Tag Archives: cat

Learning to Spin

18 Jul

On my journey of learning crochet, pattern writing and the world of wool I came across spinning your own. It looked relaxing and something that would be fun to do on the nights where I had some spare time to relax and watch some tv.

My hands don’t like to stop moving so spinning and tv watching looked perfect. Plus I would have something productive at the end.

As with most new skills I have learnt, they have come through trial, error, and a shed load of youtube how to videos. So spindle in hand I set forth into the world of spinning.

The glossary of terms can seem daunting at first, with roving and fibres and which way round the long and short hairs go.

My first attempt I sat down and got to it, excited to be doing something new. My wool broke, I reattached it. I spun too tight and I spun too loose. I made it two ply and again I over spun, underspun went clockwise instead of anti clockwise and then I then set the wool in water without using a soaping agent.

When dry I used some turmeric and white vinegar mixed with water to dye this wool and again set it to dry.

wool5

The end result? Well it is wool. It stayed in one piece and it gave me hope for what practice would result in! plus with the amount I had, I made a fancy new coat for my cat!

wool4

All this taught me that although you can learn a hell of a lot from youtube and the internet, there is no substitute for hands on practice from experienced people.

That’s what lead me to find http://www.esgwsd.org.uk/ – East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I arrived as a guest with my three month old strapped to my chest to a community hall and on very first impressions I admit I texted my husband to come back as I would  not be staying long.

How wrong could I have been? Instantly I had offers of help and friendly conversation. I was introduced around and left in the hands of a lovely lady called Sandy – Part of me thinks she might be a bit of a rebel in the group, she was impressed I was so happy to breastfeed in public and wished people would have been so accepting when she were younger, we got told off for chatting too loudly during a show and tell section and best of all, she taught us how to ply wool, how to use a spinning wheel and offered to have me and another lady round to hers to learn for another day. Nothing was too much for her offering help. Even to borrow a spinning wheel for half a year. It is rare that you find such a group of genuine people who share a love of a craft and want to share that love, not covet it and keep it as a “Just us” group.

Another lady was more than happy to sit with my son and hold him whilst I tried out the wheel which was a massive help! What turned into expecting to stay for ten mins turned into staying until the end of the day.

I returned home with a renewed confidence knowing that the fourth attempt I had taken with me to show, was spun nicely and was a huge improvement. If I can improve that much in only three attempts, I am excited for what I can produce going forward!

And my wool that I took to show? This is how it turned out. I think it is due to make a nice basket to hold projects on the go in.

ghh

So don’t be afraid to look into local groups or knitting groups, if they aren’t a welcoming bunch then I don’t think they can call themselves wool lovers!

 

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Painting Skills

4 Sep

Wow I have realised just how long it has been since I properly picked up a paint brush and created a full finished piece. It was a big learning experience to know that there are a lot of forgotten skills that I will need to relearn but have plenty of time to do so. This painting marks the first piece in my own show next year of drawings and scarily paintings.

I think the shows focus will be around nature and animals but with a twist to make them comical but any that I don’t think fit the overall feel of where I head with it will be up for sale early. There are always surprise originals in my etsy shop. Forgive the photography as the actual pieces are better than the photos as I can never get my head around photography it seems more a science than an art to me.

A small sneak peak of the final A3 piece.

cat1

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BexWArt?ref=hdr_shop_menu

New card game

22 Jan

I am having a busy maternity leave and using the time well to design a card game idea I had based on cats and world domination for 2+ players.

First stage was to draft out paper cards and rules and have a play through with the husband to see if the basic rules and game play actually worked. We managed to have a good game, I somehow lost which I don’t see is at all fair for my own game! And so it moved onto a bit of cleaning up of the rules and creating some sturdier playing cards to be able to get some friends to play test the game.

So now I am spending my days designing the cards so that a bit more fun can be had rather than basic cards.

Now I am at the stage of will the baby come before I have finished the remaining 100 or will I get these cards finished to have some play tests ready for the next stages at some point in the coming months and start to build up some hype for the game!

So yes! Domesticats is the name, world domination is the aim!

card 6 Card 12 Game cards 1 Game cards 3 Game cards 7 World Piece 1 World Piece 7

New drawings and a broken car

26 Sep

I had a surprise day off yesterday to wait for our car to be returned after we found out during a service one of the brake pads had completely gone. Instead of moping on how much it cost to fix the bugger I got onto ordering a new radiator and door for delivery the same day to make the most of a day off work.

Everything, for once, actually arrived at a decently early time and I was able to do some work for actual work, get some bits from the shop for making peanut butter cups and then settle down with the cat asleep on a fresh pile of laundry to get to work on two new drawings.

I am still on the cat track of tea stained paper and majestic cats for my craft fair. They will all be up for sale at £18 framed.

Here are the two newest additions

cat5cat4

There are still a few more I want to get drawn before I move onto some other ideas including some beer bottle tops with mini paintings on the inside of snow landscapes and Christmas themes.

Long time no sound

22 Sep

It has been a while since I have found some time to post a new blog about anything. That’s not to say nothing has been happening!

1. I’ve now had my 20 week scan and found out we are most likely having a girl 🙂 But that’s it for new exciting things we get to find out until we meet her in Jan/February next year.

2. I realised I have an extra month to prepare for my first craft fair. I had been panicking as I have been so tired and found no time to do any new work for it between preparing the house for new baby, work and the commute, and sleeping.

3. I am now back up to date for now and have a few new pieces finally created! I love these guys and hope to have a little army of them ready for December along with a few other bits and bobs.

cat 2cat 1cat 3

Aside

Strange Love

3 Jun

I wanted to draw some ghost cows but they just didn’t look right. So instead I decided to draw a puppy and kitten skeleton based creation and then added a glowing heart. Because why not? Underneath it all things really can be simple.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/191726881/strange-love-dog-and-cat-skeleton-heart? Image

What would you take?

27 May

 

I am back! I have my pretty new laptop, my drawing programmes all downloaded again, my drawing tablet – old and decrepit as it is after buying for some £40 5 years ago was just plug in and go…did’t need a disk or anything. Score!

 

So I was thinking about all these Zombie world ending possibilities and the fact that the topic of “what is your zombie survival plan” comes up a lot of times when in the pub, spending an evening drinking cold beverages certain in ourselves that we could outrun the zombies despite being out of breath going up a flight of stairs.

 

I also began to think that when push comes to shove I would probably not pick the items that are most productive to ensuring my survival. I would be like those people escaping natural disasters where speed is of essence and half way down the road dump their sofa and embroidered silk face towels but refusing to dump my 9 season VHS collection of 24 because they are full of survival tips I can learn from Jack Bower, despite forgetting to bring the VHS player which I don’t own because who has those any more?

 

So here is my very helpful, totally not useless list of things for Maximum Zombie survival…but please, if you do succumb to them please don’t come as an angry zombie to reek terrible vengeance upon me. Chances are I’m already one of you. 

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Prints available!