Friday, 2 August 2013


This week I am giving away a free seed packet. It is one of six I have designed which are available on my etsy shop

For your free seed packet follow the link

I hope you enjoy collecting seeds for your own garden and to share with your friends.

Whilst enjoying a morning walk yesterday with my friends and their dogs, my little whippet/bedlington cross was bitten by a horse fly three times. He was in quite a lot of pain and was very subdued for the rest of the day. Luckily today he was all right and able to enjoy his walk but I would like to warn you about these horrible flys. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Angels and parties

What a wonderful weekend it's been, a mix of work and play. Saturday morning was spent continuing to work on my Christmas ideas. At the moment I am still thinking about children dressing up and school plays.
If they can't be Mary most little girls want to be angels! Having watched many school plays I know that the children often look around, pick their noses, giggle together and wave at their parents. I remember watching a friends little boy as a shepherd and as the play went on his tea towel slipped further and further over his face. By the end of the play he couldn't be seen! I want to bring this out in my Christmas illustrations.

The afternoon bought a wonderful treat of Helen of Bustle & Sew's garden party. Lionel was invited too and the four of us (my dad, Clive, myself and Lionel) had a great time. Lot's of lovely people, some old friends and some new plus a table groaning with delicious food. Thank you Helen, here's to the next one.

After a lazy start on Sunday and a walk in the sunshine to the estuary we drove my dad and my mother in law to Dartmouth. Whilst wondering along the front we saw a paddle steamer along side all the other boats.

I do love Dartmouth although this time of year it is very busy. One of the nicest things to do is take the small boat out to the castle and enjoy the best cream tea I've ever had in the castle tea rooms, well behaved dogs welcome too.

Friday, 26 July 2013

'Daisyfied' dogs and Christmas in July

Lovely evening with Clive, my sister and brother in law and my dad eating Moroccan food and watching a film. At least once a month we get together for film night and this week we watched 'vertigo' and I cook a vegetarian tagine which much to my surprise tasted good.

This morning I met with Helen of bustle & sew for a business chat over a cup of tea in her garden while the dogs played. They get on so well although these days Ben spend his time asleep in the shade whilst the other two go mad in the garden.

Lionel was well and truly 'Daisyfied' and has been asleep all afternoon.

Although the sun is shining and the window's open because it is so hot I am thinking Christmas. Just initial ideas and drawings at the moment. I love the idea of small children dressing up for the school Christmas production or Christmas fancy dress parties.

I spent many years making costumes, normally at short notice, for my children. I have done Christmas stars, Greek goddesses, The monkey from Aladdin and more recently Cheshire cats and the rock band Kiss! Even when they are 19 and 21 they still dress up! 

I will be back with more Christmas ideas soon.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Today I can draw!

Yesterday was a non drawing day, I find I have them every now and again. For some reason I don't have the inspiration and everything I do goes pear shaped. I wonder if there are other illustrators and crafts people who have the same. The best thing to do on a day like that is get out in the garden or take the dog for a lovely walk.

I happen to be very lucky and live in a small Devonshire village near the sea. Nothing gets me motivated more than taking my 'whipplington' Lionel out for a good walk, or run in his case. I just wish I had his energy.

Today, however, having got my daughter packed for her trip with friends to Sweden I was able to draw again. The Royal baby has been in the minds of many so I took my inspiration from the little chap.

I hope he is a good baby for his parents, one that sleeps would be handy, I remember all those night time feeds. A long time ago now but I certainly remember that feeling of absolute tiredness wishing the baby was as tired as you.
Off to enjoy what remains of the sunshine today.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hi Haven't been blogging for the last two weeks I have been in Marrakesh with my family. What an amazing place the smells and colours in particular are something I will never forget

A pile of throws in a Moroccan market, I could have bought all of them! The buildings are beautiful and the food amazing.

So colourful and spicy. Above is a delicious meal that we enjoyed one evening whilst over looking the main square, full of market stalls, snake charmers and the local people, who are very friendly and helpful.
A wonderful break but now it's back to work and the exciting news about Prince William and Kate's new baby boy. With this event in mind I have designed a collection of images and papers suitable for scrapbooking, card making and other crafts
There is also a little Princess range. Both are available on my etsy shop 
Whilst the sun is shining I now have to think Christmas, what a strange world the craft world is.
Enjoy your week

Friday, 5 July 2013

Gardens and tired dogs

Enjoying the sunshine this morning with my friend Helen of Bustle & Sew in her garden. Over a cup of tea we discussed the joys of dogs, cats, her daughter Rosie's wedding and running our own craft businesses. What better way to enjoy a business meeting than watching our dogs play together and enjoying a good chat.

My little Lionel love's playing with his big friends Ben and Daisy, nothing like a rough and tumble and good run in the garden to send him to sleep for the afternoon!

This week with warm weather forecast I have been enjoying my garden. With this in mind I have created a range of 6 seed collection envelopes which are now on sale in my etsy shop They are ideal for gardeners like myself who don't want to buy seeds every year, just collect from your garden and plant next year. You can also have fun swooping seeds with friends, just remember to label the packets and store in a dark dry place.
Looking forward to a weekend in the garden.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Gardens and seed collecting

Although just an amateur I am a keen gardener, like my mother and grandmother before. We had different ideas in the garden, mum would dig up the bluebells to throw away and I would take plant them in my garden. I like wild flowers and my front garden hopefully looks like a wild flower meadow.

My grandmother on the other hand liked to grow geraniums out of the bottom of old bottles, if ever I see them it reminds me of her. They were always red and would hang in the small lean too conservatory she had on the back of her cottage.
As a gardener I also like to save money, I take cuttings, split plants and I also like to save seeds which is why the latest item on my etsy shop is a selection of six seed collection envelopes. They are all downloadable and can be printed again and again to be used year after year.
If you like them please visit my shop on where you will also find my gardener's cards and gardeners scrap-booking kit. I am also particularly fond of the large pink poppy's I have in my back garden and I shall be collecting the seeds from them to plant some in the front next year.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Dodge ball and give away

Watched my first dodge ball match this weekend, didn't even know the game existed until my daughter started playing. For a none sporty person, I was always the one last to be picked for any sports team being small and not competitive, I got incredibly excited. Warwick uni girls did very well and looking forward to seeing them in many more matches next year.

Very difficult to get a good shot when they move so quickly. My little girl ( she's 19) is the blond one throwing the balls.

I am so pleased that my first facebook give away seems to be going so well. I have had some lovely comments from people and I wish everyone who has liked and shared so far.

Hope you all have a good week.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Sooo excited today I have done my first facebook give-away. It is a chance to win a watercolour illustration personalised with a letter and name of your choice. All you have to do is go on my facebook page then like and share. If you win I will ask for the letter, name and also the address you which your art work to be sent to.

I hope you enter and I wish you luck.

Enjoying the wonderful weather we are having at the moment, very pleased with the way my front garden is looking. I am a keen gardener, I love traditional English gardens full of wild flowers and plants that encourage bees and butterfly's.

The alliums and lavender really encourage the bees and I really look forward to the budlia flowering for the butterfly's.

Off to Leicester at the weekend to watch my daughter in a dodge ball tournament. I have never seen dodge ball played so I am really looking forward to it, hope they win.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Been busy this week working on some illustrations for Helen of Bustle & Sew. They are for her new book on making soft toys. Not only is she a talented stitcher but also a good friend and a real help and encouragement for my new business flapdoodledesigns.

The swan stuffing soft toys is one of my favourite's and one of Lionel too! He love's soft toys so when I bought a bag of Helens back to draw he kept trying to steal them. As much as Helen likes Lionel I knew she wouldn't want soggy soft toys. Luckily I have finished them and have been able to hand them back to safety....unless Daisy get's hold of them.

Double trouble above playing in Helen's garden. Lionel looks forward to my meetings with Helen on a Friday as much as I do, especially as she often has bones for him to bring home.
My next project for my shop is seed collection envelopes for all the keen gardeners. I will hopefully have more news about them and my facebook competition by the end of the week.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Burgh Island and delicious lunch

Standing on the beach looking across to burgh Island whilst the wind blows sand in my eyes and my ears tingle with the this really summer? After a lovely lunch with Clive, his mum, my dad, Charlie and Lionel in the award winning pub the Rose and Crown in we headed for the beach. Burgh Island, the inspiration for Agatha Christies 'ten little Indians' was the chosen venue. The tide was coming in so we were lucky to see the sea tractor cross from Bigbury across to the island.

It was lovely to take a break from working to spend some time with the family. I have been particularly busy over the last couple of days working on my 'abc' collection. I have designed 5 downloadable cards and a craft kit for scrap-booking and card making using water colour illustrations.

The above shows A to N, hope you like them and visit my shop 
to see the rest of the alphabet. The inspiration came from memories of having to make fancy dress costumes at short notice for my children when they were younger. They had the wonderful habit of telling me it was dressing up day the day before the event, it's amazing what you can put together in a panic even when you are not a stitcher. In a strange way I miss those days.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Luminous vests and ballet dancers

I stood on the side of the the road  this morning with five chaps, two in luminous vests, watching the traffic speed past and thought to myself, "I'm glad I'm not wearing one of those luminous vests!"  I was even gladder later as my friend Helen drove past waving madly and laughing her socks off at our strange little group. Later I was able to tell her, over fresh cherries, fruit scones and tea, that we'd been monitoring traffic speeds through our village and she'd better watch out if she didn't want a speeding ticket!

Helen and I often have lunch on Fridays and talk about our business ventures together.  Helen is the inspiration behind stitching site Bustle & Sew and I've just opened my own shop on Etsy - Flapdoodledesigns where I sell digital downloads of my original watercolour designs.  This is a very new venture for me and I've been busily stocking my shop - this week I added my Little Ballerinas and Super Hero cards and scrap-booking kits.

Purchased art work will not be watermarked

That's the little ballerina's above, the little blonde one is my daughter Harry.  She is all grown up now at university in Warwick studying English Literature. She still enjoy's her dancing but it's a long time since she wore a pink tu too (hope she's not reading this!) 

These days the baby of the family is our small stripy whippet/ bedlington cross called Lionel

More about him another time off to work on my new project, little prince and princess cards ready for the birth of Kate and Williams baby.