Friday, 3 July 2020

"It's important for every child to have a bit of a naughty streak."

Day 105:

Last night we were very irresponsible and stayed up until 3am doodling and paint while emptying a couple of bottles of wine. It's so lovely actually being in a relationship with someone who has some of the same interests especially as we both thrive off of each others creativity, it really makes all the difference. Last night we decided to but paint the same beetle (Necrophila Formosa) as the pumpkin style markings really caught our eye. I find it so interesting that we can both be painting the same thing yet the come out so different because of our personal styles. We probably would have continued painting had it not been for Opeie walking in, telling us we were too loud and shaking his head at us disapprovingly. The look on his face was too much so we went to bed like a couple of naughty kids.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

"Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time."

Day 104:

For many of us the last 100 or so days has forced us into seriously changing the speed in which we are living. Ive always been fairly chill but I've seen the people around me have to adapt to this new way of getting through the days. I had high hopes for the lockdown period, I was going to learn new skills and pick up things that I had put down a long time ago, and although I definitely have learned some new skills and have tackled some new projects, this time at home hasn't been as productive as I had invisioned because of concentrating on our emotional wellbeing. I lay in bed tonight thinking about how much creative fun we have had, Both myself and Becci have really been empowered by the things we have been doing and Its been awesome watching Opeie get into his drawing too, I've been putting a lot more thought into how his home education is going to be going from this point and I'm really excited to see where it goes.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

"Create with the heart, build with the mind"

Day 103:

Opeie has been all smiles today because he has built one of his favourite teddies. Jonathan (or pinky butthole as we like to call him) has been a mobile pillow for Opeie taken all over the house for him to lie on. As he is so loved Opeie decided to immortalise him in bricks to show his appreciation. I bloody love LEGO!!!

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

"Passion surprises. One doesn't search it. It can happen to you tomorrow."

Day 101-102:

Yesterday seemed to fly by and I didn't take a single photo so I'm lazily adding these two days together. Last year we visited Attingham park a few times around this time of year in search of the Lesser stag for Opeies photo collection of found beetles. Each visit we came away with some photos of some interesting new beetles but sadly never the Lesser stag. As we walked home yesterday through the woodland near us, we turned over logs looking for beetles and there she was, sitting there waiting for a photo. I love how things like this can really make our day and we can now cross off Lesser stag from our list. Next up... we still haven't found Opeie's favourite, the elusive violet ground beetle.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

"Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it."

Day 100:

I can't believe it's been 100 days since I started doing this picture a day lockdown thing. I'd really lost the umph for writing before I'd started this so its really good to have that back now. The last 100 days have been a huge turning point for me with my creativity too and that has definitely been helped along by that amazing girl of mine. Ive not been in a relationship before where we are creative together and all those bottles of wine and late night creative sessions are definitely what I was missing in life. Last night the conversation went from deep to just plain stupid and went on till 4am. What I loved most is that we doodled and painted during that time and the evening/early morning flew by. This relationship is completely different than anything that I've ever experienced before and I really hope that she is getting as much out of it as I am.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."

Day 99:

The plan for today was to go for good stomp around snail beach, we made pizza and wrapped it up for lunch but when we arrived the weather just didn't want to play ball so we drove a little further up to Stiperstones and dropped the backseats so that we could sit in the back of the car and paint. Before we could start painting though Opeie asked whether we could do a drawing activity he had created where we design products for a supermarket based around themes. I love things like this as you end up drawing things that you would never usually think of drawing. 

Friday, 26 June 2020

"We loved with a love that was more than love."

Day 98:

It kind of feels like everything has realigned over the last few days and all is where it needs to be. Ive felt more myself than I have done for weeks and it's been a huge relief as I was starting to feel a little lost. Opeie has been a lot more perky too, which to me just reinforces that we are filling our life with people that are helping us to blossom. 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."

Day 97:

I rarely get any time to just be a grown up and its been that way for so many years. Opeie is the greatest company I could ask for and I wouldn't change anything about him being with me full time for that time, but every now and again its nice to not have to worry about anyone and just concentrate on being. Today was one of those rare occasions where he wasn't with me for a few hours so me and Becci went for a long walk deep into the woods by the house. We had nowhere to be, and zero responsibilities for that time so we just walked. We looked for fungi, spotted deer and lay on the ground amongst the trees listening to the birds, it was bliss.  

Its hard to remember to breath sometimes with all the day to day stresses and strains of life. The expectations of being a parent at times can feel like a heavy weight, especially with Opeie being home educated too, it really adds to the pressure. 

But for today, just me and that girl of mine and a day filled with love. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."

Day 96:

Today there is excitement in the air, it's been over 2 weeks since I last saw Becci and it's not been easy being away from each other fo that time. She'll be over this afternoon and I can't wait. This lockdown period has played havoc with the both of us emotionally but I know that as soon as we see each other everything will be perfect. As the boy and I were up nice and early we headed out for a walk up the lane by us. The sheep never fail to put a huge smile on my face and as we walked, Opeie and I chatted about the future. With the current situation the way it is I think the summer holidays have started for us, so we plan to concentrate even more on creativity and having lots of fun and for the next few days we'll have someone fun here to share that with.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

'As soon as I'd finished tinkering, it was a wrap!'

Day 95:

Ive said it so many times but this lockdown period has been all about the mini projects and I've really been loving that side of things. The Raleigh Choppers have really been keeping me occupied and today I found myself with an hour and a half to myself. I lay on the sofa and did contemplate having a cheeky nap, but my need to be tinkering got the better of me and I decided to attempt to vinyl wrap Becci's chain guard in some fitting leopard print. I had tried to wrap the mudguard last week and made a complete hash of it but this one I was pretty chuffed with. Im seriously considering looking for a cheap frame to completely wrap it in this stuff.

Monday, 22 June 2020

"The toad, without which no garden would be complete"

Day 94:

When I popped out in the garden last night I saw this little cutie quickly disappear under the shed. Tonight when I walked outside they were obviously feeling a little braver and came over to say hi. Our garden is only really small but backs on to an undisturbed piece of land with a stream so we get all sorts in there. The frogs always freak when I pick them up but this little dude happily sat on my hand for a photo shoot, my toady encounter really made my evening. 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

"When one has not had a good father, one must create one."

Day 93:

Fathers day has always been one of my favourite days of the year and this one was lush, I got breakfast and coffee in bed, a lovely card and most importantly lots of cuddles. The weather wasn't great but we managed to find a spot by the river in Jackfield where we could park, open the boot and paint in the back of the car while it thrashed it down, perfection.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

"The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer."

Day 91 and 92:

Opeie has really been getting into his LEGO photography for his latest comic idea. He's been in the garden with all sorts of kits and bricks creating scenes for each picture and its been so lovely to watch. As I really wasn't in the mood to write yesterday I decided to use two of his photos for today. I can't wait to see the finished piece, its starting to look really interesting.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Day 90:

Homeschooling (in our usual way) went out the window pretty quickly when all this crazy started. For most of us the days have all just merged into one big oddity, Ive lost all track of days and time and in my foggy head I'm now stuck at 'before Corona (BC)' and During Corona (DC). It's get harder and harder to motivate Opeie in the way I would have BC because he misses his friends so much. So I now just fully focus on what makes him happy. His latest idea for a comic has been keeping us busy in the LEGO department, focusing on set designs and letting our brick creativity flow. This should be a pretty awesome project, stay tuned.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

"The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes."

Day 88:

Last nights awful lack of sleep meant that when I got up I just wanted to get out. At times like this I feel so claustrophobic and I just can't breathe. Opeie and I decided to pack a lunch, books, and sketchpads and head to Titterstones (our own peaceful getaway). The weather wasn't great but we drove up as high as we could get, opened the boot and listen to the thunder, it was pretty beautiful. 
I hope these storms pass soon (all of them).

Monday, 15 June 2020

"Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture."

Day 87:

Life is really starting to get me down, It seems like the only thing I can get right these days is being a dad, which to be fair is a pretty good job as I love that kid to bits. It doesn't look like I'm going to be sleeping tonight as my head is so busy and I'm struggling to clear the noise, so I decided to paint, because it's one of the few things that seems to calm me these days. I'm so thankful for this creative brain of mine, I feel like I'd be a wreck without it.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

"The essence of pleasure is spontaneity."

Day 86:

Ever feel like you are living Groundhog Day over and over? I wake up some mornings thinking 'well here we go again'. I'm so used to being spontaneous, jumping in the car and driving wherever in search of adventure, This whole lockdown thing is slowly sucking the life out of us. So In order to combat the ever growing rutt we are trying to add a little crazy back into our life. With the weather looking like it's turning a little, we decided to bring the trampoline indoors and use it to build a den in the LEGO room. It's partially filling that void but we are definitely desperate for our lives back.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

"Treat your friends as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light."

Day 85:

Ive distanced myself from FB since all this lockdown craziness started but today I signed in and was greeted by this and it really perked me up. This smug face (because of that amazing boy of mine) hasn't changed in the 9 years he's been with me. Becoming a dad was my defining moment and it has shaped everything I have done since that special day. Ive been through happy times, Ive been through heartbreaking times but he's been there next to me through it all. Theres not a person on this planet I could love more, my best friend

Friday, 12 June 2020

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love." ... 'and LEGO'

Day 84:

Today was another one of those days that can just do one. When these days pop up you can guarantee that myself and Opeie always turn to the LEGO for a pick me up. Those magical bricks have some crazy healing power. 

Hoping for a few happy days please.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it."

Day 83:

I don't know what we'd do if it wasn't for all the creativity in the house, it seems like we are always drawing and painting these days. Since becoming a single dad the evenings have always been the hardest for me and this whole lockdown thing has just magnified that. That feeling of being alone and disconnected is horrible. sketching has been a huge way of taking my attention off of that and has helped to keep me in a much more positive headspace. It's been great to look back on all the things we have created and I look forward to putting it all into a fun photo diary for Opeie to look back on. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

"Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self."

Day 82:

I never really understood why people created self portraits? It always seemed like such a bizarre thing to do. Currently though we are living in a pretty bizarre world so as I enjoyed creating the picture of Opeie and Becci earlier in the week so much, I thought I'd give it a go. Its definitely not something I could see myself doing again but I'm glad I had a go. Im really loving this new style of drawing, we may be mid lockdown but this limited life that we are all living has definitely unlocked my creative side and given me a real hunger to keep those creative juices flowing.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."

Day 81:

We've been out and about taking photos of Opeie's LEGO minifigures for an upcoming project of his. I really love how we've managed to get through these bizarre months by being creative every day. I like to think that by the end of all this Opeie will come out of it a lot more confident with his creative abilities and even more open to trying new things.

Monday, 8 June 2020

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”

Day 80:

I have absolutely loved cruising around Telford with Opeie on the Raleigh choppers over the last few days. It''s not only been us with the smiles on our faces either. We've had people honking at us, giving us thumbs up and a few people stopping for a (distanced) chat about how they owned one when they were younger. It turns out that these little beauties are happiness on wheels. 

Sunday, 7 June 2020

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Day 79:

One thing that I'm excited to take away from this insane lockdown period that we're all going through is this new 'just do it' attitude I seemed to have developed from a very creative couple of months. We've really created our way through this time and we've both got a lot more confident in our artistic abilities. The old me would have had an Idea for something but then gradually swayed towards his comfort zone but this new blasé me just throws himself in there with no fear of messing up because Ive realised that for me it is more about the process than the end piece. Its that relaxing time focusing on nothing but what I have in from of me. Its been nice to see Opeie picking up his pens so much too and he's also really thriving with all the creativity. This positive, colourful, design based learning is definitely a path I'm sticking with for both of us.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

"It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project."

Day 78:

Today we all went out on our new rides and it was lush. I was so gutted selling my chopper years ago when I knew that Opeie was on his way and after picking one up for Becci last weekend, me and that retro loving boy of mine couldn't stop thinking about riding it around the park. So I sold my mountain bike and went hunting online for choppers for ourselves. We managed to find a couple pretty easy and picked them up on the same day. Since then we've been tinkering, adding parts and cleaning them up. It's like I always say, it's good to have a project or two on the go, and now we can head out on some seriously stylish adventures.

Friday, 5 June 2020

"Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow."

Day 77:

I found myself parked up on my own for an hour today which is unheard of. My first thought was to put the seat back and have a nap with my music on but instead I grabbed my sketchbook and started my piece for todays #creativelockdownproject. Id told Opeie earlier in the day that I was going to draw Charles Darwins head and he needed to pick me a Pokemon body for him. I figured he would pick one of the cute ones but instead chose Rayquaza, it ended up working perfectly I thought.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020


Day 75:

Its just one of those pictures that is only aimed at one person, so I'm not even going to explain. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working."

Day 74:

I went to bed last night with the intention of having a creative morning but when I woke up and got going I had zero motivation to to do anything. This is frustrating not just for me but also because it can have a knock on effect to how Opeie is feeling too. After passing back and forth a few messages with Becci as I drank my morning coffee she talked about what she was getting up to and I was flooded with inspiration. I went straight for my pens and within 10 minutes me and Opeie were sitting in the sun and our creative juices were flowing. All it takes sometimes is the right person to get you going and that lady of mine always does.

Monday, 1 June 2020

"“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”"

Day 73:

Ive said it so many times since this lockdown started, The #creativelockdownproject that Becci started has really kept me and Opeie in a happy creative headspace and I don't think I've ever been this creatively motivated in a long time. Its been great to really reinforce to Opeie that art is everywhere and it doesn't have to be something that has taken a chunk of time to create, to make people smile. as the creative word today is 'books' Opeie decided to search through his collection and make a book rainbow. It certainly put a smile on my face.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

'A project keeps the wheels of creativity spinning'

Day 72:

After talking about going out on bike adventures it was clear we needed to get everyone on board with our plans, so today we went and picked up a bike for the female member of our posse. Both Opeie and myself ended up a touch jealous of said bike (especially after I had sold my custom pink one when Opeie entered the world). Im sensing our future bike adventures may have just taken a more retro path, watch this space, I feel a project coming.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."

Day 71:

Today was one of those days where everything just seemed to fall in to place. A mixture of great moods, fun, creativity and a picnic in the woods. Last year Opeie and I found a really lovely area not too far from where we live which we've used a few times to sit and do home-ed work. This evening we decided to take the garden parasol, a blanket and some art supplies for a relaxing peaceful evening under the trees. Just what we needed to take out minds off the current madness. We took loads of pictures of our paintings but this little guy that joined the party (with his heart shaped markings) really summed up how I was feeling.

Friday, 29 May 2020

"Froggie jumped all over the stage that day"

Day 70:

Today at chez Twinklestar during the busy lunch time period one of our customers requested a frog sandwich so I had to think fast. Hopefully he didn't notice that it was a green pesto and gherkin sandwich as he munched it down, but he left with a big smile on his face.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

"“Somedays you eat the bear, somedays the bear eats you”"

Day 69:

After a pretty crappy few days I started to feel myself again today, Opeie clearly picked up on that too which really made all the difference to our day. We went for a really long walk around Jackfield and sat in the sun... with Mr.T and talked about everything. Turning my phone off really helped too, I'm finding it really distracting at the moment and need to remind myself that its not something I need to check all the time. Today has been a good one and I'm going to hold on to that tightly.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

Day 68:

One thing that I have loved about this lockdown period is the projects, tackling those little jobs that I'd either been putting off or just didn't seem to be able to make time for. Last year when Opeie was deep into his beetle project I decided to up-cycle a bureau for him, beetle style. A place for a Coleoptera enthusiast to keep his entomology books, research material and beetle hunting items. Typical individual homeschool kid never used it and kept all his bits in various sections of the house, so today I thought I'd reclaim it for myself and use it for all my painting and sketching things. Opeie helped me repaint it, the feet had been waiting to be done since I painted it and we found all the creative bits we needed to really make a fun space for me to create. It was the perfect little project to start pulling me out of my funk and it was great getting my sidekick helping too.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

"Smile is a good reply to the dark world."

Day 67:

Life can throw some serious curve balls at times. The last few days have been awful, If it wasn't for the endless smiles caused by Baby Yoda being delivered today I think I may have had a mini breakdown. One thing I can always rely on is this little dude being there to pick me up when I'm having an emotionally challenging day. Being a dad (especially to this superstar) is what life is all about. 

Monday, 25 May 2020

“True emotional healing doesn't happen without feeling. The only way out is through.”

Day 66:

I used to be one of those people that would think 'bloody hell another blogger hash tagging 'mental health'. A few years back everybody seemed to be jumping on some sort of mental health band wagon and I really didn't understand it. It turns out that I'm an idiot, and the reason that everyone was talking about it back then was because it was the start of society really giving it the attention it deserves. The last two years have been an emotional rollercoaster and have really made me appreciate how hard it is sometimes to stop myself (and Opeie) feeling like we are emotionally sinking. This Coronavirus has become testing to most peoples emotional health and when there are other issues in your personal life too (especially ones that are unnecessary) it really adds to those negative feelings. Tonight is one of those nights where I feel like I've been on the verge of tears for quite sometime, So, as todays word on our #creativelockdownproject is 'Afloat' I figured my brain and emotional wellbeing were the things that I'm always trying to keep above the surface. 

Be kind to each other, It really makes a difference.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

"There must be something in the water"

Day 65:

You know those days that can just f#€* off? well today was one of them. I seriously need to wipe it from my memory and have a nice do-over tomorrow. Despite the day being an absolute flop Opeie and I still managed to build something colourful for our daily creative word, which was 'Rainbow'. I'm definitely looking forward to more colourful days.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."

Day 64:

It was one of those rare occasions today where I found myself actually having a bit of time to myself as Opeie happily played with his friends online for a couple of hours. My first thought was 'clean the house?' yeah right! I grabbed a coffee, the watercolours and some music and sat on my bed with the windows opened and painted my do-over for the piece I wasn't happy with yesterday for the #creativelockdownproject word 'bugs'. The word made me think of an afternoon cycling up the Long mynd when we spotted some Bloody-nosed beetles for our ongoing beetle collection. I bloody love beetles!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

“This is the way.”

Day 62:

I never really thought that much of Star Wars, always swayed towards the super heroes instead but over the last few days we've been watching the Mandalorian and I'm pretty hooked. So as todays word over on the #creativelockdownproject is 'Kindness' and Mando is so lovely to Baby Yoda 'this is the way' we went with our pieces. I am loving painting, its really keeping me in a lovely headspace and all this creativity is working wonders for Opeie too.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

Day 61:

As I lay in the woods today staring at the lush blue sky through the gap in the trees, I concentrated on my breathing and really took some time to think about how lucky I am. I have an amazing little family and they really make me smile. The last 60 or so days have been a rollercoaster of emotions and although we're still here in the midst of this madness, we're still smiling and that's so important.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

"Well, I, happened to... Find me a buggy Coming out from under a rock in the grass, yeah..."

Day 60:

Im not really sure why but I seem to attract shield bugs, they seem to find me and then just hang around. Todays little chap landed on me while I was painting on the trampoline. He did his thing and I took some pictures and then put him down on the ground and moved to paint over on the garden sofa. The cutie followed me and landed on my watercolour palette before finding its way back onto my hand. I like to think that it knew all about our love of beetles and just wanted to join the club and get a bit of attention. Nature is amazing!

Monday, 18 May 2020

"A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown."

Day 59:

Todays #creativelockdownproject word is 'Hero' and there is no one more heroic than the people out there risking their lives so that we can all be safe in our homes while this awful virus is taking so many lives. These people are just getting on with keeping the world turning and taking everything in their stride. I for one feel so grateful for all that they are doing for us.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

"Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands!"

Day 58:

Todays #creativelockdownproject word is 'Unfinished', the original plan was to start a new piece and leave it incomplete but I walked past my disappointing piece from the 'Music' day and realised that that needed to be my piece for today. No matter how many times I drew Opeie's mouth I just couldn't get it right, so I had just rubbed it out completely and he sat on the shelf mouthless... unfinished. 
I really didn't want to attempt that mouth again only to be left frustrated so I gave that little potty mouth of mine a fitting replacement and the piece made me smile again.

Friday, 15 May 2020

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Day 56:

I need to keep reminding myself that despite the bizarre situation we are all currently living in, it's not all doom and gloom and there's always time for mucking about and having a good chuckle. Being in a relationship with someone that not only accepts my insanity but also encourages it and adds their own  bit of madness in too really does make all the difference. I'm feeling pretty loved up today.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

"Adventure is not outside man; it is within."

Day 55:

Over on the #creativelockdownproject that we have been taking part in, the days word is adventure. At first it made me think of the adventures that we've been missing out on, the trips to the beach and all the places we like to pull up to and paint. Then I reminded myself that 'adventure' is what you make it. So we grabbed our Minifigures and went for a good stomp for a couple of hours, the perfect mini adventure for a lockdown day. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

"Bake someone happy!"

Day 54:

Today Opeie was looking pretty fed up, after a creative morning and a tasty lunch he lay on the floor like he had just given up, I guess we're all having moments like that at the moment, mine usually come when he's in bed and I find myself really thinking about everything. I had a bit of a sweet tooth so I told him to make some cakes, which seemed to give him that boost he needed to get a smile back on his face. We found a recipe, sorted the ingredients and I just left him to it, 50 minutes later we had some delicious banana bread cupcakes and a happy content boy,"" yummy.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

"He travels like a lightning streak and he strikes from town to town. Then he gets you when you're weak and tares your playhouse down."

Day 53:

As an enthusiast of all things LEGO I love a good challenge and being able to only build in one colour has always been something that I have enjoyed doing. With todays #creativelockdownproject word being 'Monochrome' it gave me the chance to get in to a mini LEGO project. For some reason the first thing that came to mind was the devil minifigure so I chose to stick with red and create the build around that little guy. To see more of satan's thrown room check out our Instagram page HERE.

Monday, 11 May 2020

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

Day 52:

Todays #CreativeLockdownProject word  is 'Happy', which is definitely how I'm feeling today. Lockdown definitely isn't great but I get to hang out with my bestie all day, building LEGO and filling our time with fun. We decided to use todays word to add a couple of new rooms to the LEGO wall that we are creating. I went with building our trip to Crosby peach in January. We had taken the kids to have a beach clean up afternoon and to see the Anthony Gormley 'Another Place' sculptures, it was one of those days that summed up 'Happy' completely.

Opeie decided to build a rainbow coloured room with things that he make him 'Happy'. I'm not sure how long this LEGO wall is going to take but its already looking so interesting and is turning out to be a really celebration of who we are and what we love.