Monday, July 9, 2012


I love going around libraries reading my books to children aged between 4 - 8 year old. When I go to the libraries I usually dress up in my beekeepers suit and put on my bee slippers and bring along my little bee hive (without the bees of course) and I have great fun reading my book If I were a bee.... and Jenny the Little Brown the children. They absolutely love to hear the stories and they particularly love to hear all about the bees and to see the inside of a beehive, and to examine the frames. I show them the empty frame and then one with combs in it and finally one full of honey. They are amazed. I usually give them lots of information about the bees. I continue to read getting on to my hen book and we have great fun talking about Jenny the little brown hen and her six little chicks and we end the session with Jenny sitting on her little eggs (chocolate ones of course) and when the children have their little poem told to Jenny she surprises them with a little chocolate egg. We have great fun and everyone enjoys my readings. You can see below some pictures of my readings.:

Thursday, July 5, 2012


GREAT REVIEW OF IF I WERE A BEE....BY SURREY BEEKEEPER JAMES THE BEE KEEPER As many of you know, despite now being an author myself (From A to Bee) I also like to spread the word about other beekeeping books and hence I do plenty of beekeeping book reviews. However rarely do I get the opportunity to review Children’s beekeeping books and so I always enjoy receiving them in the post. Being a bit of a big child myself I love reading beekeeping books that are aimed at children and Dolores’ book is absolutely on the money. Beekeeping for children needs to be several things in my mind but bright, fun and exciting are up there are primary objectives. If I Were a Bee does this on many levels as you can witness from its front cover. It immediately stands out and wants you to open it up. Before even reading it to them, my two young boys (3 3/4 and 1 1/2) instantly sat down and started turning the pages looking at the bright colours and excellent illustrations that Dolores herself has penned. Having had three children of her own and now five grandchildren, it is of no surprise she knows how to draw and tell a story. There are 28 pages, all wonderfully illustrated and they follow the bee around on it daily duties along the premis “If I were a bee I would ……..” It really is a brilliant beekeeping book for children and will hopefully get a few more little ones interested in our fantastic hobby. You can buy the book from or purchase through Amazon. The price is £7 or €10.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig is a  haven for authors, artists, musicians, composers, film makers, performing artists.    I spent one week there in May and it was a week I will always remember.  I was lucky to recieve a bursery from my local County Council and in the first week in May 2012  I packed my paint brushes along with  my watercolour paints,  some beautiful 300 lb weight watercolour paper and made my way to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.   I really did not know what to expect as this was very new to me.   I am a self published author of only 4 years, you could say I developed my talents late in life as I am a grandmother with 5 beautiful grandchildren.   I have written/illustrated and self published 5 books and when I received the bursery I did not know what I would do.   Would I write, would I illustrate a children's book or would I paint big pictures?    I never thought of what the house would be like or about the wonderful people I was about to meet.....

From the moment I drove in through the white gates I was transported to a deep sense of calmness, peace and belonging.  Annaghmakerrig lake was gleaming in the sunshine and   I was greeted with openess and friendliness by the staff.   I got a tour of the house and was very lucky to be given my very own small studio and adjoining bedroom called the Artist Room in the big house.    There were other cottages alongside the house where one could go for a week, or even one month but I was glad to be in the house itself.   My room was so compact and peaceful and it was there that I worked morning till nightime creating my masterpieces.

I chose to paint a selection of poppies, large and small and I had a wonderful week doing just that.   I had been extremely busy for many months before my week in Annaghmakerrig and I really appreciated this wonderful opportunity to spend time with myself resting, meditating and just painting. 

There was no need for me to worry about cooking or chores because everything I needed was left in readiness in the huge kitchen.  The friendliness and willingness of staff  to cater for all our needs was just beyond words and the meals were meticulously planned  on a daily basis. 

There is a tradition that all artists staying  in the house meet at 7.00p.m for dinner and the gong rings out to call everyone to the large dining table which seats up to 20 people.   People relax and get to know one another and each evening people move around the table and within a few days everyone knows their neighbour.  Everyone talks about the beautiful food and everyone benefits from hearing about each others work, their ideas etc and how the athmosphere of the house lends itself to the development of and sharing of ideas and art.    I met many amazing authors, artists, playwrights, composers and performing artists each one was working on something new, or putting the final touches to a play, or a piece of artwork.   Many of them had been there several times before and they assured me that if this was my first trip, it would certainly not be my last.

I think they are right...........

Below is a selection of paintings which I completed in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan.


I was very lucky to visit the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins recently with Plan Ireland Children's Charity.

Plan worldwide are celebrading their 75th Anniversity and is one of the oldest and largest children's development charities in the world working in 50 of the world's poorest countries.  Their education, health, water sanitation and livelihood projects work to lift millions of children and their families out of poverty.  I have been a long time sponsor of children with Plan and was one of 60 people who met with the President.

I am donating a percentage of all sales from my book 

                                   EARTH ANGELS ARE EVERYWHERE; ARE YOU ONE?