Friday, 26 June 2015

Book Stand

Hi all,
Sorry it's been a while since my last post but I have been busy trying to get the hang of watercolour painting. My learning curve is steep and I'm struggling to get a grip with the medium. However, I am making progress and if you want to see how I am getting on here is the link to my latest post on the subject.

Anyway, whilst I have been chasing this new dream I have purchased several books on the subject and I am attempting to follow some of the projects. While I was doing this I found that it was difficult to see the book and my painting at the same time, so I decided to make a book stand so that it would be vertical and open at the correct page.

I didn't want to fork out for some special wood so I raided my scrap bin and found enough pieces to satisfy my need. Being an old miser and being tighter than a duck's bum is a good thing sometimes. I did the design as I went and cut up all the wood on the scroll saw and screwed it together to make a very practical object. However, it wasn't as pretty as it could have been so I drew some leaves on it free hand and then burnt them in with my pyrography iron.
Despite having a go at watercolours, pyrography still tugs at my heart strings. It is such a simple medium to get to grips with but it doesn't half bring something special to a piece of wood.

My next project will also be on a watercolour theme because I'm thinking of designing a holder for my collection of brushes that will be decorated with pyrography. All I need now is a good chunk of spare time.

By the way, If you are quick I have two free books up for grabs today.
Book 1

Here's the link.
Book 2

Here's the link.

If you do download either or both of the books I hope you enjoy them. If you do please leave a review because every little helps.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


Hi all,
 I'm sorry I haven't done any posts recently. The truth of the matter is that I'm letting the pyrography and the scroll sawing take a bit of a backseat at the moment while I have one last go at watercolour painting.

I've always been interested in art and over the years I've had dabble with the brush. The only trouble was that life got in the way. Getting married, having kids and going to work took up almost all of my time, drinking and fishing consumed the rest.

That's is one of the reasons that I turned to pyrography, it is one of those mediums that allows one to indulge in making art without the need for much room. However, the wanting to paint bug won't go away, so now that I've go a bit more free time and a little more space I'm going to give it a proper go.

I am knocking on a bit now and will be of pensionable age next year, so it is a case of now or never. I'm old enough now to know that some of my dream will just always be dreams. I'll never ride a Harley Davidson across the USA or swim along The Great Barrier Reef, but I can have a go at watercolour painting.

Anyway, I've set myself a challenge of creating a painting a week with an objective of selling a painting before the year is up. If you are interested in seeing how I get on here is the link to the blog where I am recording my efforts.

With regards to scroll sawing and pyrography, I am not giving it up, in fact, I'm about to order some wood so that I can do a couple of designs that are bubbling about at the back of my head. And by the way, do you remember that I recently did a post an creating a trinket box with seed heads because I thought they were a good seller.

well the one I made sold last week so that cheered me up a bit. Here is the link to my website if you would like to find out more about my books or my pyrography work.

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 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.