On the way home from our last trip mentioned in my last post, we decided to explore some of the lovely old towns along the way. Ludlow was one of the picturesque towns en route, famous for its castle and medieval buildings, it has the most beautiful position perched on a cliff above the River Teme in south Shropshire close to the Welsh border.

I found some books in one of the old bookshops we visited and ignored my earlier resolve not to buy any more books! How could I not buy the King Penguin book on Elizabethan Miniatures?

We also visited Berrington Hall and found some wonderful examples of miniatures there too. In fact, by the end of the trip I felt very inspired to create some miniatures of my own.

I decided to try my hand at pendant making, using my prints under glass cabochons. I have to say that it was a steep learning curve required great patience. If you decide to try for yourself, take my advice and buy lots of extra pieces of glass.
I managed to finish four, which I felt happy enough to put in my Etsy shop, you can see them here-

I was very pleased with the results and enjoyed the way the glass acted as a sort of magnifier. One of the prints I used was taken from a painting I did some time ago. “Fairy Brighteyes” was painted in watercolour onto a piece of Kelmscott Vellum.
This is a beautifully smooth surface to paint onto, it is also very expensive but perfect for miniatures.

Last but not least, our little dog Ted hurt his foot chasing a cat. After three visits to the vets and a hefty bill, I am pleased to say that he is back to his normal cheerful self. The jury is still out as to lessons learned on that score.


  1. Wonderful pendants - I, too, love the magnifying effect.
    (and effect/affect is my grammatical challenge, I just cannot get it!)

    And, oh my.... poor pup! Was it the cat that injured him? My cat once jumped out of the brush onto the back of a medium-sized dog, freaking out the dog and the dog's human. Pasha "rode" the terrified dog for a moment. I was told this by someone who witnessed it, glad I wasn't there!

  2. Lessons learned - by a terrier??? Youhave got to be joking Valerie.

    Love those miniatures. I love Ludlow. We have friends there and I lived in Wolverhampton for twenty years and ludlow was a pleasant drive away. There is a beautiful walk nearby in the Mary Knoll Valley - I remember it so well.

  3. UH oh, you're tempting me with your lovely work again! I could not have resisted those books either. Just yesterday I was looking through stacks of old books and proudly didn't bring any home! (mostly because there weren't any good ones!) Love those buildings and the fact that I'm not the onlky one who struggles with the word Medevil(?) My biggest one is restraunt(?)Hope the pup is up and about soon, did the cat sign his cast? Cheers Val

  4. I haven't been to Ludlow for a long time. I need to pay it a visit especially as it has bookshops which I love. It sounds like you had a great day.

  5. I love how you experiment with different ways of showing your art, I like the owl. Poor little pooch with the paw strapped up, terriers never give up though! My dog sometimes looks like he's on his last legs until...he sees a cat, and somehow summons enough strength to pull me along :)

  6. Valerie, thank you for this reminder of a place I would very much like to see.

    Your pendants are wonderful...the miniatures look "grande" under glass!

    I hope that poor Ted has a swift recovery...was there any damage to the cat? xo

  7. What great book finds - I especially like Wildlife of Britain because I think it is part of the 'Britain in Pictures' series - there are lots of other books in the series on various subjects, and they are a lovely thing to collect.. well any excuse to have a poke around a bookshop!
    I love your pendants, they have worked really well, and of course the owl is my favourite!
    Poor Ted, I hope his paw gets well soon.

  8. Oh Ted, what are you like? I love Ludlow - it's an hour from here and I'm always thinking about my next visit - possibly on Friday. I'd like to live there one day if I can't go and live by the sea. xxxx

  9. Lovely post Valerie, Ludlow looks so picturesque! Really enjoyed the pics and the highlight of course, adorable Ted - glad to know that he's back to his normal self. Good luck with the pendants. Lesley x

  10. Lots of inspiration seeing beautiful places and things always gets the ideas flowing. I like miniature and enjoyed seeing your work in the pendants which look lovely.
    I expect seeing the work of Fiona Owen was very inspiring too, so much detail in her work. After such a visit you just want to rush home and get your paints out.
    Pouring down here, nice to catch up with your interesting posts.

  11. A BIG yes! on both of those books!!!!
    A "no-brainer".......especially those titles for YOU!

    Poor Ted! Has he left the bandage alone? Or did he have to wear the "Cone of Shame?" Gosh, he is the cutest dog, isn't he?

    I have been thinking about you so much lately, Val.
    I hope things are going nicely for you guys. Tony ok?
    Cullen and Grayson are doing fine.

    By the way, those pendants are lovely. I don't know if I have the patience for that steep learning curve, though I have always thought about my miniature work under tiny glass. You inspire me indeed.

    Stay cool.... happy summer!

  12. I too love Ludlow! Poor Ted - glad to hear he is recuperating from his cat adventure:)

  13. Ah poor little Teddy! I just want to pick him up and cuddle him. No stick chasing for a month! Love the pendants. I made some using tiny paper cuttings and they sold quite well.

  14. Bless Ted, with his super-size bandage. I hope he's all mended now.

    Jim Whippet currently has a big white dressing on one ear and a length of old tights leg on his head to stop him from shaking it. He is so not impressed!

  15. The miniature pendants you created are beauties, and of course you HAD to buy those two books. I totally understand. I am glad your dog is healing, poor baby.

  16. oh oh oh...TED the bad boy....chasing a kitty kat............awwwhhh look at his paw.....I take it the cat got away and he ended up with an injury. He should stick to carting those mega huge "logs" around instead.