Friday, 26 June 2015

Bee Paradise

Well, I have been a busy bee. I have finished another original greetings card. This one took aaages (but happy ages) and you can see why:

It's called Bee Paradise (again, no prizes) and is listed in my Etsy shop here.

Meanwhile, I have sold Reaching For The Light (still available as greetings cards here) and received a commission for a much bigger version which I'm already looking forward to starting. I'll show you its progress as I go.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The People Have Spoken

A while ago I had the bright idea of selling all my postcards in bundles of five, instead of posting then out one at a time for little profit. I thought it was a great idea and actually many people were already buying several at once, enjoying combining their favourite designs, so what could go wrong?.

Well I'm still not sure what went wrong, but wrong it did go. Sales dwindled immediately and, despite me trying to make it clearer and easier, they stayed at a pitiful trickle. The people have spoken and the people must get what they want, so yesterday I spent hours changing all my postcard listings back to how they were a few months ago. See how good I am to you?

Now, and forevermore, if you want to buy just one postcard, please do. Having seen that the alternative is selling almost none to almost nobody, I will be delighted to package up your one favourite postcard and send it to your home. All profit is good profit!

Here are just a few of my favourite designs (there are 57 to choose from!):

Those Who Sing, Pray Twice:

Tendril Tree:

Oak, Reflected:

I Wish:

Tulip Field:

Cosmic Bard (my favourite self-portrait by Thomas):

Don't Give Up (the one I've needed most recently):

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Original Greetings Cards

In time these will be available as printed cards, but for now I am selling the hand-inked original cards, all of which have metallic ink details or even golden words from Hafiz. No reason why you can't frame them, knowing there's a message from a special someone inside.

Tree #1:

Tree #2:

Do You Know How Beautiful You Are?:

See? I'm properly on a mission! We SHALL go to the ball pool!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Mission

I have been focussed on little other than meeting Pickle's needs and trying to conceive for a very long time. Now that I have an eyelash being or two meshing with my body, I find myself uncomfortably aware of the silence when I shake the coffers. In a bid to remedy this, I am determined to organise my little business so that it actually produces an income, rather than taking up lots of happy hours and producing lots of art and writing no-one ever sees. So, already I have listed four new things in my Etsy shop which had previously been languishing in my livingroom. I have been known to sell from my kitchen wall before, but that really doesn't work as a business plan.

I have a new small ink-on-canvas work called Reaching For The Light. The metallic inks do weird things to the light when I photograph them, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the verdant, abundant feel of it:

And I have had three more designs made into greetings cards.


Tree in Sunny Field:

and Reaching For The Light:

My health is better than it has been for a while, so I will keep working and keep posting about my new creations, human or otherwise.

And thank you so much for all the love and good wishes. It takes a village to raise a child, or do any much, I find. Thank you for being my virtual village x

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Result

Three cycles of IVF, nine months, hundreds of injections and pills and bruises and side-effects, two bouts of OHSS, all my money, enormous stress and heartache and many wet pillows: all worth it. At least one little embryo has snuggled in and taken root in my belly, now busy growing and changing and becoming more robust every day. I'll have a scan next month to do a headcount and see if I have a singleton or twins. Gulp.

So I am very grateful to my sperm donor, whoever he is. Despite the fact that he will never be any kind of a father to these beings, I am thinking of him today, on Fathers' Day, and hoping he knows what a gift he has given.

Of course I am also thinking of Thomas. Pickle made the most wonderful Fathers' Day card at school. On the front is an intricate design of hearts and his violin (relevant to the only true memory she has of him), but it's the words which make it:

For those of you not fluent in five-year-old, the translation is this:

'Hi Dad. I hope you do survive. I do dear Dad. I want to dig you up. I love you. I love you. I do love you.'

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Wait

Much has happened and some of it has been this:

I have occasionally remembered to photograph a name sign before I send it off. This one has gone to Canada to celebrate a wonderful new baby:

I had a birthday. I don't like having  a party for me, but my good friend was having a birthday gathering in their woods, so I came along on the assurance that no-one would sing that song! Fine folk sat about a fire chatting and eating.

Children did children things

and a good time was had by all. Here I am, a year older:

Pickle and I have been spending happy hours in our jungle garden. We can get all the way through the woods now! Well, we could, but now the nettles have grown up so only I can again - but that's the deal with jungles.

Pickle has been angling for inclusion in an eighties public service advert for road safety:

doing yoga with her Gappy:

and always finding secret places to be. Here she is at Westonbirt Arboretum - a place of tree magic and very much beauty in any season:

We were with her cousins and my siblings and their families and our parents - a rare gathering of the tribe.

Yesterday was Pickle's first ever Sports Day. We both enjoyed it and I was unexpectedly moved by the sight of her valiantly hopping along in a sack. Here she is, slowing right down during the sprint to smile and wave at me:

Sometimes the magic of moments happens invisibly, in the heart, and sometimes there is actual magic just hiding down a badger holt if you have eyes to see. Luckily for us, our neighbour has those feyfox eyes and spotted real Goblin's Gold. It is luminescent moss and it's fancy name is Schistostega and it lives in dark places where the sunlight mosses cannot thrive and overwhelm it. It's not easy to capture the amazing vividness of its glow in a photograph, but this is my best attempt:

And that's not even the most magical thing! I am on my third and final round of IVF. This round has been even tougher than the others and for most of it I was in quite a gloom, just going through the motions of injections and pills and scans and waiting. My self-esteem has reached record lows and physically it has been tough too. I now have OHSS and, without breasts, that makes me this shape:

However, the epic two-week wait is nearly over and I can do a pregnancy test in a couple of days. Then, hopefully, I will have a happier reason to look like Mr Greedy.
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