Burnt Soup

So – every now and again, my body throws a wobbly. It decides I have done too much and that it doesn’t want to do anything more. This week was one of those times. I started the week a bit tired, and it just got worse. Thoughts got muddled, mistakes were made. Then, finally, my body decided enough was enough and that hibernation was the only thing to do.

Queue feeling freezing cold, no matter how many layers you wear (indoors, with central heating I may add), feeling too tired to pick up a book or even a magazine. The inability to string a whole sentence together without the words being jumbled. And (the worst bit) – the inability to doodle. (I had nether the energy to hold a pencil, nor any spark of imagination.

In fact – the only thing you can do is sleep.

Sometimes PJ's and Slippers is the only acceptable way to dress.
Sometimes PJ’s and Slippers is the only acceptable way to dress.

14 hours sleep on the first night. Finally you do manage to get up, reach the sofa… a bit of a nap (OK another hour or so)… it’s not a pretty sight I imagine – this pyjama wearing grumpy thing dragging itself around the house – just about managing sofa – kettle – back to sofa.

One day I managed to doze off while making soup (cooking real food is good for you they say)… Well, I can tell you it is in fact possible to burn soup, a feat I never though was possible 🙁 (Thank goodness for working smoke alarms!)

I’ve never really figured out why this happens – lots of theories – nothing conclusive. But it does – and all I can do is to what my body blinking well says – cos I can’t do a thing about it!

Now I don’t want this to sound all doom and gloom – because it really isn’t. There are benefits…

On the plus side, I caught up on a few films. Most films were children’s ones that require little in the way of real concentration – which is fab, because how often do we get an excuse to watch kids films all day (especially when you have no children lol!)

I save a lot of money – I can’t drive, so no fuel costs, I can’t drag myself round the shops, I can’t even be bothered internet shopping – so I am guessing bank managers the world over are jumping for joy (not so much the shop keepers).

And when my body decides it’s caught up again, it gives me back my imagination. Soooo many ideas come flooding in. This has to be the best part 🙂

I know I am back once I can pick up that pencil and draw again.

So – watch out for doodles, new projects and interesting social media updates.

This “hibernation” doesn’t happen all that often, once every two – three months, and lasts only a couple of days. I’ve never been able to predict accurately when it will happen, so it has become one of life’s little “adventures” – and I’ll be sure to take you along with me – especially the new ideas part.

I guess the moral of the story is – listen to your body. It knows what it’s doing! And maybe learn to slow down… but I’m not quite ready for that yet!

(Oh – and check your smoke alarm, You never know when you might burn the soup!)

So – I’m off to the drawing board to get some of these ideas from my head to paper. Talk to you all again soon!

Love Jac xx

Introducing – Jac’s Colouring Club

Jac is very excited today, as today sees the launch of her very first colouring club.

So many people have loved the adult colouring sheets available through Etsy, she thought maybe, rather than you having to visit my shop every time, perhaps they could be emailed them direct to your inbox?

The idea is that once a month, I will send you a brand new colour sheet, for you to print and colour at home every single month, for a whole year.

AND – if that wasn’t enough you will also get:

  • an A4 folder to keep your sheets safe – (And this will be personalised just for you)

  • a pack of fibre tip pens, just to get you started

  • your first sheet sent direct to your door

  • offers and discounts throughout the year for other Jac’s Studio products.

All of this for only £20 for the whole year!*

Interested? Well, simply message me through the contact form (or through Facebook if you prefer) and I will sign you up 🙂

Example of introductory bundle
Example of introductory bundle
*Price quoted is for UK customers. If you are outside of the UK, let me know where you are and I will check postage rates for your country. Or I can simply send you the colour sheets, without the introductory bundle – we can discuss that when you message me xx
 
A postal version of the club is also available – this is £30 per year – to cover the additional postage costs and printing costs).

New Year, New Focus

Shame on me.

Really.

I have neglected this little blog for too long. What was I thinking!

Anyway – a new year seems a good time to make amends, so here I am. 2015 was a strange year for me. It’s been full of ups and downs – I won’t go into all that though – that’s just sooo last year 🙂

Things started to pick up for me towards the end of 2015, and I am now more positive and motivated than ever before.

This is the year to get Jac’s Little Welsh Studio to “the next level” (I’ve not yet decided exactly what that level is mind you – I promise you will be first to know when I find out!).

I have even made some new year resolutions. Ones I think I can actually keep. Crucially, I am not consciously giving up anything.

I am only doing more – smiling more, ready more, eating more healthily. By filling my life with good and positive habits I simply won’t have room for negativity and bad habits.

resolutions
At last – resolutions I can stick to!

And I will still have the odd glass of something – and I will most certainly not be be giving up chocolate or coffee. A little bit in moderation is key I find.

So – here is to 2016 – may it be a healthy and happy year for all of my fabulous supporters.

Love Jac xxx

The Creative Mind…

Having a creative mind is great. It helps me see the good in things – I’ll notice a patch of blue sky on a dull day, the bright green of grass when it rains. I see shapes in the clouds (something my other half scoffs at often – not so much of a creative mind there – very logical – one of us has to be!).

The downside of a creative brain is that it’s always whirring, and it’s very difficult to slow it down! My mind is almost constantly thinking of new ideas for doodles and illustrations.

My artwork is done in stages – I draw it, then add watercolour, which has to dry….. and while it dries, I’ll draw something else…. and so it goes. I’ll normally have at least 3 on the go at one time.

But – the creative mind is also unpredictable. Sometimes I start a piece, but just can’t get the oomph to complete it, or I will have a busy spell with commissions, so I don’t get back to the personal pieces for a while. They sit there waiting for me.

Last weekend, I had a bit of clear out in the studio and found a box of those half finished pieces. It was quite exciting, looking through them – some I’d forgotten all about, some were just started, some almost complete.

Peek a Boo!
Peek a Boo!

So my challenge at the moment is to finish them all, and get them ready for sale (no good to anyone in the drawer!).

This little piggy...
This little piggy…

I’ll be posting each one on my Facebook page as I finish it so please do keep an eye out on there. And if you see one you like, just message me. (Or if you would like to commission your very own original piece, so please get in touch).

Until next time

Jac xx

Anyone Can Draw – Yes, Really, Anyone!

I know I did say my challenge this week would be walking instead of taking the car – and I have tried. But it’s just so easy to jump in the car when it’s cold and wet (which it often is in Wales). Let’s just say, I have some work to do on that particular challenge, which I will write about that on another day 🙂

But – today is still all about happiness – another simple thing.

Making others happy.

It’s amazing how good you feel when you know that something you have said (or done) has made someone else smile. And the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that Jac’s motto is “Making the World a Happier Place, One Doodle at a time”.

I cannot explain the feeling I get when someone comments on any of my social media posts that my pictures have made them smile. It’s a bit of a cliché – but it is really a warm glow deep inside.

But that lovely comment is often followed by “I can’t draw” or “I wish I could draw”.

I’ve said this before – and I mean it. Everyone can draw. We may not all draw in the same way, but we can all do it.

Can you honestly say you know any child who has never picked up a pencil or crayon and scribbled. And that scribble gets so much praise. It’s on the fridge for all to see (even if we don’t really know what it is)

But at some point in many people’s lives, they lose confidence. The praise dwindles to nothing, they stop showing off their scribbles… they stop scribbling. And I think that is so sad 🙁

So – this week on my facebook page I did a new thing. Step by step, I showed people how to draw one of my signature bees.

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

And a few people have had a go – and guess what – they could draw a bee, they just needed a little guidance. Every bee will be different – but then, that’s nature.

I’m hoping a few people will share their bees with me – so I show just what is possible with a pencil.

More importantly, I’m hoping it will inspire, I hope it will make people smile. Who knows what could happen then !! (It will definitely make me smile)

If you would like to learn how to draw a bee like mine – just pop on over to my album on facebook. Take a look. Tell me what you think. JOIN IN!!

(PS – If you are not on Facebook don’t worry. I am planning to do a sheet with each stage on so I can email that – free of charge. Just send me a message through my contact page)

Let’s see if together we can create a real buzz!! (Pardon the Pun). If you have enjoyed this blog, do let people know. I aim to post every Thursday.

See you next week!

Love Jac xx

Ted’s Austrian Adventure – Part Two

Well – Jac’s allowed me to publish another page from my journal from when we went to Austria, so I guess you enjoyed the last one?

So – as you might remember from my last entry, it was a bit wet in the Austrian Tyrol and on this particular day we’d all had enough of walking in the rain. Jac and Mr E decided to go swimming (yes – swimming – can you get any wetter!?)

I didn’t really want to go – as I was worried about getting my fur wet again, but Jac promised there would be fur dryers at the pool, so, we packed up our bathing suits and towels and off we went.

The pool was amazing. It was a big pool, with lots of loungers around it so you could relax – and you could swim to the outside. That outside pool was really warm, but you could feel the rain on your head and face – it felt funny 🙂

It also had lots of squirty bits and bubbly bits that went off randomly – it made a few people jump which made me laugh.

After a bit – Jac said she wanted to go to the other pool that we could see – a huge big one – properly outside. Mr E and I stayed in the nice warm pool and giggled as we watched Jac run in the rain in her swim suit – and then as she pulled some funny faces getting into the big pool (apparently that one wasn’t heated :D).

Mr E and I were still laughing after she came back to the warm pool – Jac didn’t see what was so funny!

That was the first time I’d been swimming – and I really liked it. Even better, we got to have coffee and cake afterwards – I hope it’s always like that! (O and there was a fur dryer, so I was warm and fluffy afterwards).

Anyway – that’s all from me for today. Until next time…

 

Ted in bathers

Ta Ta from Ted xx

Ted’s Austrian Adventure – Part One

Dear Diary

Well – here I am in St Johan in Tirol in very lovely Austria. It looks a bit like Wales – only with more space and bigger mountains. We travelled here by train – and we got to stop in Brussels, and a place in Germany called Lindau (I might write about that another day if Jac says it’s OK).

So – today, Jac told me we were going for a long walk, to a place called Kitzbuhl – but she told me not to worry because this was a fairly flat walk, so it wouldn’t be too hard for my first time out.

It was a bit cloudy, but not too bad. I watched Jac pack bottles of water, sandwiches and waterproof clothes into a big rucksack (for Mr E to carry 🙂 ). Jac says you must always take those things, because you never know what the weather will be like later, especially up in the mountains.

And off we went – it was really pretty. All the houses there are lovely – so many are covered in pretty flowers in really bright colours. All was going well until about 4 miles in. Then it started to rain. Then rained harder – and harder. Luckily, we passed through a village during this shower, so we popped into a coffee shop – where Jac treated me to a Hot Chocolate with cream on – yummy.

But when we had finished it was still raining really hard – Mr E spotted a bus stop, so we decided to take the bus to Kitzbuhl to dry off a bit.

Once we got there we had  a fab luch – me and Jac had Kaseplatz (a bit like macaroni cheese) and Mr E had a Berner Wurt (hot dog sausages stuffed with cheese and then wrapped in bacon). They looked yummy.

By then, the rain had stopped – and the sun was even trying to come out, so we all agreed we’d walk back. Off we went – at first it was up a big steep hill, which I found very hard, but eventually it levelled iff and there was a great view of the town below. Then – about 2 mile sin the rain started – and like before it got heavier and heavier. Jac said we had never been so wet – and said she would never trust weather apps again.

But – we kept going, and were soon back in our nice warm apartment dryning off – ready for another day.

I really enjoyed my first day walking – I can’t wait to do more.

Ta Ta for now – Love Ted xx

Ted's motto for walking trips - be prepared!

 

 

The Power of Words

I know – I am an illustrator. I draw pictures…. a picture paints a thousand words and all that! But recently I’ve been thinking a lot about words – in fact they have even featured in recent doodles over at Jac’s Studio Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JacsStudio).

Words can be so powerful. Words can support, they can show you care. Words tell stories. Words can hurt or they can heal. Whatever words are used – they are always powerful.

So for my doodles I’ve been focussing on positive words to share with everyone. The first – Hope – is now available as a print through my online shop (www.etsy.com/shop/TheLittleWelshStudio) and I hope (sorry, but you have to have hope 😉 ) to have several more available soon.

Have Hope

I am a firm believer in the phrase “one positive thought in the morning can change your whole day”. And that’s my plan – create lots of fabulous illustrated words for people to look at, carry with them, gaze at – whatever it takes for that word to help them through the day 🙂 What word would you choose…. why not let me know via Twitter or Facebook, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Until next time – Believe, Dream, Be Happy.

Love Jac x

 

Of books and bull dogs…

Hi There – and welcome to another edition of Jac’s blog – written in Jac’s Little Welsh Studio.

 As part of “Doggy Doodle Week” I was privileged to meet Henry Percival (HP) – a bulldog with a passion for books, who kindly agreed to be interviewed. Most of the questions were posed by Jac’s Facebook fans – a very inquisitive lot!

Henry - the Bull Dog Librarian
Henry – the Bull Dog Librarian

 Jac – Hi Mr Percival – pleased to meet you.

 HP – Likewise. But please, call me Henry.

Jac – Thanks Henry. So – you work in the local library – what do you enjoy most about that?

HP – Everything! It’s an amazing place to work. I’ve met some great characters through my work here. Dotty the Sheep, Horace the Hedgehog, Daisy the Cow – just some of the customers that have become my friends. And of course, I do love to read. Working here means I get to see all the new books as the arrive and get the pick of the crop!

 Jac – so what are you reading at the moment?

HP – I’ve just started the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon – it’s a fascinating read.

 Jac – and what would you say is your favourite book?

HP – Mmm – I would have to say the Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But – as a pup I did love 101 Dalmations.  These days I love reading it to the children who visit the library. And I always love watching the Disney animation whenever it’s on TV!

Jac – I notice you have your glasses on at the moment. Do you wear those all the time, or are they just for reading.

HP – All the time (must be my age!). I have lots of different pairs though – I love changing the colour to match my mood!

 Jac – Finally – what do you think of e-readers – and do you have one?

HP – I do have one. I do actually prefer a real book – you can’t beat the smell of a book, or the feel of flicking through the pages. But the e-book is a little bit more practical when I go travelling – it really reduces the weight of my luggage!

 Jac – thank you Henry for a giving us a little insight into you and your work – perhaps you’d come back to see us again in future?

 HP – That would be a pleasure. I look forward to reading your future blogs and seeing which of my friends will be featured next!

Hedgehogs, Allotments and Ballet

Horace the Hedgehog by JacHi Everyone – I’m Horace Hedgehog. I live, with my family, in a log cabin at the end of the garden at Number 12. And of course, this week my family and I are the stars of the Daily Doodle Featured Creature series on Jac’s Studio facebook page.

I first met Jac when she doodled my cousin Hubert, who was sheltering from one of those April showers. (They can play havoc withour spikes you know).

I was thrilled when she told me that her FB fans had chosen hedgehogs as a week long feature, and I was only to happy to help her with her doodling. (I often see her sitting on the patio with her sketchbook in hand – now I am actually in that sketchbook!).

So – what can I say about me. Well – I am married to the wonderful Henrietta (who you may have met) and dad to two wonderful children Hugo and Holly. I love my allotment – and weather permiting spend lots of time there – when I am not taking the kids to band practice, ballet, karate (and of course school!) – it’s a bit manic here at times. But Henrietta keeps us all organised and ship shape!

I know Jac has lots of doodles to show you throughout the week – we are featured until Saturday when a new feature creature will be chosen – but Jac has already said she’d love me to be in some future adventures,  so do keep following her. I for one can’t wait to see what creature is featured next week!

This weeks blog guest, Horace Hedgehog and his family, featured in doodles from 23rd to 29th June. Tune into my FB page every day at 6pm UK time for a dose of Daily Doodles.
Jac xx