Sunday, 28 September 2014

I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside... as I can't be there, I'll just paint and knit sea-related things!  This is a bit of an experimental piece, new paper, new paint, so I am not sure where it is going to be honest.  The paper is Japanese synthetic Yupo paper - very different, very thin and almost shiny and you don't feel it would take watercolours but it does. The amazing thing is that you can scrub off anything you don't want and leave the pristine white once again. The paints I am using are Derwent Graphiks paint pens - quite vibrant colours, but I am loving them.  I don;t think this will replace traditional methods for me, but I will definitely use both paper and paints inthe future but perhaps not together.
With no animation work to do, it's a chance to catch up on patterns I've been wanting to try out.  This octopus is on the current Knitty issue.  It's going to look vey cool, but after knitting one leg I've already had enough!  But I will persevere, because he keeps looking at me reproachfully...

We picked the last of the grapes yesterday - more jelly to be made today.  The birds are welcome to the remainder, but I do wish they wouldn't make such a purple mess on our patio!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Endings & Beginnings...

This watercolour of Corblets Bay in Alderney was completed yesterday - not too sure about it, but I do like the way the rocks in the foreground have turned out. 

I am now experimenting using my new Derwent Graphiks paint pens and some Yupo paper - both new to me and both very different to what I am used to.  I think with a bit of practise they are going to become quite a favourite.

This week saw the completion of the last item for the animated film.  The last and the most problematic!  However, it is all done now and very soon I will be able to share it - I have seen the trailer and it looks great! Not long to go now, just little longer...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Grapes Of Wrath.....

After a shaky start where it felt I had forgotten how to paint, this little watercolour of Corblets Bay in Alderney is coming along nicely.  I've been working on the rocks in the foreground for several days now - the idea was to use a large brush and keep it loose....well, that didn't happen, did it!  It never does when I paint, I just get caught up in the detail and when I emerge two hours later, my style remains my style.  Even when using a large brush!

I wish I had more time for painting at the moment - our grape vine this year has produced yet another mammoth crop and I am trying to utilise it.  I'm making grape jelly as usual - we like it, plus it is good for spur of the moment gifts as everyone else likes it too.  So far there are 11 jars of the stuff, a bucket of grapes in the kitchen awaiting processing and about another 20lbs of grapes out on the vine.  I have a feeling most of them will end up compost - life is too short to stand over a boiling pan of juice & sugar!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Beaches & Beasties...

Whilst I went straight back to work after our brief holiday, I have had time to start a small watercolour.  This is of Corblets beach in Alderney, the beach that has the biggest waves.  I took many reference photos of the waves, but not many of them turned out as well as I had hoped!  I feel very rusty painting again - I have not done much lately and it shows.  However, it is very enjoyable to be painting somewhere I love and I am slowly getting back into the swing of it.
I've also knitted another one of these - I had a brief hiatus from the animation work and a zombie was what I wanted to make.
This pattern never fails to amuse me!

I am currently crocheting another monster, quite difficult when using fluffy yarn, I can't see what on earth I'm doing!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Things You Do When At A Loose End...

With the knitting for the animation all but finished (one last creature to be made), I now have quite a bit of spare time on my hands.  Last week I tried another pattern from my Mini Mochi book - this has to be one of the cutest armadillos in the world!
He's only about an inch and a half long - I have no idea what to do with him now, other than look and go 'ahhh'.

Time to start adding stock to my Etsy shop - there is a pull-apart zombie on the needles, and a painting on the board.

The animation is just about finished and will soon be out there - watch this space, it's all very exciting!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

No Crafting, Just Chilling...

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know that I have been very stressed this summer - constant building noise was driving me to the brink of insanity.  However, just before having to go back to work, we took a few days off and caught a plane....a very small plane!
To a very small island - this is Alderney in the Channel Islands, just off the coast of France and where I spent my teenage years when my parents retired there.
Not much has changed, the beaches remain the same.
No-one there but us most of the time.
Stacie's favourite pursuit, assembling a sandy Dalek army - she also did more sketching than I did!
I was too busy collecting shells....
...collecting photos for future paintings...
...or freezing myself in the sea!  Going swimming was a bit of a mad thing to do but when you are challenged, you have to step up.  It was COLD!
We also bird watched at Gannet Rock,
and explored various forts and German fortifications left over from the war.
I have often reminisced about how awful dental checks were when I lived in Alderney and that it was pretty antiquated at the time.  We as children all dreaded the visit to the school of the local dentist, it was not a good experience.  In the museum I found the actual chair we all had to sit in and it was so much worse than I remembered!  Zoom in if you can to read the wonder we all had problems with our teeth in later life!

I have been crafting since I got back - more on that in another post.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hitting The Ground Running...

Back from a holiday of rotten weather, crowded beaches, bad, it was a fantastic few days in Alderney, with Mediterranean temperatures, deserted sands, bird watching, shell collecting and generally lazing about.  The only thing wrong with it was that it was far too short and I have to go back to work this morning.

I have lots of photographs to keep me busy painting sun and sand over the winter months - if I can get through today that is!