Home of The Small Art Company and a bit of British all sorts about my family, kids, home, art, mixed media, craft, photography, illustration, travel, cooking, organisation, teaching... Good to see you:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Are you the parent of a child with special needs?

As you may know, my daughter has verbal dyspraxia. My son is also being assessed for a couple of things. The frustrations and despair frequently experienced (amongst many good things I must add!) have led me to choose a particular topic for my psychology MSc dissertation.

I'm looking at the life satisfaction and coping in parents whose children have either a speech disorder or a behavioural disorder. I'm also investigating the effect that volunteering may have on these groups of parents.

If you're interested in taking part in my survey (10 - 15 minutes and the chance to win an Amazon voucher!), then I still need:


  • parents of children with speech impairments (e.g. verbal dyspraxia, CAS or a stutter)
  • parents of children with a behavioural disorder (ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, although not ASD), who also do some kind of regular volunteering, such as helping an elderly neighbour with their shopping, helping at your child's school, working in a charity shop...
Please click here if you'd like to take part. Your help is very much appreciated. I hope the results will prove beneficial to parents.

Back to the crafty posts next time:)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My first book!

Well, I mentioned quite a few years ago that I was planning on writing and illustrating a children's book, which is a lifelong dream. I'm still working on that (it's nearly there!), but my first book has actually turned out to be a journal. It's a journal for people interested in the concept of journalling, but are perhaps unsure where to start. So here it is...


Click on the photo to go straight to Amazon.

Here are some pages:




And the back!




Monday, June 27, 2016

Short post on Brexit

Wherever in the world you're reading from, you've likely heard about last week's UK referendum. Although I voted Remain, I'm dismayed at the hatred coming from some of the Remainers. It is clear from my Facebook feed and other social media sites, that they seem to think everyone who voted Leave is uneducated and racist. I know people who voted Leave and I know they are neither; they simply want what's best for our country. The hate coming from some on the Left is rather ironic.

Those of us who voted chose what we believe it best. Ultimately, we all want the same thing, but none of us really know if that's to leave or remain, I now hope it's to leave, I really do.

Let's just all get on, please.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Would you like to take part in my short psychology survey?

My art is taking a backseat at the moment. I'm halfway through a psychology MSc. It's going well, but is an amazing amount of work. If you would like to take part in a short survey I'm doing, I'd be very grateful. Just click on this link:

https://derby.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8Jk6YrVdC3VReYt

It's about silhouette and outline perception.

Hopefully I'll be back with the art side of things soon. I've made a start on my children's picture book and will be picking up the paintbrushes again once this module is finished. I've even taken some photos of works in progress. Just need to find time to get them on here...


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Children's picture book underway!

So, life happens and blog posts don't... Nearly a year since my last post and a few years I guess since I said I'd write about the process of getting my children's book published.

I've come up with countless ideas for books. I write the drafts, I draw the pictures for some of those drafts, I paint a few pages, make dummy books, send them to publishers... But now I've decided to self-publish. While it would be wonderful to see my book in a bricks and mortar shop, at the end of the day, if people buy and enjoy my book then that's what matters. How they purchase it really isn't that important.

The story I've decided to go with is a more recent idea. I've learnt an awful lot in my research, one being how difficult it is to come up with a good idea that will hold children's attention, be enjoyable for adults to read multiple times and to actually make sense in very few words. Anyway, I hope this idea will appeal. It's a fun rhyming story (yes, I know, they say don't rhyme! It just kind of came to me though without thinking about it; I never intended it to rhyme!). It teaches that we're all essentially the same although we may look different, while also celebrating cultural differences.

A couple of pictures of the storyboard and practice drawings:





I'm not sure how much painting I'm going to get done over the next couple of months, as my next psychology module starts on Monday, but hopefully I'll be able to fit a bit of painting in.

The next update definitely won't be so long coming, I know that much!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Colour swatches for the big redecoration

Making colour swatches is something I've been wanting to do for ages but never had the reason to until now. We've decided to abandon plans to move house (again) and completely redecorate instead. I can't believe we've been in this house for nearly ten years. The kids' rooms were decorated before they were born, so it's really about time we made them into proper children's bedrooms!

I just took a couple of quick photos of Little W's curtains and bunting. She's happy to go along with my pale pink, pale green and white theme, as long as she can have some fairies too. I know these curtains don't have pink in them, but I really like them. We can use the green anyway.




Big W wants light blue with footballs. I found some other ideas on Pinterest (any excuse to have a browse!) and he quite likes the idea of having one light blue wall and one navy (or I'm guessing two of each!).

Anyway, I'll certainly be doing more colour swatches, with better photos. I think I need to take them in better light to get the true colours, but I just wanted to have a go and see what happened. I simply used the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to pick some of the colours I liked best. I did make proper swatches in Photoshop as well, but didn't really see the benefit of the extra effort to be honest.

I'll make sure to take before and after shots. If anyone wants to share their redecoration pics I'd love to see:)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Raising a child with a disability

I haven't really said much about my daughter's disability (she has verbal dyspraxia), but I wanted to link to a post I found that sums up pretty well what many parents of children with special needs feel.

First of all, please read this short piece called Welcome to Holland. I first read this a couple of years ago and thought it was very true. I never expected to have a child with special needs, but I have and she's just as wonderful as my child without. I just wasn't planning on it.

Then I came across this post - Amsterdam International. While I love Welcome to Holland, I think I have to agree with the author of Amsterdam International; it's not an easy journey by any means. I think this is a very honest portrayal of what it is to be a special needs parent. I hope it helps someone out there who may just be starting out on this exhausting, emotional, scary but ultimately wonderful and loving journey.