31 Jan 2013

cloudy new work



I've been using the cloud element from my Let Your Love Rain Down On Me piece and reworking it in spare hours these last few days. Guess I've been influenced by the downpours we've had recently! Getting wet feet is a daily activity around these parts right now and picking my girl up from nursery always seems to synchronise with a particularly nasty bout of rain.

But I don't mind the cloudy skies as long as we get a little blue every now and again.

I'm having a funny phase with the work I'm creating at the moment. I'm happy with it, often excited by it, but it never seems 'finished'. 

Do I need to step away and return to it later, or keep on keeping on until something magical happens? 

29 Jan 2013

flowers on the windowsill



Buying flowers for the house makes a big difference for me during dark and grey winters like this. Those little bursts of colour and beauty combined with the way it always feels like a little treat to buy yourself some is happy making.


I always put some on my windowsill so when I arrive home I can see them, bright and cheerful, as I walk up the steps to my front door.



It was a happy thought to bring 
To the dark season's frost and rime 
This painted memory of spring, 
This dream of summertime
from Flowers in Winter by John Greenleaf Whittier



I often buy one big, cheap and often slightly garish bunch and separate it out into little posies for the dozens of jam jars I have ready in my kitchen cupboards.


And daffodils; such a low cost, sweetly scented, colourful way to bring some gorgeousness home with you.


Put them in jars, cups, vases, teapots, jugs and mugs and make your home smile. 

Buy yourself some and enjoy! 

28 Jan 2013

Sunday

Sunday January 27th 2013

A photo an hour... till 6pm when my battery ran out.

8am








 6pm

25 Jan 2013

phone cover make


I made this easy phone cover yesterday whilst watching a black and white film on TV. I'd finished it around 10 minutes after the film ended so a really quick project. 

All I needed were-

• a piece of felt 
• white embroidery thread 
• white acrylic paint.
• some velcro


I cut out two pieces of felt around 1 1/2 cm bigger than my phone
on the two long sides and one of the short and left a 1cm border on the other short side (the top or opening).

Then I used a piece of chalk to mark out a 1cm border on the two long sides and one of the short sides. 

Using the embroidery thread I made big stitches all around the marked border.

Next I painted a pattern! (I practiced a few ideas on a scrap piece of felt first.) You may have to go over your design a couple of times. 

I initially used fabric paint but it seemed to just get absorbed into the felt and so I turned to my trusty supply of acrylic paint. It never comes off my clothes when I accidently make a mess so I figure it's pretty durable! And of course you can't put felt in the washing machine anyhow so no need to worry about that.

When my pattern was dry (minutes later) I used a small piece of felt to make a fastening which I stitched at the back as below. 



And then using a glue gun I attached some velcro. Ta Dah!


This was a bit of an experiment and now I can think of lots of variations to play around with. Different colours, shapes patterns. 

So easy to make. And using felt gives it more protection than other thin materials. I may make a felted cashmere version next. I have a couple of shrunken jumpers which would be perfect for a project like this!



24 Jan 2013

things will be fine

one of my prints :) available here
I couldn't sleep last night. I woke at around 1.30am (well, in fact Edie woke me at 1.30am) and then I lay in bed for hours wide awake before I cracked and came downstairs. I had that feeling where you dread the day because you know you're going to feel so damn tired and bleary and like you could cry at any moment. But I made a cup of tea, turned the little lamp on, got under the quilt on the settee and watched Miranda on the BBC iPlayer. 

And you know what? It was lovely. 

The house was so quiet, the dog was sound asleep, my tea was hot and comforting and Miranda made me laugh. 

After that I fell fast asleep on the settee for an hour or two, happy as Larry.

And my day has been fine. More than fine; the sun has been shining, my girl went to nursery for the first time since last Thursday and I busied myself with a little project in front of the fire whist watching a black and white film on TV. 

Yes, I'm tired, but tonight I shall have a bath and an early night and things will be fine. 

I might get that stitched across my pillowcase. 


Things will be fine.

23 Jan 2013

lately, at ours

These last few snowy days have been mostly spent hunkered down indoors. 

We made cookies using this recipe and they ROCKED!





Best biscuits I've ever made (although I admit I haven't made that many). We halved the amounts (apart from the egg yolk, we still used a whole one) and we got two baking trays out of it. 

They've all gone now...

And we've done a lot of slow, cosy, around the house stuff.





So (hopefully) we've seen the worst of the snow and now the thaw can begin. As much as we've loved sledging, snowballing and cosying up with hot chocolates in front of the fire we're ready for some new adventures. 

Our little break from normal routine has been lovely. No school, no work, no popping to the shops for six whole days. Just family, food and play with nothing much important to do. Maybe we needed a little break like that. 

You?

22 Jan 2013

our new bedroom mantelpiece makes me happy


Our living room is still naked above the fireplace but joy of joys our bedroom now has a fully functioning mantelpiece just begging to be decorated with lovely things. How can that be so exciting?



I haven't really decided what I really want up there yet, but then I think that's half the beauty; that you can change it whenever you like, to reflect your mood and what catches your eye. 


It's made our bedroom look a lot more 'finished', and now it feels really cosy. Luckily the mantelpiece was an ex-display piece which we got for a steal.


After buying this house a year and a half ago and doing lots of renovation work it's these little details that make it feel like the home we always wanted. 

Somewhere that feels like ours, somewhere we can relax, somewhere that makes us happy. Isn't that what we all want? X


21 Jan 2013

tiny little tokens


It was still snowy outside today and with Edie's school closed again we had an indoors day. We've been out dog-walking and snowball-fighting every day since Friday but as the snow is turning to lethally slippery ice in places (and I'm 29 weeks pregnant) we decided to give the outdoor pursuits a miss today in favour of the warmth and safety of our kitchen table.


So whilst Edie happily spattered paint around the kitchen I sat for just 15 mins and painted these tiny pebbles, each one just 3cm-6cm long.


Maybe I need a little more practice and a smaller brush, but still, sweet, aren't they?

All I needed- 

•Pebbles
•Acrylic paint 
•Small paintbush

I'll probably give them a coat of clear acrylic matt medium tomorrow to ensure their durability but I think they'd probably be fine without. 

I'd like to leave a few of the heart pebbles hanging about on Valentine's Day for people to find. Maybe leaving them at bus stops, on walls and on benches. 

I'd like to find one at least, I think it'd make me smile :) 

18 Jan 2013

Fridays are even more awesome when it snows!

                        
I'm so in love with the snow today! Ever since I was a little girl I've adored seeing those beautiful snowflakes dance across the sky. It's like the world turns into a magical place, all white, all still, just dazzling. 





We don't get months, or even weeks, of snow upon snow here, just the odd day a year. So we don't really have to deal with the negative side of this icy weather, we can just keep safe, keep warm and enjoy it. 


Having said that, I know how frightening it can be for people who are alone and not able to get out and about. If you're able to is there an elderly or vulnerable person near you to check on? Even if they just ask you to go to the corner shop to *get them some cigarettes* you'll be doing a lovely thing for someone.



*this happened to me when I was 8 months pregnant with Edie and I found myself trudging through snow drifts to get two packets of Golden Virginia and some rich tea biscuits... 

Stay warm, stay cosy, stay safe X

17 Jan 2013

I made this


OK, so this is what I drew/made back on Tuesday with my few hours to spare. Plus a few more yesterday... And maybe a couple this morning... And it's still not finished. 

But I did it, I made time to MAKE SOME NEW ART! It's not as easy as it seems to find time to do what you love when life keeps getting in the way. 

I still have some work to do on this but I'm pretty happy with it. 

Making little sacrifices to put what's important to you a top priority over say, cooking dinner, is OK sometimes, right?! 

15 Jan 2013

time to pick up a pencil

I have had no time to make any new art for weeks and weeks. Getting back into the swing, finding the space and focusing on a blank white piece of paper again is proving difficult. But I'm feeling the need to desperately. So today I have set aside three precious hours in which to draw. I shall post again when I've drawn something...

14 Jan 2013

maybe



My first experience of being a mummy was the most life changing, head spinning, soul soaring, sanity wrecking event that's ever befallen me. From the minute I felt my little girl making her way out of me and into the big wide world I changed, my life changed and the world around me changed. In fact, it changed days before I gave birth to her but then that's hormones for you.

I'm facing that same adventure again this April. I hope that I can keep a steady hand on my head, hormones and emotions this time but only time will tell. 

When I was pregnant with Edie I thought a lot about how it would be to have a baby. I had no idea. This time I know about the joy, the frustration, the boundless love and the sheer boredom of it but I don't think of it at all. Even though I'm over the moon to be expecting again I just take each day as it comes and I don't think about the future, post April. Maybe that's the wrong thing to do. Maybe I should be day dreaming about tiny toes and walks in the park. Maybe I should be preparing myself for my hair falling out and my boobs turning into milk squirting burning boulders. Maybe I should take some time to sit and write through all the good things and the not so good. 

Maybe I should. 




11 Jan 2013

little things to make you happy this weekend



•Plan your breakfast for Sunday now and go get what you need! Maybe...

Banana pancakes (I sometimes make the batter the night before and keep it in the fridge till morning)

or... 

Breakfast crumpets (I had the mushroom ones and they are lush)

•Make a list of films you want to see, books you want to read and things you want to make to get you through the rest of the winter. 

I want to: see this, read this and paint a big stick using these as inspiration!

•Organise your hand bag, and throw in a few feel good treats. Maybe a bright and beautiful lippy you always forget to wear, a gorgeous hand cream, a new note book, a photo of your lover, a couple of left over chocs from Xmas...

Screw it, mine's getting filled with all of the above. 


Have a fun weekend!



10 Jan 2013

mantelpiece

image by Paula Mills whose Etsy shop is here

Our not-so-new fireplaces have been waiting for mantelpieces for around 18 months now. There always seems to be more important things to spend our money on, like, er, food and, um, heating, but this Christmas I found myself wishing we had somewhere to hang our stockings, display our cards and light our candles. 


Paula Mills 

I suppose mantelpieces are like little shrines, places to displays the beautiful things that are important to us, family photos, mememtoes, ornaments that tell a little of who we are and what we stand for. Plus, with young children around mantelpieces are thankfully high off the ground and out of reach of little hands. 


image found here

I love the thought of changing our mantel displays season by season. We're just a month and a bit into winter but realistically I can't see us getting our living room mantelpiece up and running until the spring. We have to find and buy the thing first and that is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

From The Pottery Barn

I found all these beauties whilst perusing Pinterest. Go take a look at the other lovelies if you wish.

Have you got a mantelpiece? If so I'd love to hear about (or even see) what you choose to place upon yours. Please share!

9 Jan 2013

goals for January

image from http://design-seeds.com/index.php/home/entry/penciled-color

So it's January 9th and I'm finally getting around to making not some huge goal for 2013 but just three little ones for the rest of the month.

organise my wardrobe space

my father in law is arriving at ours today to spend a few days building a wardrobe in an alcove in our bedroom. I'm pretty excited about this as my clothes have been piled upon a clothes horse in our room for the past year and a half. Getting them out of the way and behind doors will make our bedroom so much more of a sanctuary. It looks fab in magazines when there's a clothes rail on display with floaty white dresses and sequined cardigans hung neatly on it but when yours is bulging with maternity leggings and your water proof jacket it looks a bit shit to be honest. So here's to our new hand made wardrobe!

write or draw every day

Why the hell not. It's what I love after all.

plan our meals more carefully

This one is much needed. Blame the pregnancy fatigue/sickness/general disinterest in foods that don't contain bread, potatoes or pasta but our diets need a real kick up the arse. I went through the Innocent Hungry recipe book on Sunday night and I'm inspired! It's packed full of delicious and simple recipes that are suitable for little ones too, but even for grown-up girls and boys it's fab. 

Here's to a January full of good food, doused in creativity and with somewhere to hang my elasticated waist jeans. Happy days.