Archive for April, 2013

Our host for April is Sally over at Diario, so please do pop over to her blog to find out who else is playing along.


If you’ve been following my blog then it won’t have escaped your notice that I’ve been pretty busy on the sketching front, inspired by a wee scrap of a pup called Pebbles.  This is technically a terrible photo, but I love it because it was a quiet moment at work on my birthday.  Pebbles is prone to naughtiness, and when he’s been particularly naughty (breaking into the vegetable garden for the umpteenth time…) he earns himself a smacked bottom and then he’s ignored.  He hates being ignored, and it leads to him grovelling for forgiveness.  This photo is him trying to inveigle himself  back into my good books… and as you can see from the hand reaching to stroke him, he was successful!


Something I made

Still haven’t added this to my shop, but it’s probably my favourite of all the books I made this month.  The pages are a mixture of cartridge paper, watercolour paper and pastel paper, and the hard covers are bound with canvas – so you can draw inside and out!



One of my favourite colours, so I loved this topic!  My favourite jacket is actually grey, but it’s got red and white polka dot edging in it, and I tend to wear it with this brooch (by the lovely Lise at Belle & the Bean, better known these days for her fabulous blog), and recently this scarf I picked up down Portobello Market.



I meant to take a photo of actual rocks, but got caught short (I forgot that April only has thirty days!) and this was a last minute substitute.  Gravel, and York stone… cultivated rocks?


Motif: Western

A really tricky topic for me!  In the end I remembered that we have these little plant pots, which is the closest I could get to western…


Sally will be choosing her favourites in the next week or so, so please do remember to check her blog again later this month.

What’s happening next month with the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt?  If the rota is to be believed then Jenna over at Timballoo is our host for May… but she’s just got married and I’m not sure if she’s away on honeymoon at the moment, so I need to double check!  Keep an eye out here for updates.

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More little sketches of Pebbles the pup this week…

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Not as good as the last lot, I definitely think that the watering can series is my favourite so far.  I ran out of photos to work from, so I turned to some other hairy beasties…

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Meet George (the big one) and Hoolie.  They’re komondors, and are owned by friends of mine who live in Orkney.  Hoolie is one year old this week, and will eventually have a fully corded coat like George’s.

A couple more sketches, the last two for this book as I have finally reached the end of it.

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I always feel a bit emotional reaching the end of a sketchbook, but do enjoy looking back at everything and of course there’s something exciting about a new book and all those blank pages to fill!

I think I’m on my tod for the Sunday Sketchblog this week, Hayley‘s got quite a lot on her plate, and Jenna got married yesterday so please join me in wishing her all the best!

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I seem to be constantly chasing my tail at the moment, and today is no exception.  The weather has been utterly gorgeous the past few days, and I completely forgot that it was Wednesday today!

First up a very quick sneak peek at some recent books…

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And a quick hexipuff update… I had the huge pleasure of working with a skein of Noro yuzen last week, and it was a joy seeing each ‘puff emerge a different colour as I worked through the yarn.

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I was sad to see it finish!  I’m now knitting with a gorgeous silk and seaweed yarn, more on that next week.

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I’ve finally found my muse…

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This wee scrap of a pup is called Pebbles, and I sketched him for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  He’s proving to be hugely inspirational for me, so expect to see more of him in my sketchbook in the future!


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I’ve just realised that I haven’t posted any photos of new notebooks since early March, which is pretty poor considering my main craft is bookbinding!  I haven’t been idle, I have a pile of books which are waiting to be listed on Etsy, I just haven’t got round to it yet.  I’ll remedy that in the next few days.

In the meantime I had an unusual commission last weekend.  One of my gardening clients (or, rather, her youngest daughter) wanted a hairbrush personalised for one of her friends.  Not my usual thing, but I’m always up for a challenge!  They provided the brush, told me what they wanted on it (a guitar, and the friend’s name), and then left it with me.  I found a picture of a guitar I liked the look of, simplified it somewhat, got busy with the pyrography iron, and voila!

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It came out well, very true to the original sketch, and the client was pleased with it 🙂


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Our host for March was Ruth over at The Goldhawk Project, so please do pop over to her blog to find out who else is playing along.  I cannot apologise to Ruth enough for being so ridiculously tardy with my photos for March… I have no excuse other than just being crap – I’m so sorry (it’s my birthday today, so you have to forgive me! 😉 )


March for me was all about the sketching, and daffodils in particular.


Something I made

My favourite finished object was my new handbag



Couldn’t resist this fox, spotted at the Spring Knitting & Stitching show.



An odd one, but I did buy some pretty new things with numbers on!



I struggled with this topic, but I think this photo will do – poor Scooby will never hear again after having his ears ripped off by the wee mutt in the background!



What’s happening next month with the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt?  Sally over at Diario is our host for April, so please pop along to her blog and see what topics she’s chosen.

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I was rather hoping to have some more dog sketches to celebrate my 60th sketchblog post, but the best laid plans of mice and men… anyway, I’ve had a headache since last Sunday, and so haven’t really been able to concentrate very well.  Some days it’s been excruciating, and others merely painful (don’t fret, I’m seeing my GP this week!), but either way it’s been a struggle to focus on things.  As such, all I’ve managed to do in my sketchbook is doodle…

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It’s very soothing, and on a practical note it’s helped me get to know my new pens a little better!

Last week Jenna had a great sketch of some flappers, I wonder what’s in her book this week?


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Just a flying post today as I’m running around like a lunatic…

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…I have been playing around with my new pens and inks, and had forgotten just how absorbing a good doodle can be.  I’m also still knitting furiously, adding to the stash of hexipuffs.  I’ve been using up some Shetland wool I bought for another project, and honestly I can’t wait to finish the last ball.  I like the appearance of this wool, but it’s a nightmare to work with because it sheds teeny tiny fibres constantly, which end up on my face and make me itch like fury.  Knitting with it has therefore involved regular stops to wipe my face down with a damp cloth to get rid of the fibres.  Not good, but I am on the final ball of Shetland wool now and am looking forward to working with something else very soon!

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Ok, I’ll ‘fess up – I am really bored with daffodils now.  I’ve had this bunch in my studio since 11th March and although I’m determined to squeeze another sketch out of them before they go in the compost bin it’s definitely time for a change.  Luckily I had some inspiration this week in the form of a new pen and bottle of ink…

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Thanks must go to my friend Jayne, who sent me this book last month.

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I absolutely loved it, so when my new pen inspired me I decided to have a go at drawing a client’s dog (that wee scrap of a pup is called Pebbles, and he’s a delight and a wee tinker in equal measure!).  My favourite of the four dog sketches is the second, which looks most like him.

More from me next Sunday, and in the meantime why not take a peek and see what Hayley and Jenna have been up to.

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I’m running really late with my work in progress post this week, mainly because I keep forgetting that it’s Wednesday (bank holidays often confuse me!).

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I’ve been quite busy today, catching up with the gardening that I normally do in early March.  It’s been ridiculously cold, unseasonably so (colder, in fact, than what were technically the winter months), and therefore I’ve been putting off any seed sowing until there was at least the prospect of warmer weather.

It’s still freezing cold, but it’s now APRIL and I’m going to have to trust the weather forecast, which reckons it’ll finally be getting milder from next week onwards.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I just had my own seeds to worry about, but I’m also going to be bringing on seedlings for a client so I really need to get a move on!

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There are very few things duller than washing out seed trays, but it has to be done if you want to avoid fungal diseases (and I did have some damping off last year).  These seed trays are cheap and cheerful, and have already seen two summers – they’re cracked and I think will have to be binned after this year so I popped down to Poundland and picked up these:

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I’m not interested in the seeds that came with them, but the kits contain a wee propagator which is the perfect size for sitting on a windowsill (I can get three along most of my windowsills).  More cheap and cheerful tat, but they’ll do the job and I do prefer the smaller size.  So, lots of seeds sown in the old and new propagators (no photos as I was too busy to remember), and also some herbs sown in the new planter (first photo) which I bought on a whim in Sainsburys this morning (£7.99, and that’s not bad considering it comes with seeds and compost too).

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My next job was to sort out the little cold frames I bought last year.  They hadn’t wintered very well, and were filthy and the paint had started to wear off.  Not attractive, and also not very hygienic.  So I took out the glass (it’s only held in with clips) and washed all the panes, gave the frames a good scrub and then a spray with some disinfectant, then let them dry out in front of the radiator before repainting them with Cuprinol Country Cream (a wee tester pot reduced by 50% to £1.75 – bargain!).

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Those are both the same colour, but the one on the left hasn’t fully dried yet!  They look nice and pretty once more, and are ready to house some seedlings later this month (I hope!).

If you came here looking for a craft-related post, don’t despair…

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I have been busy knitting in the evenings and am alternating between hats for The Big Knit, and more hexipuffs.  That quilt will be finished by the summer, oh yes.

More from me next week, but now I’m off to knit a hat or two before bed!

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