Monday, 26 September 2016

In Between The Lines

As a geography student back in the 1980's, my assignments regularly called for the use of coloured pencils.  When I took my studies a stage further, and achieved a postgraduate diploma in cartography, I used to quip that I was trained to colour in without going over the edges!

Now I am enjoying colouring once more but this time it's just for fun  I coloured this birthday card for my Mum from the cute postcard book Don't Quit Your Daydream by Bethany Robertson
I received it in a mystery swap parcel from a knitter in America last Christmas along with these other lovely goodies.
I love the gel pen as it's one of my favourites to accentuate colours.
I restricted the colour palette to pink and red with gold highlights for this card from the same book and gave it to my husband on Valentine's Day.

Colouring is a bit like knitting and crochet - you don't expect a quick result but there's no rush either.  You become absorbed in the task of colouring and working towards a finished picture which you're happy with.  You don't need to spend a lot on materials and you don't need to learn a new skill.  Everyone can colour in!
I particularly love the work of Johanna Basford.  Her illustrated colouring books are beautifully detailed and are really fun to colour in.  I see amazing completed pictures on social media of Johanna's illustrations by talented colourists.  I'm in awe of what others can produce with the humble coloured pencil.
So even though I've owned this book since it was published in 2013, I'd never actually coloured in a single page of it until very recently.  Maybe it's because the images are printed on both sides of each page and I couldn't quite bring myself to colour in one side in favour of the other.  (I was delighted when I found that it was also produced as a book of postcards and I've completed several of those.)  Here, then, is my very first coloured page from Secret Garden.
My picture's now on display in the National Trust for Scotland shop at Pitmedden Gardens where I volunteer, hopefully inspiring others to try their hand at the relaxing art of colouring in.
Have you had a go at this absorbing, relaxing and creative hobby?


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Little Creatures

I do like a bit of Talking Heads but I'm not sure that my little creatures are quite what David Byrne was singing about in 1985.  Recently I've knitted, crocheted and felted a variety of small 'critters' for a variety of reasons.  I'm happy to be able to include some of these in the personal  Kindness Project I've embarked upon this year in which I use my making to help others.

Meet Bo - the little sheep I've made for Yarndale, an annual wool festival in Skipton to be held this year on 24th and 25th September.  The 2016 festival's community project involves the creation of lots of crocheted and knitted sheep which are going be sold in aid of Martin House Children's Hospice. This pattern was created by inspirational crochet blogger Lucy at Attic24 and I found her pictorial step by step Wooly Sheep tutorial quite easy to follow.
I'd a major concern that my sheep looked more like Dobby, the house elf from the Harry Potter films, but my finished item looked just fine so I posted her off to join the Yarndale flock.
Each maker has to include her (or his) name and where the sheep was sent from so a list of 'shepherdesses' can be compiled.  I'm sure together they'll be a colourful spectacle, as at previous Yarndales, and I hope they raise lots of money for the hospice.
I'd made myself an owl keyring in February as a prototype for a possible crochet class project using this pattern  by Rachel who creates under the name Yarnartists.  She's generously shared her pattern and it's free.  Thanks Rachel!  Sadly my owl 'flew away' (ie got lost somehow) so I recently made another.
Such a quick and easy project which uses tiny amounts of leftover wool and the pretty heart buttons which come attached to the labels on my favourite White Stuff knitwear.
These knitted mice are off to London! I found this pattern for Mischievous Mice on the website for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and decided to make some for the Battersea cats to play with while they wait for their new owners to come and take them home.
Here's my own cat, Marble, carrying out essential quality control checks.
It's a few years since my husband gave me this book and I'd never tackled a three dimensional needle felted project until my friend, Noelle, said she'd like to give it a try.  She really wanted to make a dog and I had the necessary equipment and materials so we spent a happy morning together chatting and making doggies!
Noelle was following a pictorial guide from her Woman's Weekly magazine and she made a super job of the brown and white dog on the left.  My 'Westie' was pretty sheep-like until I gave him a nose!

So with elf-like sheep and sheep-like dogs I may give little creatures a rest for a while and, same as Talking Heads, I think that's OK.

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