29 December 2008

the leaves...

...of 2008 have fallen and it is now time to nearly say hello to the fresh leaves of 2009. Rewon reappeared this evening on a page of doodles. i drew him with a scarf on and then the felt-tip colouring in ruined his complexion so i had to draw him again. this time playing with autumn leaves. it never quite snowed here in Manchester and though it felt cold like a winter season should, it still always feels like autumn. i have been working ever since boxing day and i am trying to fit in everything i can into the little evenings that i have left at the end of the day. drawing is quite relaxing. if i had wrote a Christmas last like i was suppose to i would have put in the usual request for a new day of the week called 'Doodleday'. it would sit in between Saturday and Sunday.

28 December 2008

coming soon...

...to a ladysnail blog near you in 2009, new doodles and stuff. as always there are things on the ever growing to-do list that i hope will see the light of day in the new year. i have slowly stopped being lazy on my days off from work and have picked up the mechanical pencil once again. i have been trying to win the war against colour but i want to work harder at sorting it out. Christmas was kind to me and i now have a few pennies to sort out a few illustration things and ideas. doodling can be difficult at times as my brain switches on at random times. i am just drawing random things again like the tiger that is up above and i want to return to drawing people and children soon.

also, did anyone watch the Oliver Jeffers 'Lost and Found' animation that was on Channel 4 over Christmas or the new Wallace and Gromit?

14 December 2008

aye...

...to everyone who came to the fabulous Manchester Craft Mafia Christmas Markets this weekend, please accept this shining star of appreciation. it is like one of them stamps or stickers your teacher used to put on your homework. i have been neglecting this blog for a while as i was preparing for the markets. i re-caught the cold virus and then super stressed myself out but it was a roaring success and i would just like to say a big thank to everyone really who came and said hello to support my stall and imagination. hopefully i will be back to doodling and to-do list tackling within the next week.

30 November 2008

hot chocolate...

...Rewon and I have not been well this past week. we are fighting the cold virus with the intake of many of hot drinks. i have been stitching the robotington army but i have had to redo some of the smaller ones as they were a bit fiddly to fold inside out. drawing wise, i have been collecting research and inspiration to help me tackle the 'backgrounds' situation. the flat is getting messy and messy-ier by the day as i prepare for the Christmas Markets. if you should past an artslist stand while out and about in Manchester, take a look at the many leaflets as you may find one with a robotington on! debbie greenaway.com is now up and running. Magic Ali helped with the technical side of things and thus i now have a homepage instead of naff adverts. it should be fully working with a portfolio of work by the new year.

22 November 2008

finding food...

..for winter is hard work but little Rewon has found an acorn. i drew this for all of my friends. requests are helping my brain work as at the moment i feel like it is freezing up again. this week i finally managed to purchase hosting for my website as my laptop has been ill with a dirty virus. i have also been printing out my seaside etching ready to frame up for the exhibition. robot army wise, this is still taking up a lot of my time as i decide how many to make in one go. i have drawn out eight medium ones, five large ones and tomorrow i may draw out some more of each size plus two or three even larger ones. therefore tomorrow is sewing machine day.

18 November 2008

inspiration...

...leaks into my brain from everywhere. i don't like it as it makes me feel like i am stealing or copying. these acorns were drawn one day while i was drawing fox's. lady ali and lady cat have both been drawing tree related items like conkers and acorns lately. their doodles must have sneaked into my brain and then creeped out via the pencil. I am now able to confirm the good news that 'The Wanted Robber Bird Poster' has been selected to be featured in AOI Images 33. Super good news! Just need to super sort myself out now. Also two of my etching prints, 'The Robber Bird' and 'Seaside' have been selected to be part of Artlab's Christmas Exhibition as this year we had to submit work and then wait and see if it would be chosen. good news all round.

15 November 2008

asleep...
..until tomorrow. i have just been trying to see how i get on with developing the new fox character by drawing out his many different facial expressions. i have yet to decide on how best to draw his legs. it is proving to be difficult but challenging in an exciting way. he has yet to be named. any suggestions are thus welcome. fry the fox? i think i quite like fred the fox, though it doesn't have to begin with a 'f'.

14 November 2008

in december...

...there will be a ladysnail stall at the whitworth art gallery on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. there will be many beautiful things for sale so if you have an eye like a magpie, write the dates down in your diary and if you can, please come along and say hello. jo askey, a fellow craft mafia member designed the poster.

in other news, i am adding the final touches to a batch of raindrop badges and i have hand-dyed some cotton fabric so an army of robotingtons will be made over the next two weeks or so. there is a list as long as my arm of things that i want, need, would like and should do so i think i best get back to the old needle and thread.

11 November 2008


back and forth...

...again. revisiting the lions for a bit while i sew some bread/toast badges and raindrop badges. its not my favourite page but i do like the lion eating the lemon cake. i think i have drawn too many buns. i am itching to return to drawing the fox and i may finally get round to stretching a piece of paper to paint on. tomorrow is my day off and so i will running round town to try and find fabric dye for a new batch of robotingtons. there are only two left who are now sat in PAD in Preston. also in PAD are some screen prints, etchings, rainclouds, teeth and raindrop badges. there is also loads of other things in PAD by other artists who are based in the North West.

06 November 2008


my fox...
...i have been drawing today. trying out some new characters in felt-tips, pencil crayons and the good old mechanical pencil. i wanted to draw something that had a nose like mr robotington and so i decided to draw a fox. i also found some very nice 'nose' buttons at the weekend for the fabric lions. i have also learned how to colour replace the pink tinge that i used to be left with after scanning in my sketchbook, with white, within potatochop. i have mountains of stuff that i want to draw and paint and some exciting news but i will save it all for later as the Little Big Planet game arrived today and so I am taking the evening off.

27 October 2008

raindrops...

...to attach to yourself. on your coat, bag or hat. some of these will be going to PAD on friday and some will be going to the christmas markets. i had some spares left over from the mass raincloud making session and decided to stitch little faces on them. i personally love the mono brow one. today i bought a mega pack of felt tips to draw and colour with. i have and had been drawing with about eight Berol ones so my colour palette was very limited but now it has increased to about thirty or forty different colours. it was buy one get one free in Rymans so if any run out or don't work, which is always the case, then i am fine as i have spares. so if you fancy drawing with colour, get yourself down to Rymans for some colour felt tips and tell 'em that i sent you.

23 October 2008

people, children...

...and animals. to help me improve my character development of these subjects I have been drawing in the evening or during the day if i have time. i take a sheet or two of A4 and draw people from magazines or catalogues with crayons, felt tips or pencils. sometimes with my right hand and sometimes with my left hand. sometimes i look at the paper and sometimes i don't. i really like my fat chubby birds and i love drawing wild uncombed hair as i don't like brushing my own hair.

22 October 2008

colour...

...i have painted. a bit of a shock, i know but i am having a go at painting with colour. this is a segment of some shapes i painted last night. i must admit that i did have fun, mixing the paint up and splashing it about. with the help of a fabulous lady i am learning a lot about my drawing and illustration work whilst developing my skills. plus i have been given advice from other great people about my materials and painting techniques and i am off on a trip to the library tomorrow to do a bit of colour research. i am in love with golden acrylics at the moment. they are a tad more expensive but they are like diamonds you can paint with.

18 October 2008

one unfinished job...

...finished. i am getting there slowly but i am therefore called ladysnail for a reason. for the past week i have been stitching together the raindrops and clouds to complete about fifty rainclouds ready for etsy, PAD gallery and the Christmas markets. i also stretched some Saunders Waterford paper so that i can have a go at acrylics tomorrow. it is the first time i have ever stretched paper so we shall see how it goes. i will be trying out System 3, Windsor and Newton and two brand new tubes of Golden Acrylics that i found in Fred Aldous the art shop this afternoon. it is all systems go here in the office. the next plan is to sort out the fabric lions. i just need to keep in mind the word simple and try not to over complicate things.

16 October 2008



today...

...was watercolour day. i made myself paint. i found it very difficult to do and i don't think i like watercolours. they are quick and easy to use but i don't really know anything about washes or layering up the colours. i painted an A4 sheet of lions up and they look okay, it is just that they all look a tad brown, yellow or tan. i bought some Bockingford paper to paint on but it needs stretching. i am hoping to get back into the print room next week but pennies are very tight at the moment. i might have to do a small lino print at the weekend if there is time inbetween all the stitching.

14 October 2008

page thirty seven...

...and still no real colour going on. it s a bit difficult as the sketchbook pages are a tad small so i have decided that the lions in there are just to be kept simple plus i don't have any real chunky blocks of time to start playing with colour until i have finished off some of my half finished illustration bits. the ginger cat is no where to be seen today. he, i think it is a he, he usually sits on our window miaowing to be let in even though he doesn't live in our flat.

13 October 2008

as i type...

...the big fat ginger cat that lives upstairs, is now sat outside my front door, trying its best to spy on us. it never really likes being stroked therefore i find it difficult to like as i like affectionate cats. which begs the question why do i like lions? they are too big but in a nice wildlife, dominating, powerful way. i am back in the office now after a stint with the laptop in the living room. lets hope i get a bit more productive.

12 October 2008

at the Lowry...

...in Salford Quays, I took part in Big Draw 2008. There is currently a Pop-Up exhibition on show and the theme of the day was to create a pop-up piece. This is another day where I worked super fast to create a big A3 piece of work. I forced myself to use bold colours and the usual suspects, my lemon sherbet fish. David Attenborough has yet to discover this new species.

04 October 2008

02 October 2008


tired eyes...

...are getting very achy sore and so is poor old susie scanner. she is very old now and does not like living on the roll out desk shelf. she wants to scan at 100 dpi but i ask her kindly to scan at 400 dpi and she struggles. the colours that you see you see on these pictures look different from the ones in the sketchbook as i have had to adjust the contrast and levels i potatochop after scanning. i may try photographing the next page to see what the colours will look like then. it has rained more than a few drops over the last four days. a lot more and i got caught in it on Wednesday when i was out in town so there was no observational drawing to be done as i was soaking wet. the bees and the fish are appearing on nearly every page as i just cant help drawing them.

01 October 2008

lion page number...

...thirty-two, i think! another page of lions and some ideas i am thinking about on how to develop them as actual characters with what they do, work wise, hobby wise and of course the one that always eats food. the little bees are great to draw. i did like the sea-bees i did back in march but these little fighters are the next step. they are always seen as the bad guys, flying around buzzing and then they get innocently whacked by us big people.

please note that the number in the Green Lion Garden Doctors advertisement is not a real number, i made it up and will be making more numbers up as I keep drawing.

28 September 2008

no photo today...

...as i am on a different computer. just to add that i am at odds and ends with many things at the moment and i am trying my best to get half-finished things, finished. there are too many projects on the go at the moment which in turn is making me very frustrated. too many things for me to blog about. the lions are growing as per normal. my list making is also getting out of control so i have sorted out a book to keep my various lists in order. tomorrow is the LittleBigPlanet Workshop and i am so excited! it is nearly October and I have yet to decide if i like autumn or not. i ain't sure what season i like but i know i don't like Sundays.

23 September 2008

sock obsession...

...i used to love socks. i still do but not as much. i have a pair with snails on but at the moment i find sock designs a bit boring. this is normally what i get up to on a Thursday. so in a way it is a bit like a diary. on one particular Thursday as you can see in the picture above, i did eat a burger and drink tea. i also felt quite tired at one point. i didn't have a clue what to draw after i had eaten said burger. the question is, did i actually see any fish? i might have.
step aside mr robotington...

and make room for Sackboy! he is the leading man of a new Playstation 3 game which is called LittleBigPlanet. As part of the Manchester Craft Mafia, I am taking part in a customising t-shirt/accessories/plush workshop next week to help launch the game. how cool is that! so at the weekend, me and the mister went to check out the LittleBigPlanet Shop that is in Piccadilly Gardens and see what was and is going on there. We had a little play on the game, tried it out and whatnot. It is an amazing platform game that allows you to design all your characters, platforms, objects, worlds whilst also allowing social community network gaming. I am not a technical gaming geek so I can not explain the game properly but it is very fun to play and I love Sackboy. He is the man of the moment for me.

22 September 2008

draw what you see...

...which is what i often do when i am out and about in manchester. i do not have time to go out drawing as often as before so i have to depend upon my imagination which as we both know can lead to me drawing repetitive doodles. i have still to be brave with colour but that will come in time. i went to play on the photo-copier in the round library last week so i have some enlargements to play with later but there is stitching to do first. my two knitting machines arrived on Saturday. i have not got a clue how to work one at all so when there is a window of free time and a desk of space, i will be trying to teach myself.

19 September 2008


same old same old but new...

...lions doing new things. they are fair developing into little characters and so are the fish. these are some pages i did back in august but previous scanning attempts did not work out. i am nearly finished with sewing the clouds but have a huge batch of robotingtons to make as i have only got two left! i think after the lions, i may try making fish. these last two weeks have been successful with illustration/craft work but there is still lots to do, plan and organise.

10 September 2008

mr robber bird...

...is in a war! please help him out by registering on the mojizu character design website and vote for him. here is a link to the site. He is currently losing as I didn't realise he was fighting on his own for survival until miss ali graney alerted me. I would really appreciate it if you helped us both. thank you in advance.
knitting...

...is very addictive indeed! i like to keep creating even when i am taking a break and have taken up knitting. i have taught myself how to purl and I am making my first ever scarf which will be reversible. it has taken me a week to get going and I must have undone this scarf about seven times but on Sunday it just seemed to click in my brain and now i have finished one ball's worth of my wool. i have another three balls of wool to knit through and then i will have helped the scarf to grow super long and it will be super warm. i am in the process of setting up a new internet shop and sometime soon will be sorting out a website-hopefully. funds are a bit stretched at the moment and i hate technical html jargon stuff so we shall see how far i get with it all over the next few weeks/months.
the light box...

...has landed and i am way too excited. i have got a few other projects to get on with before i start playing with it! i have about fifty rainclouds to stuff and some animals to draw and doodle. I will post some pictures later on, maybe at the weekend of what i have been up to. thank you everyone for the continuous support. i took a little walk down oxford road to the whitworth gallery and I can not believe or understand why i havent been there before now. xxx.

07 September 2008

sunshine on a rainy day...

...the last post was very negative. sometimes i can not help but be pessimistic about stuff. i have given up on the computers thing for the moment and have my eyes set on a light box to help me draw new things from old sketches to develop and combine my characters. this week has been a very busy week and fingers crossed for the next couple of weeks. Here is a photo of me and my little sewing machine that the mister took on Monday. together we have sewn and made a lot of things over the last three years. I am now planning things for the Christmas markets and hopefully there will be time for new doodles.

06 September 2008

question...

...do i really know what i am doing? i seem to be drawing quite a bit, quite a bit more than when i was actually in uni but what am i drawing these pictures for? i am fighting world war three against colour at the moment and i cant seem to find a computer course to help me with my digital skills. i am struggling with potatochop, illustraight-ner and getting images correctly scanned in. i have tried books/magazines but they are going to get ripped to shreds if i carry on trying to teach myself. i have ordered some stock but i don't want to keep making/illustrating the same things time and time again.

01 September 2008


new friends...

...i met while on holiday and a photograph of myself in Turkey, in front of the tombs that are carved into the mountains that look over the town of Fethiye. The pelican is from the boat harbour where the fishermen moor up. there are two of these tame-ish pelicans that sit around in little boats. I never realised how big pelicans were! the local people must have thought i was daft taking photos of it but its not everyday you see a pelican. the dog adopted me for the rest of the time i was there after i stroked it once. it followed me all over the place and it loved loads of attention and strokes but i will never stroke a street dog again. its like a little trickster. i have other photos that i will post during the week. some that i took while hanging out the window of a 'dolmus' which is a little bus.

just to say that i picked up the new oliver jeffers children's book today which is called 'the great paper caper'. there were other new releases from emily gravett and julia donaldson and axel scheffler as well. the paper caper is a very nice story about trees.

31 August 2008

hello...

...just to say I am back in Manchester now and will be updating this blog during the coming week. My illustration head is full of ideas from things I have seen and have been thinking while away in Turkey. I took plenty of photos as usual and went on a mission to try and find nemo but I was unable to snorkel correctly so the mission was aborted until next time.

14 August 2008

handpicked...

...one of my rainclouds has been handpicked to feature in a treasury on etsy! thank you to sewsewcrafty for choosing the little grey cloud. i have been working a fair bit this week at the cafe and today i sat and sewed sixty odd raindrops while at 'ellie and lou', which is a lovely shop in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. i had enough time to do a little doodle but will update the blog with my drawings at the weekend as am busy sorting out odds and ends for the holiday.

10 August 2008

Thursday...

...this is a page i created on Thursday. i decided to try a little collage experiment on this page with cut outs from an old copy of vogue that was sat doing nothing on the bookshelves. the two big stripy fish and two of the allotment patches were what i did but i decided that it was getting too small and fiddley for me as my sketchbook is only tiny. i enjoyed gluing and sticking and more experiments are in the pipeline but as it is only a week away until i go on holiday, i am finding it increasingly difficult to stay focused! i will be taking my sketchbook on holiday with me as i cant wait to draw 'holidaying' lions that i will see in Turkey. i must now return to the sewing machine as i have forty eight rainclouds to sew and about 150 odd raindrops.

red chair of rescue...

...a month or so back, me, mister and mr robotington saw a red chair sitting outside the gates of our flat complex place. i asked the red chair what he was doing and he said he didn't know what was going on. he said he had tried asking the same question to the old desk chair and the bed mattress but had got no answer from either. we asked him if he wanted to come in as there was a little bit of room in the inn, well in my office and he said yes. so me and the mister showed him the way in and he soon found a comfy corner in which to live. mr robotington kept him company for the first few weeks, helping him to settle in and showed him how to help out with certain household chores. at the moment he is resting and having a mini holiday as he still cant believe he was abandoned. mr robotington said that things could have been worse and that he could have ended up in the canal or on a fire but thankfully we found him in time.

the mister took the black and white photo. aint sure as to why it is in black and white and not in colour though.

08 August 2008

from Wednesday...

...this page is from this week on Wednesday. there was an blind old man who walked through St. Ann's square with a stereo playing opera. it created an eerie atmosphere and made me feel sad. i had to draw him as a lion. in the evening our neighbour Lu Shin came round and the three of us had a game of scrabble. i drew while we played. i never win and often come last. i won with a score of one hundred and fifty six points. oh yeah! the first word i put down was 'shit'. terrible i know but i had a 'q' and a 'u' and was waiting for the right vowels. my top scoring word was 'quid' which gave me about forty or fifty odd points! the final word i put down was 'tea'. classic.

07 August 2008


out and about...

...aye observational drawing in Manchester again. we saw a man stood outside boots the chemist with a very long and spikey moustache on Saturday.also, i saw a lion playing the harmonica and guitar yesterday in St Ann's square. i have been drawing stripey fish and am still attempting my pattern designs but we shall see what i actually get done later on today. am fascinated by patterns at the moment but i am very getting very tired and achy when i draw - think i need a drawing board so i am not cramped over the desk.

06 August 2008

last night...

...i went to Lo-fi DIY which is a brand new crafting club for renegade boys and tearaway girls who want to make things happen. It was held in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre but i ain't sure if it is going to be a weekly, fortnightly or a monthly meet up. Manchester Craft Mafia helped organise and set up the event. There are some more photos on flickr. I knew people were taking photos but i didn't know i would be in so many of them. i am sat in the bottom right hand corner of this photo. it was a great event and the two hours flew by! i met some great people and cant wait to go again.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladyfort/sets/72157601821066212/
the sea...

...underneath the waves of the sea, live some fish and a lion drawing mister. mister john thought he would have a go at drawing lions and his are the two in the top left corner. he even attempted to draw the back of a lion! you may have to click on the image to see it better as some of these drawings are a bit faint as i am struggling to find a nice grade of lead that scans in nice and easy. i use mechanical pencils to draw with and finding refills are a problem at the moment. i am trying out a rotring one at the moment - not one of their expensive ones mind. i quite liked drawing the fish but the earlier ones at the top of the page to me look too technical, i think the spotty and stripy ones are best. i am going on holiday at the end of the month and i am so looking forward to drawing abroad while we try to find nemo in the sea. maybe we may see a robot fish in its natural habitat?

just to add...i am not addicted to cider, though pear cider tastes nice, i do like a bottle of it, the amount of bottles drawn on these pages do not represent the amount of bottles drank.

04 August 2008


slow like a snail...

...as per my namesake, i haven't managed to get out and about to draw due to the summer showers and i am just settling in to two part time jobs. i have been trying to draw fish but was getting all technical about it. the lions are getting there as when i have been out, i have noticed i have become more aware of my surroundings and tuned in to whats going on so there are lions in my head that i can draw out on paper. the mister is pestering me to write a story and illustrate it. i suppose i am over thinking it all just like before. i ain't sure what to write about though he looked through my sketchbook and says i have already wrote it. i don't know what sketchbook he is looking at. i must remember to keep it simple if i do write one. who says it has to have words anyway, as if i remember rightly didn't the robber bird steal them?

29 July 2008

last week...

...another page. i feel the lions may have reached their limit. the colours are not quite correct on this page after scanning as i am no good on potatochop. the plan is to go out and about drawing in Manchester again. maybe in different places than normal to further their character development. or maybe the next step is to fully finish off making the textile lion. thanks to the misters mum, i now have some new fabric which is more suitable to a lion's colour though i am planning to make a green lion once the pattern is all sorted out.

there are some new-ish things listed in my etsy shop if any of you fancy splashing out. any money i get is going to pay off my student overdraft and go towards a fancy new sewing machine.

26 July 2008


drawing with Andy...

...while out with Andy on Monday, i saw some lions on skateboards and some suits in the cafe at the urbis. ones with calculators this time working out long sums. i have also notice that people in Manchester love to carry handbags and will carry them ever so funny. like resting the handle in your elbow. maybe its the fashion. the disco dancing lions were from a centre page pull out from the guardian newspaper. the office is becoming a snug working space now it is more organised. before it was pushing my anger and irritation levels through the roof. hopefully i will be re-potting the three baby cacti tomorrow. then i will, i promise i will draw all seven of them.

22 July 2008

page eighteen...

...or thereabouts of the lion sketchbook. i think i drew some of these while i was half asleep. lion has now found a dog but i don't like drawing them so i think he needs more fish and birds, well better birds. i went out drawing with Andy yesterday which was great. we went to St. Ann's Square where there is a jazz festival going on but there were no one playing when we were there. we also went and drew at the Urbis, outside on the grass and inside on the comfy chairs. i have to add that these pages are yet to appear on the blog! i am trying to keep it to posting a page a day etc. i am one and a half pages in front of what is pictured above. in the evening we met up with the mister and went to watch 'wall-e'. it was fantastic. i loved it! go watch it. go watch it now. i still have not got very far with my to-do list and job hunting is breaking my spirit. i wish i was a colouring-in person for disney/pixar.