Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Tea, anyone?

I received a lovely parcel in the post last weekend and this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and show it off!  The lovely Jennifer of Architette Studios sent me a beautifully curated parcel that had tea as the theme.

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It really is such a thoughtful parcel, and I love the gorgeous wee charms that she decorated it with.

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Couldn’t see a tea pantone in there though?  The sugar doilies are a new one on me, I’ve never even heard of them before but  I’m looking forward to trying them very soon!

This was such a wonderful thing to receive in the post (and a total surprise too – I didn’t find the e-mail notification in my inbox until three days later as I had a few days off).  A huge thank you to Jennifer, and I am now getting ready a wee parcel of my own…

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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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Wednesday WIP

I’ve actually been doing a lot of crochet at the moment, but will tell you about that very soon. For now here’s something else I’ve been working on…


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The paraphernalia of illness…

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…yup, it’s been one of those weeks!

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At the end of October I mentioned that I had been tinkering with a knitting pattern for mug sweaters.  I said I would elaborate in due course, and now finally here are the details.

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I first saw this mug sweater when Crafty magazine posted a photo of it on their Facebook page.  It appealed to me at once: cute and quirky, and related to hot beverages.  WIN.  I went and found the pattern, which is by Nawanowe (click here to visit their Etsy shop), and purchased it… but immediately found a flaw.  Surely the sweater would get wet every time you took a sip of your drink?  Nope, it was no good, I had to tinker with it.

Knitting is not really my forte, and I’ve never meddled with a pattern before, but I strongly felt that this sweater needed a scoop neck.  So I had a play, and my first scoop neck wasn’t bad.

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I wasn’t 100% happy with it though.  I had created the scoop neck but retained the ribbed top as featured in the original pattern.  It didnt’ quite work aesthetically, so I went back to the drawing board and tried again.  This time I was more successful, and the new-and-improved sweater was born.

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Of course, typically, none of the photos show the wretched neck off properly!  What I had done was use a moss stitch for the top two rows of the sweater, which then carried around the scoop neck nicely and made for a nicer finished look.  I was very pleased, and wasn’t the only one as a friend asked me to make four sweaters for her to give as gifts (the ones pictured above).

Will I make more sweaters?  Probably, they do make nice quirky gifts for people.  Will I be putting the amended pattern up here?  No, as it’s not really fair on the people who sell the original pattern.  It’s fairly easy to tinker with the pattern though (I made my sweaters a little bigger too, as the original pattern was just a smidge too small for my mugs), and at just £3.13 it’s a complete bargain so I highly recommend buying it (click here to visit the Etsy listing).

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I don’t think I did a review of 2012, but I’m feeling the urge to do one of 2013.  It’s been a funny old year: frustrating in some ways and yet hugely rewarding in others.

January was a quiet month.  I made some beautiful books, and then went to the seaside for a few days…






With February came snow, but also sunshine and the opportunity to catch up with friends (of the two-legged and four-legged variety).  Bookbinding also went on, and there was some dabbling in machine sewing too.





March was busy busy busy!  Commissions, an awful lot of sketching, more snow, knitting, and even some redecorating


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April was remarkably warm, filled with seed sowing, gardening, my birthday, and the joyful discovery that sketching dogs is fun!


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May was another hot month, and once more full of gardening and dogs, with the added bonus of the Canal Cavalcade and the Chelsea Flower Show…








June kicked off with a visit to Kew Gardens, and the fine weather continued throughout the month.  There was a lot of gardening, enjoying the fruits of my labours, and also some new glasses (which I like very much, so you’ll have to excuse the very rare selfie)…



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July was an absolute scorcher, and there were many days spent painting and drawing, harvesting veg and cutting flowers galore, and just generally relaxing in the garden.











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August saw me house and dog sitting for three weeks, which was absolute bliss.  I also got to meet some actors, draw some more dogs, and have a bit of fun with minion illustrations… oh yes, and we found out that we were expecting a puppy!



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The summer finally seemed to come to an end in September, with the weather finally starting to cool off.  Our puppy was born on 9th September, and his birth precipitated a lot of frantic knitting and crocheting!  I also tried dyeing things with elderberries, making things with felt, and visiting our new puppy.


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October saw the start of a warm autumn, and it was a month of quiet crafting (I finally finished my Beekeeper’s Quilt!), and a lot of puppy visiting.  I also learned two new skills: how to make a sari blouse, and how to taxidermy mice

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November was the most exciting month of 2013 for me, because it was when our puppy finally came to live with us!  I also got to masquerade as Santa Claus, and had a stonkingly good time at the Christmas Kensal Flea … but a lot of my time was spent with Loki (whose favourite place to sleep is still on my lap)…





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Finally we made it to December, which was full of bookbinding and other crafts, playtime with the pup (and as you can see, my lap is still his favourite spot for a nap, no matter where we are), and generally just enjoying life.




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Overall 2013 has been a pretty good year.  I’ve made a lot of beautiful things, sold a lot of beautiful things (yay!), and got a beautiful puppy who has brought so much joy into my already happy life.  I just hope that 2014 is as good!

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Actually I don’t have any work-in-progress to show off this week.  Well, nothing you’ve not already seen!  What I do have are some of the illustrations I did over the summer, finally framed and available to purchase in my Etsy shop:



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If your budget doesn’t stretch to one of the originals, then I also have notecards (printed by the lovely people at MOO) available.  There are two different sets available, this one (of the four cups pictured above), and this one:

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The originals of the second set will be available for purchase soon, I just need to get some larger frames for them!

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It’s been a busy and very happy week here at The Gift Shed, I’ve been working on two sets of illustrations over the past fortnight and both of them are now finished.  Hoorah!

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Here’s the first set:

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And the second set:

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I’m really proud of them.  I love these cups (and the teapot!), and it’s been such joy to put them on paper.  Of the individual cup portraits my favourite is the spotty one, which is slightly wonky – just like the real thing! 🙂

Do you have a favourite from this lot?  If so please post a comment as I’d love to know what you think.

These two sets are going to be printed as notecards, and should be back from the printers late next week.  I’ll post a further update as soon as they’re ready for purchase in my Etsy shop.

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I’m clearly not quite back in the swing of the CPSH, running a few days late, but once again it’s been busy here at the Shed.  If you’re taking part then please post a comment below to let me know, and I’ll link to your blog.  At the moment I know that Serotiny and Ruth are also back in the CPSH game, so please do visit their blogs and check out their photos!

Edited to add: Rachel at The Awesome Lady is also back in the CPSH mood!  Click here to view her photos.


In June I treated myself to lots of new art supplies, including a table easel and lot of pretty pencils…


Something I made

These were made on a wet day in mid-June… still haven’t added them to my Etsy shop though, must remedy that!



It’s been one of those years when every seed sown came up, and as such I’m drowning in tomato plants.  Ran out of pots, so had to repurpose some old tins…



Had a wonderful visit to Kew Gardens at the start of June, and my current favourite thing there is the Rose Garden Tea Party (part of their IncrEdibles summer festival)



My studio and garden have been a constant source of happiness this past month.  The garden looks incredible at the moment: filled with a profusion of roses, and the scent wafts into the studio (together with the odd bumble bee, which has to be gently shooed out).


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

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