Tula’s Flames

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Tula and I had great time today spray painting this yellow army onto the red wall in her bedroom.

We had designed the idea ages ago but we’ve only just got the respirators we need to spray indoors. I say we, Tula did the designing, I just assisted the artistic process. 

Tula Iis very pleased with the result and so she should be, and very importantly, I’m very pleased to be able to say that the filters in the gas masks did an excellent job of filtering out the nasty propelant gases we would otherwise be breathing in. A flaming success and headache free.

I love painting murals!

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This picture shows the stage I was at when I downed tools and finished work for the day yesterday, and therefore what I return to work on this morning. It’s another sunny day here in Bristol, I feel blessed, and I’m enjoying this project immensely. I’m learning so much and the hard work really feels worth it.
Treasure every moment!

Once upon a time…

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The story is called; ‘Plant a Seed’ and the opening sentence begins;  Once upon a time some busy bees…
This picture is the beginning of a large mural at Ashley Down primary school in which a sunflower seed is planted and by the end of the story it has been nurtured into a beautiful sunflower.
Right now I’m musing on what to write (or draw) on the second page. What you you put next? Let me know, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Bee sitting on a Leaf

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Gradually making some progress colouring these bees digitally in Manga Studio. Although it’s a lot of work getting my head round the program at the moment, the flexibility it provides should be really helpful before too long. Plus it’s great for making comics in.

What are these Bees doing?

Here’s a few bee characters busy doing a variety of hopefully interesting activities.

I’m going to use these drawings to make stencils that can be used to make colourful images for the school wall at Ashley Down.

Nativity Puppet Patterns

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Here’s some nativity character clothes peg puppet characters. Each one is printed twice, looking to the left and right so each character can have a conversation with all the others, while looking directly at them.

Tula and I filmed a video today demonstrating how to make them. Hopefully we’ll get it online tomorrow.

The Cubestar project

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One day this week I realised as I pulled our front door shut that I had forgotten my house keys and a couple of hours later, on returning home from school, Tula and I found ourselves locked out of the house.
Fortunately, I did have my shed keys with me, and the one for the gates to the back lane and so Tula came and joined me in my little shed based studi

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We then spent a really enjoyable bit of time revisiting a project we had started, at probably the peak of Tula’s illness. At that point she could hardly get out of bed, and having read about M.E. sufferers being bed bound for years, I insisted that Tula should walk with me down he garden path to the shed each day, which at points was excruciatingly hard work, and sometimes I would have to carry her back to the house. We never spent any time in the workshop back then, it would have been too much for Tula.
However,  I did sit by Tula’s bedside and model plasticine characters and things, in an attempt to keep a level of creative positivity alive, and hopefully not loose Tula entirely to the horrible looming depression that was inevitable during such a chronicly painful period.
Tula was mainly unimpressed and certainly didn’t want, or have the energy to join in untill one day I made this very simple

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Back then, he didn’t have a hat, but Tula loved him! After very little debating we came up with the name ‘Cubestars’ and so they were born, and a much needed creative focus materialised. I then insisted that Tula do at least 30 mins Cubestars with me each day. She didn’t even have to model, if she wasn’t up to it, but day in, day out we would at least discuss the project. As we talked about the characters and what they got up to, I would sketch ideas into a pad.

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We then moved on from plasticine to fimo and started to build a little world. To begin with, I did the modeling,  but as Tula became enthusiastic about what was happening, she joined it too. We did
We made loads of characters, gave them names, created scenarios, and the props and costumes they needed to enact them. Tula vetoed my idea to give them arms, so we made sure they had feet big enough to carry things on. (Tula is with me as I write this and she has just told me she has unlimited vetos and I have only 3!)
The storyline I remember most fondly is Oasis’s; Because he is made from plasticine, we decided he would go on an expedition to live in the freezer so he could be hard too. That’s why he’s got a fimo hat now. We also made him 3 thermos flasks, for tea, coffee and chai, fishing rods, fish to catch, a fish storage box and chilli sweets.
We then froze a tub of water and drilled a hole in the centre which we filled with vodka so the fish could swim in unfrozen liquid.

Eventually, Tula got a bit bored of doing Cubestars every day, so we boxed them all up and we moved on to something else.
On getting them all out again we were surprised to remember just how much we had made. They deserve a properly lit photo shoot.
Two characters, a brother and sister called Bronzo and Bronzer who have a table they sell Bronze Biscuits from still needed chairs, so on this session we made them, and also made their mum, Bronzetta.

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At the moment they are all still spread out on my workbench, and Tula has been down on her own to play with them, so in my opinion,  it’s been time well spent!