This was our lovely Megan. She has gone over Rainbow Bridge now, she was with us for many years and died aged approx. 23. All our animals, except for Iz, have been re-homed or rescued and have a story of their own. Megan was in a terrible way, she was destined to be put to sleep as she was so nasty having been through an ordeal that would put most people on the verge of ending it all. She was beaten, starved and had kittens which were all drowned in front of her whilst she was held down to watch. It did mentally scar this lovely little cat, she was never a one to come for a fuss and always kept her distance in all of the 20 yrs she lived with us. She was much treasured, much loved and is much missed.
Claude. My lovely Claude. We have had many cats over the years, we are currently on our 10th, more about him in a minute. All of our cats have stories, some bad, like Megan some not so much like our current little boy Gordy, Claude somehow falls in the middle. Found dumped on the farm we lived on in Kent, Claude and his mum Bonny – originally I called them Bonny and Clyde, but it soon became apparent, Claude wasn’t a Clyde! – both cats were left in a cardboard box in the field that was due to be combined, they were rescued by a well meaning farm worker who wasn’t quick enough and both cats ran off round the farm where they remained for a few weeks, living off of bits of packed lunch left for them by the staff. Eventually Claude was caught by my husband, the then manager of the potato packhouse on the farm, and his mum was soon attracted as her mothering instinct was so strong, too strong as Claude was guessed at around 1 year old and Bonny was still letting him feed from her, but all that time being abandoned left her weak so we separated them, it was hard but worth it. Bonny sadly died in a road accident some years and several moves later, but our Claude lived well into his 22 year and passed away last September 2013. He was an ace ratter with a huge personality.
Before glass I painted, well drew really, I love coloured pencils and fine detailed art that just takes forever to create, and I have a low boredom threshold, not the best combination. This is a very detailed portrait of Izabel as a puppy. It probably took me in excess of 100 hours, there are many layers of pencil!
I am completely self taught in all my art from drawing to glass. I lived with an aunt in my teenage years and the opportunity to have an art training was never available, something I was very bitter about for a very long time, but now at over 40 I do look back and wonder…if I had the training would I be where I am now? Would I be as happy? Things happen for a reason, sometimes its takes years to realize that reason.
I did venture into the world of painting with acrylic and although it was fun it wasn’t something I stuck at for very long.
This is Izabel – on the right, and Defi – on the left. My Goldens. Iz is the first …and last puppy we will ever have, all my dogs (and cats) have previous lives but I wanted a puppy, just one, and she was it…what hard work! At 7 she is now a wonderful grown up girl with plenty of energy but she also likes a lot of naps and these days will listen when I yell! Defi is 3 now (2014) and came to live with us when he was 13 months old, he is full of life, needs plenty of cuddles due to separation anxiety and is never far from me.
The orchard that supplies apples to Bulmers Cider factory here in Hereford UK. This is on our daily walk down to the river Wye.
Another favourite walking spot, Queenswood in Dinemore Herefordshire, its beautiful but we need to drive there and as Defi isn’t too keen on car journeys its been a while since we went. That’s Iz in the picture, Iz and I used to go a lot when my little old dog Suki (no photo) died as Iz had a lovely collection of doggy friends at Queenswood. Then we got Defi!
Another hark back to my drawing days. This portrait is of my much loved first dog Ricky, he was with me through pregnancy, poorly babies, house moves and was my best friend. I am bi-polar and whilst Ricky was with me I became a mum and he was my pillar of strength, I cried many tears into his fluffy neck and he comforted me in the dead of night. He lived to the grand age of 15 and never bit the postman until just before he died!
Oh my Claude, he was a good companion and never one to miss out on what was going on, the rat and mouse population have breathed a sigh of relief since his passing……
Some of my girls, right and below. Sadly we no longer have chooks (chickens) as we live very rural here in Hereford and foxy loxy and badger decided they would make a nice meal. These girls were our first chooks, 3 ex battery hens and 4 Rhode Rocks, these girls died from natural causes.
This was Dave, a chook with presence and my son named her! She got sick but did love a nice soak in the tub!
Right and below, these were beautiful Maran girls that foxy loxy had. Megan in her final years in the sunshine.
The back of my very big garden, my glass studio shed is under that lovely big tree on the left. I love my garden, its peaceful.
Old age comes to all of us. Megan and Claude both would be in their 20’s in this picture.
I have dabbled in most things, the current dabbling being bead embroidery in the evening, I went through a crochet dabbling stage…stuffed toys!
I grow vegetables and fruit in my garden, I love being out doors when the sun is out and I like the mediative process, I am not so keen on the sore back, sun burnt shoulders and bad knees!
Our beautiful Iz.
My daughter at 17 (2013)
Finally some glass!
First photos with Gordy, our little cat with brain damage. Gordy came to live with us in October 2013 not long after we lost our Claude. Gordy is a British Shorthaired cat and was bred by a friend who is a cat breeder, he was born with difficulties and as a result he has special needs. He dribbles, has limited balance control and has absolutely no fear or self preservation at all. He was 11 months old in this photo Oct 2013. After the loss of Claude my friend contacted me to see if we could home him as he needed a family to love him and provide for his needs, she didn’t ask twice!
Defi is a mud wallower! After the wettest winter (2013) in years, he is loving the wet muddy conditions, a little more than me!
You have to go a long way to beat the glorious sunsets in the west of England. March 2014.
Snuggling with Defi.
More drawings, this time one of our cats long since passed over Rainbow Bridge but never forgotten, our Thomas, the biggest cat you ever did see, in his favourite place the radiator cat bed, yawning. Thomas was a good friend to Megan when she first came to live with us he was so laid back that all her spitting and aggression meant nothing to him he just ignored her, it was wonderful as Megan realized that she didn’t have to be like that and then began to be comfortable in our home with us.
Some of my work has been made into prints, keyrings and cross stitch patterns and can be purchased from Carolyn at Canine Cavern
My kids when they were little, who knew that little boy would grow up and drive big tractors on the farm we now live next door too.
That same big boy. My son aged around 18/19 in 2012/3.
A frosty morning down at the river, winter 2013.
A wet walk down at the river! 2014 January I think.
Beads!! I love sculptural beads flowers and animals.
I love beads as much as Gordy loves the coal fire, or dribble drier as we call it, he has to be supervised as he has been known to get so close that he almost climbed into the fire!
I rarely make jewellery, but here is a piece with one of my glass flowers, some glass pearls and silver (sterling) clasp, perfect for brides.
In the evening I sit and do bead embroidery, I find it extremely relaxing, I am not very fast but I am not very good at sitting and doing nothing so to bead embroider is both therapeutic and productive.
He gets into alsorts of places does our Gordy.
Some pictures of my garden and growing things, these are Buddleia cuttings that I took last Autumn 2013 and they are doing well.
The vegetable plot I moved this year, 2014, into the old chicken coop as its fenced off, might stop Defi from helping me dig up the vegetables, only he doesn’t wait until they are ready!
My studio overlooks the plot, I used to enjoy seeing the chooks going about their day…I do miss my girls.
And a round off of beads. You can find my beads in my Etsy shop – Izzybeads, just click the buttons on the side of the blog page, you can also find me on FB.