Beowulf and The Pied Piper

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Craft Day 1/365
Hubby’s just made me a prop for school where I will be teaching Beowulf along with other myths and legends. He drew out the shape on some ply after a bit of research on the shape, then cut it out. He left the decorating for me to do!
I have painted the Viking broadsword using metallic paint for the font to add a bit of shine to it in the light and outlined some of the lettering with ink. I particularly like celtic patterns or those which interlock. One day I hope to have a go at silver jewellery making. The first piece of jewellery I designed was when my first baby was born and I wanted her to have a keepsake for when she grew up. Although I designed it, I commissioned a jewellery maker from famous Glastonbury in the UK to make it.
Regarding my class, all about the age of 12/13, they were thrilled that we were going to create a wall display of our work on myths and legends. After the focus on Beowulf, we moved onto The Pied Piper and the children’s task was to then write their own epic poem. My youngest daughter is always inspired by the ideas I plan for my lessons and wanted to take part even though she’s younger and attends a different school. She drew me a picture for a slide on The Pied Piper, having already studied it at school!
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Ok, it’s been a while!

I’ve been away on holiday you see, soaking up some much needed sunshine in Cornwall. We had limited access to wi-fi and so I made the most of the break away from technology and drew, doodled

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and watched my youngest paint a picture of a labrador puppy.
Then of course, like all holidays, they eventually come to an end :-(. I had to play catch-up at work and still slot in some me and family time. So what have all you lovely people been up to? Have you been glancing across the road for the first buds of spring? I spotted snowdrops this week and suddenly daffodils are shooting up on the verges. My favourite season: spring! Excited! Not only do I wait in anticipation of the appearance of flowers and blossoms, but some gorgeous leaves that I will be able to print from.
Anyway, for today’s WordPress post, I’m going to share with you some photographs of my little getaway trip to Cornwall to accompany one of my drawings from my time away – hope you like them.

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This was a hidden underground pool found in a disused slate mine – isn’t it wonderful?

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For literature fans – we visited Jamaica Inn, the setting for one of Daphne du Maunier’s novel of the same name. According to some people, there are parts of the inn which are haunted and when we toured the adjoining museum we were treated to memorabilia by the author and details of smuggling that took place over the centuries across Cornwall.
As well as taking a sip of a cool drink, we were able to watch a fifteen minute video about the history of the inn and surrounding areas.

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One of many smugglers’ caves … This one was found at Polperro. When we weren’t exploring caves, we played around with our shadows. Even though it was February half term, the weather was glorious :-)

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Interesting then that we returned home to snow, sleet and rain making it feel all the more real that we’ve been away on holiday :-)

Random Craft Swap

How much do you love receiving gifts in the mail? Do you clutch the unopened envelope for ages and try and guess what’s inside? What about receiving something handcrafted? The person sending has taken a lot of thought into creating something special and unique. They’ve considered what the other person might like. When I started on a craft to swap I went over to Gladeridercrafts blogger’s page – check it out as there’s some gorgeous stitching on there! We did a random craft swap this week and I was so excited when my craft packet arrived.

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Isn’t it lovely? Thank you so much Gladeridercrafts :-)

Also this week, I opened the post at work to find my OH had sent me a large padded envelope with the word fragile written on it! I would never have guessed what was inside…a box of Matchmakers – I love these chocolates!

It made me giggle just like a few years ago when I had a postie calling card to collect a packet from the depot. When I arrived with my ID, the postman looked at me apologetically as he handed over the mail.
‘Should it feel like that?’ He asked.
I admit it did feel as though the contents had smashed. Also, as I hadn’t ordered or been expecting anything, I had no idea what it was. The contents shifted and chinked beneath the padded envelope. I gulped.
Finally, As I sat in the car, I opened the packet to find 200 buttons of all different colours (nothing broken or smashed) inside. Lovely!

So, what have I posted out this week? Well two lucky people received handprinted fabric goodies: an ATC

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and an expanding notebook

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That was fun :-D

Lovely Blog Award

What a lovely gesture! I’ve been nominated for the lovely blog award by fellow crafter and blogger Irene from http://www.sewstitchknit.com

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I am thrilled to accept this award and so will reveal 7 things about myself (that was the deal!) and nominate up to five people that I consider also worthy of the award.
So here goes …
1 – I started blogging just over a year ago to demonstrate, try out, create, make up and revisit as many different crafts as I could. Along the way, I’ve connected with lovely people, fellow crafters and delighted in sharing craft swaps.

2 – When I was seven I took part in a national art competition and won a packet of plasticine (a bit like play doh); a watercolour set and met the Queen for my picture of her on horseback in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace.

3 – I’ve only ever driven on the motorway once and will avoid it at all costs. My kids tease me about ‘big roads’! It was a case of: tried it once and didn’t like it

4 – I love exploring new places and have a strong desire to travel – my dad lived and worked in several different countries and I grew up surrounded by lodgers from around the world – yet my DH gets severely travel sick so it took me nineteen years to get him on an aeroplane

5 – I’m allergic to bee and wasp stings and discovered this when sipping white wine and got stung on the forehead

6 – I’d always wanted to own a cuckoo clock as my dad kept one in a cupboard. I later found out that he kept it unwound because it was so noisy. I dislike ticking clocks and can’t sleep if there is anything other than a digital clock in the room or one that I can silence.

7 – I once thought that a cream tea was tea with cream in it.

and now, a couple of nominations for the lovely blog award are

http://craftingwithfelt.com

Plus

https://prettylittlethingsinabox.wordpress.com

There are many more I could also mention, if I had more time to comment

Thanks again Irene for the nomination :-)

Little Darwin

I’ve been working on this doodle/Zentangle since our little guinea pig passed away on Wednesday. It’s been a difficult week for my youngest child as she’s had to deal with the loss of two pets close together. We miss Pom Pom the lop eared rabbit and little Darwin, so to help get over the sadness, I’ve captured Darwin forever in a doodle of dandelions and cradled on a bed of leaves so that our daughter, when she feels up to it, can colour to heart’s content over and over again and decorate him in glorious rainbow colours.

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Printing with sweetcorn

OK, I’ve tried printing with apples, peppers, leaves, buttons, feathers and various garage paraphernalia such as nails, washers, wire mesh and even cutlery, so why not corn on the cob?

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The great thing about printing with corn on the cob is that it acts and feels like a textured rolling pin! Rolling it over the paint in the gelliplate pushes the paint away from the plate and onto the cob, leaving a lighter coloured pattern against the darker background. I like this texture almost as much as bubblewrap impressions and it’s made me look at the grocery store in a whole new light!

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This is the impressions made without any added embellishments, stencils or further textures.

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This is the sort of effect you can achieve by adding simple spirals and different layers of colour.

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Hares … A new craze for me!

Happy first of the month everyone! I’ve been busy creating art with hares being the main feature recently. This includes doodling at work during my short lunch break!

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..and another that I really love, just because it took me ten minutes to do and I like the expression:

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Then I wanted to explore making a large gelliprinted collage of a hare using feathers, sweet peppers, bottle tops and gel pens on a large board:

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Hard to know when to stop really, so I began doodling in my journal for February 1st in memory of my rabbit Pom Pom who sadly passed away at the end of last month and I don’t think we will be able to find another as placid and quiet as she was. Just as the dandelions dance away on the breeze, I hope she’s happily hopping over lush green pastures.

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Salvador Dali

imageJust over two years ago, I had the fun of exploring an exhibition of Salvador Dali in Italy.  Famous for his melting clocks, I was intrigued by this man and his creative moustashes and quirky quotes.  Some can be found on http://www.brainyquote.com

Years ago, I studied Art History and we did a module on abstract art, surrealism, cubism and I admit that it wasn’t my favourite thing.  To link with the Art History, we also had to produce a surreal piece of art work; I created something in pen which was part sheep.  I dare say it’s hidden in the depth of my loft now and I’m still embarrassed by it.  So, what does one need to be able to produce something surreal or fantastical?  My mother always said I had a vivid imagination!

imageI didn’t do a surreal piece tonight, I did a portrait using a Sharpie pen of the man himself, in lino (see above) and to put a twist on it, when it prints, it will print in reverse.  How about that?!

As you can see, there’s a bit more cutting to do, but you get the idea :-)

Photo of the day

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Alien abduction?

Can you think of a good caption for this photograph?  Comment below this blog post and let’s see how creative everyone can be!

We were waiting for traffic to pass and my daughter suddenly exclaimed, “Hey mum!  Look over there!”

Reminds me a little of the film, ET and the boy on the bicycle with the moon in the background …

Glorious Daffodils

What’s your favourite flower? Do you go for the colour or romantic connotations of red roses.
With Valentine’s Day approaching and my 24th Wedding Anniversary, I bought some daffodils. Their buds were still tightly closed and we’ve had frosts most mornings. Yesterday, the buds began to open, so I set to work on creating my latest print.
I sketched an outline of three daffodils and cut them out in sections

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I then took out my square gelli plate and pulled off a background print of blue

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You can see the blue here; I’ve done other layers of colour and removed the flowers
Several layers later, I began embellishing the print with a white gel pen and black fine liner

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Doesn’t it make you feel like spring’s on its way?

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Pepper foam stamps

This was interesting: carve into a foam cube and hope it looks like something once ink has been applied!
I chose to do a set of peppers. One whole one; one cut in half plus some chilli peppers. On another side I also sketched out some peppers growing among leaves, but for now this seems a bit complicated to cut out with the tool I have available.

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Will share some more pictures tomorrow, but before I say goodnight, how about this for making prints

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My daughter didn’t seem all that impressed when I asked if I could borrow her shoes to do some prints of the sole!

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This imprint was spotted this morning on my driveway after a frosty start. I think it would be a bit excessive to remove a car tyre just to make a Gelli print. What do you think?