Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Guts Ache....

You know that feeling when you are really wound up, like there is something gnawing at your guts?
For some people that's a real problem.....

If ever a knitted toy summed up how I feel today, this one is it!  I've had very little sleep for days now, more stress over the past month than a person should ever be given at any one time, and very little support from those around me....I promise not to go on the rampage zombie-style, tempting though it might be!

I did have lots of fun last night watching The Walking Dead and joining in with this little fellow....BLURGHARGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I've come to the conclusion I am not your average lady-of-a-certain age - my favourite TV programme at the moment is The Walking Dead and this knitting pattern is just the best thing I've made for a long time.  Maybe it's the proximity of Halloween - which is going to be extra exciting for us this year as we will be spending it somewhere very special - or just my natural grisly leanings, who knows!
Not only do this zombie's guts spill out, his arms come off too.
In fact, he totally goes to pieces...not unlike me at the moment trying to organise a holiday and things are NOT GOING SMOOTHLY! 

All this chap needs now is some tattered clothes - will I have time before Halloween? Maybe....

This pattern can be found in the most excellent book Knit Your Own Zombie - lots of fun to be had here for those of a certain disposition!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tea For Two.....

This little knitted tea set is a commission that has been outstanding for far too long.  It's now ready to go across the Atlantic just in time for Christmas.

If you'd like a tiny tea pot or a cute cup (these are only a couple of inches tall) then get in touch!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Cat Complete

This is now finished - I think I worked out the ear hair OK.

In the race to finish all outstanding work before I go on holiday, I think I am winning....maybe!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Cat's Pyjamas.....

Here's the cat portrait I have been working on this week.  I think he's nearly finished, although there is one part of it that I am avoiding - can you find it?  It's that ear - the photo I have to work from is very small and of extremely bad quality - I can just about make out everything else, but the detail of the ear hair eludes me!  So I am getting on with everything else and will leave the ear until last, by which time I will be so keen to finish it, hopefully I will stop worrying and just wade in.

This is in my favourite medium,  Derwent Drawing pencils on pastel paper, with white highlights in acrylic.
An unexpected parcel arrived this week and in it another addition to my mug collection.  I ordered this from a newspaper way back during the Jubilee (over three months ago!) and had pretty much forgotten about it.  I just love the design - initially it looks like splodges of colour until you realise the actual shapes*.....

So this morning I had a bit of a mug cull - hardened my heart and took out all the mugs given as end of school year presents and ones we never, ever use and put them in the charity bag.  That made some space for perhaps a couple of extra new ones in the future......

*outlines of the British Isles in case you just can't see it!
Due to the freak weather conditions this year, there has not been a good harvest to be foraged from the hedgerow.  During the Spring, when the trees were in bloom, we had torrential rain which deterred the bees and destroyed the blossom. So there have been very few apples and sloes and I had resigned myself to not getting a fresh batch of sloe gin this year. However, on the long walk to the vet with the dog today I came across a small tree loaded with sloes and stopped to pick the lot (much to the dog's disgust!) It's not a great haul but should make for one bottle at least.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Antidote to Cute

I was going to wait until this was finished before showing it, but as I don't know when that will be due to serious work commitments, you can have a look at it so far.  I am loving this pattern!  The pouch in the belly that you pack his guts into just cracks me up - you can pull out his intenstines and on the end is his stomach.....  His gashed leg needs a bit more embellishment, and after that he needs arms and tattered clothing.  The white bits you can see are velcro strips so that you can tear your zombie apart should the need arise.

The lady that wrote this pattern is a genius, an absolute genius, and I am very grateful to her for providing me with such amusement in the gaps between knitting scarves and the like.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Aw...Why D'ya Go And Do That?

I'm supposed to be getting on with the huge workload I have on my plate at the moment...and I promise that I am, honestly...I knitted a large section of an alligator scarf last night, as well as the background to a piece for the animation....and this afternoon I promise I will be knitting the rest of the scarf and continuing the other thing...but when I have a spare minute, when I think I have done enough real work, there will be a knitted zombie slipped in while no-one's looking.........

Monday, 8 October 2012


Another thing to cross off my list.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Pulling Out All The Stops......

Let's face it, September was not a very good month for me but October is shaping up better so far.  After the year we've had as a family, holidays were pretty much the last thing on our minds, particularly as my partner had such a rough time after his heart attack, with serious side effects due to his medication.  However, with him feeling a whole lot better and the both of us needing to get away for a break, we've booked to go to Boston (yes, I know, again...)for a week.  We feel there is still plenty for us to see and explore  - we really want to discover what lies at the train station 'Wonderland' for one thing - plus it's familiar and easy for my daughter to get around.  We are already so excited - it's given all of us the boost we needed to lift us out of the doldrums.

As there are a few weeks before we go, I have decided to make a huge effort and try to clear my list of oustanding commissions.  Many people have been very kind and said 'whenever you can' but I would like to be able to go away in the knowledge that all my obligations have been fulfilled and come back to a clean slate.  This probably means knitting during every waking moment, but there are worse ways of spending time!  One such commission is a tiny knitted tea set - I'm about half way through that and it's looking good so far.
I have three more of these babies to make, in very garish colours.  I shot myself in the foot a bit here as the design is a lot more involved than previous mascot scarves so takes twice as long to knit.  The end result is hopefully worth it though.
I'm still plugging away knitting items for the animated film - most of them I can't show you as they would give away the secrets of a very original idea, but I think we are safe with a couple of chairs.

No painting commissions at the moment (if you are thinking of a portrait as a Christmas gift, better get in quick!) so if I have a moment, I plan some equine pictures from the slew of photos I took at the Paralympics - there is the local annual exhibition coming up and I have nothing to put in!

So they may have to wheel me out to the plane and throw me in, but at least I'll be going off happy!

Friday, 5 October 2012

And That's That!

This got finished today - hooray!  It is a very large canvas, involved a great deal of paint, a great deal of pain from my injured shoulder as I had to paint it on an easel rather than my usual stance of drawing board in the lap, and a fair amount of language entirely unsuitable from a lady.  I do not like copying another artist's work, I have serious problems with perspective on such things as chairs, and the more I worked on it the more mistakes in the original I uncovered and struggled to correct.  But never mind, it is for a friend of mine, it's what she wanted and I hope she likes the end result!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fetch a Magnifying Glass......

....because here it is!  If you want a living room just like Justine's, you can buy my painting.....
This is in Country Homes & Interiors, November edition. 

With a bit of luck, the current painting with the decking and the beach chairs will be finished today.  I'll be glad to see the back of it - the novelty has worn off as I discovered many of the artist's errors along the way and probably made a few of my own too.  Give me a horse or a dog to paint rather than chairs any day!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Don't Be A Mug....

I have a slight obsession with collecting unusual cups, mugs and glasses.  It's a bit of a family joke that if I were a millionaire, there would be a room in my house specifically for mugs - I find them irresistible.  These are my latest acquisitions - who doesn't need a cup and saucer in the style of a puffer fish? It holds a substantial amount of tea too.
And a ceramic crushed paper cup - I have no idea how or when I will use this, but it had to come home with me.  One day our house will implode from over-stuffing......

I noticed that September was not a very good blogging month at all.  That must be the least amount of posts I have ever put up in a month...but then it was a pretty rubbish month all round.  It finished badly too, with the discovery of a 3 inch hole rotted into the back of our (not that old) fan oven....yet more expense.  Creativity feels turgid too - I'm working on various projects for other people that are taking a long time and I can't show half of them.  Very frustrating when I have lots of my own ideas bubbling away but can't get around to putting them into action.  Maybe October will be better - I sure hope so!