Birthday Suits (sort of!) – okay, Party Costumes. It’s an old one, but I needed to get back into posting!

This is one of my illustrations available as a card at Hare and Bear Designs. (still download order form at the mo, but online purchasing will be available soon – promise!)


I got my blood test results back on tuesday. It’s very interesting how they tell you. The genetic councilor said “it’s not the results we were hoping for”, which of course, makes you say it. you actually have to voice the words “so I have the gene”.

like somehow saying myself makes it more real.

HNPCC gene mutation is an altered repair gene. a faulty bit of DNA that just doesn’t do its job which results in an increased risk of cancer. It’s hereditary; i got my dad’s faulty gene in the egg/sperm/conception game.

My brother Matt has it too. no big surprise, what with him already having had cancer before being diagnosed with the altered gene.

So. It’s confirmed. I am genetic mutant.

Just dealing with what that means.

Jol and I went to Paris for the weekend, it was lovely. Eurostar over to Gare Du Nord. We stayed in an appartment-hotel by the Jardin Des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement. We decided to walk the city, rather than use the metro. Paris really isn’t that big. We walked the banks of the Seine, strolled through the various different Jardins, ate lots of amazing ice cream and tasty hot crepes.

us after crepes

a rather unflattering picture taken after eating said crepes in the jardin off the Champs-Elysées.

A great tip for those thinking of visiting Paris; if you can time your trip so that you go during the 1st sunday of the month, all national galleries and museums are open for free. It means you can indulge in a lot of culture for no cost, which is great. Which is exactly what we did! Amongst other things, on our very packed Free Culture Sunday we went to the Musée d’Orsay to see Jols favorite sculpture ever, the White Bear.

musee d'orsaywhite bear

We also went to the Musée Picasso, which was just mind blowing. Jol took no pictures of the work, but this nice photo of the stairs in the building (which was a lovely piece of architecture):

Musée Picasso

on our walk from the Musée Picasso we met this fellow:


He had casts on both his broken front legs. he had been hobbling along and then plopped down for a rest as it’s clearly hard work walking with 2 doggie casts on. He was very obliging and turned to look at us as we took the photo. Click for a larger image.

This was the walk through the Jardin Des Plantes we took rather a lot en route to which ever bit of Paris we were headed for:

jardin des plantes

and this is just another nice pic Jol took:


It was a such a nice weekend, and now I just want to go back!

so. we’ve been working on a card company for a while. headed up by jane (jolyon’s mum) being the big boss. and her, me and another friend called anna doing designs.

jolyon finished the first version of the website last night and made it live. please check it out and let me know what you think. there will be more things to come; additional cards, more artists, taking payment online (at the moment it’s an order form & cheque sending…) and some changes to the site design (i’ve been browsing it today and have noticed some usability things that could do with tweeking… have to break that to jol when he gets home!) still, for our first foray into this i am very proud of us all.

there’s a sweet story behind the name of the company. it’s all down to some soft toys. a little quirky red bear of mine and jol’s called (rather imaginatively) redbear, and a funny looking hare of jane’s called egor. both jane and i separately had the idea of starting a card company, we also both have a thing for the toys in our lives. when we voiced the thought of creating cards to each other, i was rather inspired by the fact that her hare and my bear rhymed, and wouldn’t that be a good name for a company. thus, hare and bear was created. it took over a year for it to actually come together, but it’s so good that it has.

i will try to get some pics of them both (although egor is used in the hare and bear logo. redbear not so, because his head just wouldn’t point in the right direction… well, you know what they say about working with stuffed animals)

more about the development of the company later!

(and hopefully some pictures of all involved, from toys to people)


I love Philip Pullman’s trilogy “His Dark Materials”, this illustration is inspired by Iorek the Armored Polar Bear. I thought it suited the topic rather well.

The hitherto unknown origins of the phrase “green eyed monster”….green


Snap! nothing quite as embarrassing as discovering someone else has come in the exact same outfit…