Sunday 28 February 2010

Sorting, Treasure Hunting in the Rain and Painting

I had a weekend that was busy but in a relaxing way. My brother visited which was nice. We had lovely food. He and Andy played scrabble. I tried to make caramel-went ok but has not set-I don't have a sugar thermometer and so I stopped too soon. What can I do with it? Any ideas gratefully received! We watched a film called 'Just Friends' which is silly but quite funny.
I did some sorting-existing treasures. I love seeing them all
arranged in their little compartments. Two new paintings. The one on the right had the pieces of china stuck on-as mentioned yesterday but all the pieces came off with only a little push. I tried again with superglue and it seems to have worked. I have put the clay round the pieces and will leave overnight.
The one on the left has a stamp of a little falling man that my friend Clare sent me.
Sorting the treasure made me want more. Not need but want!
So I dragged Andy down to the river this morning. It was freezing and raining
and so windy I couldn't see to pick up anything at first!
You can see in this photo that the barrier is up.
A perfectly lovely chair which I didn't attempt to take it home,
as I thought someone could happily use it at the beach on a more sunny day.
I found lots of interesting things. There were hundreds of iron nails-all deformed and rusty. (click to enlarge to see how many there were!) I wonder what they are from? I picked up some of them. I found something that I thought was an enormous bone but I am not sure. I will put a picture another time to see if anyone can enlighten me! I found an instrument dial from a boat I think-too dirty and full of water to pick up. I found lots of china to add to the collection. The best find though was Andy's. He has an eagle eye!
It is great to find something with so much information on it, so we looked it up. There are a few examples online though I didn't find out much information about Ellen. This is a genealogy website for people with the name Hale, and if you scroll down you can see the whole lid. I like the idea of a heal-all ointment. Most useful.
The shed door blew open and when I went up to shut it I saw these on the way back. I have been seeing other people's snowdrops online for a few weeks now so I am glad to see ours! There is only one little clump but it gets slightly bigger each year.
This painting is turning slightly nightmarish I think. The hat is based on a dressing up hat we have at school. The layered patterns on the dress are from the stamp and a plastic doily.
This one makes me think of Miss Havisham.
The pieces of china are from her unused tea service.
Her dress is also plastic doily stencilled.

Saturday 27 February 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

I saw this shadow in a Greenwich shoe shop and couldn't get my camera out quick enough! A painting I am doing at the moment. I am having technical difficulties adding pieces of beach china-they all fell off with only the slightest encouragement. I can't remember what I used to stick the ones on 'Blue' on. Hot glue is no good. I am trying super glue now. Maybe tile adhesive would be best. More later if it works!
Shadow box birds from last Summer. Oh the Summer!
These are not shadow shots but they are to show Patti and Ralph (Shadow shot participants) Here Bert and Ernie look out of the cat flap. They look a bit like Patti and Ralph's cats Rigby and Linus. Below they have a nose out of the window. Well Ernie does but Bertie is more concerned with giving my Mum the look of love.
For more shadow shots from around the world, visit HeyHarriet here!

Thursday 25 February 2010


Just a quick note on following. I have tried it, cannot keep up with it, so will go back to the old method of looking at your blogs as they move to the top of my list. So please don't be offended if I was following you but am not now!
The picture is one I have picked at random from my scan folder-it does look as if Julie(the doll) is following me doesn't it? She could walk if you pulled her along very slowly-somehow her legs were articulated to do so. She could also talk-she had little brightly coloured plastic records that you put into her back. Then press her belly button and voila-talking doll! We both seem to have the same chubby knees.

Monday 22 February 2010

From 'Bell, Book and Candle'
Pyewacket is the cat.
The painting I sold the other day.
I was happy to get a lovely email from June who bought her.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Making and Thinking

All day I have been making a tiny quilt. It took a long time for something so tiny.
As I made it, I have been thinking about my friend Renee. I have been thinking about why I love her and how this could happen in only a year of knowing a person online. But it happened so easily and I am happy about it. I find expressing these feelings very hard so I am going to stop now. I just wanted to say something. Love to you Renee, now and alwaysxx

Friday 19 February 2010

Styling Photos

I have been reading Decor8 today and I read a post about styling your photos. There were loads of useful links and I read a couple of the articles. I do try to put items together attractively-what I think is attractive-these things are all subjective of course. I also try to do this in my photos at times-though often I am just snapping whatever takes my eye! But-I tried harder today having read these articles. I especially liked this one by Susy Jack on Etsy. I did a painting yesterday which I am going to put in the shop-and I always worry about photos for the shop, so it was fun to try something different. Apparently (you may already know this) a shot of just the product is called a hero shot-as opposed to a styled shot-one with props of some kind that tell a story related to your product, or highlight an aspect of it or how you made it. Or-show it in context with other of your products. I am badly rewriting the article-it is very well written and interesting, so if this interests you, please visit!
Anyway, I tried my best with a few shots of the painting (product!) I like the one with the pastels the best. I was trying to create a feel of an artist's home, and in the book shots, how the painting could fit into a home. There are two hero shots at the bottom-I prefer the one with the collaged background as it links to the collage in the painting. I would appreciate any ideas/criticisms if you have any!

Ideas-contrasting the circles in the picture with the squares in the background.
As already mentioned-artist's home!
Natural, textures, circle of stone echoing circles in picture, old books-I just like these-not sure how it adds anything! I did deliberately put the orange label under the picture-to compliment the blue.
I like the warm tone of the wood-the top of the desk I sold-to be delivered tomorrow-the man who bought it was going to come on the bus and I felt sorry for him!Maybe I should do a picture with loads of circular objects-hanging on the wall-might try that tomorrow!
Back to work soon, no more time for all these extremely fun and important activities!

Thursday 18 February 2010

Thanks Anne!

A while ago-half a month to be precise-Anne of Frayed at the Edge gave me an award. (post here) I have been very slow to accept this award so sorry about that Anne-it went out of my head and just came back again! Hurray for the memory still working even if it is eratic. The award is for being a creative blogger (I have to correct the spelling-I am programmed to do so) so I was most happy that Anne thought of me. Anne of course is a very creative blogger so if you have not visited her then please do-she is also very friendly! I have to tell you seven interesting things about myself-hmm-I will have a think.

I am supposed to name seven other creative bloggers. I just started to do this and then I came up against the same old difficulties I have had before-choice making-not my strong point. So I am naming none! All of the blogs I love are full of creativity of various sorts, all different and so I am offering the award to you if you are reading and would like it! If you have looked at my blog before and never said hello then say hello now and pick up an award while you are about it! I would love to say hello back!

Seven things about me-(which may or may not be interesting)
1. I am a newly initiated Ebay seller
2. I have just been given 'The Gashlycrumb Tinies' by my friend, and guffawed my way through it earlier.
3. I am about to eat salmon, peas, beans and new potatoes for my tea.
4. I record all of the books I have read, and their first and last lines, (not books I read at school to the kids-I would be there all night writing in the book!) and have done for about ten years. I write these lists in A4 notebooks and do a year page-a picture of whatever takes my fancy, usually on about January 4th. This year's is a snowglobe. I write on one side of the page and stick memorabilia and photos on the other page.
5. I had very vivid and quite scary dreams last night due, I think, to a dodgy curry!
6. I used to ride horses-well ponies I suppose. I used to have the same one every week. We would ride around the country lanes which was very pleasant. My pony was called Fella and he was difficult to catch, difficult to tack up and hysterical at any vehicle bigger than a car. I liked him though!
7. I love the smell of wood polish-especially the beeswax kind! If I have polished things the whole flat then smells delicious!

Wednesday 17 February 2010


I didn't go to an exhibition as my friend felt too coldy and ill to go all that way. Instead we popped to Greenwich, visited the bookshop, wandered a bit and found a little Church sale where I pounced-yes almost literally, on a hoard of doilies-crocheted ones-all at prices such as 25p. They are so lovely! Not sure what they will become, if anything at all, but that was no reason not to buy them! I also bought a tiny silver funnel-for the dolls house collection. Also a map of the UK that I bought from a very old, really sweet lady who only a heartless wolf-or something like that-could have ignored! William left the country this morning-well my house anyway. And I sold my desk! Buy it now price-most exciting! I should look around the house for more stuff to sell!
Anyway, as I didn't get to go to an exhibition, I thought I would put on a small one of my own.
Little Wood People
littlewoodpeople is a shop on Etsy I discovered yesterday. It is full of amazing and varied characters and browsing through it is like reading a little story-each little person has such personality. Barbara Hart is the artist behind these little dolls. I love what she says in her profile about the dolls being a bit like a visual diary. The dolls above are called (left to right, top to bottom) Little Wood Octopi, Little Wood Man With Traumatic Injuries, Aliza and Little Wood Retro Robot. Go and meet the rest!
My Lacy Doilies
Lacy Illustrations
The Wedding Ghost by Leon Garfield, illustrated by Charles Keeping. I love Charles Keeping's work, which is what made me buy the book from the charity shop yesterday. I have not read it yet-but it looks very promising!
I also wanted to share this cartoon from the paper on Sunday. It really made me laugh!

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Should I do this, or that, or maybe that? or The Trials of a Multitasker

I know I am not the only one who finds it necessary to do more than one thing at once. Some boring things such as washing and ironing, some more exciting such as playing with molten wax. Some in the middle of these two extremes-getting passport photos done, listing a desk on ebay. (First ever go at ebay selling-wish me luck!) Yesterday was a bit like that too. I think it is the holidays. So many things pile up that don't get done during term time that the first couple of days are just stuffed full of activity.
Tomorrow though, will be different. I am off to the post office first thing to post William and also a painting I have sold on Etsy! I get very excited when this happens.
After that I am going to see an exhibition with a friend. I am looking forward to this!
Here are a few things my flitting habits have produced over the last couple of days.
This woman is off to the market. To buy fruit and vegetables. She can't decide what it is that she fancies. I used a white ink pad to stamp the pictures and my chalks to colour them. I only discovered how to do this a couple of days ago-partly from Clare and partly through trial and error. It is a bit addictive! I coloured this while on the phone to Linda (my lovely colleague)-multi tasking again-both tasks pleasant. William taking part in his final photo shoot before departure.
Picture started on the craft day with Clare and Cleo. I have been having lots of fun adding wax and using my little iron and heat tool to smooth it. A while ago I bought two little blocks of encaustic wax and I melted a bit of that onto the picture. I was really surprised(pleasantly) by the effect. I have a white one and an iridescent one. The white one is amazingly opaque. It is hard to photograph waxed pictures-but you get the idea. The piece of wood was from a skip about four doors away from Clare's house-a lucky find!
Picture two from the craft day. I started it to try this pen Clare had-a sort of spirit pen that enables you to transfer printed images to paper-I can't remember the name of it but will find out. It works really well. This picture was not looking good at all at first. I painted deep green and a bit of dark red, then I scratched it-I was trying to get a seaweed effect as I decided it would be called 'underwater'-she is wearing a swimming costume! Then I waxed her-quite thickly, poor thing. Then I dropped big blobs of white wax on it and that is when I really started to like it. Then I decided to see if gold leaf would stick to wax. It would! So, many experiments resulted in a picture I quite like.
Random photo from my sidebar dispay which I love, as it makes me remember photos long forgotten.
How school used to be. From two great books I saved from the bin at school. These turned up when tidying my creative supplies-in one of the paper boxes-not that I would cut them up. They are simple dual language books from the 70s. One is called "Jobs" and the other "My School".
This just looks like my primary school. I love the huge pile of boxes on the left-just waiting for big imaginations to turn them into something else. And I have a lovely feeling that the table on the right with the red cloth is a nature table. That was one of my favourite things at school.

Monday 15 February 2010

OWOH Winner!

While lots of bloggers have been rushing round on their magic carpets, wildly making new friends, William has been quietly thinking about life, travel and other Williams (This one, this one and this one-I told you he was bookish) But soon, it will be time to go because a winner has been chosen! William is already fading-can you see? More there than here now...
He has been won by a lady who lives in New Zealand. Such a long journey to head out on-I wish I could send him by magic carpet! Sew Funky -Dione- was number 41 in the comments, and 41 was the random number selected-so congratulations Sew Funky! As you may guess from the name of her web site, there are lots of sewn goodies to be found-so do visit for a look.

Thank you to Lisa for bringing so many people together in this great event-it has been fun!
Thanks also to all of my commenters-I loved every comment!
Until next year...

Sunday 14 February 2010

Hearts and Crafts

Love a cup of tea...
Love Tiger...
And Lily. Lily loves the settee.
Love roses-thanks Andy! Love Andyxx
Love the fact that if you rub chalk dust over stamped white ink this happens! I didn't know!
I found this out yesterday after a fun craft day with my friends Clare and Cleo. Clare made a great collage and got very excited about wax! Cleo sewed a flower from felt and leather and showed us photos of her holiday in New Zealand, including pictures of a mohair rabbit having a shave. This involves stretching it out and securing its little paws! She tried to teach me to crochet-I don't think it is for me! Far too difficult. Fun day! Rainbow hearts. Different kinds of love. All good.

Happy Valentines day to you, whatever you are doing. xx

Saturday 13 February 2010

Shadows, Collages, Small Lives(on the sofa)

For the portrait class-such a fun type of collage to do!
The other one I did-it is Mariah Carey. She had great flicked hair in the photo which I have tried to recreate through the medium of collage.
Loved the colour combination of the blue plastic on the green table with shadows.
Clarice is wondering how she got here-she feels a bit suspicious that this might not actually be a room she is in, but somebody's sketchbook. She could have sat on the sofa but prefers the floor. The table at least seems real. The doorbell goes.
Thank goodness, Pamela has arrived, with her usual mixture of good cheer and things to share. Today she has brought a pumpkin (a bit out of season but it lasted) and some large shells. Pamela wants to know about the portraits on the wall in the strange book room, but Clarice knows nothing, so that avenue of conversation is soon finished. They go home, leaving just a shadow on a painting.
Visit Hey Harriet here for more shadows from around the world.