About Us

Or, that should say, "About Me", as The Spin Doctor is a "me" not an "us". Welcome to my website (http://www.the-spin-doctor.co.uk) and thank you very much indeed for dropping by. I am using this blog to provide techniques, inspiration, projects, tutorials, tips and tricks in relation to arts and crafts, including product reviews - they relate only to my own views on products, sometimes I've been sent a free sample but I will give you my honest opinion on it - I don't do paid advertising in that I will never tell you a product is amazing just because a company has paid me to do so - I will, however, give you a very honest and frank review of a product they have given me to review. I do display adverts in the form of affiliate links and hopefully one day I'll display wider advertising. All links to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca or Commission Junction links from this website are affiliate links, without exception. I do this because affiliate links give me a tiny return that helps with the running costs of my blog - I don't do this to make a profit or earn a living - my day job covers that, thanks! My passion is providing and sharing information, methods and my art with my users.

This blog is really for people who want to come along with me in my journey of rediscovering art - a hobby I'd hidden for many years - and who want to learn new techniques in watercolour, gouache, acrylic, maybe oil, pen-and-ink, ink sprays, alcohol markers, pigment pens, alcohol inks, die cutting, heat embossing, spinning, plying, crochet, knitting and so on and so forth! I label things if they're for beginners or more advanced users and I tend to review everything I buy, so there's plenty of product reviews to read and learn from. 

I do post about gardening and cooking too and generally trying to live a better life, slightly more at one with Gaia, if I can.

Some frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Who are you?
I don't hide who I am but I minimise how often my name appears on here. This is because I'm pretty well known in my day job and my other job (academic and editor) and I don't want people searching for me for professional stuff finding this blog as their top hits on Google and then not getting the info they need - so I'm keeping my name off of the pages, basically. I don't write about anything personal so it doesn't really matter.

In short, I'm a heavily disabled middle-aged academic with a penchant for gardening, cooking, painting, arts and crafts who lives by the sea and doesn't like cauliflower. I speak English, Dutch, French and German, I can read Scandinavian languages a bit and I love discovering new cultures and new foods! Food is a big part of my life. I don't really have any family left - my friends are my family and I protect them viciously.

Why did you start this blog?
I've been painting for years - acrylic and occasional watercolour - and in January 2016 I decided after 20 years of closet painting to actually show other people my work - I've mostly painted to relax, not to make a profit and only those closest to me had ever seen my work until now. I also spin, crochet and knit - all of which are widely known as I make gifts for my friends and sometimes sell things on Etsy. I also make men's jewellery from time to time. I wanted to share my techniques and have an outlet for this side of my life.

So you're not an artist?
Nope. I'm a scientist. The name "the Spin Doctor" comes from spinning my own yarn and holding a Ph.D (so I'm legally "Dr", not "Mr").

A scientist? Are you a genius/autistic?
Not that I know of, to the first question. But I am a member of British Mensa and my IQ scores on their tests do, to some peoples' minds anyway, qualify me as a 'genius', but that doesn't actually mean a lot. All it means is my brain works very fast and I tend to spot patterns and so on before others do.

Isn't it a bit weird that a scientist paints?
In my corridor at work, we have a furniture maker, a semi-professional photographer, an acrylic painter, an oil painter, a knitter and crocheter, a seamstress, an upholsterer and myself - plus another colleague writes crime novels - it's actually very usual for professional scientists to need an artistic outlet.