Monthly Archives: July 2014

Peace Haiku

Okay, this one turned out a bit weird. 🙂

I wrote another haiku and decided to use Manga Studio to illustrate it.  I have to say, I enjoyed the process even if the results weren’t quite what I had in mind at the start.



Sometimes a Wild God

I’ve been re-blogging a lot recently while I don’t have any art of my own to share. I have a piece in the pipeline but I couldn’t resist re-blogging this poem by Tom Hirons. It stirred me a lot, and reminded me of books I read some years ago by Robert Holdstock which also stirred some primal sleeping thing in me.

Coyopa : words by Tom Hirons

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

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My blog seems to be suffering from a few gremlins. Over the last few days I have stumbled across old comments or replies that people have made some time ago but haven’t appeared in the notifications. I’ve answered them as I’ve found them but there may be ones that I haven’t found yet. I hope not. I answer every comment that appears in the notification list so if I haven’t answered you then it’s because I haven’t seen your comment yet. I’m sorry, but it seems to be beyond my control. I hope the gremlins find somewhere else to play soon.

Being Introverted is Not a Problem

I just watched this interesting TED talk about introverts like me.  The speaker, Susan Cain, outlines how the mostly extrovert-orientated modern world could make better use of our talents, and how extroverts could benefit from a little introversion every now and then.

Share Your Creativity For Peace

I’d like to tell you about a new blog that’s just been started: Artists For Peace.  Anyone can submit contributions: just post your creations on your blog and then send the URL of the post to and (if it is suitable, I guess) it will be reblogged on Artists For Peace.  I guess the idea is to use our creativity to raise awareness of issues in a non-confrontational manner.  For more information see Gigi and Melanie‘s blogs.

Watch how traditional Japanese craftsmanship is done in a series of videos from Gucci Japan

If I was to be reincarnated I would want to come back as a Japanese craftsman [second choice: bird, third: dolphin, fourth:horse,…]. These videos speak to my heart like no other. I love to watch craftspeople at work but the Japanese do it like no other nation. I can’t tell you how much my heart aches when I see such beauty so skilfully created.

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

One of the things about Japan that I’m always most curious about is the various traditional buildings and items that can be found, like the mikoshi. These are portable shrines of various sizes that get carried around during festive times. They’re incredibly intricate in their decorations and must require regular maintenance. This always leads me to wondering who makes these things and what is their business model? You don’t see any billboards for mikoshi manufacturers and yet the workshops and craftsmen are out there, somewhere doing their thing.

For another example, take this little mosaic box pictured above. You may have seen a similar one before, but do you know how it’s made? You might be surprised at where the pattern actually comes from and thanks to a series of videos put out on YouTube, we can get a glimpse at how traditional handmade Japanese goods are painstakingly created.

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New Toy

I’m loving deviantART’s new feature for producing motion books using Madefire.  I just followed the “Jump Start” tutorial and produced my first, very short, moving comic.  I can’t wait to try it with my own artwork.  (It’ll be a long wait though.  Still haven’t got up that digital art learning curve yet.)

By the way, don’t watch the comic with your volume turned up; I don’t want to be responsible for any heart attacks.

To be clear, the artwork and sound effects are not mine.  I just put together pre-made components using the Madefire tool.  There are credits at the end of the comic to tell you who did what.

Please let me know if you have any problems viewing the comic.

Physicists Rebuilding the Tesla Tower for Planetary Energy Transmission

Probably the best physics project I’ve seen in a long while. Resorting to old British vernacular the best word I can come up with is “stonking”!

Currants and Kittens

After the bird raids last year I decided to put netting over my redcurrants.  This is a photo of the pickings off just one bush this year:

redcurrantsThe robins and thrushes have still managed to peck out quite a few through the netting (clever birdies) but I have a lot more than I did last year.

There’s been quite a lot of chaos in my house over the last week so I’d like to tell you about a little visitor who’s helping me to cope.  He arrived about two weeks ago.  One of the local feral tomcats that we feed brought him over.  I can’t believe how patient the tomcat is with this little ball of energy.  This is the best photo I managed to get on arrival day.

piggybackI took some more photos today (click one if you want to see them bigger).  We called the kitten Tiger because he is the bravest, fiercest kitten that has turned up here (and we’ve had quite a few).

How could he fail to cheer me up?  He’s a cutie, doncha think?

[Update] I just realised that I left out the connection between currants and kitten, d’oh.  When I went out earlier to pick currants I put the bowl down on the grass, lifted the net, turned back and found a kitten in the bowl!  Little scamp.

Achill Island

Went for a picnic on Achill Island yesterday.  The weather and views were fabulous.


View from beach