Archive for the ‘conservation’ Category

Gift ideas that give to badgers too

Posted on: December 9th, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

The Badger Sett has a really lovely new collection of badger-inspired crafts and goodies that make perfect gifts for Christmas.  We also all donate a percentage from these sales to the Badger Trust’s badger vaccination project – a positive alternative to the badger cull.

The brilliantly talented Amanda of Maysie Daydreams has some very special Christmas decorations:

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EVERYONE, I finally made it! The Limited Edition Badger Hearts are here! They are £10 each and made to order, you can choose if you want wool felt, or vegan ecofelt, you even have a choice of ribbon. You could use them as a Christmas decoration but I might leave mine up all year round! There will only be 5 available and every penny will go to the @badgertrust . (PS I've only made this available to the UK but if you are from elsewhere and you are ok with the fact that it might not arrive in time for Christmas let me know and I'll open the listing to you!) #badgertrust #stopthecull #animalwelfare #wildlifeconservation #consciouschristmas #thoughtfulgifts #vegan #vegangifts #animalrights #handmadechristmas #christmaswithlove #handmadehome #feltcrafts #slowstitching #ooakgifts

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And some beautiful brock textile art pieces that are just adorable!

MAD Scientist Yarns still have their gorgeous Trufflehunter colourway, as well as two new festive badgers too…

This special Badgermas colourway can also be ordered with an exclusive print from me!

The Crimson Rabbit is busy writing up a pattern for some leg warmers, which look just stunning in the Trufflehunter yarn.  Do follow Debbie on Instagram for news of when the pattern is released.

And I am really excited to add some new things to the Sam Draws Things shop!

The Yarn Badger very kindly donated 5 Goose Eye hat kits in different colours (with a name like that, they had to get involved).  100% of the sale price of each kit is going to the badgers!  They include yarn and instructions, and are selling quick, so do order soon if you want one.  You can find them here.

My lovely and talented friend Jane Brumwell made beautiful Stirling silver and copper progress keepers.  They are each rolled with the impression of a skeleton leaf, and are so delicate.  Each one is unique! You can find them in the shop here. 

And there are also badger prints and Christmas cards 🙂 You can see the whole collection here. 

Huge thanks to all the super creative members of the Sett, and to everyone who has bought something so far.  It’s so wonderful how the craft-y community gets together for good causes.

 

Badgermas is coming :)

Posted on: November 18th, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

Following on from Badgerween, the hard working Badger Sett are busy making creations for our next celebration: Badgermas!

You can read all about the Badger Sett here.

We are fundraising for the Badger Trust’s badger vaccination project through crafty loveliness, and we’ve raised over £300 so far.

 

£352.80 raised for badgers!

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

I’m so excited to announce the total raised by the Badger Sett for Badgerween….

You can find out more about the Badger Sett and what it’s all about here.

Happy Badgerween!

Posted on: October 31st, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

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Happy Badgerween! 😀 thank you so much to all the awesome members of the Badger Sett who have made something so far, and to everyone who’s been supporting us and shopping! We are fundraising for @badgertrust’s badger vaccination project. I’ll be giving a total raised so far really soon. 🐾 Badgers should be going bump in the night in our woods and fields, not being caged and shot. I don’t want the beautiful badgers in our art and stories to be the only badgers left. The science behind the cull to stop the spread of bovine TB is shaky. I love @badgertrust for keeping the fight going and doing as much as they can to help these stripy creatures. 🐾 It’s been really fun and so positive creating badgers and seeing what other lovely crafters make, and there’s more to come! #badgerween #happyhalloween #halloween2018 #gobadgersett #stopthecull #savethebadgers

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The hard working members of the Badger Sett have been releasing all sorts of new and exciting things to celebrate Badgerween.  We are helping to fundraise for the Badger Trust’s badger vaccination programme through crafts and creativity.

Our black and white stripy celebration of Halloween has seen a flurry of beautiful badger-inspired work.  This not only helps support our wild badgers through fundraising, we’re also raising awareness about the cruel and unnecessary badger cull here in the UK.  AND we’re reminding people what they are in danger of losing.  We don’t want the badgers to only exist in our art; we want them safe and protected in our fields and woodlands, where they belong.

Here’s a bit of a showcase of badger-y crafts (spoiler alert: there’s more to come!).

There is just one of these beautiful bags from Edelweiss Blossoms left in her shop and it won’t be around for long!  You can get your paws on it here.

Ann from Busy Pottering has already sold lots of her lovely woodland bags, and her collaboration with Scruffy Dog Eco Yarns sold out really quickly, raising £150 for badgers!  There are a few of her lovely bags left in her shop here. 

Amanda of Maysie Daydreams has two of these gorgeous textile art badgers for sale in her shop here, along with some other lovely wildlife-inspired creations.

Brockley the Bunny from Green Rabbit Designs sold super fast!  You always have to be quick to catch one of Vivienne’s beautiful bunnies.

This scrummy Truffle Hunter yarn really captures the lovely colours of badgers.  I adore the flecks of browns and greys (I’ve got to get better at knitting!).  Truffle hunter is still available for pre-order here.

I didn’t manage to keep up with every single prompt for Mab’s Drawlloween Club on Instagram, but I have a lot of fun trying!  A lot of the spooky prompts actually really made me think about badgers and why it’s so important to me that we try and help them.

You can find the Badger section of my shop here.

And if you would like to donate directly to the Badger Trust’s badger vaccination project, you can hit the button below 🙂

badger donate button by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

 

 

 

Welcome to Badgerween!

Posted on: October 8th, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

badgerween logo by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The Badger Sett are celebrating a black and white stripy Halloween this year, fundraising for the Badger Trust.

We are a collective of creatives making things to support the badger vaccination project and help end the badger cull, and the first few items for sale have just gone live.

There’s a little and growing collection of black and white and badgery things in the Samdrawsthings online shop…

And I am really excited to announce that MAD Scientist Yarns have just launched a Badgerween colourway!

This beautiful hand-dyed yarn is Trufflehunter, and it’s available for pre-order now:

Other members of the Sett are busy developing ideas for Badgerween (and Badgermas!) so I’ll keep you posted as more creations are unveiled.

I’m also attempting to keep up with the drawing prompts for Mab’s Drawlloween club over on Instagram, adding a badger theme to each prompt, and will be developing these into prints and things…

Happy Badgerween!  🙂

 

 

New project to help badgers

Posted on: September 28th, 2018 by samdrawsthings No Comments

Badger Sett logo by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

This week I’m launching a new fundraising initiative with a collective of other creatives to help fundraise for badgers.

The UK’s badger’s have had such a spectacularly awful time at our hands, I am sometimes amazed that we have any left.  These black and white stripy mustelids have a long history of persecution, and were finally granted legal protection from killing and injury to stop things like badger baiting and fighting.

When I lived in Cornwall in the early 2000s, the government started a scientific trial badger cull in the South West, to see if it would stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis among cows.  It was a heartbreaking time and so strange to think that these protected animals were now being legally killed.   However, the results came back that this was not an effective way to stop the spread of bTb and help cattle farmers protect their herds.

But.  The government then rolled the badger cull out to other areas anyway, and they keep rolling it out further and further, with very little science to prove that killing badgers does anything to impact bTb.

After a flurry of petitions and donations when the big culls started, I had to tune out of badger news because it was just too depressing.

Last week though, I got an email newsletter from the Badger Trust.  Among all their amazing work (what do you do when your own government wants to destroy the animal you were set up to protect?!) they are running a badger vaccination project and it sounds really promising, for all sorts of reasons.  One reason is that it costs £1,000 to cull a badger but £200 to vaccinate one.  You can read all about this hopeful project on the Badger Trust website here.

So I did a bit of a call out on social media…

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We need to talk about the badgers… 🌳 I couldn’t make the #peoplesmarchforwildlife today but I was there in spirit for all our wildlife but especially badgers. 🖤 They started the trial badger cull when I was living in Cornwall in the early 2000s, and it broke my heart. But the results came back saying it didn’t work as a way to help control bovine TB. And then the government widened the cull anyway, despite the scientific evidence. And they’ve just widened it again. @badgertrust have been working tirelessly all this time to stop the cull, to run legal challenges, to protect badgers, to find a better solution. 🖤 And they have. It costs £1,000 per badger to cull them, but £200 per badger to vaccinate them. 🙌 I’d love to do something to support them and help fund raise, so I’m hatching a plan of some things to make and sell to raise donations. If you make things too and you’d like to help, do drop me a message. 🖤 And watch this space!

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And the Badger Sett was born 🙂

We are a group of creative people raising funds and awareness for the badger vaccination programme.  We are going to be celebrating Badgerween and Badgermas by making all sorts of lovely things and donation a percentage of all our sales to the Badger Trust.   You can read more about it here, and sign up if you would like to join in too!

badgerween logo by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com badgermas logo by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

Tristan meets a tree

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

Drawing Inspiration: Here Be Dragons…

Posted on: March 1st, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

drawing inspiration by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

 Dragons?  Living in London…?  And not just the Kimodos in the zoo?

Well, yes.  Kind of.  There are a whole cast of cute* little dragon-y characters living in parks, gardens, nature reserves and weird scraps of land, and they very much need our help.  Last Friday I went to a very special event hosted by the Garden Wildlife Health Project at ZSL London Zoo to hear more about them (not a Kimodo in sight unfortunately).

Froglife’s London Dragon Finder Project has been running in all boroughs of the City for the last 4.5 years, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (with extra support from a range of other funders).  The premise is that amphibians and reptiles are our Dragons – bright eyed, scaly and warty little creatures hiding in ponds, log piles, woods and long grass and undetected by many of us.

Technically, amphibians and reptiles collectively are known as Herpetofauna.

You can see why they were a little in need of rebranding, right?  It always sounds a little… yeah.

And the animals themselves are SO amazing; magical and mythical weird species with wonderful life cycles.  They deserve a name that captures that better, and being so in need of our help they really need a collective name that draws people in rather than repels them.

Dragon Finder holds a special place in my heart as its one I helped to develop, and it was wonderful to hear how things had gone.  HLF funding is brilliant for not only supporting practical things that need doing to conserve our heritage (and the my favourite thing is that they don’t define ‘heritage’ for you but leave it open for applicants to convince them), they also put a huge emphasis on involving people in that work in the deepest way possible.

At the Celebration Event for the project, Alan from Froglife went over the highlights of what the staff and volunteers on the project had achieved with a real sense of pride and love for the areas they’d worked in and the wildlife they had benefited.  I doodled during all the talks as a way of taking notes.

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The project also involved the creation of a Dragon Finder app to help you identify and then record your sightings of amphibians and reptiles anywhere in the UK.  There is a real need for more data on where these dragons are found, the sites that are important to them, and how they are doing.  Although most of them, with a couple of exceptions, are widespread, numbers are dropping.  Froglife’s latest research shows a whopping 68% decline in Common Toad numbers in the last 30 years.

Becki Lawson introduced another project using citizen science to help nature – the Wildlife Garden Health Project, based at ZSL and involving vets and researchers there working with the British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife and the RSPB.  This is another project mapping animals – this time with regular recorders letting the project know what wildlife they see  in their gardens, with an added slightly gruesome (but really important) element.  You can also use the GWH website to record any sightings of dead or dying birds, hedgehogs, amphibians and reptiles to help map disease outbreaks and figure out what is contributing to the declines in many species.  If they want your specimen for a post mortem, the team will contact you to arrange it to be sent and let you know what happened to the poor animal you found.  With hedgehog numbers really plummeting, bird disease outbreaks leading to some big population drops and diseases being the biggest threat to amphibians on the global scale, this is really crucial stuff.

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Laurie Parma from the University of Cambridge filled us in on another area of research relating to humans and nature, and how good it is for our wellbeing.  She cited the well known study that simply being able to see some greenery from your hospital window increased recovery speed by 1.5 to 2 days, as well as sharing lots of other researching showing just how good nature is for our health.

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Froglife’s co-patron Jules Howard wrapped up the event with a heartfelt talk about toads.  He used a site near his home as a great example of one of the issues facing these noble and magical animals.  Over 10 years a pond that had been full of toads was surrounded by development –  destroying winter hiding places and summer foraging land, and cutting through spring migration routes at breeding time.  The toads are gone.  “Death by a thousand cuts” was how he described the toads’ decline, but ended on a positive note by saying how much of a difference projects like Dragon Finder can make: by improving and creating habitats, and crucially charging up local volunteers to fight for the areas toads (and other wildlife) call home.  2017 is Froglife’s Year of the Toad, to raise awareness and funds to help save these charismatic, beautiful, strange little animals. You can find out more here.

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*Yes, adders can be cute.  Not cuddly (PLEASE DON’T TRY), but beautiful and very keen to stay out of our way as much as possible.

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Ponderings: Fairies and why Neil Gaiman is my favourite nature writer

Posted on: February 20th, 2017 by samdrawsthings 1 Comment

ponderings banner by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

After I left my job in the conservation sector to go freelance as an illustrator, I experienced a magical reawakening in how I thought about the natural world.

I was often a bit of a square peg in a round hole in my old job, but I very much saw that as my super power.  With a background in arts and communication, I was able to bring a creative twist to my work, to meetings, to project ideas and publications, which lead to some wonderful cross-pollination between science and art.  Even so, there was still a necessity to think scientifically.  To do my best to communicate in a technical, formal way and operate within the framework of the rational.  And I didn’t realise quite how much I’d been doing that until I went back to my arty roots.

Not long after leaving, I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I loved Stardust and Neverwhere and Good Omens, so was already a fan.  But reading his weaving of the English landscape in this book, I fell in love with his writing all over again and realised something I’d been missing for a while…

“Hazels lined the side of the meadow.  I picked a handful of the green nuts, put them in my pocket.

The pond is next, I thought.  I just have to go around this shed, and I’ll see it.

… The pond was smaller than I remembered.  There was a little wooden shed on the far side, and by the path, an ancient, heavy wood-and-metal bench. The peeling wooden slats had been painted green a few years ago.  I sat on the bench and stared at the reflection of the sky in the water, at the scum of duckweed at the edges, and the half-dozen lily pads.  Every now and again I tossed a hazelnut into the middle of the pond, the pond that Lettie Hempstock had called…

It wasn’t the sea, was it?”

I have quite a collection of nature books of different kinds (especially from second hand bookshops, I’ve had to stop going in them until we get more bookshelves) and I’m a nature junky, needing a regular fix of the outdoors, of flowers, moss, mud and animals, which obviously I’d been getting from conservation.  I get it vicariously too from reading about people meeting seals, badgers, hedgehogs etc and exploring wild and wonderful places.

But part of my love comes from the way our wild places resonate with the echoes of our fairy tales and myths, something that’s generally missing from the more scientific observation style of writing and the conservationist way of looking at nature.  And it wasn’t until reading this book that I saw the connection between the nature books on my shelves and the fantasy ones.

“I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than than that. They just were.
Adult stories never made sense, and they were slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood. Why didn’t adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?”

Here was Gaiman, leading me down lanes fringed with foxgloves to meet witches and and dive into magical ponds, and suddenly my heart was singing.  This. THIS. THIS!  He sees it too!  That overlaying of the mystical on top of the physical.  One of the intangible parts of our natural heritage that lives in stories and songs.  His writing conjures with the magic of the English countryside so beautifully; it’s more than just a backdrop.  The wild woods where you have to beware of talking wolves who might lead you astray. Mermaids singing off the Cornish coast and selkies swimming around Scottish islands…I know now that I am passionate about conservation because I want to save wild places for the creatures that call them home.  Including the fairies. And although I’ve suggested some pretty out-there stuff in meetings, that’s not something I’ve really confessed before.

Our wildlife is seriously magical.

And I don’t really see that as being separate from the science… science is just… kind of another word for magic in my head.  It’s a way of trying to explain and categorise the beautiful and mind-blowing things that are around us, which we can never quite fully capture or exactly understand how they work.  And that’s awesome; our trying doesn’t make them less magical and the mysteries that still elude us just engage my heart even more.

Every year, thousands of toads retread their migration paths back to their breeding ponds, and no one really knows how they do it.  The life cycles of newts, frogs and toads are incredible mini fairy stories in themselves.  Slow-worms look like Egyptian snake bracelets that have crawled away in search of a better, more private life.  Dragonflies are spectacularly odd and we even have something called a fairy shrimp…

But talking about nature and magic feels a bit… embarrassing.  If the conservation sector has been cautious to use the word Love (which it has been) magic is even more taboo.  Childish.  Irrational.  But there is a really lovely historical link between nature and magic – like The Flower Fairies with those gorgeous, accurate botanical illustrations and the way that Brian Froud’s fairy books echo a natural history guide to cheeky, impish creatures.  I think it can be another way to engage people’s hearts in conserving our wild places and animals.   And I have been following the Fairy Land Trust for a while for precisely that reason.  Because actually… as children, we so often have it right…

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

And the conservation sector knows this too, hence the big move to get more people enjoying a Natural Childhood.  It was when I was little that my love affair with nature began.  It’s never left me, its just changed shape a couple of times and grown up a bit.

Our fairytale places need us to fight for them.  Our weird and wonderful wildlife needs us to protect and champion to save their lives and their homes.  And by saving them, we give more space to magic.

So, it’s a couple of years since leaving rediscovering the mystical, and I’ve finally been drawing some fairies and allowing myself to connect with it again.  I shared a load of fairies over on my Instagram and Facebook and created a Snow Fairy Christmas Card…

Snow Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The Snow Fairy

The Self Love Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️The self love fairy ⭐️ it’s not about being more this or less that, about giving anything in particular up or starting something else. She reminds us to ask in each moment “what would I do now if I loved myself?” And it’s not about being selfish, for no one benefits if we hurt others or take just for ourselves without thinking of tomorrow. The self love fairy gives you permission to be gentle with yourself, to worship your own body, to go at your own pace, to ask for what you need.

The Kindness Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the kindness fairy ⭐️ this benevolent pixie may be little, but he is surprisingly powerful. He presides over both simple acts and grand gestures. He can be a bit tricksy – but never cruel. He might call on you to be firm one day to help another, to look further down the road than one action, to ask rather than assume what someone else needs. He can be found weaving magic over a cup of tea, helping to wrap gifts, smiling at self sacrifice, giggling over pleasant surprises and whooping at random anonymous acts of sweetness.

The Comfort Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the comfort fairy⭐️ a warm and furry winged spaniel. Snoozing in flight as he bears a thermos flask full of hot chocolate. This snuggling being rules blankets, naps, sofas and cushions and protects all hibernating creatures.

The Mirror Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the mirror fairy⭐️ oh this sprite is a tricksy fellow. He can appear at times when we find the behaviour of other people challenging. He shines that sparkly mirror and asks us to look at ourselves, check our own imperfections, looking at where we might have room to grow. But he can also pop up when we bask in the radiant brightness of others to say “don’t forget, you glow too…”

The Intention Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️intention fairy⭐️ bound to Lady Luna, this hare-y fairy supports us in the new moon as we set intentions, sits with us as we bear the intensity of the full moon and whatever that may bring, and rests as that light wanes again and our world are renewed. He reminds us how powerful we can choose to be, how awesome we are at manifesting, and how a bit of conscious choosing goes a long way…

There are quite a few more fairies, but this has become a bit of a long post so I will save them for the next one!

 

 

 

 

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Sketching some magnificent plants

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by samdrawsthings 1 Comment

Saving Our Magnificent Meadows is a national partnership project led by Plantlife and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

I offered my support by donating some botanical illustrations for interpretation boards and a leaflet for a project partners, the Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

I don’t really do super accurate, traditional natural history illustrations – instead I aimed to creates some characterful little images capturing the colour and character of some lovely native plants.  Doing images like this is a great way for me to learn some new flowers to look out for when I’m out and about…

mountain pansy by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com spring sandwort by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com wild chives by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com wild thyme by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

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