21 Secrets – Color color color Giveaway!


Ever After Give-away

Yes, it’s been a long, LONG time since I last posted here, but there is news I feel I really must share with everyone who loves art and art journalling. There’s an exciting new art course starting soon, hosted by the wonderful Tamara Laporte, with the most amazing line-up of guest teachers, and they are GIVING AWAY some seats. Each lesson will be based on a well-known fairy tale, such as Sleeping Beauty,  The Ugly Duckling and many more.

Visit the blog post below for more information and YOUR chance of winning a seat. Good luck!!!

Ever After Blog Hop and Giveaway


Radiant Faces – Lesson One. Inspiration for “The Nymph”.

Now that I have downloaded all the lessons and watched the first lesson by Effy Wild, our hostess, on how to use notes to get the most out of a painting e-course, I have been researching images for my interpretation of “The Nymph” – our first lesson given by the amazing Jane “Danger” Davenport.

By some fluke of fate, one of my USB’s has gone missing, the other won’t work for some reason, and I don’t own a printer, so I decided the best thing to do would be to upload my images here, and then get them printed at the shop, as I can access my own blog from any computer. Then I decided I may as well show you what I am thinking of doing.  So here they are, in no particular order. I hope I give credit where it’s due.

First we have this lady.


Charles Amable Lenoir A Nymph in the Forest (oil on canvas)

This is similar to the images some of my classmates are using for inspiration. Although I can definitely see why many are inspired by these paintings, I don’t think I will be using this type of picture as my muse.

Then there is this:


Water Nymph by Shorra, deviantArt (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Water-Nymph-332687660)

This picture is more up my street, but I think attempting a figure lying on her side might be pushing myself a bit too hard for lesson number one. I guess I’ll save her for another time.

Then there’s this one:


I couldn’t find any information on this. I will be looking again later and will add anything I find.

This is from a play, or a dance, by the looks of things. I just love the long pointy branch-like things and the elaborate make-up with huge green false eyelashes. I might use this, or at least take some of the ideas and use them in my interpretation. We’ll see.

How about this one?


This is by blackmoons32, deviantArt (http://blackmoons32.deviantart.com/art/Nymph-292811411)

Now this really is inspiring to me. I love the facial expression. I love the hair, the background, the butterflies… if I do this one, it will be quite like the original insomuch as placement and features used are concerned. I’m not implying I am good enough to render a portrait as good as this one, so please don’t take this the wrong way!

Next up we have:


The Verdant Mandrake, from a game called Legend of the Cryptids.

This was actually the first image I downloaded, and it is another image that I may well use as is. It’s an avatar for a game, whether on-line or a card game, I really can’t say.

And finally we have this lovely lady:


Wood Nymph by Xaomi, deviantArt (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Wood-Nymph-126626347)

Now this picture appeals to me for a couple of reasons. Initially because of her expression,  her doe-y eyes and the leaves around her face. Another thing is I would have no torso to deal with. Then again, I am trying to improve my art so I really shouldn’t shy away from things that “sound” difficult. I ought to make the most of this wonderful opportunity, and do all I can to try things I normally wouldn’t dare do.

I am going to be doing two portraits per lesson, hopefully. I will make a “copy” of one picture, more or less, then I will do one of my own without following a specific painting or photograph. So if you have any thoughts on which one would be the best “Nymph” for me to use in my first painting of my first lesson, please leave a comment. I do enjoy reading your comments and would be grateful for any feedback. Thank you!

The Road To Radiance – an E-course in Painting Faces

I don’t know if anybody saw the post I wrote telling people there was an opportunity to win a place on this amazing course, but I entered – and WON! I want to share this – my very first art e-course journey with you.

The classes have been posted, but begin properly tomorrow, and I just can’t wait! I will be posting my pictures here in my blog, which was always more intended towards the arts and crafts side of my life. I hope you will accompany me on my journey.

The Woolliest Baby (Part 4) or The Birth

Needless to say, when I was finally due to make my entrance into the unknown world outside the womb, I did so like a bolt from the blue. Many times I have had guys tell me that one of my most attractive traits is my impulsive behaviour, although some have found that at times I can drive any normal man to the brink of insanity with my insuppressible impetuosity.

Monday September 18 crept by with insufferable lentitude for the mum-to-be, with apparent disregard for the laws of temporal physics, until all at once, it was Tuesday, D-day. Still nurses peered at my mother’s uterus for signs of dilation and imminent birth, all to no avail. At 1 am, nothing; at 1:30 am, still no change; at 2 am, same old story; at 2:30 am – EMERGENCY! Buttons were pushed and alarm bells rang in the various stations of the delivery team. No-one came. So there we were, my mother still on her hospital bed, and me on the verge of being born, and only one nurse around. The nurse was panicking – looking up and down the corridors for some sign of assistance. Seeing nobody, she went in search of a wheelchair. Guess what – not one to be found! So the nurse hoisted the now hysterical mother-on-the-point-of-being out of her bed, and grabbing her from behind, held onto her by her elbows as if her life depended on it. The two women shuffled out of the ward, along the empty corridors and finally made it to the delivery room. Somehow word must have got around because there were nurses, midwife and doctor all waiting, scrubbed and at the ready. Thus my mother was finally able to push down and hugely relieved, eject me from my 9-month living space at 3 am on a Tuesday morning. All that fuss and my life hadn’t even begun – but the moment it did, it seems I was intent on letting absolutely everyone know that I was around!


(Dedicated to my wonderful mother who has always loved me no matter what. She is the epitome, the very essence of the word “mother”. I just hope she knows I am aware of that!)

The Road To Radiance – a course in painting.

I’ve become addicted to blog hops. I must have participated in four or five this month alone, and I have just found another one! This one is really worth hopping for – it’s to win a free place on The Road To Radiance course which features teachers such as Effy Wild (the hostess), Tamara Laporte (of Lifebook fame), Jane “Danger” Davenport and Christy Tomlinson to name but a few. If you love to paint faces in your art journals or on canvas, then be sure to check this link out.  http://wp.me/p1ZQyo-1kP

Good luck if you go in for it! And remember, even if you don’t win, you can still do the course (starts October 1st).

The Woolliest Baby (Part 3) or The Demented Ballerina

another demented ballerina

Another Demented Ballerina

(image from:

 https://thefatballerinablogs.wordpress.com/category/ballet/page/3/ )

From within the confines of the womb I had apparently overheard the doctor telling my mother when I was due, because despite the fact that the waters had broken and contractions begun, I refused to be born until the appointed date, at 3 o’clock in the morning. As a consequence, the initial humiliations of the first day in hospital were only the beginning of four days of constant pain and abject misery without respite for my poor mother – with the added torment that no-one could even giver her a small modicum of comfort by being able to say when it would finally be over.

When the pain of the contractions became unbearable, my mother would leap out of bed and grab hold of the nearest radiator, which was conveniently fixed to the wall by her bed, and bear down for all she was worth, teeth clenched, sweat pouring down her face in rivulets, holding on to the radiator looking rather like like a demented ballerina practising pliés after breaking both legs. This was, the doctors and nurses told her, one of the worst things she could do, as it certainly did not help the baby (me) on its journey into the world, but for her it was the only way she could lessen the unrelenting agony.

Of course, the constant sweating made it necessary for her to drink copious amounts of water, but this innocuous liquid was to be the cause of yet further distress, because try as she might, my mum could not pee. The first time this occurred, a catheter was swiftly introduced to siphon off the excess urine – a blessed relief which, sadly, was to be short-lived. The next time my mother felt the need, she rang for the nurse, her bladder at bursting point, only to be told that the doctor had decided she could rid herself of her own bodily fluids. The nurse helped my poor mum onto a bed pan where she remained for an unfruitful half hour. Desperate beyond measure, she finally climbed out of bed and went into the nearest toilet and sat there for another fifteen minutes, again without success.

Pregnant women are prone to inexplicable mood swings and a host of other strange behavioural changes. My mother’s subsequent actions could most likely be attributed to this fact. She went into every single lavatory she could find, with the unmitigated belief that, were she to stumble across the right toilet, her distended bladder would gush forth it loathsome contents and she would be able to return to her radiator. Alas this was not to be, and the pregnant form of my mother shuffling along the hospital corridors crying in utter despair, pain and frustration, eventually brought her hospital-wide public acclaim. After my birth, and the subsequent ward change, she was faced with a new group of health care workers, who would look at her and exclaim, “Ohhh! You’re the one who had trouble with her waterworks, aren’t you dear!” and a triumphant grin would replace the frown of uncertainty on the face of the astute medical worker.

Plie on
Coming in Part 4: The Birth.

The Woolliest Baby in the Wirral (Part 2) or Short Back and Sides

To the reader: If you haven’t already read Part 1, you may like to before reading this, as this is a continuation.  See the link below or on the right of this post.

Short Back and Sides


You BET they do…

Due to give birth in mid-September, my mother was relieved when her waters broke four days early. She was duly rushed to the hospital and swiftly tucked between crisp white sheets.

A few minutes afterwards, a nurse came along with a towel draped over her arm and holding a bowl of soapy water and a razor. The nurse smiled sweetly at her rather bewildered patient and drew the privacy screen around the bed. She then folded the top sheet neatly down to my mother’s knees, hoisted the hospital gown up a few inches, and, to my mother’s abject horror, proceeded to divest her of her “short and curlies” (it was only much later that it dawned on my mum that this was standard pre-natal procedure).

When the nurse had finished, she took a step back, and admiring her handiwork she removed a mirror from a pocket in her uniform and angled it so that the “shavee” could also see the result. With a dazzling smile she said, “I do hope you like it!” (my mother was later told that this was a ploy used by that particular nurse to put first timers at ease). My mother, shy and eager to please mumbled, “Erm yes, it’s very nice. Thank you!”

“I always did want to be a hairdresser!”  added the nurse wistfully, only to double up in gales of laughter. My mum soon joined her, but her hysterics were more due to relief than mirth.

Her joy was short-lived and soon dampened – quite literally – when she was carried off by two other nurses and deposited into a steaming hot bath. They scrubbed her clean until she was red from both the scalding water and the stiff bristles of the brush. To add insult to injury, back in bed with the screen still in place, a different nurse with a towel draped over her arm arrived with a bowl of soapy water, but instead of a razor this nurse was wielding a tube… She bent down and retrieved a bed pan from under the bed, shoved it beneath my mother, and inflicting a rather undignified operation upon my mother’s bowels, divested her of anything unsavoury that might have the audacity to pop out during my birth.


 I admire nurses for the things they have to do when working, and so often they do it with a smile.

Coming in Part 3: The Demented Ballerina 

The Woolliest Baby in the Wirral (Part 1)

For me, today is one of THOSE days – you know, the ones where we add yet another year to our age. I don’t like birthdays, well not my own at least. However, as I think about what to write for today’s assignment for Blogging 101, the thing I most want to blog about is my Birth Day. Not my birthday – the day of my birth. I think it’s something I’ll enjoy writing, and to hit two trees with one stone (killing birds is just cruel!) I’ll feel like I’m telling you something about myself, therefore doing the first day’s assignment at the same time!

I suffer from infantile amnesia, but don’t we all? However I have heard enough bits and pieces about my birth and the days leading up to it from my mother to be able to imagine what happened as if I’d actually been there. Well, I WAS there – but you get the drift.

I’ve always been an awkward person, a right royal pain in the proverbial ass. Due to give birth in September, my poor mother suffered one of the hottest summers of her life, although I suspect any summer would seem a real scorcher to a heavily pregnant woman. I have no pictures of her from that particular time, but I can see her in my mind’s eye, sitting in a deckchair in our back garden, her feet resting on a low stool, ankles like sausages straining to break free of their restrictive skin, fanning herself with the copy of Women’s Own she had clutched in one hand while she sipped iced lemon tea from a tall glass held in the other. My grandmother would have been fussing about everything, clucking like a hen, muttering that her daughter was a silly girl for having chosen the deckchair to sit in and where did she think she was anyway? New Brighton beach? Now the impending grandmother would have to ask one of the neighbours to help hoist the mother-to-be from out of the offending contraption, as God only knew when her good-for-nothing son-in-law would be back from the betting office to help her. My mother would be nodding in agreement, not wanting to cause any trouble, blanking out the tirade by concentrating on the rhythmic clicking of her mother’s knitting needles as they rattled away furiously like a demented metronome, churning out bootees, vests, bonnets, jackets and leggings. If the title had existed, I would have been named The Woolliest Baby in the Wirral!

The wooliest baby_02Another woolly baby.

(Image from http://www.kidsomania.com/ Hallowe’en Costumes)

Coming in Part 2: Short back and sides.