Angel Dogs – yes or no?

Finished other side of roof yesterday. Now working on the other wall of ‘Saints’ with the kennel propped at an angle against the wall with foam pipe-lagging in between to (hopefully!) avoid damaging the work I’ve done. (I think the next 2D picture I create is going to seem so easy now!)

My kennel is named Shrine to St Roch. He is the Patron Saint of dogs, (as well as falsely accused people and bachelors!)) Saint Roch was born in the 14th century and survived the plague, having (allegedly) been healed by a dog who licked a wound on his thigh. I’d had the idea to put a row of winged ‘angel dogs’ along the apex of the kennel. Placing them temporarily with bluetac, they somehow looked incongruous and out of keeping with the kennel as a whole. So now I’m wondering whether they’ll look better painted/sprayed gold??? I really want to use them…

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Downs and Ups of a Week in the Life of a Project!

Well, I’ve been doing lots on the kennel this week, aiming for a planned photo-shoot tomorrow. I was asked to complete the front, one side and one side of the roof, for a 3/4 view photo. Today the shoot’s been postponed until I’ve completed the whole piece. However, the pressure has been good as it really made me get on with things, and I’m grateful to Mark (the vicar) for his loan of spotlights which have enabled me to work into the evening.

Yesterday was frustrating – working on the ‘saints’ on the side – everything seemed to go wrong and I kept taking things off as often as I put them on. (I’m really making this up as I go along!!) I took a trip out in the car to find gold paint (with Dad coming for the ride) and somehow after that, something just clicked and things started to flow… so here is the finished side of saints, just lacking suitable hands for C3P0.

Last Sunday, I went to a freezing cold Car Boot Sale, looking specifically for Barbie and Ken dolls (for their hands and feet). I had an amazingly successful trip with one vendor selling every item for 10p (!) including a plastic green monster character with hands perfect for Yoda!

I’m now making a little mat to go inside the kennel, embellishing a fabric table mat by sewing gold lace around the edge – very Bling. John is also getting carried away with enthusiasm and is going to put a battery operated LED light inside. This kennel project is getting more and more outrageous – quite out of hand!

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Kennel: Practical Problems and Solutions

With any art project, problem-solving plays a huge part and I love trying to work out how things can be done. Swimming lengths at the local pool provides good thinking time …

The inside of the kennel was ugly: very rough wood which needed attention to make it fitting with the kennel as a whole. My brilliant framer Alec (Palmer, The Framing Lot, Shutterton, Dawlish) came up with the idea of blocking off the inside with mount board to create a neat inner chamber. He came up with some fab red flock mount board which looks like velvet – he’s done an amazing job and it looks beautiful. See below (but that’s John, my husband, not Alec!)

The kennel shell was heavy enough when empty. As I add materials it gets heavier and heavier. How can the finished piece be lifted/transported safely without holding the kennel itself and knocking off the decorations which stick out?


Originally, I’d thought of adding brass handles to the side panels for lifting but John came up with a different (better?) solution – to make 2 removable carrying poles which can be temporarily screwed on under the eaves lengthways to carry the kennel like a sedan chair. Here’s John today, drilling the holes for this purpose (watched by Mark, local vicar and woodwork enthusiast!) Fingers crossed that it will work!



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Trial and Error

What ever possessed me to think of using glitter? It gets everywhere except where you want it to go! Diamond Glaze (glue) is a lovely product – I love the tiny nozzle for filling small gaps. But my best discovery (thank you Andrew) is Mod Podge – a water-based glue which sticks really well and dries invisibly. Great stuff! (Can anyone use 1 Kg of emerald green glitter?!!)                                                                                                                                        So – here’s an update on the kennel … there are 6 images but for some unknown reason there is a big gap after the first two which I can’t get rid of – keep scrolling down!

Front: Filling little gaps with turquoise blue beads (not green glitter!):   

Sides: making Saints using heads from Pez sweet      dispensers with halos from earrings :







Roof: trying to fill in around the ‘jewels’ with gold acryllic paint, to look like a sort of grout. It’s all laborious, but FUN!

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Loving Vincent: meeting Sarah Wimperis

Yesterday, I was delighted to meet Sarah Wimperis, a Cornish artist who worked on the oil-painted animation film Loving Vincent, about the life of Van Gogh, which came out in October 2017. Find out more about it from the official website

Sarah spent five months in Poland working on the film and in that time, contributed 788 paintings out of a total of 65,000!  She was the only English artist out of 125 artists from all over the world.



Screen-shots of some of the frames  painted by Sarah for the film:











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Thank you!

Many thanks to all my lovely Blog readers who have made helpful suggestions. I am feeling more positive that a good end result is achievable! I’d gone from ‘this is the best idea ever’ through ‘this is harder than I thought’ to ‘the dark night of the soul’ (see below!) Now I’m now on the way back up, thinking ‘this could be amazing in the end!’

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Suggestions and materials needed!!

Well… I’ve made a start – but so far, it doesn’t look nearly as good as the idea did inside my head! The deadline is looming. The London Kennel Trail has now been brought forward to March and the kennels will be auctioned off for the Blue Cross charity on April 26th, to raise funds for the £2 million Hertfordshire Re-homing Centre.

my ideal ‘look’ for kennel front

I want the front aspect of the kennel to look something like the shrine, pictured left.  However, here it is so far…    Despite spraying the background gold, it looks too ‘bare’ and I feel I need to fill the gaps somehow (though I never usually use grout like a mosaicist.) I’m wondering if I can squirt a diluted glue paste around the attached materials and apply tiny beads as fillers? Does anyone reading this know of anything suitable?!








For the kennel roof, I’m using costume jewellery to try to replicate something like the image below left – but I’m really worried I’m going to run out of materials.  Can anyone help?              (Please send any unwanted/broken costume jewellery to me at: Deer Park View, Kenton, Exeter, EX6 8NH – all items gratefully recieved!) Again, it looks too bare and I feel I need to add some ‘filler’. Any ideas welcomed. Thank you!!                                                                           

my ideal ‘look’ for kennel roof










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