Monday, 30 May 2011

Blue Jellyfish No.6 & a Trip To London

Luckily, I never get tired of painting these blue jellyfish - this is the sixth one so far and it already has a home to go to.  My only complaint is that I am running out of reference photographs with various poses...I might have to take another trip to Boston and it's aquarium, y'know, for research purposes of course!

This has been painted in watercolour on The Langford watercolour paper.  I don't plan on painting another jellyfish just yet, but if you would like to commission one, my arm could definitely be twisted!

Yesterday I took my daughter for a day trip to London.  BBC Weather told me it would be cool and rainy and I believed them - silly me.  So we went armed with coats, warm clothing and an umbrella.  This is what it was like....
warm and sunny.  Thanks Mr. Weatherman, I had to carry two loads of outer clothing and an umbrella around for a whole day while pouring sweat and regretting my decision to wear a t-shirt under my shirt and those nice warm boots! Plus a lot of shops still have their heating on - what's that all about?
Despite that, we had a nice day but cut it short when faced with a mile long queue to get into the London Aquarium - we'd both had enough by then.  We can go again when it isn't a Bank Holiday plus half term.
Neither of us fancied going on the London Eye either - look how that thing is leaning!
Over the years I have watched this little tree grow on the side of the railway bridge across the Thames, amazed at how nature will always find a way.  Where do it's roots go?  What nutrients is it getting from a metal bridge?  How long before some official cuts it down?  How big will it get before that happens?

No other photos from London I am afraid - I was carrying too much!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Shop Update

This pair of knitted dog sets have just been added to my Etsy shop.

Give a dog a home!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Little Garden Helper...

It would appear I have a small visitor in the garden.......hello!
Yes, you with the worm in your mouth!  Couldn't you lend a hand with the slug and snail situation instead?
Worms are tastier?  I'll take your word for it!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Horse Portrait No.2

Just completed the second portrait in a double commission to go to Athens, Greece.  This has also been painted using a combination of watercolour and Derwent Drawing Pencils on watercolour paper. 
It was a pleasant change to be asked to paint these in a more 'painterly' fashion - I do enjoy simple portraits but it is nice to use a bit of creativity occasionally.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Who doesn't love it when the dogs in the film 'Up' get distracted by a 'squirrel!'  Luckily, mine hasn't taken much notice of this one.  This is another creature to be used for animation and is approximately 3 inches tall.  The acorn can be removed.  Apologies for the rubbish picture quality, early mornings do not agree with my camera!

Monday, 23 May 2011, crap....

However, I did have to knit some for the pig.  Interesting how many images you find if you Google 'pig poo'.

Unwittingly I have now turned into one of those people you read about who knit  inappropriate objects.

 I'm OK with that.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Here's anudder knit animal - thank goodness I didn't have to knit poo for her as well!
Now he fits in the new car comfortably, Clovis's horizons have widened considerably.  He's one tired dog this weekend!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Who's A Beautiful Boy Then......

Today I received the completed sculpture of Clovis - isn't it lovely? It has been made by a talented artist named Felicity Lloyd-Coombs who is based in Arundel, Sussex.  I saw her sculptures at a ceramic show held in The Maltings, Farnham, before Christmas and was so impressed that I wanted to own a piece of her work.  I had to wait in a bit of a queue, but it was well worth it.
Ceramic Clovis stands on his own shelf in the living room, looking as if he is about to bounce away into full chase mode.  Real Clovis is slumped at my feet waiting for his dinner, having charged around a few fields this afternoon in pursuit of butterflies and a scary hiking man!
He knows that there is no way I can get up from here without him noticing and thereby no way I can forget about feeding him.

If you would like to get in touch with Felicity about a commission, please e-mail me and I will forward on her e-mail address to you.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

So There You Are!

Look!  One lone tomato flower!  Nestling in a hanging basket variety.  I think I  can safely say I have lost the tomato challenge with Soggibottom, but I am very happy that at least one of my tomato plants is doing something.
And Audrey has finally burst open to reveal salmon pink petals - wow, it only took her about five years to get this far.

I've had a bit of an enforced break from the knitted animals this week - ran out of kapok and the good old Royal Mail took 5 days longer to deliver a package from Ireland to the UK than from the UK to the USA.  But it arrived today so I am back in business - knitted cow here I come!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Blue-Tit -Giveaway Winner

I've just used my random number generator....OK, some pieces of paper with numbers on mixed together in a bowl...and the winner of the knitted blue-tit is Noemi.

Please let me know where in the world he will be going to!

Monday, 16 May 2011

This Little Piggy Went To Market......

Here is Momma Pig with all six of her piglets.  Each one has different markings, jointed legs and a wired tail.
They each have a 'popper' on their snout so they can do this....

It's a bit of a crush - someone always gets left out!
This was such a fun little project - I can honestly say I didn't start getting bored until half-way through the last piglet and as they are a fairly fast knit, that wasn't for long. Now I have to figure out the cow - it is not only to be jointed, but must also have a mouth than opens......

Someone likes their new mode of transport - he can stand up properly and look out of the window for the first time ever!
And he has a wibbly-wobbly travelling companion....this makes my daughter laugh like a drain every time we go over a bump in the road. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Happy As a Pig in..........

It is so good when you get commissions that are totally out of your comfort zone - you get to try something completely different and often the challenge sets you off in new and fresh directions creatively.  I must admit I have never felt the inclination to paint a picture of a scarecrow before, but when a friend of mine asked for a painting for her new house which combined a couple of her favourite things, I was up for the challenge.  I think the most difficult thing was to find an image of a scarecrow that wasn't totally terrifying!  This one was quite fun to do, and I really enjoyed painting the field of sunflowers.  It is painted in watercolour and has gone off to a very happy customer today.
I wouldn't have voluntarily picked a pig to knit either, least of all a fully jointed one.  But again, this was an inspiring commission, particularly as I had to not only design the mother pig, but also a tiny piglet, with jointed legs and a wired tail for animation purposes.  And the best bit is.....

...he can have a drink of milk just like a real piglet as the other half of the snap fastener is on the end of his snout!  I have 5 more piglets to make (!) for this commission but I think I will definitely make more child-friendly sets to go in my Etsy shop.

The above are the reason why I very rarely refuse a commission, the answer is usually 'I'll have a go'.

As Blogger has been acting up over the past couple of days, I will extend the end date for the giveaway to Wednesday.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Loose Ends Tied Up...

This is the first knitted pig I made using someone else's pattern....not much good for animation and I am not keen on it at all.  Ok for a child's toy I suppose.  So I have had to put my thinking cap on and come up with this instead....
A bit different I think you will agree!  The head swivels and the tail is wired for stop frame animation.  And when she lies down with her belly exposed....
..she is ready for her piglets with those snap fastener nipples!  Now I just have to work out a piglet head hurts!

Today I finally got closure on the saga of the damaged jellyfish painting.  After having to send the packaging to Royal Mail's customer service dept and explaining that I had to sell the picture with a discount, I received a nice little cheque today which just about covers how much I was out of pocket.  Thank you Royal Mail, I feel duly compensated.

While we are talking about damaged items (bit of a recurring theme so far this year), today I have gone from this:-

to this:-

I know, it's a four-wheel drive but I figured if you can't beat them, join them!  More to the point, I can now cart about the dog, art equipment, garden supplies, stuff for the tip, and even my family, without having to jam it all in with a shoe-horn.

Regarding the tomato challenge with Soggibottom blog - I'm not going to win but at least my tomato plants are big and healthy.
Not a flower to be seen as yet though.

Unlike this thing which has been struggling under a shrub for years and never flowered.  We cut theshrub down a few months ago and now this oriental poppy has several buds.  I can't remember what colour it is supposed to be so it will be a nice surprise.

Don't forget the giveaway - it's open until Sunday.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

700th Post & a Giveaway!

Who remembers this little guy?  Well, in celebration of the 700th post on this blog, he is up for grabs in a giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment and please become a follower* as I am beginning to feel a bit of a Billy-No-Mates as my total is going down not up! (Was it something I said? )  I'll pick a random number next Sunday to draw a winner - anyone from anywhere is welcome to join in.

*you don't have to become a follower if you don't want to!

Do you remember this?  The damage done to my poor little car by some careless idiot in a 4x4 who left the scene of the accident and who the police cannot/will not find?  Well, I never felt the same about driving this since, as if it has a big ol' target painted on it now saying 'hit me'.  So I have been looking for a replacement for the past couple of months and yesterday I think I fell in love.....but you'll have to wait until Wednesday to see my new wheels and I bet you will laugh your socks off at my choice!

On the arts & crafts side of things, I have been asked to knit a jointed pig and cow to go with cat for an animated film.  Tricky isn't the word but if I manage to fulfill the brief, they will be the cutest of the cute. And I am painting something totally out of my comfort zone for a commission.....

Thursday, 5 May 2011

What a Difference a Frame Makes.....

It is always so suprising to me to see the difference between one of my paintings as it is, just paper, and then when it is behind glass in a decent frame.  I am so pleased with the above painting  especially as the frame itself was quite a bargain and yet exactly what I was looking for. I almost don't want to put it up for sale in the exhibition tomorrw.....
I was quite lucky this time round that I had frames at home that suited all the paintings - couldn't have found a better match for this one either.

Or this one - and I managed to frame everything for once without a bit of dust or a dog hair sneaking behind the glass when I have already taped the backing down!
So if you would like to see these in the flesh, come to the Fleet & District Art Exhibition at the Harlington Centre in Fleet from tomorrow until Sunday.

My next post will be my 700th - have I waffled for that much?  I'm thinking about a giveaway...any requests?

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Cat's Pyjamas.....

Here he is, one fully jointed cat ready to be animated.  He now has a comfy red bed, a food bowl, a water bowl complete with removeable 'water', and a funky purple mouse-toy.
I can't wait to see him in motion - how weird will that be?  I love these random projects, such fun to try and free-style an everyday object in miniature knitting.

I spent most of yesterday mounting and framing 6 paintings ready for a local exhibition at the weekend.  Fleet Art Society will be holding their annual exhibition at the Harlington Centre from Friday evening until Sunday tea-time.  I shall be painting in situ Sunday afternoon, so if you are in the area come and say 'Hi'.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

May Day!

Uh-oh......something's brewing.........
Oh well, at least he did it in the litter tray and not on the carpet.

For anyone interested, cat poo is knitted using brown yarn and the I-cord method with 3 stitches.  When you have just over an inch of brown I-cord, cast off and use the yarn tail to sew the cord into a life-like coil of poo. Weave in yarn ends.  There you go, a tutorial....don't say I never do anything for you.

Happy May Day by the way - did any of you get up at dawn and wash your face in the morning dew to ensure year-long beauty? Nah, me neither, especially as I couldn't guarantee that the dog didn't get to the grass first!