.  I'll be back soon, hopefully with bee complete and some sketches from days out I will have when the sun comes back out - because it will, it always does!  Maybe I'll get a proper chance to have a play with my shiny new camera kit too!!  Watch this space.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

It's all OK I used a rubber.....

It has taken me ages to come up with an idea for EDM 206 'Draw something familiar to you that you know is called something else in another region', but I have had real fun with this.  I'm not trying to match the comedic level of the extremely talented Andrea Joseph when she tackled the whole 'fanny' issue (insert lots of English blushing & - see her post for February 19th HERE - you will need to scroll down a couple of posts to see it).

I have had the odd idea for this one then last week, while going over my Paris sketches I found a page I had abandoned.  In true EDM spirit I decided I should try to mend it, but I just seemed to make a bigger mess.  That's when I thought about using my rubber.... and that was it, an idea was born. 

I set to with the already messed up page, made an even bigger mess - and loved every minute of it!!  Then I painted a RUBBER on some watercolour paper, cut it out and stuck it on top of the pencil scribbles. 

You see I know that generally speaking a 'rubber' to my lovely friends across The Pond has an entirely different meaning - you know what I mean boys and girls ;o)  Yet here in the UK it is absolutely an everyday term for well, a rubber.  You would never get anyone here asking to borrow an eraser to rub out pencil marks. Even typing the word doesn't seem right!  It's funny isn't it how things can have such varied meanings?  But it all leads to fantastic innuendo (or as I prefer to call it 'In Your Endo) - which is VERY British humour.  Google the 'Carry On' films sometime (Oooh, Matron!).  And, more importantly it's all part of the beauty of the English language that adapts and adopts fer more than any other language (probably).

I found this British - American glossary online and think it's wonderful, thought you might like to see it too?  You can swap it round between countries, which makes it even more useful.

Armed with this glossary my American chums can now also appreciate this little anecdote from my childhood:

I would have been possibly 10 or 11 years old and at school pen-pals were being organised between the school I was at and the school we were partnered with in Lille, France.  We all had to write a letter to a pupil at the French school.  These letters were to be passed around the pupils in the equivalent French class and they would reply to us.  I was very taken with this idea and laboured long and hard over my letter, illustrating it (of course) and sticking pictures to it.  After a couple of weeks, friends in my class started to receive responses from the French pupil who had picked them.  I began to get more excited.  Every morning I ran downstairs and asked if my French letter had arrived.  I was obsessed with receiving my French letter.  I told everyone I met, family, friends, complete strangers, that I was going to get a French letter through the post.  I didn't flinch when I noticed the strained looks and stifled grins on the faces of the adults I told this to.  After I can't remember how long, my lovely Dad could take it no more, sat me down and told me why I should re-phrase what I was saying.  I have never been so mortified in my entire life.  Well I have, but those are other stories  ;o) 

Now I leave it to you to look up French Letter in the glossary I have supplied you with!!!  More blushes!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend xx

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Is it really already a month ago?

I have finally got around to photographing some of the sketches I did in Paris - here's the first, a sketch I made at Pere Lachaise cemetery:

It's not the best sketch I have ever produced by any stretch!  It was a very hot day and my paint was dry almost as it hit the paper!  I also ended up having to use several different drawing implements so - the lines are a bit messy - and as for the perspective!!  Still, I really enjoyed painting it, and as with any on-the-spot painting it evokes so many memories, the smell of the trees, the sound of them, the overgrown plants and patches of grass - and of course the heat!

I'm going to class this as EDM # 29 Draw something architectural - I think it fits that category fairly well and it is an EDM I may have otherwise avoided doing. Cheeky I know!

More to follow when I get my act together, hope you are all having a lovely weekend. :o)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Finally, I make and list my wolf necklace...

Just a quicky (ooh err).  I made one version of this necklace, managed to scratch the glass in the process and then in the most ridiculous, slap-stick accident that Buster Keaton would have been proud to choreograph I managed to smash the piece completely.  !!!!

I salvaged the bead dangle and the silk ribbon necklace and produced another soldered pendant, so here he is...

He needs to find a new, secure home before Mrs Clumsy handles him too much - so he's alread been listed in my Etsy shop!  :o)

TTFN, L xx

Sunday, 27 June 2010

All the world's indeed a stage....

I had a lovely day Friday!  I had sold my little fox necklace within 24 hours so, when I got home from the day job the first thing I did was get him all parcelled up ready to put in the post on Saturday.  Also, when I got home I found a parcel from Revelle (EDM group) containing a print of her fabulous raven picture, and.... found another parcel containing a DVD about my favouritest band in the whole wide world - Rush. I have been a fan since I first discovered music *&/! years ago.  What  a lovely set of things to come home to!!


For those of you not familiar with Revelle's artwork, you can check it out here:

I have just listed another necklace - containing a print of one of my fly agaric toadstool paintings.  I'm  quite pleased with it and was tempted to keep it myself!

I have also been quite naughty and treated myself to a brand new 'proper' camera this weekend.... not really had time to play with it yet though, maybe you'll get some practice pictures to look at by the end of this coming week!  Of course, as soon as I decide to shell out some hard earned cash on a luxury like a camera, it looks as though my cooker is about to die on me :o(   - typical!  At least I bought the camera first... if I'd thought I would have to pay for a new cooker, I would have shelved the camera idea!

Right, I'm off to watch Rush  :o)

Bye for now, L xx

Thursday, 24 June 2010

I'm gonna get you little fishy.....

Now you'll probably only get that quote if you live in the UK and have ever watched Red Dwarf... one of the silliest Sci-Fi programmes ever - well worth a view.

I'm hoping this little fella will kill two birds with one stone - he's going to be adapted for the bits and pieces I am making to sell - but he was also painted with EDM 166 in mind - 'draw a fish'.

I just need to do something about the green blobs - make them look more like seaweed!!!  I've used watercolour, gouache and coloured pencil in this picture and have really enjoyed painting it - though my it was fiddly!!

I have also listed another item in my Etsy shop today...

Things are going slow, but you have to work hard for good things don't you?  I'll keep chipping away!!

You'll notice a little Wild Things Facebook button over on the right.... I'd love to see you over there if you do engage in Facebooky activities!  If you have your own artwork / craftwork on there, we could share the love - man  :o)  xx

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Green things

Just thought I'd share a couple of very quick watercolour sketches I produced while out walking the pooch.  I haven't really posted any decent artwork in a while, and these I hope fit the remit of another EDM - No. 116 - something green. 

The first is of a tree stump that I have a fondness for - it's all mossy and attracts lots of birds.  I just sketched it with the paints, and am quite pleased with the results...

The second painting - again a quick watercolour sketch (the paper was not so good for this one) of some hawthorne bushes edging a field.  I love hawthorne, all twisty and knotty and in the swathes of beautiful flowers in spring are just gorgeous...

On a slightly different note I actually listed my first necklace in my Etsy shop, using a print of the himalayan poppy I painted last year.  I'm quite pleased with the finished piece - I hope someone will like it enough to purchase!!

Thought I would ask you all too - what are your favourite flora and fauna?  Wild or domesticated - I'd love to know... it might help get my creative juices flowing Wild Things wise - don't worry though, if you do inspire a painting / product I won't insist you make a purchase!!!  :o)

Have a lovely rest of the weekend folks, I'm off to finish a seahorse painting!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Racing around to come up behind you again....

It's weeks since my last post and next week it's mid-summer.  How does it happen?  This year it seems scary how quickly time is passing!!

The last few weeks have been a real 'uppy-downy' time, I had my first Etsy sale (hurrah) then went away and had a fantastic few days in London and Paris.  Came home, back to the proper job then, completely wiped out by some kind of virus.  I won't go into details - it involved sinuses.  Got myself back in the saddle yesterday, feeling much, much better, so today I am up bright and early and I fully intend to get the creativity back on track.

In my last post I mentioned (& posted a photo) of a fungus I had found on a walk in the woods.  On our first day in London we went to the British Museum and look what I came across:

Now, I know this picture is a little obscure... I took it with my phone, but it is an ancient piece of 'bracket' or 'horse hoof' fungus, found in Yorkshire (yay!) dating back thousands of years.  This piece was deliberately cut to be used as tinder.  Evidently once lit, the fungus has very slow, steady and reliable burning properties.  The fungus is still used today for the same thing.  So the next time you are camping in the middle of nowhere and need fire lighters, here's the fungus you need....!  The black 'roll' in front of the fungus by the way.... is an equally ancient roll of birch bark that someone had prepared also for lighting a fire.  Clever ancient Yorkshire people!  I'm sure I've oversimplified this, and some of you may have nodded off - not having the same fungal fascination as I.

What can I say about Paris?  We had the best weather possible (we always do... if you want guaranteed fab holiday weather just ask when and where I will be and get yourself booked in).  I have trecked through Paris several times, schlepping between train stations with heavy rucksack on my way to somewhere else, but had never stopped in and around Paris.  We spent four days hammering the Metro tickets and visited every site we wanted to see.


Here's the obligatory - 'look at me I'm definitely in Paris' picture!!

The one place we spent time looking at and going into was Notre Dame Cathedral.  What a stunning place (so stunning you get three shots)...

Another place we visited was Pere Lachaise Cemetery, final resting place of Great and Good such as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edif Piaf.  I love cemeteries... this place is amazing.  We only really had a couple of hours at the end of our second day, but we found Jim:

and Oscar:

...all covered in lipstick kisses.  Some think this is vandalism but I kind of think Oscar would approve - if he could.

The narrow lanes of mausolea here are simply fascinating and to my mind quite beautiful.  I love these places - if you visit London, treat yourself to an alternative day out and go to Highgate Cemetery.  The lengths people and families will go to the memorialise themselves and / or their loved ones is quite extraordinary.

Then I found this family tomb and found myself particularly drawn (I don't know why) to the amazing figures guarding the door...

And what did I find when I looked through the door?  'Do, do, do, do. Do, do do, do.' (to the tune of the Twilight Zone theme if you will)...

My initials... such beautiful stained glass, amazing! 
Right, I'm off to do what I said at the start and get my creative day under way.  Watch this space for sketches I produced on my travels... I haven't had time to scan them yet.

Thanks to everyone for all your continued interest in my blog and the lovely comments you leave for me!  A big hello to lovely new people who keep popping up too.. thank you for joining in! xx

P.S.   I have just updated an Etsy treasury I started before my hols... do nip over and have a look - there is some lovely work and you might recognise some pieces by other people there!!!   ;o)  x

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A walk in the woods....

Today I have finally listed my very first item for sale on Etsy.... yey!!   Only one, but there will be more added over the next few days.  I spent the morning, which was beautiful, walking through woods with Scout the dog, taking pictures to use in my listings....

So far, just the wolf is listed... the others will be on a.s.a.p.

It was beautiful just walking through the trees, all just a stones throw from where I live.  How lucky to be able to stroll along and enjoy it all.  I came across this growing on the trunk of a birch tree... now I have to get a book to see if I can identify this particular fungi.... it was very pretty.

Scout enjoyed herself too (although she got very hot)!

Right, now I'm definitely going to sit down and finish an EDM - hope to post at the weekend! x


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