Make No. 32 – Relief Texture Tiles

This one was a leap in the dark for me…texture paste? Never heard of it.

This term, art class is about the Victorians. Our brief was to make five botanical drawings from seed heads and to translate the shape of one of them into four different tiles, using different textures and relief. It was a surprisingly challenging project, and involved some painting of spaghetti and split peas but dammit – I did it. It highlighted my deep issues with Randomness (which is strange, considering what comes out of my mouth). It is not my favourite piece of work, but it taught me tonnes. And that, I am assured, was the point of the exercise.



Next week we’re starting with oil paints. I think I used them once, about 25 years ago. Good heavens above. Three, two, one, rags at the ready…

Seedheads, swimming and chilling.


Hello good people! How’s your week going? I start a new term of art classes today. I am SO looking forward to it. There’s talk of seed heads, and later on a Victorian theme. Eeeeee. I don’t even know what a Victorian theme looks like…but I’m jumping in with both feet and a grin on my face. I love art class. It wakes up the excited kid in me.




On the other end of the scale, Wunderlist has been broken since yesterday. This is very, very bad news. I may have to go back to a notebook. At least that usually gets returned to you if you write your name and phone number in it…

Today I thought I’d share some of my discoveries at swimming classes. (Paul and I signed up for adult improvers’ lessons because I want to extend my range of strokes and he “swims like a brick”.) For instance, no other activity is transferable to the pool, which is why I get so tired out, but everything achieved in the pool is transferable to other activities: fitness, breath capacity, stamina and co-ordination. I find that weird trade-off quite fascinating. Not fair, but fascinating.

Also, the more relaxed I become, and the more fluidly and confidently I am able to turn my body in the water to take a stroke or a breath, the easier it all becomes. And the easier it is, the more enjoyment I get, and the further I can go. Isn’t this like life? When we’re confident and flexible and unafraid to move forward freely, doors fly open to us. People are drawn to us and our relationships become  positive and energised. We are less stuck. We make things happen. It’s all about trust.

Finally, my teacher’s words, that have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of weeks:

“If you find you’re getting tired, you’re not breathing out enough.”

It’s top advice. Exhale!

Make it a beautiful day. Walk in peace.


A gift for a friend

Good morning! It’s a beautiful summer’s day here in Northamptonshire and we’re looking forward to the Kelmarsh food festival later. After a trip to the scrapheap. I need a new car door before the one I’ve got disintegrates completely. But onto loftier things…

Today I’m posting off a rune pendant to my friend Liz. We’ve kept in contact since went to school together, and she’s recently completed a 96 mile walk for charity. What a gal. I’m sending her a Sowulo pendant (sun, wholeness, success) as she drew one in a rune reading just before she left. The card was right at the front of the card box – it’s perfect.



Like the runes I made a few weeks ago, this is also made from the ash tree in another friend’s garden and finished with linseed oil.




All wrapped up in some hand stamped paper.




Let’s hope she likes it 🙂

Have an awesome day!

*Update* It made her day. Her elder daughter claimed the feather and the younger declared the feather paper a “fairy map”. Happy 🙂



When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

10 Minute Sketch Challenge – Japanese Whisky Miniature Bottle

Hey 🙂 How’s your day going? We’ve got a rather grey affair today…so I’m Going Graphite!

I’m trying to make more time to practise drawing, so I sat down for ten minutes to draw a Japanese miniature whisky bottle. Where did it come from? I have no idea. We have three or four little bottles on a kitchen shelf that have assembled from who-knows-where, and this one looked interesting. ‘Cos it’s foreign and ‘cos I like to draw glass (do I like glass? It’s challenging. Yes, I think I like glass. Except when it’s going very wrong. Then I’m not so sure.)


There are lots of not-quite-perfect bits but then, it’s a ten minute challenge. Originally I’d planned on seeing how far I could get with a 2B pencil. In the end the 4b saw some action, and actually I could have kept going…but I won’t. This will go with the others so I can look back in 20 years and see how far I’ve come.

I always start off with slight trepidation with these things, and then the mindfulness kicks in, time slips into the void and I eventually remember my tea, which went cold ages ago. Sorry, tea.


Rune Art Cards – Wunjo

Good morning! How’s your day so far?

This week I’m working on some rune art cards. I’ve listed quite a few feathers recently, so now it’s time to give the magic of the elder futhark my attention.


Wunjo is one of my favourite runes. It represents happiness, contentment, friendship and joy. The culmination of good things, harvest and reward.

Once the rune set is complete, I’ll be moving on to ogham motifs. I’ve been looking fruitlessly for this kind of card for such a long time, I figured I’d better just get on with making them myself! I hope you like them 🙂


20 Beliefs That I Took To Aikido (and killed with aikido)

I am weaker because I am smaller.

I don’t have much patience or perseverance.

I will never be really good at a martial art.

People will think I’m stupid if I keep getting things wrong.

At some point I am bound to be laughed at and feel humiliated.

Training in a male-dominated environment is scary.

Making mistakes is not enjoyable.

I’ll never cope without some previous experience.

A negative experience in class will set me back.

My feelings of inadequacy are a part of me.

I’ll have to do weeks of research to understand what’s being taught.

Being in the spotlight is embarrassing and uncomfortable.

I’m likely to get hurt.

I will never be part of “the gang”.

I should understand instructions immediately.

I don’t have any special abilities.

I will never have the “breakthrough moment” that people talk about.

Martial arts won’t affect the rest of my life.

I will never learn this complicated, subtle art.

I cannot change my mind.

As it turns out, every single one of these thoughts that have crossed my mind at some stage is a LIE.

Does your head lie to you?

Are you a hummingbird, too?

Hello on a beautiful fresh spring morning! I hope you’ve had a lovely few days, whatever you’ve been up to. Or not! Sometimes you just have to stop, right?

Our garden is getting a makeover at the moment. It’s wonderful to see the vague ideas I’ve had rumbling around taking shape…but at the same time as I’m weeding, planting, repointing and head-scratching I feel the pull of the other things I could be doing…that colour block top needs redesigning, it’s sunny and I could be out taking pictures and having a picnic, but then the house is full of dust bunnies, and I want to learn how to make that peyote necklace, and there’s that notepad to experiment with for a friend, and we need new cushion covers and I want to carve my own stamps and …but wait, shouldn’t I just be enjoying my garden? Oh yes. So I’ll concentrate on wildflowers and trellis, right now.

I can’t do everything I want to do this instant. I haven’t even started half of the things I’d like to try, but you know what? This wonderful video makes me realise that it’s okay to be in the carnival funhouse. It’s absolutely fine. I’ll never be one of those people who has one passion and follows it in a straight line. It’s a relief to know that I’m not failing, because I’m a hummingbird, because I’m going to spend my life collecting nectar from a thousand flowers. The trick is to take it one flower at a time…so for now I’m just going to decide where the strawberries will go.

Have a wonderful day!