Update – lots of different things

Hi everyone. Other than my giveaway results I haven’t blogged for ages. Thankfully it’s not because I haven’t been doing creative things, but more because I’ve been away and lost routine, and also because I’ve been struggling a bit more with my depression,  and lacking energy and haven’t really been motivated to write. I’m still struggling but I’m going to write a quick update of the things I’ve done since I last wrote, as today I went on day one of my stone carving course and I know i’ll want to write that up tomorrow and I can’t bring myself to leave out the things I’ve done in between the last post and this one. Ok, ramble over. Here’s what I’ve done. 

Ages ago I made a paper cut for our youngest niece, 

and i wanted to make something for her sister as well before I gave  it to her. As she has my husband’s old bed which is like a very high up bunk bed without the bottom bunk I thought some bunting might be quite cool. I was excited when I found janine’s blog post about her peacock pattern (how cute are her photos of her cheeky peacocks looking at things?!) and saw that she had also made peacock feather bunting. I bought her pattern and got on with making 10 feathers. 

I was going to get beads to go between the feathers but unexpectedly ended up finding perfectly coloured buttons in a teeny shop on the bath road that sells  hand made crafts. It was even cooler after that as i was going for a pedicure and when I was asked if I wanted some magazines to read while having it done I said ‘it’s  ok, I’ve got my crochet’! Boy was that good having someone massage my feet while I crocheted… I’ll do that again I think! 

So, here’s the finished bunting 

which I gave her while we were camping, so the family hung it up in  their tent, adding decoration to the tent, and conveniently keeping the bunting from getting tangled! 

After the camping trip we headed north and went to stay with aunt Joyce (who previously helped me to work out the crochet scarf pattern which had been written incorrectly). While we were with her I started crocheting a shawl for Charlotte who had put a request on her blog to swap one of her hand made necklaces for a different hand made item. I fell  in love with the beautiful unicorn pendant, and offered to make a shawl for her in return. I offered her the choice of different colours of caron cakes and finally took the wool with me to start the shawl. Once I started with a 15.75mm hook (as the pattern suggested)  I realised  this was not going to be very easy. I couldn’t figure out where the stitches were and it seemed to be growing bizarrely, and was INCREDIBLY holey. I kept going though as I had no other wool. 

Our holiday moved location again and we had a few days in saltburn by sea. I was so excited when we went on the pier and saw this!

While I was looking up about the yarn  bombing on the Internet I came across the Facebook page for a yarn shop just in the town, so i dragged Mark there to see if I could get a nice chunky wool to try on the shawl instead. Once there the lady in the shop helped me realise my rather humongous mistake with the caron cake as she looked at the pattern and said ‘oh, you need SUPER chunky for  this’. Hmmm…. Rooky  mistake? Not actually reading what sort of wool you’re meant to use, and assuming a wool you have will be fine? Oops! 

Anyway, she didn’t have any super chunky wool but something that was still rather chunky, and a slightly smaller crochet hook. So I hoped Charlotte wouldn’t mind the change of colour (she doesn’t!) and went for it. 

It’s cool as the wool is called cotswold chunky, and the colour name is painswick, which is the village we had our wedding reception in, and the colours are very reminiscent of the north Yorkshire moors we went through on a steam train while on holiday. And funnily enough, the stitches were a lot easier to spot now  the wool had some body to it, and i was able to follow the pattern properly, increasing the rows quicker than in my previous attempt. It’s gradually growing but I might have to take it on a train journey next week to get a load of it done in one go if Charlotte is to get a chance to wear it this autumn/winter. 
OK, we’re nearly there! On our way home from Yorkshire we called in on some of mark’s friends. David has his own pottery studio and i was offered the opportunity to have a go at throwing a pot. I obviously leapt at the chance! I actually ended up trying to throw about  4 pots because the clay either ended up flying off the wheel or I ended up breaking the rim of the pot. David was very patient with me and helped me to finally get it right (or at least end up with something that looked like a pot). I don’t have a photo of the finished item, but here’s a picture just to prove I had a go! It was tricky getting the feel for it, but definitely something that improved with practice and that I’d  like to have another go at sometime. 

And one other bit of creativity… I went to puzzlewood with some friends of mine who were staying. I’d never been there before but it was the most amazing, magical place… Apparently a place that helped inspire JRR Tolkien’s middle earth. My friend’s 10 year old daughter and I had a fab time making up a story as we walked through, pretending we were on  a quest to defeat the evil dragon in dragon ravine, with the help of a golden oak leaf as we travelled to find the ‘hidden words of wisdom’ (her awesome phrase). We ended up crossing rivers of lava and the sparkling river of peace that had wish granting fish in it, as well as passing the bottomless drop, and villages of elves. It was a real fun time working out the story together and just seeing what we came up with. Here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite. 

OK. That’s me up to date for now (obviously not as quick a post as I’d thought!) … You’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out what I’ve been up to at stone carving! 

22 thoughts on “Update – lots of different things”

    1. It was a bit scary at the start yesterday as I was so nervous about making a mistake and ruining the whole thing but then I realised you can remedy quite a lot and just got into it. Looking forward to working on my sculpture today and finishing it off


      1. Carving as a whole is very satisfactory. Physically, emotionally, and the results are always interesting. The only thing is to be careful with the fingers, they always, always end up bruised or cut after a while.


      2. I had a big glove on my left hand for most of yesterday. No accidents but my fingers were stiff on both hands from gripping tools/stone too tightly. Gonna try to loosen up a bit today!


      3. I do a lot of wood carving, for instance when I carve unicorns πŸ™‚ and I did a tiny little bit of stone when I was at fine arts school in Paris. That was enough to know that the basic principles are the same. Gloves are not pleasant when you want to do delicates moves, and it IS reasonable to take them off, but you really got to always think about where you place your hand….and sometimes you forget and the tool slips.


    1. Thank you. I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from the blogging world and it’s really nice to be back…. Just spent breakfast time catching up on other peoples blogs too which has been good


  1. your peacock Garland looks gorgeous and what a lovely surprise, to see the pier decorated like that with so many sea creatures


  2. Puzzlewood looks AMAZING!!! I love the idea of making up the story as you walked! The peacock bunting is really pretty and I could see that applique popping up in all kinds of projects. πŸ˜€


  3. I love all of your adventures in this post Julia! I particularly love the crochet jellies at the pier. It looks like you had an amazing hike. I’ve been talking to my husband about getting back to hiking in the fall. After having our son and concentrating on my art full time, I have not been on a hike in years and I really miss it. We’re going to start up again in the fall and I’m excited that I can take photos now that I have a nice camera. Hopefully I will get some birds in as well.
    I love the pottery shots. That’s not a skill I have the proper patience for at all. Did you post a photo of your completed pot or find another place to take a class?
    Your cut paper card is lovely. I really love working with pretty papers. Thanks again for the wonderful bird photos you sent me. I shared this post for my followers on social media and will link to you again when I start sketching from your photos.
    Happy arting!


  4. Hey there… It’s been fun revisiting this post today! I’d forgotten all the amazing story lines and place names we came up with on the walk at puzzlewood. I didn’t get a photo of the finished pot in the end, and I’ve not yet found a class that works with the wheel at a time I can go. My schedule in work will change in September so I’ll finish work at 1.30,so it might be that I can find an afternoon class somewhere. I haven’t done a papercut for ages, and seeing this makes me want to do another one! It was fun choosing the rainbow colours to fill in the umbrella and I love how it looks. I’m so glad you like the photos I sent. I’m looking forward to seeing how your new series pans out


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