Pablo Neruda Poem

I did this poem for S for his birthday, it is one of my favourites – we both enjoy Art Nouveau and so I based each of the lines using the forms as a basis for the design. 
I enjoyed creating the flowing symmetry

these are all pretty small about 4 inches by 5

I tried to make each window a little different, combining arches 

This is a line drawing of the two of us. 

with squares 
Circles 

and ovals – this is our two initials – S creating a swan
I love the way the moon is a reflection of the sun. 
I really enjoyed this project and it has made me think about doing some greetings card designs. 

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My little girl gets Married!

 My daughter Lucy, got married in July – they had a Steam Punk themed wedding which all the guests dressed up too. It was a superb day in the midst of the hot weather!

Last minute preparations!
Lucy with my son Will who did all of our hair styles on the day! 

Her brother did a fantastic job of her hair

Her best friend made the hat – and I made the button bouquets

Arriving with her Dad
I made the bustle for her dress.

Me and my son Will waiting for the Bride

Luckily the dress was silk and cool in the hot weather

The groom, Clive, Cassie and I chatting outside the church

She looks stunning!

Scott and Clive 

Scott and I – you catch a glimpse of my bustle!

Bill Sykes and Nancy! I created the hats to be similar with card themes – together with paper flowers

A rogue ! 
The married couple in the park – people thought we had come from a film set!
Such a lovely hat!

Strolling through the park on the way to the reception. 
I was so proud of them. 

Broadway – a cottage in the country

I had never visited the Cotswolds before and was charmed by the beauty of the golden stone cottages framed by green hills and peaceful valleys. Broadway is a lovely village, the upper end is quieter than the lower road which is where our little cottage is situated. It is very strange to wake up in the morning and see tourists outside with their cameras, but it is so beautiful you can understand why, I feel very lucky to be here, all be it for weekends.

The dog enjoyed the garden after months of being cooped up in the flat, and I have plans to make the most of it next year, with a few herbs and scented flowers. For the time being the house needs decorating, and that is one thing I enjoy the most, home making. I shall be blogging about my adventures here.

This area is well known for the arts and crafts movement, the pre-raphelites stayed in the nearby Broadway Tower which is now a museum. It has a wonderful view across the valley and would have been a place of inspiration.

I love the arched windows and Juliet balconies, who would not feel inspired to paint or write poetry in such a place, however they must have been fit going up and down the staircases! 
Well worth a visit if you are in the area – the tea shop serves fabulous cream teas. 

Paper flower bouquets tutorial

My daughter is having a Steam punk wedding so I made these little bouquets for her bridesmaids. They are made from an old card games book! I have to admit I had to overcome a lot of hesitation to actually tear out the pages of a book, but the paper was a dream to work with. 

To make your own bouquet you need, 
1 old book with parchment type paper
I flower punch 
11 Brass buttons
1 dried flower cone
Florist wire
Florist tape
Matching ribbon

Wire cutters 
Round nosed pliers
Glue gun


I have a wonderful clutter bug which made the cutting out of the flowers very easy but any flower punch will do or you can just use the template on this tutorial and use scissors. You can stack the pages to make it easier and cut a few out at a time.

Then take a button and place it in the centre of the flower and pass the wire through the back of the flower. There are two types of button the ones that work best have a shank at the back that makes it easy to pass the wire through. If you have a normal two or four holed button then pass the wire through two holes and then push the wire through the centre of the flower from the front to the back. 
Using the florist tape wind the tape around both wires to secure the button, work up slowly until the tape has secured the button to the flower. Cut the ends of the wire to size. 
Gently fold the flower petals upwards so they curve gently round the flower. If you are using wider petals (like roses) you can use an embossing tool to gently smooth the outer edges of the flowers which gives a realistic curve. 
If you want a more aged effect you can gently brush the outer edges of the petal with some distressing ink. 

Once you have made your eleven (or any odd number) of flowers, press them into your cone, start with one in the middle then add three in equal parts around it, then fill in the spaces with other flowers until you have a pleasing bunch.

It helps if you put the cone in a tall glass or vase to keep it steady and upright while you work. 
Finally cut out the leaves, using the template and attach one half then using the cut, shape the leaf and glue the other half so that the leaves are curved. You can use more leaves if you wish but four makes it look fairly even. Use a paint brush and distressing ink to age the leaves if you wish. 
Wrap the ribbon round the stem of the holder, gluing as you go. It might help to start with a small strip across the end, then use a sharp angle to wrap the ribbon along the base finishing just under the leaves. 
Templates for flowers and leaves can be emailed on request. 

Oodles of Doodles

I bought this lovely doodling book; I can’t always get out my paints – there are times when I simply want to switch off for a while but only have ten minutes to spare. These little pages encourage creativity in bite sized pieces, I find it relaxing because I am not focussed on the outcome. I was told my my friend M that it is the most relaxing activity you can do, she is a fan of colouring in books.

 Doodling is a great way to develop your drawing style; it is often by accident I come across something lovely to develop. Playing is under-rated – as adults we are discouraged to do so – but without it we close ourselves of to discovery and free expression.

Take a simple page of colourful circles, it was really blissful to play with the shape and it is amazing how a few lines can change the shape.  I also enjoy playing with my large pot of crayola crayons, they blend so nicely – because they are crayons there is no pressure to create a ‘work of art’ it is all about play. Picasso says that ‘everyone is an artist, the skill is to remain so when you grow up’ 
Sunrise – crayola crayons