Archive for February, 2013

Our host for February is Rachel over at The Awesome Lady, so please do pop over to her blog to find out who else is playing along.  I’m running really late with my photos this month and spent most of this morning trying to think of things to photograph – eek!



I like to jot down quotes and poems in a wee notebook, which occasionally gets flicked through when I’m looking for inspiration.  This particular notebook isn’t one of mine, it’s a Celeste Frittata creation.


Something I made

Despite the various commissions I’ve done this month, my favourite thing has been this rather frivolous use of time and paint



I love it when a new season is on the horizon: at the moment I’m enjoying early spring bulbs and watching the blossom buds start to swell on trees.



Annoyingly I did actually bake a cake this month, but failed to photograph it!  Instead here’s a quick shot of one of the many, many recipe books littering our kitchen.


Motifs: Triangles

I was really quite stuck for this subject, then I sat down at my desk in despair and when I looked up the answer was staring me in the face: kirigami, stuck to my studio wall!



Rachel will be choosing her favourites over the next week or two, so please do remember to check her blog again later this month.  The favourites from January haven’t gone up yet due to unforeseen circumstances, but Sarah over at Cinders & Rain will have them up in the next day or so.

What’s happening next month with the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt?  Ruth over at The Goldhawk Project is our host for March, so please pop along to her blog tomorrow and see what topics she’s chosen.

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Running a bit late this week, so here’s a sneak shot of a commission which I’ll be blogging properly about very soon!


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After the rather successful page of mice a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d have a go at drawing dogs, as I had a really lovely day out with a friend and two of her beautiful Shibas last weekend…

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…alas, I clearly need more practice with canine portraits!  I think I’ll have another pop at this using a pencil instead of a biro next time and see if a change of medium helps.  I suspect it might, as the shape of a shiba’s face really comes to life in the contours, and shading with a pencil should make that easier.

In the meantime I hope you’ve had a good week, and don’t forget to stop by and visit Jenna and Hayley to see what they’ve been drawing this week.

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A lovely little commission for a gorgeous wee lass.  The covers are made using an old ordnance survey map of the Barnstaple area – with Lundy Island given pride of place, as that’s where the couple got engaged.


It was a really nice book to work on, but one thing I did discover was that my desk is not really big enough for some things…


…yeah, I did struggle a bit there, but got there in the end and the finished result was well worth the swearing!







The names of the bride and groom, together with the wedding date, were added to the front of the book by hand (imitating the fonts which were used on the invitations).  The book measures approximately 21cm x 15cm, and contains 36 pages (72 sides) of 220gsm cartridge paper; the coptic binding has been done using 100% linen thread.

I still have quite a lot of the map left over, so there may yet be a second installment to this post!

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I have something a little frivolous to show off today.  My garden is full of various odds and sods, some tasteful and some quirky – one of which was a little sign which read “Keep Off the Dirigible Plums” – a nod to my love of the Potterverse.  On Monday I lost my balance when pottering around (no pun intended), fell on the sign and snapped it.  Oops.

So yesterday I thought I would replace it.  I started off with a sign I inherited from Lush in Carnaby Street when they closed down:

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I have a few of these, which I’ve hoarded for years in the hopes they’d come in useful… but apart from making the last dirigible plums sign they haven’t.  Anyway, it’s been a while since I made the first one, which I vaguely remembered painting with white acrylic, so I got out the paint and made a start…

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… and then added another coat…

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…. and then added more coats of paint than I care to remember, until I ended up with this.

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At last, a nice blank canvas!

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It took ages, but I do finally have a replacement for the one I broke.  I must say there were probably more productive ways I could have spent the afternoon, but I’m ridiculously pleased to have finished this mini project.


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I’ll start by fronting up and admitting I failed to make it to the life drawing class for the second week running.  Once again I was full of good intentions, but then on Tuesday evening I was stuffed full of pancakes and was feeling a little too full to walk down the road!

Just a couple of super quick EDM Challenges in my sketchbook this week.

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The last couple of days have been chock full of excitement, so much so that I wanted to pop some bits in my sketchbook to remember them by… but was so knackered yesterday evening that I was in bed by 10.30!  I’m working today, hence the unusually early blog post, but I’m hoping to spend some quality time with my sketchbook tonight.

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I have a shiny new phone, so this post is as much about testing how easy it is to blog from the phone as it is about a work in progress.  Over the past few days I’ve been taking a break from bookbinding to play with my sewing machine…


… hopefully I’ll have something to show for my efforts soon!

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Last week my sketchbook was heaving with new drawings, and I had planned this week to continue that rush of creativity as a life drawing class has just started up down the road from me… but, as we all know, “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley” and I didn’t manage to make it to class.  So instead, and very appropriately given that quote, we have some quick sketches of a very unwelcome garden visitor…

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The little sod has been living the high life on bird food which has fallen from the feeders – I got quite a shock when I looked out of my studio window and saw him there, merrily munching away!

More from me next week, and hopefully I’ll actually make it to class this time.  In the meantime go and see what Jenna and Hayley have got in their sketchbooks this week.

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It’s been a while since I blogged about knitting or crochet, and in the absence of any recent bookbinding (thanks to being on holiday for a week!) it’s about time I did a knitting catch up.

At the beginning of April last year I started work on the Beekeeper’s Quilt and was making pretty good progress as, just seven weeks on, I hit the hundred mark.  Progress sadly stalled a bit after that as I got distracted by other projects, and although I’d managed to knit a total of 160 hexipuffs by mid-October I didn’t really do much after that (although I did have a short surge of productivity in early December, when I got some new yarn…)

Last week, after I got back from the seaside, I had the urge to get knitting again.  I’m not sure what brought it on, but I’ve been knitting like fury since then and now have 178 hexipuffs… and as that’s almost half way I thought it was about time I laid all the ‘puffs out to see how they look so far.

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Looking pretty good, eh?  The random ‘puffs knitted with scraps of Noro fit in well with the main colours, and I think the whole lot is broken up nicely by the flower puffs (some of which are still plain cream at the moment – I’m waiting for the right mood to strike and then I’ll spend an evening working on those!).

So, almost halfway there, and if I still intend to complete the quilt within a year then I need to get a move on!  Can I knit around 200 hexipuffs between now and the start of April?  I’m not sure if I can, as that would mean making something like thirty ‘puffs a week… hmm… quite a challenge, wish me luck!

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Update: if you’d like to see the finished quilt then click here!

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Gosh, I can’t believe it’s my 50th sketchblog post – that’s really quite scary, especially considering how little time I actually spend drawing these days!  It’s been a good week for my sketchbooks, because I went to the seaside for a few days and was able to be a lady of leisure…

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…my mornings were spent in my pyjamas, looking out over the sea as I wrote letters, read books on my Kindle, and devoured hot cross buns and endless cups of tea; my afternoons were spent ambling around the little town and wasting time in the penny arcade.  I did make one excursion to the top of Beeston Bump with the vague idea of doing some sketching of the view… but the wind was howling so ferociously that I beat a hasty retreat back to the apartment (once I’d caught my breath after the climb up!).  So much for that idea!  To be fair, January really isn’t the best time of year to be sketching en plein air, the weather is generally a deterrent.

I did also tackle a couple more of the EDM challenges:

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Still working in biro only in that sketchbook, which I’m finding challenging but actually good practice.  It was nice to work in watercolours again in my other book though, albeit briefly, and I must try and remember to use both books regularly in future.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to visit Hayley and Jenna to see what’s in their books this week.

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