Doodling bunnies

Today, I glanced out of the window at work to a field that usually has three horses nibbling the grass.  By mid-afternoon, the horses had vanished and ten wild rabbits ‘binkied’, hopped and sniffed around.  Every one of them was a character that I could bring into a story.  However, having just got a baby bunny rabbit two weeks ago, I can’t stop drawing her!  She hops up and down from the sofa, scoots around my rainbow rug and loves having the run of the lounge!  

She is going to be a character in my children’s story I’m writing, so I guess, the more I sketch her, the better!  Can’t wait to do the proper illustrations, but first I’m jotting down the bones of the story.  Maybe I should start a new blog dedicated to the adventures of Willow.

   
     

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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 😀

Eighth pair of wristies

What do you do when the car’s in for repairs, an MOT or service? Shopping? Visit a cafe? Stay in the garage workshop and wait? Well today, we had a product recall on our family car. Driving there in the snow, the DH and I chatted about tomorrow’s party and wondered whether the snow would settle this time.
The car was booked in for an hour, so my DH and I went to buy some school sports socks for my daughter – her pair had mysteriously fallen out of her bag after a sports lesson on Friday. She also broke her zip on her school skirt and therefore it needed a new zip. We then didn’t need much persuasian to sit in the cafe and nope, I couldn’t just sit there, could I?

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I wrist-knitted this scarf in between sips of cappuccino using wool that was in the reduced box. Then I headed home with the repaired car and tried out a new crochet pattern for my next pair of wristies 🙂

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I’ve not done zig-zags before, so I’m pleased with the result 🙂

Haiku for 2015

New memo to self:
Turn a house into a home:
Personalise it.

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How many different words can you think of for house or home or living accommodation? If you were asked to draw a house, what would it look like? Would it look like a square with four evenly spaced windows and a door set centrally?
If you were thinking of buying or renting are you drawn to the actual name of the address or the house name? My uncle used to live in a bungalow called Cobwebs and its front door had a stained glass image of a spider’s web, while my father-in-law named his house ‘Hardgraft’ because he bought the biggest house he could and then worked many hours to pay for it!
Here’s a list I’ve come up with and each carries a different story (it may prompt you into some poetry writing!)…

Squat
Abode
Palace
Mansion
Terraced
Cottage
Maisonette
Apartment
Semi
Igloo
Yurt
Tent
Digs
Flat
Residential home
Lodge
Cabin
Caravan
Stately home
Nursing home
House
Den
Tree house
Home
Wigwam
Teepee
Studio flat
Bungalow
Castle

Can you think of any more?

Interview

Tonight, loyal followers and likers, I am delighted to be the guest on http://greeneearthoriginals.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/gelli-printing-guest-post-3-with.html
and being interviewed about my gelliprinting. Hope you take time to read it; comment and get inspired 🙂
Some of the images shown in the interview are also found in my recently printed book on printing:

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Handcarved rubber stamps

Hi everyone :-).

Hear is my latest stamp. I’m preparing my collection ready for a printmaking worksop next month.

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Years ago, I owned a Mini Clubman. I loved it until one day someone broke into it and stole the stereo, then took it for a joyride. It’s now probably in Mini heaven. My friend bought a Mini recently and has even given it a name: Poppy :-). I hope she likes this card I made for her using the Mini stamp 🙂

Hope you’re all well and not snowed in. We had our first bit of snow in the UK yesterday. I woke to find the roads wet and grey as usual, despite the severe weather warnings the previous day. I got in my car and drove four miles and suddenly the scenery was different: cars driving 2 miles per hour; rooftops blanketed with snow thick enough to disguise the roof tiles and big flakes falling. I wondered how on earth four miles would make that much difference and also whether I’d be late for work!
The town up on the hill was indeed unique to the snowfall. As soon as I’d driven out the other side and down a steep hill into the valley, the snow had completely vanished.
To some, snow is a satisfying and joyous experience. To others it signals disaster and triggers fear … Fear of injury and perhaps fear if being stranded on the way to or from work. Great if you don’t have to get anywhere.
I now have quite a collection of stamps for the group workshop and hopefully they will be inspired to carve their own 🙂

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Happy New Year!!!

January 1st – a new day, a new year, and a different kind of blog!

Happy New Year one and all :-). My daughter gave me this book for my birthday. It’s poignant because there is one story for every day of the year and each story is 365 words long.

This year I plan to not just present you with a craft experience, but each craft I showcase or explore will have a story behind it. I hope to be able to share with you the highs and lows of creating a drawing a day as I try and improve my drawing in order to finally make a book.
According to my WordPress stats report, I had 7,900 hits on my Squarebird blog over the year. Thank you everyone who has visited, commented, liked and supported me through the experience of writing my first blog. It has led me to new friendships and the discovery of a craft that I love and revisit frequently. It has led to me being able to sell my art and begin workshopping, so others can also learn in a friendly, social atmosphere. It has brought me through trials, where I my patience was tested. An example of this was making the patchwork chicken pin cushion. Not only had a never done patchwork before, I’d also not worked on such a small piece using fabric block panels.
So on the anniversary of my first blog post … Here’s to another 365 days of fun, craft, blogging and sharing. I hope you join me in this next journey. Enjoy your day wherever you are … Happy January 1st! 🙂

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Nano update

Well, it’s day 17 of the National Novel Writing Month where there challenge continues – to write a draft novel in 30 days – the month of November.  To keep up the pace, the task is to try and write more than 1667 words a day for the whole month.  I was, I admit feeling I’d run out of steam yesterday as I needed sleep and took a break, but then new life hit the story today and before I knew it, I’d written way more than the minimum word count!  I’m finding the characters are beginning to set the scene and take over; they’ve become more than two dimensional and they have a purpose.  There’s already been a death and an underground explosion in the subterranean world built out of metal cogs.  Of course, it’s a rough draft, but I became excited by what was happening tonight as the characters are acting how they want to act.  Oh, and I went with the name Damascus in the end.  Someone on Facebook made me chuckle by suggesting I went with Damascus ‘brother to Remington’! when I called for suggestions on which name to go with out of a selection of five (Tyvek, Damascus Steel, Yew, MEK, or Glass). I  had various reasons for choosing these five.   The name Yew would have been interesting, depending on whether my potential novel was going to be read aloud or not as you have yew, you (singular), you (plural) all sounding the same, and yew relates to the tree which is used to make bowls, medicine and weapons. MEK referred to the chemical solvent methyl ethyl ketone (used in printing inks).  Glass on the other hand can be smoked, hammered, clear, etched, melted, monoprinting traditionally was done on glass sheets when I was studying printing at college) and Tyvek can be printed on (and notoriously difficult to control on a printing press) and so strong that it can’t be ripped.

Now I’ve reached 26,200 words (still a long way to go for that 50,000 mark), I have a deliberately unnamed character.  His anonymity is paramount for the safety of the rest of the characters.  So, for all you budding writers out there, is it absolutely necessary (in your opinion) to name every character in story?  What do you think?

Help required in choosing a character name…would you like to help?

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It’s nearing midnight and I’m suffering from a winter cold.  This evening I worked overtime, finishing at 7.30 and then had to wait around until 9pm for my daughter to arrive by train.  Yay!  She’s staying for the weekend 🙂

I’m in the middle of preparing something extra special for the weekend – a couple of step-by-step tutorials, so please be patient lovely people and forgive me for not posting a craft project, sketch or print today.  There are only so many hours in the day and today just wasn’t long enough!

I’ve managed my National Novel Writing Month word count today and I’m now on the 10,249 word mark at day 6.  With a minimum of 50,000 words to write in 30 days, I’m glad I’m keeping up.  So fellow bloggers, I have a question to ask you and hope you can help- for a bit of fun and to help me decide on a name.  Which would you pick out of the following as a futuristic character name? If you can provide me with a reason for your choice, that would be great 🙂  For example, Tyvek is waterproof (this could therefore provide my character with a special power if he/she had that name) My novel is Dystopian and set in the future (obviously ;))

MEK

Tyvek

Glass

Yew

Damascus Steel