Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby....

Hot off the drawing board, Derwent Drawing Pencils & Derwent Coloursoft Pencils on pastel paper.  Private commission.

Grandfather Clock..

I've been a bit quiet the past week - this is one of the reasons why!  This is a grandfather clock, about 18 inches tall, made from all sorts of bits and pieces covered in felt.
It took me quite a while to figure out how to make this.  Initially I thought to use card board boxes for the structure, but when it came down to it, I could not find any the right size plus they would be a bit flimsy if I cut them down.  However, i rarelythrow anything away that might come in handy in the future and stashed away I had a large piece of firm foam that had been the internal part of a tool box which was already semi-cut into small squares.  I also had some pieces of even firmer foam that had come as the packaging for something - can't remember what - which were ideal to use for the central section.  So I made three parts, the base, the hollow middle and the clock.
I appliqued some rather nice tweed and soome felt, embroidered with gold crochet thread.
I made the fancy bit for the top and the little piece for above the pendulum from foamboard and covered them in felt.  All the sections are held together with toothpicks in strategic places and then sewn firmly into place.
The pendulum is made from felt and stuffed, then embroidered with gold crochet thread.  It is suspended with a wire - the little scrolled piece hides where it is attached to the underside of the clock face.

The clock face is made from two pieces of card covered in felt.  I used some bought fake watch cogs and gears for the back part and embroidered the numbers on the face. The clock hands are made from an old ice cream carton and held in place with a tiny nut and bolt.  I sliced my finger open while making the hands - thank goodness I did not drip any blood onto a fortnight's work!  If there are any typos in this post, that is why as I have a large plaster on it!

You will have to wait and see what this is going to be used for...

 In the meantime, the garden is starting to look rather lovely.  Since the weather perked up, I have done an awful lot of work out there.
I re-turfed the 'lawn' - now it really is a lawn, not just a mud patch - and cut down/dug out a lot of old and unruly shrubs and the dying damson tree.  I replaced the tree with a young greengage tree I discovered going for a song at Lidls.  The old shrubs have been replaced by a vegetable patch.  Fingers crossed it all survives!

Friday, 4 May 2018

Velcro & 273

Just completed a lovely commission, the bear 273 with her cub Velcro who live in Katmai National Park, Alaska.  Velcro is now on his own and a lot larger than when this photo was taken!

Watercolour on paper, reference photo by kind permission of Carla Farris.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Maltese Terrier...

 Just a little something I crocheted the other evening.  I have quite a few Japanese pattern books, including one with Amigurumi dogs.  I can't read Japanese but the diagrams are pretty clear as the symbols are universal.
 I did have a spot of bother with this one as it was a combined pattern with a beagle and I didn't know which bit was what for the muzzle - I'm not entirely sure I don't have an ear for his nose!
Fun to do though, haven't made one of these for a very long time.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Stencilled Bears...

About a month ago in Ikea, I saw a set of wooden plaques with simple prints of a bear, a moose and some other animal that I can't recall right now.  I really liked the bear one but wasn't so keen on the other two, not enough to buy the set anyway.  I knew that with a bit of effort I could make my own version...so I did. 

I bought some wooden flooring samples from B&Q, and Mr. B kindly smoothed off the edges of them for me.  I found some side view photos of bears that I liked and used them to sketch out my stencil onto some thick watercolour paper the same size as the wood.  When I was happy with the outline, I carefully cut out the stencil using a scalpel.  This was slow and painstaking as I did not want to make a mess of those spikes of fur!

I then tried out the stencil on some paper using black acrylic paint.  This also serves the purpose of sealing the edges of the stencil as it dries.  After checking that all was how I wanted it, I then stencilled the bears onto the wooden plaques.  Once the stencilling was dry, I then painted the back and sides of the plaque with the black acrylic, smudging the edges around the front with my finger to create a slightly 'aged' look.  I rummaged around in my various supply boxes and found a couple of brass hanging thingies, nailed them on and ta-dah!  I'm very pleased with these - one is for me, the other will go in my Etsy shop once I have taken some better photos.

Little Dogs...

Here is the completed double dog portrait - the Shi Tzu was a delight to draw, the Papillon a nightmare, only because the reference photos for him were so bad.  However, with a little computer jiggerypokery enhancing the contrast, I managed to make out what was going on with his ears and was able to make a decent drawing of him.  The clients are happy, which is the main thing.  Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper.

Next up, bears...followed by numerous dog portraits.  I'm booked solid for the next month or so!
Meanwhile, Spring has sprung and everything is sprouting and blooming - this is the view from my bedroom window at the moment and is usually populated with bluetits.  I have done all the gardening I can for the time being, now I just have to sit back and wait for it all to grow.

Thursday, 19 April 2018


I've been working on some flower & bee brooches - here are a couple of the completed ones.  The flowers are made from felt, the bees are knitted.  When they are all ready, they will be for sale in my Etsy shop.