I’ve known Renita for a while now. Originally from America, Renita now lives in Wigtown, which the book town in Scotland, with the most stunning views across the estuary. When I’ve performed at the festival, the children have all been whipped up to a frenzy by Renita, who welcomes them in and “settles them down” [...]
There’s nothing quite so Halloweeny as a black cat, so here is a video showing you how to draw one.
I was asked to supply a photo for the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham, that I’m going to be at this year. I typed my name into the Computer search box to find something and these two pictures appeared next to each other (pause as cat enters studio looking for some attention!)
The first is me aged about 6 with a stray cat I found and we adopted called Eeek! and the second is my beautiful Marmadukewho died six years ago ( pause while his sister jumps onto my lap – how did she know what I was writing about?) It was one of my first blog entries and you can see how devastated I was.
The picture of Marmaduke must be around 1999.
Ah Sweet. you can draw it too!
Here’s a new video that goes with the how to draw a running cat video, based on my book Cat and Dog. I tech this to five year olds and they do lovely drawings -so do their teachers, who are often quite surprised that they can draw! Go on have a go.
Actually, this is a cunning plan to see wether cats or dogs are more popular on Youtube. So far on my drawing channel, dogs are way more popular. We shall see.
Here is a new video from my Drawing School – How to draw running cats. This has two drawings – one is very easy and one is a bit more advanced. I’ve developed these drawings with reception year children aged 4 and 5. They follow along and do beautiful drawings. So do their teachers, who are often more pleased than the children – so have a go. As ever, if you like the video please rate it with the stars in the top left hand corner and why not subscribe to my YouTube channel?
The temperature is rising, there’s a gentle rain and the cats are going crazy because the pond is heaving with frogs. They are croaking away, singing sweet songs of love to each other and there’s a whole load of spawning going on!
Haworth Primary School teacher, Caron Stone asked me if I would come and open their new Key stage one Library for them. I sensed a special teacher and a special school so I was more than happy to say yes. You can sense some schools really buzzing the moment you walk in and Haworth is one of those. The day was brilliantly planned and ran to the minute, even if I did go overtime a bit!
The new Library is gorgeous, stuffed with picturebooks and younger titles. Not a computer in sight -well, there is the librarian’s computer for logging books in and out, but not one to get in the way of books and stories – hooray!
The Reception children made me Cat and Dog biscuits which were wonderful. I showed them how to draw and paint Cat and dog and they went on to do some fantastic drawings.
I was a bit too scary for some in years one and two – I’m very sorry! With years three and four, we came up with a brilliant story about pirahnas and years five and six came up with a brilliant ghost idea that was o good I might use it myself, so I’m not going to tell you about it!
TheLibrary opening was helped along with some fantastic home made cakes. The chocolate fairy cakes were a particular triumph!
Bob Swindells, the children’s author joined us too as he lives locally with his wife, Brenda, who turned out to have taught Caron when she was younger and inspired her to become a teacher herself!
Thanks for a wonderful day and good luck with the rest of the week.
Having discovered how to get flash to export to video, I thought I would knock out a quick promo for Cat and Dog, a series I’ve done for Collins Big Cat. There are three books. One has no words, One has a few and one is early phonics. I have so much fun with these books when I visit reception classes. So Many children seem to now these books already when I go to their classes. They are popular with teenagers too, when I talk about making books for young children!
Oh dear! My gorgeous, handsome Marmaduke died this morning and I’m quite devastated. I’ve never felt like this about a pet before. I can only assume that he was hit by a car. We live on a 30 mile an hour road. Our neighbours borrowed a police radar once and clocked up drivers going at 65. I’ve seen bikes going faster.
I’ve buried a lot of pets in my time but today has been the worst. All the others have died of old age or sickness. You have time to come to terms with death like that, but this was so sudden.
My neighbours found him on their driveway and brought him round wrapped in a towel. I couldn’t quite take it in. I didn’t want to take it in.
Marmaduke was a one in a million. He wasn’t very bright but he was a wonderful companion. When he was young he curled up behind me as I worked, until he became too big to fit on the chair. He would on the bed in the mornings, watching, waiting for me to wake up, then he’d creep up close until we were touching noses.
He was so vocal, always miaoued to say hello and thanks. Yes, he would say thank you too! We could spend hours just staring at each other, just being in each other’s company.
Working from home, he was my daily companion for 10 years. Now I’ll have to trawl through this site and alter all the references to him. On Friday, I walked into a classroom and there was a picture of me and Marmaduke, from my website, projected on the smartboard. I don’t want to take the picture off, but I don’t know that I want that to happen again. Children who’ve been through my sitee always ask me about him.
I knew all his little places. I knew where to find him at different times of day.
I’ll miss him dreadfully.