I’ve not been on a beach holiday since I was a teenager. I’m so used to this wet British weather that when my boyfriend and I went to Portugal last week for a lovely holiday, I think I was in shock!
We stayed near Carvoeiro in a little holiday village with a gorgeous swimming pool and beaches really close by. Here are a few pictures from our little bit of paradise before autumn sets in.
The skies were a perfect blue all day and in the evening turned orange, pink and yellow like a watercolour.
We swam in the pool everyday and read books in the sun, drank iced coffees and in the afternoon went to the beach.
In Carvoeiro we saw these phone cabinets painted with different things and there were a lot of pottery shops next to food and drink places along towards the beach. I loved this frog!
Of course I took lots of pictures of the plants and flowers I saw and collected some shells from the different beaches. The sea was chilly but great to swim in. I also took some embroidery for the evenings and the plan journey.
It was the perfect holiday and I can’t wait to go back some time. This year has opened my eyes to the possibility of travelling and going to new places, something I’d not considered before. More adventures to come!
Since finishing my bird embroidery I have had more ideas for hoops and decided to go with experimenting. I made this cute sea monster dude and my boyfriend suggested he have a top hat! So why not? I like how he came out and I spray painted the hoop blue.
Golden Bird embroidery with flowers
Lurking sea thing
My next hoop was this sweet oval I found among my fabric stash, and thought this pink fabric would go well with a frosted cupcake. Especially as I’ve been baking so many recently! I don’t really do plans for my embroidery, I just sketch an idea onto the fabric and then look at reference pictures as I go. Not sure if that is what you are meant to do!
I added some seed beads to the syrup as sprinkles and I am so pleased with it, I love the cherry!
I wanted to do a different kind of nature themed project incorporating more mixed media in with my sculpture. While my love affair with the sea and all its creatures continues, I wanted to try something else for my new big piece. After finding a kidney shaped glass dish in Oxfam, I was inspired to make a pond.
Beginning the pond
I had all my materials and ideas but as usual I was procrastinating about starting my new project. I have a tendency to strive for perfection which stops me doing anything at all. I had been looking at Christi Friessen’s book Flourish which I bought a few weeks ago and I just love her approach to creating. Perfection be damned!
My tile for making+
Adding more beads
I decided to start of small and made some fish using a combination of orange colours and translucent. I was pleased with the way they came out, especially as they were my first try. I made my pond over about a week, starting on a weekend. I mixed browns, sand, translucent and grey together to get a marbled affect and started placing it in the dish, building up rocks around the side. I made more marbled colours with some lighter and some darker to add contrast between the rocks. I then began making reeds from green polymer clay, using a similar mixing technique to get a deep colour of green.
Adding the fish to their home
Preparing the resin
As I went along, I realised I was making more of a fantasy pond. The elements where exaggerated and stylised which is my favourite way of working and allows a kind of freedom to take something and change it. I added different beads to round-headed pins, twisted the ends with pliers and added them into the clay.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would have guessed I have a little obsession with the sea!
A few pictures from a day out at Chester Zoo. So any amazing animals but only managed to get a few good pictures. Must have walked for 5 hours, but the weather was good.
Leaf Cutter Ants!
Meerkat keeping guard while the others get fed!
This guy wasn’t sure whether to go inside!
Some pictures I took earlier today while it was warm and sunny. Summer is here in Manchester!
Coating with gesso
Pretty new adornments
What to use?!
Finished box with plastic cover
While the evil old creative rut crept up on me I decided to get a few items and start a new shadow box, as it had been quite a long time since my last one and I was falling out of love with my embroidery a bit.
Some things I used to make this box include:
- Tim Holtz heart charms
- Tim Holtz arrows adornments
- Tom Hotltz foundation feet & decorative corners
- Mini bottles
- fimo clay
- found items including metal charms, buttons and wooden adornments
- papers and die cut pieces
- fabric flowers and little mushroom bird
This was my first time using resin as I wanted the bottles to look like they were full of liquid. I loved making them, I filled one with tiny fimo bugs! My next project will be something with resin.
Here are few pictures as I made the box, it measures 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches which is super cute!
I seem to love butterflies! One thing I love about making things like this is gathering my different items and finding a way to combine them with my theme. Nature is a strong theme in my work now and I wanted the box to be quite light and uplifting. The items inside are also symbolic in a similar way to dreams, such as the key and the different bottles. The box came with a plastic front piece which I used, as dust getting in pieces like these is annoying and impossible to clean!
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While I have been busy the last few weeks, and I started trying my hand at shrink plastics, I’m still doing my embroidery and my recent project over the last two months has been beetles and bugs. I also did a bee! I got the idea after seeing some mini hoops in a craft shop and thought having them laid out like a curios cabinet would look cool!
And here are my first few beetles. I thought I would do a bigger one for variation as well. Doing these little hoops was fun and therapeutic.
I may be 31 but I feel like a kind in a sweet shop when I get new craft things to play with! And that is what I’ve been doing on my week off. I bought a mini toaster oven to make shrink plastic things and I love it. I’ve been experimenting as well as reading Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! to get ideas on size and how well different ideas lend themselves to plastic.
Some pictures from a mini adventure near mine
Well I have been obsessing over foxes the last few months and wanted to create a project based on one. This design was quite simple, as I was going to go for something more realistic. But I decided with the size of the hoop and the fox being the centre focus, that it should be colour and pattern that are more intricate and ornate.
My style is quite elaborate and I find that details really make a project pop which is why I added the detailing inside the fox. That was free hand and I gave myself the chance to just experiment with colours and pattern. I think it works well.
Materials & Stitches
This is my most recent embroidery project I’ve been working on for the last two weeks and I love how it has turned out. It is the biggest and most complex piece I have made so far. I love toucans and I also love decorative and fancy designs which I tried to capture here.
Tea cups and Bird
Finally hands free
Embroidering has become my newest craft obsession of late and I’ve been sketching ideas down before I begin them on the hoop. I’m really pleased with this bird and tea cup I’ve just finished – I made it for a friend and I know she will be delighted! I even covered the back with some felt to give it a nice finish.
I have’t posted for a while as I have been busy with this whale embroidery project I’ve been commissioned to do for a friend. She wanted a whale, like Moby Dick, flying and I had the idea of him being carried by balloons. I sketched into the fabric with a cool fabric pen that disappears after a few hours and actually did some shading at the front of his head before deciding I didn’t like it.
I added some swirls for a more textured look and to make it a little different. I guess it is similar to my art journaling style. This took me about ten hours to complete and he turned out so cute! I really liket his white thread as well. I have a lot of new embroidery ideas and hoping to get a hoop clamp this week so I will be able to do my embroidery with both hands free!
Some photos from my walk this morning…