Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Here's To 2015!

Today is the last day of 2014, and I for one will not be sorry to see the back of it.  It's been a complicated year, with the bad far outweighing the good at times.  There have been losses and gains, some very big changes, periods with very little work, some with too much, catching up with old friends and saying a sad goodbye to others. 

2015 looks to be very different compared to the past few years - I'm striking out on my own work-wise, which is both scary and exciting.  Not having to do the regular hours at a 'proper job' will make a huge difference to how much I can achieve at home - for the better I hope. It's risky but at my age, if I don't do it now I never will!

I hope 2015 will be better for everyone - here's wishing you everything you wish for yourselves.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Hello Bear!

This is a little knitting kit that I got given for Christmas - very cute.  Not sure what to do with her now, but I'm sure we'll find a space!

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to get things done with a view to being unemployed freelance; first job is to get my son's room re-decorated and re-furnished in order to get my crafting materials organised.  I've painted the door so far, does that count?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Here is the completed goldfish purse - I want to say that was fun, but towards the end it really wasn't!  Each sequin has been laboriously handsewn in place, and I'm not sure just how many of those sequins are now scattered around our living room!
He has a cotton print inner, and there is a hint of stuffing between the felt and cotton to give it a nice rounded fishy shape.
Like that.
One of those projects that will remain a one-off - I'm really pleased with the result, but not sure I want to do it again...unless you pay me of course!!

And finally, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, Happy New Year!

2014 was not one of my best years in some respects - months of building hell next to our house, lack of painting commissions for the first part of the year, misery at the day job culminating in handing in my notice, the loss of a good friend, and quite a lot of irritating things to deal with.  But it did have it's very good points - the release and good reception of the Nudinits animation (two and a half years hard work!), catching up with some old school friends in the summer, and some very exciting changes for the new year - going totally freelance and finally realising my lifetime dream.  Thank you for sticking with me through it, putting up with the moans and wails, sharing the good bits and giving me the impetus to work hard in order to have something to show you all.  Here's to 2015!

Monday, 22 December 2014

At Last!

This little scarf has taken far too long to complete - it kept getting sidelined while I got on with other more pressing commitments.
It's been knitted in a sweet varigated wool in autumnal shades, which works well with the lace pattern giving a wavy effect.
It has a double rib section through which you can thread one end of the scarf and make a cravat kind of affair round your neck, keeping everything warm and toasty.
I like this pattern - I think I shall make it again in different yarns.

Currently on the needles....nothing!  Suffering withdrawal symptoms, but my hands are still busy sewing what feels like thousands of sequins on that felt goldfish purse.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

This & That...

Two days before the festivities begin and I think we might be just about ready!  Stacie and I have been having fun with a gingerbread house kit (Morrisons £4, I can't get over what good value this is!).  Stacie has badgered me for several years now to buy a kit and I have held off because I felt they were always expensive - and looked complicated!  However, this one was dead easy and while I had to do the construction bit (with Stacie holding things in place) and the icing, she was able to add the sweetie decorations and thoroughly enjoyed herself.  Trouble is, it will be a shame to break into it to eat it!

Despite tearing around Christmas shopping, sorting out the house, finishing off the day job (yay!) and wrapping presents, I have managed to squeeze in a little painting time.  This is a small coloured pencil work of a toadstool we saw on a dog walk a few weeks ago.  I'm using Faber-Castell coloured pencils - one of Amazon's Black Friday bargains - and they are gorgeous!  Very slow and painstaking, but very therapeutic!
And while taking a short break from the Nudinits knitting, I've been doing some other crafting.  This is a purse in the shape of a goldfish....I got the clasp free with a knitting magazine and it just shouted out to be used as a mouth.  The purse will no doubt be totally impractical, but will look cute at least!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tree's Up!

We're a little late, but the tree is finally in place - we found the perfect little tree for our sideboard (it has to be out of the way of big doggy tail-wags!) and put it in place yesterday. Lovely to get out the old familiar decorations, some going as far back as when my children were babies.  Each one brings back happy memories and I am glad I thought to keep them when we had to leave Greece with virtually nothing but the shirts on our backs some 20 years ago.

It's been a busy week - my son moved out (finally!) last weekend which was surprisingly emotional for me. I'm so pleased he is able to afford to go at last and start his life properly, but it was sad too.

I've been knitting madly, trying to get the last Christmas bits done for Nudinits - you'll have to check out their advent calendar on Twitter and Facebook to see what I've been up to.

Nothing on the easel at the moment - no time!  I'm hoping during the Christmas period I will be able to get the paints out. I miss it.

Tomorrow is the last day at the day job - after 11 years, that too will be quite a wrench.  However, I am not enjoying my current role there, I don't feel I am contributing anything other than being a childminder which makes me very unhappy, so it is definitely time to go. I am extremely excited to be starting a new chapter in my life, hopefully making a go of the arts and crafts full time.  There are some interesting things scheduled for next year - who knew naughty knitting could lead to a career change!

So, lots of changes this month - it all seemed to happen at once.  Perhaps 2015 will be a good year to make up for 2014!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Jolly Holidays...

This week I have been mostly knitting balloons...

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Ready To Go!

Knitted replica pet - Wilbur by name!
Everything faithfully reproduced in miniature, even his funny little toy.
He'll be winging his way to his new home shortly.

If you'd like your pet made in yarn, get in touch - not for Christmas though! Too late.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

This Dog Is Just For Christmas!

I'm so busy at the moment, I feel like a headless chicken!  As usual, Christmas snuck up on me, despite the early start on the tv and in the shops, and panic is starting to set in.

I got a lovely last minute commission to recreate this little dog and his accessories.  His name is Wilbur and here he is, still a work in progress - I have to fluff his fur up with a wire brush...I have to go and buy a wire brush...and he needs his knitted coat and toy.  I have to make two of him, but the second one is not until after Christmas - phew!

I've been knitting little Christmas items like crazy in order to keep up with the Nudinits advent calendar - perhaps we should have thought of this some time back in August, but never mind!

Talking of Nudinits, there are lots of things in the pipeline for next year - it's all getting quite exciting.  I think I quit the day job at the right time -  one more week to go!

Friday, 5 December 2014

It's Not Always A Happy Christmas...

Here's a little film that highlights a previously unknown practice that takes place every year at this time.
Warning, contains scenes of vegetable cruelty that some viewers may find upsetting.

Yes, I did indeed sew twenty felt brussels sprouts!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Throwback Thursday

There are lots of projects going on, but as I am unable to show them at present, here's one I made earlier!  A LOT earlier!  I think this was the first acrylic I painted of an animal that I looked at afterwards and thought, hey, I can really do this!  It's very special to me and hangs in my living room as a reminder of that moment, many years ago.  I don't think I will ever sell it - for one thing I used a photograph from a book as a reference and that's a strict no-no as far as sales are concerned now.  But it is also a painting I look at when I have a crisis of confidence (happens more often than you would think!) and it helps me buck my ideas up!

No paintings on the easel at the moment as there really isn't the time in the Christmas run-up.  Plenty on the needles though - Christmas miniatures and replica dogs!

Two weeks left at the day job and I'm not regretting the decision to leave - just cannot wait to get my new routine started!