Sunday, 23 December 2018

Merry Christmas Everybody!

...and a Happy New Year.  See you on the other side!

Friday, 21 December 2018


Cute little crocheted Moomintroll - final Christmas present done and dusted!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018


Now this has been given, I can show it!  A Christmas tree bauble, hand sewn with a panda!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

No Pictures Please....

I've been working hard over the past couple of weeks but cannot show any of it!  Some things are Christmas gifts, others are for an upcoming book and must remain secret for now.  Oh well...

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Christmas Chaos & An Oasis of Calm...

I always have the best intentions when it comes to planning for Christmas, but somehow it all goes out of the window each and every year.  Suddenly it is December and while I have some things done - cake is made, a few presents sent - the rest of it is incomplete and I am panicking.  I  have had a lot of work this year, not had a break since January, which means everything else has had to be either put on the back burner or ends up being a last minute dash. 

However, as I was in credit with my time last week, I decided to take a couple of days away from painting other people's pets and do a little bear painting - just for my own sanity!  Here is Otis at the falls, patiently waiting for fish.  I feel a bit better now - on to the next and final pet portrait for this year...

Thursday, 29 November 2018


 After a week of tearing my hair out over the really bad reference photos I was given, one of which is below, the portrait itself ended up being completed really quickly.  Not sure why that should be, I'm just grateful I managed to pull it off!  Derwent Coloursoft & Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.
Next up is a cat, also with pretty bad reference photos to work from but hopefully better than the above.  However, having finished Toby in record time, I have a couple of days free in whcih to play - I need to paint something bright & splashy!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Poppy & Katie

Just completed this lovely double portrait in coloured pencil & acrylic on pastel paper.  This one has been a joy to do but also very poignant.  Last year I did a portrait of Poppy, such a pretty little dog.
Unfortunately, since then poor Poppy got cancer and is no longer with us, so the portrait of her with her owner is extra special.  I have to admit I had a tear in my eye more than once while drawing this one.

Jeffy...Follow Up

I know I was not very keen on Jeffy the puppet, but his new owner absolutely loves him, and that is what really matters!

It is so nice to get a bit of follow up after I make something - so many times I labour for hours, post a parcel and then never know what happens after that!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Little Bear On A Rock...

I had a little spare time this week whilst waiting for confirmation of my next commission, so painted this little bear.  I used a snapshot taken in the summer from the web cams as reference.

This has been painted in watercolours over an ink drawing.  I think I spent more time on the underwater rocks than on the bear, they were quite a challenge!

This is now in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Little Fish...

 I had a rare spare evening the other day and made the above.  I had the tiny knitted goldfish hanging around from another project,a nd a couple of weeks ago found the small frame while out shopping.  The frame has a deep gap inbetween the glass and back so was ideal to create this diorama.
The weed & sand have been crocheted, and the bubbles are beads attached with invisible thread.  I'm very pleased with the result - once I have attached a hanging loop on the back of the frame, this will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Christmas Is Coming...

Goodness, November already - where did the year go?

This is a commission I have had on the back-burner for months as I have had other more pressing work to get on with.  However, last night I made the lamb and completed the set - hooray!

These amigurumi figures are from a pattern by Carolyn Christmas of Gourmet Crochet and have to be the cutest things I have seen in a long while.  I wish I had the time to make a set for myself!

Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Finally completed this large canvas - that was a lot of grass!  It's very annoying that acrylics are so hard to photograph without the light reflecting on it - the painting has more saturated colour than this photo*.
Acrylics on board - private commission.

*Took a better photo in the morning light - the above is now a true representation of the painting.

Three more painting commissions to be done before Christmas...

Friday, 12 October 2018

Work In Progress - It's Big...

Currently on the easel, a large acrylic dog portrait.  It's been a long time since I did one of these and the size of this one is a little intimidating!  It's going well though, I only started it a few days ago and the head is almost complete.  I'm not looking forward to all that grass though...

Friday, 5 October 2018

Fort Clonque, Alderney

We saw this spectacular view while away on holiday and I just had to capture it in paint.  The light on the water and the amazing sky just cried out to be painted!  Acrylics on board - I've been preparing a large canvas for the next commission and it has taken 3 days, gesso, gesso, sanding, so I used the waiting time to get back in the swing of painting with acrylics.

This will be for sale in my Etsy shop shortly.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Lucy & Tilly

Just completed this, watercolour on paper.  I don't usually do commissioned dog portraits in watercolour but am very glad I did this time as it worked out well.

Next up - another dog portrait, acrylics this time.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Hitting The Ground Running...

I've been on holiday for a week but that already seems like a lifetime ago.  Came back to not only the mountain of washing we accumulated while away but a lot of jobs and appointments that all seemed to fall during the same week.  I should have stayed away!

However, I have found the time to do more to this painting - I'm working on the dog on the right now and it won't take long to complete.  This is a private commission, and a slight detraction from my usual dog portraits in that it is in watercolour rather than pencils.  I felt the subject matter called for a lighter touch.  It has been very enjoyable.

This year has been very different to previous years - I have not had any time without commissioned work at all and it looks like that will continue right up until Christmas.  I am fully booked and cannot take on any more work for the time being.  How nice!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018


This has to be one of the ugliest things I have ever been asked to make!  However, it is for a small boy, so if it makes him happy then I'm happy.  The pattern I was given was awful, full of errors and very unclear instructions, what there were of them. Half way through I had to give up on the pattern and wing it for a while - goodness knows what a novice would have done.

Needless to say, I am NOT making any more of these!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Dogs & Bears...

 This is my latest commission, a pair of golden retrievers in watercolour.  I'm enjoying a bit of a change of pace as usually my dog portraits are in pencil - this may yet have pencil in it, who knows, I'm just going with the flow!
Made a darker bear this week, based on a bear known as 151 Walker.  Shame the camera cannot cope with dark objects and electric light - hopefully I can get some better photos when the sun comes up.  This bear will be for sale in my Etsy shop later.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Another One Gone...

This Otis is off to sunny California...

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Brooks Falls...

I completed this on Friday - a larger watercolour than usual but it had to be in order to fit everything in.  This is a view from the web cam at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park and was a private commission.  The photo sent to me was pretty fuzzy, but as I have spent hours watching this view myself plus I have painted Otis, the bear on the left, many, many times, it was easy enough to use a bit of initiative.  The bear on the right was very blurred but looked pretty much like one known as Beadnose, so I used another reference photo in a similar pose to get a better idea of how to paint her.  There is an awful lot of greenery in this painting whcih I was not sure would work, but it did in the end I think.

Next on the easel, a pair of retrievers!

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Work In Progress...

Still working on this big watercolour - luckily painting trees is still interesting, plus I am saving the second bear for last by way of a reward after all that green!  Hoping to have this done by the end of the week.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Seeing Double...

I finished these last night, two more Otis toys.  They will be for sale on Etsy later when Etsy is back on line.

Note:  This must be some kind of record - one sold 5 minutes after I listed it, the other forty minutes later.  Guess I'd better make some more....

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Painting & Sewing Otis...

 My work seems to be revolving around Otis the bear at the moment!  I'm painting a scene of Katmai with Otis entering from the left - this is a commission and one of the biggest watercolours I've done for a while.
Last week's Otis soft toy sold within a few hours and I have a lot of people interested in buying one if I make more, so I am slowly trying to get a couple done amongst everything else.  Here are the current two awaiting stuffing, ears, noses & tails.  The house is covered in fluff from the cutting of this fabric!

Currently on the needles...cakey things...

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Otis, Soft & Fuzzy...

 Watching the bear cams on and seeing Otis sat there looking cuddly, I had an urge to make a soft toy based on him.  I rarely make my own plush toys, least of all with fur fabric so this was unknown territory.
Initially I tried to design my own but after struggling for a whole afternoon and getting nowhere, I found a free download of a bear pattern that I could use as a base to work from.
 I'd found the perfect fabric on Etsy...
 already had the eyes and black felt...
 bought some beanie-baby plastic granules which I used to stuff the legs...
this way he can either stand or sit without keeling over.

This is very much a prototype - there are things I would do slightly differently next time - but I am very please with how he has turned out for a first attempt.  Otis will be for sale in my Etsy shop shortly.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Whiling Away Some Time...

I have two commissions in the wings but I suddenly realised both needed larger paper/canvas than I have so I had to order some.  While waiting for it to be delivered, I painted this - bear 151, Walker.  I used a snapshot I took on the webcam a while back as reference and painted with some Japanese watercolours that I got for Christmas.  They are a bit different from our regular watercolours, much softer and very re-wettable once on the paper.  I liked the soft effect I was able to get on the bear's fur - not intentional, just the way the paint dried!

This will be for sale in my Etsy shop shortly.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Just completed this, the bear 634 known as Popeye - pencil, liquid pencil & white acrylic touches on paper.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Almost There...

...just the water and the last bits of undergrowth to do on this one.  It's been fun but I'm ready for it to be over now.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

More Bears...

 Knitted this little bear for a family member - this is the pattern they wanted me to use.  Cute little thing, off in the post today.
I'm still labouring over this one - pencil just takes so long!  I think it will be worth it though.  This is Popeye, a large male bear at Katmai National Park, Alaska.

And in other news, a plush bear that I made a while back has been bought to be possibly used in a Mothercare photo shoot - more on that if and when I find out!

Thursday, 26 July 2018


Currently on the drawing board - I had forgotten how labour intensive using just pencil is....

Bee Nice...

This felt brooch has been waiting for it's knitted bee for weeks and weeks - it had to get pushed to the back burner due to other more pressing work.  It's done now and will be winging it's way to Boston!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Grazer & Her Cubs...

Watercolour on paper.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

I Will Not Lie...

 ...this caused me an awful lot of problems!  Someone got in touch saying they had bought what they thought was a crochet toy off Amazon but in fact was a kit with the instructions in Japanese, could I help?
 "Yeah, sure!" I said, thinking it would be like all the other amigurumi creatures I have made from Japanese patterns.  Famous last words...
 There were a lot of colours and two different instructions for two different versions and I had not a clue where to start.  Luckily, my son taught himself some rudimentary Japanese a few years back and was able to help.
But the pattern was still not as clear as others I have worked from, so I had to wing it a bit in places.  Hopefully the small boy this was made for will not notice...

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


Might have gone a little over the top with the raspberry picking on Sunday...  Nine jars of jam made yesterday and another large punnet of raspberries still in the fridge....

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


Derwent Drawing Pencils and Coloursoft pencils on pastel paper.  Private commission.
Sweet little dog, fun to draw!  Next up - more bears!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Paintings & Picking...

 A lady that bought one of my paintings and two prints sent me a photo of them framed and on her wall - I love it when people do that!  Don't they look great?
I have one white currant bush in a pot in the garden - yesterday I picked 3lbs of currants off it!  This must be a record yield - time to make currant jelly!