Tuesday 14 December 2010

More Bits of Wood

Some of you may know how especially fond I am of bits of old wood.
It was only recently that I discovered I am not alone in my world. The lovely Ingrid has made me most happy as it is obvious to me that she too is unable to throw out an old bit of wood. She is however one step ahead of me, by making brilliant things out of her bits of old wood. She has given me kind permission to show her wonderful Christmas trees. I love them.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Proper Boats

Found on YouTube, this has got to make you smile... The brilliant Cocker Freeman goes East on the River Blackwater in proper boats.

As for the clips being used without permission... Dylan Winter left a gracious comment on YouTube saying,
"this is bloomin brilliant -although the shots look vaguely familiar, have em with my love, Dylan."

I don't know how to stop Blogger from chopping the very far right hand side off? Maybe my blog layout is all the wrong width? Does anyone know?

Friday 12 November 2010

Salty Dogs

Here's a small peek at some of my rather measly contribution to this year's Salty Dogs Christmas Show.

Described by Claudia Myatt (Queen of Scows and boaty pictures) as a unique emporium of all things nautical, Salty Dogs is the brainchild of Den Phillips. This year the venue is 14 High Street, Maldon, (up at the top on the left), and the Show starts tonight.

My boggled brain has a headache; peculiar questions against the clock keep flying my way.. (Yes, the 11+ exam is only a week away)

If tomorrow is the day which comes three days after Tuesday. What then is the second letter of the day which comes four days before yesterday?

Saturday 30 October 2010

Sharing Some Scow Love

The dinghy on my website header and also on my blog profile is my Scow. She's a brilliant boat. I found her under a bramble bush in someone elses back garden and loved her immediately. Our family had owned one when I was a child so it was a pre-programmed attraction, and I nostalgically reminisce of days of yore when all five of us would pile in and head off for Swallow-and-Amazon-esque adventures. She's a pretty little duck shape with a very simple lugsail rig (just a halyard and a mainsheet to worry about). Roomy enough for a gaggle of friends and small enough for one. Absolutely perfect.

And Look! Mr Bursledon Blogger has got one too. He has put a link to me in his latest post, and all the lovely people visiting my blog from his are probably thoroughly disappointed because all they find here are nautical christmas cards, so I have decided to tell you a bit about my boat.

Like Mr BB's, my scow began her life with me in a bit of a state. After sitting forlornly in someone elses garden, she sat forlornly in my garden until my father came to the rescue. He helped me put on new strakes which we steamed into shape with a piece of pipe and the kettle. We also replaced part of the hog. We added another thwart (made from our old kitchen shelf) which tied in & strengthened the centreboard case (it still leaks, but is less wobbly now). We gave the hull a new gelcoat, epoxied up the splitting spars and scarfed a new piece of wood onto the top of the mast (it was a bit thin and rotten to hold the main halyard block). A lot of epoxy, varnish and paint later she was done.

Her rudder was a bit of a whopper and has been cut down a bit since this picture was taken. The pink was a bad choice and the boat is rebelling slowly... it's peeling off in places all by itself. I will probably repaint her soon in utterly boring colours that reflect my conservative middle age. We shall see...

If you click here and scroll down, you might be able to spot us sporting a very fine jib on the Round-the-Island Race earlier this year. That's round Mersea Island, not the Isle of Wight!

Friday 22 October 2010

Shop Update

I am slightly horrified. I know it's only October. I know the clocks haven't even changed yet, and my boat knows it's still rigged and ready... hoping for one more splosh and chuckle.

Yes, despite clinging to the last vestige of summer, I am going to annoy you all by announcing that I now have Christmas Cards available to buy in my shop.

I feel a little bit absolved in this because I know that West Mersea Lifeboat Station have been selling their Christmas cards all summer long (which won't make much sense to you lovely lot in the southern hemisphere, but for all of us over here summer and Christmas don't equate).

Talking of the lifeboat, this year I have decided to give 10% from online sales of my Christmas cards to the RNLI. I'm hoping we'll raise a fine amount. Click here to pop on over and see if you'd like a pack.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Thursday 16 September 2010

Toot Toot!

Bring out the trumpets and smash the champagne.   May God bless her and all who sail in her.

My small fanfare heralds the absurdly belated arrival of my shop.  Do have a look and a click. This link should take you there;  Leafy's Shop.

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop,"   was something the King said to the White Rabbit.

Likewise, I have begun at the beginning and I am going on.   I am not sure where the end is,  but if you watch this space the shelves will get fuller with time. 

Friday 20 August 2010


If you click on the picture I think it might get bigger.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Summer Days

The days are long and warm,  friends pop in and out and I have forgotten about leaky roofs and rotten windows.   Samphire fattens in the marshes and the sea lavender is flowering.   Dinghies chuckle through the water, children skip past with crabbing lines and daytrippers queue outside the Company Shed.   Coast Road is heaving;  it's almost impossible to get to the lifeboat station by car.   The seal is back,  bobbing around the hammerhead hoping for raw bacon from the crabbers.   

The garden drips with early apples;  drunken wasps gorging themselves on windfalls.   The pear tree is burgeoning and the cherries (still sour) have all but been stripped by the blackbirds.   It's Mersea Week next week, an annual gathering of boats and boaty folk will grace our estuary.   With all this going on one has to be quite strong-willed to sit inside and think about work.   Phoebe has put together a basic outline of the postcard section of my soon-to-be-webshop,  but I still need to finalise the details.   

I took some prints to the Art Cafe today,  one of which was my Fishpie illustration.  
On a technical note,  all my prints now have acid-free mounts which means the pith inside the mounting board should stay a pristine white and won't turn a nasty yellowy-brown with age.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Salty Sea Girls

It's been another scorchingly beautiful day.  
A gaggle of salty sea girls (and boys) set sail for Ray Island.  They reminded me of this vintage illustration of sailing girls which I absolutely adore.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Monday 5 July 2010


Okay,  here's a sneaky peak at something I've been working on.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Thursday 1 July 2010

Chicken Licken

The chickens were commissioned for a tray,  and they weren't to be straightforward happy chickens;  I was asked to paint a cockerel who was cocky and a hen who was bossy...  
I only hope Mark & Charlotte don't mind!?

Wednesday 30 June 2010

I'm back

It's been a while...  
There has been a gremlin in the telephone exchange but the Shed still stands, the sun shines and I am back with some Muddy Island chickens. 

Thursday 29 April 2010

Pip! Pip!

Dear Everyone,  I had high hopes of keeping you updated and carrying on the Life of Leaf unphased whilst moving to The Shed,  but it seems this is not to be.   I have moved alot of stuff but there is alot more to go.  The computer Gods are about to take away my internet and I don't know when they will give it back?   I will be away for a little while whilst I attempt to sort it all out and transfer everything to Little Grey Rabbit's House.    

I'll be back soon. 

Saturday 10 April 2010


Hip Hooray I now have electricity,  and two out of three ceilings up.  I also have a pot of chalk by the door,  and strange messages keep appearing...

Sunday 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

At the moment the only artycraftiness going on in this house is that of my salty seagirl.   

The Shed is coming on nicely though...
I am sawing and drilling and sanding and painting and cutting and filling and nailing and screwing and mixing and scrubbing and sweeping and scraping and sticking and wishing you a happy Easter.

Monday 22 March 2010

Drascombe Lugger

This is not just a drascombe lugger,  it's also a family portrait.

Saturday 20 March 2010

And Another One.

It all began around Christmas time when everything was frozen solid.  Now it is nearly Easter and I am STILL battling with insulation and pieces of timber in the Shed.  You will have to bear with me, dear readers, and make do with old boat pictures while I build my house.

I am thinking you might be wanting house pictures, not boat pictures?  In fear of disappointing you I will see if I can rustle something up.

Scrutinizing the lovely Boadi in the post below,  the peak halyard looks a bit wonky and wrong. Why oh why did I do it like that?  I don't know what I was thinking?

This watercolour is of Our Boys,  a mighty Rowhedge smack.  She's enormous (whereas Boadi is sweet and small) and her gaff is held up by magic...  I haven't given her any rigging at all.

Thursday 4 March 2010


This is Kate CK52 (oil on canvas) chomping through an east coast chop.  She's had a makeover since this portrait and is now a beautiful cream with duckegg bulwarks.  I'd better paint her again.

Postscript addendum for the shed-building fraternity...  No more mushrooms. I am very happy today because the raingods answered my prayers and so did the roofer.   I have a brand new(but-not-quite-finished) ironingboard-smooth perfectly-angled watertight-hopefully flat roof on the south side of the shed.  All I need now is some rain so I can test it out...

Sunday 28 February 2010

Straying from the Path

My Salty Seagirl and I had stewed apple with our porridge this morning for extra energy.  She was off visiting friends and relations, and I went to build The Shed.  I am doing more pulling apart than building at the moment and the electrician will be annoyed with me.  He has spent days putting wires in the walls and now I am knocking the walls down.

My mother thinks blogs are okay if they stick to a subject, and not if they digress into how you had a cup of tea this morning.  She has a point, and for the most part I agree with her.  Here I have a problem; there is nothing remotely arty about this post; I have not picked up a paintbrush for weeks; I am rambling about porridge and electricians; this is turning into "Leafy's Building Blog".   

My saw is blunt, my knuckles are skinned, my hammer won't hit straight, my lungs feel clogged, my teeth ache (I am incapable of removing nails without grinding my jaw), the sooner I sort out The Shed and get back to drawing and painting the better.   

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Old Workspace

New Workspace
My new workspace needs a bit of roofmending so I am really hoping the rain will go away (just for a bit) but low after low keeps rolling in.  Despite the leaky freezing drippiness I am really looking forward to moving in,  getting organised and becoming a super-new productive and super-new efficient me.  My space in the Shed is altogether nicer with more light and more room than I have ever had before.   The consequence of this is that my artwork will be nicer and so will I.   I am not sure if that last sentence is actually a truth?  ...we shall see.

Please let me have a few dry days.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Wednesday 10 February 2010

The Fish Shop

My postcard rack has found a new home in the fish shop.  Here it is sitting on the counter.

Friday 5 February 2010


For the last nine and a half years Leafy HQ has been a Victorian terrace half a mile inland.   This is all about to change as we are moving.  We have found a dear little cottage a stone's throw from the tideline where you can hear the ching ching of the rigging and smell the mud.   It has apple trees and roses, a farm gate, little leaded windows and a privy.  It looks like just the sort of place Little Grey Rabbit herself might once have lived.  
Now if you are thinking this is just too peachy perfect to be true,  then you are right.  There is a catch.  

The new Leafy HQ is an old shed in disguise.   The roof leaks,  the electricity is antiquated and dangerous,  the plumbing is clanky and seized up,  the windows are rotten and don't open,  there are mushrooms growing in the ceiling,  the privy door is falling off,  and mice and various other creatures have comfortably settled in.   

I am busy making a clean dry corner to lay my paintbox and my head.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

raison d'etre

Some of you may be wondering about the point of this blog,  and why progress on my website is slow.    

My plan is to post up new work, ideas and arty stuff I am up to,  and to generally nudge folk in the direction of my website (which will show you what I do in a more coherent fashion,  & will also have a shop for those of you who'd like to buy something Leafish).   My website is a work in progress,  still unfinished,  infact hardly begun.   The trouble is it has to vie for my attention,  and my attention is elsewhere at the moment.

I will leave you with some painted stones,  and a promise to be back soon with news of what's afoot.

Thursday 28 January 2010

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Bits of Old Wood

I do like it when I manage to use up an old bit of wood.   On Sunday I managed to use up thirteen old bits of wood.   I made this...
Can you guess what it is yet?

Thursday 21 January 2010

Muddy Island Musings

If you hop over here you will see Juliet's Musings.   Yesterday she mused about me.   Today she mused thus.

Monday 18 January 2010

Clickety Click

I am creeping forwards in this techie world.  My website (though still embryonic) now links with a clickety click to this blog.  Clever Phoebe.   

Treasure from another island.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Thursday 14 January 2010

Saltmarsh Plants and Seabirds

A lovely customer collected three of my prints today.   Saltmarsh Plants, Seabirds and an Island Map.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Little Red Dot

Oh I love the cleverness of this.  I can see a little red dot on my visitor map.  It's all the way over there in Australia and I know that it is my brother.

Monday 11 January 2010


...mainly cards; little handmade cards, lovely lithoprinted postcards and nautical Christmas cards. Also a couple of framed prints, an old Bovril box and some bubble wrap. My cards are currently available to buy in the Art Cafe.  I hardly dare say this, but they will also be featuring in my soon-to-be webshop.  My webshop has been 'soon-to-be' for rather longer than it ought.  I am hoping that by announcing it's imminent arrival to the world I will be forced to make it real.  I am not sure that any of you should hold your breath.   If you are desperate for a card in the meantime you can always leave a comment or email me.