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Ruby Wedding Congratulations!

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My parents recently celebrated their 40th (ruby) wedding anniversary which I feel is an increasingly rare thing nowadays. Of course many ‘you’d get less for life’ jokes ensued, but it is an amazing thing.  If, like me, you struggle to think of a gift for loved ones who have already got a collection of every nick-knack and life accessory built up over those 40 years, I would advise that something personal and / or handmade is preferable, no matter how big or small, cheap or expensive.

I decided to make my parents a clock.  Now I’m sure my mam and dad don’t need reminded of the swift passage of time, but this clock has Oscar’s face on it so what’s not to love?  Oscar Fox is my parents’ Maine coon who has an impressive tail plume and a face so cute it could make grown men weep.

My wonderful husband Steve made the clock blank, and then I used my Fire Writer to burn the surface of the wood to create the outline of Oscar Fox looking up at an array or rubies.  I then stained in the colours of the rubies and Oscar’s orange fur and copper eyes.  I was much relieved when my mam finally opened it and said that she liked it!




Maine coon clock

Maine coon clock




I’ve also been working on another clock featuring hares, purple iris flowers and the moon.  I’ll reveal the hidden meaning when it’s finished, but here’s a sneak peak (below left):






One thing we did have to make sure we finished on time recently was a joint project with my husband to make a signpost for a friend’s daughter’s wedding.  The daughter had a list of fictional placenames from books, films and TV series she wanted on the signpost as a decoration to have at her wedding reception.  The names on the signposts were also the table names.


Some of the places I was familiar with, such as Narnia (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Tatooine (Star Wars), but others I didn’t know and it was quite fun researching them.  Steve made the signs and burned them with a blow torch slightly to give them an aged effect, and I painted the lettering.  I enjoyed recreating all the different fonts and any little icons associated with the places.

After doing this signpost, we’ve decided to offer custom-made signs for sale on my Etsy shop at www.benjablue.com.



Custom made wedding signpost

Custom made wedding signpost



After meeting the inspirational Celia Hart at FolkEast I was inspired to pick up my lino cutting tools again.  After sketching out some ideas I thought I’d do a portrait of Kizzy stealing milk.  In reality he doesn’t even like milk, but he will eat just about anything else.  He’s a bit of a food-monster, so he obviously takes after me.  The photos below show the progress of the linocut from drawing (below left) to the initial cutting stages (below right).  I’ll keep you updated.






Finally I will leave you with a progress shot (below) of my current painting commission, Isla and Belle.  I’ve ended up painting a much more complicated background than I originally envisaged, but I’m not far off finishing it now.  You see, I wasn’t lying when I said I had a lot of things on the go!



Isla and Belle watercolour painting

Isla and Belle watercolour painting




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