The art of beautiful writing.

Imagine my great surprise and delight when this beautiful hand written envelope dropped through my letterbox amidst the junk mail and household bills! Ted, my over zealous Jack Russell caught it, singling it out as the most chewable of the days offerings. Fortunately I was there in time and after bellowing, “Leave it!!!” I managed to save this most precious letter from the jaws of destruction.

The envelope was such a joy to behold I scarcely dared to open it, after finding a sharp knife I cautiously slit it open to reveal the most beautiful hand written thank you letter and this magnificent gift, my name in exquisite penmanship. Heather had previously purchased one of my miniature books, which had prompted this unexpected delight.

The penmanship is the work of Heather Victoria Held, a calligrapher from St. George Ontario with a passion for Spencerian Script. She has a lovely blog, which I have been following for some time now. She also has a website which is worth a visit especially if you are considering commissioning a piece of calligraphy as a special gift. In these days of email and often-impersonal digital media I can think of nothing more meaningful than a piece of her artistry.


In search of Squirrel Nutkin

Tony and I decided to escape for the day last week; the blue sky beckoned so we packed our walking shoes and camera and set off in search of Squirrel Nutkin.

We headed for the National Trust Reserve at Formby, on the coast just north of Liverpool. Alas, we did not see a single red squirrel probably due to the devastating effects of recent disease outbreaks. It is estimated that numbers are slightly on the increase now but they were certainly very thin on the ground the day we visited.

I have seen red squirrels in the wild in Austria and was amazed at the colour variations, some very dark sable brown, others bright orange/red. Sadly they are very rare here in the UK despite a great deal of conservation work.

The day was not wasted however as the reserve has some lovely picnic areas and walks through pine forests, sand hills and down to the sea. A huge expanse of sandy beach stretches as far as the eye can see, north towards Southport and south towards Liverpool and the walk helped to lift our spirits.

The illustration is taken from my "Illustrated Address Book".


iPhone and iPod application approved!

Our children's book application "The Bird with the Rainbow Tail" mentioned below, has now been approved by Apple and is in the store now. It will take another four weeks to get the final approval for the iPad or so it seems.Thanks so much for all your kind comments, they have been much appreciated.

The illustration above is the icon that appears on screen as a sort of thumbnail, it had to be very eye catching with strong colours so that it stands out when displayed as a very teeny weeny square. Needless to say that I have it on my iPod and have been playing it non-stop to all and sundry! I showed it to my elderly parents who were completely mystified, I had a hard time explaining how we got Tony's voice in "that little thing". I also found it hard to explain how the iTunes shop works, I am not entirely sure myself! It must be very difficult for my father (who will be 97 this week), to understand blogs and tweets and apps, his world was all about cogs and wheels and thingamajigs.


Listen to this for free!

With a great deal of nervous trepidation I would like to invite to you a preview of “The Bird with the Rainbow Tail” which I have mentioned before on my blog here.

If you follow the link you can see how the application works, it is rather difficult to explain but easy to understand when you see the demonstration. All you need to do is click the arrow and sit back and watch.You can also download the MP3 for free and hear the story from start to finish by following the link in the sidebar on the website.

My husband Tony has written the book with me and has narrated it also. James our son has recorded it and added sound and has composed the music so you see this is a true labour of love. It has taken over four months to illustrate and has been a great adventure, a voyage of discovery into uncharted waters. We have had so much fun doing the recording and testing, with many technical obstacles to overcome and new things to learn, I am almost sad not to be working on it still.

Apple is now testing the application and we have all our fingers and toes, wings and paws crossed that everything will work out as planned. If all is well it should be available in the next week or so. We really hope you will like it!

There is also a little bit about Tony and me here.