Bunny sketch on marble print

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Latest doodle

Good evening from the UK everyone πŸ™‚ Ever drawn a Shar Pei? Ever wanted to draw a dog that has loads of folds and flaps? My friend’s favourite dog is the Shar Pei. She hasn’t got the space to own her own pup, so instead she asked me if I’d draw her one to frame on her wall. I sketched an outline first in pencil and then began the lengthy task of filling in the spaces, yet still trying to maintain that Shar Pei look.

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There was a risk of over-doing the pattern and part of me thinks I should have left a few more white sections. I’ll look at it again tomorrow when I’ve rested. What do you think?

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Now I’m off to,dream about my next project – I’ve been asked to draw a horse called Jimmy, plus I want to get a sewing gift finished. Night all xx

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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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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Tiny trees and tiny silhouette people

Anyone else like trees? I drive past them in winter and try and imagine their branches being limbs and the trunks being the body. I love the fact that they look so magically different during each season and how beautiful they seem when cloaked in a fresh layer of snow. Autumn colours of fallen leaves surround the trunks and carpet the ground like rainbow snow from a distance and blooms from spring blossom always make a great photographic opportunity.

So this evening I had fun carving out a rubber stamp tree using an everyday eraser, then doodling silhouettes of people sitting in them, lying under them reading or painting by an easel. Can you spot them?

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I might try this handmade stamp on a sheet for wrapping paper next – it’s my mother’s birthday in a couple of weeks. I thought I’d make her a pair of gloves. I’ve also just crocheted my seventh pair of gloves since Christmas Eve! They’ve become a bit more elaborate since my first pair, using my own pattern, so I hope she will like the pair I plan to give her πŸ™‚
This is my latest pair – complete with a ruffle …

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Do you like to receive handmade gifts? What’s the best one you’ve received/or the most special? My mother-in-law (much to my DH’s embarrassment) has a handmade snowman using cotton wool balls and a cardboard tube which makes an appearance every year. Obviously it’s very dear to her. For me, it’s the early drawings of my children, such as a cat my eldest drew when she was 3 1/2 years old. She’d captured our tabby, Samson with giant claws and drew him dressed in rainbow stripes. Delightful πŸ™‚

Happenstance

This past week has been difficult and a mix of both excitement and sadness.
I’ll start with the sad part and end on the happy part.

On Wednesday evening my youngest child and I snuggled down to watch an episode of ‘six Puppies and Us’. We don’t own a dog, but my eldest has taken up drawing them … lots of dogs. She recently ran a competition called the twelve dogs of Christmas where people posted photos of their dogs and then others voted which should be the top thirteen (twelve dogs – one for each month + one for the cover of a calender). The dogs were voted for and the close of the competition was 6th January.
The programme, as the title suggests is about owners and their puppies. We hadn’t watched the first two programmes and just happened to come across one … The adolescent episode. What transpired was a lot of giggling from my daughter as each dog reached adolescence. However, there was one comment made by one owner that riled me. She said that she decided to buy a dog so that her children could understand death through a dog before having to cope with a person dying. I felt that that was a rather strange reason to take on the responsibility of bringing up a puppy. Anyway, it made my daughter and I have an interesting conversation about the validity of the woman’s comment and whether or not she was doing the right thing for her children.
Later, I went on to watch a film and death seemed to feature in this too. This time, a lad’s pet turtle passed away and was found by his step mother. Urgently, she ran out of the house to find a replacement – one that looked as identical as possible so the child wouldn’t discover the turtle’s sad demise.
It was nearing 11pm and I switched the movie off before it finished. Jobs beckoned me: the dishwasher needed to be filled and I had to go to work the next morning.
With the washing up sorted, I went to say goodnight, as I usually do, to our house rabbit Pom Pom. At that time of night I’m normally greeted with an excited bouncing rabbit eager to say hello and have her head smoothed and her ears rubbed. Not this time. I knew something was up. She was still. She was, well you know. I cried of course. Maybe the film and the programme were preparing me. Happenstance, coincidence. Whatever. Grief struck and I didn’t know how to tell my kid. We all were extremely fond of her. I will say though that despite how difficult this week has been, I have been moved by the outpouring of kind comments and thoughts from friends and family but also people I have met in creative groups and not actually met face-to-face. It’s certainly been appreciated and I know I am among some wonderful, thoughtful people who care very much and hurt too when they know you’re hurting or sad.
The rabbit’s life flashed before me: we went to see her as a tiny bundle of fluff and brought her back as a surprise on Christmas Eve seven years ago. My husband and I were like excited school kids as we hid the hutch in the boot of the car and then presented three squealing children with the bunny who looked like a pom pom ball. She was the most placid and delightful pet and now she’s gone … But Pom Pom won’t be forgotten.

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Now to some fun news … My first printed book arrived on Wednesday: I’d spent ages planning out the pages and checked out various outlets for the best offers. I wanted something that would showcase my printmaking – the best prints from lino cuts and using the Gelli. Of course, when choosing the style and shape, I had to go for a square book. My portfolio of prints, now contained in a printed book, fit perfectly in my handbag and has arrived in time for workshops I’m starting to run in February. People taking part in my tutorials will now be able to flick through the glossy pages and find something that will hopefully inspire them in their own journey of creating πŸ™‚
Best wishes everyone … And apologies for being away.

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Back to work!!!

Hi all! Hope you had a lovely Christmas/seasonal break. I unfortunately spent most of it ill from a stomach bug … Not much fun, especially when having to drive for over two hours with eldest so she could see her boyfriend … and today is back to work day!

Anyway, to mark the fact I’m feeling a bit better, despite missing virtually all the festivities, I embarked on making a hand cut rubber stamp. This involved using a gift from my DH for my birthday nine days ago.

I first sketched an outline of houses, taking my inspiration from Copenhagen and the colourful buildings, on the 2″ x 1″ eraser and then selected the smallest gauge lino cutter from my box.

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I did this while watching the daftness of James May messing around with action man figures and sindy dolls …. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04wtd18/james-mays-toy-stories-action-man-at-the-speed-of-sound

I then cut around the houses for more definition

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Meanwhile, Nikon was up to her antics again. She really does like climbing the Christmas tree!

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After rescuing the cat, who didn’t want to come out of the tree, I applied a thin layer of acrylic paint. Here’s one of the first impressions from my rubber stamp.

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Now … I’d better get up, de-ice the car and head out to the office. Take care everyone if you’re out and about in the snow and ice and stay warm xx

Happy Christmas Everyone :-)

Just a short post to wish everyone on WordPress a very merry and happy Christmas! Things have been hectic these past few weeks, but I promise I’ll have some more craft to share in the future. In the meantime, I thought you’d all like to see Nikon, the kitten’s new favourite sleeping place … In the Christmas tree!

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Have fun everyone πŸ™‚

Christmas mini bobble hats

Today I took a trip to The Hive … A newly opened craft and wool shop which also has a fabulous cafe for knitters, stitchers and crafters to sit and chat among the gorgeous blends of woollen skeins, buttons and reels of cotton and reams of fabrics.
I went specifically to find some festive yarn to make a bobble hat garland – reason: we’ve decided not to put up a tree because the cat is so full of energy that she’s almost certain to pull it over – she’s already pulled the curtain pole out of the wall (we went through three trees with our previous cat one Christmas until she outgrew her kitten phase!). We’ve bought a six inch real tree for now, which might grow with Nikon

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There was one ball of Christmas wool left when I reached the shop, which I thought was perfect for the garland. Traditional colours of red, white and green with the added touch of glitter… what do you think? I have a few more to make before I hang them up in a line across the living room ceiling and next year they may adorn the Christmas tree!

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Nikon liked playing with the left overs from making fork pom poms too πŸ™‚

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Getting organised!

This evening, the desk in my son’s freshly painted room was set up and while he’s at university, I’m making good use of it! I set the sewing machine up and finally got around to creating some origami bags out of the fabrics I bought when we visited my son up north. Fabric is sold by the kilo. To me, this was unusual as I am more familiar with fat quarters and fabric by the metre πŸ™‚

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There was enough to split the stash and give my mum some – not sure what she will create out of her lot, but I hope to find out when I catch up with her in the week. She knows I’m making items to sell at a craft stall on 15th November, so perhaps she will be able to contribute to the fundraiser in some way…

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Nikon decided to watch me sew and now and again would run off with a strip of material!

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My fabric envelope turns onto a cute origami bag (there is an earlier blog post of how I made them, if you’d like to find out and have a go yourselves).

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This one of my favourite fabrics – retro telephones. I wish I’d bought more of it now…

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This is a bag I made a few months ago.
What I like about these origami bags is that when you turn them around the right way you can opt to have several layered pockets on one side or keep it even with pockets both sides. The fabric I bought in Bolton is perfect for bags too as it’s quite stiff and therefore keeps its shape.