Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Blog Info

FINALLY - I have started
MY NEW BLOG having changed direction somewhat, I decided a new one would be a better idea. So, if you have an interest in health matters and good food please do pop over to here MY NEW BLOG and continue to follow me. If not, thank you for following me and to those who bothered.. thank you for the comments.

I am not sure yet whether I am keeping this blog or not.. wait and see how it goes but I will be too busy to continue reading you all from here, I have always read all the blogs and often commented, those who follow me to my new blog this wont change - but I simply dont have the time to follow both lists, and all the other social media etc. As you see I also spend a lot time in the kitchen now - above is the single most delicious stew, by Sally Bee - this was last nights dinner and will be the first recipe to be added to my recipe page on the new blog (its should have been my peppers but I deleted the pics by mistake), I do need some practice at food photo's I know.. but all the food we eat these days is good wholesome food, and I will be sharing some of this on the new blog.

Also, the months I have spent on general health reseach will be shared - if this interests you, this is the place to be MY NEW BLOG In time I will be holding interviews with some fascinating people I have met along the way and their life stories, of how a simple change of lifestyle has helped them with their health. For a fun approach I am doing my own illustrations, I noticed there was a fair few health blogs about but none with their 'own' illustrations, and not as many here in the UK that are not associated with HUGE companies and famous folks.

All that remains to be said again is thank you for your support, especially to Mick from Sphangle who has been fabulous when I often felt I was babbling away to myself. It is very likely due to my change in direction that Bags of Swank will be closing in April next year, the Etsy shop will be open till February 2013.. not sure about after that. The link remains on the right of the page, there is also a link on my new blog for the time being.

I wish you all well for your futures, and hope to see at least some of you at my new blogspot, would be great to keep up.

Lynda xxx

Monday, 15 October 2012

My First Bread

Some of you have already seen this on FB, but do not know the story behind it. I think I have mentioned already that due to health issue's I have been forced to learn to cook, and start to eat 'real' and healthy foods. This has lead to an awful lot of discoveries... I noticed today one of the members of my team on Etsy has had to avoid Soya and already found out just how many foods contain Soya we were not aware of. One of the main foods is Bread, have you ever looked on the ingrediants list on your supermarket bread? probably not.. neither had I until recently. In my quest to avoid all things processed Bread was next on the list, so I proudly started to purchase the wholemeal healthy bread with popular names and great adverts. Until I read what was actually in them!!! Worse than that one of my best friends is a veggie, her lovely Soya and Rye bread was found to contain some very unhealthy 'E's for a veggie. So, on this discovery it was a choice of awaiting the next farmers market to stock up on Artisan bread or learning to make my own, of course to buy this stuff is not cheap and quite rightly as it is made from quality ingrediants by hand. Luckily I found my Mum had two breadmakers she no longer used (yes, I know who does that?) so I have one, and the other is earmarked for my veggie pal. All looked very scary and complicated to me, but with the husbands help yesterday, I braved it, now do bare in mind that not so long ago boiling an egg was a challenge. I DID IT!!!! I made my own bread, it looks a bit wobbly but it tastes fantastic, its actually Organic too, I devoured some today with organic butter and cherry jam. Last night we had free range chicken, with spicy potatoes and a stack of organic veg from my local organic shop.. as usual far too much for the two of us, so tonight we are having a very delicious smelling chicken soup... Can you smell it cooking?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fabulous Giveaway

Yes, you must get excited - not only am I doing a blog post midweek, but its for a giveaway, which can be found here GIVEAWAY You may remember I am a member of Effy Wild's Book of Days which I joined to teach me about Art and Art Journalling, I joined back in February and still there and still loving the group, Art Journalling and the teaching. I am now in the Premium group too. I have learnt a lot from Effy and met some fantastic people from across the globe. I am also on my Book of Days volume 5 now as it is a daily practice. There are 6 amazing prize packages in this giveaway, the one I would like to win more than anything is a place in "Life Book 2013" which is a year long journal class with amazing arty tutors, including our own Effy Wild, I believe "Life Book 2012" was totally amazing, sadly I never have enough available funds to join but would so love to win a place, or if any of my readers wanted to treat me for Christmas:) Other prizes include some fantastic hand bound journals, something else I would love, and a place in one of Effy's courses called 'Boot Camp' I dont need this one as being in the premium group I have almost completed this one, but it is a truly fabulous course if you want to learn everything about Art Journalling and various mediums to use, how they work, all about paints and inks... and so much more, I havent finished yet so cant tell you anymore. Anyone with art interest must go take a look, or maybe any friends who havent but might like to win it for me!!! LOL. I have already but a link on my FB page, and last night I ventured into Twitter for the first time in over a year. Here is that all important link again GIVEAWAY KEEPING EVERYTHING CROSSED!!!!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Swoon Sunday

I missed last week's Swoon Sunday too busy, today isnt much better but I am determined not to waste my photographic efforts this time. Above is my Meerkat painting I did last week, after the photo I did thin his whiskers a bit, but forgot to photograph him. Then yesterday after watching some youtube videos I thought I would try a new style of painting which I really loved, so much so I wish I was doing it now, instead of in the middle of sorting out a LARGE list of things to sell on Ebay (tedious job). I must credit Shilpa at Artyhils for this painting style, of course I am not quite in her fabulous league but these are the steps she takes to her wonderful art works, I'm just having fun with it. For step one its a quick sketch, mine was then done in marker pen. Dropped on some of my chosen colours of paint...
Spread the paint around with a keycard or old credit card..
Repaint some of the outline so you can see were you are again...
..and mix, colour and have fun. They look a bit like startrek characters dont they? and of course I have a very long way to go yet as this was my first attempt. I sketched out some fun flowers to do next, hopefully I will get to them tomorrow.. I would far rather be painting than having the day I am today thats for sure.
This post has joined the others on Effy Wild's Swoon Sunday this week, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EFFY for today xx

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Animal Magic Day Out

My goodness, seems its almost a whole month since my last witterings. I'm not really doing so much that can be chatted and photographed of late, I am learning to cook 'real' food, which at the moment is Indian food, learning all about the herbs and spices, and eleminating all processed food from my diet. Anyway, thats the boring bit. Today we had a break from everything and visited our local wetlands, 'Martin Mere' for their 'Animal Magic' weekend. Believe it or not at my age I had never seen real OTTERS, so what a treat this was.. and just how cute are they? there are actually about another 80 pictures but I just shared these two.
Our next favourite was the MEERKAT enclosure, I didnt say it - honest, though it was really tempting.
There was a number of owls on show for us from the nearby sanctuary, here are just a few I managed to capture.
Lastly this ugly duckling, who's Mum is the Black Swan, another very cute moment.
One of the most important things we did whilst there, was chatting to the local Badger Protection Group was to sign the culling petition. They had a young Badger with them, these animals are adorable.. I will never understand man's intent on murdering the defenceless. We really should go here more often, not been for two years and its only 20 mins away, we are even members and supporters so it doesnt even cost us to go. Hope you had a great weekend, I'm off to cook tea now.. tonight its something simple, just spicy scrambled eggs with rice.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Swoon Sunday #3

Its Swoon Sunday again, which is were members of Effy Wild's book of days can share their Swoon Moments of the week.

I will be sharing the weeks paintings, starting above with the Angry Blackcurrant. Before I continue though, I am not around much this weekend, its the local Town and Country Fair and we (Woof Beginnings) have a stall, so Friday I was setting up, yesterday was working the stall all day, and tomorrow will be working the stall too. The weather is amazing, as in we are told by the forcasters it will be raining biblical quantities all day... only to find hot sun all day? then today being the 'best day' weather wise, my clothes are still in the dryer from the soaking I got walking the dogs earlier.

On to the paintings.... my personel art critic, other wise known as the husband came home from work when I had done the above painting and said "oh look its an angry ribena berry" it was actually meant to be a fun purple monster. I had also painted this one..

to which my critic then named the 'happy raddish' this one was just a fun happy general painting I had fun creating. So the next day I painted this one..

I wouldnt mind but he came home from work and announced "oh look, SPROUTS"... they are meant to be brocolli....

Hope you enjoyed this weeks selection of happy fruit and veg, maybe its due to my new smoothies I am enjoying to try improve my health, they are going down very well I had my first one on Friday, made one up to take with me yesterday morning, and today I am on my second one, in place of my usual 'pick me up coffee' in the afternoon.

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Give up Smoking? more research needed.

OK, I promise I will shut up about this after one last post on the subject. Nobody is disputing that smoking is of course bad for the health - we all know that. However, once you are many years in.. is it actually 'GOOD FOR YOU' to stop? I'm not so sure it is.

Now, of course I am not medically trained so this is merely my own OPINION and by no means fact. I was told by a friend today, she had gone to the chemist to collect her 'Champix' (drug to aid giving up smoking) the chemist asked her how she was getting on and if she had any other health issues, seems the chemist husband gave up a couple of years back and has experienced gum problems ever since, this she said is due to the change in circulation after giving up the smokes, which can increase the blood flow around the gums.... interesting?

Giving up smoking is one of the most stressful things you can do, this is a known fact - what is not known is the amount of stress related illness's that can then attack. One of my closest friends her late husband started with ulcerative colitis after giving up smoking the specialist asked what had happened that was stressful in his life... that was it.

My Grandmother started with lung problems 'after' giving up smoking at the age of 60, ok you can say it was the smoking that caused it... again perhaps more research is needed.

Perhaps what needs looking into is 'how' we give up the weed? maybe like other drugs it needs to be done more gradually rather than a date and sudden stop? which is more or less what I did, my friends hubby and my grandmother. It does make sense when you think of the side effects of for example stopping anti-depressants outright, these need to be gradually phased out. Also any other 'hard' drugs need a period of withdrawal, so perhaps the same is true of cigarettes?

Food for thought... just sharing my own experiences, and as I said I will shut up now and get on with my new healthy lifestyle. I am going to be investing in a smoothie maker, I am so excited - read all the information, and I will soon be bouncing around a vision of perfect health (so it tells me, LOL).

To finish today's waffle here is this weeks painting, this one is called 'HAPPY PLACE' as I am now back to were I should be.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Doctors, Dentists and PAIN

Something a bit different today, this is NOT a self pity post - it is written in the hope it might help someone else out there.

Not many of you out there know, in fact I doubt any of you do.. but in April this year I gave up smoking after 30 years. What they dont tell you is not only how hard this can be, but also of the very many side effects that can manifest after the dreaded tobacco and other poisons leave your body.

So.. having suffered acute insomnia I started with a visit to the GP, who had no interest in the insomnia that I felt back in May was destroying me, I was so tired and could not function at all - he had no interest. In June I went to the dentist as I had bleeding gums, (at this point I must mention I had perfect health up to April this year)I was diagnosed with gum disease which left me totally horrified, I had looked after my teeth since I got them, some might say obsessively so. I was told by the dentist this was my own fault, firstly for smoking and secondly for not flossing every day?
After a course of antiboitics and a thorough clean from the hygienist all should have been well... but it wasnt, I started to suffer the most incredible pain in my gums.

Back to the dentist I went, they found nothing - told me all was now well.
Back to the GP I went, who informed me she was not a dentist and could not help me.

This went on.. and on..... Until this week I was forced to visit the dentist again after a couple of pretty severe days of pain, I saw a different dentist and she gave me a very thorough examination and a full x-ray. Again.. nothing wrong. Luckily for me this dentist knew her onions, she has given me a referral to the dental hosptial, but also sent me back to the GP with a note... she suspects I have NEURALGIA, the dental form of this is Odontalgia, anyone interested in knowing more about this there is plenty of information here Odontalgia
Basically, it is a condition of the nerves causing the pain I described, at last!! someone has listened and soon I can get some help. I havent actually found anyone else who suffers from this yet, but there is information out in cyberland. The most frightening thing about this condition, is most people are not diagnosed until after they have had an awful lot of unneccessary dental treatment - how scary is that? Some can also wait years for a diagnosis.

Thats enough on that one then. Meanwhile I did of course have to 'art it out' and before my last visit to the dentist I painted this, its called "PAIN" as it was how I felt at the time of painting, I was sinking into a huge pit of despair.

I will be linking this post to Effy's Swoon Sunday were many of us from the Book of Days group, choose a blog post and picture (mine is of the above painting) to enter into our Swoon day.

I also did a quick sketch of Effy this week from her picture on the website, wonder what she will make of this then? certainly should raise a smile at least - might not be fabulous, but in October last year I could only manage a stick person.

If anyone does wish to discuss Neuralgia or Odontalgia any further there are contact details for me on my website.

I hope this wasnt too miserable a blog post, that was not the intention - I am fine now, or at least I will be soon once I start the treatment, but there are many out there who are not and still waiting for the help they need.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Visit to Exhibition

Yesterday I took Mum to visit our local artist's exhibition. The exhibition was held by The Southport Palette Club, it was their 87th Annual Art Exhibition, how cool is that? the group was formed in 1921 to further the interest of Southport Artists, both professional and amateur, by holding an annual exhibition of their works.

I wondered were all these wonderful local artists were hiding, and was lucky enough to meet Caroline Kaye who as it turned out was the artist I had enjoyed the most, and had even read about her before I arrived at the exhibition. Her art was even better than what I had already seen on line, and she was also a fabuous lady to talk to, a true inspiration to me, and a great help. If you click on her name you can go take a look at her website and follow links to her art works - Caroline Kaye. I have now found there are actually local art groups I may be able to join in for some help and guidence, and to share my interest with like minded people instead of boring everyone else to bits.

The first picture above is of my new little sketchbook Mum bought me, to encourage some spontaneous sketches.

Below is some of the sketches and doodles I have been doing, I have also done a lot of painting - all abstract works.

No painting today, its now too hot in the house to do much so may well be a few days off till it cools off, which I am hoping will be soon.

Monday, 30 July 2012

New Painting Style

Whoops, I see its been some time since my last blog. Time goes so fast these days. Just for a change I have been busy painting, (and sketching too, but not shown those) seen here is a very large canvas, with inks on. Now it has more colour, paint and black sides... the idea is to actually then put a painting on it.. but its very nerve wracking. I do have a place to exhibit in town now, just a matter of getting brave enough and I am hoping to start with this canvas.

Anyway, the new painting style is abstract, I love it. I love looking at brightness and fun pictures, and I love doing them... amazingly with all this expressionism my sketching of realism is improving, not sure how that works? Here is an A3 painting of a sketch I did in my book, its the first time I have actually managed a copy, aside from the dog who does look more like a gargoyle in this painting and is actually a greyhound in my sketchbook, not sure what happened there?

The next was part of my being brave and painting on a new canvas, its only A3 sized but was still an achievement for me to actually paint on it, the funiest thing about this painting is its marmite effect - everyone who has seen it either loves it or hates it.. I'm not really sure about it, but never mind its bright and cheery thats for sure.

This one was my first 'Love Heart Girl' it is my aim to do a collection of these once I am happy with one, the last one was so hideous I didnt even photograph her, so they do still need some improvements. But Mum was fond of this one as she likes the colours.

So there you have it, my new style (for now) love it or hate it - I enjoy it. Some of you may notice I am influenced by some of the abstract painters, one of my all time favourites on line, he can be found on Youtube and his paintings are on sale on ebay is "RaeArt" he is worth looking up, his works are great and he teaches on youtube and entertains too.

I'm off to take another look at this large canvas............

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Art Journal - Book of Days

This is my latest page in my 'Book of Days' Art Journal, I first learnt about Art Journalling through my friend Zoe (Fordie Fresh) blog, started to google for more information which lead me to the wonderfully talented Effy Wild and her group for the 'Book of Days'. This was back in January and I have learnt so much since then, not just about Art but life in general, and help for an improved outlook on life. The above page was 'inspired' by this weeks video from Effy, in the Book of Days program there are 2 of these per week completely free and a Facebook group you can join if you wish (and a flickr group) you can find more information and the videos here Book of Days.

It is in part due to my involvement with the Book of Days group I have had the confidence to try painting on canvas and larger papers - I'm not that great at it yet, but I have a wonderful time and can escape for hours with my easel and paints. This is the painting I did this week on canvas board 20" x 16".

This week I have learnt so much more and cant wait to put what I have learnt into practice, I have some A3 card all primed and ready to go, just needing a bit more free time......... infact I might just make a start this evening, why wait?

I have popped some illustrated ACEO's in my Etsy shop, so dont forget in a few years when I am a world famous artist they will be very valuable (LOL!!!!)

Before I forget, anyone who read my last post about my dimwitted Labrador who ate the jellyfish, he is fine now - thank you to those who messaged me to find out how he was:)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Garbage Guts

Its been a while, again... sorry about that. I have had a few issues going on, some health related and some dog related so not much arting going on, and despite the work on the Etsy shop I am joining M&S with the fall in sales, though not quite loosing as many millions.

So, the dogs - well actually its just been this one in the picture we will call him Garbage Guts for now. Due to my walking with a group of people each day who have spoilt him, and there being a large group of dogs to play with, without my noticing all this became far more interesting than me it seems. GG has become a very naughty and unruly dog and this has to stop! Of course his daily walking fan club can see no wrong in his behavoir but I can. To me a dog who jumps up at people, snatches biscuits from their hands and steals from pockets, not to mention has absolutely no recall whatsoever is not a good (or nice) dog to be around.

This came to a head today, when the OH and I set off toward to sea with GG, Tess, Jaja and Bailey to have a lovely peaceful walk with nobody about (its a bit on the muddy side on the coast, so not many others venture out there).. it was going great till old Garbage Guts found something in the distance to eat, despite our calling him back and telling him to leave it.. gone it was:( which was no surprise really. We continued on until GG became very very poorly indeed, we had to turn back take the other dogs home and head for the vet!

We suspect the offending article to have been a jelly fish!! so vet treatment and a nice weekend bill followed, and a rather poorly looking Labrador. The diagnosis was offically 'Garbage Disease' common in the Labrador causing acute illness from unknown object being consumed.

Lesson learnt here is just how important it is to have some level of control over your dog, so as of next week he will not be going out with his friends, nor will I.. I will be out early with the other three dogs then returning for some one-to-one training with Alfie aka Garbage Guts.

The picture was taken last weekend on our beach walk. Tomorrow is either not the beach or a long line we can hurl him back on.

Hope you are all having a boring weekend, as to me boring would be very good.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

How much fun is this?


I finally found a youtube video that 'clicked' and taught me how to do this. Not quite in Zoe's league yet (doodle queen) but having a lot of fun and a head just bursting with new ideas. The above, I called 'Angel' is the first full page doodle I have done, was over a couple of days and I really enjoyed it.

Here is my next one, I got brave here and added some watercolour too and some lettering, again took me a couple of days to finish. But thats due to lack of free time really, I just kept picking it up. I do need some new pens I think, just using a bic ink pen at the moment.

.. and then I got really brave and tried a spot of colour. Not only that, but I read a 'true' doodle is one made from just a scribble of the pen and see were that leads, so this one was just that, a total scribble I then turned into my own monster and called him 'nightmare', dont ask me why I used felt tips to colour him in I now think paint would have been better but no matter, he was fun to do.

I have seen a few pen and ink doodles with watercolour, so I have the watercolours at the ready for a play, need plenty more practice with them as a different ballgame to the acrylics I have been used too.

Hope everyone is enjoying a good weekend whatever our weird weather is throwing at you, ours has been a showery weekend, but dry and windy today and a bit chilly to say its July. Please do spare a thought for our friends in the USA though many of whom are experiencing some truly terrible weather.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Still Happy Sketching

Still happy sketching in the evenings and exploring other mediums, this one is ink pens and watercolour. The sketch was inspired by one I saw by Tamara LaPorte from Willowing on her blog.

My next one was fancing a spot of doodling, there are a lot of my arty contacts doing this at the moment its very relaxing. This one is watercolour and ink pen in my A5 sketchbook.

Here is yet another of my faces practice (I do a lot of this) used my new coloured ballpoints and some watercolour, yes I would like hair like that - would certainly be differerent LOL.

Lastly I had on the go a 20" x 16" canvas, takes sometime to do all the colours and then a different tone glaze a day to finish off. Had fun with it, but its my third one in that style now, so time for something new. I have the same size canvas board on my easil primed ready to start, be another week no doubt but hope to start tomorrow, on a new style.

Lastly I must thank Tanya from for awarding me the versatile blogger award. I have actually been awarded this three times (I think) sadly I am not smart enough to carry out all the instructions, I cant even manage to put the picture on display - so please do not think I am not grateful for these awards I am, but just all too technical for me.. some might just be relieved this means I now dont have to bore them to bits with 7 facts about me?? if I could manage to think of any, dont think 7 lots of I like Art and Dogs would do it.....

Friday, 22 June 2012


Sometimes there is not the time or inclination to get out the paints, so I have learnt from the wonderful artists I chat too how important a sketchbook and/or Journal can be. I do have an Art Journal, which contains some events, thoughts and practice work. But have decided to get a bit more serious in the sketchbook, I have even joined a Flickr group of others who draw each day to encourage me. I am also using a variety of mediums, the cover above is paints, crayons and charcoal.

This one is ballpoint pen, I have seen some fantastic works done in ballpoint pen, who would have thought of this as a medium? I know I wouldnt, you can also add coloured ballpoints and they are quite a decent price too.

This is promarkers and some ballpoint doodling.

..and finally all coloured pencil. A tribute to one of my all time favourite artists, which was actually copied from another tribute to him by Rolf Harris, so probably nothing like the original now, but still it was fun to do first time I have done anything like that before, this one was in my A4 sketchbook.

I dont think we are doing anything exciting this weekend, the weather is totally appauling and we dont have a boat. I am hoping to get to the Tate in Liverpool soon though, they have a spectacular exhibition on the way.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

New Painting

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I purchased an A3 watercolour pad the other week, as I do prefer larger things to paint on now. The intention was to attempt an Abstract Face, not quite sure what happened there, she is not really abstract but obviously not realism either... Anyway, I quite like her so then decided to have a go at glazing, she has about 10 coats of different colour glaze so will take some drying but the colours are amazing, sadly not quite shown off on my photography there.

I currently have another abstract canvas on the go, not too large and its giving me some grief, not being very friendly toward my tape, so that too will be taking a different direction soon.

I have joined a sketchbook group on Flickr, so enjoying some ink, pen and pencil sketching in the evenings now - all good practice so I am told. I do so enjoy looking at other peoples works, I dont feel quite as 'odd' that its all I am interested in these days, there really are others like me out there.. Funny someone was telling me about a lady they knew who's only interest was her dogs and working them, thats all she does! I didnt see a problem with this, to me if someone is lucky enough to find something they enjoy so much they are very lucky, and usually a happy person too.

Righto, back to that painting lets see where it takes me.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sand, Sea and Spray. Blackpool 2012

Today we braved the appauling weather conditions and visited Blackpool. Blackpool is hosting Sand, Sea and Spray which is the Urban Arts Festival. There is one more day to go, so if you can get there its still on tomorrow 17th June 2012 and the art works I have pictured below will probably be finished by then.

As it happened we were very lucky with the weather and stayed dry all day, just started to rain as we got to the car park to come home, armed with bags of Blackpool rock, fudge and inscence sticks (I know, dont ask there was a nice dog in the shop I went to say hello too - like this house needs anymore insence).

Many of the roads were closed as some singer called 'Elton John' is performing there tonight and has had this rather large stage built for the event.

Here are some of my fave artworks from the day, please do be aware they are not all finished and are work in progress. I must also add all the artists as well as being mega talented are also very friendly people who are happy to discuss their artworks and art backgrounds with the public.

I think this is to be an annual event, I know there was one in 2011 (pictures can be found on

A great day out, the Urban Art Festivals are held nationally too check out there may be one nearer to you too.