Duckie and Chickie afloat

My first novel!

This is a 20-page narrative, written for my twin nieces, about the escapades of a pair of farmyard reprobates – Duckie and Chickie. It has been variously described as “disgustingly adorable” and “a scientists’ approach to Getting Along”, but you can’t listen to everything the critics say.

I started it with the strong idea in mind of two characters who have differing abilities, but work together to get in and out of mischief.

Apparently I have to write another one for next Christmas… and until they’re 18. It’s a lot of work, but I do want to find out what was shining on that island…

Brushpen, watercolour, digital jiggery-pokery and InDesign, printed in hardcover through Blurb.

Duckie and Chickie Afloat – pdf for web

Google pannier

Well, the gorgeous pannier in the shop looked like being over £120, so I decided to make do and modify… I took a Google Science Fair 2011 tote, and with a few tweaks turned it into a lightweight almost-free pannier bag.

The main changes have been to insert a bamboo strut to brace the top and U-shaped bamboo strip to shape the side, then darting the bottom to ensure there are no excess corners to flop about and get caught in the spokes. A pair of clipped straps for holding everything in, a shoulder strap for hauling it about, and thermoplastic clips to attach it to the bike, and I’m pretty pleased with it! Time for a test run…

Tree box

After mentioning part of a plot kicking around my head involving a tree in a closet, Alia requested a little cupboard with a tree in it for her birthday. I found this little key cupboard in TKMaxx, and have finally got around to assembling it.
Perhaps 4 hours, lots of scratches and some happy later, here is a cupboard with a tree in it, for hanging earrings and other jewellery on.

Lime Green Lunch

I was feeling the need for a new lunch sack.  The design is perfect for making drybags, but in this case the ripstop nylon, although eye-catching, is distressingly permeable.

That’s a gallery, inserted…

Micron sketch

Sometimes it’s just really nice to have new pens…

Home Hacks – Averting the Coatpocalypse

The household of four active, outdoorsy and outgoing people (with guests) accumulates a truly mind-boggling array of coats, jackets, hats, shoes, boots, brollies and other highly useful detritus. The coats especially thrive in the oddly-shaped cupboard under the stairs, forming thick mounds over the rack of coathooks, like very well-insulated stromatolites. I assume they feel at ease in the dark and chill.

However, it’s ruddy infuriating trying to find a coat when they get three or four thick, co-mingling with their brethren from other hooks until extracting your jacket is like finding one particular onioney layer in a sock full of onions. Ahem.

The solution! A stray pull-up bar, to the rescue! It’s much sturdier than your standard curtain rail, so in conjunction with a large number of coathangers it can support the weight of a whole bunch of coats. It’s also so much more user-friendly: you can differentiate coats at a glance, and even extract them without climbing into the cupboard and engaging Coat-thulu in hand-to-hand combat!

Now if only we could devise a way to head off Shoemageddon…