Monday, 2 December 2013

SCBWI Advent Calendar

I'm really happy that my illustration 'The Polar Bear Express' appeared behind door number two on the advent calendar on SCBWI's Word and Pictures website today.  Here's the link to the website if you're interested and here's the illustration they used. Happy 2nd of December! :)

Please click on the link to view the image in the calendar: SCBWI Advent Calendar 2013



Saturday, 30 November 2013

'The Emperor's New Clothes'

I haven't done many fairy paintings lately as I have been working on illustrations for Ustyme. I've illustrated three books now and I'm presently working on my fourth book.  I thought I would post some of the illustrations that I did for 'The Emperor's New Clothes', retold by Lisa Katz and published by Ustyme. Have a good weekend :)





Friday, 29 November 2013

Ustyme

I've been working on some illustrations for Ustyme recently.   Ustyme is a free video-call app for the iPad, that 'creates deeper relationships through shared experiences around exciting content like books and games'.  You can find out more about Ustyme on their website: www.ustyme.com. 


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Our weekend in Glastonbury...

Last weekend was spent in Glastonbury with my friend and business partner, Natacha Chohra, where we exhibited and sold our art work and crafts as 'A Cup of Magic' in the Avalon Faery fayre.  We caught up with old friends and had a wonderful time.  On Saturday evening we donned our fairy wings and danced the night away at the Faery Ball, but we had to be up again early the next morning for another day at the fayre. Here are some photos of our stall and the ball.

Our Stall


Photo above by Gordon C. Burns














Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Samhaim Avalon Faery Ball and Fayre 2013

Natacha Chohra and I are so excited to be exhibiting in the Avalon faery fayre this weekend.  If you're in Glastonbury, UK, please do drop by and say hello.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Walk in the Rain

I'm working on the illustrations for 'Rumplestiltskin' at the moment and I'm not allowed to show anything, so I haven't had much artwork to post on my blog recently, then I remembered I haven't posted this painting I did a while back called 'A Walk in the Rain'. Seeing how it's been raining everyday this week in the UK, I think this illustration is apt.


Friday, 12 July 2013

Little Dragon Watercolour

I haven't posted in absolutely ages because I have been very busy working on two books for a new publisher, which I can't mention anything about yet, unfortunately, but I'm very excited about working for them.

I've also been doing an excellent online children's illustration course, run by Picture Book Academy.  I've been writing a story for it about a little dragon who has an unusual problem, but I'm having trouble with my story and still in the process of ironing out some kinks, so I won't give anything away right now ;) Instead, I thought I would work on some character sketches and here is a little watercolour character sketch of the main character.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Cup Of Magic: Magical and Faerie Ball July 27th

A Cup Of Magic: Magical and Faerie Ball July 27th: A Cup of Magic will be appearing at 'The Blind Pig' in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax on July 27th.  The fair is free to enter and there will be lots of amazing artists selling there and lots going on, so it should be a great day.  The faerie ball in the evening is £20 and will include music, fancy dress and a buffet.  Details of how to purchase tickets are on the poster below.  If you're in the area, please do drop in and say hello.  It would be great to see you. 



Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sketch Fest number 33

It was sketch fest again last weekend. It's seems that lately, I can only manage two sketches each time.  Here they are: the first is 'The Littlest Fairy' and the second 'The Patchwork Dress'.  Both sketches have been sold now and I'm so pleased they have found a home.  The next sketch fest is the weekend of March 15th, so I'm going to put that in my diary and make sure I make time to do lots more sketches this time. It's so much fun :)
The Littlest Fairy

The Patchwork Dress



Happy Birthday to My Little Man, Dougal Dog


I haven't written much in a while because I have been grieving.  Before I start, apologies for the long post, this is more as a remembrance of Dougal for my husband and I than anything else but I would love to share Dougal’s life with you, especially as it's Dougal's birthday today. He would have been twelve.  He was put to sleep on the 28th January 2013 after suffering from lymphoma cancer for over a year and we have been devastated and miss him so much.

A painting I did of Dougal as a puppy a few years ago, called 'Chasing butterflies'.

 Dougal was born on the 19th February 2001 and he came to live with us in Chepstow when he was 8 weeks old. 



Dougal and I have been inseparable ever since, he was my soul animal mate. When he was tiny, I would carry him around in my coat.  He was a cheeky, playful and mischievous little pup who made friends with everyone, but his inquisitive nature got him into a lot of scrapes and adventures.  He grew into a loveable dog, adoring people but was a bit wary of other dogs until he got to know them. His best friend was Murphy, an old English Sheepdog, who taught him everything.  This is Dougal with Sarah and Murphy on Dougal's first birthday.


Over time, there were two new additions to the family. Daisy-Belle joined us in 2002 and Millie-Moo in 2006.
The Clan

Dougal's favourite things were walks with his sisters, rough and tumble games with his dad, swimming, snoozing and cuddles from me :) 

Flying Dougal 

Playing with Millie

Tuggy with Daddy

Walkies with Mummy, Daisy and Millie

Swimming and chasing splashes... the dirtier the water, the better.

Afternoon snoozes

Cuddles

He also loved sitting at the window and barking at the postman and the neighbours cats:

Usually on his own but sometimes with his sisters.

Before falling asleep on his favourite, soggy, white teddy.

Dougal was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2011.  He hadn't been himself for a while and I was worried so I took him to the vets, thinking I was just overreacting.  I cried so much when we were told it was lymphoma. It felt like I had lost him already.  My husband and I discussed chemotherapy with our vets and decided to go down that route.  We weren't ready to give up our little boy yet.  The vets from 'Island Vets' in Stafford were wonderful and the chemo worked well, it didn't make Dougal sick and my little man went into remission, I think it was in spring of 2012.  



Dougal was fine until mid December.  After a bone treat one day, he was very sick.  I thought he had probably overeaten, but he was becoming more lethargic and he wouldn't even eat his favourite treats, so we took him to the out of hours vets on 21st December and the vet wondered if the cancer had spread to his stomach.  The vet gave him antibiotics and we took him back the next day for a follow up checkup and his temperature was normal again.  We were so relieved and thought he just had an infection, but we were wrong.  Over Christmas he became poorly again and we had to take him to the vets in Carmarthen, where my parents in-laws live.  The vet noticed his tummy was enlarged and she gave him antibiotics, which seemed to work for a while and we had a lovely Christmas, although I was sad as I knew this would be Dougal’s last.  Here are some Christmas photos.


A tired Dougal sleeping on Grampy's foot after opening his presents
                                                Boxing day walk on Llanstefan Beach

When we returned home, we took Dougal to the vets and they gave his stomach an ultra sound scan.  We found out his spleen and liver were enlarged and the cancer had progressed quite fast.   I knew time with him was short now, so I cuddled him and played with him as much as possible, although all he wanted to do was sleep.



One thing Dougal loved more than football and white teddies was snow.  We had a snow day on the 18th of January.  We weren't going to take him out as he was poorly, but at the sight of the snow, he perked up.  He didn't run about as he used to do, but he rolled in the snow and seemed very happy.  We took him home and he ate a good dinner and had a good sleep.  


A video of Dougal and Millie on our snow walk.  Dougal is the one rolling in the snow :)



A week after that he started to become very sick, he couldn't keep food down and started to refuse his favourite treats and his eyes became swollen and red. I knew we had to start thinking of Dougal now and not ourselves.  On Sunday 27th January, we took him for a drive (another of his favourite things), then his last walk by the canal in Gnosall, and that evening we put on a DVD and spent a couple of memorable hours with Dougal, snuggled up.  



The next morning, Monday 28th January, was a sad time.  We took Dougal to the Island Vets in Stafford in the hope that it was just an infection, although deep down we knew it wasn't, and the vet said we would be doing the right thing to put him to sleep as his stomach was so swollen with the cancer.  I whispered a little song in his ears while we waited in the waiting room (for some weird reason, he liked my singing) and then we stroked him and spoke to him about good things, such as aunty Debbie coming to visit him in a few weeks and Sarah and Murphy, his friends, waiting for him on the rainbow bridge, while the vet administered the drug to put him to sleep.  I think we were in shock, despite knowing that he had cancer.  We miss him so much.  His sisters miss him too. Millie's moods were low to start with and Daisy carried a toy around with her everywhere she went, tucking it into bed at night, although they are both a lot happier now.  We brought Dougal home with us from the vets and let Daisy and Millie say their goodbyes, before we took him to the crematorium.   

Finally at peace after battling cancer for nearly 16 months, little Dougal Dog was laid to rest on 28th January at the 'Holmes in Heaven' crematorium in Sugnall, near Stafford, with his favourite white teddy and his red blanket. RIP our little boy. You're in our hearts forever and we shall miss you so much.