Monday, 14 December 2020

Safari Monkey puppet

Remember this good news? 

We have a publication date! This definitely makes it feel more real. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Covid-Lockdown-House ...

Just before I decided it really was time to clear the windows I nipped out with my camera to show you the lockdown art as December dawned. The two front bedroom windows have underpants gnomes, a rat, the Child, and the two ferrets we were waiting to get. 

Mary’s front window we filled with cows, can you spot the different artists? Now though, Daisy loves cows just as much! 

The bathroom became an aquarium of sorts, the odd one out being one of Mary’s ‘Adopt Me’ pets in a ‘rocket stroller. This lot had just begun to take on condensation. Probably apt! 

We still have our flock of six chickens and we love them so the porch became a chicken homage during one of our Friday-home-educating-enrichment-hour sessions. The glorious South Park styled chicks and hen were created by Daisy. 

The living room did have a huge sun before we did all the insects. But it fell down early on and it looked like a huge pizza anyway! 

Of course the first thing we put on the window was a big rainbow. We group painted it with all the correct colours and we saw a few people cheered by it in the early days. Once I had to peal it back to rescue a trapped insect, and it fell down and somehow got put back wonky. The orange seems to have been hit the most by the full sun shining on all those glorious days. 

Probably time to clean the windows and get festive? 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Illustrator Me

Here are four sample illustrations from a book I’ve been working on ....
The pictures have been those of friends and their children, or indeed people who became friends when I asked them about drawing and why I was doing it. 

These first two are just photographs from my phone’s camera. 

And these second two are scanned and cleaned up, but low res just for the internet. 
The most cocoa-pops I’ve even seen on the floor. I think I would have yelled something not take a photo like my friend, but I’m very glad she did. This is a rather good ‘naughty’ picture. 

I have other manuscripts, and illustrations swimming round my head and so perhaps I should get on... lockdown isn’t over yet. Covid19 isn’t beaten. 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Pet portraits in time for Christmas

These two were a little challenging because sadly the pets were no longer with us so I had limited subject matter to work with. The dog, Moppet (such a lovely name), was worked from a computer print out that had been sent as a Christmas Card. 

This sweet little Gemma is the spitting image of our cat, Topsy. We still have Topsy, when she cares to come home and we are so proud that she’s reached 7 years! 

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Wasps are Ok!

So this year thanks to Covid19 I’ve done a lot more drawing, and also, surprisingly, writing. Well, let’s be honest, this blog hasn’t seen a lot more action this year! And I read, articles online, library books, and I read about wasps.

I started writing about wasps because of that thing. That no one likes wasps. 

And I discovered that ecologically speaking, we do actually need them. I really wanted to get hold of one to draw too. 

We saw some soggy dead wasps on our dog walks, but I didn’t fancy picking any of those up and taking one home. But then one day I saw a shadow on my bedroom curtain and Wopsy became a guest of ours for a little under 24 hours. 

Even after a feed of honey Wopsy couldn’t fly so we just kept her in. 

Then I got to see how beautiful this pollinator and hunter of pests actually is. 

And I didn’t realise that wasps are fluffy. Saving all my photos of Wopsy here for reference. 

Friday, 13 November 2020

EnCOWNter Captured!

Today I stepped back and managed to get some photos of our bovine friends. Walking among bulls. They have access to a number of adjacent fields on tumbledown farm through which a footpath runs. 

If you hide your hands they are happier to come close but still very wary. We move slowly among them. 

Mike enjoyed being used as a post for a head rub. I believe there is no higher honour. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Autumnal Sort-Of Lockdown

Rain and leaves fall and the Uk has locked down again, or rather, just closed a few things that had gradually been opened up again. But we never went back to school. What had been taken was restored, and so dog walks and hot lunches together are still part of an average day. 

And life is good. I have a dear friend, well, I have a few, but one keeps us all in ‘rubber boots’ and me in savoury snacks. The children have rediscovered a love of puddles and mud, because a decent pair of waterproofs makes all the difference. If it’s not raining very hard they frequently ask, “Can we go on a welly walk today?” 

The lower field at tumbledown farm is deliciously boggy. You can make great noises in the mud by the gate, and wash it all off in the swampy sections. 

But mostly I think, we love to meet the cows. Indeed I think an enCOWnter really tops off the excursion. I don’t take pictures of cows because they like us better if we hide our hands. Daisy plans a future like around cows. And perhaps writing.  

Monday, 9 November 2020

I still make Edward Tulane dolls

This is the half size doll, it’s like holding a baby! I really like the eyes on these little dolls. 

Monday, 2 November 2020

Making a basket from a free sack

Sometimes coffee shops and garden centres give away hessian sacs for people to recycle. Often coffee grounds too. A friend brought one back for me recently and I’ve been wondering how best to use it. I decided a lined container might be nice. I wanted to keep the thick sewn edge and make a feature of it, and I found that it is possible to sew them together using a heavy needle and one of the weave ....

I’m making the lining from an old curtain plus it’s interfacing, that was part of another friend’s clear out. I’m just a girl who can’t say no! The lining of the curtain was faded and weak. But the Laura Ashley cotton fabric was still nice. 

Monday, 10 August 2020

The Roy Dog, a Portland tail ....

Have you heard about The Roy Dog? If not I am sure you are about to have a bit of a Google! Legend tells of a black dog who lives in a cave ...

He has one eye that glows red and one that glows green, but I’ve omitted the eyes that dangle in his shaggy mane, those of his victims! 
After all, this is a birthday gift for a young lass. She requested not to have all those! 

Roy dog has a vintage nose, plundered from my sewing chest. It looks nice and glossy in the evening sun on Portland. 

In Tout Quarry my plush version met the Portland stone version who’s been there for quite some time. 

He’s now waiting for socially distanced collection, in my gallery. 

I’ll miss him as he’s quite a character, much more than the real Roy-dog I suspect. I had fun deciding just how much of him to make shaggy to balance out that lovely mane, and I think he’s turned out quite well, with some needled sculpting of the face and paws. I’m looking forward to an unboxing, maybe on TikTok if I’m lucky! 

Friday, 17 July 2020

Gotcha! New kids on the block ...

So the ferrets are now  8+ weeks, and moved in yesterday...

We named them Noodle and Biscuit and seem to be our current favourite waste of time. Not to mention a good reason not to hoover. Noisy and scary. 

Topsy on the other hand is horrified. Salt new her place but these wee ones are far to curious. They probably won’t be hanging out together any time soon! 

These are Mary’s Platys and they came to live with us on Wednesday. We think we have made up for our recent drop in numbers during lockdown. We sadly said goodbye to 2 rats and our last ferret salt. There was a space in Mary’s room where a cage once sat, but now it’s all colour and flickering life. 

We drew the background for the tank during one of our group art sessions, this time back at St Mary’s Church, with a Greg’s vegan sausage roll! 

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Made a teddy ferret ...

I have wanted to make a teddy-ferret or a ferret doll for some time .... 

He was inspired by a Facebook post, ‘Found, Golden Ferret’, and I knew I had just the mohair!

Of course pink eyes would be perfect but my 6mm beads were too small so I used these amazing metallic ones ...

Then I took him outside to play! And he was adopted almost immediately ....

Friday, 10 July 2020

Mopping like never before ...

Many of you know I have unusual decor. This is the varnished floor I have in the downstairs loo and it’s  looking pretty shiny lately thanks to being sent a Flash Powermop to try. It’s got on board cleaner, twin squirters and it’s a fun shade of purple. Have you been cleaning more during Lockdown like I have? I’m not sure why but it’s nice having such a quick way to respond to post dog-walk dirt. I may just stick with this mop, although I wouldn’t say no to an echo cover or two I could wash and replace. Stay safe - wet floor! 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Cats ...

Topsy came back! She was a little skittish. She came back after I posted about her all over the internet. She must therefore be stalking me online 

I finished this lovely cat portrait, and sent it off for a very happy birthday, I hope! 

Monday, 22 June 2020

Lockdown round up ...

We recently helped a ferret called Bear move home from Portland to just north of my children’s school. It was lovely to meet him and smell him too. He is a full ferret and mine are usually spayed girls. Mike thought he was fantastic. He was certainly very sweet a few of us got licked! 

We have continued a tradition of Enrichment every Friday afternoon when we grab a huge piece of paper and create something else for the windows. It’s a pity we live in a cul-de-sac it’s looking really cheerful and I’ve noticed one delivery man remark on the art so that was nice. 

Since losing Salt the Ferret on the 9th of April we have been watching some ferrets grow. Seven of these ten babies are girls and we will be choosing two to come and stay at The Raggy Rat house. Only a few more weeks to go now. 

Each Sunday millions tune into online services, and some may spot my prayer flags adding thought and colour to the sermon. This flag is one of my favourites and yes that’s my tiny size three foot. 

Sadly Topsy seems to have gone awol. She often pops off somewhere for a jolly but it’s been just over a week, so I’ve started asking around. We hope she is back tonight. She will be seven this year! Keep smiling xxx