Friday, 31 August 2012

Once in a Lifetime......

Yesterday was the first day of the London Paralympics...and we were lucky enough to attend.  We had tickets to the Equestrian Team event at Greenwich.  We were there for the afternoon session which I had chosen for ease of getting there and because it was short - my daughter wouldn't have managed any longer.

We were interested to see that some horses required a friendly face to accompany them in the arena!

 So did some riders - this one had a 'caller' as she was partially sighted.
Meanwhile, the weather was preparing something - it was already cold and extremely windy up in the stands.  We were hopelessly underdressed - a couple of extra pullovers would have been nice.
After completing her test, the Canadian rider did a bit of showboating as she left the arena with a fancy extended trot - I didn't manage to catch it on camera unfortunately.
There was a short break while they raked the sand and members of the audience  nipped to the loo!
Some of us weren't interested in the proceedings....
....they were more interested in stuffing their faces.
We were lucky enough to see the GB Gold medallist Lee Pearson compete, although by the time he was in the ring the rain had really started to hammer down.
It didn't seem to bother him though....
...and he finished with the highest score of the day.
We left the arena cold, wet, shivering uncontrollably but very happy we'd had this opportunity to take part in a once in a lifetime event.
Off for a hot chocolate & a Danish pastry and to wend our way slowly home....

Monday, 27 August 2012

Love a Lurcher!

Who doesn't love a lurcher?  This little chap is a replica of a real lurcher, but this one only stands about 5 inches tall.
He's got a bit of a fancy collar with a beaded tassel - I don't think the real dog has one of these!
As usual with all my knitted pets, he is fully poseable with wool-jointed legs.  He'a waiting patiently for his bed to be finished and also for his companion to be knitted - a Bengal cat.  Now that's a challenge!

If you fancy having your pet replicated in yarn, do get in touch!

Saturday, 25 August 2012


This was one of those paintings that I really didn't want to end, I enjoyed it so much. It's when you find yourself going over the same ground and achieving nothing new you know that it's time to put the pencils down!

This was in Derwent Drawing pencils with white acrylic highlights on Canson pastel paper in a grey/blue shade.

Next on the drawing board, a tutorial in Inktense for Paint magazine - yup, I have to write an article for a magazine....gulp!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Oh Baby!

About a month ago my niece gave birth to her second little boy.  I also received some fantastic fabric designed by Helz Cuppleditch with which to make something for the baby.  What with one thing and another, the process got delayed a bit but had to be done before the child started kindergarten!

As one of the pieces of fabric had a whole pictoral design on it, and as I already had a suitably sized piece of batting, I decided a quilt was the way to go.  I do not profess to be a very proficient machine sewer - me and machines do not go together well, possibly because I have a tendency to rush things.  However, I am very pleased with my efforts here, despite having managed to create an unwanted pleat on the back while sewing round the squares (I did unpick it and start again!), a few slightly wonky lines,  and various pin-related injuries resulting in bloodshed.
I just need to hand-sew the remainder of the back of the border, give it a press and it's good to go. 

Now my nephew's fiancee is pregnant, but at least I have another six months in which to plan quilt No.2!

Let Me Pencil That In....

One of this week's little projects - and I mean little!
Surprising what can be achieved with an inch of I cord in the right colours. Don't ask me to make a whole box of crayons though....
Also been slogging away at these - another mascot design for the USA.  Two down, two to go......

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


'Meg' is coming along nicely and shouldn't take to long to finish.  This is definitely a better photo, using daylight, no flash and a steady hand.
I took a few minutes to have a practice with the new camera in the garden - this is the only photo I was pleased with, but I think that's more down to my ineptitude than the camera's.  This dahlia was rescued from the casualty corner of our local garden centre for the princely sum of £1.  In fact, I managed to fill the whole  boot of my car with plants that were on sale for a total of £10 - my kind of gardening!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Look What I Did.....

Upon coming home from the beach on Friday, I managed to drop my camera on the kitchen floor and do this.....oops..
After taking it to the local camera shop to have my diagnosis confirmed - it's a gonner - the shop manager kindly pointed out that he had a re-furbished Fuji Finepix camera pretty similar to my broken one at a vastly reduced price.  As I cannot be without a camera for too long due to the nature of my work, I took him up on the offer - and how glad I am that I did!  My new camera is far better than the old one, and the software that came with it is far superior as well.  Even a computer-illiterate like me can work it with good results - yay!
Now that my 'holiday' of a few days off is over, it's back to the drawing board, literally, and we are off and running with a portrait of Meg, partner to the previous portrait of Tess. My camera does take better pictures than this, but I am trying to avoid the glare that Derwent Drawing pencils cause with a flash.  You get the general idea....

Friday, 17 August 2012

Gone AWOL.....

I played hookey yesterday......down to the coast to visit the remains of a Roman villa, meet up with friends for a pub lunch and then for a long walk by the sea, picking shells. 
It was of us couldn't quite believe their luck, and didn't even mind having their socks used as shell bags!

I didn't touch yarn or needles at all for 24 hours, and while there is a tiny frisson of guilt right at the back of my brain, I feel the break was much needed.  All work and no play....etc., etc....

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere.....

This is the rockpool play set just about complete.  I've knitted a few more inhabitants - look carefully and you'll see a crab, a cuttlefish, a starfish and a very small hermit crab.  The base has had a sheet of felt glued on to cover the stitching and the whole lot has been wrapped in copious amount of bubblewrap and posted off ready for a little girl's birthday.  There will be a subsequent parcel with a few more fish later on.
I really enjoyed making this - it was quite an unusual commission, but so much fun.  Left to my own devices, I could have made this very complicated and spectacular, but you have to consider just how much you will end up charging the customer!

Yesterday we had a day out, playing tourists up in London.  In a couple of week's time we will be attending the Paralympics equestrian event, so we thought we'd have a bit of a trial run up to Greenwich and visit the newly restored tea clipper, the Cutty Sark.
Unfortunately, I clean forgot to take a picture of the outside of the ship - whoops! This is a view of a British warship from one of the portholes though...
Stacie always enjoys playing Captain Jack Sparrow whenever she can...
We wondered what ship had this little chap as it's figurehead?
After a very enjoyable morning on the ship followed by a lunch of jerk chicken and goat curry from a stall in Greenwich market, we took a river cruise back to Waterloo.
It is fascinating to see that little Dickensian corners like this still exist - can't you just imagine Bill Sykes scarpering among those houses?
We were very excited to see the Olympic rings hanging from Tower Bridge, even though by this time the rain was coming down hard.
We saw the Tower of London...
..and the replica of The Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake's ship.

I think we need to pay a visit to this ship too, now there Stacie could really imagine she was in Pirates of the Caribbean!

A really fun day and a welcome break from the stack of work I've been wading through!

Monday, 13 August 2012


I've been quietly knitting little fish to live in the rockpool.  My favourite so far is the clownfish, but I think the blenny is cute too.
While putting them on wires just for the photos, this gave me the idea that a vase full of knitted fish on wires might be kind of neat......

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Fishing For Compliments.....

The rockpool is finally finished - this is such a fun project!  I think I could probably elaborate more with it, but as it is for someone's birthday which is fast approaching, it's time to stop knitting rocks and get on with making the residents of this little pool.  I think the only problem there will be knowing when to stop - I love knitting little sea-creatures so much, I'll have to restrain myself from over-populating the place!

Also on the needles, a small desk (yes, we're back to furniture again) and a wolverine mascot scarf.
There is another dog portrait on the go as well - busy, busy!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


In Derwent Drawing pencils, together with white acrylic and Chinese black brushpen. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Shaggy Dog Story...

Who's this, trespassing on Clovis's territory?  Well, it's a mini Briard, part of a commission that has been oustanding for far too long while I struggle through the stack of work I have at the moment.  Thanks to the torrential rain outside and the Olympics on TV inside over the weekend, I was able to get this knitted and sewn up pretty quickly.  All she needs now is her bed and blankie and she's set to go. By the way, she's about 4 inches tall - I don't think Clovis would object to such a small interloper!

For the past few years I have been working my way through a box of free business cards that I had printed up by Vista Print - they weren't great, but they did the job.  When they finally ran out last month, I decided to get some decent ones made and this is the end result.  Considering I did this online and pretty much had no idea what I was doing (no change there!), they have turned out exceptionally well - I love the shadowy repeat of the front picture on the reverse side.  So if you buy something from me you will now get one of these popped inside the parcel.  Thank you Vista Print, you've done a great job!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

This One's Mine!

While searching through my stash to find beads for my sister's necklace, I came across the perfect beads for my own.  My lovely focal bead has been sat on the sideboard for weeks now while I pondered what to do with it.  I discovered these lovely little pink and grey natural pebble beads which I have had for quite a while and never had a project worthy of them.  The two match beautifully and I m really happy with the result.  If I can't make it to the beach, at least I can wear a little reminder of it around my neck!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Birthday Blue

It was my sister's birthday yesterday - we won't go into how old she is, but she's older than me...
She's had a tough time of it lately; living in Greece has not been a bundle of laughs over the past year with ever decreasing finances and ever increasing taxes, social unrest and general chaos.  To add to the misery, she had her house burgled a few weeks ago and anything that wasn't nailed down was taken, including her jewellery.

I thought it might be nice to have something made especially for her to kick-start a new collection, so commissioned a gorgeous focal bead from the talented Kaz at Cheeky Cherub Designs.  I wracked my brain for days thinking how to show it off to it's best advantage without detracting from the bead itself - I'm out of practise when it comes to jewellery-making these days.  I hope I have achieved it!