Archive for July, 2014

There’s always colourful street art on display at Acklam Village (which is a fabulous place to eat, drink, and be merry – if you’ve not yet visited it then please do!), and here’s a selection of it.  As an added bonus there’s a photo of work in progress!

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I popped back a couple of weeks later to take another photo once the new piece had been finished, and here it is:

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Not street art, not really, but perhaps something of a lost art?  I really can’t remember the last time I saw a hopscotch grid drawn on the street so stumbling across not one but two in Parry Road (W10) was a delightful surprise.

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Quick sketch of the canal from the Ha’penny Steps, which I often cross while walking the dog.

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And a couple of sketches from my jaunt to Portobello yesterday which included some hip hop Shakespeare (yes, you read that right!) and a leisurely lunch.  The Shakespeare is part of the In Transit festival which runs from 18th-27th July, click here to find out what else is going on.  All these are very rough and ready, but it’s so lovely to get back into the swing of sketch journalling!

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A couple of weekends ago I was in Wales, and we passed through Builth Wells where I spotted a lovely mural.  Sadly my photograph isn’t very good as the sun was full on the mural at the time and it washed a lot of the colour out, but you can see it very clearly on Google street view (put “Broad Street Bulith Wells” into Google maps and then go to the street view, if you pan around you’ll see it – it’s at the junction of Broad Street and Castle Street, LD2 3DT).

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Half finished sketch of a bowl full of vegetables…

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There’s always time for tea, and I make even more time for tea cups.  Pretty tea cups are one of my weaknesses, and last year I had a wonderful time painting some of my favourites (if you missed that blog post then click here to view it).

I had always intended to continue with my series of tea cup illustrations but, as ever, things somewhat got in the way.  I finally went back to them last month and although they’re not quite finished yet I thought I might as well pop some photos of the work in progress up here.






Still quite a bit of work to do on those but it’s nice to have finally picked up this project once more.  I hope to have them finished by the end of the summer.

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2014-07-09 09.57.15

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I first drew some minions, but apparently it has!  Although I made a start on adding colour to my original drawings I got distracted and the project lost impetus and was shelved.

I picked it up again this week and started again, with a larger version of the Marmite illustration this time as I thought it would probably be easier for me to add the colour (larger pictures are a bit more forgiving when you’ve got an unsteady hand!).  I’m much happier with this larger version and once it’s finished I will be adding it to my new Redbubble shop, so if you’re interested then keep an eye out for further updates very soon!

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Last week I showed off the toys I made for the Haven Hospice yarnbombing, which included a mole.  As it took quite a lot of faffing to get the pattern right I would very much like to share it so that others might get some use out of it!

If you make a mole using my pattern I would love to see a photo.


You will need:

–          Black yarn

–          Light pink yarn

–          Dark pink yarn

–          4mm crochet hook

–          Polyester toy stuffing

–          Wool needle


Body and head

1.            6sc in magic ring
2.            2sc in each sc around (12 stitches)
3.            (1 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (18 stitches)
4.            (2 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (24 stitches)
5.            (3 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (30 stitches)
6.            (4 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (36 stitches)
7.            Ch 3 (first dc), 4 dc, 2 dc in next sc, (5 dc, 2dc in next sc) rep 5 times (42 stitches) sl st into 3rd stitch of chain
8.            Ch 3 (first dc), 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, (6dc, 2dc in next sc) rep 5 times (48 stitches) sl st into 3rd stitch of chain
9 – 12.    Sc 48
13.          (4 sc, decrease 1) rep 8 times (40 stitches)
14.          (3 sc, dec 1) rep 8 times (32 stitches)
15.          Sc all (32 stitches)
16.          Sc all (32 stitches)
17.          Sc all (32 stitches)
18.          (2 sc, dec 1) rep 8 times (24 stitches)
19.          Sc all (24 stitches)
20.          Sc all (24 stitches)
21.          (1 sc, dec 1) rep 8 times (16 stitches)
22-27.   Sc all (16 stitches)
28.          (2 sc, dec 1) rep 4 times (12 stitches)
29.          Sc all (12 stitches). Stuff bottom fairly firmly, stuff neck (top two inches or so) lightly.
30.          (2 sc, dec 1) rep 3 times (9 stitches)
31.          Sc all (9 stitches). Switch to pale pink yarn. When you cut the black yarn leave a long tail and ensure it is left outside the toy as you continue because you will need it later on to help shape the body.
32.          Sc all (9 stitches)
33.          (1 sc, dec 1) rep 3 times (6 stitches). Switch to darker pink yarn.
34.          (dec 1) rep 3 times (3 stitches)
35.          Sl st, then fasten off.
36.          Weave the end of the pink yarn into the nose to hide it.
37.          Thread your wool needle with the long tail of black yarn and use it to help shape the body by making small stitches and pulling tight where you feel the body/neck ought to be a bit curved. Use your own judgement, there is no right or wrong way to do this!
Paws (make two)

1.   With black yarn, and leaving a long tail (to sew the paw onto the body later), Ch 16, join with sl st to first Sc to form a ring (make sure that your chain isn’t twisted before you join it). Place marker.
2.   Sc all (16 stitches)
3.   Sc all (16 stitches). Change to pink yarn.
4.   Sc all (16)
5.   Sc all (16)
6.   Sc all (16). Fold your work in half so that the stitches on each side line up. You will now work through both sets of stitches to make a single row (and to close the top of the paw off). You’ll find that you get seven pairs lined up, then a squashed stitch at each end of the fold line. Start with the first pair of stitches and finish with the squashed stitch at the far end.
mole instructions_017.   Ch 1, (hdc 1, sc 1) x 4 (8 stitches), turn.
8.   Ch 4, then hdc into the first 3 ch of the chain you’ve just made, sc into next stitch, ch4, then hdc into the first 3 ch of the chain you’ve just made, skip one stitch and then sc into next sc. Repeat until end, you should end up with four fingers but may have to adjust how many stitches you skip between fingers (do whatever looks right, the closeness of the fingers to each other will vary depending on your yarn and the tension). You should finish with a sl st into the last stitch, then fasten off. Stuff paw very lightly and then sew to body of mole using the wool needle.

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I’ve just got back from a lovely relaxing weekend in Wales, staying with my good friend Sally.  The weekend was full of good food, country walks, chasing the dog (who was chasing chickens), and nattering about everything and nothing.  Just sheer bliss, and I wish I could have stayed longer.  I did do a little sketching (as is now traditional whenever I manage to get away for a break), and although none of these is really finished (two dogs, three children, and a flock of chickens meant that I grabbed five minutes here and there, which to be honest suited me perfectly) I feel they capture my relaxed mood very well.

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