Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Leopard & Lace...

I've not touched a pencil or paintbrush for a couple of weeks due to other commitments and it has driven me crazy!  No that I had anything particular in mind to paint, I just wanted to paint - it's an oasis of calm in a frenetic world.  This week I managed to find some spare time and started this small watercolour of a leopard.  I had in mind to keep it loose and splashy, but that's not happening - just not in my nature.  We'll see where it goes...
This is the first half of the lace shawl I have been working on - I now have to knit an identical piece which will then be grafted on down the centre.  Not sure why, I think it is so that both ends have a pleasing wavy edge.  It's been put on hold for a short while as I have started knitting a coat for Clovis as wearing his raincoat every day is just not working out - one sprint from him and it ends up hanging off, flapping in the breeze.  It's not a quick project, he's a rather large dog.

He's doing well on his various tablets - he has good days and bad days. Last week it was difficult to get him to eat properly, this week he is shovelling his food in.  As long as he can still canter around a field without keeling over, we're doing OK!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Another One Done!

Here is the second knitted coat, made for a friend's of mine's little dog.  This one is too small to be modelled by Daisy!
 I'm hoping we still have a few chilly days left for it to be worn, but there is always next year.
Spring is definitely on it's way, the bluetits are beginning to nest and we are so happy they have chosen our tit box!  We bought this a couple of years ago at a sculpture garden as a bit of a joke, and it has been empty ever since due to the noise and dispruption caused by the building work next door.  However, our garden has been quiet for nearly a year now and it would seem this year we may have baby birds once again - in years gone by, we've had tits, robins, sparrows & blackbirds nesting in our small space, safe in the knowledge that no cat would dare set foot in our garden.  It was sad that for three nesting seasons they were scared off by loud noises & men in hi viz jackets.  Let's hope this year all the birds return.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Slowly Populating The USA

 Another one of these is leaving me today for a long journey across the Atlantic.  Bye bye!
With each Clanger I knit, I'm gradually cutting the time it takes - must be due to familiarity with the pattern.  The longest part of the process is assembling it and making the waistcoat.  Worth the effort though!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Knitting & Sewing

 This week I have been very busy with no time for painting.  I have two dog coats to knit for a friend of mine - her dogs that is - and here is the first one as modelled by Daisy.  I really like how the two retro shades of blue work together in the stitch pattern - that was a bit of a chance on my part when buying the yarn.
 Daisy really knows how to sell herself, cute comes so naturally - I should really  take a photograph of her when she's knee deep in mud and her face is brown from snuffling up rabbit poo.
I've also been sewing - a blueberry tree!  This is for an upcoming project, still a work in progress.  I know blueberries don't grow on trees, but this fabric is just gorgeous!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Work In Progress...

It's one of those weeks where everything is in the middle of being done, so not a lot to show at the moment.  I did receive this month's Art & Parcel box and was very excited to open it and find Chinese brushes, ink & Japanese paper.  There was a fortune cookie in there too, but that's long gone!
So I got out my trusty Chinese brush painting instruction book and had a go - bit of a shock to discover that the Japanese paper was so absorbent, soaked up the paint like blotting paper.  This meant a slight change in technique, basically getting rid of some of the water from the base of the brush before painting.
One of the pens I got was a black ink brushpen, kind of like a fancy felt-tip.  Beautiful to use, but again, tricky on the absorbent paper.  Still, I know that I will use all of these items in the future, so am very happy.

Not much time for painting this week however.  From a very turgid January with no work at all, I have suddenly got quite a bit of sewing and knitting to do.   Nothing finished yet, so here is a picture of Daisy having fun with a plastic bone:
Must be nice to be so easily amused!

Clovis is plodding on, managing to wheedle all kinds of treats out of me in order to get his pills down his throat.  He had a check-up at the vet's on Monday and after listening to his heart, the vet remarked that he honestly didn't know how Clovis is still standing.  Well, neither do I, but he is and not only standing but cantering round the fields on his walks and frightening me to death with his antics.  I guess the thing is, Clovis doesn't know he could drop dead at any minute, he just knows he's enjoying his walks & being spoilt like never before.  Little bugger...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Turaco & An Author...

I finally finished this coloured pencil drawing of a turaco - the bird was finished days ago, but the shrubbery took a long time!  I'm very pleased with this, especially as it is my first foray into using Derwent Coloursoft pencils.   I need to take a better photo in daylight...if we ever get any decent daylight...then this one will be up for sale.

Last night on Twitter I joined in the W.H. Smith Sketch Off - they gave us a photo and it was our job to sketch it by any means within an hour and a half.  The photo was of Roald Dahl and was a lovely subject, plenty going on in that face!  I managed to complete it in about an hour, despite having it on my lap and wrestling with the dog who also wanted to be on my lap.  I think with teaching children on a regular basis and having to sketch all kinds of things at speed in order to show them what I am talking about has improved my own sketching skills immensely.

I received the February Art &Parcel package yesterday and was thrilled to see some Chinese brushes, ink &paper inside - can't wait to have a go!
Currently on the needles - this little beauty.  LOVE this yarn!