Tuesday 26 October 2021

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Hello Friends!

I know some of you may have wondered where I've been lately.  I am sad to say my life has taken an unexpected turn when I received news that I have developed a degenerative, life limiting medical condition.  For now, I must focus on me.  I am hoping they will find suitable medication to help me be as independent as I can be for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, the first ones were not suitable.

I am no longer using Facebook, but continue to use both Twitter and Instagram for now.

I'm not saying I won't return to Blogger, just that for the foreseeable future I will be reading only. 

I'm in good spirits, and hopeful of finding a viable medication while I adjust to new ways of doing things, which can be very frustrating at times.   I certainly didn't see this coming, and ignored symptoms for too long with my own self diagnosis, not to mention the pandemic putting me off seeing my GP sooner.

Thank you for all your kind comments on the blogs I have published over the years.  It's been fun, and who knows, it may be so again.

Much love, and gratitude

Stay safe, 

Debbie xoxo

Friday 20 August 2021

And That's A Wrap! {at last}

Hello Friends!

It's a wrap!

ICAD is complete for 2021.  I am immensely relieved, and impatient now to move on to other things on proper water colour papers.  While ICAD is fun, it's sometimes a tie with the commitment, and often a lot of effort for such a poor quality piece of paper.

Just a recap on my objectives.  First was to try to spend no more than 30 minutes on each card, excluding drying time; second was to only draw freehand, not using stamps; and third was no collage or glue as I wanted to keep them flat this year. I achieved two and three easily, maybe not sticking exactly to my 30 minute limit on a few, but then I brought some in in under 10 minutes.  Swings and Roundabouts, Roundabouts and Swings.

Also, I hoped my drawing skills would improve.   Whether or not that happened I'm not sure, but what I have learned is that an image can often be improved just by working over with different layers.  Slowly, then, a half way decent image emerges in most cases.

I don't think I'm the kind of artist who can really let go.  By that, I mean get messy. I am very much about neat, precise lines.  I need to look at this and aim to loosen up my work more.

Finally, it's all objective.  There's no right or wrong, and not everyone will like my work, and some will love it.  You might like one very much, but for another one you might wonder what on earth was I thinking.  The main thing is, for me, is you took time to look, and for that, thank you.

So, here are the final few.

53/61  Much harder to draw than I thought it would be.  Surprised there's any sort of circular form, never mind what I managed to achieve.


55/61 Freehand drawn with Sakura Gel pens, then pulled the ink before it dried.

56/61  Now for something edible.  

57/61 Radish in watercolour paints

58/61 Fuchsia

59/61 mixed media dandelion "firework display"

60/61 while using yellow I had to do just one more happy little sunflower!  I wanted to do leaves, but that would have taken me way over 30 minutes.  As it is, soon as I saw the photo, I could see how squiffy this is!

61/61 Finis!

Thank you for all your love and support.  Finally finished, but I DID IT! 

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Flowers Always Bring Me Joy

Hello Friends!

Not only am I gratefully heartened and encouraged by those of you who've taken the time to write such kind and lovely comments recently, I'm happy to know that my efforts have made some of you want to pick up your paints and brushes again yourselves.  Joyful times of creating lie ahead!

I am still plodding on with ICAD, but am anxious to finish it now so that I can give myself permission to move on to something else.  Ten more today, and the final nine next time.

43/61  Freehand pen and ink

44/61  Impression inspired by the view from my desk, across the garden to the Rosa Rugosa and neighbouring trees beyond

45/61  Need to step back and chill.  I must accept I missed the end date {so did many others} and stop churning out rubbish just to complete.

46/61 Cornflowers, well, sort of cornflowers!

47/61  Imaginary image

48/61  Loosely based on the very colourful, municipal town planting in Haverfordwest that brought me much joy waiting in the bus stop for my connections on my long bus journeys, several days a week, to visit Mum in her care home.  A happier memory from a dark time of confusion and sadness.  Flowers always bring me joy.

49/61  I realised I needed a rose, so with a little online guidance, I bravely drew this freehand using gel pen directly on the washed card and tinted using Inktense.  E for Effort!  49 down, 12 to go!

50/61  Hanging basket.  A long time ago, our local council provided a pair of hanging baskets for each shop in the village.  Most did not take long to perish due to neglect, but one business watered daily and fed regularly, really taking good care of her gift, and her baskets were a sight to behold.

51/61   For years I've hankered after one of those big, bronze, rich burnt orange chrysanthemum potted plants for my porch during the Autumn months but can only ever find yellow and white in the shops.  Ironically, usually around Easter I can find the burnt orange ones, when the white and yellow would be more seasonally appropriate.

52/61  Just a doodle that went a bit astray using neon colour gel pens

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well

Thursday 29 July 2021

ICAD Update

Hello Friends!

Due to unfortunate circumstances {thank you to those who've sent me kind messages of support and encouragement} I won't finish all 61 ICADs on time, but will keep plodding on until all are done.  Here are the next seven.

Imaginary arrangement in mixed media mark making

Inspired by seed heads seen on a walk, where land, sky, and sea meet

Nasturtiums using a large, very wet brush

Buddleia, mixed media

Poppy seed heads, mixed media

Inspired by, but looking nothing like, my Purple Sun osteospermum

41/61  Hydrangea 

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well.

Sunday 11 July 2021

Falling Behind with Everything

Hello Friends!

Yes, I'm falling behind with everything.  I think I have sciatica.  Remember I did No Mow May?  Well, June 1st I pulled out the mower and had the devil of a job to get it through the well overgrown lawn.  It was so hard I only managed about two thirds, and it took me about three times as long as normal.  On June 2nd, I woke up in pain and have been in pain ever since.  I haven't been for a walk since the end of May, and I am struggling to do simple, everyday things like cooking and washing dishes.  As they say, it is what it is, and is, with hindsight, self inflicted.  I have some morphine based pain killers, but they come with their own unwanted set of side effects.  Heigh ho!

So, I've struggled along for the month, but for the past fortnight I've chilled as best as I can, not bothered to dust or hoover, and watched Wimbledon, which I've enjoyed immensely, but have to say the crowds seem much noisier and rowdier than normal.

Being glued to Wimbledon means I have fallen behind by a few days on my ICAD, but if I'm late finishing, I'm late finishing. 

Five weeks down, three to go.


How could I not draw a pumpkin?  I am really eager to do this one on proper paper soon.  Water colour and ink.

33/61 I often revisit this shape and experiment with it.  Mixed media

34/61 a and b.  A stylised doodle.  Sometimes alcohol ink soaks through to make an interesting effect on the reverse.  I prefer the reverse.  What about you?

35/61  Imaginary doorway. Mixed media

As to the garden, I've forced myself to push the mower around once during June after that post No Mow May mow, and will try to do it again this week before the garden waste collection on Thursday.

However, the flowers continue to give their best, despite the neglect.  I really must do some dead heading soon.

The Crocosmia Lucifer is coming into it's own now.  I know it's not well loved, but I like it a lot, and it brings heat and colour to an otherwise very green corner.

Sorry the photos aren't brilliant, it's not easy hobbling on a stick and juggling a camera while in pain.

Another indulgence is watching reruns of Downton Abbey, currently on every evening from Monday to Friday, from the very beginning.  Will I ever tire of it?

I had some eggs to use up, so made this rich, dark, moist chocolate loaf style cake. I am experimenting using Pyrex dishes instead of tins at the moment.  It was very good, and this afternoon it's time to fill the cake tin again, so I'm going to bake Mary Berry's Almond and Chocolate cake from her Baking Bible, which is my favourite cake and baking book ever.

Bon Appetit!  This was delicious with syrupy sliced strawberries!

Thank you to everyone who has commented lately, I've read every comment and kind word.  Hope you are still able to follow now that Blogger has made yet more changes.  It's almost as if they don't want us any longer.

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well!

Wednesday 7 July 2021

All the Sevens

Hello Friends

It's the 7th day of the 7th month in the year '21 {3x7} and it's seven years to the day since I typed this, which popped up on my Facebook Memories today.

"On the Seventh day of the Seventh month One Man, with the hopes of the Nation, plays in his Seventh Grand Slam final, Seventy Seven years since a Briton last lifted the trophy as Wimbledon Men's Singles Champion . . . it's going to be a HOT afternoon in more ways than one . . . and after last Wednesday and last Friday I haven't any nails left to bite . . ."

That's all

Until next time
Stay Safe, Stay Well

Sunday 4 July 2021

ICAD Roundup Four

Hello Friends!

Thank you all those of you who have kindly taken time for your very kind and encouraging words about my art.  It is most appreciated.  Also, thank you for your comments on my flowers, in case I don't get around to replying, as I'm immensely enjoying Wimbledon.  You know it's good playing when they knock back the BBC News by an hour!

Well, last time it seems the poppy won the popular vote, hands down! Dare I ask you to pick another? I do especially like the courgettes, particularly 25/61.

I'm quite thrilled as I've been asked if I'm selling any!  Flattering as this is, no, I'm not as they are part of a collection, although I am working on one to make a picture as a gift.  What a dream of mine that would be, to support myself by selling my painting!  I've got a long way before that could happen.

So, the first month is up!  July is up and running, and beside ICAD being half way through, so is 2021.  How did that happen?


While waiting for the base colour to dry, I realised I was very happy with the courgette fruit, so, hard decision to make.  The first one is the base coloured one, the second is the finished image.  I managed to stay away from the fruit and just work on the flower!

Sakura Koi watercolours


Spring flowering crocus, mixed media

28/61  Stylised rudbeckia, alcohol ink pens

29/61 Alcohol ink and Derwent paint pens

30/61  Doodling with Derwent paint pens.  I think this shows how tired I am from lack of sleep!

31/61  This is the equivalent of Hump Day, we're half way!  Mixed media paints, gel pens, and paint pens.

For anyone who is keeping tabs, I have fallen behind, I should be on 34/61, I'm blaming it on Wimbledon!

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well