Friday, 19 June 2020

I'm Back

Hi all,
I bet you have all been wondering what has happened to me. Well, I am still in the land of the living and looking forward to doing a few more posts. I'm afraid 2019 was a tricky year for me and my wife. I won't go into details but we have been full time carers for my wife's mum, who has lived with us for over 14 years. Last year my wife had a terrible year with her health and was addmitted to hospital five times and had a majour operation. What with looking after her mum and visiting the hospital there was no time for blogs. We thought 2020 might be better, but it is in someways worse due to the virus. Not only that, but a week after the lockdown started my wife suffered a heart attack and had 3 stents inserted into her arteries.
So blogging has been out of the question up till now, hopefully better days are ahead. I'm still managing to do a bit of art work and I'll leave this post with a recent pencil drawing of a kingfisher.
Hope you like it, another blog will be along soon.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Red Admiral Butterflies

Hi all,
I have finally finished the fourth and last butterfly painting in the series I've been doing. This one is of 2 red admirals feeding on a blackberry bush. I don't know why, but more often than not, when you see a painting of red admirals they are feeding on blackberries. Perhaps it is just obvious and the answer is because they like blackberries. I do too, especially if they are baked in a pie with some apples. Sadly those days are over, no more apple and blackberry pies for me. Gluten intolerance is a pain in the bum.
Anyway, here is a picture of the finished painting that will be framed and go on the wall with the other 3 butterfly paintings that I finished recently.
The painting looks complicated but it was easier than it looked due to using digital technology. If I had been doing it with watercolours it would have taken months to complete, but it actually only took about 15 hours. It also looks a lot better than it would if I had done it with watercolours.

If you would like to see how I did this painting and how I made it easier, I have put a link below to the short video I made of it.
If you like it please consider subscribing because another one will be available soon.

Sunday, 17 November 2019


Hi all,
The weather is a bit nippy for doing any woodwork. I was going to try heating the workshop with one of those oil filled radiators, but the cost of electricity has gone daft. We are all electric with storage heaters and pay for the electricity as we go. It seems every other day we are sticking forty quid in the meter, so I'm reluctant to do anything in the workshop till it warms up. I know I'm a tight git but they say the weather is going to warm up in a couple of days so I might get into the workshop then.

Perhaps I'll get a chance to catch up on my video making. I have just finished the third in my series of butterfly paintings.
Three beautiful peacock butterflies feeding on an aster type plant. Here is a short video of how I created this painting on my ipad.
If you enjoy it please subscribe and the fourth in the series will be along soon. Any comments are welcome.

Saturday, 2 November 2019


Hi all,
Just a quick one. In my last post I said I was going to turn the bell I made for my wife into a vase. Well I've changed my mind I'm going to make it into a hand bell and do some pyrography on it. However, I have put that project on the back burner for a while while I finish doing the pyrography on another stick.

I originally purchase 3 shanks and having complete the first two I have gone on to the third. Here is a picture of the first one.

The second was similar but the flowers were small. Anyway, after I began doing the pyrography on the stick I kept thinking that this might be of interest to somebody who ist taking up pyrography or those who are interested in seeing how it is done.
So here is a 9 minute video showing the process that I go through to burn a pyrography pattern onto a walking stick.
I hope you enjoyed watching it, please subscribe so that you can see how I make the knob and fit the ferrule.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

4 whom the bell tolls

Hi all,
Sorry it has been so long since mt last post but I have been busy sorting out the garden after the landscape gardeners had done their stuff. My wife also had me chasing dreams. She decided that we should think about buying a caravan, so to that end we went searching for the perfect model. Eventually we found it and, after a few hours excitement, my wife went off the idea. Ha well, you can't expect dreams to come true at my time of life can you?

Her next decision was to knuckle down and get on with some crafting. She wanted to make a bell out of polymer clay and emboss it with various patterns. So, to keep her happy I volunteered to turn her a wood bell former, thinking that it would make her life easier. Here it is.
She did try it out by wrapping the clay around the bell, but then she found that she couldn't remove it without destroying the shape. So another idea was abandoned. I won't waste the wood though, because I know how fickle she can be, I left the chuck mounting at the bottom. That means I can now put it back on the lathe and turn it into a vase. Hopefully I will show you that in my next post.

The digital art is still going well and I have finished another butterfly painting. This one is of a pair of tortoiseshells.
I like this painting as much as the last one and they are now hanging on the wall together.
If you would like to see how I painted it, I made a short video of the process. Please take a look and if you like it please consider subscribing.
Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Best Painting Ever

He all,
The storage issue in my workshop finally got resolved, however, I still didn't get back to the lathe.
The reason for this is that I got lashed up with some more commitments. A few months ago we booked a landscape gardener to come and do some slabbing etc in our garden. He said it would be later in the year after a break in Spain. Well he's had that break and he's coming next week which means I have been busy doing a lot of preparatory work, moving plants etc before he comes and does the heavy stuff. The only free time I've had has been in the evenings and all I could mange was this painting.
Its a cracker, even if I do say it myself. I'm chuffed to bits with it. If you want to see how it was done, here is a link to the video I made of the process.

Any questions or comments are welcome and if you enjoyed the video please consider subscribing.
My next post will include some creativity with wood, and that's a promise.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Storage Space

Hi all,
I would like to be showing you something fantastically creative but alas it isn't going to happen. I have a problem with storage, namely a great big double mattress stuck in the middle of my workshop. For some reason, all storage issues in our house seemed to be resolved by sticking it in my workshop.

In this case we ordered a new mattress and bed, off two separate companies on the Internet via Amazon. We do a lot of on line shopping and it is usually very good. And so was the case this time with the mattress. However, the bed itself was a different story because it failed to arrive on the day it should have done. The company were apologetic and gave us another date which didn't happen either. Over the period of the next few day they offered pillows for compensation and said they send it out on overnight delivery. In total we exchanged about a dozen email before the penny dropped that, as nice as they seemed to be, these people we either scammers or hadn't got a bloody clue what they were doing. We had 2 emails asking us to review the quality and delivery of the bed that we hadn't received so if that is incompetence I don't know what is.

Anyway, we asked for refund and Amazon sorted that out very quickly. We now left wondering why these people are allowed to trade on what is normally a well trusted site.

Anyway, yesterday we went o a local bricks and mortar shop and they are promising to deliver a bed of our choosing next week. I just hope they do it and I can get back on the lathe.

Meanwhile the digital art has benefited from the bedding crisis. Here is link to a birthday card that I painted for my wife.
Hope you liked it, please consider subscribing if you did. I am going to upload some woodworking videos in the near future.