Posted in art, Humour, mind

A week in creativity (PG)

Hello everyone!  It’s been a good week for creativity, both from absorbing to creating and making it.  Early in the week I was able to get over to the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park – and also see the other gardens that were in the Park.  This afforded me the opportunity of calm and serenity – especially when waiting for people to get out of shot so I could take pictures! I took the Lego Butterfly Girl along with me and so was able to take a couple of those pictures too.

My studies in mindfulness also came out on Tuesday when I discovered I couldn’t change trains at the station as I had intended, so I decided to walk to the next one.  On the way, I found a small shop which had some lovely mindfulness cards and coasters.

Finally on Friday I got out on Buddy (my motorbike) and decided to go down a road that I’d not been down before.  Apart from the narrowness of the road (which was “interesting” at times) I ended up at a fantastic viewpoint – and a pleasant reminder of why I moved from the city to the country.

I’m also quite pleased with my creative outputs too – I tried to combine the detail of a black and white mandala, with the humour of Kawaii (oh and a large dash of Britto-style pop art).  It’s an odd mash up, but I don’t dislike it… it is now on the wall at home anyway!

The Creative Random Art Project is the reason this week’s post has a PG rating.  I was inspired from a Facebook post where the parent was complaining about all the art that they had been presented with from the children’s school year and where would they put it.  One commenter used this phrase to refer to this artwork…. I now have an Ikea picture display hanger that looks like a film roll – and this now sits at the top of the display 🙂

Anyhoo – enjoy and I’ll hopefully see you next week!

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Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
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Butterfly Girl in the Garden
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Fountain in Holland Park
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Sometimes single elements work as well as the full item
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Butterfly Girl on a rose
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Ice Cream at the Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens
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View of the Serpentine, Hyde Park
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View from Ham Hill, Somerset
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View from Ham Hill, Somerset
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Motivational Message
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Pand-yarr bear
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Pan de Bear
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Ice lolly, with a Britto influence
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Britto, Kawaii and Mandala
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The initials!!!
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Playing with the fading pens
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“Now we add some Happy trees” as Bob Ross might say
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“It’s just a phase… you’ll grow out of it”
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To maintain control of your boarders, you need to use a decent cutting device.
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That time I had a Stikbot monkey on my back.


Posted in Uncategorized

A week (and a bit) in creativity (all)

Hello everyone!

Firstly; I feel I ought to apologise for the lack of posts over the last month and a half. There have been issues that have had to take priority and to be honest that prevented me from having time to be creative – or to allow me time to exercise any creativity.  Right now, that “creative well” is still refilling so the output isn’t as prolific or as varied as it has been.

So the following are images that I have collated in the last couple of weeks.  I was very, very inspired recently with an interview/evening I attended recently, where the musician/songwriter Tim Arnold was in the chair being interviewed about his life and some of the more recent campaigns he had been leading on.  It was quite timely as it co-incided with London Pride week – and I noted that this created a number of politically focused images.  Anyway, as always enjoy – let me know what you think.

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Butterfly girl and pin badge from London Pride pop-up shop
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Fuller’s London Pride tagline is “Whatever you do, take pride.” It seemed fitting
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On the love campaign

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Be Happy! I have some “chameleon pens” that allow this fading and blending technique
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Mr Marvelous…
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Old English Dunny collectible
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My small London Collection is coming on!
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What could possibly go wrong?
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Lazing on a sunny afternoon!
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Friday afternoon!
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WIth a temporary relocation, we have the opportunity to get to see views like this – in the grounds of Montacute House, Yeovil, Somerset
Posted in designer toys, naughty rabbits, story

Vote for me! (Short Story: 1021 words)(all)

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Peter entered the burrow looking quite pleased with himself.

“I’ve decided that we should have an election!” he said. “I’ve got a rosette and everything! Vote for me!!”

Jessica looked at Peter.

“Firstly, that’s my rosette” she said. “secondly, what are we voting for?”

“What?” asked Peter. “You’re voting for me!  Vote for me!”

“No, you misunderstand” she replied “If we vote for you, what do we get?”

“More carrots!” said Peter happily.

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At this point, Colin entered the small room.  He listened for a little while, then spoke.

“Peter, it is good that you are taking an interest in these things, but there are a couple of problems with your approach.  First, you are the only person people can vote for – we need a choice.  Secondly, you can’t say that if we vote for you we’ll get something we will already have.”

“Unless”.. Peter added, “there was a plan to stop you from getting that.”

“Is there?” asked Jessica worriedly. “Are they going to ration carrots?”

“No” said Colin. “There is no plan. Peter is being silly.”

“Well that’s alright” said Jessica. “I like carrots.”

“So do I” said Peter. “That’s why if you vote for me I’ll make sure that there are more carrots!”

“That will do with the talk about carrots” said Colin. “It’s making me hungry.  I know, let’s have an election; Jessica, would you agree to be the other voting choice against Peter?”

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“Oh, I don’t know” said Jessica, “I’m not sure what I can offer.”

Colin thought for a moment, then said

“If you could, what would you like to see more of?”

“Well, I always find that I don’t have enough brightly coloured crayons for my pictures.  So I guess I could stand for that.”

“Excellent” encouraged Colin. “Now Peter, forgetting carrots for the moment, what would you like to see more of?”

Peter thought hard.  You could see he was thinking hard as he screwed up his face as you do when you think hard.  Then he said

“Paper.  I never have enough paper.  I always make mistakes when I’m drawing and have to start again.”

“Well that’s excellent” said Colin.  “Jessica, you are campaigning for people to vote for more coloured crayons and Peter you are campaigning for people to vote for more paper to draw on.  You go and get support for your campaigns and I’ll organise the voting part.  Oh and Peter; no talk about more carrots.”

Jessica and Peter ran off in different directions to start their campaigning.  Peter drew several posters saying “Vote for me”.  He only wanted to draw one, but he kept spelling things wrong and having to start again.  Colin also pointed out after the tenth attempt that he ought to also put his name on the poster so that people would know to vote for him and not Jessica… and that took another six tries.  Jessica only drew one poster, and in truth didn’t really finish it because… well, there weren’t enough colours.  Colin, spoke to Eldritch the elder bunny to be the official and make sure that the voting was conducted properly.

On the morning of the election, Colin explained to all the bunnies that they could only vote for either Jessica or Peter.  He gave Jessica and Peter a few moments to talk about why people should vote for them (with the warning that Peter was not to talk about carrots) and then declared the voting open.

As he walked away, Colin saw Millicent in the corner.

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“Hello Millicent” said Colin, “Are you going to vote?”

“I don’t know” said Millicent. “To be honest, I don’t really know which one to vote for.  I should vote for my friend Jessica, but I do make mistakes when I’m drawing, so I should vote for Peter.  It’s all very hard really.”

“Well” replied Colin. “It’s your vote and you should choose to vote for the person you think will help you most.  You don’t need to tell anyone who you voted for and  I don’t think you’re the only one that isn’t sure.”

Later that day, Colin said that the opportunity to vote had finished, and he and Eldritch counted the voting papers.  Once that was done, everyone gathered in the hall.  Eldritch stood up to address the warren.

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“This has been a very interesting affair” he said.  “I’m pleased to say that of the fourty five rabbits in the warren we received sixty two votes, so well done everyone.  There were only two voting papers that were marked spoiled; one had a carrot drawn on it…”

“That was me!” exclaimed Peter.  Everyone laughed.  Eldritch looked down at Peter and continued.

“….. and one had a half completed butterfly drawn across it.”

Eldritch then looked at Jessica, who looked back and smiled.

“So what was the final result?” asked Colin.

“So I counted 39 votes for Jessica…” started Eldritch.  Jessica smiled.

“… and 45 votes for Peter.  Peter wins!”

Colin looked carefully at Eldritch.  “Hang on” Colin said cautiously. “There are forty five rabbits in the warren and yet you got sixty two votes! Then, of the sixty votes, you counted 86 votes!”

Eldritch twitched his moustache.

“I guess I should have told you that my numbers aren’t very good” he said.  Colin smiled supportively.

“No, that’s fine Eldritch.  You helped me out and I’m thankful.  And as the official for this, you have the final vote… so Peter wins.”

Everybody clapped and cheered.

“Thank you everyone!” said Peter happily. “I would like to thank Jessica for running against me – and I too would like more crayons so I will look to make that happen.  In the meantime, carrots for everyone!”

everybody cheered again.

After, Colin approached Peter and asked, “so, where are you going to get the extra paper from?”

Peter pointed at the pile of paper in the corner of the room. “Over there” he said.

Colin looked quizzically at Peter. “But’s that’s where we get all the paper from now!” he exclaimed.  “Oh dear, you are going to be a good politician!”



Colin, Jessica and Millicent: Naughty Rabbits by

Eldritch and Peter: Labbits by Kidrobot.



Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity (all)

Hello everyone!

This week’s creative images first.

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15: begins with A: Alien
16: Street Art. Where I’m staying at the moment there’s no street art where I live – so I drew my own
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17: clouds
18: pastel. The 80’s introduced pastels into the men’s wardrobe, which was quite a bold statement
19: learn
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20: music: the Retro 80’s festival stage
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21: memories. I remember when Lego minifigures became articulated

And the rest of the creative processes for this week:

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Finally, I wanted to share these photographs of the Tokidoki XXRAY Freeny model we got:

See you next week!


Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity (all) (week ending 14.05)

Hello everyone!  It’s been quite an interesting week, with my focus (apparently) on monsters and things that go bump in the night!  One thing I feel I ought to point out is that quite often the images I post here are not quite the same as the ones that I have posted on Instagram.  Instagram formats images into square, and will quite often require a crop to the image which is either better in post production, or not needed at all.  I have tried in some cases to repeat it – but generally I’m posting the source image (i.e. the one that I took with my camera) rather than the one that I finally posted to Instagram / Facebook.

So, onto the images.  This week, I’ll split the images into drawing, then toy photography, then other.

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The Unisaurus – for day 8: Paint. I had a lot of fun with this, including the notes for the creature “probably fluffy”
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I came up with this image soon after drawing the Unisaurus. I can image someone telling a small child this…
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I’ll admit to being a little ambivalent about this one. It was for day 10: “I love” and as it was Wednesday I tried to link it to the hashtag “wheresyawienerwednesday” I like the way the shading came out but there’s probably an overload of pinks (to be fair I didn’t have any reds with me)
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Almost continuing a theme from the “monsters under the bed” and “eyes” was this drawing for day 11: eyes. It’s also interesting to see how a change of paper can affect the way the ink works
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So this is Day 12:wire. I was trying to go for “wireframe” drawing but somewhere along the way I started to add softer curves… and then I added a little colour.
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This was a fun little drawing that I did yesterday to go on the other blog.


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The new collectible Lego series contains a 1980’s guy – and I love the phone, so created this little throwback picture
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Yup, Scooby-Doo! I found the posable Captain Cutler’s ghost figure… Scooby is about 6 inches from the ghost and the camera is much closer to Scooby and reduces the height of the bad guy
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Just a quiet moment when the toys were talking amongst themselves
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“Do you often find yourself out of your depth?”
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This was for Day 13: Free choice. I thought the classic “Matrix” option of the Red/Blue pill would work here. What I like about this is the image has not been processed or filtered – the figure is standing against a white card, holding the two Lego studs. There is no additional lighting other than the natural light that comes into my room and yet those studs really stand out.
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Day 14: Quirky. I do like and create things that aren’t wholly “usual”, such as the BFF of the Cactus and the balloon (I have another with Sushi being stabbed by chopsticks). The two minifigures are equally fun and quirky, swapping normal heads for something else – and yet they still (sort of) work!
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I envy this guy’s fashion sense…
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I quite like challenges – but for day 9: stairs, all I could think was just stairs. At least I’ve hopefully picked an interesting angle.
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This is called “Hope and Renewal” and was created from the fire that albeit destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter last year. Some of these timbers date back to the 1500s (the hotel was one of the oldest in the country). The two images below show what is left (and isn’t fenced off) and a photograph taken at the time of the fire.
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As  a final image for the week, I have included this image as I think it reflects that if you want to have an interest in a creative hobby  – whether that is photography, drawing or writing – having at least some of your tools available to capture ideas (or images) is key.  As we left the Exeter Cathedral grounds, I was struck at how pretty this street was – and fortunately my phone is my “go to” camera so was able to capture this classic English street.


Have a great week everyone!

Posted in Uncategorized

A week in creativity (all)

Hi everyone! Hope you’ve all had a good week.  In the UK we had a public holiday on Monday, so my creativity was less on the photography / drawing and more about getting out and enjoying life.  But the drawing still happened 🙂

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1: Window. Raven looking out
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2: no filter. Sometimes people share things on Social Media that isn’t very social
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3: skyline: Not the image I used on Instagram, but a lovely view of the subject matter (Whitby) from another angle.
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4: inside my home: Sue’s new dressing table. Fortunately we have a skylight in the bedroom, otherwise it wouldn’t have fitted!
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5: on my (home) plate. Safe!
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6: nature.
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7: wish. Back in August 2014 I created Tynk, who has lived in her little house in my room ever since!


But as well as continuing the Photo A Day challenge, I did a little more too…

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The “Elvis Enthusiast” is made by Citizen Brick
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My take on the film Bugsy Malone – possibly the most inventive children’s film ever!
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Busker: accepting requests and tips – and will accept contactless and ApplePay.
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“Nope, I’ve not seen Brad Majors, Space Ranger.  Sound like an awesome guy though.”


Have a great week everyone!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Butterfly girl (All) (457 words)

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The Lego Collectible Minifigures Series 17 has now landed in the UK and are starting to appear in the image streams of UK toy photographers. I took the opportunity to get mine through my usual custom part dealer – I admit that I did pay more for them than I would if I had got them blind bagged, but at the time of writing this they hadn’t made their way down to the West Country and I haven’t had the chance to get to the shops.  Anyway, in my haul I made sure that I had this little cute figure of the Butterfly Girl.

Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I’ve started to embrace Kawaii in my drawing style – so having this character as an inspiration was just a done deal.

The butterfly wings are a translucent pink  and the printing on them is wonderful – they are a LEGO part of beauty 🙂 Normally, I really don’t like the “child” legs that LEGO have produced – they are too stiff and so don’t allow a mobility / flexibility / posability to the figure – but somehow these seem right, as if she’s wearing pink tights under those pink shoes that she’s got on (LEGO have at least added some printing to the front of the feet).  These go really well with the standard shape of the torso – that printing makes it look like she has a little dress on.

Going back to my love of Kawaii – how cute is the caterpillar/butterfly on her dress?  I’m going to have to draw that next!  Finally the touches on her hair and face complete this figure in all its cuteness.


Although I’ve posed the girl in front on an image that she and Eraser worked on jointly (I’ll show that in the weekly roundup!) as Spring and Summer are here I reckon that she will have to go out and be photographed in the Great Outdoors rather than in an indoor set up location (like say, 1980’s Yuppy Guy, or Strongman).  The lighting will work really well with those wings I reckon.


For me, the Series 17 is an interesting one – and probably one of LEGO’s best.  But not because all the figures are cool (that said, there are a few that I have more than one of, such as Rocket Boy and Retro Space Ranger) but because on every figure there is SOMETHING that will be of use to a toy photographer.  It may be the rabbit that comes with the vet, the mobile phone with the 1980’s guy or the leopard print pants of the Strongman (OK , maybe that one’s more for the grownups!)  but there will be something.


But until then, it’s time to take Butterfly Girl out to the park.