Friday, January 25, 2013

A week of ups and downs

This week was one of those funny weeks where something have been fabulous and some not so fabulous.

Lets get the bad out of the way.

In a word SNOW......

The snow came down Friday and I didn't get back into my Studio until Wednesday,  The worst of it was that I had to cancel my Saturday morning teaching session and I had a new lady coming. I really hate letting people down,  but even worse when they have never actually met you.  But I think she appreciated I had cancelled for the students safety.  We are rather remote and a bit difficult to get to in the worst of the weather conditions.

But also it added to my frustration with painting.  I am teaching 4 sessions a week now, not including extra workshops ( it is fantastic that I am in demand), but it means my actual painting time is getting very limited.  I had started a painting that I was really, really into .... and I had planned to try and finish it Saturday afternoon, once my morning students had gone, but I had to wait until Wednesday.

I am pleased though as I still managed to finish it this week and for once I am dead chuffed with it, as it came out just about how I wanted it to.

It a bit big for me if I remember right the canvas is 60cm x 60cm  but I will have to double check.  Also its been sometime since I did an acrylic painting,  but I am really enjoying it at the moment.

I have moved onto the next one in the series,  this one would you believe is going to be seaweed

Also... Gosh hasn't it been a busy week.  I have done a little acrylic sketch.  It came out to a free drawing I did with one of my students and I decided to move it on.  I have no idea where it will go from here but I know its not watch this space.

As far as the teaching goes then,  I am happy I have filled my new Tuesdays beginners course,  I still have a few places left on the Saturday afternoon one starting the 16th Feb. So if you know anyone who may be interested can you please send them in the direction of my website

One of my students is working on a mural with several of the people she helps care for, so it has been interesting,  discussing possibilities and helping her to understand the advantages and limitations of working in a group.

On a personal level then I also finished the cardigan I have been knitting,  check out my previous blog if you want to have a nosey

See you all next week and lets hope for no more snow

Janice x

35 & 48


1. Have a meal with Steve and all the kids

2. Try and see a whale

3. See the Angel of the north

4. Photograph wild flowers

5. Paint outside ( not the fence)

6. Search for sea glass

7. Find 50 Art Deco buildings and photograph them - started

8. Swim a mile

9. Walk on a beach at sunset in the UK

10. Sing in public ( not on my own)

11. Make  a sculpture out of found or natural items

12. Pooh sticks

13. Walk up to Glastonbury Tor

14. Paddle in a stream

15.  Go on a picnic

16  Climb something 

17. Tea and cake with all the family

18.  Spend a day with Gemma           

19.  Spend a day with Heather

20.  Spend a Day with Chris

21.  Walk a dog

22. Find treasure

23. See wonderful stained glass

24. See a David Hockney painting

25.  Visit Scotland

26. Try and see the Northern lights

27. Stargaze

28. Dance in the tower Ballroom Blackpool

29. Road trip

30. Decorate a special cake

31. Do a mosaic

32. Make 50 origami birds and hang them in trees

33.  Throw a pot

34. Have a girly night

35. Make a flower arrangement

36. Sparkle

37. Have my engagement and eternity rings repaired

38. Decorate the bedroom

39. Make a daisy chain

40. Get a tattoo

41. Have a photo us all.  Not professional

42. Make an album or photo book of the year

43. Do something to raise money for charity

44. Candle lit relaxing  bath

45. Kiss in the rain

46. See a film in the directors lounge

47. Have a butterfly land on my hand

48. Crochet or knit myself a jumper

Its not particularly special,  but for mw quite an achievement , only 6 months in the making!!

49. Paint a good picture on an Ipad

50.  Surprise me!!!

24 to go  Over Half way now!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Caption Competition

As my studio has had to close due to bad weather and as I have nothing better to do, then I am having a little competition.  Thanks to Silver Birch Crafts on Twitter for the suggestion.  Check out her lovely website here

There are 3 prizes to be won, and all you have to do is comment under this blog, with a funny caption to this photo of the fabulous Fin, who discovered snow for the first time today.

 If you cant comment for some reason, e-mail to

First Prize is this Original watercolour painting of a turtle,  painted by me. It is approx 28.5cm x 20cm and painted on Bockingford watercolour paper using Winsor and Newton paints.

Second Prize is this Original watercolour painting of a some flowers,  painted by me. It is approx 22cm x 16cm and painted on Bockingford watercolour paper using Winsor and newton paints.

3rd Prize will be 3 of my Art cards chosen at random by me from the stock at my studio

Me and Mr Wellydog will decide the winner by how funny we find your captions.
Competion will be closed at 11.59 pm on the Friday 1st February 2013.
Anyone 16 or over may enter.
Sorry UK entries only due to postage cost.
I will contact the winners by the 10th February 2013  If I do not hear from you within 2 weeks then another winner will be selected. 
Decisions on the way we choose winners is final.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Studio Mouse

The island of bookcases that I put in last week have a cut out at the back that Mr WD  says looks like a mouse hole. So he insisted it had a mouse in it! Now I do own a sewing machine and it does get used for cushions and curtains etc,  but I am not the world best sewer,  but I looked around and although I found some fantastic mice on the internet,  I am still very much on a budget and worried Fin may take  a liking to it, so I thought what the heck, I will make my own.
Here he is....


and here he is in his little home,  To be honest,  he's a bit shabby and I think he will need to be replaced soon but at least I have a resident mouse now.  

While I had my sewing machine out I thought I would make some curtains to cover the mess in my store room,  I should just shut the door, but the loo and all the materials are out there,  I cant keep on top of all the comings and goings of the students so it tends to stay open.  Also its a bit damp out the back and things fair better if the heat travels from my studio out into the back area. So I thought it best to just try and disguise it bit,  after all it is a working studio.

In my usual unique way I managed to make them to long, so I will have to pin them next week and bring them home to shorten. See I told you sewing wasn't my strong point

I also made a big decision,  to stop trying to make my Folksy shop work.  I should have given up ages ago as the Google analytics figures, have been very sorry reading.  I stupidly invested in a Plus account,  but  you live and learn and its just money down the drain now.  Anyway I have decided I do need an online presence,  but I am not going to invest so much time and effort into trying to promote it.  I just want it to be there is anyone wants it and to list a few items from time to time.  So I have resurrected my Etsy shop.  If you get a chance pop over and check it out.

These 2 small canvases are my newest listing.

So I have spent quite a bit of time this week,  changing links on my Facebook page ,  my blog and my website to direct people to Etsy instead of Folksy.  Its amazing how long this took as I had forgotten how to do a lot of it.  Its such a long time ago I set it all up but thanks to some fb and twitter friends who helped me out, it should all be done now.

This week also saw the reopening of my studio after the Christmas break.  Students were back in,  although quite a few were sick,  so I hope they all get better soon.

As the centre is very quiet at this time of the year then I used the time to start work on a series of paintings I am planning for North Somerset arts week in May.  I am quite pleased with the progress but it is slow as I am slightly out of my comfort zone.  I  decided that this work needed to  be in acrylics on Canvas.  Sometimes I make these decisions and think Why?? but hopefully they will turn out alright.

The theme of the project is 'The Beach' ( my most favourite place) and this is how far I got with the first one 'Starfish'.

  Lots more to do,  so see you all later

J x

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

A bit late I know, but I am here and blogging again, after a couple of months break.  So I have quite a lot to update you on.
As some of you know then 2012 was a difficult year for me.  My dad has been very ill and we have had to find him a nursing home to live in.  Anyone dealing with someone with dementia will know,  then the system is difficult to navigate and not well supported,  so it has been a difficult year and I wont pretend it didn't have an impact on my studio.

I havent been working the hours I should, to be able to visit my Dad 2 - 3 times a week and my concentration was not what it should have been,  but I got through the year and things seem to be settling down a bit now.

Would you believe I have been in this studio a year now.  I started at the Craft Centre in the little studio in August and moved to this one,  with my official opening by the Mayor,  early January 2012.

Emily who took over my little Studio has since left, as things did not work out for her, so it will be interesting to see who comes into my old studio in 2013.

Anyway,  when I moved in, it was a bit of a rush to get in in time for the Mayors opening.  So it was all done quickly and with everything that has been going on then I haven't done much to the studio.  So I thought it needed a mini facelift.  I am very happy with the teaching area,  although it is still a problem that people see the desks and walk away thinking its a meeting room.  But the 'Gallery' area was  lacking something. With North Somerset Arts week in May, then I decided I need more cards and more little items to encourage people to come in. Maybe then would look at the art work a bit more.

I bought two of Emily's bookcase as she was leaving and put them on the walls. To be honest it looked a bit square and sad.  So the Fab Mr WD suggested an Island?????  Anyway I went along with his suggestion and backed the 2 bookcases onto each other and wow!  I loved it.   If people get to the door hopefully they will see more than the desks on offer.

I can't move the desks as the floor is wonky elsewhere and I would also loose my large wall space area.

So I just painted a blackboard on the wall.  Its something I have been meaning to do for a while.  It helps advertise my classes and also I can leave notes and comments for the Students.

Having the blackboard paint meant I could also  make some new labels I have been thinking about, out of bits of wood and pegs

Fin our new puppy   ( I know stupid time to get a new dog!) comes with me now to the studio.  So he has to have his own little area.  He is good company and loves seeing all the students.  He can jump over the baby cage we put up for him,  but seems happy to just sit and be fussed. He can go out into the little court yard at the back of the studio and talk with the horses any time he likes.  I have regular visitors who come just to see him growing up. He has been coming with me since he was 4 months old. He is now 10 months

( haha its a tough life)

Its proving to be a handy island, as I can hang my bags on the back of the bookcases and the shelves give me lots of options.

 And I finally made up a press book,  so people can see what I have been up to.  I still have a few bits to find and put in but at least it is started. Again this has been something I have been meaning to do for while.

Other jobs have been done to,  a bit more draft proofing, a lick of paint over places that have got grubby or chipped,  I have a working water heater now and of course had a good store room sort out.

So all in all I have had a busy break and am all ready and raring to go for my first lessons to start again on Wednesday.

I am looking forward to the challenges in 2013 and I promise I will blog a bit more often again.

Janice x