Monday, 2 July 2018

If You Go Down to Tee's Garden Today...

If you go down to Tee's garden today.
You're sure of a big surprise!
If you go down to Tee's garden today.
You'd better go in disguise...
For every witch that ever there was.
Will gather there for certain because.
Today's the day that Tilly Simms came to say 'Hi!'

Okay, I didn't find really find Tilly Simms at the bottom of my garden nestled among the ferns and ivy leaves...


Actually this wonderfully adorable witch found her way to me one September accompanied by her creator Jain Squires of Giddy Kipper Dolls who is usually to be found huddled in a cosy workshop as she creates her whimsical characters and other assorted unique familiars.

As I haven't seen Jain for ages, it was really great to enjoy a chat over a cup of tea and to finally meet Tilly Simms; a 12th scale witch that I had asked Jain to make for me.


 For those who are aware of my passion for anything related to Regency history; it will probably be of little surprise that Isabella is dressed in the resplendent clothing that any respectable 19th Century lady would approve of!

 And as Tilly has had plenty of time in which to enjoy a little private time in her new home; I have been very busy with the preparations for her first retail foray at the All Hallows Hamlet although it hasn't been quite the shopping trip that she had imagined...




For as she approached the abode of Monsignor Suárez, the grim and forbidding place, neglected and possessed of some hidden terror was everything that she feared it would be and the temptation to make a run for it was almost too great... particularly when she spotted the tell-tale sign that someone or some thing had recently been there too...


Oh Tilly! Oh my!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Who Knows Magic IS Real? Who Dreams?

'See It, Feel It, Breathe It. Magick and Beauty Are All Around You.' ~ Anon

AND with a generous monthly pledge of $5 - YOU too shall see AND feel some of the magick with exclusive access to the world of the Crooked Hen on my Patreon page.


With ​access to my Patreon musings, you can enjoy an exclusive look at the work in progress and you can watch me as I fly around the All Hallows Hamlet transforming pieces of old wood and other rubbish into fantastical worlds and I'll show you how I sculpt the weird and wonderful folk with a cup of tea to hand.  

You'll have the opportunity to see a completed fantastical world before anyone else and you can enjoy other Patreon rewards too! 


But what IS Patreon? And how does it work?

Although I love what I do and cannot imagine myself doing anything other than this – I do know that in this crazy world of mine that it's impossible to survive on fresh air with only a diet of hope and the occasional box of donated teabags.

The glue, paint, wood, tools, paintbrushes, fabric and all of the other lovely stuff I use to create my imaginary worlds ALL costs money AND if it didn't - I would either be crawling over hot coals to get to this 'Land of the Free' or else I'd be spending time at Her Majesty's Pleasure...

Which brings me to Patreon!

Patreon is a crowd funding membership site for artists just like me - although I've yet to find anyone else using this site who creates anything quite like I do!

Beginning with a monthly pledge from a $1 and up which is charged to your card on the 1st of every month – not only will you be supporting me in my work but you'll also be invited to cross the portal and step into my world!


​​​AND there are also lots of unique rewards to enjoy including exclusive 'behind-the-scenes' images, giveaways, tutorials and an anniversary gift.​

As an 'Honorary Hen' you can enjoy a discount of 10% to spend on an intoxicating array of unique notions and potions in the Crooked Hen Gift Shop and a 'little' something designed by me will be posted to you on every yearly anniversary that we have shared together on Patreon - as a 'Thank you' for your wonderful support!

Your pledge means everything to me as it will allow me to the freedom to design, create and teach and it would be wonderful to inspire others to become a 'little' creative too - and you can cancel or amend your pledge at any time!

If you are unable to pledge - that's OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much - Thank you!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Go On, Crow ALL You Like!

Yes, dear reader, it IS true - the Yorvik Faerie is now NO More!

I have never really been happy with the name I created for my fantastical brand and a few weeks ago after several days of too little sleep and too much cake - I decided to unfasten her wings and once free, the Yorvik Faerie then flew away for the final time...


However, in her stead, comes the Crooked Hen!

The 'Crooked Hen' I hear you ask?

However, before I explain myself, tell me does the name NOT bring a smile to your face?

And even though I live in the ancient City of York with an entertaining family which includes a tetchy spouse, an moody black Persian cat with attitude and a very sociable Persian who thinks he's a small dog - I also have some chickens!


And although my lovely 'Little' and 'Large' were murdered by an urban fox last year; I still have three poultry pals who answer to the names of 'Snowy', 'Florence' and 'Allie' AND I do mean answer - particularly if they see me clutching a handful of meal worms or a piece of croissant - to which they are very partial!

However, it was 'Allie', pictured top-left who inspired my name change when one weekend having heard an unmistakable sound, I rushed outside and there she was with her head thrown back and crowing like a cock and later that afternoon when we saw her trying to ravish poor little 'Snowy' - well, we realised that we had a chicken who was now possibly 'gender fluid'.


But when I think of that very early morning when we literally rescued her from the jaws of that fox; it's perhaps NOT surprising she's more than a little confused about who she is.

So there you have it - the inspiration for the name of the Crooked Hen! 

NOT a bird bent out of shape or deceitful BUT a bird of two contrasts and of much entertainment value!

Also of much entertainment value was the evening I spent with the members from the York Photography Network last month.

I had been invited to take along some of the models from the All Hallows Hamlet on what was possibly the worst evening for moving - anything!

Torrential rain, high winds, fog - you name it and armed with acres of bubble wrap and my deep breathing exercises, I battled across town with the 'Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer's Emporium' and the 'Harum Scarum Notions & Potions Emporium' in tow.




Despite the rush to unpack and dress the shelves as several camera lens were focused on me and my hands as I arranged those bottles of 'Holy Water' and other assorted notions and potions - it was a very insightful evening and amazing to see how the other photographers sought to capture my work.



And given the hurricane that occurred inside 'Harum Scarum' during transit with snippets of dried flowers and herbs scattered everywhere - I was rather relieved that I had left the grumpy proprietor at home - although she was the subject of much interest!


As the two 'Davids' have kindly given me permission to share these images, you can see more of their incredible work on the Crooked Hen website and on my Patreon page, you can discover how I transformed a piece of wood and and broken pieces of Twisted Willow into an enchanted forest clearing for you never know who you might just find there one sunny morning!



Bye for now!