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Snow art... sand art.... sand calligraphy

Friday, 27 December 2013

Someone shared a link to this fabulous 'snow art' created by Simon Beck>> here
& here's his facebook page. Aren't they fabulous?

They are huge, and so intricate...

Looking at these made me think of sand calligraphy by Andrew van der Merwe which had me gazing open mouthed when I first saw them. 

he says "The work is usually very temporal, often lasting no more than an hour before it is taken by the wind or the tide. I carve the letters in the sand using various instruments and then photograph them with my Nikon D700. I leave no footprints and the tide leaves me with a clean slate.
"Most of the forms used here draw their inspiration from African writing systems, but in some instances, I have moved on from there and found myself playing with variations of a particular movement - pretty much like a musician might play with variations on a theme.
"I have 20 years experience as a calligrapher but the most difficult aspect of the work remains the calligraphy. Any calligrapher worth his or her salt will understand this. Even wordless writing must have a logic, a system of movement, a poetry."

Actually I still gaze open mouthed....

and so, I was led to Tony Plant's sand drawings>> here

To create each drawing, Plant spends hours on the coastline, using a rake to form lines and circles in the sand. The geometric designs do not last long, very quickly getting washed away by the waves or walked across by surfers and beach-goers. Each fleeting artwork is a site-specific project that the artist has no control over and he says, "I just think of them as non-precious things. Some people get confused about why I do it, when there's nothing left after the tide has washed everything away, but I just see it as a new blank canvas for me to work with."



Words not necessary....

Monday, 16 December 2013

Don't worry about not being able to read this, it doesn't say anything! 
Gestural marks made with draughtsman's ruling pen... just 'pretend' squiggly lettering with free ascenders & descenders... such great fun to do & you don't have to worry about spelling mistakes either.

This canvas was to match some quite heavily patterned wallpaper, and I thought my usual 'splashy' backgrounds would be over the top for the room. Instead I tried this idea with blocks of colour to match the decor & quite subtle calligraphic marks.

I loved the subtlety of just the white 'lettering', but was torn over whether to add a layer of black. Some black thread served to give me an idea of the effect.

The smudged paint wasn't deliberate to begin with, but I really liked the effect so added a few more!

canvas size approx 90 x 35 cm / 36 x 14


For my moongazy friends.... it's rather cloudy out there this full moon.
This month (& next) the full moon appears at it's smallest. But as we are almost upon the Solstice it is visible for the longest time as we near the longest night of the year.

{S~ are you going on your travels shortly?}


Thoreau quote

Thursday, 12 December 2013

We are all sculptors or painters, 
and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones…


Brush your teeth!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Some colour is needed, I think.... I seem to have been very neutral of late.
Some lively splashes of cerise, aqua & lime.... such fun... 

Designed with a child's or teenagers room in mind...
how many times have we heard or said these words or something similar?

Brush your teeth
Hang up your coat
Wipe your feet
Clean your room
Do your homework
Turn off the light
And remember
Mum & Dad love you x

The set of 3 is available here, but you can have a version made to suit...
with any colours or with your personal most used admonishments!

overall size 100 x 40 cm ( 40.25 x 15.75 inches)
2 canvasses 30 x 40 cm (11.75 x 15.75 inches)
1 canvas  40 x 40 cm (15.75 x 15.75 inches)

I'm trying to think what I said most to my two.... probably something about stamping up the stairs & washing up would be in there... & turning off the tv if they're not watching it! I'll have to ask them & see what they remember! We'll probably remember totally different things, I know me & my mum often used to talk about the same incidents in very different ways. 
My dad was definitely one for telling us to turn lights off... 
& to get our elbows off the table was high on the list!

The last photo isn't particularly clear, but it gives an idea of how the idea can be adapted.



Monday, 9 December 2013

Sometimes you just stumble across something that really resonates, don't you? One of my photographs shared a treasury with the image below recently....

Flying Dreams

The name of this artist is Flora McLachlan & she has a shop on etsy called 'Foxnest'
~I loved it even before I looked any further!


It just keeps getting better... look closely at that central seed-head below....

Shelter from Grey Weather

Flora says,

"In my prints, wild creatures are guarded by thorns and nestled in undergrowth;
 the forest is cage and sanctuary. The moon shines silver between the dark trees, 
and the scent of leaf-mould contains life and death."

The White Hart

"I have been printing, mostly etching, for thirteen years. 
I make pictures of visions I would like to see, using memories and sketchbook studies of familiar woodlands. I'm on a quest for the white hart..."

Winter Moon
All photographs © Flora McLachlan 

You can find Flora's fabulous etchings at 


A Christmas Proposal

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

I get a steady stream of marriage proposals these days.... not for me personally (perish the thought!)... but from romantic young, & not so young, men enlisting my help to gain the "yes" that they want to hear. In this last few weeks there have been quite a few aiming for a Christmas Proposal. 

Let's start another chapter.... proposal of marriage

Some, bless them, have written poems or songs to their beloved, others have chosen more well known poems or passages on the subject of love to calligraphed into a scroll or onto canvas. I find myself taking an almost maternal interest as these hopeful fellas tell me about how they met or why those words mean so much... and I'm often left waiting with bated breath, hoping that they remember to let me know the outcome! 

By the way.... 'bated' breath was first coined as a phrase by Shakespeare in 'The Merchant of Venice'. Shylock says to Antonio, 

"Shall I bend low and, in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whisp'ring humbleness,
Say this..."

Bated here is a contraction of abated through loss of the unstressed vowel (a process called aphesis); it means "reduced, lessened, lowered in force". So bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion such as terror or awe
[Thank you to Michael Quinion at World Wide Words for these snippets of information]

Let's turn another page.... with presentation wallet

The book pages with either "Let's start another chapter..." or "Lets turn another page..."
have proved to be a popular way to 'pop the question'. They've been framed, collaged into another piece of work & bound into a book amongst other things!

I've only just got as far as making this simple little envelope style wallet to present them in. Kraft paper & brown ribbon set the scene.... then the inside flaps are lined with vintage book pages. A tiny little tag of the same, just finishes it off nicely, I think.

will you marry me? with presentation wallet

Romance is far from dead... and some men do still ask permission from the father of their intended! So far though, I've had no ladies proposing to their men.... surely it's just a matter of time?

Does anyone have any 'Proposal Stories' to share?


Christmas Rubber Stamps

Monday, 2 December 2013

A selection of designs with calligraphy by yours truly,
available from Crafty Individuals... the first two are in the "special offers" section at a nicely 
reduced price!

As well as the 'Calligraphy' section, the 'Elements' section has
quite a few designs that include quotations I have written.


Little things that make me smile....

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I came across these bamboo pens on etsy, made by Kate Moby, from bamboo grown in her own garden > here

They really look quite gorgeous... such lovely little details! It's a long while since I made a bamboo pen, & I seem to remember I enjoyed using it, but have no idea where it went. Kate says she uses hers regularly... hmm, I have a hankering to try some again now! I could make some.... but I'm tempted to treat myself to these beauties sometime. {if any of my family are reading this, take it as a hint :-) }

Anyway, from her shop I skipped to her blog, as you do, and came a cross a post that pointed me to the Digital Colour Meter hidden on my Mac. Hehehee, what a great little tool.... I had no idea it was there!
Go to Applications> Utilities> Digital Colour Meter
Thanks Kate x

Wherever your mouse hovers, the meter shows how the colour is made up... in various formats... how cool is that?! There's a write up about it <here> if you need one.



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I am based in North Yorkshire, UK.
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