Saturday, 26 July 2014

Yam and the Octopus

Here is the third instalment of Folk Tales of the Sea People, part of goals 46 and 55 on The List!

This time, a curious young boy finds himself in a spot of bother. If only he hadn't been so nosy!

Yam and the Octopus, June 2014
Yam and the Octopus

Long ago, there was a boy named Yam. He lived in a village in the very middle of a deep blue sea, far beneath the surface where humans would one day come to sail. Yam was a thoughtful boy, and was often to be seen floating upon the currents, letting the sea take him where it wished, as he lost himself in his imagination. Yam was the kind of boy who stopped to look at the tiny fish within the plants (indeed, he stopped to look at the plants too). All the other boys in his village raced around as fast as their tails could carry them, but Yam preferred to progress slowly about his day, and to observe everything he could. This also made him a rather nosy boy, and he often spied upon the people of the village. Thus, he was somewhat unpopular.

One day, Yam fell asleep and let the currents sweep him further than they had before, as he was a careless child. When he awoke, he found himself far away from the village. Not knowing which way to go home, Yam decided to make the best of his situation and explore his new terrain, for he could certainly look for his way home later.
He was in an empty place with many black rocks, and as he investigated he discovered a huge cave. Yam was unafraid of the dark and foreboding depths of the cave. He swam in as far as he could before the darkness swallowed the light. But the cave was disinteresting: only plain black rock and shadows. He was about to turn around and swim out again when he heard a quiet murmur.
“Hello?” he called out, hoping it was someone to play with. “Is somebody there?”
The murmur became a grumble, and Yam called out again.
“Hello? Can you hear me?”
The grumble became a rumble, so Yam called louder, starting to think there was something amiss.

Monday, 21 July 2014

A Havsrå’s Fortune

Here comes the second story in Folk Tales of the Sea People!
I would have shared this sooner, but I spent the past week trying to troubleshoot my laptop and to spare the technical details, it died and I have a new one now (which arrived today!)

So here it is, story number two, with painting number three...

A Havsrå’s Fortune, June 2014

A Havsrå’s Fortune

There was once a Havsrå, who lived in the waters of the northern shore. She spent her days seated upon the rocks, singing to herself and watching the sea for ships.
The northern shore was dangerous and many a ship had sunk in her time, though through the Havsrå’s aid, very few sailors had lost their lives. Not one of them knew they owed their survival to the Havsrå, for a human would forget her the moment he turned his gaze away: it was part of the Havsrå’s curse.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Retro Refashion

Last week I added another goal to The List, bringing it to a total of 80 so far!
080. Refashion/upcycle 3 items of clothing

At the weekend, I finished the first one, and I'm dead chuffed with how it turned out.
I started off with this retro dress, purchased last year at one of To Be Worn Again's kilo sales.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Halwyn, or A Pinch of Salt

Yesterday, I posted an introduction to my writing/painting project, Folk Tales of the Sea People.
Here comes the first proper story!

Halwyn, or A Pinch of Salt, June 2014

Halwyn, or A Pinch of Salt

There was once a far-away sea that held no salt. It was cut off from the other oceans of the world, surrounded by vast lands that stretched as far as could be seen. To the north loomed huge mountains of grey and white, to the east an endless expanse of green, speckled with little red and white houses in the distance. The south border of the sea met with desert sands, whilst the west was mostly mud and swamp. It is in the west of this sea that this story takes place.

The people lived well there, with a good supply of food and handsome dwellings built into the very bed of the sea. Occasionally the legged ones from the mudlands went onto the sea in boats and sent down their hooks, but on days like that the people kept away from the surface. They were used to the strange ways of the legged ones, and knew the dangers of the hooks and nets.

But it was an unexpected danger that came upon them, not from above, but from below.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Folk Tales of the Sea People

I may have mentioned a little while ago that I have a project to share 'soon'.
This project is now complete, and encompasses two goals from the list!
046. Write 10 original stories of 1000+ words
055. Create 52 paintings in 1 year
This project is called Folk Tales of the Sea People. It's a collection of 'fairy stories' that take a little inspiration from Grimm's fairytales in places. The twist is, these stories are presented as folk tales from people of the sea (hence the title), collected by the fictitious explorer, Cadogan Browne.

Now and again, I'll be posting 10 of these, plus accompanying paintings.
For the time being, here is the 'Preface and Introduction'. Soon I'll be posting the actual stories, too...though I suppose this counts as a story too, as it's entirely fictional...

Folk Tales of the Sea People (cover), June 2014

Thursday, 10 July 2014


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Don't forget that I also run a crafting blog, Unfortunately Oh!, where you can find DIYs for fashion, jewellery and more :)

A Dream in the Red Noon

Two more paintings today! These aren't completely new, but I've been putting off (*cough*forgot*cough*) posting them here until now.

Today's theme is landscapes.

Red Noon, June 2014
Red Noon: This is an image that nearly always pops into my head when I listen to Nookicky's album, Noon Moon. The laid-back tone of the music always conjures images of rocks, being high up on a warm day, and sand.
Medium: Watercolour on watercolour paper

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Fairly recently I added another goal to The List:
071. Have a picnic
I added this because I've not picniced since I was a child--I remember going off on walks with my family, and a spread of delicious food being brought out of a cool box in some expanse of grass.

My neighbour and I had arranged to explore some of the local public footpaths today, so I jumped at the chance to bring along a picnic. After our wander along footpaths and through fields, we found a nice area amongst some trees, spread out a tablecloth tucked into a pile of junk food!
I don't feel guilty for the junk food though--I burned it all off during the walk! Hurrah!

It was nice to walk in the countryside and to stop for some food towards the end of it. One day I'll do this again, with a picnic hamper of ham sandwiches, scones and tea in a thermos flask!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Goal Shopping

I did a little shopping today, and I'm pleased to say that some of it will help towards goals on The List!

Sod Abroad by Michael Moran
I happened upon this book by chance when I was waiting in WH Smiths for my mum and sister to finish at the checkout. Was amazed to see it was only £1, and it looks good, so I can get this goal under way:
050. Read 3 books per month for 1 year
(I was trying to read The Gormenghast Trilogy, but I may let that one lie for a little while--it's long and will take me ages to read!)

These came from the 99p store. I didn't specifically go in for chocolate, but I remembered my attempt to try 50 different ones.

A nice-sized sketchbook from Tiger, for a very reasonable £3.
Right at the beginning of The List is this goal...
001. Fill a sketchbook with artwork/studies of only one subject
I'm not 100% on what subject I'll choose, but I'm considering hands. I have always struggled to draw them, so this is a good opportunity to figure them out, isn't it!

Additions to The List

Thanks to Lilia of Paracosm of Lilies, I was able to add more goals to The List!
She left me a great list of fantastic suggestions on a recent post, and I ended up adding these:

073.  Learn 3 dance routines

074. Write 3 songs/pieces of music (and let people hear them)

075. Make something delicious using something I usually hate the taste of

076. Make 3 sculptures

077. Make a short film or animation

078. Read a fiction book in another language

Some of these will be seriously challenging!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Carnival!: The Day the Fair Came to Town

On Saturday I went to the annual fair in a local village. I try to go each year (even if my sole objective is a hot dog from the Scouts hot dog stand !)

The fair has been running for just over 700 years and since I don't know when, has had a theme for each year. This year, the theme was 'Carnival'!

Shopkeepers had the chance to participate in a 'Best Dressed Window' competition--above is one of my favourites; it really caught my eye and is brilliantly put together. Very deservingly, it won first place!

Over the course of the afternoon I saw the procession but also had the opportunity to work on a goal...


Realised that there is no way I'll even start the Couch to 5k running plan. My motivation is practically non-existent and as I originally wrote, I was concerned about how it would effect my knees (knee trouble is a thing in my family!)

So I am swapping out that goal on The List! 

Old goal:
045. Complete Couch to 5k running plan

New goal:
045. Complete the 100 Push Ups training program
(I may seriously regret this...even one knee-push up is a challenge!)

Also, I am still looking for ideas for things to add to The List.

I've written before that I want goals that will:
  • Expand my Horizons
  • Broaden my Knowledge
  • Improve my Health
  • Challenge my Creativity
  • Challenge my Self
  • Be fun!
 Please comment if you have ideas! :D

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Teatime and the Colour of Smoke and Mist

Teatime in the Forest, March 2014

Way back when I wrote The List, I included a goal about painting...
055. Create 52 Paintings in 1 Year
Ten, fifteen years ago, I painted fairly often (acrylics being my medium of choice) and whilst I was never going to become the next Warhol or Waterhouse, I got enjoyment out of using my imagination, creating the vision on paper, and carefully mixing the perfect shade for skintone, the sky, etc.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

A Nutty Viennese Bee

It's chocolate time again!

This time I tried out some chocolate that I've had for a while - as far back as Christmas! - but never got around to eating. Until now. ;)