Saturday, 30 June 2007

Early Start

I've been up since 5 am this morning. Watched some rubbish on the SCI FI channel (I don't usually frequent that spot) then made a cover for my mobile phone. I don't think it will fit into the pocket in my handbag now though! I expect I will just have to make a new handbag! The weather is looking promising and the Dunfermline Gala is on today so I hope it holds for all those who take part (no, we are not going - I am a wicked mother). There is more progress on the course choosing front but I will post that later. I hope you all have a lovely day.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

For Alison

Here is a little poem to cheer you up Alison (although it won't stop you thinking about the weather!)

Summer Rain

I love the lushness
The verdant green
The colours yet

Each laden bough
Rivers running

The hush of rain
that falls
And blankets all
bird's calls

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Sun is Out

The sun has come out at last today, although we have still had some showers. Still, lets hope the weather continues to improve throughout the week. Although it will be little comfort for all those poor people affected by the awful floods.

I have made myself get on today and I finished my bag (for a 'recycled' series/theme). I have tried to photograph it indoors and out and none of the pics are very good at all. This is about the best, but still the colours are not right - it looks quite nice really.

I also experimented with trying to make a felted vessel or two (the vessels without the pestles Alis!). The little blue one is quite robust but the brown one is a bit too floppy I think. I wonder if it would strengthen with stitching? Hmm, will have to think on that.

Did another couple of pieces of wet felting. This green piece looks better in real life, the colours are great and I think I might make a little cover for my mobile phone from it.

This piece also turned out nicely - I'm going to try and turn it into some sort of bag or container I think - perhaps with stitching. Not quite decided yet.

Tonight I'm venturing out to my quilt group - Bay Patchers. I haven't been for months on end and it will be a surprise if anyone recognises me! My long suffering friend Maria will be there, so we can have a nice blether and a cup of tea. Tomorrow we (Maria and I) go to our monthly textile group - this usually results in us marvelling at other people's work and feeling thoroughly disheartened about our own! Not only that, but if we need the loo we have to go outside and round the corner to the squash club to use theirs - not good if it's lashing with rain (or indeed if you get there and find you've forgotten the 'code' for the lock on the door!!!).

I've almost decided on the next OU course - it's a toss up between 'Enlightenment to Romanticism' and 'Creative Writing' - I must admit I fancy the creative writing one - (not that I'm any good at writing you understand but one does dream of a dazzling literary career like old JK Rowling!!). Eeny meeny miny mo.....

And finally, I must say thank you to all you lovely supportive people who have left kind comments after my 'miserable' post. I'm sure I will pick up soon - we all have times like these I guess, but it really is nice to have people to 'share' them with and who will cheer you up with a kind word or a kick up the bum (whichever is required!). Yes, I'm starting to feel better already.....'the sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow.......' blimey, did I sing that out loud? xx

Monday, 25 June 2007

66th Post

Apparently this is my 66th post. Hmm, feels like it should be significant somehow. Unfortunately nothing is feeling significant at the moment. In fact everything is feeling pretty yuk. My head is all over the place. I can't concentrate, can't think straight, can't focus. I can't decide what OU course to do next (and time is running out to choose), I can't seem to 'create' anything, I've no ideas - I have the occasional idea but it never leads to anything concrete. I feel like I'm running around in circles, not accomplishing anything. I'm all lacking in confidence etc etc etc. Blimey, am I miserable or what? What a moan. Still, perhaps it's more 'honest' to post like this, or maybe it's the sort of thing I should keep to myself? I'm going to post it anyway, if only to remind myself not to be so bloomin' depressing! Ugh!

Sunday, 24 June 2007


My mind has gone blank, I can't think of a thing to say. So, with that in mind, I wondered... 'What is my thinking style?'...

Your Dominant Thinking Style: Visioning
You are very insightful and tend to make decisions based on your insights.
You focus on how things should be - even if you haven't worked out the details.

An idealist, thinking of the future helps you guide your path.
You tend to give others long-term direction and momentum.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

More Felting Fun

Today the weather was mainly like this (again!)...

So we made more felt! Lucy got on with her felt making kit from Twist Fibre Craft Studio

Here is her finished piece!

We tried making felt balls after that. This is our first one..

Adam turned out to be the best felt ball maker - in fact he thought perhaps he should go into business because he was so good!!

I got a bit adventurous and tried a couple of 'pictures'..

Our final collection of felt balls. There are a couple on earring wires at the top right which I plan to try out as earrings. Apparently quite a few of the balls were in the style of Pokemon balls - those with children will appreciate this!

I must say that I thoroughly recommend felt making for a rainy day - the children were happy to do it for absolutely ages and loved every minute - no arguing either!

Friday, 22 June 2007

Wet Felting

Today, the weather has mainly been wet - again. This pic of the rowan tree was taken this morning.

Since I have been feeling decidedly uninspired and uncreative, I thought I should force myself to do something. Believe it or not, I had never actually got around to making felt, so I gave it a go. It turned out not too badly. My first bit was a little thin in areas, I probably could have done with working it a bit more. My second piece was larger and too thick in bits! I need more practice obviously. I'm just following the instructions I got from a piece of paper, so if anyone has any words of wisdom on the subject, feel free!

This is the first piece before felting.

Both pieces after felting.

And the back of the larger piece - which was a different colour from the front.

All in all, I'm fairly pleased to have achieved something today and it does seem to have stirred the creative juices a little. I have decided I really need to keep a notebook of ideas, so that when inspiration strikes, I can make notes and sketches etc to refer back to. Otherwise, I just forget!

Oh, and when I showed my other half the felt, he (carefully!) said it was nice, but 'what do you actually do with it?'. He has a lot to learn...

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Catching Up

It's been a busy old time around here lately. Here is a quite photo 'catch up' of what's been happening;
Miss Lucy had her ballet performance in Snow White on stage at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. The last time she did a show two years ago she had two dances - tap and ballet, but this year she only did ballet. So, there was a lot of waiting around...
and trying to remain focused - as you can see!
She puts on a brave face that girl - we had to wait for two hours before she got onto the stage as her dance was right at the end of the show.
Then Mr Adam had his first school Sports Day on Monday afternoon. They had a pirate theme and his team were Captain Barbosa. Adam absolutely loved it and the weather was fantastic (for once) - and just to add the icing to the cake as it were, his team came first! Hurrah! Well done Adam.
Here he is mid leap!

Speaking of icing (sorry!), here is the rather garish cake I made for mum's birthday. Her birthday was the same day as my OU exam so she got her cake a few days later. I think I am done with the 'cookie cutter' style of decoration now!

Just one more cake - honest! This is the cake that Miss Lucy made for her dad on Father's Day. We called it the 2cm cake because that is how thick it was! Lucy wasn't sure which cake tins to use and instead of asking me, she just decided to use the really big ones! So, the cake was a tad on the skinny side! But it tasted yummy anyway!
Well, that's about it. I've done NO crafting of any description and it's beginning to annoy me. I think my mojo has moved on!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

An Extra Post for Today - Camera Update

Well, my camera is dead. Yup - apparently it had 'liquid contamination' - pah!, I think they made that up actually - they just couldn't be bothered fixing it cos' it's an old camera. Anyway, I will get some vouchers sent to me to use in Jessops camera shop, so it's not all bad. I did love that old thing though... sniff, sniff...

We Have Weather!

At last the weather is looking better. The sun is out and so are the children! Even the other half is out cutting the grass - things are looking up! I've a busy day today - my daughter is performing ballet in a show at Carnegie Hall - no, not that one, the one in Dunfermline! The show is Snow White and she is 'sunset' - yup, betcha didn't know there was a sunset in Snow White!! She has two performances today and one tomorrow night - she is a little nervous, but she will be fine.

With regard to being creative - well, I haven't really. I finished the white top, which was quite nice but I need to redo the shoulders before I can wear it. I've also experimented a bit with trying to make 'fabric paper' - with fabric painted with pva/water, bits of thread added, tissue added and then more pva - waiting to see how it turns out. I've got some nice hand dyed fabric I'm looking to make something with and I want to do some more 'recycled flower' pictures, so that I have a series of them. You may or may not remember the first one I made;

I really like 'using up' things - scraps of this and that - so this kind of piece appeals to me. I didn't start out imagining flowers on this, but thats just the way it ended up! I love the way that happens sometimes.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

This Morning I Have Mainly Been...

pinning fabric to make a top. Here's how it's going to work - if the top turns out well, I will go out on Saturday night. If however, it turns out badly and I look like a larger version of the abominable snowman, I will be staying home and eating popcorn! It's lovely fabric - pure white - but the photo came out a bit dark. Will let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Do You Remember....?

when I won a competition set by the luvverly Alison over at Foxgloves? Well, as my camera is STILL not back from the menders I have snaffled my sister's and taken some pics of the utterly gorgeous goodies that Alison sent me. Just look....

and as if that wasn't enough.....

How kind and generous she is! She even sent me a lovely Good Luck card for my exam. If you haven't visited her Etsy shop yet, go and have a look!

A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to having a play with my drop spindle that my lovely mummy bought me on a trip to the Crannog. I loved trying it out and I was reasonably happy with my results, although they are a lumpy? Anyway, since I have some coloured rovings to play with, I might try spinning some of that and see how I get on.

Now, to the dreaded EXAM I took yesterday. Firstly, thanks to all you very thoughtful people who wished me well - it truly helped! When I got to the exam centre at Hibernian Football ground - well obviously not the actual ground - but a posh conference room called the Edinburgh Suite!, I was surprisingly calm. That soon disappeared when I opened the question paper and everything I looked at made no sense whatsoever - my heart was pounding, I felt sick, I didn't know whether to throw up, run away or explode!! Luckily I managed to calm down and eventually managed to write an answer for each of my chosen questions - I've no idea really how I did - ok I think - but one can never tell till the results are out. I should hopefully find out in August sometime. My family will be highly delighted that I am not agonising over every minute detail of what I have or haven't understood etc etc! They have been extremely patient and supportive - thanks you lot and I love you to bits! And, should she ever read this blog, a special thank you goes to Evelyn Laidlaw - you know who you are!

Now, time to play - Hurrah!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Thank You!

Thank you to all you lovely people who have wished me luck for my exam tomorrow. I can't believe all the months of studying (or avoiding it) are nearly over. I don't think I could take in any more information if I tried now, so let's hope it's enough. I'm praying for 'good' questions and a clear, focused mind. Roll on 1.01pm tomorrow!! xxxx

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Immersed In The Mire

Well, immersed in revision anyway! I wouldn't say it was going great but I'm getting there slowly. Unfortunately my exam is on Monday so I could really do with getting there a lot faster! Just wanted to say hello to everyone and I'll chat again when this is all over! Have a nice weekend, wherever you are...x

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Last Few Journal Pages - Long Post!

Here are the last few pages from my art journal from 2005. Some are a bit personal and I wasn't sure whether I wanted to show them or not. Then I thought how they helped me work through some stuff a little and so maybe they might inspire someone else to do the same.

So, this one was a challenge to make a 'cartooned' image by tracing over a photo etc. The background is just differnt ink pads pressed onto the page. The photos are attached by little coloured brads.

I remember the theme for this one - it was 'sludge'. So I just wrote about feeling 'sludgey' and annoyed! The background was some scribbling with coloured pencils, some fabric triangles and a lot of black acrylic as well! Written on with a black Sharpie pen and a very blobby white pen! Oh yes and a flower with a plaster on - there must have been some highly symbolic reason for that at the time I'm sure!!

This one was 'what's on your coffee table?'. At the time I didn't have a coffee table, so I wrote about that. Background was collage of pages from magazines/papers etc, paint/ink and stamping. I quite liked the colours of this one.

I think this challenge was to do something with colours you don't usually 'do'. Mine was blue. Background looks like paint, then collage with magazine papers and some stamping again.

Not sure what this was supposed to be, but I think I used bleach on a photo of myself. Yes, bleached and then used paint/ink on it to see what happened. Collaged and painted background and some writing/stamping/sanding and dymo labelling.

This is one of the personal ones. Acrylic paint and gesso background with collage and photo. Not my favourite page in a creative sense but it was about we'didn't have in our house'. My thing was that we nearly didn't have Lucy because she was very sick when she was born.

I'm guessing there was a 'time' theme going on here. I think the background was scrunched paper with ink rubbed over and I tried some method of transferring images here too but I can't recall how to do it now. Some collage and manipulated photo of me with a 'lidded' head. That must be how my brain escaped!

This is a favourite of mine. I love the colours and the content (raspberries yay!). Gesso and paint background with collage and stamping. The little strip of paper on the raspberries reads 'a recipe for slut red raspberries with chardonnay jelly' - don't you love the description (I'm thinking this is one of Nigella's!)

The last one! A more personal one about how I wished my kids would stop growing! They grow up so fast, it's just not fair - my thoughts on that.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the pages. There are more pages but no pictures of them. Incidentally, I like to use Pink Pig books for my journals - they are fantastic and the quality of the pages is fantastic, you can really slap on the paint/gesso etc without worrying they will disintegrate. They come in a number of shapes/sizes - try them out if you haven't already!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

More Journal Pages

Here are another couple of pages from the Art Journal. This one was about books - you'd never have guessed eh? I can't remember how I did the background but there is a circle of handwriting which I overlaid with a printed acetate. I had made a pattern of text going round in a circle and then printed onto the acetate using the computer. It's not my favourite colourwise, but I was pleased to get the acetate printing right!

This one was probably my favourite - I just liked the colours probably! This one was probably gessoed first then had the image added, then smeared in some areas with vaseline, then painted over with acrylic (or acrylic mixed with gesso) and when dryish rubbed with a kitchen towel so that where the vaseline was, bits rub off and give a nice patchy effect. As you can see there was a bit of stamping with foam/rubber alphabet stamps - not sure at what stage this happened though. I can't recall the theme for this one but it may have been a word association type thing.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Art Journal 2005

A while ago (well, in 2005 to be exact) I took part in an online Art Journal class run by Shimelle. We had frequent 'prompts' to get us motivated and give us ideas for our journals. It was the first time I'd tried anything like that and I quite enjoyed it really, it made me think about things and it also made me start to 'create' again during a time where I hadn't been creative for a while. Since I am (still) waiting for my camera to return to me, I thought I'd share some of the pages of the journal with you.

Bear in mind that these are not of any great artworthiness (is that even a word?), just me 'footering' about with glue and paper etc.
This is the front cover of the journal, I'm afraid the flash has made some of the images impossible to see.
I think this was the first page, full of blethers!
I'm guessing the theme here was risk - lol! I think it was probably something like 'are you a risk taker or...?'

Another page, not sure of the prompt here - it was a while ago.

I have more pages but I won't bore you with them all here! I think one of the best things was just getting out the paint, gessoing up the pages, cutting out bits of paper, glueing etc etc - just like being a kid again - and most importantly being 'brave' enough just to write down anything that came to mind, no matter how trivial or ridiculous it seemed! I might like to do it again someday.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Gallery of Modern Art

Today I spent some time here, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It has a very nice cafe by the way, and the toilets are fine too (it's important to know these things). We (me, mum and sis) had a quick run round the gallery looking at things we had seen before and then explored what was new - not too much really but there was a stunning series of etchings depicting war by a chap called Percy Smith. They were the 'Dance of Death' series of etchings from 1919. His work was fantastic and moving. I tried to find out about him but there is surprisingly little information to be had.

One of Percy's etchings. The detail was amazing and this picture doesn't do his work justice at all. The etchings were very small but extremely powerful.

It looks as if there are a lot of new exhibitions coming up over the Summer at some of the Edinburgh galleries, so hopefully I will get to some of them.