Thursday, 3 February 2011

January in review

Dear, oh dear - where does the time go? Well, Happy New Year everyone. Obviously I waited for Chinese New Year, just to be sure ;-)

Sadly, what knocked me back was catching flu with my two children about a week before Christmas, (it peaked on Christmas day, which was nice), and it dragged on for nearly two weeks. Following that I've found it really hard to recover my energy, and I keep being brought down by colds and sore throats. (Can you hear the violins?)

Anyway, this means I've barely touched a crochet hook in over 6 weeks! For most of that, it didn't even seem to engage my interest, but the ideas are starting to flow back. I just need to find the energy to find the time to put these ideas into motion.

Instead, what I found rising to the surface was a need to draw and paint - which I don't believe I can do. It seems this is the year to change that ;-)

Daisy Yellow is a wonderful artist blog I've been reading for a long time, and Tammy is constantly throwing out challenges, prompts and inspiration to help us start creating art.

This month there was the January Creative Experiments,

Backwards writing Mirror view of backwards writing

No Frills Prompts 8...
Green and Blue journal page Journal page

and No Frills Prompts 9,
Hand carved phone eraser stamp

and Design-a-doodle
Doodle Design 1 DSCN2002

Tammy also creates many beautiful Mandalas, which inspired this ATC.

Doodled Mandala on Watercolour

And the ACEOs on Folksy inspired me to attempt a couple of watercolour ATCs, the second in response to their latest ACEO challenge.
Primrose ATC in watercolour Lillies ATC

This post is far too long, so now I shall stop. Thanks for reading :-)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

DSCN1535

Saturday, 4 December 2010

2nd December - Journal Your Christmas

I actually finished this page last night, but I was too tired to blog.

2nd Dec2010

The theme is Snow - hopefully you worked that out :-) Most of the UK seems to be knee-deep in snow, for the second time this year. But not here. The South Wales coast seems to be a cosy place, and although we may get snow flurries, we never usually get any snow landing.

So imagine my two boys delight when finally, in January, after days of hearing about the rest of the UK enjoying endless sledging, we finally got some snow! Let battle commence. Endless snow ball fights, snowmen, snow forts, playing in and with it, tasting it, experiencing it fall on your cheek and making green zombie snowmen (you had to be there!)

One snowfall, which lasted a few days due to the low temperatures, and then it was all gone. But it was loved for every minute.

Fast forward to the end of November (November! in the UK!!) and the snow returns. Sadly only a couple of millimeters, not even enough for a snowball! Meanwhile, the rest of the UK is snowed in - getting stuck on motorways, but also sledging down hills and building snowman after snowman.

So my Christmas wish? A little bit of snow on Christmas Eve - and while I'm making this wish, can we throw in a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow, and some carol singing in the lamplight.
Then Christmas morning we'd wake up and dash outside to a cold, crisp bright day and build and play and throw until we couldn't feel our hands anymore. Inside for hot chocolate and presents, knowing the snow is there for later.
And to round off my wish, all the snow melts away in the next few days, like it always does around here, so we can get back to normal outings.

Who knows, maybe Santa is listening...

Meta Data
I didn't know where to start with this one - did a bit of faffing about, but didn't like anything. Then, finally it began to click into place. A bit crowded, but I wanted to get it all in, and couldn't see a better way of doing it.

Trial by fire, this digital scrapbooking, especially when I haven't done any scrapbooking for years!

So, used Basic Grey's Blitzen Starter Kit and Shimelle's Quick and Easy templates - Ha! I laugh in the face of "Quick" and "Easy", she says, flinging her cloak about! I wanted different paper, and a photo here, see-through text there, a different border, yada, yada, yada.

What should have taken a few moments (plug in the photo, journal, save) took much, much longer, but the things I know how to do now in The Gimp! By the end of the Christmas season I'll be an expert ;-)

Thanks for reading :-)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

1st December - Journal Your Christmas

Every year I join in with Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class - once you join, you're a member for life. It pulls together scrapbooking, blogging, journalling and photos and helps you focus on the special moments at this time of year, instead of them all flying past in the rush.
I usually only manage a handful of pages, but I love looking back on them and reading my thoughts from that particular Christmas.

Whenever I complete a page, I'll share it here, but don't expect high art, or the latest scrapbooking style. ;-) I'm going to be playing with digital pages, and I'm proud if anything appears!

Here's the first :

JYC - 1st December 2010

I used Shimelle's class templates and Basic Grey Blitzen digital Starter Kit. It isn't quite how I wanted it - a couple of mistakes meant I either kept going or started all over again, and then The Gimp kept crashing. Obviously I'd forgotten to save regularly. Aaarrgghhh! Got there (somewhere) in the end.

Thanks for reading :-)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hmmm...about that posting more regularly thing...

Warning - even longer post than last time!! Sorry ;-)

Well, let's face it. I can't be good at everything can I? ;-) It appears my huge-end-of-the-month-roundup is going to be traditional. (Did the same last year!)

This time I was hijacked by chores. Boo! Then my Mum came to stay and brought a list of christmas presents to commission from me, plus I was waiting for the yarn to make her a birthday scarf, plus I needed yarn for another commission.

So I ended up with a whole pile of crochet to finish, and not much time to do it. My fingers were on fire they were moving so fast :-)

I have another couple of commissions to do, and some little presents I want to make, but I've managed to fit in a bit of art time as well. Something NOT crochet - gasp!

Here we go - epic photo post...

more hats :
Small gold Beanie Medium Gold Beanie P1140199

scarves (two of the cream, and I need more 'cos they were so cosy):
AEDM #24 AEDM #25
AEDM #29b

Mittens - testing a design. Later frogged. They were very cosy and cute, but a bit too holey for fingers :-)

AEDM #20 - Mitten!

Hair accessories and suitable packaging:
AEDM #26 Crochet Flower headband
AEDM #27a


ATC or ACEO sized art - practicing watercolour:
AEDM #28a AEDM #28b AEDM #29a

And to finish, some game pieces from clay (in progress) and some cakes, including some today we ate before I could get a photo.
AEDM #27b AEDM #15

Phew! If anyone's still here, I hope to be back tomorrow, aliens and chores allowing!

Thanks for reading :-)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I was abducted by aliens...

Well, not really ;-)
That was a bit of a longer blogging break than I'd planned. Various excuses - ill children (again!), all 21 epsiodes of season 6 of House on DVD from the library (to watch in 6 evenings) and introducing my children to a wonderful PC game called Minecraft, which has reduced my PC time to zero.

I have been busy though - making hats. Hats, hats, hats. When it stops raining, and gets a bit lighter, I shall take a picture of all of them together.

AEDM #8 AEDM #9

A small version of the beanie (fits a child, but it was just for testing, so it no longer exists!), and the finished full-sized beanie.

Pink beanie in progress Pink & purple strands beanie in progress

Two tests for a hat commission - all pink, and pink, purple strands.

Pink and Purple Beanie Flower closeup

Finished pink beanie, which now has a pink flower layered on top of the purple flower.

Autumn Gold Beanie 2 Autumn Gold Beanie

A stretchy autumn gold variegated beanie, and a cloche style beanie in the same yarn. I managed to get a totally different colour by only using a certain stretch of the yarn. It now has a green edging (also from the same yarn)

AEDM #11a AEDM #11b AEDM #11c

As well as hats, I also had a go at some journal background pages.

More Korknisse

And a couple more Korknisse.

Thanks for reading this epic post - I shall try and post a little more regularly now :-)

Monday, 8 November 2010

AEDM - Days 6 & 7

Just couldn't find the blogging time this weekend. Managed to squeeze in some creative stuff though.

Day 6 - working on Daisy Yellow's No Frills Prompt. I was trying to mix some colours to create a background for a future journal page. I've ended up with mud. :(
green mud

Still, always learning. eg. when you can't mix colours very successfully, don't have brown as your top colour!

I'll put it to one side for now, but I'll have to return to it and see if I can rescue it. That may seem impossible, but I started with mud before and ended up with the background to my banner and avatar. Well, I like them ;-)

Day 7 - back to surer ground, and a crochet beanie. Except, being me, I can't seem to repeat a pattern to save my life. I was trying to time a previous beanie, but spontaneously used a thicker yarn and different stitch.

crochet beanie in progress crochet beanie detail

My first version looked great, but I felt the fabric was too stiff, so I started again with a larger hook.

Cloche Beanie - almost finished

Version 2 worked much better, but seemed too loose, even though I'd reduced the number of increase rows. So, still in progress...

Thanks for reading :-)