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WELCOME to my little arty world! Trying to make art is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Wednesday 12 October 2022

 Hi folks, it's Phil here, Debbie's artist's assistant and other half.  Many of you probably know by now that my lovely Debbie passed away in hospital on 10th Oct, after a very traumatic 24 hours.  I can't detail it all here, but her ongoing problems turned nasty after a fall, and was (eventually) blue-lighted for emergency admission.  It was all too quick, and loss of blood pressure could not be halted with the inevitable results.  Very sad day!  She will be missed and remembered by many as a kind, caring, artistic, generous person.

I hope I'm doing this correctly - don't really know what I'm doing, but hey-ho, got to try!

I'll leave the blog running for now, and try to check back now and then to see what's what.

RIP Debbie  💔💔💔

Wednesday 3 August 2022

WOYWW 687 - Don’t fall off your chair!

 It’s me!!!
Been a while but things got pretty bad here due to my stubbornness to get help with a pressure sore on the side of my tummy but I finally reached breaking point about 6-7 weeks ago & had to admit defeat
Won’t go into all the grisly details - Sally Sore, as she has become known, appeared at the start of the pandemic & I figured my little problem was a drop in the ocean compared to Covid & aimed to manage it myself … or, rather, ourselves as Phil has been pushed to his limits too
So after two & a half years of pain that has pushed me to the very edge of what I could cope with I now have the district nurses helping me & I have finally been able to leave the bedroom after six long months & slowly, slowly things are improving - even to the point of managing three pieces of art in the last fortnight!  
Still need plenty of lie-downs when it all gets too uncomfortable but, generally, things are on the up!
Am sounding very sorry for myself but am aware of how much worse others are dealing with so do have it all in perspective I hope


So to my work desk (ok at the moment it is the dining room table) - started a new piece yesterday but didn’t think to actually photograph my desk in true WOYWW spirit so beg forgiveness - in all honesty I didn’t think I would ever get back to it so please allow me, dearest Julia, to break the rules here & just share the three pieces I have managed
Not really pleased with any of them for various reasons - composition of “Little Birds”, colours of “Computer Bug” & a few things of “Pink Bohemian” - but can live with them as I crawl my way back




All inspired by the wonderful on-line classes Finnabair does for her Patreons 

Hopefully I will remember how to link up tomorrow & may, or may not dip my toes back into the world of WOYWW - taken a few naughty words but I think I have remembered … so THE STAMPING GROUND is the place to head

Please do not feel you need to leave any comments as I have no idea if I will be in a position to make any reciprocal visits - it is just lovely to be back with inky, messy fingers again

Much love 

Wednesday 12 January 2022

WOYWW 658 (Father Frost’s Hut)

 One of Finnabair’s video classes for her Patreons was Father Frost’s Hut & as soon as I saw it I knew I had to give it a go

Father Frost is the Slavic equivalent of Father Christmas but with a beautiful blue coat as opposed to our much more familiar red (a certain fizzy drink manufacturer has a lot to answer for!)

The idea of a winter wonderland certainly called to me so I gathered together some bits & bobs & set to work

   Nowhere near the standard of Finn’s hut of course - she really does have the magic touch - but I am quite pleased with the outcome & really enjoyed the process

It is now extremely difficult for me to do any sort of art these days due to an ongoing little problem (body, not mind) so instead of a few hours this took several days … but what is it they say about it being the journey & not the destination that matters?

Also really difficult to WOYWW on a regular basis so HUGE apologies if I am not able to visit you back - I will do my best but it really is dependent on my poorly tummy

The wonderful world of WOYWW desk hopping can be found over at Julia’s at The Stamping Ground

Sunday 19 December 2021

Christmas 2021

Having stressed and stressed about our Christmas cards this year I had just about convinced myself to buy them

But when FTiming with one of the nephews he asked me what I was up to and I sighed that I was trying to summon up the energy and will to make the cards but also that I no longer enjoy making cards &, having not been able to sit to craft for months and months, had no idea how I was going to manage them

"So don't do them!" he urged

"Don't do them" his wife shouted from the background

But then her face appeared around the edge of the screen ...

"But everyone will be expecting a Debbie card.  We love our Auntie Debbie cards"

SOoooooo ... 100 cards later & a lot of help from hubby (including fixing my broken Big Shot) I had them done

Afraid I still had to resort to sending a few bought ones but, hey-ho, I did my best

All my usual tag style - apart from the family ones because my sister always moans that she can't stand up a tag card

Most people who know me know how much I loathe the colour pink - so had to put a warning on a couple of envelopes suggesting they sit themselves down, adopt the brace position & have smelling salts or a stiff drink at the ready

 They were all pretty much the same apart from the wording at the top ... some said WISH & some NOEL

The family still get a tag ... it's just stuck to a card that opens - I win!!!

Sorry about the splodge - wrote the card before I realised I had not taken a photo


Decided on penguins for the littlies - changed the colour of the scarves & their names but otherwise all the same

Evidentally the penguin on the inside was a great hit with Rex


 Henry had penguins last year so went with his obsession with the Marvel type characters and it was The Hulk who called to me

 I wasn't able to do much for the friends to whom I like to send a small token each year ... so had to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

 Also just about managed to make doves again this year for Nick.  I make 11 each year for the family

Poured resin doves & my much preferred mixed media style which I find easier to do than faffing around with die-cuts and bits of paper

Again the colours do not show up very well - shades of green, brown & gold

You will, no doubt, spot the very deliberate mistake - yeah, right! Only spotted it myself once it was too late to fix ... that gold icing paste dries really quite fast and there was no going back having come this far

Teach me to get up at 3am to work on these as they were playing very heavily on my mind - had almost decided I would have to admit defeat and accept my limited capabilities but just about managed to get them done

Of course, the stars in the background should be diagonal from top corner to the bottom and it annoys me intensely that I stuffed up

So that brings my year of crafting to a close

Can't believe how little I have done compared to last year with all the lockdown giveaways but guess none of us know what awaits us and we just have to go with the flow

Wishing everyone a very 

Happy Chirstmas and heartfelt wishes for a much better 2022 for everyone


Catching up

 Can’t quite believe how long it has been since I blogged but, hey-ho, time flies, eh?

This is just a last minute catch up - trying to get this year’s projects recorded before the year actually ends!

There isn’t actually that much as I wasn’t able to do any art work for months

This one was based on a video from the wonderful Finnabair but as it used techniques I was already used to I decided to use it as an excersise in colour - the one area that still scares me!

Had to take a deep breath with the green but ended up glad I did as it has become one of my favourites which surprises me as it is far more shiny & sparkly than appears here - blame the limitations of my photography 

There were then several bleak months until I did this one for a birthday gift

The photo is of Nicola (&was taken by nephew Alfie)

I was asked a few years ago to do something with Chuckie’s old shoes but had neither the knowledge or abilities to even know where to start

Am glad I waited as there were tears (happy ones) when the gift was opened

I considered several photos but was drawn to this one & enjoyed matching - or trying to - the colours to the embellishments 

 I deliberately kept the horseshoes as natural as I could and the embellishments to a minimum as I wanted them to be the main point of interest

There were nails still attached to them which I wanted to use but no way could I leave them in place due to their position, so hubby removed them for me and I included three of them in the design ... can you spot them?


Nothing has stopped me doing my bobble blankets ... had a full order book pretty much all year but finally found time to do three toddler sized ones for three of my litties (great-nephews)  The eldest, Henry, already has a full sized one and the youngest, Luna, had one around her birthday back in June

Then I decided it was time Rex, Louis & Arthur proressed from their baby bobbles and I set about ordering yarn ... all carefully chosen to be similar,but different

Plan backfired ... Louis was here one day as I was working on an order & he came over to stroke it

"I don't like blue bobbles," he announced

"I like yellow ones" (right now EVERYTHING has to be yellow

So more yarn ordered and success was declared

I decided I was happy with the yarn chosen for Arthur so went with it

But then came Rex and now up aginst the clock as more orders had come in

I knew from the moment I did the first foundation row of chains that I hated that yarn and no way was it right for Rex

Might grow on me, I thought, so carried on

It didn't

So - more yarn ordered and this time I was much happier

Rex was too & his reaction made everything worthwhile

I generally only do full sized blankets but made an exception for my littles

Hugs & love from Auntie when we can't have as many real ones as we would like


Now I am able to sit for short periods of time I have lots of plans for the new year - lots of projects waiting to come to life ... or not, according to how I feel about them once done!

Watch this space and it might not be six months until my next post


Wednesday 23 June 2021


 Julia - our wonderful Head Desker over at The Stamping Ground - likes it brief so brief it is

Mostly as way of an apology to her for last week's overly long offering and then because my mood is struggling somewhat so I may not manage any visits this week

My desk is bare but will share what has been on it these past few days

Remember that box of treasure sent to me by Mary Anne?

Well, she would not accept any payment - not even the postage - but did say she liked most of what I have done in the past so would be happy to receive a small make back

But what a dilemma!!!!!  "Most" of what I have done she said - what if I go and pick one of the things that were not to her taste!!!!  

So - Clever Debbie - went back a good few months on her blog and figured out she likes to journal ... dilemma solved and fingers crossed a journaller can never have too many journals

I used around 20 ( or so ) bits & bobs from the treasure Mary Anne sent me - I wonder how many she can find

Deliberately kept the back as flat as I could to make it easier to work with

So - dear Mary Anne - thank you again for the wonderful box of bits - true treasure indeed



All the little keepsakes that were asked for should now have been received - have one here ready to post out as soon as the person lets me know their address ... no offence taken if you have changed your mind ... I will hang on to it for another week or so in case you get in touch

Two are on their way overseas  & I hope they do not take too long to arrive

If you said you would like one and have not received it yet do please give me a kick up the bum because it is quite likely I missed or misunderstood your request- either email me or message me on Facebook


Happy WOYWW'ing everyone


Wednesday 9 June 2021

WOYWW 627 - This one is for Shaz

 Firstly HUGE apologies for not making it to any of your wonderful desks last week - have not been feeling great lately and got myself into such a tizz that I just had to back off trying to do all I wanted to and then I slept for the best part of four days

In these continuing very uncertain times sometimes things seem just a bit too much & I have found I can trip merrily along but then, wham, my feet disappear from under me and the ZZzzzz's are the best option

Anyway, to this week's leap (or crawl) around fellow deskers, all courtesy of our wonderful Julia at The Stamping Ground

Whilst working on a piece for Doug, with Shaz very much in my thoughts I began to wonder if any of her WOYWW friends might like a litle keepsake too

So I made some smaller ones (feeling the two wolves were really only appropirate for Doug) & I will happily send one to anyone who would like one

I will make as many (or as few!) as are needed so nobody will miss out - just email me your address or FB message me & I will get one in the post to you

They are only small - 10 x 10cm (3 1/2 x 3 1/2") or the size of a coaster

The colours were hopefully to represent Shaz - the Silverwolf speaks for itself and the black and burgundy could only be our Shaz - then there is a touch of green for her much loved peacock feather

They are all everso slightly sparkly now as this one looked a bit flat to me - wasn't sure if Shaz approved of glitter or not but figured she would forgive me if the sparkles were black


The piece for Doug was on a wooden panel - can't recall the size - not that it matters, of course

I had a very firm impression in my mind of what the two wolves would represent and I will admit to much hesitation before making it but hoped Doug knows me well enough to know it would only have been made out of love - and then having the odd weep as it progressed

Once finished it was either deliver it NOW or hide it away so my own darling hubby was despatched the short journey to "just push it through the door" - I didn't want a grand handing over gesture

Of course, it wouldn't fit through the door!!!!!! So Phil was caught loitering outside Doug's door by his two brothers and the dilemma of where to leave it was solved

I did put a small note in with the panel but said nothing of what I thought it might represent because I simply did not want to upset Doug  - I decided to leave it to his own interpretation

Later that night a message pinged and my heart leapt into my mouth when I saw it was from Doug and he began telling me what he saw in my piece - it was as if we were reading the same script and he totally got it

More tears and another box of tissues (thank goodness I have, er, a few boxes in stock ... not that I have hoarded them, you understand)

The colours are rubbish in the full frontal version - the one below is much more accurate


If I don't ever make another piece again then this one was why I began my little sticking-metal-to-planks-of-wood journey in the first place - not because I was pleased with the composition or the colouring - but simply down to Doug's such very kind words
It sucks 
Considering it is something we all have to face at some point we are so very ill-equipped to deal with it
From the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking grief of losing family to the unbearable grief of losing  a partner (which I simply can't bear to imagine) it is a very long and difficult path ... a path I don't think you ever leave but, somehow, learn to tread
Then there is the grief of losing a friend - were Shaz and I best friends? No. Were we good and close friends? I do believe we were - shared many a giggle and she was one of those friends not afraid to laugh or cry with me or give me a good kick up the bum when needed.  Her support was unquestionable and I loved her to bits.  Goes without saying I was truly blessed to have had her in my life and I miss her - as I know lots of us do - very much 
It took me an extraordinarily long time to come to terms (if, indeed, I have) with losing mommy in 2006  - took me pretty much ten years of searching for a resolution to my grief
I wanted to be told that in six months, a year, five years I would be "OK" - or once all the first anniversaries were out of the way I'd be "OK"
"OK" just never happens and you are forever a changed person - a broken, battered and bruised version of yourself but one that, will, in time be able to appear "OK" - but I now know I will never be the other Debbie
Grief - as I said, it sucks
A huge turning point for me was not the endless & unrelenting Googling "How to survive a  loss" (or pick any one of a milion other titles), it was not ringing helplines or messaging bereavement groups
It came whilst watching a favourite TV show (Criminal Minds) where, at the end of each episode one of the characters is heard reading a quote
There I was that evening when I heard the quote below ... it stopped me in my tracks and I FINALLY got it - finally understood this thing called grief, and from here I began to turn the corner and this quote has been my lifeline ever since
"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds'.  I do not agree.
The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting it's sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone."
Rose Kennedy 

Wednesday 2 June 2021

WOYWW #626

 Not much of a desk view but more the treasure box upon it

A box full of items that make any mixed media artist tingle - it really was like Christmas morning & I can’t thank Mary-Anne Walters enough for her amazing generosity


Pop over to The Stamping Ground to blog-hop around wonderful arty-crafty desks & see what everyone else is up to


Wednesday 26 May 2021

WOYWW 625 - One year and a week

See, that's just how it happens 

One week into our 12th year already - they say time flies when you are having fun so am choosing to ignore what a grotty week it's been and focus on the good things

Like my beautiful collection of ATC's that arrived!

How wonderful it is to have little pieces of original artwork - reflections of those who have made them - each beautiful and unique

I feel very lucky indeed 


Are they not just all amazing?  I love each and every oee of them and am very happily adding them to my collection

Thank you so much to Neet, Jan, Helen, Caro, Diana & Zsuzsa

 My desk this week is still empty but plans are afoot - just waiting on a new mould to arrive and the size of it will determine my next projects

I have half a thought to Do Something that will involve fellow WOYWW'ers and maybe other crafty friends who do not blog ... but it is still all mulling around in my befuddled brain

if it goes ahead, you will be the first to know

Via, of course, our beautiful Leader & Head Desker, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground

I wasn't able to make as many ATC's as I normally due

Totally due to brain failure as I read Julia's blog each week and even screenshot all the info to have close at hand ... then a few days before last Wednesday I realised I hadn't actually made mine yet

How stupid can I get (answers on impossible to find postcards please)

So, after much tossing and turning and searching on-line for ideas at stupid o'clock I figured I should just do what I do

So I did


Happy WOYWW'ing xXx 
PS ... I had a few comments bounce back to me after my visit to your desks last week so I have no idea if my comments posted or not.  I had "Mail Delivery Status Notifications" for Appletonmob, Angelajr, Susanrenhaw & Dragonsmoore so please don't think I did not bother to visit you xXx

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Anniversary ATC's

 Now they have all been received I can share my ATC's made for the WOYWW 12th Anniversary

I wasn't able to make nearly as many as I normally do - mainly due to total brain failure as I read Julia's blog each week but still failed to pick up on the fact I actually need to make the ATC's in time for the anniversary

That, plus i simply have no idea where time goes and the anniversary came around before I knew it

Once I knew what I wanted to do I really enjoyed making these but, having been chastised in the past for not making proper ATC's I have been on tenterhooks waiting for the backlash

None has come so I guess all is well!


They have not photographed at all well and are more shimmery than appear here but you get the idea

Wednesday 19 May 2021


 Another amazing anniversary reached for our much loved Julia - Head Desker over at  The Stamping Ground

Another chance to celebrate the network of support and friendship she has fostered along with a bit of arty-crafty stuff thrown in for good measure

I have to admit I am not the best WOYWW'er amongst us - really no excuses other than dreadfully poor time management and still struggling with the "new" blogger but, being determined to join in the anniversary of Julia's inspired idea all those years ago, here I am!

So to my desk - awfully boring as I cleared away after making the ATC's and am now ready to tackle a new project tomorrow ... or the next day ... or whenever.  Either way my desk will soon disappear amidst the chaos in which I seem to work!

The clock on the wall pretty much gives it away - that I took the photos at 4.30pm yesterday.  The sun was shining and it seemed to be a sign.  

Forgive there being two photos ... I could have taken one of those long, panoramic shot thingies but that would mean knowing how to take one of those long, panoramic shot thingies ... which I don't  (& had no inclination to try and figure it out)

The observnnt amongst you will notice the two white trolleys holding my sprays have disappeared from the second photo ... they are only pushed out of sight in order to make for a better photo - afraid I couldn't be bothered to remove them and then retake the first photo ... but you will get the idea
So - to the main purpose of this blog 
and to thank, again, Julia, for bringing some very special people into my life 
I have my ATC ready to send to my "official" recipient and I have three spare so if you'd like one just shout up


Tuesday 18 May 2021

When is a brush not a brush? When it's altered!

 Am going through a bit of an altered paintbrush phase 

Finnabair did one for her Patreons and I was totally inspired so had a go

Had a couple of dodgy moments with it so TWICE walked away from it, but then got up the next morning and it sort of fell into place and I ended up really enjoying doing it - and being pleased with the result too ... think that's progress!

The focal point was a brooch I had - I used to be very into brooches - a very 80's thing and I have some beauties that will not be going anywhere near my art work but this one I felt could be repurposed  

Also  decided to Be Brave and use colours I would not normally choose - greens and purples - but it paid off as I have another favourite colour palette now

The sentiment seems to sum up how I have been feeling lately so captures a moment in time for me

 Have since done two more - the first one was a commission and the second a gift for someone going through a really tough time right now


Friday 2 April 2021

Dance Slowly

 Started this violin - my third one - some time ago but could never get the composition as I wanted so gave up and put it in the cupboard until inspiration came a-calling again

It took a while but as soon as I saw Finnabairs new ornate frame mould I had a spark of an idea

This violin had such a beautiful shiny wooden case that, although damaged in parts, was too good to paint over so I left it to speak for itself and hoped the decoration would sit happily in contrast ... this is why there is no glitter or beads added to the composition 

Once it started to fall into place I loved making this - shades of peacock blue, copper and gold - very much my favourite colours to use

Let there be light

 Finnabair has kept us Patreons busy with all her wonderful on-line workshops - both live and pre-recorded

This one was live and my attempt is almost a direct copy of hers as I wanted to get to grips with the techniques she demonstrated

The little light unit itself was from Ikea & they were fast disappearing as Finn worked through her demo - wish I had bought more now but maybe it is a good thing I only bought one

I attempted to buy a suitable candlestick at the same time but had to laugh when it came ... note to self: check the sizes before ordering!!!

The light is battery operated & still opens so the battery can be repaced should the need ever arise & himself was on hand to chop down the candlestick to a more appropriate height - the bonus being I now have another half of a candlestick to play with ... win-win really

Object of the workshop was to achieve the patina look that old brass gets over the years ... gold shiny bits showing through where stuff has been handled 

I did completely miss out one stage by not paying enough attention but managed to get a result of sorts


Excuse the messy background but spot the deliberate mistake

Spark of Life

 Another piece inspired by an on-line class Finnabair did for her Patreons - I loved the colours she used and knew it would be a challenge for me to use similar

Just took a deep breath and went with it knowing I could always paint it over and start again if it went wrong

For once I am TOTALLY happy with what I did and it might even be one of my  favourite pieces of all time

Again struggled to decided what to use as my focal point - Finn used her new bird skulls moulds but skulls of any kind are not really for me so I knew they were not an option

Had a good rummage through my box of gathered bits & bobs and the spark plugs called to me

Knew I wanted to work an a tatty plank of wood so himself went off on a mission to see what he could find and came back with a recently replaced fence panel - I wanted it a little more jaggedy so into the garden he went to stamp on it ... still too long

Can you lost about three inches of it? 

More stamping and then it was just what I wanted