Monday, 30 November 2009


I think it helps to be a little crazy in my World, as I swing from one polar extreme to the other! Not long ago I was chopping up clothes and now I'm creating fairies and figures and little trays of eyes! It's never a dull moment, I suppose, as images refuse to stay in my head and find their way into the real world, one way or another!

A friend of mine was visiting last week, and a chance remark about one of my sculptures has produced a whole fleet of little female busts. They are based around the Star Children. The daughters of the Pleiades who have come to Earth to help us move forward into the Aquarian age. Given the bizarre weather we've been having lately, it's easy to believe that our world is in dire need of some spiritual help and it's with this in mind that I've been developing these ethereal beings. I'm not sure I can bring myself to leave them hairless though, so it's still a work in progress.

More eyes, and these are much nicer than the 'glass' ones which were actually painted beads!!!
Also, stay tuned for what to do with your burnt eyes! I think I must have a really dark streak as I've created a little friend for Gothmela. Lets just say that children everywhere will shudder!

Finally, a little bit of pretty to offset the thought of burnt eyed creatures! I've posted a few of my Dragon Scale necklaces in the Etsy shop at a silly price for Christmas.

I need to clear some space in the studio, and raise a bit of money to repair the roof, . All this wind and rain has torn the felt and I'm in the process of moving the perishables into the kitchen, so I'll be posting some other little ceramic goodies in the next week or two.

I hope that the weather is kind to you, wherever you are, and please stay safe. It's been a terrible time for us here in the UK and it's set to continue as temperatures drop, so please join me in sending out healing thoughts to those who have been hurt, or killed, or lost their homes.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Highs and lows!

The bestest orange cat in the World.

There have been a lot of these lately, although I won't go into the gorey details, but it's been quite an upty downty time here at the Retreat.

After waiting weeks for an order of dolls eyes, they finally arrived today and were utter pants! The ones I made myself are far better, even the burnt ones. So I'm a bit narked about that! Although in the great scheme of things, this is just a minor irritation, like an itch between the shoulder blades that you can't quite reach!

Of a more serious nature, we took Max for his regular check up to find that his tumour has begun to grow :( I noticed that he's been struggling a bit lately, but was still surprised when the news came, especially as we may only have weeks now. As always, the steroids have made him more comfortable, and he's been cuddling me constantly and taking lots of tidbits of chicken and beef!

On an upward note, my darling daughter has worn me down and I've booked tickets to see New Moon. I'm sure it will be visually delightful, and I'm willing to completely suspend my disbelief for a couple of hours to fully submerge myself in the film. I'm sorry to say that the books were a bit of a disappointment to me, mainly as I found myself wanting to constantly give Bella a shake. I know I'm of the minority here, but I think that she's a terrible roll model for young girls, especially her infuriating habit of defining herself according to the male person she is with at the time. Come on girls, we're better than that!

At least the actress of the movie has a little more grit in her than in the books and who could resist all the gorgeous male eye candy. So, in all, I'm quite looking forward to my afternoon out and as it's the last weekend of the month, it doubles up as my monthly girls day out with darling daughter :)

I just had to share this picture with you all, as I find it soooo meltingly romantic :)

Thursday, 26 November 2009


That's how quickly the time is flying by at the moment. It's been a bit of a whirlwind here at the Retreat and I desperately long to excape to the woods again, but the weather hasn't helped much either.

Finally I think my paperwork is all done, but it was at the expense of the business course, which I really couldn't fit in. I've postponed it until next year and that has taken a huge amount of pressure off me.

This wonderful crow allowed me plenty of time to snap some photos of him as he lazily circled the field a couple of times before taking off on some highly important errand. Probably spying on the local colony of magpies and giving them a little hassle before joining up with his other fellows who fly in a great black cloud across the village every evening.

Despite days filled with stresses, I've spent evenings filled with fairy making. Mostly just working out the finer details of joining limbs together, watching countless on line tutorials and making eyes! I've ordered some beautiful glass eyes from Ebay, but they are taking FOREVER to arrive, so I just sat down with some polymer clay (fimo) and made my own.

This first set turned out beautifully, but then I tried a different method, which looked good at first, but then I burnt them in the oven. Can you imagine the surreal conversation at breakfast as I wailed that I'd burnt my eyes in the oven? Of course, little daughter was helpless with giggles every time I said it :) I've made another couple of batches, much larger than these and they at least have worked out well.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


On Thursday I went for a looong walk in the walks to clear my mind and help with some inspiration. The woods were just so glorious in their Autumn colours and frequently I had to stop and breathe in the delicious scents and sounds, the tranquility filled my soul from the tip of my head to the soles of my boots.

This is one of my favourite paths. Sadly, my camera just doesn't do it justice.

This tree was an entire metropolis for birds and squirrels and all manner of insects.

Up close, you can see the swirly,gnarly tangle of it all.

Further on through my walk, I came to an enchanted bridge. Taking a deep breath, I ducked low, made my wish and walked beneath it.

Into an ancient grove of Yew trees, magical and wise.

The walk took me deep into an old farm estate where a couple of my friends are lucky enough to have cottages. I was out for over two hours and my legs really ached, but my spirit was soothed and I felt connected to the Earth and for the first time in ages I felt real - really real :)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Good news.

YAAAY! Remember the job I mentioned a week or so ago? Well, the interview was today and I got the job!!! I'm totally shocked, but so very happy. Now I can tell you all about it. It's as a Classroom Assistant, which basically means helping the Class Teacher with pupils that are falling behind, or struggling with their work. It was only when I was filling in the application form, a few weeks ago, that I realised just how well I could handle the job. I was a childminder for four years and have been helping out at my children's schools for - well - ever! Initially it's just a temporary post, but with the possibility of more work in the New Year. It's also only part time, so I can still paint, sculpt and sew, WOO HOO! I'm a happy bunny tonight :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


I know I said I'd show you this after next week, but I can't wait that long! After a perfect photo opportunity today, I thought it was time to unveil the new addition to our household.

She was supposed to be fae and delicate, but somewhere along the way turned into Gothmela! She has been simmering in the back of my mind for months and her head and shoulders have been in construction for a while, but I couldn't work out how to put her together until a few nights ago when all the pieces came together, literally!

She is part polymer clay with a felt body and bendable arms and legs.

She is only a prototype, and so is happily staying with me, in the kitchen, causing havoc whenever she can. I say happily, but she's kind of dark and moody, loving to watch Twilight and sighing heavily over Edward and planning evil ways to do away with Bella, as she is a far better match, if only she were a little bigger!

I blame Sting's new wonderful album, which was playing softly in the background for this dark turn in my work. The album isn't dark at all, it's a roaring fire on a stormy night, a hot glass of mulled wine after a walk in the snow and I've listened to it four times already today :) But I drifted off as I worked, and Gothmela was the product - EEK! What is lurking in my psyche today?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


The deadline for my Business conference has slowly crept up on me while I've been off playing at chopping up clothes. EEK! How did that happen? When I sit and spread out my work, I realise that I'm not as prepared as I wanted to be. Posting may be a bit sporadic and distracted this week as I pull out my creative thinking cap and get on with the job in hand. I need to have a basic website organised and a few small examples of my art to show the business advisor.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll get out of the course, but I suppose I'm hoping to do a bit of networking and sell a few prints while I'm at it!

A little project I've been working on for a few months is coming to fruition after a few sleepless nights which had me sculpting and creating in my head. Thank you feverish cold for my divine inspiration ;) Pictures coming soon after the conference, but for now, I'll drag my unreliable attention back to my web design. :)

Sunday, 15 November 2009


Phew, this must be a record! Three posts in one day. Well, I am tucked up, back in bed after blowing around the garden like a paper bag, making sure the hens and rabbits had deep warm straw beds to snuggle into for the night. They are happy now, and so now it is time for me to collect this award, which was given to me over a month ago!

Many thanks to the lovely Pixiedust from Faerienuffstuff for giving this to me :)

I'm to list seven things about myself and then pass the award on to other bloggers that I feel deserve it, then they post a link back to me and pass it on.

I have many people that I'd love to pass this on to, but instead I've narrowed it down to the creative folk who have helped me most this year.

The following bloggers have been incredibly helpful and supportive of my efforts this year and have been guiding lights along my often dark and insecure path:

Karen of Moonlight and Hares,

Danielle of Notes from the Rookery,

Julia of East of the Sun, West of the Moon,

and my dear friend, Gretel of Middle of Nowhere.

Lastly I'd like to award the Fairy Shoemaker of Fairysteps, who has inspired me to chop up my wardrobe and have fun with my sewing machine :)

So, here are the seven things

1. I'm a massive Sci fi geek and Trekkie! (although real geeks apparently are called Trekkers!)

2. My first hearthrob was Tony Curtis (sigh!)

3. I always wanted (and still do) to be a Superhero.

4. I long to visit Arizona.

5. I LOVE Christmas with an almost obsessive passion!

6. I love food almost as much as Christmas.

7. I love second hand things, especially books.

That's it for me, the last one seemed especially hard to come up with, as it's not easy narrowing yourself down to just a few statements. I hope the rest of you have an easier time of it, and I look forward to reading what you write :)

Saturday, 14 November 2009


I suppose there is an advantage to being poorly, and it's that things get finished! I sat down with my sewing boxes, all three of them (!) and finished off these cute little hearts and then listed them in Etsy and one of them in Folksy. I'm not sure if I'll keep the Folksy shop going, as I can't tell if I'm getting any interest on there, although I like the fact that I don't have to convert the money to dollars, so we'll see how it goes in the coming months. I want to list more items and see if I can't crack this selling lark, especially with Christmas fast approaching!

They both work out around £5.00, give or take a few pennies in the USD conversion and can be scented with vanilla or cinnamon.


I woke this morning to a steely sky, wind lashed and ragged. As I poured my tea the darkness moved in from the West, a rolling grey cape snapping and driving the storm before it. The first drops hit the roof in bursts of Flamenco steps, then, drumming and clapping built to the final torrent before the wind chased it on over the village to perform to other houses. Following a little behind, came the rushing, cheering, crowd, their footsteps settling to a steady patter, softening moving on until all that's left is the quiet rain.

We have severe weather warnings all over the Country today, so please stay safe everyone and if you can, stay warm and dry inside.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Tangerine Dream!

I've been dyeing clothes again! What I should have been doing this week was painting and paperwork, but as usual I let myself be distracted by the great wardrobe makeover! Soon I'll be the Queen of all procrastinators (almost there!).

In reality, this long sleeved t-shirt is a much more vibrant shade of tangerine and is perfectly wonderful. I only really want the sleeves, for another project, but the body will be used too as it's worked out so well.

This was my first attempt at revamping the wardrobe. It's a very old t-shirt and was actually my first ever attempt at tye dyeing. I took off the old raggedy and tight neck line and zig-zag stitched it, stretching the fabric tight to give it a frilly edge.

I bought this t-shirt already dyed, as it was only £2. but have only worn it once because I hated the neckline. I love it now and it looks great on me.

Here is the jumper I felted, complete with new covered buttons and flowers covering up the old button holes. The felted flowers are in a burnt orange and go so well with the soft green. The only trouble is, that I have to lose some weight to wear this, as it's shrunk a little too much. I may ebay it instead!

This has been my favourite jumper for about 10years, but frankly it was looking tired and dated.

New buttons and a funky trim should see it through another 10years (eek, I'm cheap!).

And finally, as promised from the last post, here is Toffee, revved up and dragging me out of the gate in his rush to be ridden. Oh no, it was the other way round! I'm not pulling him hard, just a gentle encouragement, but he can be sooooo stubborn!

Note: no saddle, I was just too darn lazy to put it on him and we both prefer it without in any case. It's not like he's going to run off and dump me!

On another note, I've succumbed to my son's horrible cold and an hour last night in the pouring rain supporting my daughter in her Hockey match did little to help. Her team won though, so I wouldn't have missed it for the world :)

Monday, 9 November 2009

Busy bee!

Oh I've had such a hectic time of it lately. More clothes have fallen victim to the scissors and I hope to get some pictures uploaded of actual finished items. I did go a bit far with the dark green cardigan and daughter gasped in shock when she saw it, and not a good gasp either! It may turn into a handbag yet, or even a small purse!!!

I've had the son home from school today, and it looks like he'll be home tomorrow too, which is ok as I love to spoil him and look after him as he's usually off doing his own thing and it's good to have him trapped in my company.

I've still got my fingers crossed for the job I've applied for, and although my CV was well recieved (apparently) I've yet to have an interview as the person responsible has been off sick. I'm fairly hopping with tension, which has given me a stiff neck and trouble sleeping again! The only thing to do was take Toffee for a quick ride around the block, leaving hubby to make cups of tea for the darling son and keep him supplied with tissues. Toffee was less than enthusiastic, but did seem to have fun after a while. I'll update with some pictures later, but I'm too tired to dig the camera out at the moment.

I have a good but busy day planned for tomorrow too. A couple of jumpers to finish, a good tidy up around the house and a little voluntary work in the afternoon. Bliss :)

Have a good day tomorrow everyone, TTFN :)

Thursday, 5 November 2009


This little post is in response to Elizabeth's comments about copyright.

I know that there's a certain risk, publishing my art on the web, but in order to get my work known, I have to weigh up the risk against the benefit of maybe selling some of my pieces or somehow generating some interest. This is the problem facing many artists today, and there are several I know publishing their lovely paintings knowing that their style is instantly recognised as their own. My most special work is kept very much just for me.

It's all about respecting ideas and having a sort of honour. That's all I'm asking for, for my blog and others :)

In between.....

In between butchering, sorry customising, my clothes, I've managed to squeeze in a little artwork as well.

I've joined a great group called The Meandering Moleskin and it's gathering momentum now, as we each paint some pages in our Moley and then pass it on to the next person on the list. At the end, we will each have our own Moley back, filled with each others art.

I've noticed that others have painted one long picture, covering their allotted pages, but I wanted to paint several different, smaller ones, as I had so many ideas to fit in. I've discovered that I like painting small fiddly pictures and so I'm going to force myself away from this for a while and go for something larger and more challenging!

My first picture was based around Merlin again. Well, he is an endless source of inspiration :)
Unfortunately, I had a few problems with the paper, as it really isn't suitable for watercolours. The paint either slides off, or instantly soaks in showing all brush strokes, good or bad. In the end, I used pencils as this was easier to control.

A curious faery,

and a faery kitty with a goth Angel! These last two were inspired by a photographer whose pictures I came across years ago, but sadly his name escapes me, otherwise I'd link to his work.

As always, please respect my designs and please don't copy or reproduce them. Thanks :)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Fun with Fabric.

Today I had a fun time playing with the t-shirts I dyed in the Summer. This picture doesn't do the bright colours justice, but I thought it was time I sorted them out and shared them here. They are all made from brand new, plain white t-shirts and were originally going to be for sale. I want to do a lot with them before that though, and their progress will be shown here.

Here are two vests that will most likely have a little embelishment in the form of fabric paints and may end up in the Etsy or Folksy shop.

This long sleeved t-shirt is a purply colour with a laced up design on the sleeves. I don't think it needs much doing to it.

This one is strictly for me as I just love it to bits. This photos doesn't show how vibrant the colours really are.

This is a lopsided picture of my favourite shirt. I bought it from a market stall specialising in Fair Trade goods, and the colours are a yummy mix of oranges and browns. However, it looks like a sack of spuds on me, so I'm going to radically customise it.

Which brings me nicely to these next two items. Remember the two cardigans that I felted on a hot wash? Well, this one shrunk from a large man's size, to something that would fit my daughter. I've set to with the scissors, and have lots of ideas for it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow!

This was the baggy cream cardigan that went in with the green one above. I had planned to dye it a dark orange, but instead it turned a lovely grey/green colour as the colour leaked from the one above. I've made some orange accessories and will show you the progress as the days go by. I've a huge stash of clothes to work through, so it should be interesting in the next few weeks as I enrich my boring wardrobe with as little cost as possible.