Art for Blokes

When we began to renovate our outside building we thought that Martin and I would both be able to use it for our art. But once I’d moved in my tools, materials, books and work table there was less room than we’d previously imagined. So it became my Kaboodle.

Poor Martin!

I eased my guilty conscience by suggesting that he turn our front bedroom into his own creative space.  We sleep at the back of the house, where it’s quieter and it wouldn’t have made sense to keep his computer outside anyway ~ our wifi doesn’t reach that far. I like it that way but he prefers to be connected at all times.

He painted the walls Dutch Gold and Turkish Tile and covered the floorboards with aluminium chequer~plate vinyl :



Although I was unsure of these choices, I have to admit that he’s right (as usual!) His artwork looks stunning against the blue and it’s easy to keep dust~free. This is his studio so I don’t interfere with it ~ although he sometimes allows me to kick back in the Big Yellow Chair and gaze out of the double windows, while he’s immersed in digital painting on the iMac.

This is what he’s been working on most recently:





Inspired by my research into the ‘Steampunk’ genre, these skulls ~ composed from mechanical elements ~ could be printed on anything: mugs, T~shirts, greetings cards. The monochrome one could even be the basis of a tatoo.

We’ll have to wait and see. As with all his artwork it’s the challenges that absorb Martin ~ exploring ways to produce the end result he has in mind, honing his skills and technical expertise and keeping his brain active. Having said that, please respect his copyright. You are welcome to share these images, provided you reference them as his work and link back to this blog.




Nurturing Thursday 104


With all that’s going on in the planet at the moment, it’s easy to get caught up in drama, confusion and worry.

This quote, shared on Facbook by Cuenca Holistic Health, reminds us that ~ rather than fretting about situations beyond our control ~ we can choose to focus on how awesome it is just to wake up to each new day.

That’s exactly what I did at 4.45 this morning, when my lovely husband suggested that this would be the ideal time to go and do our food shopping, while the roads were traffic~free. He was right ~ apart from a few staff we had the 24 hour supermarket entirely to ourselves and were home before the workers and holiday~makers had opened their eyes.

Now the groceries are all packed away and the rest of the day stretches ahead of us, to do as we please. Which will most likely include having a nap at some point!

Wishing you all a Happy Nurturing Thursday!



‘Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.  

Nurturing Thursday 103

As it was my birthday at the end of July and because we dont bother going away on holiday, Martin and I decided to have a ‘staycation’ last week. We’re both retired, live on a beautiful island and have the most comfortable bed ever ~ why would we go to the trouble of traveling anywhere else? Maybe next year. 😉

We had a great time ~ eating ice~cream for breakfast, catching up with friends, reading in the courtyard and taking leisurely walks with Indie. I hardly looked at Facebook, ignored my emails and didn’t open any letters that looked ‘official’ ~ just those that were clearly birthday cards.

We’re ‘back’ now but I’m still in holiday mode ~ plus our power was out for most of yesterday, meaning that I couldn’t prepare a Nurturing Thursday post. I’ve been trying since early morning to compose something meaningful and uplifting but it just isn’t flowing as well as I’d like.

So I’m going to stop struggling, grab my ‘chick~lit’ novel and head out to my favourite deck chair in the sunshine. But before I go I’ll leave you with the link to Becca’s site, where you will find more organised contributors giving ‘this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.’



‘Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site. 


Nurturing Thursday 102


‘Today I am creating a better version of myself’

Oprah and Deepak 21 Day Meditation ExperienceGetting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life 

I’m currently mid~way through another on~line meditation course, guided by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra ~ they run two or three every year and I’ve been joining in since 2012.

We’ve had unusually wonderful weather in the UK this week ~ although it is a little cooler and more windy today, so that may not continue over the weekend. Never mind, we’re British ~ we never expect sunny spells to last and when they do we complain it’s too hot!

Tuesday was brilliant though, so I meditated outside in the secluded Kitchen Courtyard. As Deepak closed the session with a softly spoken blessing, I opened my eyes and noticed how vibrant the flowers on the table in front of me were. With the Buddha head in the middle and my collection of interesting rocks, it looks like an altar ~ although that’s completely unintentional. I took a quick snap on my phone and carried on with my day.

This morning, searching for a suitable ‘Nurturing’ post, I flicked through my photostream and was amazed when I saw this picture for the first time. I appreciate that it’s not great ~ the pots are shabby, the plants overblown and technically it’s a disaster. But I ❤ it.

The Buddha must have been smiling down on me 🙂 ~ I couldn’t have caught those rays of light beaming down on my accidental altar, or the vertical rainbow behind it if I’d tried. They were invisible to the naked eye and completely absent from the one taken a few seconds later.

So I’ve decided to use it as this week’s subject, along with the centering thought from Day 7: ‘Today I am creating a better version of myself’ ~ rather than competing with or comparing myself to other people. (Which fits in well with Becca’s original reasons for starting ‘Nurturing Thursday’)

Like the photo I’m not perfect, so there’s plenty of room for improvement ~ but in the meantime I’m just fine as I am!


‘Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.

Crafty Bees

Recently Gilly ~ energetic author of Lucid Gypsy ~ asked if I was still attending a craft group that I used to write about on my other blog. (Tao of Scrumble)

The answer is most definitely ‘Yes!’

These are a few of my nimble~fingered friends at last night’s get~together: Mel cast on the stitches for her first pair of fingerless mittens (vowing later that they’d be her last!); Irene has been working on a knitted cover for her heirloom single bed, (which she slept in as a child, as did her own sons.) Hazel, sitting on the floor, is sorting through her stash of bits and bobs, Dawn and Kerry are sewing badges on their daughters’ Girl Guide sweaters and Chrissie is crocheting a waistcoat, in a rich Autmn shade.

And what, you may ask, was my contribution to this hive of activity ~ apart from interrupting my companions mid~stitch and persuading them to smile for the camera?


A long, long time ago, in a galaxy parallel to this one, (minus the current heatwave,) Martin asked if I’d make him a blanket, like the one Indie and I snuggle under while watching TV. But different. He had very definite ideas ~ not the same as mine but equally whacky.

Yesterday ~ the hottest day of the year ~ I tied the final knot, wove in the last loose end and it was finished. Yay! Here he is holding it up in the Kitchen Courtyard this morning:


With clashing colours and a random selection of squares and stripes, he can fold it whichever way takes his fancy, completely swaddle himself in it or hide behind it when I’m trying to take his photograph. It’s certainly large enough.

It may have taken me an age to complete and it might be too hot to wrap ourselves up in wooly blankets right now. But when winter comes ~ or next week when the sun disappears ~ we’ll all be cosy and warm!



Experimental multi-media collage

This is my first attempt at a multi~media collage ~ constructed during my ‘lets go with the flow and see where it leads us’ phase.


I had a rough idea of what I’d like to create, but didn’t know if the various materials would work together ~ would metal washers stick to canvas, for example; how would different media inter~act?  Without a definite plan I focused on one section at a time, allowing the design to emerge organically over a period of months.

As a try~out piece I’m happy with it ~ now I understand my lovely husband when he says that some of his early paintings are more about trying out  a particuar technique than creating a perfect picture.

There are parts of it that I’d do differently ~ if I ever made another one like this. Not that I’m intending to just yet ~ there are far too many other interesting avenues to explore and I’m champing at the bit to get stuck in. But I’ve taken on board the lessons that this one taught me so my next attempt won’t be quite so…serendipitous. It’s tricky balancing order with spontanaiety.

A backstory began to emerge and as I worked I imagined a intrepid Victorian explorer (the Brave Soul.) He’s returning from a long and sometimes perilous sea voyage, heading towards the land where his true love awaits.

Cliched and Romantic maybe ~ but that’s the reason why I call this piece ~ Homeward Bound.