Friday, 22 June 2018

I can't post pictures again.

I have been busy knitting teddy bears for my three new great-grandchildren.  Two have arrived and the third is due next month.  That applies to the teddy bears too!

 I have also been knitting 'twiddle muffs'.  I had never heard of these until one of my grand-daughters asked me if I would like to make some.  She works with dementia patients at a local hospital.
The muffs are decorated with various knitted textures and then buttons, ribbons, beads and any other interesting items are stitched on to provide something for restless fingers to play with.

I have photos of them all ready to post but cannot get them from the camera onto the laptop.  I shall need the help of my daughter again as soon as she has a spare half-hour.

The muffs have been a godsend during the recent humid weather.  My body seems to shut down and I can't concentrate on anything, so a bit of freestyle knitting was a wonderful excuse for sitting with feet up and all the windows open until things got a bit cooler.  Hayfever hasn't helped.

I must go in search of a few bedding plants tomorrow as slugs have eaten all my petunias.  I don't have a garden as such but there is a tiny bit under my kitchen window which needs brightening up in time for the Britain in Bloom judges and I want to do my tiny bit as one of our residents is a keen gardener and has won several awards for her skill.  Our communal garden is lovely and her efforts are much admired and appreciated.

Hope you are all able to enjoy this lovely weather.


Thursday, 7 June 2018

First attempts.

The application of matt medium makes the surface more receptive of water colour paint.  I think the paint would bleed without it.    However, it doesn't take the ink from rubber stamp ink pads so I couldn't cheat!

My nice flat tea bags all curled up during the drying process for the medium.  I think this way of working is definitely a case for 'less is more' - keep it simple.

This was done on an ordinary tea bag and my wren is rather overweight.  I didn't want my pencil markings to show and they were very difficult to see against the tea stained bag.  Once I had gone over the lines with the black pen there was no going back.

I will try single layers of tea bag next and have seen them applied to card to make greetings cards.

This is all showing signs of a misspent old age!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

No. I haven't gone mad!

 I bet you can't guess what I have been doing this afternoon.

A few days ago I was nosing around on Pinterest and came upon examples of lovely little pieces of art made on used tea bags!  They looked so delicate and I became very interested.   One kind person even included instructions on how to prepare the bags for use.

So this afternoon, having collected my haul of steeped, dried, emptied and ironed tea bags, I have just given each one a coat of matt medium.  I counted them and there are 85 - do you think that will be enough?!!

I couldn't wait long enough to amass more than half an dozen, so cheated and bought some very cheap herbal ones to get me started.

There is an idea forming for a tiny book featuring all the minute weeds that grow in the grass beside the footpath to the supermarket.  The plants would never be very large if left to grow, but as the grass is regularly cut they become smaller than usual.  Considering the amount of traffic, two nearby roundabouts and a filling station, it is as pleasant as it could be with the first part of the walk through a little stand of silver birch trees and a lovely view over the River Severn to Chepstow.  Further on the path becomes lined on one side by eight or more large lime trees looking their best just now.

I will have to wait for the bags to dry to see what kind of surface they provide.  I will let you know how I get on.   At the moment they are spread all over the dining table, so it's supper on a tray tonight.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Monday's post - part 2! Subtitle: If at first you don't succeed .....!

Meet Bubba.  I'm not sure about the name but just look at that lovely little face.  He is not able to be re-homed but is very well looked after by the Dogs' Trust.

This is the cover for the Hare book.  I might try to improve it as the soldering iron hasn't scorched the fabric enough around the edges, and I'd like a bit more definition on the motif itself.   To fiddle, or not to fiddle?   That is the question.

I think this is my favourite page as it reminds me of the leveret we, or rather our labrador, discovered in the paddock behind a house we lived in years ago.  Fortunately the dog was a great softy and just stood looking at the leveret wagging his tail.  I was thrilled to think we had hares breeding in our little field.

I'm quiet pleased with this page and drew it in pen on the reverse of a printed fabric.  Much easier to work on than the silk pages previously shown.

Lastly the running hare.  I don't think his hind quarters are big enough and want to strengthen the colouring of the background and foreground, but am scared of mucking it up.  When in doubt do nowt.

After all my technical struggles I am now going to recline in my reclining chair with a cuppa.

I have found a few more photos!

Not very pleased with this one - they look as if they are dancing, not boxing!






Not so keen on this one either.  The silk was awkward to draw on and the patches of dye were very off-putting.

I apologise if I have duplicated any pictures from my last post.  I have been back and forth through so many photos trying to find all of the hare book pages and Bubba.  There are still several missing so maybe I'll just take them again and hope to find them next time.

I'm having a little break from drawing and am now knitting teddy bears.  I'll post those when they are completed.  I bought loads of wool from a cut price store and have enough to keep me going for ages!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Partial Success.

The hare book is finished and I took photos of each page and loaded them onto my laptop - or so I thought.  So far I have only found these, and there are 17 in all, counting the cover.  Even these few are in the wrong order and I haven't a clue where the rest are. 
 The one above is a pen sketch on a piece of dyed silk.  

This is on paper with a soft wash of colour on it, which I would have found easier to use without the background colour.   Some crayons worked better than others, but I am learning as I go.

All of the drawings were copied from two books about the hare which are full of wonderful photographs.  The Hare Book by the Hare Preservation Trust and The Hare by Jill Mason.

I did have to resort to partial tracing but on the colour washed background the tracings didn't come out clearly but did help me get the proportions right.

I also have a delightful photo of a dear little dog called Bubba who I have adopted through the Dogs Trust.  I can't have pets in this flat and haven't the energy to take a dog for walks each day, and in any case it would not be practical bearing in mind I have a long carpeted corridor and a flight of stairs, or the lift, to reach a door to the outside for late night (or midnight) canine bodily functions! 
 He is on the camera but not on the laptop, but I'll keep trying to improve the loading of photos and let you meet him another time.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Decisions, decisions.

I have made a start on my hare book but, having completed one page, I am bogged down by indecision as to how I should continue.   I would like each page to have it's own identity somehow, but this is probably just over-complicating what is a very simple book.

I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and discovered such a treasure trove of wonderful things that I have completely overloaded my imagination and am drawn in all directions at once.  You can have too much of a good thing!   I think I shall have to put it to one side for a while and focus on something else to allow everything to settle down.

At least I am not rushing headlong into this project as I usually do.  So often I have been disappointed with the result and have thought of ways in which I might have improved the piece had I not been in such a hurry.

A week ago I enjoyed a mug of chilled soup with my lunch - today I was glad to have a mug of hot soup.  You definitely need sleeves today but the cooler temperature made my daily walk easier and more comfortable.  Pros and cons.