Thursday, 31 October 2013

Alien Spider Webs

One of the best things about Autumn (besides conkers, blackberry and apple crumble, new stationary for school and putting wellies on for walks in woods - I LOVE AUTUMN!!!) is the weird collection of spiders' webs you get in the garden. Some are elegant and mathematical (a sample of those to come soon) and others are just totally alien!

Today its the alien ones...

The top one is definitely related to the Racnoss from Dr Who ...
and the bottom one is the spider version of a trampoline or hammock!!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Misty Mornings

It's Autumn so there are bound to be times when only arty shots will do on a blog. This is one of those days.

So apologies if you were tuning in for great wisdom or insight. Today its just 'love your camera' day.

There's a road near-ish to where I live and as I drive along it to work in the early morning in Autumn, it has amazing views across a stubby heathland field: low lying mist, sunrise, ghostly trees. I regret that I have no camera with me, that I have no time to stop cos I have to be at work and that there's nowhere to pull over anyway because there isn't even a pavement or room to pass a cyclist, just steep banks on both sides.
I resolve that one day, when I am not having to hurry to work, I'll get up and walk or cycle down there and take the picture I'm yearning for... but I always forget till I drive past it again.

In the meantime I'll just have to content myself with these and the resolve to either have a better memory or not be lazy getting up on a non-work day.

Monday, 28 October 2013

In His Head

There are a lot of things our Autistic son won't draw because he wants them done just so and he can't do it himself and still get them to come out exactly the way he wants them. That's when he makes me do them and by lots of questioning, attempts and explaining, I get the job done.

But when it comes to the vehicles from the Tomy Road and Rail set, he has trained himself to draw them to his own satisfaction - thank goodness! And I love the result.

My husband, who is an artist by both trade and leisure, says our son draws in a really weird way, starting in an odd place continuing strangely, so I watched him. I discovered he draws exactly the way I do, starting in the same place I do and following on from there like I do: like I've set the template for how to draw and he applies it.
Does that make me weird... or are we now the majority in our household and therefore the norm!!!?!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Last of the Zombies

(for now anyway...until she sews again!)
Here is the last of the Zombie creations Rosie has made to date as presents for family members.

The lop-sided heart in the right place makes all the difference here, I think. The face is not as cute as yesterday's one but the plastic heart-shaped button mutely asks for love none-the-less.

And here they are together: a puffy, mutant family looking to be loved.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

More Zombie Creations

I promised yesterday there would be more from the zombie collection my daughter makes, and here is one she made for my husband...

It manages to be both cute and creepy at the same time. Like a rotting baby doll. That is SUCH a gross idea I can't believe I just thought it. Ew!!!

The pink thread you can see is the brains and guts escaping...and yet the creature looks still looks appealing. The fabric is a thin linen that tends to fray, show the stitches and the stuffing used inside, all of which qualities she wanted for this creation.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Little Zombie Bride

Remember previous posts about my daughter's ability to hand-sew little weird things that just seem to create themselves as she sews? No pattern, no concept drawing, just needle, thread and action. 
Well here is a Little Zombie Pillow Bride, in her finery ready for her wedding day.

She's rather keen on the modern 'cute zombie' theme so there will be other blogs showcasing her creations in this field over the coming days.
This one is tiny enough to fit in the palm of a small hand.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Rainbows and Weird Skies

It's been very rainy, thundery, lightning-y and hail stone-y this week. One minute blue sky, then next dark and forboding followed by sudden lashing rain. Today the sky was sunny and blue on one side of the house and raining on the other causing this...

It's funny how rainbows are always surprising and weird, no matter that you understand how they're made and have seen them many times before in your life.
They can tip up an entire classroom full of children. They can all be working diligently till one child bursts out "There's a rainbow!" and suddenly every other child in the room rushes to that side of the classroom to look out of the window at the magic. It's like rainbows are only supposed to belong in films and stories and suddenly they've appeared in real life!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Autumn in London/ London in Autumn

Wandering in London without a specific place in mind can lead you to discover all sorts of places you never knew existed. After a happy half hour trying (and failing) to entice nervous squirrels to take the food from our hands rather than from near our feet, we accidentally found this...

A lovely bit of London architecture bathed in Autumn-nessI can't tell you where it is 'cos I don't know, but you could probably find out from the position of the London Eye in the background and the fact that it's one of those official looking old places with architecture like fancy icing.

Here's the funked-up murky version of the same pic.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Jack Sparrow on an ATC

You know me and Jack Sparrow! And you know me and ATCs. 
Here's another combination of the two in perfect harmony...

It's a very earthy picture in brown and black ink onto aged scrapbook paper with print. The hair and beads are a 3d addition on top.

If you haven't seen previous incarnations of Jack on ATCs but want to, try...   or

  And if Pirates of the Caribbean is your thing as well as mine, there are many scattered arty bits throughout various blogs in previous months, just hunt and enjoy.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

It's a SIGN!!!

To be honest it WAS a sign, then an ABSENCE of sign that was so sad.
All our local pubs and drinking places are shutting down, being demolished and rebuilt as something useful but sad.

This used to be the Parrot pub over the road from where we live. To be frank it was never a glamourous or wonderful venue for scintillating entertainment, but it was local, reasonable and available for playing a friendly game of darts.
It died and got demolished.

A small block of apartment flats has risen in its place poetically named Parrot Court to keep the history of the name (and the relevance of the bus stop request : "Single to the Parrot please") alive, but we had to find somewhere else to drink and play on our rare social occasions.

We found it and it was local, lively and friendly with a flourishing programme of live music and new talent...then it too died. At the moment there are attempts to resurrect it but not on the same scale as before.

I'm not railing against the mighty giants of the pub scene (Wetherspoons ribs are second to none - although the 'coca cola' on tap is putrid to drink... real ALE??? What about real COKE???), but where are the areas for playing darts, really badly but at a safe distance from anyone else who might get caught in the crossfire?

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Time for a Story: Part 5

At last we reach the conclusion!
These are the last couple of pages in the story so... enjoy!

The Queen, overlaid with white tissue paper to show her faded into the background.

Gold embossed lockets and holographic tear-shaped stickers.

And last of all the gold embossed medal, stamped and cut out, with a ribbon threaded through it. 

And that, my dear readers, is the end. I hope you enjoyed the story and the techniques used. I really enjoyed making it.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Time for a Story: Part 4

Welcome to the next thrilling installment of The Fool and the Stone Queen.

Page nine uses crumpled and stained tissue paper to create the mountains.

Page 10 is back to stamping, both foreground and background.

 And page 11 (Jack as in Jack, Queen, King) has a mulberry paper overlay with paper flowers.

Nearly there, just two more pages to go. Thanks for sticking with it   = )

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Time for a Story: Part 3

If you've just joined us, you might want to check back a couple of pages as we're halfway through a story I wrote and it'll make more sense if you come in from the start. If you've been with me all along... welcome back!

On to page 6

Srapbook paper background, stamped images onto the background paper, then images stamped onto brown paper and cut out (that gives it a more 3D effect). These are all stamps I already had (far too many, all bought with good intentions) and using them was also part of the challenge!

More stamping onto scrapbook papers

and this time stamping onto a map I took out of an old National Geographic magazine I bought in a charity shop. I KNEW it would be useful ONE day!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Time for a Story: Part 2

To continue the story made from cards (see yesterday's blog for the start)...

It's a mixture of stamping, masking (the key),  paper ribbon and sealing wax.

Four has collage, stamping and tissue paper overlay

And five is just a lovely mix of stamps.
More to come...
(Oooh it's just like Jackanory when I was a kid...just as you get caught up in the story it stops and you have to wait till the next day to hear what happens!)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Time for a Story: Part 1

I LOVE stories and set myself the challenge of making up one using a pack of cards as the pages but also the number of each card woven into the story on each page.
Here is the front cover:

The holes are punched through with a cropodile and eyelets put on the front and back cover to strengthen them. The rings are just the plant ties you can buy in garden centres very cheaply, they bend open and shut by hand. I stuck a piece of cartridge paper over the central card design, inked and then peppered with Perfect Pearls.

 Page one (the Ace) was clouded with black ink, the castle added and text written and printed out on the computer, torn and inked before being stuck in.

Page 2 was collaged with scrapbook paper which I stamped with lock and door designs. I hope you can just about read the story. I think if you click on it the image gets larger (???)

For more of the story... tune in tomorrow!

Monday, 14 October 2013

A Sad Day

A couple of years ago we were fascinated to see foxes in our garden, sitting in the sun 10 feet away from us and totally unfazed by us watching them. We were equally interested to hear they had nested a couple of doors down where the elderly occupant of the house could no longer get out into her garden. The cubs were seen playing in the garden at twilight and everyone felt privileged and very close to nature.

However its hard to hold that in balance with the sadness we feel over the the death of our lovely family rabbit OJ today. 6 months ago it was the chickens next door, 2 weeks ago it was the rabbit of neighbours on the other side. We had been really careful but with the nights creeping in ever earlier, were just a few minutes late with shutting him up for the night (which he hated cos he loved to be out at night), and the fox took its chance.

To OJ, who thought he was both a meerkat and a dog
 (and occasionally a rabbit)! We'll miss you.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

These are two Socklets made out of the same pair of socks and sewn in the same way....

... so how come they look so different? Identical twins they ain't. More like Tweedle Dum and Fred!

Oh I get it! It's the face... one has some gathering stitches and the other doesn't. Change it or leave it?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Quiz Time : Is it a tree?

Not a very deep or important question, it's true. When I took this photo it looked like a tall willowy tree standing proud against the skyline...

Wheras it is in fact just a tall and majestic weed growing against a beautiful Autumn sky.

Well done weed! Embrace your ambition for tree-hood!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Who Me...?

You know those unassuming people who always do their best, work behind the scenes to make everything work well for everyone else and never get the recognition they deserve (and probably wouldn't know what to do with it if they did)?

Well today's post is for them...for you... the unsung lovely people who keep the world stable and wonderful.

Thank you!
And if you recognise yourself... embrace your loveliness and do something for yourself for a change = )

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Living Kiwi Fruit - Made For Me

Actually I don't know if it's meant to be a Kiwi fruit but that's what it makes me think of. If you've ever wanted to be best pals with a Kiwi fruit, then this is the make for you!

It was made for me by my daughter Rosie and you can catch up with more of her creativity and Kookiness  on previous blog pages like
or checkout her own blog at

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Trapped and Slightly Scary

This is a picture taken in Camden market. Its a sideways look at one of the shop display fronts and is rather creepy but fascinating.

Does it entice you in or warn you off?

Monday, 7 October 2013

Boxtrolls and The Ratbridge Chronicles

Have you come across a weird and wonderful book called the Ratbridge Chronicles? It's written by Alan Snow and is full of fabulous ideas, whimsy and intricate drawings. The characters are fascinating in their oddness and here is one of my daughter's favourites.

I made him out of Sculpey and wire with a mini cardboard box for the main body, based on the drawings in the book, although mine looks a little cross or mean, which they aren't. 

Rosie insisted he had to have a nest as well, as per the story, which he fills with cogs, screws and bits of machinery as that's what he likes.
You can check out some of the illustrations AND PLAY at

Apparently its being made into a film by the makers of Coraline and due for release in 2014, see
BUT I recommend you read the book and enjoy the pictures before the film makers do something completely different with it.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Pen and Ink 3

Back in April or May there were a couple of posts of mine with pen and ink drawings of Socklets and it's high time for another, I think.
This is the drawing of the Socklet with a criminal record, doing time at their Majesties' Correctional Facility for the Rather Naughty.

And here is his original photo

You can find out more about him and what he did by checking out the old blog page at

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Duck Obsessed Birthday Cake

Do you have anyone in your family obsessed with rubber ducks? If you do then this is the page to show them!!! Our Autistic son LOVES rubber ducks and has a collection far too large already, which was swelled at the weekend by family members all chipping in to give him the ones he coveted for his birthday.

Sainsbury's made the cake (a plain white iced sponge that you decorate yourself) and daughter Rosie obliged by creating lots of icing ducks from the icing pack bought with it.

This included posh duck, party duck, red Pikmin duck, Super Mario duck, angel duck, artist duck, King duck and possibly one wearing a wig?
Then, when he received the rubber ducks he had chosen way back in the summer, they were placed around the cake thusly.

These included judge, pilot, taxi, nurse, doctor, Shakespeare, beefeater, policeman, Sherlock Holmes, royal guard and tube train ducks.

 The candles were lit...

...but it was remarked upon that, with the lights out, it looked rather like a weird  ritual meeting of the Duck-FreeMasons. I know nothing of these things and couldn't possibly comment!