Custom Napkin Dispenser

Had a bit of fun here with the napkin dispenser. You normally see these in restaurants but we have one in the house. Originally it had some generic picture of a garden scene on it and I felt like it needed a bit of sprucing up. The pattern is Turkish inspired – you often see the tulip pattern on tiles and other ceramics. I was quite excited when I found some art supplies in Lefkosa (Nicosia, Northern Cyprus) even more so when I saw that they were not ridiculously expensive. As everything is imported from mainland Turkey it generally makes things more expensive than at home in London. I do miss the plethora of paint brushes I have at home, especially the finer ones for detail. I found a pack of three basic sizes here for a few lira and have made do with them. Also found those starter packs of acrylics (tiny 15ml tubes in the standard colours) which is fine for now. However, next time I come out here I will definitely fill my suitcase with supplies from home!

Merhaba from Cyprus!

I can’t really believe I have been in Northern Cyprus for 7 weeks now, I have been focusing a lot of my efforts on my other blog – and posting lots of pictures there of this beautiful place. Only recently have I started doodling again and its not come back to me that easily! I usually like working on a project, like the wooden painted plaque or the sign post for the house. I find it difficult to sit down and just draw something. So taking inspiration from the amazing scenery around where I live at the moment – this post is of the Kyrenia Mountain range and some of the lovely colourful flowers which are so prevalent in Cyprus.

Living Room Art – Wooden Plaque

This is another little something for my mum’s house, you may have noticed there is a Naval theme to these last few posts. I saw a Turkish tile with a ship like this one and I decided it would be beautiful in the house. Tile painting and ceramics requires specialist equipment so I stayed with my trusty acrylics on wood for this. The piece of wood itself is actually a cheese board from a supermarket, my friend bought it and I requested the wooden platter after she had eaten the cheese. I believe the fancy term for this is ‘upcycling’.

I am really pleased how it ended up, especially as the boarder decorations which where not planned out beforehand. Tulips were cultivated by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire and are a huge part of Turkish imagery. The evil eye or ‘nazar’ is another symbol commonly used across the Mediterranean (among other places) for protection and warding off evil spirits.  The metallic paint and acrylic varnish finish really make the colours sparkle.

See also my Turkish Style Painted Fish here

Sign Making – ‘It’s a long ship’ Part 2


So this is part two of sign making (see part one here). Here I painted it using acrylic paint, first the actual letters and then the engraved sections. You do need to do a few layers of paint when using wood as a surface, so I did this over a few days. Before painting with standard satin wood varnish, I painted over the acrylic paint with Galleria Gloss Varnish. I did this to make sure the wood varnish did not dissolve my careful painting, once sealed with the acrylic varnish, the wood varnish did not affect the colours or finish. We will hang this up in the garden in Northern Cyprus in the BBQ area and raise a glass to Grandpa! I will be sure to share a picture of it when it is in situ.


Sign Making – ‘It’s a long ship’

photo 2photo

This project is for my mum’s house, ‘It’s a long ship’ is just a comment my grandpa used to make about needing his glass refilled. Long story. Any who, this is on a strip of pine I bought at Christmas and had not found a purpose for. The engraving tool was pretty huge to wield around the corners but luckily the text was quite big to begin with. Definitely had a sore head and hand after a couple of goes around the letters!

The wood grain did make it slightly harder to get a steady line as the density of the wood changed. I hope I can pass it off as ‘rustic’ but as this is destined for the garden, I don’t think it matters too much.

Up next – painting it!


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