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Succeeding and failing in the same instant ( words)(all)


This week I had some spare time, and little imagination to create something new, so I turned to my colouring postcards and set to.  I’d decided to use my Copic pens, as these don’t dry quite as quickly as normal felt pens, so you can get a more even cover of colour on the art piece and with further careful application you can blend and get varying colours.

At the end though, I looked at the piece of art which had taken me a couple of hours to complete and decided that I didn’t like the final result, and so tore it in half.  As the two pieces hit the bin, I had a second thought – and thus the image above was created.

You see, I had realised that I had both succeeded and failed at the same time.  I had succeeded in producing some art, but that I wasn’t happy with the final outcome.  In truth, I’m not sure what I was expecting – the ink bleed from the copic pens on the paper was too much for some of the finer elements of the image and the sea just looks wrong.  I guess it didn’t help that I looked to the the web for an image of the actual print for guidance – and in comparison this is not a success.

But then this is the success of art.  It can be something that you can enjoy as in the time I produced this I was in mindful contemplation, just focused on the art.  But it does not have to be permanent if you choose it not to be so; and it doesn’t always have to be perfect.  But above all, what the art is, or isn’t, is the decision of the artist.

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The creative summary (all)

From a purely creative week, it’s been quite fun.  I created the two drawings using Copic pens (the ink takes a little longer to dry allowing for blending) and also I got round to writing a short story.  I particularly enjoyed doing this because I decided I needed some set elements created as well – and creating the items was quite rewarding!2017-02-14-21-55-412017-02-0202017-02-14-19-19-512017-02-14-19-17-17

The photo a day challenge continued this week:

Tough Ted”Furry” and “a habit”. some of the earliest toy photography! Key West, Floriday 2005
“Netflix” and “where I stand”. I decided to go with “net flicks”
“Miniature” and “sport”
“B is for” and “Best Invention”. I decided on ‘Bricks and Beer’!


I was saddened to read that the creator of Miffy, Dick Bruna, died this week. Although I never read Miffy properly growing up, more recently as I have been getting into Kawaii drawing both Miffy and Hello Kitty have been a bit of an inspiration.  I didn’t realise that Miffy has been around since 1955… but I did discover that for its simplicity it is quite a challenge to draw quickly!


I got my eyes tested again this weekend – and so new glasses are being made.  I couldn’t resist creating this though

“Does that line say W T F?”

Finally, whilst I’m reluctant to say that winter is over, I can’t avoid noticing that the Snowdrops, Daffodills and other plants are starting to make themselves known in the garden.


Have a good week everyone!

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Max and the Helpful thing (Childrens super short story: 423 words) (all)



Max woke up and yawned.  He looked out and saw that it was a lovely, bright day – the sky was blue, it was already feeling warm – and Max felt good.

“Today, I will do a helpful thing” he said.

He got up, had his breakfast and left the house.  Next door, he saw Mr Brewer’s car in the driveway.

“I know” thought Max, “I’ll ask Mr Brewer if he wants his car washed.”


He knocked on Mr Brewer’s door.

“Hello Mr Brewer” said Max. “I would like to be helpful today – can I wash your car?”

Mr Brewer shook his head.


“I’m sorry Max, but I only had it washed yesterday.  But thank you for your offer.”

Max thanked Mr Brewer and walked away down the road.  Soon, he arrived at the supermarket.


At the supermarket he saw Mr Jones coming out of the shop.

“Hello Mr Jones” said Max.  “I would like to be helpful today – can I help you carry your shopping to your car?”

Mr Jones smiled.

“Well that’s a very nice thought” said Mr Jones, “but all my shopping is in this shopping trolley, so I can carry everything I need to my car.  But thank you.”


Although feeling a little disheartened, Max thanked Mr Jones and started to head home.

“Being helpful isn’t as easy as I thought it might be” said Max to himself.

On the way, he saw a crossing and Mr Alfred standing on one side.  Max walked up to Mr Alfred and asked

“Hello Mr Alfred; I’ve decided to be helpful today.  Can I help you cross the road?”


Mr Alfred smiled at Max.

“Well now, that’s a very nice thought as I do often have trouble crossing the road.  But I just crossed the road and don’t really want to go back to the other side. But thank you for your thought.”

Max thanked Mr Alfred and walked home.  “Perhaps I won’t be helpful today” thought Max “I may just have to be helpful another day.”

He got home and opened the front door.  As he was about to close it, his mum called out

“Max, hold the door please!!”


He held the door and his mum walked up.

“Thank you Max” she said. “That saved me having to remember where I’d put my door keys! That was very helpful!”

Max smiled.  He realised that sometimes the helpful things are the little things that can often be forgotten or overlooked, such as holding the door.  And more importantly, today Max had been helpful.



Author’s note:

Max is a Lego minifigure from the Star Wars theme – but as soon as I saw that head I realised that he was perfect for children’s short stories; probably as useful as Colin and the other Naughty Rabbits!

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Opportunities and creativity – this weeks collection (PG)

A friend of mine sent me a link this week to a very limited opportunity to see a Lego creation that was on the South Bank this week.  The Batarang was installed on the Tuesday and was to be taken down on the Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t see the link until late Tuesday evening, when I worked out that to get up to London (and back) would be a real challenge… but an early start would enable me to get into London and then off to work and still not be late.  A chance opportunity not to be missed!

My other opportunity (and the reason for the PG rating) was to get to Mr Fogg’s Tavern – a bar that would have most Steampunk fans in a delirium.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get into Mr Fogg’s gin parlour upstairs, but there’s always another day.  I’ve included the images I took because the whole decor was very arty and creative – and just proves that art can be found anywhere.  I also know what I ordered – and that a closer look at the menu will tell you too!

Anyways, have a good week everyone!

Photo a day images:

“Fashion” and “Shadow”
“corner” and “your view” – and a take on perspective
“Words” and “Handwriting”
“My view from here” and “Black and White”
“close up” and “treat”
“Faceless Portrait” and “Sparkle”

Mr Fogg’s Tavern:


The Batarang… and London early morning:


And everything else!!


The Gladiator comedian – Ben HurrHurr
The Wacky, Wild West



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The Week’s collection

In terms of drawing it has been a quiet week as I had been playing with some old technology and getting out for a run.  However, the ideas for Lego photography were good, which made up for it.

Although mostly pen and ink, I think the addition of the 3d butterfly finished this one off!

The LEGO pictures were taken in a variety of locations and made use of a number of new custom parts; although the Lilo is from the new collectible Batman series.

From the challenges “Super Bowl” and “Morning Sky”


No body to love


you can’t be a super hero all the time

Phantom of the Opera
Lilo and Stitch
“you told me to Li-Lo until the cops had gone”
“I’ll have the assorted meats with the caramalised root vegetable and tomato jus”
“Oh goody! Dinosaurus Extinctus!”
“But where is the Kaboom!?”
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The week’s creative summary (all)(warning: dissected LEGO characters at the end)

And what a week it’s been! As I was away for the weekend in London, so I had to travel a little lighter this week and one of the sacrifices was the colours from the pen collection. with the Chinese New Year this weekend, I had a theme going:

I’m going to take these again with me next week and hopefully complete them in colour.

The photo-a-day challenge continued successfully, with the following images being presented to the Instagram account:

“in my town” & “New”
“this is mine” & “up”
“what I do” & “drink”
“in the background” & “smile”
“yum!” & “dream”
“a sign” & “Now”
“Smell” & “I can’t live without”
“Shadow” & “celebrate”

Again, those drawings that are in the background of these images will hopefully be coloured in this week too!


Whilst remaining on the subject of art – my entry for the Twitter Art Exhibition (@twitartexhibit #TAE2017) “Be At One” has been received!  This is a wonderful exhibition, this year hosted at Stratford Upon Avon.  Artists donate postcard sized art to the exhibition which is then sold off with all monies going to charity – in this case Molly Olly’s Wishes, a group providing children with terminal and life threatening illnesses with books and toys.


But the toy collection wasn’t ignored this week either 🙂  I received a number of custom printed items this week in readiness for the Chinese New Year, including the lanterns, chinese symbols and that torso (from but also some excellent printed tiles for grass and decking (from The map and compass directions came from Ebay.




Finally, I also got into some toy destruction (purists, look away now!).  Brick sanity produced a Jason Freeny-style print of Batman, half cut away… and yet somehow it needed something a little extra.  So, armed with a Dremel I carefully removed the arm plug from a Lego skeleton so the skeleton arm would hang correctly, split an old worn clean yellow head and a skeleton head and glued them together and cut the batman mask in half… producing:



Have a great week everyone!

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The weekend collection (all)

Artwise, it’s been an interesting week.  On my Instagram feed I started a “photo a day” challenge, where you upload an image based on the theme that was presented.  I’m trying to not take the seed thoughts too literally and am trying to incorporate Lego, or art whenever feasible.  So the start of the week had the seed thought of “path” and rather than just take a photo of a path, I drew one:



I was also able to pack my box of colours this week, so managed to colour in the images I started last week:

Out and about in London, I found that they had turned the advertising board off in Piccadilly Circus. This will be the longest they have been off since the 1940s! (

But armed with a blank space, I took and edited a couple of pictures:

I speculated that “Eraser” had been responsible
“this space is intentionally blank”
“Your ad here” or not…


Mr Eraser also appeared in a couple of other images this week; one when I used my custom Lego drawing equipment and once when I reproduced the scene from “The Lego Movie” when Bad Cop has his Good Side removed with “the fleece covered sword of Q-Tip and the Polish of Na-eel”:

Almost finally, I also started a second Photo-a-day challenge; but rather than upload two pictures each day I decided to merge the seed thoughts into one image:

The two seeds where “Bag” and “Nature”
Seed thoughts were “Listen” and “Something White”
Seeds for this were “Still” and “Grow”. I decided “Still Growing” made sense!

Finally, before I headed for home I saw the weekend challenge of “despicable criminals” – a fun set of criminals for Batman to do battle with.  I thought of two:

Mr Heat – who’s weapon of choice is a heat blaster and will go round melting your ice cream, making Mr Freeze seem like someone you’d want to meet…


I also came up with the duo of LadderBoy and The Black Cat.  These two work together to block your path – no-one wants to walk under a ladder, or cross the path of a black cat….


Together, they all make up the League of Frustration – a group determined to make your day just a little bit rubbish…


So that’s my art and creativity for this week!  Not sure what I’ll be showing you next week as I’m working with a reduced colour palette again next week during the week… but I’ll share anyway!

Have a great week everyone!