Pottery and cards 

I was very excited yesterday evening when Hannah brought me back my pottery painting from her birthday party. Here are the finished items. I’m especially happy with the plate and really look forward to using it soon. 

 Hannah also brought me a cool thank you card that she had coloured in. I love the vibrant colours she’s used, and the shiny bits that are part of the card. They really bring the picture to life. 

I’ve not done much craft recently as I’ve not been feeling well and did not have the brain power or motivation  to think about crochet, but i did make two cards. I got the idea from a calendar, then drew a squirrel, which I cut into different parts and then cut those parts out of different pieces of patterned card. I’m so pleased with how it turned out though it was fiddly to do! It s fun  trying to pick the colours and patterns that would work best. 


Then I decided to make a slightly simpler card with hummingbirds on as i had some shimmery cards  that I thought would work well. While laying the pieces out they overlapped the edge and i decided that it would look cool if they did that once  they were stuck down. Again, I’m really pleased with the final result. 

I can see me making more cards like these in the future. 

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Allsorts (not the licorice ones!) 

Today rosie and I carried on with creative things. We headed off to Slimbridge and spent a while sketching flamingoes. Rosie understandably struggled with the fact that they kept moving, and she wasn’t happy with the way she drew their heads, but i love the way she uses the pencil so she doesn’t get solid lines round the edges, and i love the variety of birds she’s captured with their heads under their wings and their necks twisted up in different ways, and the fact that her sketches have movement in them. It’s really interesting how we view our own work as i really like one of rosie’s pictures that she thought was no good and actually crossed out! 

I had fun trying out my metallic pencils and then getting more adventurous with pens. It was interesting to use slightly different colours because those were the ones I had. I’m a bit annoyed with both my pictures… The first because of the solid line round the edge and the second because I think i ruined it with the baby one flapping and jumping up and down… Mark thought it was a scarecrow!! That said, I’m really pleased with the shape of the flamingo with his head back, and i really like the colours together. 

When we got back we got the henna out. Rosie had never used it on anyone before so she tried a simple design on my foot and then did a more tricky bird design on my other ankle, combining bits of two different pictures in one. 


Rosie then found a floral design she wanted on her arm (so it will be covered by her blazer sleeve when she goes back to school), and i did that for her,adding birds flying across her wrist. 


After that we watched ‘you’ve got mail’ which she’d never seen before (I feel that it’s an important part of my role to educate her in great films)! And i finished off my octopus while we were doing that. His  eyes look weird but as rosie and mark both say ‘a premature baby isn’t going to mind about that’! That said… Next time I make one I think i will leave it without a face at all! 


Rosie worked hard and finished her paper cut too. I’m so proud of her as she’s put tons of time and effort into it and she’s done  a fab job, especially seeing as it’s the first time she’s ever done it. 


it’s been so much fun doing all this with rosie and I’ve loved being able to give her the opportunity to try new things while she’s been here. 

Mothering Sunday card

With Mothering Sunday coming up on Sunday i decided to make my Mum a card. She really likes birds, and as I couldn’t find her a bird related present (i got her something else instead!) I decided to make her a bird related card!

I decided to go with a mothering kind of image and represent a bird feeding two chicks (me and my sister!) but I wasn’t  sure if I would go stylistic or realistic. Having just watched the final of ‘the big painting challenge’ and seen how much the painters were encouraged to ‘let go’ and not plan in meticulous detail I decided to start drawing in pen straight on the card and see what happened!  I had a mix of different thickness fineliners and two thicknesses of felt pen.

I started with the adult song thrush, filled in some detail (handily going over and disguising a couple of mistakes) and then drew the chicks.

I’m not sure it’s really recognisable as a song thrush, but In  some  ways I’m not worried. The idea I wanted to convey of an adult bird nourishing its babies is obvious in the picture, even if the exact species of bird is not!

Hopefully my mum will like it (both on here and in reality!)

I love You Mum and am very grateful for everything you did in bringing me up, as well as for your ongoing support. Thank you xxxxx

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Card, and thoughts 

Yesterday i had a fab day! I met with a friend who i hadn’t had contact with for just over 6 years. She got in touch before Christmas and yesterday we met up at a spa and spent the afternoon catching up. It was a real blessing to spend this time with her and to be able to talk about anything and everything. I love relationships where you feel you can be yourself, and not have to try to hide the bits you don’t like for fear the other person will desert you. Immediately we seemed to be able to open and honest with each other. 

During our time together she told me about her daughter who i used to spend a lot of time with, babysitting for her and just hanging out. Now she’s at uni but struggling with constant back pain that no one seems to be able to help her with. I decided to make her a card, and used ideas from henna designs. I love this type of drawing and love including symbolism in my designs. This card took thoughts  about waiting, and about not knowing what might happen… Themes I’ve been reflecting on in my own life recently as I’ve had another battle with bouts of depression.

Here I started with a sunrise… Linking to the idea of the cyclical nature of life… Things never stay the same for long and even in dark patches the sun will rise again (though that’s not always so easy to remember or to believe when you’re in the middle of them). But my sunrise also use elements of flowers within it, and i wanted to represent the idea that underground, plants are still growing even when we can’t see it. Here i added roots reaching out in different directions. For me i always want to be blossoming like a beautiful flower, but today as i was praying and looking out of the window into the garden i noticed one of the bulbs growing in a pot. It’s tall, with leaves, and i know a fantastic hyacinth flower will develop soon. For that flower to develop the bulb has spent months underground, lying dormant, germinating and growing without me seeing anything. I recognised that God could see that happening, and that God can see what is going on under the surface in each one of us, even when we think nothing is happening. Or Maybe nothing is happening, but maybe that is needed rest time before growth can occur. 

Of course, once the flower has blossomed it dies back again, and that can be hard to deal with, but then there is the hope that it will grow again, and that is worth waiting for. 

Finally i included dragonflies in the design. I like the idea that living things can help to give sustenance and life to other things, and i also like the idea of joy and freedom that i see represented in a dragonflies darting flight. 

So, design done, I’ll now send the card to my friend’s daughter, and hope that it blesses her as much as reflecting on these themes has blessed me. 

Playing with colours

This evening i had a bit of time after chilling out watching a film so i decided to put on paper what i had been thinking about for  the next pictures in my draw every day book. 

The first was an aerial view of a tidy French garden. I found a picture online, i think of Versailles, and was taken by the pattern in the hedges and pathways. I found it odd that the pattern wasn’t symmetrical as i think it might be in an English knot garden? But i loved how the pathways were also  part of the design. Seeing as most of the drawing would be green i decided to take my lesson from yesterday and go multicoloured. 

Here i realised the issue with blogging… That i feel the need to post stuff even if I’m not happy with it! But it could be worse. I’m glad i did the different colours (i started with orange and purple in honour of Benjamin!). I’m not so happy that my paths aren’t neat like the photo. In the photo they’re very even widths, which they’re not in my drawing. But i do like the different colours and how they make me think of an abstract piece of art. 

Having decided i wasn’t impressed with that i moved on to the next picture… A bunch of lavender. 

I’m  not overly keen on the stalks, but i enjoyed ‘stamping’ with the brush tips to get the buds of lavender and playing around with putting other colours under the purple to get different shades. I definitely think the blues worked better than the pink! 

And that’s me for today! I’m pleased my blog has motivated me to be creative when otherwise i might have just sat  and read my book, but I’m also rather amazed (and a bit freaked out!) that when i arrived at church wearing my infinity/mobius scarf  people were greeting me with ‘ooh, is this the scarf?’! (not everyone actually went ooh!). I didn’t think anyone would really read this, and i’m grateful that some people actually are! 

Drawings

This is a cheaty post, updating what i have already done! I started working on the draw everyday book at the end of last year. The idea is that you spend a month working on a given topic area in a given medium, and obviously get  variety over the course of a year. The first month is a month of nature, using markers and black pen. These are my first 3 drawings. I’ve found it hard not necessarily being able to draw a general outline of something, but was really pleased with how my dragonflies turned out. I wasn’t impressed with the idea of drawing a whole field of sunflowers but i really enjoyed it once i started. I never felt very inspired by the redwood tree, and really don’t like the picture I’ve done as it feels very flat  and childish. I guess if I’m not actually going to draw every day then i can pick and choose the ones i actually do…. But then the danger is that I’ll not like the sound of something (like the sunflowers) and then miss out on an enjoyable experience. What i like about the set topics is that i look for a picture on google, and then spend time looking at it in more detail. I appreciate the time to look at the smaller details of things and to notice different colours and patterns. That said, i find it hard that with the felt pens i only have a limited range of colours, and no way of blending them.