Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Third Clanger

This little Clanger is all done, ready for his trip across the Atlantic - funny how all the Clangers I've made have gone to the USA.  As I make each one, I learn how to do them better - the waistcoat on this one is made with double layers of felt, which gives it a bit more stability, and I have punched holes in it for the leather thonging to pass through.
The actual knitting of these takes less time than the assembly - there is a lot of fiddling around with feet, fingers and of course the waistcoat.  Fun though, and it's hard not to make the sound effects as the Clanger takes shape...boop-boop-beep-boop...
Inbetween paid work, I'm knitting myself a triangular scarf in this navy & white self-striping yarn.  I didn't read the description properly when I bought this as I was so excited at having found the striping yarn I was after, and it is actually aran weight which makes it a bit chunky - I had planned on making socks.  I know there is self-striping sock yarn in this colourway somewhere out there, I just can't find it - any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Today's challenge - a knitted barbeque & all that goes with it.  Almost there, just figuring out the twiddly bits!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sun & Sunflowers

I do love the summer, but it is quite detrimental to me getting any work done. The pull of the outdoors is very strong, especially this year when there are no builders next door, the weather is good and everything in the garden really is lovely!

So there has not been much painting going on, something that I feel bad about and yesterday decided to  kick start myself back into action.  These sunflowers are in a vase but I transported them out into the garden and painted outside.  I used watercolours on a piece of Yupo paper - Yupo paper is very strange stuff.  It is incredibly thin, made of plastic and completely non-absorbent.  Which means the paint does not behave in a way I am used to!  Even with the warm weather, it took a long time to dry and initially I was fairly annoyed at  my choice of medium.  Then I discovered that I could use the watercolours thickly and push the paint around as if it was acrylics or oils.  So this made my style of painting change radically, and I ended up having a lot of fun with it - as well as painting very fast in order to finish it before having to feed the troops!

I'm not sure this is a way I would choose to work on a regular basis, but it did get a brush in my hand and something down on paper.

Currently on the needles: another Clanger, some very weird stuff for Nudinits, and still slogging away at a summer top for myself. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

A Very Small Dog....

 Here is the completed dog set, all knitted on 1.5 mm needles.  It took a little while to get used to working that small, but once mastered, it was not too bad.
 The dog is 3 inches tall and three inches long.  He has wool jointed legs so is poseable, and I do have a vast collection of tiny safety backed eyes, so that wasn't a problem.
 I quite like how small this is - I think there will be more to come in different yarns, although I am not sure a fluffy yarn would be so easy to work with in miniature.  One way to find out!
He is now for sale in my Etsy shop - come on, I am sure you need a pocket dog!

Also on the needles...ice cream!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Copyright Infringement - result!

Just learned the offending website has been taken down - don't try the link any more, apparently it now goes to a porn virus site.

This shows that if enough people complain to the right authorities, something does get done. Let's hope it stays down.


 I wanted to see what happened when I knitted this pattern using the 1.5mm needles.  I had to use very fine baby yarn for it to work, but although this was fiddly, it came out rather well.
 He now needs the usual accessories - but of course, they have to be knitted in thing wool on fine needles too...sigh...
However, it will be worth it - who doesn't want a dog that fits in their pocket!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Copyright Infringement & Theft

I have learned this weekend that an online company are selling images of my paintings for printing as posters.  They have not had my permission in any shape or form to do this, I am not getting paid for my hard work and to add insult to injury, their prices are laughably low!  I will be reporting them to Action Fraud. 
Unfortunately, there is not much else I can do except re-iterate that if you buy from these people, you too are participating in copyright theft and  breaking the law.  As it says at the top of this blog, my work is not for use without my permission.  I work damn hard on each and every painting and am by no means getting rich from doing what I love - to see someone else making money from my efforts is sickening.  I guess this is the price we pay for having the internet, but that doesn't make it right.

Friday, 10 July 2015


Just finished making this Clanger, now he's ready for his long journey across the pond to Virginia.
I used the original 1972 pattern for this, which is actually a bit tricky to decipher in places - just telling me to make fingers is not very helpful!
However, I have made one of these before, plus have plenty of picture references to look at on the internet now that the BBC have made a new series.
If you'd like a Clanger knitted for you, please just ask!

Working Fast...

 This is a 45 minute watercolour of a vase & bottle that I did during my lesson with a student yesterday.  I must confess I found it as hard as he did, but I do believe that if a child sees an adult struggling with something as well, they will feel better about their own work.  It's demoralising for anyone to try their hardest and then see someone else do the same thing with little to no effort, especially children who find it hard to understand that I have been painting for nearly fifty years more than they have!  I'm pleased with my finished little painting - it gives my brain a workout too.
I'm in the middle of making a Clanger to go to the USA.  Fiddly things to assemble, the pattern is the old 1972 version and is sketchy to say the least!  This one needs some hands, feet and a tunic, then he's good to go.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Happy Birthday Old Man!

Today Clovis is 13 years old - I still think of him as a daft puppy, getting into trouble and charging around like a loon.  He still charges around like a loon,, just at a slower pace - only yesterday morning he gave a rabbit a run for it's money and had a frolic with his favourite girlfriend.
He's already had half a cupcake and some specially made fresh chicken & rice slop with his breakfast - yes I spoil him, but he's definitely worth it!
Although we live in the UK where it's not known for tropical heat (despite what the press say!) I was able to pick enough vine leaves yesterday to make dolmades. Delicious!

Fresh Start...

 I finally completed this baby blanket last night and now it is drying outside inthe sunshine after having a bit of a wash.  That was a very hot job with the summer temperatures we had last week!  That was the last of the commissions from June - new things to make this week, some characters to design for prospective animations and a Clanger to knit.  I think I also managed to get a pet portrait commission yesterday while strolling around the local dog show!
This bloomed in our living room over the weekend - the hibiscus is cerainly enjoying the hot temperatures we have had!

Friday, 3 July 2015


All done, completed today in Derwent Drawing Pencils on pastel paper. 

I'm now free for commission!

Ready To Go!

Finished these at 11 last night, just making the deadline for postage today.  So relieved and I know which yarn supplier I won't rely on in a pinch next time.  Love Knitting saved my bacon by delivering in under 24 hours - this is the kind of thing that gets remembered for future orders.

Funny how I'm crocheting the things that terrify me - real geckos have me screaming and running for the hills.  I discovered that when living in Greece - I'm not usually a girly screamer at anything but they had me petrified, who knows why.  At least the crochet ones won't scamper around the bedroom celing or shed their tails when confronted....*shudder*...

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Nearly There....

Despite the pretty bad reference photographs I was given (people never take pictures of their pets from their level, it's always from above!) this double portrait has gone surprisingly well.  I think I have done so many pet portraits using Derwent Drawing Pencils that they come very naturally now.  I'm having to use a fair bit of white acrylic on the cat in the foreground though - white pencil is always too insipid for this kind of work.  I think one more session will see this one finished.
Despite the heat, I have been manfully ploughing on with this commission - let's face it, you don't do the work, you don't get paid!  It is a chunky baby blanket knitted in a reversible cable pattern using washable pure new wool.  A beautiful yarn, very soft and great stitch definition.  I only have another few inches to go - thank goodness today is cooler, I had to give up last night before expiring of heatstroke!
I'm also crocheting a set of geckos but have come to a grinding halt due to being let down by a large yarn supplier.  Under normal circumstances, a couple of days delay would not be a problem but I need to have these done by the weekend - fingers crossed the other supplier I went to will come through as their parcel has already been despatched.
And when I get a minute or two spare, I'm working on this summer top for myself in a luscious deep teal cotton yarn.  It has an asymmetrical hemline with a lace border, but for the time being I am knitting the main part of the body in the round.  Thankfully it seems to be a fairly quick knit, unlike the other summer top I have on the go which has been put on the back burner due to commissioned work and the fact I felt the will to live slowly slipping away!  I will get back to it, honest.
Meanwhile, everything in the garden is on the verge of producing.  We've had a few bits and pieces - strawberries, new potatoes, chard, but there is plenty more to come.  Getting impatient now!
Finally, a few months ago I bought some coloured tin planters similar to the above for what now appears to be a vastly inflated price.  I found these little beauties in a shop called Tiger yesterday for £2 a piece.  I'm sure I can find something to fill them....