Saturday, 17 September 2016

Misty Morning Bear

Second attempt at this one, on blue tinted watercolour paper this time.  I'm happier with it than I was with the first one, but still not 100% satisfied.  Maybe I just need to leave it for a day or two.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Chickens In Cowboy Boots....

 This has taken me weeks on and off - I'd forgotten just how long a very detailed acrylic painting takes - but it is finally finished.  One of the weirdest, funniest and most enjoyable commissions I have ever had. Painted in acrylic, blood, sweat & tears on Dalerboard.

 It's that time of year again - six jars of grape jelly with more grapes on the vine.  However, I think the birds can have the remainder this time, I'm busy!

If you are slightly squeamish, don't scroll down any further.  I dropped a large picture frame on my bare foot yesterday and for a few minutes thought I might need a trip to the Emergency Room.  However, with the application of witchhazel and an antiseptic cream, it's subsided a bit.  Can't wear proper shoes just yet though - thankfully it is still warm enough for flipflops.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Misty Bear...

The chicken painting is so very nearly finished, but I had to take a small time out to do a quick watercolour that's been on my mind for a while.  Possibly should have waited, as it was indeed rushed and didn't turn out quite as I had hoped.  Ah well, it was a nice change from working in a tight style with acrylics - today is back to completing the chickens, just the ground and grass left to do.

Friday, 2 September 2016

A Very Quick Kitty...

 This commission came about in a kind of funny way - I got an email from a lady enquiring about my knitted/felt cats and referencing a conversation we'd had.  Now, I know I am usually fairly pre-occupied and a bit scatterbrained, but I'm pretty sure I've never forgotten an enquiry about a prospective bit of work.  So I replied, saying as much, and telling her what I do make.
 She admitted she had confused me with someone else, but asked to see photos of my work - and then asked me to knit a replica of her cat and could I do it by the end of the week!  So here he is, Tenant.
 I haven't made one of these for a while, I'd forgotten how much fun it is assembling all the pieces and seeing a little character emerge.
 He also has a felt and fabric bed, plus a food bowl.  If I'd had more time, I'd have thrown in a bag of 'food' and a toy as well but he had to be in the post yesterday.
I can knit your cat too - just drop me a line!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

It's No Wonder I'm Tired...

My daughter's room used to look like this - you can't see it but to the right was an old spare bed piled high with her toys and all her clothes.  It was an awful mess.  Behind was another heap of crates full of toys, a built in wardrobe with stuff spilling out and a large wooden box full of her brother's possessions, left behind when he moved out.  The bed was old and creaky, and underneath were yet more boxes of crap stuff.  I'm not proud of it, it's needed renovating for years and to be honest, I just couldn't face it.

So when a new branch of Ikea opened near us, we went along to have a look and I saw an ideal bed for her - low, with storage and the ability to pull out into a double bed if necessary.  I went home and thought about it for a couple of days, then bit the bullet and ordered the bed...and shelves...and a chair.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago (together with two chest of drawers for our room which also needed replacing) and for the past ten days I have been mucking out Stacie's room - an apt phrase indeed.
So now she has a room like this, with lots more room with all the junk gone.  It's not quite finished, the walls need painting and the pictures re-hanging, but that can wait for a couple of weeks while my body recovers. Carrying large chunks of wood up and down the stairs singlehandedly and dragging huge bin sacks full of old and broken toys takes it out of you!
I was very worried that she would create a scene with me 'touching her stuff', let alone throwing a great deal of it away - people with Down's Syndrome dislike change, and she in particular can get very funny about her possessions being moved.  However, the bed has been a roaring success, she loves having the space to sit and play her cd's, and having all her books and bits and pieces in accessible shelves has meant that she has found all sorts of things she had forgotten about, so is very happy.  Thank God for that!

Consequently, time for painting and crafting has been minimum.  I've been working on these little peeps:
Discovered if you crochet a lace snowflake in raffia it makes a great coaster:
And the garden has not been producing much (another disastrous glitch in the weather earlier this summer, combined with slug invasion) but the cucamelons are delicious!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Snow, Sun & Soreness...

I've not had an awful lot of time for crafting this week, but have been crocheting these pretty little snowflakes.  I'm glad they are small and don't cover my lap in heavy hot wool as it has been a little warm this week.

The reason I've not had much time for craft is that I have been completely refurbishing my daughter's room - it hasn't been done for years and as she is a chronic hoarder (can't think where she gets it from) it was quite a mammoth task.  I've chucked out all the ancient furniture, bought some lovely new stuff from Ikea which I have been building and arranging so that she has a proper grown-up room with plenty of space and her possessions where she can see them, but also tidy.  Having Down's Syndrome means that if something is out of sight, it generally gets forgotten, so we have had years of her clothes being in piles on the spare bed, which looked awful but meant she could choose her outfits easily.  Her new bed has three large drawers underneath in which I have been able to put her clothes in a way she can see & choose with ease.  Also because of her DS, her room is full of beloved toys and books that I have not been able to cull, despite her being 28 years old.  Hopefully with her new bookshelves I will be able to keep the ones she wants, quietly throw away the really babyish stuff, and restore order!  It's been a lot of hard work, not helped by a mini heatwave - so much sweat - and I am aching all over.  Hopefully it should all be done by the weekend and I can get back to my easel.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Snow In Summer...

Just for a change, I have been crocheting some snowflakes.  Got a great pattern book and some sparkly thread and off we go.  These are fun to make, relatively quick (when you are not engrossed in watching the Olympics!) and so pretty.
Also been working on this - the end is in sight, just got to add some chicks and finish off the ground and we're done.  Sounds easy, but it will take a few more sessions.

I've also been building furniture - after a visit to the new Ikea branch just down the road from us, I was inspired to finally replace the nasty old bedroom furniture we have had for about 20 years, a lot of which was second hand even then.  So far I have build two chests of drawers and a bedside table for our bedroom, and over the weekend will be building a new bed & some bookshelves for Stacie's room and generally sorting through all her stuff and clearing out the trash...I may be some time!