Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Odd to write an update on the biggest holiday of the year, i know, but we've had a simply wonderful time and we're all chilling out now. The kids descdended upon us for prezzies, food and festivities, wallowing in some lovely time together for the first time in ages. What a splendid day!

Hub and I, Nerf Gun style

My hub, son and two daughters, with Craig the boyfriend

My girlies and I. They've both gone blonde for xmas, totally freaking me out because they just turned up like this with no warning :-)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Here I Am Again

It's Tuesday again and I'm (joyously) at home. Similar to last week however, I have things I need to do. I'm stopping the devil making work for my idle hands just now by writing this as the floor is drying. Yes, I've been a hive of industry, which is necessary in order to get us ready for xmas. The house is ghastly, or rather it was until I set about it with a myriad of cleaning products today.

On a rather dour note, I have zero time off to spend with my lovely family. Just the 25th itself to be precise. I could whitter on about that ad infinitum but I shall refrain. One of the things I've been doing today is looking for a new job, and it's been fairly productive with several phonecalls received and one definite CV put forward by an agency to a local company. Cross your fingers, toes and moustaches for me please.

In my tidying frenzy I have come across several unfinished bits and pieces of paintings, some of which I will try to complete over the next few weeks, as they have a glimmer of hopefulness about them. I am also very excited with the knowledge that santa is bringing me a whole load of lino printing materials and tools, all ready for my next adventure in the new year.

Speaking of new year, I really must pat myself on the back. My intention last January was to get back into doing creative work, and looking back over the past year I can't help but be pleased with the huge progress I've made. I've got a whole portfolio full of paintings here that I'm really quite pleased with, not to mention the 50 plus pieces that have sold. I guess I can call myself a professional artist now, eh?

It was shaky at first, but it was going to be, wasn't it? With the support of other people in a similar position I have grown in confidence, producing (among other things) a few pieces that I don't think I'll ever be able to part with. I also got the courage together to promote myself, which was one of my biggest hurdles. Nowadays I'm quite blasé about showing my work off, having shed my shyness and worry that people will think it's rubbish. I imagine plenty of folks do think that, but it honestly doesn't bother me at all. I'm thoroughly enjoying doing what I do and it makes my life so much richer. All in all a wonderful place to be.

There's still stuff to be done around the place, namely my dreadfully messy bedroom, so I'm off to tackle that before my beloved returns home form the hill, so to speak. I hope to be back soon with new paintings and wonderful news of pastures anew. Come on santa, get your act together and bring me a lovely new job!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Latest Work

Have I really not spoken to the world since my birthday blog? Good gracious. I stand ashamed with head hanging, or at least metaphorically, since I can't type like that. Sheesh!

Tine for a brief update then. I'd stay longer and kick back with you guys, but dinner's in the oven and my poor husband who's lived on cupboard surprise for weeks deserves a nice meal for once.

Work has been diabolical, which is the main reason for my absence. I shan't be a bore and give the numbing details, suffice to say I've been something on the far side of busy and stressed for ages.

On my days off I've been concentrating on doing as much painting and whatnot as possible. I stand by my opinion that this is what keeps me relatively sane. Oh and hub's great support of course, which cannot go unmentioned.

Things I have produced are

Yes, I've ventured back into the ACEO world, which I must say has been very useful in arranging my thoughts and getting ideas down on paper. A few have even sold, though online sales have been very poor. On the other hand, I've had a fair bit of success selling in the real world with a steady trickle of commissions coming in this past month.

We had a little trip to Scotland a week or so ago, which rejuvenated me. It was my first time off since July and a well earned couple of days, despite being called into work on the third day of my hols to cover for people who hadn't turned in. I ogled the landscape all the way, loving the trees and dramatic skies through the Lake District and beyond. My work is firmly entrenched in the natural world just now, so it was like a huge research field trip.

Finally, I've been attacking the photos of the lilies from summer. I knew it was worthwhile hanging onto those, and I'm using them as a basis for my current project. Last week I painted a single bloom and today I've done a group of three, although I can't photograph it now because there's zero daylight to help me. I have a new camera too, joy of joys. I heart it very much.

Here's the lily, along with a few others. The Japanese blossom ones have proven very popular, four of them have sold this past week, two of which I got a crazy amount of money for. I feel all proper artist-like now.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I Had a Birthday

I turned a further forty-something last week. Try as I might, they wouldn't let me have the day off work, so I took cakes in and was determined to enjoy my day anyway. The office had other ideas however, and I had one of my worst every days so far in there. The job is still hanging in the balance in as much as I'm not sure I'll be staying. I've been there for over two months now, working from 8am and am yet to have a lunch break, a thank you for staying late every night or any acknowledgement of anything I've done. Anyway, enough of that.

I went for a meal with my beloved and two of the girls from work on my birthday night. We had a really lovely time, which set me up for the next morning (a Saturday) and my special day out with treats. First was the pumpkin farm, where there have been a lot of changes since last year. There's now a café and shop, so we breakfasted there. The owner has asked me to go along on Halloween weekend to carve pumpkins and show some of my own off. That will be splendid.

Next we went off to Liverpool and did a bit of shopping, The King's Regiment marched through the main road while we were there, band playing and everything. There was lots going on all day with music and street performers. We went to the Blue Coat Gallery for a mooch and happened upon a jewellery shop where Jay got me a heart necklace. I bought him a pen from another shop and we got chatting to the owner, who has asked me to email him to discuss stocking my paintings. That's a stroke of good fortune! I need to get down to some more painting soon really. I've had so many other committments recently for other people that my own work has taken a back seat. I'm not complaining of course - I'm still being creative and that's what makes me tick.

I've been working for weeks on my latest project and this evening sees it completed. Here are my two demon masks to be used in a series of performances next week.

I've worked really hard on these and spent every spare minute doing them so I could meet the deadline. I've done it by the skin of my teeth! I've also got a lovely new camera and this is my first time using it to photograph my work. I'm ever so pleased with it. One good thing about having a job again is that I can get the occasional thing like this. I've been wanting a decent camera for years, so this is especially awesome.

Another birthday prezzie was a mount cutter. A weird one in the grand scheme of things, but it means I can now paint in any format I like and create a mount that will fit a standard frame. This is loads of scope and very exciting. I do love unusual formats, so I'll be experimenting with it a lot. I'll also be able to make little mounts for my ACEOs, which may be useful when selling them. Then there's the fact that mount board comes in a gazillion different colours. What joy!

I've made a meal this evening for the first time in months. Jay has been on cooking duty for ages, so I did a nice chilli. After that we set to and had loud music while we cleaned up the most dreadful mess I've made round here. The dining table is now free of gloop and my desk here has a few more square inches of space for moving about on. It feels quite luxurious. I'm more than ready for bed now, so I'll quit my whittering and be off for a well earned sleep. I hope to be back soon with lots more lovely new stuff.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lots Happening In These Parts

I feel like I haven't had a breather for weeks!

Last Tuesday on my day off I was whisked away for a day out in Blackpool. We love going there off-season when the weather's stormy and there are no tourists. There's quite a macabre feel to a deserted holiday town in the Autumn. It was incredibly stormy and the sea was roaring up and over the protective wall that backs onto the promenade. I was a silly head (what's new?) in getting as close as I could to take photos and videos. The spray was painful, being filled with sand that had been sucked up by the wind. It was all very exciting! Later in the day when the tide had gone out there were huge tree trunks and rocks deposited right up at the top of the steps. It's hard to get your head around the power of the sea until you come across such things. We walked for miles against the wind and got a serious workout. I must be thin by now, surely? Anyway, what a splendid way to spend our wedding anniversary. It was the perfect day.

Work has been a rollercoaster since I last spoke. See what I did there, keeping the Blackpool theme going? I've had some really good days and some horrifically stressed ones. We're short staffed with folks being on holiday and off sick, so it's been down to as little of three of us doing the work of six or seven. This is all well and good on days where things run smoothly, but as soon as a couple of problems arise it becomes frantic. I've dealt with it at times, but the stress that makes my teeth fizz has also appeared, which coupled with the fact that we never get a break (apart from the occasional dash outside for a theraputic cigarette) serves to make for arduous days indeed. I'm told I'll be changing roles at the start of October, taking on more responsibility in looking after the sales team and their progress. This should put me more in the eye of the storm than in the current swirling mass of chaos, so I'm happy to take on the challenge. Goodness knows I could do with a settled position where I know my duties and can have time to perform them well.

Art stuff? Well, I got the Games Workshop commission finished. They wanted a banner to attach to a standard to be carried on Games Day at the Birmingham NEC, which is next weekend. For those not in the know about such things, it was for a faction called "Nurgle", which are revolting monster type things covered in diseased skin and all that. Naturally they wanted something grotesque and I came up with this little creation, which has been well received. I look forward to hearing how it goes on the day.

Today I have some painting to do and I'll be popping out for a very civilised lunch with someone from work. I'm enjoying the peace and quiet right now though, before I get motoring.

Oh, and I must mention my glee at being a featured seller on Folksy! They put me on the front page yesterday, as well as posting an interview with me on their blog. How exciting is that? I never thought for a moment that I'd be on there, so this is such a treat. The link is here for anyone who fancies a quick read:

Me on Folksy

Finally, a quick word on the auction I ran for Monika, as explained quickly in my last blog. I decided to put three paintings up for people to bid on, and with that and some very kind donations I've been able to send a total of £56.00 towards the costs of flights and childcare. I can't describe how happy I am to have been able to do this for someone in such need. I'd have sent her what I could personally manage, but to be able to add to that is just wonderful. People are so kind; it doesn't half restore my faith in humankind to receive such support. Also to those who offered their kind wishes because they didn't have anything else to give - a massive thank you. It all means such a lot.

Despite my love of waffling, I must get on and do some work. Have a lovely day everyone, and ignore the rain, it may go away if we don't pay it any attention.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Friend in Need

I don't usually do anything like this, but a fellow Folksy seller is in great need. I am going to hold a charity auction of one of my paintings and I would urge anyone who might be interested to please make a bid. I'll do this tomorrow so I can get any resulting funds to the lady in question as soon as possible. Please read the post below that she made on the forum.

Also, if anybody can help out in any way please let me know, or contact Monika direct. It's worth noting that she is offering 50% off anything in her shop using the code "mama" at the checkout. Her work is absolutely stunning and the results of a true artisan.

"Hi everyone,

My name is Monika and firstly few words about me.

I was born in Poland and for past few years I have been living in beautiful Scotland with my husband and two fantastic kids Alicia (6) and Philip (1). Here I run my little business.

Today I receive news my mum died. I would love to go to Poland to help my dad in this difficult situation – unfortunately I cannot afford it.

Yesterday I organized “End of Summer Sale” in my Folksy shop – but yesterday everything was fine.

Today is completely different day – I quickly need to buy tickets to flay to Poland, pay for childcare during my absence.

Instead of reorganizing everything in my shops I thought the best way is if you make me an offer on items you would like to purchase.

I have two shops on Folksy:

Exclusive silver jewellery made in wire-wrapping technique:

Wedding jewellery and accessories:

All your help is very appreciated

Sincerely yours


my blog: "

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Saved The Day

I got off to a very slow start today. I'm usually up and dashing around very early on a Saturday, but for some reason I was a bit couch bound and sleepy. It could have been a complete bust, but I pulled it back and got working just before lunch. I wanted to get some paintings finished, do another for my lovely niece for her birthday and dye my hair. I'm happy to report that I managed all of the above, as well as a trip to Asda for the food shop. Victorious are me!

It's been a very hectic week. Work has been flat out chaotic with loads of stuff to do. I hven't made it out of there before 5.30pm any day, and yesterday it was a few minutes to six before I escaped. I'm meant to stop at five, but it just never happens. I've also had some stress in the form of problems with a colleague. I blimmin hate it when that happens. I've done all I can to nip it in the bud, but time will tell if I've been successful.

I'm moving on soon to some landscape work, a subject that I enjoy and haven't really explored for a long time. I'm kind of done with the stuff I've been making lately, so despite the fact that people like it and it sells, I shall be branching out. Before I do, here are my latest pieces.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Trials And Victories of a Middle Aged Artist

Shocked at how long it is since I last popped by with any news. Shame on me!

I think it was a Tuesday off when I found time to blog, and now here we are again. I do have a good excuse as to why I wasn't here last week - what a hideous time that was. It all started on the Saturday when my beloved and I planned a lovely day out, a meal and a wander round Liverpool to celebrate my first payday. It started off well, but by Saturday afternoon it became apparent that all wasn't so well with the food we'd had. I got sick and spent Saturday afternoon to Wednesday night being ill in all it's forms. Tuesday evening was so desperate that I was in tears, between flights to the bathroom. I lost my lovely weekend and the ensuing days and it was simply wretched. Add to that the anxiety of having to take time off work in a new job and it puts the icing on the damned cake of doom. All best forgotten really.

Anyway, I'm over it now finally. I took a bit of time on Saturday to work on some paintings. I'm exploring the butterfly thing a bit more and playing with the technique I've been developing. The results are being well received and more have sold, which remains awesome and splendid and gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. I did a watercolour card too, which I failed to get a photo of (too busy I reckon), but the work colleague who asked me to make it is over the moon with the result and is sending it off to Bulgeria today.

These are from weekend:

I had an arachnid horror adventure one afternoon last week. Hub had picked me up from work and just as we pulled up outside the house I looked in my bag. I have no idea why, but I did and right there on the top of my handbag treasure was the biggest, fattest, most revolting spider I've seen in many a year. I did a comedy doubletake and shoved the bag to my unsuspecting spouse with a shriek. Now he's not afraid of spiders and he went fishing in there to grab the critter. It duly jumped out onto his t-shirt and began running all over him. I say running, as though something that size could have any great speed about it. It was more like an ocotpus giving him a tentacle massage. By this point I was out of the car and a safe distance away, shuddering and watching the hairs on my arms standing on end as though I were attached to an electricity outlet. He managed to catch it eventually and set it free. I'm goose bumpy here even describing it. Yuck! Needless to say he was urged to tip out the contents of my bag once we got indoors and I've been eyeing it with suspicion ever since. The worst thing about it? I'll tell you - I can't stop wondering how long I'd been carrying that thing around with me! It could have been in my bag for DAYS. Argh! I don't think I'll ever feel clean again!

The black comedy that is my life continues today. I woke up with a bit of a stiff neck this morning and within 20 minutes of getting up I was unable to move. That thing where you walk like Herman Munster and can't look round without turning your whole body? Yeah that. So hub has rubbed me with Voltarol Gel (romantic little scenario) and I'm sitting here with a hot water bottle jammed down the back of my dressing gown. Good job he's back at work today because he wouldn't be able to keep his hands off me.

It's lovely to be having my day off, despite the drawbacks. I have some work lined up to do and a birthday present to make. I was going to sculpt today, but my lack of supple muscle movement is a bit of a handicap. I may pop back later with an update, but if not, see you all another Tuesday.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fruits of my labours

The last nine paintings I've posted here have now all sold, plus five others, all in the space of a few weeks. Do I need to attempt to wax lyrical about how amazingly over the moon and filled to the brim with squeeing joy I am? It's becoming a routine to be packing up parcels in the evenings, a chore that I do with a gigantic smile upon my mush. The pleasure of this has dragged me from doom to relative happiness and is even making me not quite so sad that I'm not home painting or making things all day any more. My life balance is constantly tipping this way and that and I'm doing my best to hang on. I could use some No More Nails I reckon.

I've not got a whole lot more to report today really. I'm just fresh from a delicious bath and about to dry my hair ready for a lovely early night. I'm looking forward to a day out with my honey on Saturday, when we shall have a trip to the art shop and a special lunch somewhere. I'll also be trying to squeeze some work time in of course, as well as my washing and ironing. Can this all be done in a day? Goodness me. Who knows?

There's this book writing thing in November. You write so many words per day and by the end of the month you have a novel, be it good, bad or indifferent. I'm considering having a crack at it. I definitely need a few more hours in my day, which would probably mean moving to a planet with a different set of logistics than my current one. I'd give that a go too if it were feasable, but alas, I doubt my Ford Fiesta would get me there.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tuesday's Child

Yep, it's my day off again. I get Saturdays and Tuesdays off each week, in case I didn't mention that before. It's a most peculiar setup for someone who's always done Monday to Friday.

The job remains bearable on the whole. I've had a few hideous days and a few good ones, but mostly average ones really. I still don't feel settled there, I think it's going to take some time. I am however into the routine of being out all day and coming home to spend the evenings with my beloved hub. I'm still walking every day, although not the whole way because I tend to meet up with hub on his way home and get a lift for the last part of the journey. Even so, I expect I'll be thin in a fortnight, three weeks tops.

I've painted again today. I'm making a concerted effort to be doing this when I'm home. On Saturday while I was off I made a card, but mostly did couple things and had a chill out. Tuesdays are definitely the days of industry.

It's been butterflies mostly. Not my usual topic of choice, but I felt like giving them a go. Results are as follows. Oh and a landscape that I did last week while I was off.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

7 Days Later

Here we are a week on. I purposely didn't write anything during the week because I wanted to try and settle a little in the new job first.

Monday was a rough one if I'm honest, but then I was expecting it to be. I always hate the first day in a new job with all the faffing it involves. I walked almost the whole way home too (2 miles), so I had sore feet, being mostly a desk dweller for so long. Hub was a star though and cooked dinner, did the dishes, ran me a bath and gave me a foot rub afterwards. He's been simply wonderful this week.

I think I've started to settle in a bit now. The people are alright and I'm beginning to get used to the ways of the place, which has involved unlearning the habits that I had from my last full time job. It's a very similar company in that it's a supplier, but the way it all works is very different. It's smaller, so we all do a bit of everything rather than my own cut and dried little bit of responsibility that I'm used to. Thursday and Friday were pretty good as I felt like I was becoming more useful and learning a lot of the things I need to be up to speed with.

It's been scary. I have so many bad associations after my last job that I was waiting almost with my breath held for things to be unpleasant. Then there's the fear that I would instantly be plunged back into the misery I was feeling previously and that the despression would return in a flash. Sounds silly when I write it all down, but I really was terribly afraid of it being instant trauma and doom. I have to do this job, at least in the short term, and I need to hold myself together. So far I'm OK, but I'm still not relaxed about it. Hopefully that will come soon.

I didn't manage to do any creative work at all in the week. I guess I was a bit wary in making sure I chilled out in the evenings and nursed myself through the first few days. I was determined not to waste my weekend though, especially since in future I'll be working either Saturday or Sunday. They haven't put me in the rota yet, so I got to have a full weekend off.

Saturday I was so tired. It took my be surprise, as I'm always up and busy first thing. I ended up going back to bed for an hour mid-morning. Once I'd caught up a bit I managed to get all my washing and ironing done, which felt very encouraging. We had a relaxing evening and an early night; most indulgent!

Today I've worked my socks off finishing my commission paintings so I can send them off to my customer. I needed to get this batch out of the way so I can start the next project, which will be more time consuming (some scuplted masks). I also found an hour to pop to Ikea and grab some new picture frames.

So I've managed to complete a week in work and still get some art done on my days off. I'm really pleased and I hope with every fibre of my being that things will continue as well going forward.

Here are the paintings that are ready to be sent off

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Here I go then, wish me luck!

I've not been very forthcoming with the old blog updates this week. It's all been a tad hectic since my last post, but I guess we knew it would be, didn't we?

Workwise, I've been hammering at the various things I have on my list of must-be-dones. I was hoping to be finished on the painting front by today, but not quite there yet. I should be able to put a few hours in during the evenings this week and I'll definitely utilise my weekday off for wrapping up the last bits. Lists will be required for the other stuff I'm up to, as so kindly suggested by fellow arty types. I'm in full agreement that this is the way to go. I've always been a fan of lists, they never let you down.

General life things. Well, hub booked Thursday and Friday off work to spend some time with me. I must admit to allowing everything else to fall by the wayside for those days and abandoning all to revel in some wonderful days of fun. We're both delighted to have had what class way up there in the "best days of 2011 so far". We did a bit of shopping, marvelling in the fact that we'll actually be able to make it to the end of the month without tears and tribulations. Nothing massive, just a few little treats. I got some new shoes for work and a couple of things to wear in the fantastic Liverpool sales. We went to see Captain America too (awesome film - all you geeky types must go and see it), joined by our eldest and youngest spawn. The little one was 18 on Wednesday, so we celebrated with her by way of presents, cake and general sillies. I shall refrain from my moans of how old I feel having all of them over 18 now. Gah!

I went to the hairdressers to ask about having the many years worth of hair dye removed from my noggin. I've not been keeping up with it these last months due to lack of cash and my grey is really taking hold. I thought I might embrace it and start being graceful about my age, but the quote of £94 sent me straight off to Superdrug for a box of colour. Crikey. People really pay this sort of money to have their hair done? I'll stick to DIY thank you very much.

Today I've been super virtuous and done all my ironing. I've already unearthed my old work clothes from the past few years and washed them, so it was a whole afternoon of trying things on, sewing on buttons and general sprucing. I'm pretty pleased at how much I've got. My weight has fluctuated a lot since I got most of this clobber, by which I mean I got stuff, got fatter, got new stuff, etc. I am happy that I can now wear any of it because I'm back down to how I was about 3 or 4 years ago. I don't mind things being loose, so I've got heaps! And no, I'm not regretting buying two lovely new tops in the sale for £4 each - they'll be welcomed into the arms of my bulging wardrobe. Now I just need to decide what to wear tomorrow and paint my nails accordingly. That's the one girlie thing about me, I always have my nails painted, no matter what. Really it's just a long standing habit of about twenty years and not very much at all to do with glamour or fashion.

Hub has just got home from geeking with his friends, so we're going to have roast chicken and salad together in the peaceful house. Tascha is still doing 18th stuff, dragging it out for as long as she can (and who can blame her?), so we're chilling in the quiet.

I do so hope that next time I write I'll be pleased with how things are going at the new job. Cross your fingers and toes for me?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

It's time for an update after my week away.

I had a very busy time in Scotland. My sis is mid house move, so there was lots of packing, moving boxes, loading vans and getting grubby. There was also much fun and girly talk, takeaways and silly shenanigins. Her new place is beautiful, though smaller than the old one. This is her second downsize in 12 months, so sadly she's having to part with a lot of stuff. We did get to go to ikea in Glasgow for bits and pieces though, which was nice. I do have a soft spot for Ikea but I've only ever been to the Warrington one. It was like a big adventure being in a different store. Sad, I know.

As I squeed about last time I blogged, I have six painting commissions on order. I also have eight sculpted masks to make and a latex banner for a show at the NEC. Luckily my most pressing deadline in August, the next one September and the rest October onwards. I say luckily because....

I didn't go to the job interview I talked about. I called the chap yesterday and arranged it for this afternoon, but he sounded far from interested. I would have gone, except I applied for a job online late last night and they called first thing to ask me to go and see them. The times clashed, so I chose the one who actually came across as being interested. I had my interview at 2pm and came out at 3.15 having spoken to the depot and office managers. I was successful and I start at 8am on Monday. I'm a tad shocked!

The job is at a drinks distributer locally, well within walking distance (there's that exercise I've been going on about). I used to work for a massive food distributer, so I already know how this stuff works. They have a lot of new staff who are just beginning to learn the ropes and from what they said in the interview I'm going to be streets ahead. It's quite a confidence boost to know that all the work I've done in the past will count for something. I'll have a flexible role doing all sorts of things and the opportunity to settle in where I feel happiest. There's also a bonus scheme for me, which I've never had before, so all the business I bring in will be rewarded.

I need to get motoring on all the commissions I have lined up now. Suddenly my diary is as full as Simon Cowell's wallet and I won't have time to do things at my leisure. I'll also have money again, which is a very peculiar feeling indeed.

I'm not sure how I feel about it all. It's been very fast and I've ended up with a full time job instead of part time. I hope I like it there and I hope even more that I can manage to continue my creative work. On the positive side, it means we'll not be stressing about money any more (which has been truly awful lately) and we can pay some things off.

A cup of tea and a sit down are required I reckon.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Really REALLY Good News

Well here I am in Scotland, having arrived safely yesterday after travelling on two trains and a bus to get here to Strathaven. Rather pround of myself for making it here without event or trauma!

I'm mainly popping in to report some fantastic news. I got an email today on Folksy from someone asking for six (yes SIX) paintings! she wants 5 x 7 inch versions of various ones in my shop, all with little special touches. After all I've been going through lately with my self belief this is just the tonic I needed. I'm sure we all dream of getting an email to tell us our shop has been bought out lock, stock and barrel, and this is just the same feeling. Utterly overjoyed!

Now, despite this wonderful event, I am still looking for a job. I have news to share on that front too in that i got a call yesterday from a chap who owns a business locally and is interested in seeing me when I get back home. I'm to ring him on Monday to arrange it. It's a 25 hours per week position, which would give me some time to still continue doing my artwork.

Is it possible (just a tiny bit with my eyes scrunched up), that all my woes and upsets that have brought me so low this past few months are to be fixed in one fell swoop? Can I stop holding my breath and finally relax? Will this little holiday in Scotland mark a new start in more ways than I'd ever dared hope?

Good gracious. There's a danger of me actually stopping my sadsack ways and being semi successful here. You won't recognise me!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Postie and Holidays

I'm waiting for the postie this morning with baited breath. The devil didn't bring my awaited parcel on Saturday and I really really want it today so I can take my gorgeous new things with me to Scotland tomorrow.

Jane from Pidgeonstitch (click shop name to see her stuff) has made me a series of bags and purses to match from my umbel fabric and I made myself a co-ordinating book yesterday. This is the first time in many years that I've made a book just for me and I'm madly in love with it. I'm looking forward to placing it in the bags and taking it out again to see how it looks (several times of course).

Jane has kindly sent me some wonderful photographs of the completed items and I've added one of my book just to show the whole set. Can you hear the squee?

So, I'm off to Scotland in the morning to stay with my sister. I decided last week that it was a good idea to have a break and a change of scene. The dark times have been trying to sneak in and there were a few extremely dodgy days that took some serious getting through. I have no idea whther they are hormonal glitches or if I'm going round the proverbial bend, so it's time to take action and regroup.

My sis is moving house at the moment, so I shall be helping her as much as I can. I'm also starting a sculpture type commission while I'm there, which will be a fairly long process and much fun to do. Updates on that at some point in the near future.

When I get back I will be job hunting with extreme urgency. I'm already scouring the web for suitable things, but it's a matter of huge importance that I find something as soon as possible to bring in a steady income. Wish me luck on that one!

I have packing and faffing about to do now, so it's off to the land of suitcase for me.

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Few Photos

I've just been mucking about in my photos and found these. Fancy dress things for hub and me. We always end up making the oddest costumes, or should I say I make them and he complains about having to wear them.

Cruella (I won an award for that one) and two clowns.

I won!

In unusual good news, I can report that I won a lovely giveaway this week.

This is a bit late in the posting, mainly due to strange and pressing events round here this week that I shan't bother going into right now. But I'm here now, so feast your eyes!

The lovely Rosa Lily ran a fabby competition on her blog page (click on her name to go and see) for one of us to win a whole package of her delightful makes and I was the lucky winner! Yes, me. Me who never wins the lottery or a raffle (apart from that one time in high school when I won the gigantic stuffed lion that took 3 of us to carry home, but that was more of a fail than a win as I was 16 and really didn't want an enormous lion).

So here is all my new and wonderful stuff that will today be put into position in the house. Even my hub has got involved with his recommendation that the stars ought to go in the bedroom as they'll match our theme in there (he's really coming on, isn't he? Or am I just turning him gay by instilling an appreciation of interior design? If he starts listening to the Village People I'll be having a word with him).

Go and look at Rosa Lily's blog for a cheery and uplifting experience, very different from my often miserable rantings! And a massive thank you from me :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Sometimes you do flowers and then there's nothing for it but to draw some skulls. One of those days.

Mid Morning Whittering

There's apparently rain coming in. I could have predicted that myself; the amount of washing I've had on the line this week cannot have helped but contribute to some massive old clouds. Sorry folks.

I've been up and painting for hours now. Breakfast is therefore required soon. To this end I have some sausages cooking, which will do me 'til tea time. I really can't be bothered with the fuss of making food, it's such a drag.

Another painting got finished yesterday and then I ventured outdoors again for some background making. It's best to do that away from the house where possible due to the mess. I'll need to hose down the flagstones sometime, as they're currently in rainbow hues, which while quite attractive, is not really what you want in the back yard. Or so they tell me.

My paintings may be going off on Friday to someone who knows galleries. Long story, but it's a last gasp at trying to get my tootsies on the ladder before we starve to death as a result of my sales fail. I'm so rubbish at this. Oh and my sister is possibly going to help me in a few months time by getting gigs for me in places where people want to learn arts and crafts. We're having big discussions about it at the moment. I do also have a college thing coming up in the new term, which is something I'm looking forward to. Once again, my favourite old phrase - who knows?

I still have the man flu. I'm not quite as wracked with coughing today so far though. I'd say I've improved by about 5 or 10%. Roll on the return of good health I say.

So anyway, here's yesterday's finished piece. Another larger acrylic painting.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

While The Sun Shines

Adventurous me. I set up my easel outside yesterday and painted in the sunshine. Not as romantic and bohemian as it sounds unfortunately, as the corn flies and various other bugs were also all revelling in the weather. I lasted about an hour before the constant flicking away of insects drove me back to my desk. On the good side, a slightly different set of tactics did give me an unusual look to my painting and I was quite pleased with it. Check out the texture on the flowers (click the image for a bigger version where the detail can be seen properly). It doesn't photograph too well, but it's pretty nice in real life.

I also must mention that I am still being superhuman and doing loads of housework. My moaning about the place being a tip is now replaced with joy that it's looking fairly good. The kitchen has been washing-up-free and sparkly floored for well over two weeks now. Not much of an achievement for most people, but for me this is remarkable and marvellous. The bathroom is also sparkly, and my bedroom, well, it's a joy to behold. As is the way of things though, I am now noticing how desperate the walls are for some fresh paint. It's never done is it, house stuff?

Hub went off geeking last night and I set to for another bit of painting, hoping to get a little more done. Before I knew it I was looking at the clock and it was almost 10pm. I'm a bit scared to add up exactly how many hours I worked for in total, especially given that I should really be resting a bit with this damn man flu. I'm still rough as a bear's posterior.

I'd say I'll chill out today, but it's unlikely. I was up at 5am because I spent all night dreaming about what I was going to do to this next painting. I've already spent a bit of time on it before hub got up, so it'll be finished soon. I think I should name them after what goes on during the creative process. We'd have painting with flies, painting with the man flu, painting in the sunshine, etc. Not sure it's quite the thing people would be looking for though. Or maybe I should call them after the music I was listening to as I worked. Most of them would be called Led Zepplin or Vampire Weekend in that case. Not so good for differentiation.

Oh and an update on Craig's crochet. After all the lovely and positive comments from everyone he has got the courage up and opened a Folksy shop. I love the descriptions he's put in there, they're so Craig. I hope he gets some sales, as his stuff is too awesome for words and he works so hard on it in his quiet unassuming way. We heart Craig. Here's where to find him

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Craig's Crochet Creations

It's high time I wrote this blog dedicated to Craig so the world can see him and his work.

So, who is Craig?

Well this is him here

Craig is my eldest daughter's chap (her name is Hannah). He's a whizz with all sorts of things, but also very quiet and shy, so there's no way on this earth he would ever shout out about his skills. Which is where I come in.

Craig comes along to my craft classes (as well as coming to our house to make cups of tea, clean the yard and all sorts of other useful little jobs. He once cleaned my oven because he couldn't sleep. He's a STAR among men). He's the only bloke who ever comes along to the classes and I reckon that alone deserves acclaim for bravery.

Anyway, not long ago we were planning a crochet class. Hannah decided she wanted to learn to crochet ahead of time and came round to my house for a lesson. It took her all of five minutes to become bored, so I suggested she watch some YouTube tutorials at hime and do it at her own pace. She toddled off to do this, but yes, you've guessed it, she got bored with that too. Craig however, liked the look of said tutorials and started to learn to crochet. Within a few days he'd made all sorts of stuff and this blog is here to show the world what he's achieved all by himself. I must also add that he is colour blind, which doesn't help at all, but he manages to overcome this with aplomb.

The beginning of Craig's adventures saw him making headbands and bows, mainly because Hannah makes dreadlocks and wanted some accessories to go with them. He then discovered websites with corchet patterns for all sorts of other things and started making them.

These amazingly gorgeous items are made by Craig within a few weeks of his first ever foray into crochet. Please join me in celebration and awe. He is shy about showing them online or even thinking about selling them, but I for one reckon he's got way too much talent to hide away!

The Troops!

Well well well, guess who got marched on last night?

For those who don't know about it, there's a Facebook group called Send in the Troops. It's a service that helps with promotion and motivation for sellers and they do several "marches" each week. This involves you being there at an allotted time and following them from page to page having a look at new people and liking them. It's a fantastic way for people to see your stuff and for you to get in contact with others in the same boat as yourself.

I've been doing the marches for a while now but until last night I'd never been included in the marching pages. It's like a little lottery - you put your name down in a list each march and nthey choose randomly who they'll visit. Last night the sarge asked who was there who had never been marched on and I got lucky when I replied. It's added amost 60 new likers to my page, a handful of whom have left comments that they like my paintings and will be looking to buy one at some point. You then go through all the new people and like their pages too, which I have done this morning. How fantastic!

I won't be doing any work this morning. I do have some new things lined up, namely some acrylic paintings. I never got round to tidying the bedroom this week though so I'll be doing that after we've had some brekkie. I may get time later to put in some painting hours, but I'll see how it goes. The bedroom is a big job, due to me being an idle fruit and never keeping it in a decent state. All my own fault! I shall feel like a very good egg indeed once it's done. I shall also be taking full advantage of this sunny day and getting washing out on the line. I'll always be a laundry freak before anything else, it's quite a sorry state of affairs really, but one I accepted a long time ago.

I have a very different and awesome blog planned for sometime this week. Just you wait and see!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

2nd post for thursday

Just a quick one this afternoon. I've done an acrylic painting, a little 5 by 7 inch canvas. I quite like it and it made me feel like I've used my day well. I've also been being a cooking whizz and made a curry from scratch for our dinner. What a superwoman I feel now!

Here's the art

Time zooms by

I can't believe it's Thursday already. The weeks are flying past at an alarming rate.

Had a bit of a crash into the doldrums last night. I'm so weary of these ever surging moods. It's becoming boring now. Not so bad this morning though, so that's something to be grateful for I guess. I think I'll do some more housework with music blaring and all the doors and windows open. It may be drudgery, but it really helps sort out my frame of mind.

I've just had a message from my beloved to say he's booked tomorrow off work as a nice little impromptu holiday. How brilliant! He says he thinks I need the company and he's 100% correct. I'm so lucky to have someone who spots things and springs into action for me.

I made a few miniature paintings. I'm venturing in a slightly different direction for a bit and these are just some experiments.

Definitely going to do some landscapes that I've been threatening to embark on for ages, as well as some more decorative acrylic pieces. As always, I have ideas aplenty, but I need to order my mind a little to be able to let them out. Hubby and I were chatting last night about my work direction and I think he's right in that I need to concentrate on paintings for trawling round galleries. I'm so lost with the whole concept of actually earning, which is the typical artist "thing", isn't it? I also really desperately need to find a part time job. Time to start chipping away in ernest at that particular little rock.

So do I tidy the bedroom or attack the pile of junk that is our geek room? Neither is an attractive prospect, but once I get started I'll be alright.