Help Musicians Calendar

To order Christmas cards and calendars from Help Musicians, visit their website.

The calendar showcases some of the old designs from Christmas Cards but also paintings.

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Dear Elizabeth, Mother of All the Cats,

You ask, do I walk where The White Cat walks?

Well, yes. Not always, but sometimes. Today I did. The weather was warm, the sky blue, and the little people of the air were restless with autumn. Cobwebs hung across the grass. We walked up the hill, together. Come with us.

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The sheep have drawn pathways with their flock feet, nibbled the grass short so walking is easy. And the light is so strange that the distant city seems close.

 

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By the waystone The White Cat rested in the shadow. I ran ahead, with my dog, Bella.

 

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At times I am almost invisible, my coat echoes the lichen dappled rock, camouflaged cat, small leopard on stones.

 

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I run over the rocks, hidden in the landscape, listening for bird call, scenting the salt sea.

 

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Yes, I walk with The White Cat, sometimes we sit close, sharing the wildness and the warmth of the sunshine.

 

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I show The White Cat the wild water pools where a cat can drink on a warm walking morning.

 

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He wanders over to the edge of the rock, following the wild trails of small footed creatures.

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Then he sits in a warm place where years ago two ginger cats sat and conversed and rested from walking. He can feel their spirit, here in this place. They loved this land too. It belonged to them.

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Home through the bracken, light shining in silver fur, and on the way home a dandelion clock marks time well spent, walking with small cats.

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The White Cat talked with the sheepdog, saying, this is your job, dog, rounding up sheep. But cats and dogs stayed close while the sheep watched us walking and we went home to find the golden cat, curled up and dreaming with Elmo beside him in a great pool of sunshine.

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So, yes, I go walking, sometimes with The White Cat, over the hill and far away.

With love,

Lady Spittifer of Silverstorm.

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The White Cat Walking.

I am The White Cat and I walk with dogs, over the hills and far away.

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I walk where the air is still, where the only sound is the rattle of wings and the calls of the tumbling ravens overhead.

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I walk with the dogs, Larry and Bella, old now and slow. Once they ran fast, over the hills and far away, hunting for wild scents, foxes, creatures.

 

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I walk where the old stone house stand, sleeping stones holding the memories tight, where the ghost cats walk, and we are watched by a small herd of horses.

 

 

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Here there are walls, tumbled by age, that once were a cottage. Some are just fields stone, but some are worked and you can see where a doorway was. Old stones, old homes, time, passing.

 

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I walk beneath a sky that mirrors my plumage, wild white and dappled, silvered and beautiful. A warm day. Autumn.

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Then home, a quiet corner, I curl and watch the world go by and preen and dream cat’s dreams, until the next walk. For these are the adventures of The White Cat, and I am The White Cat, walking.

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Theirs was a curious love story, and Mouse loved tea.

A curious love story

A curious love story

Mouse with a teapot

Mouse with a teapot

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Auction, for the bears; or, tidying up.

I am tidying up my studio. And believe me it needs tidying. I am getting rid of things, some out into the bin, some disposed of in a more useful and creative way.

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So, I have decided to auction the page proofs for Something About a Bear. Below are all the pages, and the cover. They are printed on some strange kind of plastic, and they are as far as I am aware the only set of proofs in the wide wild world ( because the publisher throws them away once the book is printed).

Now, pay carful attention. To bid on a piece click on the image and below it you will see a comment box. Check what the last bid is, then place yours. Keep an eye on it to see how the auction goes. Bids will only be accepted IF they are placed in this way. Comment will only appear once I have approved it so don’t worry. I will check every day. If you are a collector and you want to purchase the whole set you will have to keep a careful eye on progress.

The auction will end some time before the second week of December and I will try to shout on Facebook and twitter and my blog so that people are aware. Hope all this makes sense.

All money raised will be paid direct to Hauser Bears. Once I have been advised by them that the money has been paid I will send you your picture.

These are proof pages. The title page has cat paw prints on. The edges have printers info. They have been carried around a bit, and they have words on. But they can be framed. ALL BIDS MUST BE IN £ sterling please.

So, please share, let’s raise as much money as we can. And let’s see if it can work in this way. If you want to get a better look at them, buy the book or go to the library.

 

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Cover: Front and back cover, with flaps, crease off centre

Front endpaper, bear with paw prints

Front endpaper, bear with paw prints

 

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Title page, with cat paw prints where the White Cat decided that maybe this was a book about him, and he walked across it. Might wipe off. Not sure.

First spread, with brown bear and baby.

First spread, with brown bear and baby.

Fishing in the water

Fishing in the water.

Polar bear and baby

Polar bear and baby

Mary the Bear was born on this page when I realised that the baby bear looked like Mary Plain.

Mary the Bear was born on this page when I realised that the baby bear looked like Mary Plain.

When I grow up I want to be a sloth bear!

When I grow up I want to be a sloth bear!

Moon Bear. These bears are often held in captivity as dancing bears and also suffer poaching and hunting for bear parts.

Moon Bear. These bears are often held in captivity as dancing bears and also suffer poaching and hunting for bear parts.

Swimming polar bear. This was the first spread that I painted.

Swimming polar bear. This was the first spread that I painted.

Su.n Bear, the velvet bear

Su.n Bear, the velvet bear

Black bear and spirit bear. The raven was painted using a photo of the ravens from The Tower of London.

Black bear and spirit bear. The raven was painted using a photo of the ravens from The Tower of London.

All the bears in the wild wide world.......

All the bears in the wild wide world…….

Baby bear and teddy bear

Baby bear and teddy bear

All the bears. Lots of writing on this one. Maybe not so good for framing, but the small bears are quite fine.

All the bears. Lots of writing on this one. Maybe not so good for framing, but the small bears are quite fine.

Big bear paws. Perfect for framing. But remember it is only a proof page, not the original painting. But that said, there isn't another one.

Big bear paws. Perfect for framing. But remember it is only a proof page, not the original painting. But that said, there isn’t another one.

Reserve price on all pages of Something About a Bear is £20. As I tidy up my studio space I may add more things. Please share.

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My garden gate.

Tamsin Abbott came to visit. Something About a Bear was written in Tamsin’s garden, when I stayed there one beautiful warm day or two. The book is dedicated to Tamsin and her husband Mike and their children.

While she was here she finished my gate. It now shines in beautiful colours, with spirit animals and a guardian tiger, a ghost cat or two and such beauty.

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You can see more of the gate and the garden here. I love my spirit cat most of all.

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Book Launch Solva Woollen Mill

Yesterday evening saw the launch of both Cat Walk and Something About a Bear at Solva Woollen Mill. Thanks everyone for coming and all who bought books as well as the wonderful staff at the mill for making it so special.

And when I say thank you for buying the books, I mean it. You make it possible for me to continue making and creating my work by your generosity. So thanks.

The evening was full of children and bears. There were cakes, I signed books and read Something About a Bear, and for the first time ever in public I read from Cat Walk. It’s such a special book for me. Like a praise song to my relationship with cats, the land, weather, the world.

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bearspaws bearssm bearssma booklaunch jigsawsatmill slothbYou can still order signed copies of the books, and jigsaws and other things from Solva Woollen Mill. If you are thinking of getting the bear book for Christmas it might be an idea to harry as I think my publishers have under printed the stock, so they might be scarce around Christmas time.

( All the bears in the world were giving a special guest appearance courtesy of Celestine and the hare)

More images will be added as people send them to me ( I was too busy to take photos!)

Also, to raise money for Hauser Bears I am going to auction of the proof pages of the book. These are unique as the publishers seem to just destroy them once they are no longer useful. So, keep an eye on my blog, twitter or Facebook fro notifications about an auction.

 

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Walking with Tom’s Elmo

Up the hill, down to the sea, along the pathway between land, sea and sky, walking with cats, and the eel hound of sleek beauty, and Tamsin and Bella and The White Cat. And little Elmo came too.

1a1 1a3 1a5 1w2 1wbeauty 1white 1white5 1white7 1white8 1white9 1white71 1white78 1white91 littlemo1 littlemo2 littlemo3 littlemo4 littlemo5 littlemo6 littlemo7 littlemo8 littlemolookinhgWith special thanks to Tom who loves Elmo, Audrey and Brian who love Tom ( Cat Walk is dedicated to Tom and Audrey and Brian, and has special thanks to Jane Messore who found some of that which was lost, without which the book would not have been so filled with ginger) And also to Celestine and the Hare for making Little Elmo so beautiful.

 

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Something About My Bear

Let me tell you something, something about my bear.

mybearI have been wanting to gather a collection of images of people with their bears, with a few words about them. To begin I thought I would find my bear. Last night I tucked her up in bed with me and in the middle of the night the strangest thing happened.

First, my bear felt too small. I could have sworn she was bigger, and then the child inside me began to remember.

Walking up the road on the way home from Swan Lane School, hand reaching up into my mother’s hand, feet bright in new shoes, Startright sandals. I remembered how the buckles jingled, how the leather smelt when I took them out of the box, the sound of the soles on the floor. Crepe soles. Looking in the window of Boots, the Chemist in Evesham. A curved window. It was autumn. There on a shelf, high up, a panda, in a box. It was love at first sight.

Every day on the way back from school, stop, look at the panda, dream, hope, wish.

Then one day my Auntie Win came and we went for a walk, through the park into town and I took her to look through the curved window and NO. How could it be? She was gone. Heart fell. Sad. Walking home.

Then, Christmas day and a parcel from Aunty Win, and inside, oh. My bear. Mine. My panda. And her name was Suzi.

She went everywhere with me for a while, and then was always there in my bed when I came home. Loved until her fur fell off and dropped into puddles and washed and oh the trauma if ever she was lost. I knit her a red jumper when I had learned to knit.

Then she went to college.

Suzi came too.

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Time flies. But a small bear brought back so many memories as once again, after so many years of neglect I cuddled her close, of how big she felt in my hands and feelings and the smell of new shoes and walking home from school, and of my auntie, who is now dead, though sometimes I forget. And now I understand how sometimes we never really understand how much we love someone until they are no longer there.

And now I would like, if you will for you to tell me Something About Your Bear. So send me a photo if you have one, and a few words. I want to build a blog post of memories, to celebrate the launch of Something About a Bear. ( email your photos to me, and I will begin to build a page. If you have a website send me places to link to also)

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Please share if you will.

 

 

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A Long Walk With The White Cat

Beautiful days at the end of summer are too good to waste. We walked out of the door into the sunshine. The White Cat had been waiting. So quick to become a creature of habit, he knew I would walk before walk.

Up the hill and then we decided to take him down to the sea where the seals lie on the beach of stones. His first time on the edge of the land.

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The Adventures of the White Cat and Friends may well become book two. For now, Cat Walk is about to be released. Copies available, signed, from Solva Woollen Mill.

For now, here is a film, celebrating the book, with Elmo, Tom’s cat, from the Marvelous Queen of the Weasels at Celestine and the Hare. 

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