Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Elephant and His Balloon

My coach and all round great pal Carol Mulligan and I recently hatched a plan to make a kid's book for our friend's birthday.

Our friend Aoife is a H-U-G-E Dylan Moran fan and so we decided to make a book based on the story of The Elephant and His Balloon which appears in the television series Black Books. (I have yet to see this episode. An evening with a telly, minibars and the dvd series is on the cards). Here are the illustrations I did for the book.

There's the elephant.

He's happy with his balloon.

Oh no! It's gone!

Where IS it?

It's not behind the rhino.

Look in the alligator's mouth. It's not there either!

Oh! The monkey's got it in the tree!

He brings it back.

Then they all drink lemonade.

The end.

Carol read the story in the most soothing tones while I turned the pages on a very windy day. Then Carol uploaded the video onto youtube and hey presto! Aoife was given the tag as a talisman and she found her birthday present online. She's living in Edinburgh so I sent her the book by postman. Happy birthday Aoife! Well done everyone!

See for yourself here:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Done and dusted!

Gramophone magic

Hooray for Kate Strain and her wonderful gramophone! It made for brilliant encounters with people at the market. A little white haired boy cranked it, a lovely dad crooned 'hello' into it and musicians bent their ears to pour the sounds of a very crackly bing crosby into them.

typewriter and tea

Now it's time to get back to mountains of tea and the typewriter with a new story about The Bray Head hotel. (I sound like the interfering know-it-all from Murder She Wrote!). A little groundwork has already been done with a celebratory visit there yesterday evening. I'll keep you posted..

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Crafting

a little hommage to the unbeautiful christmas jumper

Tomorrow and on Sunday, my friends and I will be hawking our crafty wares at a Christmas market in the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray. Come! Come along!

My good buddy, Fiona Hallinan and I have been having a whale of a time these past few months. We've squirrelled ourselves away drawing in her kitchen, comparing pencil cases with a delighted gasp, swimming in the brimful sea and dancing like dervishes after all the work is done. We emerged blinking in the light with a children's book for adults. We called it Things We Have Learned From Thinking About Animals. Here are some of the illustrations which I made for it. You can see more of Fiona's beautiful work here.

There will also be handmade christmas cards, baubley brooches, oragami christmas decorations, homemade fudge, beautiful necklaces, felt get the idea. It's going to be a treasure trove!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Iora rua

Here is my idea of an immaculately-matched partnership. One needs a perch, the other a toupé! It's perfect! On an aside, I know a lady who'd love a stuffed squirrel hat. It's not me, if that's what you're thinking..Oh no, somebody else entirely. She's the most avid taxidermy collector around. Not quite the colonel in Jumangi..but very close. Who could it be?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

My next-door-neighbour is amazing. In many ways, I find her a little terrifying. The kind of lady you can't say no to.

She called around to our house recently with hot cross buns and tested the buns for firmness throughout the whole conversation, which consisted of me trying to tell her obliquely that we've never liked them and her insisting on me taking them anyway. Lately, I also found myself roped into painting her wall. I've no idea how she managed it. I did, in turn, get a pot of begonias. I feel I'm doing well out of this. May the games continue!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

bad hands

Furtively stolen polar bear cub

Friday, December 4, 2009

These are my idle hands

I think it might be a good thing to keep the devil from the door by lashing up some drawings here. Providing a drizzle of purpose to many's the wandering drawing. Here's a drawing of the man in question. It's based on this story my dad told me once called Séanna and the devil.

Séanna, god love him, is having a difficult time. He decides to go to the market to try and sell his last remaining cow but comes home again empty-pocketed and crestfallen. Later that evening as he's sitting in front of the fire, cursing his hard life and wishing that things could be easy just for once, he hears three sharp, rasping knocks on the door. He opens the door and a dark, black stranger is standing on the threshold. He offers Séanna a single wish on condition that Séanna promises to do anything he asks in 13 years time. Séanna lets out a cry of joy and asks, at once, to be as rich as a lord. The stranger grants him his wish and Séanna spends the next 13 years living in tremendous splendour in his house.

Thirteen years roll effortlessly by and on the anniversary of the night that fortune fell on Séanna, he hears again, three sharp, rasping knocks on the door. Séanna throws open the door and low and behold, who should be standing there but the same stranger! But Séanna sees at once that this time a ferocious looking tail is whipping around the stranger's back and sparks are flying on the flagstone as the stranger's cloven hooves snap sharply on the doorstep. Séanna lets out a cry of horror as he realises it's the diabhail himself!

At this point, my dad turned to me and said, "That, love, is as much as I can remember. Sorry. He gets out of it somehow."