Saturday 30 January 2010

Found, Bought, Made

This cat is always hanging around at school. He is so friendly and he found me the other day and followed me to the door, where I had to shoo him away! He seemed to really enjoy walking along the fence-even struggling through a buddleia.
Ice squirrel found in the scrumpled up bin bag this morning.

I now have two houses. Cedar Lodge is the name of the other one and it was also from eBay and £11. It looked so much like it should be with the bungalow. It has a detachable front and lino on the downstairs floor. I have been looking into lighting as I think I should start there. This site looks helpful. And this one. I have to think of a name for the street they are on. Already there is some signs of life in the bungalow but more of that later!
Glass photo negative of a man and his dolls house-also from eBay-from France. There are six altogether and at least two of them will make good birthday presents due to their subject matter. I wonder if this man made the house. It looks amazing-the glass domed roof especially!
I have been making miniature blocks of flats today. They are painted with gesso, roughly measured, windows cut, then covered with white tissue paper using matte medium. Then a flickering light is placed inside and hey presto-tiny lights in miniature blocks of flats.
When these are finished I will have six altogether. I will do a little film to show you haw pretty they look. Perhaps they are up on the hill behind Cedar Lodge and the bungalow.

Friday 29 January 2010

Sky, Clay, Faces

 Today we had lots of fun clay painting all over the wall, window (my personal favourite) and the door. I was trying to make the most of the rainy weather when I went to set up this morning. By the afternoon the weather was much colder-in fact had completely changed-even had a few snow flurries. As Ronnie Barker said "It's mad!" Ronnie Barker is a boy in my class-he is not named after the RB but after his Grandad. I have another Ronnie so yes, I do have the two Ronnies in my class. They are about as funny too!
It somehow felt really naughty painting all over the window. I did wash it after school!
Lunch time sky.
Home time sky
Evening sky.

Trying to correct the nose. This is another pencil and white paint picture.
I felt it needed a bit of colour!
This is my first attempt at painting in the way Misty has taught us-using layers and under painting. It is more like the way we were taught oil painting at school and it is interesting to see the different effect it has to my normal fairly flat style.
I am so glad it is Friday as this week has been really hard in some ways.
I am looking forward to a bit of a rest and then making some tiny things-a start to my
dolls house contents! I hope you have a lovely weekend too whatever you are up to!

Thursday 28 January 2010


As well as drawing at home I draw at work a lot, and for work. I like drawing for children, with them and alongside them. We have great conversations through drawing-the different ways that we all see the world is apparent through what we draw. This week we planned a storytelling activity based on very simple line drawings to represent family. I started with the afternoon carpet today by just getting out the Mum, Dad, boy and girl. I just wanted to see what the children thought so I asked who these people were. Straight away one of them said "That's my Mum!" I find it fascinating that a simple stick figure is so obviously representing something universal. As for the storytelling we didn't get very far today-but we did establish that they live in a house and that Lucien-a new child this term, has a chinchilla! Not unrelated as we were talking about pets by this time. I will see what happens tomorrow! I just like this drawing of a tree that I did out in the garden one day so I am using it!


The last few evenings have been taken up with visiting OWOH blogs and I am only on number 101! It is very time consuming but fun to see so many new ones! I have a growing list of blogs to revisit. In between times I have been working on another drawing/painting for the Misty Mawn class. This one is done with a water soluble 8b pencil and white acrylic. I found it very hard to control which made it interesting. Not sure about the result-I think another very beautiful girl has been Sarahed! Oh dear.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

The Simple Things

I love to join in with Christina's celebrations of the simple things, as those are the things it is easy to find and to appreciate. It takes me very little time to think of some things to share because, I think, there are just so many! Sunsets
On the way home from work tonight, I saw the huge sun hanging in the softly coloured sky as it set. I was driving and so I chased the sunset to try to get a picture. I had to climb-up to Blackheath-as the buildings lower down were in the way. I ended up where the donkeys work at the weekend. By the time I got there the sun had sunk this far but it was still beautiful.

Charcoal and paper
A simple stick of charcoal and a piece of paper-doodling! Apples
My favourite fruit. Water
The ultimate simple thing-a cold glass of water, so easy to take for granted but not available to all of us as easily as it is to me from my tap. I am always grateful for water.


Without water there would be no tea. Without tea the world would be a very sad place! This tea cosy is lovely isn't it? Another thing which was left in my brother's house by the old lady who lived there. It obviously could not be thrown away!

Making and Play
William is here to illustrate these two simple things. Buttons
Button boxes. Sorting buttons. Mmm buttons!

Sunday 24 January 2010

One World One Heart

Comments are now closed! I will do the drawing later today and post the winner of William tonight! Thanks for all the interest and lovely comments!
Please come in and ride the magic carpet with me today. My name is Sarah, and Circles of Rain is my place for following the ever expanding circles of beauty and friendship in the wonderful world of blogging! Lisa of A Whimsical Bohemian is our lovely host and the creator of One World One Heart. Visit her to see the ever expanding list of participants!
I would like you to meet William. He is joining us on the journey and in a couple of weeks will be going on a journey of his own to live somewhere new! He is aware that some people find dolls a little freaky but he is willing to forgive that, and try to persuade you otherwise, should he come to live with you! William is of a serious nature-he loves to read and sometimes feels he just has to listen, and books will talk to him. Here you can see him listening carefully. He has a vivid imagination and likes to think that sometimes he is a King of Words-hence the fancy gold crown. For more down to earth days he wears his little cap.
William is made from polymer clay, and fixed together with wire. (Don't tell him, he doesn't realise) His clothes are hand sewn and made from a variety of fabrics from my ever growing collection! On his shirt are the words 'Possible Play Thing'. This is of the imaginative variety of play rather than the very touchy feely, rough and tumble type. He is not safe for young children to play with as he has got wire parts-but they could tell him stories as he would love that and it might make him a little less serious!
Can I just mention too, that he comes with a ribbon wrapped wire stand so that he can, well, stand! I am not the world's expert on stand making but it seems to work. He stands approx. 20cm tall.
Aah! William has just found out about the magical journey he is about to embark on-look-a little bird told him!
William is on the carpet and ready to fly!
For a chance to give William a new home, please leave a comment on this post between now and midnight of 14th February GMT. William's winner will be announced on 15th February!
Thanks for visiting, see you at your place!

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadowy doors in the bungalow... Seen from the perspective of a giant.
Shadows of things hanging from my winter branches. Visit HeyHarriet here for more shadows!
Back tomorrow for OWOH and on Wednesday for Christina's simple things. Have a lovely week!

Saturday 23 January 2010

All Things Small and Portable

The beautiful bungalow. I love it!
A small crocodile by Deborah. So much life in this little drawing!
He has such a cunning expression.
A small tea party arranged by Catherine.
Perhaps they are discussing what is wrong with the cat.
I love the way the cups are hugely out of proportion to the dolls in this set.
Dacta dolls, a very popular toy.
Illegal animal transportation going on under my very nose.
Talking of all things small, you must visit my friend Mae's blog to see her
fantastic video-I have just watched it and it is so good!

Thursday 21 January 2010

Sky, Faces, Flowers

A great big kiss in the sky over school today, created as we watched!
I started a new online class with Misty Mawn at the weekend-more faces-but learning new techniques too. She is a good teacher. Lots of ideas to try and good advice. The main technique is not one at all-more of a policy-keep practising! This week we are working on pencil and charcoal portraits and I have done a few so far-this is my first one-from a photo of Lily Cole. The pretty red rose is no more-I over watered it, it had no drainage, and it died! I was a little put out, but it did give to the end with these dried flower heads. What is their colour? It is not quite purple-maybe maroon.
Mauve Muscari. (Reminds me of Vulturi!) I needed calming flowers when I came home last night as I had to speak in front of a meeting of four different schools-at short notice I might add! We are taking part in something called The London Challenge, which is a project to raise attainment in writing (well I think it is in general but our group has chosen to work on writing) We had to meet in our phase (age) groups, then feed back the key points from our discussion (which I also had to chair-ha ha-luckily they were all very nice) Honestly, I thought I was going to cry and half way through actually said "Sorry, I'm a little bit nervous!' Apparently I didn't sound as bad as I felt-or were they just being kind?! The other three teachers from my school who had to do it too all said they felt the same but who knows. I was speaking in front of about 60 people! I know I am banging on a bit but it was traumatic. I was pleased with myself afterwards though and I enjoyed the applause! (sympathy applause?!)
Face number two-drawn from a photo of a really beautiful girl who I have distorted somewhat. I liked doing her lips!
I needed calming flowers when I came home tonight too-the nursery felt like chaos this afternoon-lots of new children still settling in so lots needing extra reassurance and help-but they then have to be ignored for a while when other children have run into metal poles, had accidents (euphemism for pooing on the floor then trying to clear it up with a whole pack of toilet tissue then walking half of it over the floor!), had more accidents (euphemism for weeing), need help to wee, undo belts, do up shoes, turn on computers, share cars and so on. By the time it got to home time I felt exhausted! So I came home early, looked at the flowers, had a bath, did some work and then did the last drawing below. What a day!
Isn't her lacy headdress beautiful? This is my first go at a three quarter view. I like how my drawing came out but I can see how the eye on the right is not quite-right! I often hold drawings up in the mirror to see them better and looking at a photo of the drawing can help too.
Roll on the weekend. I am driving to Rugby on Saturday to pick up a 60s Bungalow I bought on eBay for £10. Not a full sized one obviously. I don't know what comes over me-well I kind of do-I read an article in Elle Decoration about this woman designer who had done up a dolls house with miniature wall papers and other amazing things. It inspired me and made me WANT ONE! There will be pictures sometime I expect.
P.S. Here is a link to Interior Divine, which has an article on the house I mentioned-it is by Emily Chalmers, owner of London shop Caravan. Visit this page even if you miss the rest out!