Monday, 26 August 2013


is still on hold as it's get-together time.
I've just spent a wonderful weekend down in Norfolk,
and will be off to the Pagan Clan Gathering on Wednesday,
but I'm home for now to restock the van and get some baking done.

On checking my emails I found one from
Janice over at Taproot Studio asking "What is slug-cake?"
Once I got over the initial shock that there are still poor unfortunate souls out there who don't know about the internationally renowned, baked goodness that is slug-cake, I figured I should take the time to spread the word..........

Cosmic Fool (Cos) was one of the original moderators over on the UKPagan forum.
He was a wonderful human being, who had the gift of dealing with all men equally,
with wit and charm.
Sadly in 2006, he was taken from us far too early
(Saturday would have been his 49th birthday).
This recipe was one of his, and whenever there is a gathering I will make a couple of loaves in his memory.
Two years ago, at a gathering, our hosts grand-daughter was offered a slice.
She politely refused in the manner of all small children; i.e. at full volume;
"I'm not eating that. It's got slugs in!"
Needless to say, it was immediately renamed as slugcake.

Cosmic Fool's Teacake
aka Slugcake
½ pint of boiling water
1 teabag
1 egg
 8oz Sultanas
4oz soft brown sugar
8oz Self raising flour

(makes one loaf)

Drop the teabag into the boiling water, stir and allow to brew.
(The stronger, the better.)
Remove teabag, pour into a mixing bowl, add the sultanas and sugar. 
Stir, then allow to soak for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Add the egg and the flour to the mix and stir well.
Pour into a 2lb loaf tin.
Bake at 180ºC for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and check with a skewer that it is cooked through. 
(If not, return to the oven until done.)
Allow to stand in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
Eat with butter, spread or on its own.

Will keep for several days.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Day 18

An afternoon of baking results in bread and slugcake ready for the weekend.

Normal blogging will resume after the break, please do not adjust your set.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 17

I've done it!
I've finally got myself into gear and started putting together a lesson plan for Reiki training.
It still needs a lot of work, and a lot of detail adding,
but at least when I do attunements I'll be using my own words and my own style,
and not just copying from somebody else's notes.
Originally I was just going to re-word what I was given when I was learning,
but fate has a habit of sticking a fork in the spokes of the wheel
and it's given me a strong reason to do my own thing.

Several people have commented favourably on the handmade journal,
so I've decided to make more and see if I can sell them at the craft fair in October.
I'll also be sending a couple out to people on the blog list.
As a result I've been playing today, and getting messy,
Glue, texture paste and bits of card and material.
Here's a couple of samples

Last but not least,
there's two new blogs that have sprung up that you need to keep an eye on.

My little sister who does amazing stuff with a sewing machine,

and my cousin who is a talented artist, and is also slightly mad!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Day 16

A slightly odd day today. There has been creativity, but it was work related (No, I didn't smuggle in my sketchbook).

At the moment I'm still working part time, this week is 3x five hour days, but I'm not actually doing the 5 hours due to physio appointments and so on, so I brought some work home with me.
Yes, yes, I know, should be taking it easy etc., but this was something that would take about an hour and would make my life (and other people's) easier in the long run.

In the end I finished up spending about four hours on it, and finished up with a whole new process; database updated, new templates, new work instructions written and all fully documented. And you know what, I really enjoyed it. It was good to actually get my brain working on something that required logic and process*.
Now, before you start thinking I've turned into a workaholic I can tell you that this really isn't normal for me. Whilst I'm not a clock-watcher, I treasure my free time and if my employer wants me to work extra hours it will cost them. There is a lot of my job that I enjoy; the chance to problem solve, to create new ways to work things and then work out how to communicate it to the rest of the team and there's also parts I could do without (the negativity of certain people mostly).

Anyway, enough of that. You'll be glad to know that there was also a little artistic creativity and here's the finished, correct-way-up notebook. 

*For those who don't know me (and even some of those who do), I'm ex-army (23 years) and my background is engineering. I've only been creating artistically for a short while (about 5 years).

Monday, 19 August 2013

Day 15

Creative with words today (for a change).


What's that noise?
It's me
It's you?

It's the beat of my heart
Strong and steady,
like a metronome,
measuring the moments in my life.
The sweet, and the sour
the joy and the tears.

Isn't it a beautiful sound
Sweet, sweet heartbeat,
Telling me
I'm Alive!

I think it would get on my nerves..........

Inspired by my new heartbeat,
a conversation with my granddaughter
and somebody who I want to shake some life into!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Day 14

Well, there has been creativity today.
And I should be showing you the wonderful, finished journal.
The signature has been assembled from some nicely random pieces of paper.
The covers have been lined with some suitably colour co-ordinated fabric.
Everything has been carefully stitched and glued together.

And then I turned it over and realised I'd put the front cover on upside down.

There were words.
Interesting words.
Which can't be repeated here as this blog doesn't have an 18 rating!

Pass the wine!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Day 13

Play day at the Cubby Hole today, so there's been plenty of creativity
(in amongst the gossip, tea and cake).

The book covers are finished and have a nice shabby copper look
I just need to put together the signatures and bind it all together.
I may also have managed to talk myself into running a workshop at some point
(one of these days I'll learn to shut up).

I also came away with a couple of hand made cards, including a C*******s card
(I'll never hear the end of that, will I?)

I'm now off to take a wander around the blogs,
with a beer, cheese & crackers and some Dr. Feelgood.
(the scary dude in black is Wilko Johnson, one of the greatest guitarists around
and now known as Ser Ilyn Payne)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Day 12

Trying something different today.
(well I don't want you getting bored now, do I).

These are 7x5 canvas boards, which are about to become journal covers.
They've previously been recycled several times in the past
and have several layers of paint, paper, and other stuff,
but I think this will be their last incarnation
(they've had more makeovers than Doctor Who)

They are now covered in (home made) texture paste applied through a mask/stencil.
They should be dry by tomorrow, and then I'll figure what I'm going to do next.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a random photo of the sky taken on my evening bike ride.

Goodnight all :)

Day 11

They are dice.
Most people know of the usual 6 sided cube,
but for those who play D&D or other fantasy games,
there's a whole array of multi sided dice.
This is a standard set;
d4 - purple
d6 - red
d8 - blue
d10 - green
d12 - yellow
d20 - orange
d% - white

So there you have it,
you learn something new every day.

Vedar - Half-elf neutral good ranger

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Day 10

Woohoo, double digits and still going :)

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do today, as several of my art ideas will be long term,
and I can't post them without spoiling the surprise for some people.
But no worries, fate lent a hand.
I was rummaging through the drawer* looking for a piece of magnet (which I'm sure I had but now can't find), when I came across two sets of these which have been languishing for a long time in a corner of the drawer*, so decided to sketch them.
If you knew instantly what they are, give yourself a geek/nerd point.
If you don't know what they are, stay tuned and you'll find out when I post the finished item.

In other news;
no exercise today, I'm saving myself for the visit to the physioterrorist tomorrow,
but there has been baking (orange & sultana cake)
and I've finally restored the Reiki room back to its normal role,
rather than a guest room.

*The drawer  - everybody has one. It's the drawer full of stuff that you never use, like chargers, cables and so on but daren't throw away because as soon as you do, you'll find the thing that it charges/connects.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Day 9

Four hours in work today.
And I have to do it again on Thursday!

I wonder if that's where the inspiration came from?

Acrylic on canvas (7x5)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Day 8

Nothing spectacular to report today,
no random pipe bands on my cycle trip,
no exotically flavoured bread.

Just the little things that make life good;
a call from my youngest,
a text from a friend,
a thank you from another friend
and a beautiful peacock butterfly on the patio.

 I've also finished the dog portrait.
She's my parents dog, and the picture is a present for my father's birthday.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Day 7

Well, the post titles are still as fascinating as before.
I bet you can't wait to find out what tomorrow's will be called.......

It's been a good day today, plenty of things achieved and six down on my checklist.
I spent the best part of two hours out on the bike,
cycling around the local park I came across a pipe and drum band practising in the car park.
I love the sound of the pipes, very stirring and fantastic to march to.
I even tried a new bread recipe (sun dried tomato and parmesan), very exotic :)
There's also been some reflection too.
I spent some time sorting out Reiki paperwork, which lead me to thinking about recent events,
but what's done is done, and it's time to keep moving on.
Anyway, enough of that, on to today's creativity, and a bit more of the canine portrait.
The main parts of the shading are done,
hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get the detail finished.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Day 6

Well, the die didn't get swapped. It looks like it's my cuttlebug shim that's at fault.
I did get to have an in-depth conversation about whether the upcoming artisan market should be called something else, in case people don't understand what it is. Watch this space for future updates.
It's been another day of doing bitty stuff, but things have been accomplished and there has been art.
This is the start of a dog portrait.
The grid is to help get the basic shape and the main light/dark areas.
Tomorrow (when I'm a little more awake) I'll start to work on detail and shading.
If it works out, I may even have a go at doing a person portrait!

And now I'm off to tour the blogs, armed with beer, olives and breadsticks.
Livin' the dream ;)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Day 5

Kind of a strange day today. 
I've managed to get things done, yet it feels like I've actually not accomplished anything.
After yesterday's cardio rehab session I'm aching in places that I didn't even know I had muscles any longer. I'm sure it will get easier as it goes on (he says, hopefully). As a result there's been no real exercise today other than a short walk. 
There's also been no creativity to shout about other than some background work.
I had intended to do the first in a series of canvasses ready for the artisan market,
but had to stop due to 'technical difficulties';
i.e. the new die cutter doesn't cut, so that will be going back to the shop tomorrow.
 I have managed to do some work with the tarot, but again not as planned.
I have a new deck, Tarot Art Nouveau, which is a beautiful deck but not easy to interpret
(yes, I was suckered in by the pictures - I love Art Nouveau and Art Deco).
I'll keep working on it, but for serious readings I'll stick with my Sacred Circle tarot,
it holds much more meaning for me.
And that's about it, so I'm off to bed and hope that tomorrow is more fruitful.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Day 4

No artwork in tonight's post as today's creativity has been culinary ready for a family dinner; garlic & lemon chicken, chorizo chicken and colcannon. 
 So, as there's no artwork to show I'll post a pic of a globe thistle I was given by a friend. 

And that's it folks, good night.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Day 3

or Synchronicity?

For a couple of days now I've been thinking of creating something featuring feathers.
This has been brought about by finding small white feathers in unexpected places
(such as the physio department whilst doing an assessment)
I've always taken these as a sign that I'm being watched over,
and had a vague idea of a journal page with a feather or something.

I've also been thinking about balance.
Most people who know me would tend to put me on the light* side,
and it's true that I do tend towards healing and creating,
but I also acknowledge that life has a dark* side.
My deities reflect this, one is known primarily for healing, the other for battle.

Anyway, back to the story.
Today, I decided to cycle to the shop and pick up a few things for tomorrow's dinner**.
On the way there, I stopped as my phone had buzzed.
When I checked it there were no missed calls, texts, etc.
but as I stood there looking at it, I caught sight of a white feather on the ground.
And next to it, a black one.
And by now I know a hint when I see one.
So here's today's creative piece, a journal page.

*Light & dark aren't great descriptors, but they'll do.

** Today's top tip from the university of life. When shopping by bicycle, don't buy more than will fit in your backpack!

Day 2

Just about qualifying for day 2 as it's nearly midnight and I've not long returned from a meditation evening.
 Have only managed three things today, events conspired against me so no exercise :-(
 There has been creativity though, this is the background f,or CJ pages, watercolour and stamped images. 

 I've also decided that I need a name for this challenge, or you're going to be stuck with Day 2, Day 3, etc.
 Suggestions accepted :-)
P.S. no idea how this is going to come out, typing it on my new tablet and not sure what I'm doing yet:-\

Monday, 5 August 2013

Day 1

And so it begins............

I've done something foolish, I've set myself a challenge* (it seemed like a good idea at the time).
I've been off work for two months whilst I convalesced, and in that time I managed to do a couple of journal pages (because I had to) and a couple of pieces for the Diversity exhibition. 
Other than that I did very little. I read a bit, the odd bit of baking, and the daily walks, but mostly I've faffed about on the computer or......., well that's about it actually.
Now, there's nothing wrong with not doing stuff from time to time, but it's become a bit of a habit.
I'm back at work now, but it's a phased return, so just a few hours a day for the next few weeks
(and not even every day yet) so I've set myself things to do until I'm back to working a five day week;
such as putting together some lesson plans for Reiki teaching, getting back to the tarot, and so on.
There's seven things on the list, and I'm aiming to do four a day.
Two of those four will be creating and blogging.
I should be back to a five day week in September, so excluding camping trips, I've got about four weeks.
If I can do it for AEDM, then why not now?
(Feel free to nag me if I don't keep up)
I've also taken a look at myself, and what's happened over the last 2 months.
As a result there's been a change in priorities;
some things are being discarded, and others given more importance.
The same goes with people; a select few have confirmed why I trust them,
some have been conspicuous by their absence
and a couple are on the wrong side of a burning bridge.
Anyway, before I bore you all with my ramblings, here's today's offering.
This is inspired by three friends who I get to meet up with on my trips down to Somerset for the Exmoor Pagan camps. Unfortunately I missed the May camp due to the op, and had to cut the August one short as I wasn't well enough to stay for the whole weekend.
The Three Witches
Watercolour & Gouache, 8x8 art journal page.
Today's other activity includes baking, and digging the bike out of the shed and and actually riding it!

*Apart from the urge to get going again, this is also inspired by recent posts by other people here in blogland, including Tracey Fletcher King, Jenniebellie, Tara Leaver, Dandelionlady, The Wright Stuff, Pauline Leger, and Palma Rea.