Friday, 30 December 2011

a flurry of Christmas making

Last week I got quite a few last minute Christmas presents made, but since then I've been on a re-organising spree for some reason!  That's in between 'playing' with my Christmas presents and visiting family etc!!!  I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, we had a fabulous one in our house :)

This jar contains the ingredients of snowman soup.  The head took a fair bit of fixing to the lid but I got there in the end and was pleased with the result!

Some of my friends and I decided to give handmade gifts this year (hence the snowman jar!).  The teacup cakes felt a little like cheating as I'd bought the teacup silicone cases, but I still added the cake, and a collaged spoon!

I'm always behind with my cards, so I was still making these on Christmas Day!

These two little books didn't take long though; one of the girls at work asked me to make them for her children.  I hope they liked them!

Best get back to the 'holiday jobs' - am trying to get my eldest son's room decorated, then there's the New Year party to organise - am planning on lots of star themed baking!  Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

a splash of watercolour = some funky, weird creatures

This is kindof a bit of a late WOYWW as I visited my artist friend Graham on Wednesday, and took my watercolours with me.  He's done some more work on his studio since I last visited...

It's such a warm and welcoming place...

... full of inspiring art...

I, meanwhile, just splashed some watercolour around on a couple of pages in my sketchbook.

Then hunted for some 'beings' amongst the paint splashes aka Carla Sonheim (Drawing Lab).

My favourite is the little 'thing' leaning up against the central spine of the book.

It was this large bunny I found first though.  I just LoVe this technique, there's no way I'd be able to invent these imaginative characters any other way!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

a happy owl!

I think this owl might actually have a bit of a smile!

I'm not sure how, it must be something to do with his eyes!  But it does answer my question - is it possible to make a happy owl?  Not that that was the intention, I just had the design in my head and off to the sewing machine I went!  I've also managed a couple of Christmas cards this week...

But most of my time has been spent teaching, and practising the Christmas play.  I take classes in school whilst the teacher has her planning and preparation time.  On Monday I was a wise man in the play, Tuesday a shepherd and by Wednesday I'd been 'demoted' to a cow lol!

I have the privilege of working in two schools and they both put on stunning Christmas performances.  I helped with the dress rehearsal on Thursday in one and was a guest at the second on Friday.  The schools, and therefore the performances, are both very different, but the creative talents of the staff, and the hard work of the pupils in both produced amazing results.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

these boots weren't made for walking!

My fab 'jabberwocky' friend Sue and I took a trip out to the depths of Staffordshire on Saturday afternoon to make paper shoes :)   The workshop was run by the very talented Jennifer Collier (check out her paper vintage typewriter!) in her exhibition, workshop and studio space 'unit twelve'.  

The current exhibition is entitled 'the ties that bind' and features an eclectic mix of aprons, including one made from a tin pail!

My favourite one had spoons in its pockets, and I LoVe spoons!  I wasn't surprised to discover it was made by Priscilla Jones, who's one of my very favourite mixed media artists.

Both Sue and I loved the wonderful 'wallpaper' in the exhibition space, created with pieces cut from old dress patterns.

Through the exhibition space is the workshop area and a number of small studio spaces.  

I got myself a couple of Christmas presents (my mother in law has been asking what I would like so she'll be happy she only has to wrap them!) from the very talented Jo Hill, Emily Notman and Louise Wilson.

I had to finish my shoes off at home.  I changed the lace up ones slightly so as they look more like my own, and shortened the alice shoe design.

I added laces made from strips of cotton, lace and organza.

I added stitched flowers to my alice shoes, and press studs.  Not a great photo I'm afraid as the glue was still wet further up!!

I love my paper shoes :)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

AEDM day 29 and shared art

(photo by Gwen of Foxglove Hill)

I met Gwen of Foxglove Hill through AEDM and greatly admired the flowers she was making at the same time as I was making my felt ones.  So we planned a trade - my felted flowers are heading her way but her muslin ones arrived at mine today.  Thanks so, so much Gwen, they are STuNNiNG!

Not much time for art over the past few days but I did manage to get some work done on some tags.  I love circles and used some scraps of paper and my sewing machine to add some pattern.

I've been identifying patterns I like as part of my surface design course and interpreted this one using a previously inked baby wipe, some scraps of paper and my sewing machine.  Now I'm off to celebrate with my sister - it's her 40th birthday today :)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

AEDM and a day at the fayre

I bought these little owl lights from Marks & Spencer to decorate my table at yesterday's Christmas market in Chorlton.  I could have sold them about ten times over lol!  In the end I wrote a label to say where to buy them from.

I was pleased with my stand, and am reassured as to the quality of my work and ideas (Malc laughed when I told him this, but I do worry!).  My owls and spoons proved popular!

... and I sold a little handmade book.  One guy made me smile when he picked up my fabric book and asked "Can you explain the purpose of this to me please?"!!!

My little collection of felt flowers looked great, but didn't find a home with anyone yesterday.

I bought a few presents from other stall holders though, including a little something for me!  

I just love these 'Tatty Betties', and when I saw one of them was an advent fairy my excuse for buying me one was presented!  The other is for my sister who is 40 on Tuesday, and the middle dolly is for my youngest niece.  The girl opposite me was selling fabulous poster style prints so I got me this too...

The wonderful wisdom of Dr Seuss!  Finally, my AEDM day 25 activity was a touch of sign writing for work!  

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WOYWW 129 and AEDM days 22 and 23 - craft fair prep

Yesterday, straight from work, was my last ceramic class (it was just a row of three) and I made an angel with a textured dress.  Unfortunately my phone had run out of battery so I have no pics.  I had made a small rose from clay which the teacher then used to make a small mould for me.  I created some little roses for the angel's dress.  The plan is to make some felted, embroidered wings for her :)

I squeezed some 'art time' in today for 'Art Every Day Month'.  Just a bit of doodling but without AEDM I'd have just not done any!

I'm off to work at the Bean and Brush later, teaching our Christmas ornament class.  Today I've been busily preparing for the Chorlton Arts Festival Christmas fair which is on Saturday.  Why do I never leave myself enough prep time?!!

So my desk is a little messy busy today!  Neater desks are available for view over at the Stamping Ground :)

I've finished three more pepper pot flower collections.  My minions are looking after them whilst they dry!

I've also prepped some papers to make some small journals and cards with for Saturday (when I don't know lol!!!  I can see a couple of late nights coming up).

Monday, 21 November 2011

AEDM days 20 and 21 - in the 'Drawing Lab'

Honestly, I can't recommend Carla Sonheim's 'Drawing Lab' highly enough!  It's just brilliant for getting you painting or drawing without that highly invasive 'inner critic' sitting on your shoulder whispering into your ear!  It's also full of short arty exercises for when time is limited, perfect for me at the minute.

Yesterday was mostly spent doing school prep so just before going to bed I did some one-liners, drawing animals using one continuous line.  Carla has a short video here on the Sketchbook Challenge blog if you'd like more info.

I started with pigs, then a couple of flowers followed by an owl who looks like a penguin!

I've been avoiding drawing cats as I'm not that keen on them picture wise, but finally gave in and love these manic kitties!

Then I gave some birds  a bit of a go.  For the last one I wondered what it would look like with 'walking legs'.  Normally my brain wouldn't even let me have a go at drawing something like that as 'I can't do it', but with one liners they're not going to look like the animal anyway!

It was my first day back teaching today after having bronchitis.  I was still feeling a bit wiped out so after a day with three different infant classes in a special school I came home and fell asleep!  Woke up feeling the need to do something relaxing so flicked through 'Drawing Lab' and..

...decided to finally give Lab 8: Imaginary Creatures a go....and created a moustached penguin lying back in shock at..what?!!  Hmm, that's in your imagination ;)  I love how fun he is, yet I never would have drawn a moustached penguin lol!

It started off with layers of random marks made with watercolour paints.  These yummy koh-i-noor ones were supposed to go in my eldest son's Christmas stocking - oops!  They are such handy, stackable palettes and rather nice paints too.  I bought mine whilst out in Wales somewhere, although checking online they're cheap enough to get George another set!  


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