Thursday 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

What do you do to cheer your lounge up when its ready to decorate, but still has only its bare plaster walls.
Well you get out the scrap paper, and start snipping, cover the walls in Paper snowflakes.

Count your blessings

Dress the tree, and remember what a joy those handmade decorations were to make

When its all finished, turn off the main lights and admire the twinkling tree,
whilst sipping your glass of sloe gin.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmastide, Happy Holidays, Yule, Winter Solstice, or for the tardy Scots Hogmany.

Friday 18 December 2009

Vines turn to Art

In the past I painted a lot of ceramics in ' Clarice Cliff' style, I couldn't help but think that these vines as they gradually shed their leaves, were very reminiscent of the Art Deco stylised trees of that era, more often depicted on china wares.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Cowes Revisted

Sunday last we thought we would take a little jaunt over to Cowes, the other side of the river medina we have to take the 'Bridge', as we locals call it, which is confusing to non locals as its actually a chain ferry that draws itself across the river on very heavy chains with much clanking and grinding noises. We thought the trip would be a good education for our young labrador 'Prince'.
The base of the bridge is now all metal but when it was tarred wood we would ride our ponies on the ferry to cross over the river. I have done the crossing twice with my mare, on the newer version. She is rock steady, but I made slip on overshoes in a rubberised fabric, as the metal on metal would have been dangerous.
As you can see there have been earlier versions crossing with horse and carriages, The wooden bridge crossings were much less noisey, the chains made an almost pleasant clinking compared to the modern version.
Prince took the chain ferry in his stride, the noise must be quite horrendous for a dog's ears.
Cowes and East Cowes being hubs of marine building and Ports of call and industry were literally full of public Houses, many have closed nowadays, but many of the old favourites survive, The Anchor being one of them.
The church is one of many nested between all the buildings, I thought it a shame all the windows on churches have to be covered in mesh to prevent vandals smasing the windows and in many cases priceless stained glass.
There is a nice little view looking back to East Cowes through a gap in the buildings, by one of the many sailing Clubs. At the top of the picture you can see the fields those green spaces between the tree lines where my horse is kept.
Click on the pictures for a better look.. :)

Saving Wildlife Habitats

World Land Trust are the inspiration behind perserving habitats and living space for endangered species, perserving rare ecological habitats and putting the land forever beyond the reach of potential developers.
I was first alerted to this wonderful project , supported by their patron David Attenborough, through a group of artists in an Ebay Aceo art group, they banded together and raised enough to buy over 50 acres.
As I wasnt selling on Ebay, I bought One acre for our family,which is proudly displayed in the kitchen. Drinking my Tea and gazing up at the certificate, I wondered how the fund was progressing.
Good News; Since its foundation in 1989 supporters of the World Land Trust (WLT) have helped fund the purchase and protection of over 400,000 acres of threatened wildlife habitats, working through their overseas project partners.
But as you can imagine there is still so much more to try and Save.
You can help Save even more by supporting World Land Trusts further land purchase & protection projects.
You can make a donation or Purchase a half an acre for £25 or one acre for £50

Friday 11 December 2009

Our London Ice Bear

See The magnificent life-size Ice Bear in Trafalgar Square.
It’ll be there from Today Friday 11th December, gradually melting as a symbol of the threat of climate change and the plight of the Arctic in particular.
slowly melting over that time to reveal a bronze skeleton.
Inspired by the Arctic landscape, it’s a life-sized ice sculpture of a male polar bear in hunting pose.
The public will be invited to touch the ice sculpture. Artist Mark Coreth hopes that by touching this sculpture audiences can become sculptors themselves and make a direct connection with the bear and its icy Arctic kingdom, now under threat from man-made climate change.

to see videos,how it was made, more info, check out, and see the finished Bear in the Square

Friday 27 November 2009

Ice Bear Project Fundraiser

Ice Bear Spirit"
11 x 7 1/2 inches
Original Watercolour painting
A Posting from Artists Danielle Barlows Blog, 'Notes From The Rookery'
Here is Danielle Barlow's finished painting, completed today. Its Framed and goes up for auction at the Fire and Ice fundraiser at Castle Drogo. This is in aid of the Ice Bear Project, UPDATE>>>The night, and the auction, was a resounding success. The 'Spirit of the Ice Bear' print went to Cat of Darkling Woods.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Decant your Sloe Gin....

Update; 7th November, I strained my two bottles through the coffee filters which removes any residue of fruit pulp, and results in a lovely clear Sloe Gin. After a bottle slipping out of my hands and covering me, and the kitchen floor, in pink sticky gin, I still managed to have 1 .1/3 litres of Sloe gin decanted and safe( probably would have been 1 .1/2) if all had gone to plan. During the filtering I went through about 5 coffee filters in the process, wet them with water before pouring the gin through. By pouring out the gin slowly, most of the sloes will stay behind, jammed in the bottles, you can then shake them out 'childs money box style' to clear the bottles. Once washed you can pour the decanted gin back into the bottles. I have it on good authority this year's Sloe Gin is definately up to standard, so I had better hide the full bottle, for Christmas.
A word of caution, if you have never partaken of homemade Sloe Gin before, it is nothing like Sloe Wine or Sloe Gin you can buy, strength or taste.
Its really just neat fruit flavoured Gin, so small tot glasses is the order of the day for drinking.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Folk Art Hangers

I couldn't believe how much time this little hangers took in painting and sanding, but it was a pleasant change to do some different work.
There are Three, all made of birchwood, and painted in white and black with gold accents.
Songbird, Mistle Thrush and Raven/Crow. (see Etsy)

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Hare Preservation Trust

If you care about our wildlife, and our Hare Population, take an informative trip over to Annette's Blog,
its well worth the trip. :)
There is also a link far left sidebar below in the Blogs List to Dragon House of Yuen Annettes Blogsite, don't miss out on The stunning art photography of Sean Hunter and Annettes own Artworks.
Image available as card set in Artwolf on Etsy

Friday 16 October 2009

Pyewacketts Halloween Party Giveaway

Just pop over to Pyewacketts to enter the giveaway to celebrate Fanciful Twists Halloween Parties.

and The winner has been drawn.......

Monday 12 October 2009

Autumn Treats for Christmas-Sloe Gin

You have time to collect the last sloes and make some wonderful warming liqeure drink in time for Christmas, and its really simple.
Dont be put off if you dont like the taste of plain gin, sloe gin tastes nothing like it.
First pick some sloes, fruit of the blackthorn bush, Picking late, in October means the sloes will reach their maximum ripeness - and flavour.
Sloes picked late rarely need pricking with a pin this is usually done to the early collected ones August,early September which are very hard and will produce a dryer sloe gin.
You will need.....
1 lb or 2 of Sloes, depending on how much you want to make.
Granulated sugar
Empty Bottles
Gather and wash your sloes remove any stems,leaves, and badly squashed fruit.
Turn out on an old clean towel or similiar to dry, (sloe juice will stain clothing).
1. Fill your bottle with sloes to half way up the main body of the bottle.
2. Pop a funnel in the neck of the bottle, and pour in enough sugar to come to the top of the sloes level.
3. Fill the bottle to the top with Gin.
4. Screw on the Lid
5. Give the bottle a shake to get the sugar disolving.
After care...
Turn the bottle up and back gently a couple of times,just once a day, for a week with the later ripe fruits.
((2/3 weeks with the early(as they are more resistant))
Then after that just once a week for the next few months.
A week or two before Christmas, Strain your sloe gin through a coffee filter into a clean bottle.
You can now taste the decanted Sloe Gin, Keep or store to Christmas or beyond.
There are recipes on the internet to use the decanted fruit waste too, but only with the late ripe gathered fruit, the early is far too dry.

Note; If like Jen you live somewhere that doesn't have sloe bushes,
You could always this quickie Recipe by trying flavoured vodkas, a Polish Favourite.
One Lemon or orange peel, The coloured zest part only, none of the white pith. Popped into vodka to seep away for 24hrs or 36 at most, leaving longer will make it too strong.
(You better taste after 24hrs,! its a tough job but someone has to)
Then add a small amount of sugar to your own taste. Thats it..

Update; 7th November, I strained my two bottles through the coffee filters which removes any residue of fruit pulp, and results in a lovely clear Sloe Gin. After a bottle slipping out of my hands and covering me in pink sticky gin, I still managed to have 1 .1/3 litres of Sloe gin decanted and safe ( probably would have been 1 .1/2) if all had gone to plan. During the filtering I went through about 5 coffee filters in the process, wet them with water before pouring the gin through, pouring carefully, most of the sloes will stay behing in the bottles, and you can shake them out childs money box style to clear the bottles, once washed you can pour the decanted gin back into the bottles. I have it on good authority The Sloe Gin is definately up to standard, so I had better hide the full bottle, for Christmas.

Thursday 17 September 2009

Halloween Cat

Sneak Preview of latest Halloween Wand, Witch's Cat.
These are all lovingly sculpted, sanded,painted and sewn, and a true OOAK (One Of A Kind) pieces of Art.
They all come signed Thrice, for Luck,underneath the head, and down the wooden baton and on their own unique label Tag.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Vintage Halloween Greeting Style Art

I was given the opportunity to view some of an elderly friends postcard collection, along with many local vintage views were some charming Whitney little witches, these were beyond cleanups, so I decided to redraw them trying to keep to the original style as much as possible. After going through the Kate Geenaway style redraws, which is much similiar to what I would probably do, I think I managed to 'get it' right. They are bit different, but hopefully not too much. I hope to do tags and maybe cards for Etsy with them and possibly sell the originals eventually when I've scanned them to satisfaction.

Two new Batons, Wands

Two new batons, or as it says on the vintage emphemera reference I found (after I'd made them), Witch wands.
The text reads;
Ride a Jack Pumpkin at Twelve-O-Night,
with a Witch's Wand as a Horse,
The Wicked Creatures Flee at the Sight,
and Die, of sheer Remorse.
' Goody Witch Raven' & 'Nevermore Raven',
both on Etsy soon.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Ice Bear Project, Art in The Service of The Environment

Now back to more serious stuff, but Art raising conservation awareness in the form of a melting ice sculpture of a Polar bear.
Danielle Barlows Blog where was where I first saw this fantastic project highlighted Please pop over to her blog and read her post too, its a great blog too..

Renowned sculptor Mark Coreth is creating a life-sized sculpture of a polar bear out of ice for Trafalgar Square this December and then for major cities across four continents.
As each Ice Bear melts it will leave a skeleton, a pool of water and a powerful environmental message.
The Bear will be exhibited at ground level, so that everyone can reach out and touch this inspirational and iconic symbol of the Arctic. The Bear in the Square events will have a lasting impact on whoever experiences them.
FIND OUT MORE,On the Art and The Expedition Clips etc. on The Ice Bear Project Site
Sculptor, Mark Coreth will finish carving the bear from a huge block of white ice during the morning of Friday 11th December.

Friday 4 September 2009

Byzantine Raven ArtDoll

Here he is all Finished ready to go onto Etsy in the next few Days.
'Byzantine Raven' , resplendant in lusters and metallic Golds.
This little thief of time was inspired by the Martin Brothers Grotesque Pottery of days gone by.

OSWOA (Original Small Works Art) Awards

OSWOA (Original Small Works Art) Awards