Old map of Lancashire and Morcambe Bay.

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An old ctc (Cycle Touring Club) map, 2 inches to the mile. Paper on cloth. Cost 2 shillings and sixpence. Printed to show heights. As it is in ‘old money’ it predates decimalisation. Probably printed in the 1950’s or 1960’s but there is no published date on it.

The area shown is North Lancashire, sheet 5, Bartholemews, coloured. I’m amazed it’s still held together and the edges of each little sheet are only slightly worn. Some of it will be changed now, new or improved roads, villages sunk under reservoirs, that sort of thing.

Nowadays everything is on line, or people use satnav. But having the skill to read maps is useful. Having a compass helps you know what direction you are moving in. When I go places I have a big compass on my dashboard of my car and I use large scale driving atlas. We also use smaller scale walking maps that show more details. If you’ve never used a map buy at least one. You can find more interesting places on a map than you might on an online one.

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Triangle

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Not my favourite challenge, but I looked out of the window and saw various triangles. I rearranged the clothes on the airer so they made definite triangles, and the coats on the cupboard were hanging down in a triangle. I left the standard lamp out because it didn’t help the composition. The acrylic paint I used is quite opaque and as the group I’m in is called Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent I felt the sketchy feel was OK. If I had been doing a ‘proper’ painting I would have done a more realistic, painterly I ture. But I was concentrating on the triangles….

Finished Lobster painting.

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On the easle, I used a bit of gold paint in the background to give it a bit of sparkle. I hope the recipient will be happy with it. It’s acrylic on canvas, about A4 size. I did the background with very thin paint to start with and lots of water so the paint spread out and looks blotchy. Like a rough stone surface with bits of weed floating with it. I also tried to get the shadow underneath it to make the body stand up away from the ocean bottom.

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February walk

The year is passing, the last time I went for a proper walk was back in February. We’d started doing weekly walks, just a mile or so. But it made me feel fitter. Then March came and the sudden lockdown. Oh I’ve been shopping, and done a few visits in the car. But I’m bothered about going to where we used to walk as it’s very popular. My health isn’t good and I really, really can’t afford to get ill. I know this will have a detrimental effect on my strength, but what else can I do? Luckily I have the garden, I can cut things back and tidy things up. I can do housework…… But I miss my walks..

Doodles

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I did these a few months ago. The designs had to include red and black. I was going to send them off to a website but I forgot, got to involved in other things and lost track of time, so by the time I did remember it was too late. Adding more white to both images helped I think because you can see the images more clearly. I’ve always thought two cats would make a good yin yang symbol, and the teapot? Because we live in the heart of the potteries.

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Hanging basket

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A few weeks ago, we had so many plants in the boot of the car we had to fit a hanging basket on the back seat. They are all doing well but it’s rained so much since that I haven’t been able to set them up as I would like. I also pulled a shoulder muscle picking them up so I can’t lift my left arm up above my head. It’s frustrating me. It meant my hubby had to reach up to pick the cherry crop while I pulled the branches down. I’m  hoping we get some breaks in the weather. Then I can get the stepladders out. Even if I don’t climb them, I can direct where they should go.

The baskets are beautiful, I was told about a farm a few years ago that do baskets for half the price of garden centres. You order in advance and they make up whatever size you want. I chose colourful plants. Sometimes they last into the winter. I even have fushia plants that have over wintered in the yard and are growing again now. And are in full flower! I think our small back yard must have its own microclimate. I have courgette flowers growing there at the moment.

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Almost finished Lobster

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Work in progress, about A4 size, acrylic on canvas. I’ve got to work on the background. It’s now a commission as someone saw the start of it and liked it. I’m not sharing this on my Facebook page because I want it to be a surprise. I don’t think I will do a lot more to it. I want to resolve the head though. The photo I’m working from has a lot of dark rock and patterns around its head and its hard to see what’s happening. That’s why a lot of the surface is on is light so the lobster stands out a bit more.

I’m trying to make it look like it’s almost floating. I might add some light and dark bands, like ripples of light and shade being reflected down from the surface.

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Youdraw.com

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Youdraw.com where I drew for years before having problems logging into it a few years ago. But unlike other Web pages they have tried to modernise it. In the past it relied on java script, but now they have got rid of some of the glitches. There are still a few problems but I’ve done three drawings recently.

I’ve now counted that I’ve done 13690 drawings there! That’s mad, but true. I love the simplicity of the site. Two blacken, two erasers. Simple.

He’s OK!

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He has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

In other words he has thicker than normal heart walls which make it harder for the blood to flow through his heart. It also means that it can swirl about instead of flowing easily through his left ventricle. But at the moment he’s OK. Just got to watch out for deterioration. He’s not showing any signs and he is a young cat.

I was so worried. He will be looked after. No meds required yet.

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Reflecting

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This is from last year or the year before when I was taking photos at Spode and manipulating them in the layout app that I use to mirror and duplicate photos.

I haven’t been down to my studio at Spode for months with the lockdown, it just didn’t feel safe. The studios are not easy to socially isolate at, with mixed toilets and narrow corridors. I need to go back and build my confidence again. I’m still paying the rent though. I won’t give up on the idea. Just wait! I hope I will soon be creating there again

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