Sunday, 22 April 2018

Stencilled Bears...

About a month ago in Ikea, I saw a set of wooden plaques with simple prints of a bear, a moose and some other animal that I can't recall right now.  I really liked the bear one but wasn't so keen on the other two, not enough to buy the set anyway.  I knew that with a bit of effort I could make my own version...so I did. 

I bought some wooden flooring samples from B&Q, and Mr. B kindly smoothed off the edges of them for me.  I found some side view photos of bears that I liked and used them to sketch out my stencil onto some thick watercolour paper the same size as the wood.  When I was happy with the outline, I carefully cut out the stencil using a scalpel.  This was slow and painstaking as I did not want to make a mess of those spikes of fur!

I then tried out the stencil on some paper using black acrylic paint.  This also serves the purpose of sealing the edges of the stencil as it dries.  After checking that all was how I wanted it, I then stencilled the bears onto the wooden plaques.  Once the stencilling was dry, I then painted the back and sides of the plaque with the black acrylic, smudging the edges around the front with my finger to create a slightly 'aged' look.  I rummaged around in my various supply boxes and found a couple of brass hanging thingies, nailed them on and ta-dah!  I'm very pleased with these - one is for me, the other will go in my Etsy shop once I have taken some better photos.

Little Dogs...

Here is the completed double dog portrait - the Shi Tzu was a delight to draw, the Papillon a nightmare, only because the reference photos for him were so bad.  However, with a little computer jiggerypokery enhancing the contrast, I managed to make out what was going on with his ears and was able to make a decent drawing of him.  The clients are happy, which is the main thing.  Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.

Next up, bears...followed by numerous dog portraits.  I'm booked solid for the next month or so!
Meanwhile, Spring has sprung and everything is sprouting and blooming - this is the view from my bedroom window at the moment and is usually populated with bluetits.  I have done all the gardening I can for the time being, now I just have to sit back and wait for it all to grow.



Thursday, 19 April 2018

Bees...

I've been working on some flower & bee brooches - here are a couple of the completed ones.  The flowers are made from felt, the bees are knitted.  When they are all ready, they will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

It's Dirty Work...

I have spent the past week transforming this....
...into this.  The grass after the winter (I won't even deign to call it a lawn) was sparse, waterlogged and full of moss.  Usually I re-seed it in the Spring, but that never seems to last, so I thought I'd try re-turfing.  First I had to dig up all the old grass & earth, break up the clods and level it out.  This took about five days as I did a little at a time - I know my limitations!  By Sunday it was ready for the turf.  Turf was delivered yesterday - the lorry driver and I discovered that the passage that leads to our garden was too narrow for the pallet with the turf on it...so we unloaded it all and the driver very kindly helped me take the rolls of turf into the garden.   Then after lunch I set to laying the turf - wow, that was very hard work!  At one point I thought I might very well throw up my lunch...
But it is done now - let's hope it lasts because I'm not doing this again!
Apaert from grubbing around in the dirt, I have been making some felt flower brooches as I have a request for a couple.  Now they just need the addition of bees...



Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Pretty Polly...



I've had this parrot's head on my unfinished heap for over a year - finally turned it into the intended scarf.  It has a clip inside the beak to attach it to the tail when worn. 
Also completed this wide crochet cowl/scarf/wrap using up the yarn cake I had left from the previous shawl.  It's very versatile because I've sewn buttons on it!

Both items can be bought from my Etsy shop now.

It's A Little Shi Tzu...

I'm having fun with this commission so far - Derwent Drawing Pencils & Coloursoft pencils on pastel paper.  The second dog might not be so easy as the reference photos are very poor indeed.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

We Plough The Fields...

I put the finishing touches to this yesterday, just a purple wash over the soil to knock it back and bring out the horses' legs.

This is based on a photo I took at the Wealde & Downland Open Air Museum last year during a ploughing exhibition.  The giant horses in their full regalia are so beautiful and this painting has been at the back of my mind all winter.  This is not how I envisaged it at all - somehow attention to detail took over and this was the result - but I'm very happy with it nonetheless.

Currently for sale in my Etsy shop.