stories and illustration


I’m Cara, and I live in Coldstream, in the Scottish Borders  As well as writing and illustrating books for children I have recently been painting on canvas, in my octagonal studio (aka The Tardis) which inhabits a corner of the vegetable garden.   My work for children has been published in several countries, and translated into different languages. My favourite form at the moment is the picture book, but I have also had published poetry,  children’s novels, and illustrations for the work of other authors, and have worked extensively on projects with children.  I go out most days with my camera and create blog entries from the results. Some of the pictures I take will be used as background material  for the picture book which I am working on at the moment. My son Matty set up this WordPress blog for me, and it has added a dimension to my life which surprises me. It is also  interesting and inspiring to read the blogs of other people from different parts of the world, and to look at their sometimes fascinating pictures.


  1. HI Cara, love the website/blog. Tuffer


    Comment by Chris Lockhart Smith | January 18, 2013 | Reply

  2. Hi Cara, I happened upon your blog and have enjoyed your photography and paintings. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work.


    Comment by Mary | August 6, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi Mary, Thanks for your comments. I looked at your blog and was fascinated by your advice on using oil pastels. I’ve just bought some Sennelier, which I love but am unused to, so your knowledge, which you share so generously, is very helpful. Liked you rpictures very much, will be following your blog.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 6, 2013 | Reply

      • Hi Cara, thank you so much – I really appreciate your compliment. Senneliers are a wonderful medium to work with – I use them mostly when working on pastel papers or on other surfaces that I use for seascapes and landscapes when a subject calls for certain colors. You can’t go wrong with Senns they are the best out there.


        Comment by Mary | August 6, 2013

  3. Thank you for liking “Sand Sculptures Revisited.” I enjoyed visiting your blog and looking at your beautiful photos and artwork. Keep up the good work! 🙂


    Comment by imaginenewdesigns12 | August 21, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks for looking at my blog, and I am so pleased you liked it. The pictures of sand sculptures on your blog are fascinating, such inventiveness and skill shown, and all to be washed away by the tide. You did well to find such interesting images. There used to be a sandcastle event on Roker beach in Sunderland which friends of mine were very involved in. An interesting activity, and an example of communal artistry as well, even if competitive. I like the pictures of unusual, quirky objects you put in your blog.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 21, 2013 | Reply

      • I appreciate your thoughtful and detailed comments about my recent post. I am also glad that you enjoyed looking at some of the other photos on my blog. Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer. 🙂


        Comment by imaginenewdesigns12 | August 22, 2013

  4. thank you for liking my post “one world”. much appreciated 🙂


    Comment by Sada Khanal | August 25, 2013 | Reply

  5. Cara, thanks ever so much for liking my post today on Tide Line Still Life. It made the world a little smaller by leading me to your blog. Your “like” did more, though. You see, for over 30 years I have made countless visits of accumulated months to your part of this world, and specifically to Coldstream. Some of my happiest memories while raising my daughters were spent on Margot McGregor’s farm, visiting with friends-who-are-family, the McLeans. They now live just on the other side of the border on Kilham Farm, Mindrum. I visited in icy December of last year, and spent time going between the coal fire in the parlor and walking about the Cheviots in frost and chill. My favorite beach anywhere in the world is Cocklawburn, and I cannot spend any time in the Borders without scrambling down the dunes to the sea there. I have several pebbles from that beach right here by me as I type . . . Forgive me for rambling on.
    Anyway, I look forward to following your blog and having it serve to remind me of my home away from this one here in the US. Warmly, Maggie


    Comment by Maggie Beck | September 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Maggie, how wonderful to hear from you, and to learn of your connections with this part of the world. Yes, Cocklawburn is a special place, I used to live in Berwick and spent some memorable afternoons and evenings there: the light as the sun goes down – the golden plovers – the black cattle that wander freely – and that wide beach of wet sand and pools, with its shells and stones scattered eerywhere – also those astonishing rock formations, and of course the beautiful, cold, ever-varying North Sea stretching away to the horizon – the place has a magic about it. I feel so lucky to live in the Scottish Borders – although I was boght up in Sussex, the family decamped back up North in the early 70s. My brother has a house over near Newcastleton, in the Liddel Valley. I came to Coldstream a few years ago, when I moved into my now husband’s house.
      I will enjoy reading your blog, and am so happy that I have bought back some memories to you. It was very good to hear from you. This sort of contact really makes keepng a blog so worth while.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | September 12, 2013 | Reply

  6. Thanks for stopping by our błog. Your photos are lovely


    Comment by oureverydayadventures365 | October 13, 2013 | Reply

    • I like your photographs too. It is a delight to look at pictures of that part of the world, and to read about it, from people who obviously like the place a lot.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | October 13, 2013 | Reply

  7. Hello Cara, Thank you for visiting my blog, It gave me a chance to explore your blog. Lovely photos and paintings and thoughts. All the best.


    Comment by merridy2013 | November 2, 2013 | Reply

  8. Hi Cara,
    Love your photographs and comments on your walks arond the Coldstream area!
    We are Leet Haugh bound end of June 2014 at the earliest and are keen to explore our new surroundings, hope to meet you sometime, Eileen


    Comment by Eileen Jackson | April 22, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Eileen. Thanks for your comments, glad you like the blog.If you are coming to Leet Haugh we may very well meet, maybe in the Coldstream Gallery, which does a good coffee. Leet Haugh is a great choice, and Coldstream is a very friendly and integrated small town as you probably know very well. I often walk up the back road to the Hirsel and go along the back of Leet Haugh. Hope you’ll be happy round here. Cara


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | April 22, 2014 | Reply

  9. Thank you for following my blog. I hope I’ll keep your interest with my pictures


    Comment by Javier Molina | April 24, 2014 | Reply

    • I did so like your blog, really took to the characters you photographed in London, and also fascinated with the variety of work you share. Look forward to following you. Thanks for your comments.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | April 27, 2014 | Reply

      • So very nice to read your comment.


        Comment by Javier Molina | April 27, 2014

  10. I haven’t explored your blog deeply but what I have seen has touched something in me beyond words. i am following you now and look forward to spending more time with your art and writings…


    Comment by clinock | August 6, 2014 | Reply

    • Thank you, John. It is touching in itself that you reacted so positively to my blog. Keeping this blog is like a visual, shared diary, and the sharing is one of the most important aspects, so your comment means a lot to me.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 8, 2014 | Reply

  11. Thanks for liking our post about Bird(s) in the Hand


    Comment by fairchris | September 17, 2014 | Reply

  12. Dear Cara,
    Thank you for ‘liking’ some of my recent and past post.
    I do appreciate your continuous visits.
    Best regards,


    Comment by Javier Molina | November 6, 2014 | Reply

    • Thank you, Javier. I do enjoy the atmosphere of your photographs, they are often unusual, so it is a pleasure to look at your work.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | November 9, 2014 | Reply

  13. Dear Clara, thank you so much for your continuous support.


    Comment by Javier Molina | January 7, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks for contacting me, Javier. I like the feelng of your photographs very much, so thank you for putting them up on your blog for others to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | January 11, 2015 | Reply

  14. Hi,

    We really enjoy your blog, and therefore have nominated you for the creative Blogger award.

    Kind regards
    Lee & Jimmy


    Comment by derwentvalley | March 29, 2015 | Reply

  15. HI, Cara! I am if the Cheviots this week, visiting elderly family. I was thinking of you as I passed through Coldstream yesterday on the way from the airport!
    Love your feather photo, and almost thought I would catch a glimpse of you with your camera as we passed over the Tweed.


    Comment by Maggie Beck | July 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Hi Maggie – That would have been a wonderful encounter, maybe one day it will take place. I was out and about near the bridge that day, but the timing must have been wrong. Hope you had a good visit, keeping in touch with family, and a comfortable journey back. Cara x


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | July 10, 2015 | Reply

  16. Hi, Clara. Thanks to stopping by on my site, I could get to know your drawings and pictures.Very fairytale. Regards. Mark


    Comment by jazzpapervinyl | October 29, 2015 | Reply

    • I liked your site, Mark, and also like the name of your site! My son is into vinyl, he has a wall of it….


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | October 30, 2015 | Reply

  17. Extraordinary photography. Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your work. 🙂


    Comment by Steven Baird | January 15, 2016 | Reply

    • That’s such a nice comment, Steven. Today was the first time for over a week that there has been any light, and there has been so much water comign down the Tweed the whole Green was flooded. I went back for my camera – I miss looking at things in this way when I’m just walking for the sake of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | January 27, 2016 | Reply

  18. Simply I like your photos. And a drawings too. Mark


    Comment by jazzpapervinyl | September 9, 2016 | Reply

    • That’s a nice comment, Mark, thank you. I enjoy your wordpress site too.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | September 10, 2016 | Reply

  19. Thank you for following Storyteller


    Comment by Ray Laskowitz | September 16, 2017 | Reply

    • Your imagery is amazing, I shall return to your site to give it more attention, as the content seems fascinating. Have got behindhand with WordPress, so am a bit of a skimmer at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | November 5, 2017 | Reply

      • Thank you. Sometimes, it’s hard to be more than a skimmer. 🤷‍♂️

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Ray Laskowitz | November 6, 2017

  20. Hello Cara, I reached your blog a few days ago, but it’s only today I got a real chance to look around. Your work is amazing. The illustrations are really beautiful. I was about to click the “follow” button and then I saw I am already following it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by d i l i p | February 16, 2018 | Reply

  21. Hi Cara. Kerry here from Eyemouth Museum. I’ve emailed you about ordering more cards for the museum, but not sure if you’ve received it/if your address is the same? Can you please email me? Many thanks, Kerry


    Comment by Kerry Waddell | April 18, 2018 | Reply

    • Just picked this up, Kerry, was getting my picture book ready for press so that was why I didn’t even pick up your communication through WordPress. Glad we got in touch anyway, and good that Fay has the pictures. See you sometime, have a great summer at the Eyemouth Museum. Cara


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | May 25, 2018 | Reply

  22. Hi Cara, Looked for you after looking up Tuffer wit these Australian fires – looked at his house on the net – at least should not be too vulnerable!!!! Impressed by his ecodwell consultancy, much of which I have paralleled in my thinking and actions.
    I was thinking with our clocks 12 hours ahead of yours of sending you greetings to another, but fatigue over came!!!.
    Howevr I later enjoyed your web pages. I have a duck who enjoys his harem of chickens, and when he wants duck company looks at himself in the glass doors. While I was at it, I had a look at your attractions – with your river there are many parallels – sometimes we need dooers more than blockers.
    Have a good new year/
    While I was at it I had a look at tourism on the Tweed


    Comment by Noel Harvey-Webb | January 1, 2020 | Reply

    • Good to hear from you, Noel, and hope you are flourishing with your duck and chickens – and Liz told me in her card that Vagulus had returned to New Zealand, after trying elsewhere, and being happy to be back. I have seen photographs of him on Facebook and it is extraordinary how a certain family look lives on – definitely the descendants of Granny’s marriage to Harvey. Yes, Tuffer and Cathy and Co are OK so far, but the fires have been close, and the air must be awful, with that smoke and heat. I think in Lapstone, where they live, they had the hottest day ever recorded. The images of the fires from space look apocalyptic. What have we been doing to the world? You seem to have one of the few decent leaders in New Zealand, she is looked on with envy from over here, a good person by the sound of it. We are lucky to live in a temperate climate, this winter has been mild so far, but really high winds (I had to dismantle the little decorative windmill on the lawn yesterday to stop it bending in the gale, it was whirling round like a dervish). I wish you a Happy New Year, and hope you keep in touch. Love, Cara x


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | January 8, 2020 | Reply

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