Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dogs are not just for Christmas....

Best in Show by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne

This Christmas Ethel has got her knitting needles at the ready. It's no secret that Ethel loves animals and making and mending. This wonderful book allows Ethel to knit her very own pet dog. She'll start with the whippet!

Dog knitting kits available from

Monday, 15 November 2010

I see a sea gull on the seashore....

Black- headed gull bag by ethel and iris

Port Issac, Cornwall, UK

One of Ethel's favourite Cornish treats is to sit and spot a fleeting glance of a seabird. They remind her of herself: a little grumpy, a bit argumentative and a never ending appetite for chips (with a dash of vinegar).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Big Ears

Brown Long-eared Bat

Sometimes at night, when all the neighbours are asleep and the street is deadly quiet, Frankie cat and Ethel like to secretly tip-toe beyond their back door to their tiny walled garden.
In the daytime it is a hive of activity. There's Ethel's vegetable patch, where the leeks jostle with the broccoli, eager to find more space to grow. The wooden shed where Frankie cat likes to sit in amongst the seed packets and garden tools and the huge cabbage tree swaying in the wind, which always reminds Ethel of being in Lisbon, her favourite travel destination.
At night though all is asleep. The bumblebees settle in their nest, the Great tits sleep on their branches and the neighbours tuck themselves up in their blankets. This is Ethel's and Frankie cats' favourite time. They sit out alone with the big round moon for company lighting up the dark black sky, all alone apart from the special night time visitor. If Ethel looks up and if she is lucky, a strange winged creature catches her eye. Ethel tries to touch him but he's always too fast, darting through the sky, but if she chats very quietly the visitor likes to listen. You see he has the most extraordinary ears to hear with, much bigger than Frankie cats', more sensitive than Ethel's, he is a Brown Long-eared Bat. Even if Ethel whispers he can hear every word she says. They can happily sit there for hours, gossiping, and no one else can hear them, not even the local mouse.

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Feathered Friend

Spending time away from home, Ethel thought, brings new inspiration and opportunities to make new friends. Ethel travelled to Cornwall, a delightful place, a favourite place, one that she visits each year. This year, as in previous years, Ethel slept in her caravan it was deadly quiet all night long and pitch black with only the moon face to light up the sky. Ethel was able to sleep well, but she knew no matter how deep her sleep she would not need to set her alarm clock to catch the morning chorus as Ethel had made a deal with a friend she'd meet many years earlier. He was quite a handsome fellow and had many girlfriends but his main occupation was to get everyone up and about, wide awake every morning. He worked all year round, 7 days a week, even at Easter, even on Christmas Day. His secret weapon was his voice which made an unusual and unique cock-a-doodle do, a sound that no human could make. It was so loud and so exact in it's timing (6.00am every morning) that he could use it to wake the residents of the campsite quite effectively. Each night that Ethel fell asleep she knew she was in safe hands and she always, without fail, looked forward to the knock on the day each morning from her Cornish feathered friend.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

A Visitor

Getting to know Cassidy Swift

Ethel had had a bad weekend. Her chronic fatigue had left her confined to her bed. No friends, no family visits nothing at all, just a timetable of rest, peace and quiet and forced relaxation. She was sad. Sunday night approached. Through the silence came a knock on the door. Ethel opened it sheepishly and there stood before her was a very small black bird. He looked tired (just like Ethel) and hungry. He'd been on a long journey. He had been sent to cheer Ethel up, which had meant flying all through the night and day to reach her. Ethel was delighted. He spoke of his travels, his love of a well tailored waistcoats and his desire to eat lots of sunflower seeds. His name was Cassidy Swift and Ethel loved him dearly.

Cassidy made by Nettybennetts.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Gingerbread Men

Since Ethel was a child she has harboured a very sweet tooth. Every Saturday would bring the weekly treat of visiting the bakery in the small mining town were her family had lived for more than 30 years. There was much on offer and decisions to be made. An elephant's foot, maybe an iced bun? A custard egg tart? Ethel would ponder over the selection for many a minute as the queue of hungry lunchtime customers built up behind here. Each week Ethel wanted to try something new but each week someone always caught her eye. He was a tiny perfectly formed man made of ginger with currant eyes looking through the glass counter staring back at her. His currant nose and his colourful smartie buttoned jacket was the same every week and the cherry mouth always had a smile or a frown depending on his mood. Ethel would choose the gingerbread man and carefully carry him home in a paper bag. What would she eat first, his head or his toes....

Gingerbread Man Toy available from

Friday, 26 February 2010

An Imaginary Zoo

Ethel lives in a tiny Victorian terraced house. It is so tiny that she can hardly swing a cat in it. She loves her tiny home but sometimes it makes her sad. You see, Ethel would love to house and look after all the endangered animals in the world. A lion maybe, or a gorilla, but she knows, in reality a gorilla would be unhappy with her offers of Earl Grey tea, a slice of Victoria sponge or a turn around her tiny garden. So all Ethel can do is think about her imaginary zoo in her head and all the things she'd like to do for all of her pretend animals.

original one off gorilla mono print by