catch up

Since my last blog post I’ve been busy crafting and creating for two charity events in aid of Cancer Research UK, Relay for Life and a stall at a local narrow boat rally, again raising funds for CRUK and Sarcoma UK.

That’s all done now. One of the things I attempted was ACEOs – Artist Cards Editions and Originals and here are some pics of my attempts. I’m going to put some on eBay and Etsy to try and raise more funds for these two charities.


woodpeckers, jays, swallows and soon cuckoos…

My dog and I were walking on Bickerton Hill yesterday and I heard a woodpecker there for the first time this year; had been hearing them quite often nearer to home in the nature reserve. Today, walking at Grinshill in Corbett Wood I saw a jay, one of my favourites. I think I’ve seen a swallow or two or few on Prees Common this last week, but may be mistaken.

Have you come across Matt Sewell’s books, I’ve blogged about this book before – ‘Spotting and Jotting Guide’ and it’s lovely. Not your ordinary twitchers handbook of course, more characterisation.

Been missing my weekly yoga class over the Easter period and eager to resume soon. Somehow it is no where near as good as when in Paula Smith’s class, she is a wonderful Hatha Yoga instructor. I’ve also blogged about her before. I am rather boring, I like the same things pretty much all the time!

last bit of 2016 & first part of 2017

The Whitchurch Waterways Trust will hold its annual Boat Rally on the 2nd & 3rd of September 2017 and I will be having an arts and crafts stall for the whole weekend.


I will be showing scenic representations in various media, including engraved stained glass which people can commission from. Also there will be series of ACEO (Artists Cards Editions & Originals) by myself and members of a local art group run by local artist Bob Charlesworth.

These will also depict local scenes, specifically on and close to the Whitchurch Arm. ACEO are 2.5″ x 3.5″ and are a development from Artist Trading Cards. They can be in any media but usually watercolour, acrylic or oils.

I am busy producing other items – decorated varnished boxes, papier mache artifacts, handmade notebooks and small crystals on decorated silver chain which are popular with narrowboaters. I will also make some of my special marmalade. I am hoping friends will donate surplus produce from their allotments too.

I’ve been reading more lately – ‘Religion for Atheists’ by Alain de Botton and ‘A Book of Silence’ by Sara Maitland coincided with my attending a few Buddhist meditation classes again. Every so often I need something to slow the cogs of a monkey mind. I have been able to resume yoga now I’ve recovered from surgery last June and that has been wonderful. I attend Hatha Yoga classes by Paula Smith and think she’s the best teacher I’ve had in over 30 years.

normal service has been resumed…

Over the last few weeks I have made a few panels as thank you gifts for people who have helped whilst I was poorly. One of them is a leaded panel of an orchid called ‘Orchis Italica’ which you may have heard of as it is also called a ‘Naked Man Orchid’. Yes, it does live up to that name – here’s a group of male stripper orchids…


orchis italica









orchis italica panel

catching up in june

On March 10th 2016 I was informed a sebaceous cyst removed from the top of my right thigh a few weeks previously was cancer.

dfsp unicorn pic

  • ‘dfsp’ stands for Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans
  • yellow for sarcoma, a form of cancer, in this case soft tissue, not skin cancer although it is often referred to as that
  • purple for surviving cancer, usually if been clear of it for some time and considered cured
  • unicorn because this type of sarcoma is rarer than a unicorn – sarcoma is a form of cancer; cancer of soft tissue, connective tissue, bone and various other sites – sarcomas comprise 1% of all cancers – dfsp comprise 1% of these it is thought
  • I had an operation at the cancer hospital Christies in Manchester U.K. on June 10th. One week in I drag my right leg like Quasi Modo and will have permanent numbness and hope the jangling nerves settle, but, I am deemed cancer free and it is unlikely this locally aggressive sarcoma will grow back.

That’s my story – if you would like to know more you are welcome to contact me. There is little known about dfsp, as I found out, so if you become ‘one in a million’ like me or know someone who gets this diagnosis you will need to wise up fast so you can inform medical people. Yes, you have to tell them most of the time.


Although my engravings are done free hand I am always looking for images that provide ideas. I subscribe to the Resurgence and Ecologist bi monthly magazine which is a rich source of beautiful images.

This month I’ve acquired two more lovely lovely books.

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The Hare Book from The Hare Preservation Trust ISBN 9781909823686 & Spotting and Jotting Guide by Matt Sewell ISBN 9780091960001

These go into an ever increasing library (sounds rather grand…) of wildlife books and pictures, some of which I’ve kept since childhood.  I’ve only ever seen a real hare once, in Warwickshire behind a windmill off the high street in Harbury, and he or she was somersaulting.

to begin…

Moonshine is known as a whiskey made from corn, but not exclusively, for where the moon shines sights can be seen, glimpses of our world fleetingly gleaned. The shadows from moonshine are like no other shadows, because they stimulate imagination rather than reveal a shape eclipsed by any other light.

The moonshine here trips off Welsh mountains.

That is why creations from my woodshack in Shropshire UK are special.