Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you! 365 little characters wish it too, one wish for each day of 2011.

Thursday 30 December 2010

Look into the fog

Flowers for you today Allegra. x

Look into the fog to see shapes looming and lights glimmering. The same with the future I suppose, you never know quite what will happen, despite what you may want. Hence my dislike of new year's resolutions and the way they tend to give way to situations unseen. I am wondering about this thing I see lots of people doing-picking a word for the year, but even that scares me a bit as it seems so final. What if I change my mind in June?! I am just not that focussed. I did consider 'focus' as my word though as I am not too hot at that. Hmm.

Indecisive and unfocussed people still need bras (well the female ones do), so a trip to Bluewater to spend vouchers was planned. (A huge shopping centre which immediately gives me a headache as soon as I enter it.) However, the carparks were completely full by 11.30, so we went to Canterbury, which is much more atmospheric, and has a big Marks and Spencers where I could spend my vouchers. I also bought some new Christmas lights in Habitat, as I turned my ones on the ladder on this morning, to show my friend, and they blew. Sale bargains, so reasonable and I love the red and blue together. I am sitting in a darkened room with lights glowing all around, the cats asleep by the fire and 'The Good Life' dvd playing. Winter comforts.
P.S. Look at these! Inspiring.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

For Allegra

For Allegra. Thinking of you my friend.

Tuesday 28 December 2010


Mmm! The hyacinths finally smell-I thought they were going to let me down but no!
Below is my niece's cake for her Mum's birthday-delicious in a different way for both the eye and the tongue!

Oh-and an update on the Kindle-it has healed itself somehow and seems now to be working. Weird!

Monday 27 December 2010

Cotton Lady

The lady in the drawing has become a strange hybrid between doll and embroidery. I am not going to put her in the book as she has not turned out like that. She is finished but unfinished in that I am not sure what to do with the edges. The only thing different to here is that I have stuffed the skirt. She now looks more Elizabethan than Victorian to me, and reminds me of one of the characters in Blackadder-the Elizabethan Blackadder. The woman who's husband had already been beheaded but Edmund had to pretend he was him, so wore a bag over his head. Sounds gruesome but was fairly funny and the actress looks like this. Found her! She is called Holly de Jong and the episode was called 'Head'. In it she plays Lady Farrow.

I like the back of the embroidered face.

Her bodice takes shape.

The arms in the finished doll have a lace doily sewn over them.

This is a picture from a book on embroidery I have. I had a look the other night for inspiration on stitches as I only know about three. But the book is really fancy and difficult stuff such as making your own lace and broderie anglaise-way beyond my patience or capabilities. I did like this picture with the caption which says
" Colourful needlework enhances the beauty and comfort of the home, while the knitted jumper gains in popularity with every season"

Looking for embroidery tips has ruined my Christmas present somehow. Andy gave me a Kindle, which is an amazing thing and worked fine on Christmas day and yesterday. Today however, I downloaded a free sample of a book on embroidery, which I didn't like the look of much. I deleted it but ever since then the screen has been frozen on a blank screen saying the name of the book at the top-if I try to open the other two books on there, or frozen on a screen saying it can't connect at the moment despite there being three bars. When I try to ring them up for help our phone has then decided not to work properly! I will try again tomorrow, and in the meantime be content with reading one of the many real books I own!
Back to the settee now, for more comedy tv and a cuddle with Cassie!

Saturday 25 December 2010

Christmas House

We went for our second Christmas light hunting drive last night and this was our reward! The best lights I have seen-Newstead Road in Lewisham if by any chance you are local-well worth a visit! The night before we didn't find much but did get to call the fire brigade as we drove past a car that was on fire. The fire engine got there in about 8 minutes-in time to stop the car exploding, though I should think the engine was pretty much ruined.
Have a lovely day! Off to my Mum's now!

Friday 24 December 2010


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I nearly forgot the nativity scene from the church over the road but here it is, a fitting end to the advent calendar. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas! x

Thursday 23 December 2010


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Kris Kringle!

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Favourite flowers, poor dogs, Victorian maths teachers and tinned sunshine

I love hyacinths for their gorgeous scent so I treated myself to some cut ones yesterday. I also have a few others growing away. Our flat is small, so when you come in you can smell the flowers straight away. I used one of Kim Klassen's textures-this one from a new set called the Benjamin texture collection. This is named after her dog Benjamin. If you could use textures and have $10 then visit Kim to be able to buy these. The reason she made them is to raise money for her dog Benjamin who was run over and needs very expensive surgery. She writes a lovely tale of Andy her last dog, and how she found Benjamin and it made me sad to read about his accident.
A few weeks ago I bought a little book in Greenwich market called ''Differential Calculus''. The (quite strange) man selling it said "Are you sure you want this? Are you a maths teacher? Is it a present for a maths teacher?" He was a bit annoying and yes I did want the book, but not because of the subject, more for the beautiful embossed cover, and for the potential use of the interesting pages with formulas and obscure mathematical writing. I mumbled something about mixed media to him and took my book away. I have been wondering how to use it and have thought of making a book doll but in a different way. I have been thinking that I want the book to still close like a book but then open to reveal the person inside. I had been planning to embroider a face and stuff it and somehow fix it to the inside cover. When I had a closer look at the book today I discovered it was published in 1851! Inside on about the third page is this little sketch. I am wondering if it is the maths teacher of a bored Victorian child-or maybe their governess, and the child has done the sketch in a moment of distraction. I am going to try to embroider this face as the face of the doll, and also work out how to incorporate the sketch and the interesting beginning pages into the finished book. Of course, it may never happen as so many of my ideas don't but I like to ponder.
This is the tinned sunshine I mentioned. My friend Cleo made Ackee and saltfish with provisions last night-oh and fried plantain with Jamaican bread. All delicious. The provisions consist of green banana, yam, plantain and we also had breadfruit which I have never had before. I have had saltfish curry before-years ago but never Ackee and saltfish. I liked the taste and delicate texture of Ackee and loved the tin!
Tonight's party (two in two days-it is a social whirl!) is cava and mince pies-very Christmassy!

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Tuesday 21 December 2010

You Know I Love You 'Cos Your Feet's Too Big

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No door today as no time to make one. Instead, here is Cassie yawning. She makes me smile with her big feet and the way they hang off of things. I misremembered the above line from the Fats Waller song-in fact it is "I can't stand you 'cos your feet's too big" "Your pedal extremities are a bit obnoxious" !

Monday 20 December 2010

The Rising of the Sun

The rising sun was really striking this morning, and made me think of the line in the holly and the ivy, and also how I don't take it for granted. The sun gradually coming back is an amazing thing. I have done nearly all the work I need to do today-from 8.30 this morning until about 5 tonight, as well as a substantial part of the weekend. One more job to do then I can relax! I am out tomorrow night for dinner at a friend's house, and so made some chocolate brownies yesterday to take as dessert. I don't think I have ever made them before. The recipe made loads, and I have been all fancy and packaged them up in little ribboned bags, but still have loads to eat. No wonder I am feeling fat at the moment! I intend to go for a walk tomorrow at least up to the shops to get a bit of exercise and fresh air!

My empty planter has the sun stamped into it.

The sun in a stone.

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Sunday 19 December 2010

Saturday 18 December 2010

18, Snow and Journal Pages

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Today's door is more of a box. I think I am running out of door ideas! Inside is a little Russian Santa. The real one is about 2 inches high and contains Mrs Christmas, a snowman, a penguin and a tiny Christmas tree. I used one of Kim Klassen's textures to finish the drawing. I used the same one on the drawing below and also overlayed a picture of falling snow from today, using different blending modes until I found one I liked.

The snow started lightly this morning as we set out to the shops, and by the time we came back it was really heavy. So I had no choice but to drive in it! It was a bit scary, but really thrilling at the same time! We got home ok and the car is not coming out again until it has gone. There was a minor crash on our street this afternoon-a woman slid into a post on the corner of the pavement. It did so much damage to the front of her car.
One of the boozy angels.

Having fun mixing colours, and filling in a grid from the packaging of my birthday present from my Mum (received last weekend-a brilliant device-a paper cutter that has changeable blades and does things like scoring, deckle edges and perforating.)
Hope your weekend is going well.


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Drawn on the drawing tablet-I realised last night that it allows you to vary the pressure and so make dark and light marks as you would with a real pencil-you can't do that with the mouse. So this quite miserable looking girl in a hat came out. She likes the cold! Snowing again this morning so off to Sainsbury's before it lays much!

Friday 17 December 2010

Snowflakes, Starflakes and letters from the Queen

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And door 17! The well prepared animator would have a Christmas pudding in her fridge. Sadly I am the ill prepared animator and so have only drawn one.

It was not supposed to snow today, so I drove my car to work. It started to snow in the morning so I panicked slightly and rushed the car home at lunch time and zoomed back on the bus. I was glad I did as it snowed and lay in the afternoon. The roads were not too bad really but I was still happier on the bus!

Everything was covered by the snow shower.

The colours of the pens looked good against the white.

In the morning a starflake landed on my hair. Natalie and Caroline saw it and took a hasty picture!

The nicest surprise of the day was a phonecall from Ann in the office this afternoon saying I had received a letter from the Queen! Just in the nick of time a letter was sent back to Jimmy. And one to me. Both lovely letters I thought. I took Jimmy's round to his class in the afternoon and his teacher read it out. When she said who it was from he looked pleased-and seemed happy he could keep it!

You might have to enlarge the photo to read them!