Saturday, 31 December 2016

december 2016

Goodbye December. And goodbye 2016. But hello New Years Eve night out... *trots off in heels with a glass of fizz*

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

party time

I found these pandas today. I'd forgotten about them. They were on a pile. A big pile.
I like it when I have time to do my own stuff as well as client work. Hasn't happened enough recently.
Anyway....enough of the drawing for drawing's sake, I have a party to attend tonight.... followed by a night out with the girls tomorrow.... followed by a day of liver recovery before New Year's Eve on Saturday.
I love school holidays me!

Monday, 26 December 2016

dvd duvet day

I had a dvd-duvet-day today. Without the dvd. It was awesome. I didn't even get dressed! I've never had one before. No wonder people show off about them on Facebook. Beats making polite conversation with extended family members whilst eating turkey curry and vol-au-vents on Boxing Day :)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

merry christmas!

I did a late night trolley dash round M&S last night for Christmas dinner. Not too busy at all and generally a very pleasant shopping experience. If you don't count the fact that half the shelves had been emptied by the 250,000 stampeding nutters who went in the afternoon and grabbed what they could. Anyway I got most of what I needed. There'll be no RedCabbageBraisedWithBramleyApplesAndRedcurrantJelly this year. But we'll manage.
I was so relaxed after my shop that I called in at Ikea for new serving bowls. And left with a new pot for all my pens, new wine glasses, tealights, gift tags, teatowels, bowls, six new cushion covers and six cushions to stuff them with... a job well done.

So we're all set now.
Have a lovely Christmas people xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

no snow

Ok...can it snow now please....thanks x

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

winter solstice

Yay! It's the shortest day! Summer is on it's way after today. Woohoo!
Although I have to say that winter isn't quite so crap when your alarm doesn't go off in the middle of the night. I'm loving school holidays these days. I used to snarl at people who looked forward to the break because for me it always meant squeezing the same amount of work into fewer hours. Now my kids aren't interested in me any more - apart from to provide meals and taxi services - I have loads more time on my hands. And they sleep in. Till really late. So I can too. AND I've decided not to work this week. What's the point in being self employed if you can't have the week off! So I'm feeling very organised and festive and totally smug. Apologies to those of you not so will happen one day, I promise x

Friday, 16 December 2016

christmas jumper day

Christmas jumpers in my wardrobe are strictly plain black and of high quality. Lucky I don't work in a public place then. I would stand out like a sore thumb today.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

maxing out on seasonal affective disorder

Today is the last day of school this year for the little one. So we worked it out as we walked across the more this morning IN THE DARK that this was the darkest school run of the winter and it's all going in the right direction from now on. Thank god for that!
I remember that I hate January every year but I forgot that December is pretty grim too. It's disguised a bit because of all the festivities. And then the school hols start so I don't have to get up so early...which is a bonus. But it's still bloody dark and grey and damp all the time.
We actually only get 20 minutes more daylight than the hygged up folks in Denmark. Without the candles, pastries and shorter working hours. And snow. Without the snow. The snow makes everything brighter doesn't it? No wonder I'm fed up!
I googled S.A.D and I have all the symptoms. The treatments are apparently: drugs and CBT, (a bit drastic) exercise in daylight (fat chance of's dark on my dog walk and I don't have another time slot) and light therapy (which they say is not actually proven to work)
They don't mention the obvious treatment. Buy a second home in a sunny country and live there for 3 months. That's what I plan to do when my school days are over. Five. More. Winters.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

christmas christmas christmas

My sister and her family are buggering off to Florida on Friday for Christmas and New Year. So we all had Christmas dinner today at my Mum and Dad's. 
And I trimmed the tree before we went. And last night we had our girls Christmas night out on the razz. AND I started (and almost finished) my Christmas shopping this week too. 
So Christmas Christmas Christmas it is. Which is fine. Cos it's December. Not September. Being festive is like totally ok in December. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

it's beginning to look less like Autumn

If I'd have had time to have a moan on here in the last couple of weeks I would have been banging on about what has been the most annoying 'thing' ever on facebook... The photos of a newly erected Christmas tree, complete with tasteful (or otherwise) (mostly otherwise) decoration and the most irritating of phrases: "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" 
The ones doing this at the end of November needed a punch in the nose. It wasn't beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it was still looking very much like Autumn and they needed to shut up and find something interesting to do with their lives!

Anyway. I didn't have time to have a moan. I didn't even have time to have a wee most days. And now it's only 2 weeks away it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it's too late for a rant.
As you were.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

november 2016

So that was November.
And now.... on to December. 
If you're looking for the annual advent countdown I'm afraid it's not happening this year. I just can't fit it in. I've got so much work booked in for December already and I haven't even started to think about Christmas pressies and stuff. I'm gonna give myself a nervous breakdown if I have to commit to anything else. 
Plus I do think the whole advent thing has been done to death now. When Lizzie made me do it in 2012 no-one else seemed to do it. Now everyone and their dog has a go. It's like bloody #inktober.

I have to say we're also a bit sick of people nicking the designs too. The Dotty Wren advents that we've done have been used on loads of stuff. I think people think they're some sort of free download to use on their products as they wish. We don't get too arsey about people printing them out and using them for their own kids advents. That's quite cute. But we do draw the line at the companies who blatantly rip them off and use them in their Christmas ranges. Which has happened. A lot. 
So it's an advent free zone round here I'm afraid. Those big corporations will have to find someone else's artwork to steal this year. 
Ho ho ho. 🎅🏼

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

black friday

Bloody Black Friday is getting on my nerves. Every advert on the telly. 800 million emails in my inbox. I've even started getting sodding texts from companies with "amazing offers". Bugger off! I'm not interested! 
And to cap it all I'm going to London for the weekend with my sis and our 2 eldest for a girly birthday shopping trip! We didn't flipping realise when we booked it that we were at risk of being trampled by a load of stampeding bargain hunters. 

Sunday, 20 November 2016


The other half needed new glasses. He actually can't really see anything in his old ones. It's a problem. And quite probably a danger. So we went en famille for new ones today. He went 'cos obvs he needed to. I went 'cos he can't choose new spex on his own. The little one came 'cos we made him. And the big one came cos she's meant to be revising for her mock physics GCSE tomorrow but couldn't resist the lure of the shopping. And she hates physics.
Anyway. Job done. New spex ordered. 

Friday, 18 November 2016


It snowed today.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

new 'friend'

I've got a new friend. He's a retired bloke who I see on a morning. He lives up the road. He's very lovely. But he's doing my bloody head in. I can't get away from him. I walk the little one to his friend's house then take the dog on a loop round the village and back home. I get to the street that leads to our house at 8.20 am. The exact same time as my new friend arrives back from buying his newspaper. He crosses the road to bore me with his latest tale and doesn't understand my urgency to get away so I can start work. I've started making up 'important meetings' and urgent tasks just to get away. 
I know it's mean. He only wants a chat. But I'm sick of hearing about his family in Castleford and the time he cut his thumb and was off work for 4 months and his trip to Blackpool with his wife. He's one of those people who isn't interested in the slightest in any conversational input from anyone else, just needs to get his own boring story out. And of course he's got all day to talk crap with people who are too polite to run away. He's retired!
I've tried taking longer on my dog walk to miss him but he waits for me. And yesterday when I raced round and got back early he RAN to catch up with me!
I'm seriously thinking about driving to school. Or selling the dog... 
(I'm joking Minnie! Not really! It's a joke!)

Monday, 7 November 2016

don't mention the C word

I saw this thing on facebook. It said "There are 12 days of Christmas and none of them are in fucking November"
Ha ha. I could have written it myself. If I was funny enough. 
It annoys me every year when people harp on about it in bloody September. Get a life!
I AM feeling the need to get my card sorted and sent to the printer. So *quiet voice* I started some CHRISTMAS ideas last night.
Anyway. I got bored of it and went off on a tangent. One bear head, 9 bear faces...

Sunday, 6 November 2016

saturday nights rock in our house

I made a pattern out of my little houses. Last night. Saturday night. Cos what else are Saturday nights for? Bonfire, Beer and BitOfPatternMaking round here! None of that fancy NightOnTheTown malarky for us this week. We were hygge'd up to the max!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

living danishly

Suddenly it's flipping freezing. And dark. And a bit wet. And DARK. And not very bloody warm.
FFS. That's it now till April isn't it?
I'm gonna have to get all hygge. It's the in thing to do. The only thing to do. I read the book last year. Living Danishly. That's me now. Light some candles. Get a fluffy blanket. Put some wood in the wood burner. Eat some pastries. Play Scrabble.
Till April.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

october 16

Well the whole flipping year is whizzing by!! This was October....

Monday, 31 October 2016

Saturday, 22 October 2016

too much work..not enough play

I have worked my arse off this week trying to catch up after our impromptu hospital vacation. And I have spent most of today drawing Things That Go for a new book. Stuff like Snowmobiles and Container Ships. And Light Aircraft. And other vehicle complexities. Not really my thing. My head is aching. Had to bang out a quickie bit of moose cuteness to compensate...

Time to get the glad rags on now and go get hammered with the other half.
Happy weekend people.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

birthday boy

It's the other half's birthday tomorrow. We can't decide where to go. Two out of the four of us can't walk very well. The other half has a knackered knee ligament which is awaiting an operation and the little one is still walking like a little old man after the removal of his appendix. It's gonna be slow wherever we go...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

unexpected mini break

The little one and I had an unplanned mini break this weekend. To Bradford Royal Infirmary. 2 nights on the main children's ward and 2 nights on the children's surgical ward. 
So a 2 centre break if you like.

The troubles started on Saturday morning when he was moaning that his stomach hurt. I did what every caring parent would do under the circumstances. I told him to have a poo. 
By 11am, when the pain had moved to his right side and he'd been sick twice it was becoming apparent that it wasn't a general poo problem. I phoned the NHS helpline. They got us an appointment to see a doctor at the hospital. We stayed there for 4 days. And we were one appendix lighter when we came out.

The kids surgical ward is closed on a weekend 'cos they mainly cater for routine ops so we spent the first 2 nights on the general ward. There were a lot of screaming little people there. LOUD screaming little people. All night. I had a lovely little camp bed next to Alf but I didn't sleep much. He slept like a brick.
He had his appendix removed on Sunday morning. He came round, said "You told me it wouldn't hurt any more!" then went back to sleep. I guess I was wrong.
At 7.30 on Monday morning a man in a white uniform appeared at the foot of my camp bed. 
Man in white uniform: "Did anyone tell you that you'd be moving wards today"
Me: "Nope."
MIWU: "Oh. Well you are."
Me: "OK, how long do I have to pack"
MIWU: "I'm here to collect you now"
Well I was still in my pj's with no makeup on and hair like a bush. I had to quickly throw all the belongings we had accumulated over 2 days (a lot) into our bags and run after him while he pushed Alf's bed. In my socks. And pyjamas. Through the hospital. For about 2 miles. Still, as it was Bradford I didn't look any different to anyone else. At least I had teeth.

Anyway, after 2 days on Ward 2 we were deemed fit enough for release and we escaped on Tuesday night. 
I'm telling you, my own bed has never felt so good.
The little one is doing well now. His biggest smile came when they said he had to have 2 weeks off school. It's half term after that. I've never seen him so happy.
He has now taken up residence on the sofa and issues orders to me every 10 minutes. I'm being very caring and lovely. For now.....

Thursday, 6 October 2016

we've got a gardener now you know...

The jungle around our house that we call "the garden" has had an intervention. It was getting out of hand. We bought the house with the biggest garden on the street but we forgot that we don't actually have the time or the inclination to do anything with the damned thing. 
To be honest it's never really warm enough to sit in it anyway. It faces the wrong way. The sun is on the decking on a morning. That's where the BBQ is. But no-one wants to go to a BBQ on a morning do they? And it's cold there at wine o'clock. So we don't even use it for entertaining purposes. It's just been abandoned really.
So.... I have employed the services of a professional. She starts on Tuesday. She's gonna come every week and hack down the overgrowth. Trim the bushes. Tidy the edges. Make it look like a display at the Chelsea Flower Show.
It could take a while...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

it's scarf weather

Luckily I have like a zillion scarves.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

september 2016

Gone in a flash....

Friday, 30 September 2016


Dark mornings.
Cold days.
Dark evenings.
Cold nights.
Time to hibernate.
Or emigrate...
Or just moan a lot.

That is all.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

sweet sixteen

It was the big one's birthday yesterday.
She was SIXTEEN!!
Ha! As if I'm even old enough to have a 16 year old daughter. Just as if.
Like I'm practically only just a bit over 16 myself. It was only 2 minutes ago that I did my 'O' Levels. (Of course the very absence of 'O' Levels in this country for at least the last 25 years means nothing to me) I'm only just old enough to drink for god's sake. No way am I old enough to have a grown up child. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

guided tour

The little one has been chosen to show prospective kids and their parents round at his school's open evening tonight. The letter said he was picked "for his mature attitude" but I suspect they were just trying to sweet talk him into giving up his important night of Xbox playing and YouTube distraction. Whatever. It worked. He's happily helping lots of families get lost as we speak. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

faffing about

I've been totally bogged down in a zillion briefs since I came back from my jollies. I'm grabbing the odd minute whenever I can to faff about with my own ideas. But minutes aren't enough really....

Monday, 12 September 2016

top drawer

We had a FAB DottyDayOut yesterday :) The Dotty Wrens (and Lizzie's lovely daughter) met up in London and we wandered round Top Drawer at Olympia.
One day wasn't enough for a catch up though. We should have booked a week. We didn't even have time for mojitos. Next time girls x

Friday, 9 September 2016


My entire working life is now taken up completely with commissions. I never have time to do my own thing anymore. 
This, of course, is a good thing and I'm not really moaning. I'd rather be a slave to someone else's deadline than have no work on and have to sit about worrying about direct debits and holes in my socks.
But it would be nice if I had just a little bit of time. Maybe one day a week. MyDayFriday perhaps. If I did I'd be banging out a nice autumn range right about now. Like this. Only bigger. And with more purpose.

Thursday, 8 September 2016


I know I hate the cold and dark ...and January is my worst nightmare. But I quite like September. Even though it means summer is over. And it gets dark early again. And it's a bit nippy. I still like it. Everything seems new in September. 
Apart from all the Christmas stuff in the shops. That's not new. It's just bloody irritating.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

fabulous holidays

Aw we had the best holiday. I was soo not ready to come home.
We went to this amazing little island off the coast of Phuket in Thailand and it was just beautiful. We had our own little villa with our own little pool and were surrounded by the most amazing gardens. We were a 10 minute boat taxi ride from the rest of civilisation. And it was hot. And I loved it.
And now we're back. And it's bloody freezing. And I need to book another holiday. Fast. 

ps...for anyone who's interested...the unicorn was a big success :)

Monday, 15 August 2016

enormous unicorn

So we decided against the inflatable swan/flamingo. We felt they have been overdone on instagram and wanted something even smugger. So we opted for a unicorn. It arrived on Friday. The little one insisted on blowing it up "to make sure it didn't have any holes in it". It took him an hour. With a foot pump. Turns out that the online description of "giant inflatable unicorn" wasn't an exaggeration. It's bloody massive! I doubt it will even fit in the pool to get that all important smugstagram shot. It fits in the suitcase though. All squished up and ready to go.
See you in a couple of weeks folks x

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

camera kid

It's the little one's birthday while we're away. All he wants is an SLR camera. He's been banging on about it for ever. He's got my old camera, the mother in law's old camera, my mum's friend Valerie's old camera, a GoPro, a camera drone, a little video camera, an old school video recorder and an underwater camera already. But he now needs an SLR. Wouldn't. Shut. Up. About. It.
He said he'd use the hard cash that everyone gave him for his birthday and put it all together to buy one. Well I calculated how much he was gonna get and he was still over £150 short. But still. That's all he wants. And I figure it's better than another bloody XBox or something. So I said he could have one. But of course it's no good on his birthday. He NEEDS it 8 days early so he can use it on holiday.
So yesterday my very patient mum and dad took him camera shopping. To 3 different Yorkshire locations. They got one. It's all charged up and in the new camera bag with the new memory stick ready to go. Result.
Thing is....I don't think he's actually that interested in taking photos. He prefers filming stuff. I suspect he only wanted an SLR because it has lots of bits to fiddle with...

Sunday, 7 August 2016

final countdown

I'm still on a holiday countdown. Only it's gone from a OhWon'tItBeLovelyToGetToOurLittleTropicalIsland sort of countdown to a ShitI'veGotSoMuchWorkStillToDoAndIHaven'tEvenStartedAnyHolidayPrep sort of countdown.
We're also having the bathroom ripped out and a new one put in while we're away ...just to add to the pre holiday stress. Yay.
Get me on that plane!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

july 2016

July on my blog...

Friday, 29 July 2016

enormous whale

So what do you do when it's the school hols and it chucks it down? 
It's obvs innit. 
You hunt down the enormous inflatable whale you bought on holiday last year, blow it up with the foot pump, leave the foot pump lying about for everyone (me) to trip over, spend two hours jumping all over the sodding whale, then abandon it in the middle of the living room - thus preventing anyone actually being able to move in there. 
Then you moan A LOT at the suggestion that it should go back where you found it. To the extent that you look like you might actually cry if that happens.

Good old British summers eh?

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

full speed ahead

I'm on fire this week. It's like I'm working with a rocket up my backside. I am ploughing my way through the NeverEndingToDo list like I've got a holiday coming up or something.
Even managed maximum output this afternoon while every kid in the neighbourhood had a water fight in our garden. Right outside my studio window. (While their mothers - all part timers or sodding school workers - enjoyed their days off in peaceful solitude. No doubt with their feet up and a jug of Pimms to hand)
I am counting the days till I finish work.
Fifteen if you take into consideration that Day16 will mostly be spent at the hairdressers and the nail salon...
I can't bloody wait. Have I mentioned that already?

Sunday, 24 July 2016

sunday night

Sunday night ...could get a head start on next week's work ... or could watch a film and faff about on illustrator....
Well... next week would be dull without a bit of stress wouldn't it...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

been busy...

Doing my little blog/insta pics is my fave thing and I normally make sure I save time for it. It keeps me sane in and amongst the many briefs and urgent deadlines. But for the last couple of weeks there just hasn't been time. I was juggling work for six people this week. I have four big jobs on next week too, so it's not really looking any easier.
Plus of course it's now the school hols and I have the little one chewing my ear off and the big one using me as a general taxi service. 
Meanwhile the weather has suddenly gone all summer on us. My friend, who works part time and doesn't have a bloody clue, emailed me this week and said "It must be really nice to work from home when the weather's like this." Yeah it's ace. I can see the sun from my desk and flies get in when I open the windows. 
Anyways...I'm now on full blown countdown to our hols....3 weeks...can't bloody wait!

Saturday, 9 July 2016


I'm becoming a weather bore aren't I?
OK... I already was a weather bore.
I'm just always cold that's all 😕

Thursday, 7 July 2016


Tonight: big brown bear and bed.
Boring bloody buggering football is on the telly. Again.

Friday, 1 July 2016

june 2016

Can't believe it's actually July!
Not least because the weather is saying April. I don't know why I'm disappointed year after year at the total lack of summer in England. You'd think I would have grasped the concept of perpetual cloud coverage by now.
Still, I live in hope....

This was June...

Thursday, 30 June 2016

dental traumas

The big one has been undergoing orthodontic treatment for nearly 3 years. They had to wait for her teeth to grow before proceeding and now they've grown there's not enough room in her mouth.
She has a small mouth.
It doesn't stop her from talking. Or eating. But it makes her teeth wonky. 
She had to have 4 of them removed before her braces could be fitted. She had the first 2 taken out by our dentist last week and went for the other 2 removing last night. She was in there LikeForEver before a stressed looking hygienist came to fetch me. The dentist couldn't get one of the teeth out. It was stuck. But she had managed to rough it up a bit and chip loads of it off. She put a temporary filling on it and the big one had to go back this morning for someone else to take it out. 
It's all been a bit stressful! I didn't have dental traumas scheduled into my diary today. I was meant to be drawing dinosaurs!