Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Hi all,
In my last post I showed you the reclaimed picture frame that I'd done some pyrography work on and I also showed you the watercolour painting I'd done for the centre.
I said at the time that I didn't like very much but my wife went a step further and declared it to be a load of crap. Not one to mince her words, she couldn't find a good word to say for it. "It will ruin all the beautiful pyrography work you've done on the frame," she said.

I guess I must of looked a bit crest fallen because she offer her services free of charge and said she'd do me something more fitting.

I don't think it is so much greater than mine, but here it is in the finished frame.

You will notice that I have also added a little white and red paint to the butterfly pyrography. Again we are at loggerheads over that. My wife liked them better without the  paint, but I think it gives them a bit of a lift.

I'd love to know what you think. Please let me have your comments, they will be very welcome.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Reclaimed Frame

Hi all,
I have managed to finish the pyrography work on the photo frame that I bought from a charity shop for 50p. The design was based on one that I'd done previously on a bowl; I just modified it and added a few more leaves here and there to suit the frame.

The theme is one that comes from late summer and features red admiral butterflies and brambles.
Here is a picture of the frame now that the pyrography work is complete.
I am very pleased with it so far and, to be honest, it is a lot easier than it looks. The beauty of doing something that is organic is that as long as the basic shapes are right mistakes aren't noticed. Buildings need to have the correct perspective otherwise they look like they've been built by drunks and likewise animals need to be spot on to convince the viewer that they shouldn't be spending more time with a vet.

By the way, please feel free to take a copy of my design and have a go yourself. My main tip would be to look for areas of dark and light when shading in the leaves and, where possible, put one next to another. Likewise, where a leaf is going behind a dark piece of butterfly wing, make that edge of the leaf light and visa versa.

I used a spoon tip to do this pyrography work and a medium heat setting. the last thing you need when doing this type of image is over burn because that will take away the whole essence of the picture, which is the crispness of the edges.

I said the pyrography element of the image was complete and so it is, but I intend to paint a little colour onto the butterflies just to make them pop out a bit. I have done a watercolour painting for the centre, which I'm not sure about yet because I've used the wrong background colour.

In fact, none of the colours may not work with the frame but we will see. It is less than 3 inches square so it won't take long to do another one and I am looking forward to seeing the whole thing complete.

I will show you that in my next post.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pyrograpy design

Hi all,
We don't give much money directly to charity but we do donate enough items to keep a shop open for 6 months of the year. This is mostly due to my wife I hasten to had because she buys often and sometimes she does it whilst lacking due care and attention. In fact, if she drove the car the same way that she shops she would have been banned many handbags ago.

Anyway, whilst we were donating a few more items that had gone through our house like a dose of salts, I saw a small picture frame that had a wide border.
The price tag was only 50p so I purchased it with a view to doing some pyrography on it. It was of course coated with varnish but I soon had that off with my belt sander.

I spent a few minutes thinking about a design and I imagined some butterflies would look great. so I went through my files to see if I had anything that I could convert. I always keep a copy of all my designs and sketches on my computer because they often come in handy again and again.  In this case I found a picture of a bowl that I'd previously done some pyrography on.
Eventually, I found the original drawing and set about modifying it on my computer so that it would fit the frame. I use Photoshop Elements for all my image manipulation work and I think it is brilliant.
To draw what I finished up with, from scratch, would have taken me ages but on the computer it took about 10 minutes.

Here is the drawing that I will be using on the frame.

 I will join up the brambles that are missing when I transfer the image to the wood prior to doing the pyrography and I might even paint a butterfly to go inside the frame to set it off nicely.

All will be revealed in my next post. Meanwhile, if you want to see any more of my work please visit my website to see my gallery and info on my books.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Hi all,
Just a quick one. I have made one of my books, "Bossyboots" free on amazon for 2 days, 3rd and 4th of May. If you want a free copy to cheer you up on another damp bank holiday week-end, please download it and have a laugh. To go straight to the amazon page please click here.

I hope you enjoy it, if you do a review would be great, thanks.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Sun

Hi all,
I'm afraid I haven't managed any new projects this week, mostly because I had an ultimatum from my wife. Well not so much an ultimatum as a request. She wants me to finish doing the garden before the end of April, so I thought I best take advantage of the decent weather.  I have some trellis work and some crazy paving to still do, but I' almost there.  I look forward to posting a few pictures in my next post.

Now then, one issue came to me during the week. I discovered the power of the sun, not in a sunburning type of way because I already knew about that, in fact, in my younger days I peeled for Britain. What I discovered was the suns ability to bleach the colour out of things. Of course I knew that some items like pictures, carpets and the fabric of furniture can be susceptible to the power of the suns bleaching rays, but not the colour of wood.

A few months ago I made a box with a walnut lid that had a rose inlaid into it. I was going to sell it on Folksy.com but my wife bagsied it and stuck it on the window sill in our bedroom. This being the case, my only course of action was to make another and sell that on Folksy. So I made a second box and wrapped it up and put in a draw so that it would be nice and safe should anybody want to buy it.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I looked at the original one on the bedroom widow sill but it didn't look as nice as I remembered, so I got the second one out of the draw to compare them.
Here is the original.
And here is the one that hasn't been in the sun.
It is quite shocking really, because the sun hasn't just taken the colour out of the walnut, it has actually affected the pyrography. So if you don't want any of your precious items to fade, keep them out of the sun.

By the way, readers of this blog might like to know that one of my books "Bossyboots" will be free this week-end 0n Amazon. The actual dates are the 2nd-4th on May inclusive. If you would like to find out more about "Bossyboots" or any of my other books, here is a link to my website .

My next project involves a bit of recycling. I'm still working on the image for it, but I hope to show it you in my next post.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


Hi All,
It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was singing along with the Beatles track "When I'm Sixty Four," but all of a sudden I've reached that milestone. Another twelve months and I'll be drawing my pension.

I don't know about you, but the older I get, the harder it is to come up with ideas for birthday presents for myself. My wife used to buy me surprise presents but after she got me a spade, which I still ridicule her about, she insists on me telling her what I want for my birthday. So I had to make up my mind and it came down to two choices, some watercolour  painting equipment or some wood for scroll sawing. It may surprise you, but the watercolour paints won.

The biggest problem I have at the moment is sawer's block. My inspiration for making things out of wood seems to have disappeared. I'd like to make a few more boxes but I'm running out of places to put them, and to be honest, I don't like selling most of my work.

Don't worry I'm not giving up on the scroll sawing or the pyrography, but it is going to have to fight for my time against my watercolour painting ambitions. What are your watercolour ambitions you may be asking, well I tell you.

I have always been interested in art and while "When I'm Sixty Four," was in the charts, I was painting an eagle with the left over paints from a painting by numbers set that I'd had for Christmas. I also did a self portrait of myself when I was in Australia, but then life's hectic train pulled into my station and like a fool I jumped on. Courting, getting married, having kids and working all hours to pay the mortgage meant there was little time to be arty. Any spare moments where I managed to escape were spent either fishing or blotting out stress in the local.

Anyway, after getting married for the second time and the kids left home, life became more mellow. I got the urge to paint again and over the next couple of years I tried a few different mediums. I would like to say that I was a success but things didn't go to plan. I fell foul of life again and caught another train to nowhere. Promotions at work and several years studying took away my art time and events took on further complications with my redundancy and a heart attack. Then we moved into a house that would be better described as a hovel. It was one of the places any sane man wouldn't normally have touched, but it was cheap. Every room and the gardens needed doing and, although it has taken me about fifteen months, I've almost got it done.

So, peace of mind may be just around the corner, I have given myself one year to paint my heart out and see if I can do anything worth hanging on a wall. I've made a start by building a stand for my brushes out of bits of scrap wood. It incorporates a jar at the the back to hold my clean brushes and some holes at the front to hold the ones that I am currently painting with.
My wife was so jealous I had to make her one too. Who knows, I might get around to doing a painting one day soon. If I happen to produce a masterpiece with my watercolour paints I will show it to you on here and, for those who like a good laugh, I might even show you some of my disasters.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Free Book

Hi All,
Just a quick post. I know that some of you just follow the stuff on here about pyrography and scroll sawing, but others are also interested in my books. Well, I have just been going through my books to sort out where each one is distributed. You would be excused for thinking that I'd have them all with the same distributors but I'm afraid it isn't that simple. Due to certain issues about exclusive rights, I have four different distributors and each has a different selection of my books.

Anyway, I have now made one of my books exclusive with Amazon. It is called, "No Fishing In Here : Just Short Stories" and I thought I'd just let you know that it will be available free to download off Amazon for three day this week.

The actual free dates are Friday the 17th to Sunday 19th of April, so if you would like a free copy grab one then.
The book contains a selection of my short stories; some are funny and some are sad, but they are all based around emotions like anger, betrayal and denial. I hope you enjoy it.