Shimmering dragonfly on black paper.

It has been a while since I had my paints out and this is the first attempt using black watercolour paper.  Alison Board was doing a demo for SAA so I followed along with that  (more or less).  This is a mixed media piece, and I really like the shimmery Rembrandt watercolour for the wings.   You can’t really tell from this photo but the mount is quite green so it brings out the greens of the background even more.

Anchor and butterfly sketch.

Duddingston Kirk are holding an event in early January 2020 called – a time of hope and new beginnings – contemplating , poetry, prose, paintings, photographs as well as  performances of music, song and story telling.  I decided to google symbols of hope and came up with the idea of an anchor, which used to be an early Christian symbol, and a butterfly, a symbol of hope.  Using Prisma pencils I made a sketch, and I also used a few stamps.  I didn’t like the background as it was a bit scratchy looking despite me trying to smooth it using Sansador.  Anyhow I took a photo of it, cropped it, then mucked around with the image in photoshop to give it a bit of a border/vignette. This is my first version, it looks like a tattoo and I am just not sure….I may change it before I send it in to exhibit.

Mad Hatter outfit

As some of you may already know – I HATE sewing and  I don’t like fancy dress parties!  However, I needed an outfit for our good friends’ themed wedding.  I chose to go as the Mad Hatter (Tarrant Hightop – Jonny Depp’s character)  The hat, coat, and waistcoat I managed to get from ebay so I just needed to add a few bits and bobs.  The hat was soft and floppy and didn’t stay up, so that required reinforcing with cardboard on the inside.  I added embellishments of a peacock, price tag hat pin with green tassel, playing card, black feathers hat pin with an ‘Imagine’ tag, miniature cup, saucer and teapot, and some fancy binding around it.  I have loads of coloured ribbon and yarn in my stash so I added some to my little rucksack. Mixed two pairs of  bright socks. Used ribbon as laces in my boots. For the lace cuffs I just added elastic to one edge of wide lace trim.  I did have to get the dreaded sewing machine out to make material swatches that hang from one pocket (cut form one large bit of multicoloured sarong).  Also to adjust the waistcoat as it was rather large, and then to make the bow.  I found instructions on you tube on how to make the bow, but it was a bit of trial and error to get a reasonable size.  The bandolier was made from some old green suede effect material, made into a belt with some tiny reels of cotton thread laced together. I already had a chain and old fob-watch so I added an old tool, from an old singer sewing machine, as counter weight for the fob-watch. Now the hat came with just 2 wee tufts of orange fluffy fibre as hair – one at each side but sadly none down the back.  I cut this off and decided to just dye my hair for the day.  I couldn’t find orange so had to resort to red and copper.  I used face paints for the make-up but the eye-shadow was just powder so wasn’t very bright.  Overall I think I achieved the look I was aiming for except for the trousers and boots.  I couldn’t find anything I could be comfortable wearing trouser wise or boots, so I just had to put turn-ups in my stretchy black trousers.  Harry went as John Lennon (Sgt. Pepper’s lonely hearts club band cover).  I added 3 daisies to each lapel and Harry found a medal to wear too.   He couldn’t really see through the glasses though.  It is a shame it was raining on the day, but it all went to plan and every one had a good time.

Sweet pea blanket finished!

Finally!  I have finished my sweat pea blanket and I did try to finish it in time to enter into my local flower show craft section, but, I am afraid my fingers were just too sore to keep the tension in the yarn so my border went a bit wavy.  Although this one was not good enough to enter, I entered my Cosy autumn coloured stripe blanket instead.  Woo-hoo, it got first place in the crochet and knitted section.  So that, along with my paintings and a photograph of snails on a wall, got me the Handicraft trophy.  I won’t be attempting any more large blankets but I may do some smaller Granny blankets instead as they are a bit easier and won’t take quite so long to accomplish.  I will now be getting my paints out again – maybe I will just play about with art journalling to get me in that mindset and playing with pens and paints before they all dry up.

crochet sweet pea blanket

Sweetpea blanket in progress.

Sweetpea CAL blanket posy version.

I was so looking forward to crocheting this gorgeous blanket but I’m afraid it is going to take me a long time. My arthritic hands are so sore that I can only crochet in small doses. I will keep going but it may take me months rather than weeks. It is the crochet along with Attic24’s posy version that I a doing. My painting hasn’t exactly been happening either as I keep having other things to do and my craft room isn’t particularly warm. I just need a few more degrees to comfortable without having to use my heaters. I just can’t do anything when my hands are cold. Enough moaning…off to make some soup.

Leg warmers for chilly days.

Happy New Year to you all.

I have finally finished knitting my long leg warmers and I can’t say it was a labour of love but just necessity. I was so very annoyed at having lost my one and only fabulous pair of Calvin Klein, long black leg warmers, and have been unable to find anything similar, so I just had to bite the bullet and make some. I did try to knit in the round with the 4 short needles, but, with my arthritic hands, I just kept losing my grip on the needles and the stitches all fell off. So they are just a long rectangle with a small cuff at the bottom and and top, then cast off using Lori’s stretchy bind off.   Then I stitched up the seam. I am not a big fan of that yarn either as it kept breaking leaving a thread with a bit of wool missing. Now I can put my knitting away and get out my next crochet project. I much prefer crochet as it is a lot easier to see and sort out mistakes than knitting is.

Lapghan and Moorland blanket.

I have been trying to use up some of my old stash of yarn from previous blankets, and wanted a small blanket for my lap to use on chilly days while I am in  my craft room, so here is my lapghan.  I have used some of my stash from my Cosy stripe blanket and followed Sarah-Jayne’s video on how to crochet a rectangle.  Then I just used tr clusters for the rest of the lapghan and added a small border.

The Moorland blanket (neat wave) is from Lucy’s crochet-a-long (CAL) tutorial last year but I forgot to take pictures and add it to my blog so here it is.  Now hubby can have the Moorland blanket, and I can have my Cosy stripe blanket while watching TV, and I have my lapghan for my craft room.  I have a small Granny blanket upstairs and my auntie’s old lap blanket for the car.

I do have another crochet project that I want to crack on with, in front of the fire, once the weather gets chillier.

Pen and wash practice

I have been having a go at a tutorial in Paint magazine by Sue Williams of a pen and wash scene.  The camera hasn’t picked up the colour all that well, but having said that I could have added a bit more colour in the grassy areas.  I am not sure whether I should keep going with it and add more colour to the foreground or just leave it be?  I think I will leave it for now and I can always go back to it if I want to later.