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Exploring Manga

After dismissing Manga/Anime style for many years and having a collection of ‘how to’ books on my bookcases, brought for my kids years ago, I have decided to give Manga a go.  I am not sure if Manga is Anime or if they are different styles they seem to share similar methods.


Eyes have always fascinated me and Manga eyes are no exception although the ‘purple girl’ eyes are more within the style than the blue haired girl.



Still, they are a little different from how I drew this eye years ago!

Cats Eye
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Tree Challenge

 Caroline from Art Jewelry Elements gave a challenge at the beginning of September – how time flies as now we are at the end of September! – for a Tree Themed Challenge and I said ‘go on then I will play’, then promptly did nothing for two weeks.
Panic set in last week and I realized that the month end was dawning and I had no ideas so I picked up my doodle book (most people call it a sketch book I just doodle in mine….) and was flicking through it and found this doodle…obviously it fit the theme.  
I LOVE eyes, I doodle them all the time and this one morphed into the finished doodle is now.
The other night I sat with doodle book on my lap watching the TV and this fellow arrived in the bark of a tree trunk….

…another evening doodle this time I was thinking about my dog walk and the ancient woods I walk through, a corridor of trees that can feel very spiritual and very ecclesiastical and I was reminded, during my doodle, of many Sundays spent in church listening to the organ and so doodled some music notes.  This doodle is actually quite flat and I really couldn’t get  a good feel to it so was a bit disappointed but all doodles should be for pleasure and we shouldn’t judge ourselves too harshly….
Before glass I used to do much more fine art, mainly pets and their portraits but sometimes I did trees too.  I was once told that to become more able to study a face, be it human or animal then practise ‘seeing’ trees as each one is different like a face they have unique lines.  Both of the drawings below are artist grade coloured pencil and ink.

This has to be one of my favourite paintings and it hangs in my bathroom.  It is approx 4ft wide and is painted with acrylic.  I am not a painter my use of the brush can be quite messy and I end up with more paint on me than the canvas, I prefer pencil, but I went through a stage of painting and produced many paintings, most of which featured a tree or animal.  This one was inspired by a wonderful trip with friends to Symonds Yat near to me on the River Wye on the border of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire within a few miles of Monmouthshire and the Welsh border.

Even in glass the trees, or more the spirit of the woodland, finds its way into my beads and small sculptures.  The first two beads are my take on the Green Man.
This one is supposed to represent the bark of the tree…
Oddly in glass my muse is whimsical, I suppose really my drawing is now too, being too serious doesn’t suit me and I am known for my beads with bums.  This little chap was inspired by my love of everything whimsical, he is the Tree Spirit or Elemental and came about after my looking at the work of Brian Froud.
…and.. this is Trevor and Trevor was inspired by the Tree Theme Challenge….   It is time for all good squirrels to start collecting nuts as Autumn descends the leaves turn golden brown  and ruby red and Trevor here is told by his wife to buck his ideas up and start contributing to the family’s stash of food for the Winter and to out into the driving rain and collect enough acorns to stock the larder. Poor Trevor is seriously hen pecked, in fact it has been known that Trevor is a frequent visitor to the hen house just to get some peace for an hour or so!

So after thinking I didn’t have a single idea about using trees in art it turns out I have been immersed in a forest of ideas for a good few years!!
I am looking forward to reading all about those that took part in this challenge and seeing the ideas that others have come up with, if you want to blog hop with me here are the links….

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Grow your Blog event January 2014

I am determined to use my blog better this year so I have joined up to Grow my Blog with 2 Bags Full 
To begin with we have to introduce ourselves, so a bit of waffling with a few pictures…I can do that…so why am I doing it last minute as always? 
To help me do this quick I am going to do it with pictures and few words, I am that woman of a few words ask anyone…except the husband and the kids and really anyone that knows me!
That me above…ahem…ok so its not, that is my youngest, my beautiful daughter who turned 18 at Christmas, I looked like this about 20 odd years ago if you squinted and wore dark glasses!

This is Defi.  He is my youngest Golden Retriever at 4 in February, he has been with us for 3 yrs now and is a mummys boy who walks around with a comfort blankie and loves cuddles.

This is my Izabel, and is why I am Izzybeads.  She is the only dog we have ever had from a puppy, and is the last puppy, boy they are hard work!  I am a rescue and rehome house all the way!!  Izabel is gorgeous but she does prefer the dirty and matted look no amount of grooming and care can make this dog stay fluffy and clean!
Ok, this one is me, but is 20 yrs…or so…ago.  I am with my boys, my beautiful faithful Ricky, the German Shepherd, and my son, the same son that turned 20 at Christmas…yes I know Christmas babies, but then my birthday is March…..the joke is on me! 
The daily walk.  I took this photo last week, the mist was low over the river – that’s the River Wye just to the right of the picture – and the sun was trying to burn through, was a glorious morning walk.
For those that don’t know the River Wye is in Hereford in the UK.  I live 5 mins walk from this beauty spot.

What do I do?  Well, I draw, you can find my prints at Canine Cavern as well as some of my beads and bits.  More about those in a minute.  My first love of art was drawing, I have doodled my way into my….later years….I have no formal training just a love of doing.

My current love.  Glass!  I love glass I love to sculpt it.  Originally I wanted to be more realistic in my glass work, but everything came out whimsy so I stopped trying to change it and went with the flow, everything I make is designed to brighten your day and make you smile.



My beads are designed to display as sculptures but I also make them to wear, sometimes I just get a bit carried away and keep adding sticky out bits!

Really there is not much to tell about me, I am a wife of 20 yrs with a very supportive husband, a mother of now grown children although they still live at home and make more mess now than when they were little and I create…well it keeps me out of trouble!

 We have always had animals.  We had chooks (chickens) until Foxy Loxy came and ate them, we live very rural here in beautiful Herefordshire surrounded by farmland, its idyllic and peaceful.  I am a real home body that can’t cook!  My husband does all the cooking and shopping as I am completely rubbish at that, but I do occasionally run the hoover round and in the summer I grow veggies and tend our big garden with the help of my furry four paws.
Our newest recruit to the house is our Gordy.  Yes that’s him in the washing machine, he uses it like a hamster uses a wheel.  Our Gordy is a bit of a celebrity, he has a huge following on FB, he is my beautiful boy, my British Shorthaired Black and Silver Tabby cat…and he has brain damage.  Gordy has been with us now for 5 months and is the baby of the house loved and adored by us all he doesn’t have good balance and falls off of everything, he has no fear so can do silly things like sit on the cooker when its hot or try and sit in the coal fire, and he dribbles..alot…but as you can see we love him anyway, all of us.  He claim to fame is that he was featured in the January edition of Cat World, he is a real life superstar!
This picture is just because I like it!
So that’s me Laney of Izzybeads
You can find me around the web, on my Facebook page in my Etsy shop and hopefully more often here!
Now I am off to have a look at the other Grow your bloggers.
Laney x
List of other bloggers involved in the Grow your Blog event are found here