Sunday, 6 September 2015

How does your garden grow?

Over on Crafts by Carolyn we have been talking "gardens!" To be more specific...SLATE and it was mentioned about our borders. I ended up looking back to some of the work we did in the garden back in 2011 (I think) not long after we put the fencing up. The top border was almost completely stripped back and nearly all we had was a few potted shrubs.

Below is a picture of the same border today and as you can see it has filled out quite a bit. Look at the change in the Dogwood, this really looked pretty last winter, the first year it's stems turned a beautiful shade of red. Fingers crossed for this winter too.

It's still be no means finished, but is a garden ever finished? I MUST take an up to date picture of our box tree......LOL my feeble attempt at topiary.

As I hung my washing out this morning I noticed these fungi growing alongside by palm and it is amazing how I see things in nature now I have started to Zentangle. I took some photographs a few weeks ago when we went away for our Anniversary. Hopefully I can share then soon, alongside my interpretation of them!!! LOL

Not sure what we are going to do with these, it's the best year we have had with them and Chris is now considering wine making!

Other borders are not quite so established as we have lost a few big plants leaving us with chunks of border to fill. We lost a lovely big Mahonia a few years ago so we decided to replace it, hopefully it will fill the gap, especially when some of the surrounding plants loose their leaves. 

This year we turned the old Belfast sink into a little herb garden and I have got some white gravel to help retain moisture as it's in quite a sunny spot. Once again, it's a work in progress, I stood our lavender in as a filler and I have left the chives and the mint in their own pots so that they don't take over. Next year I may take them out and replace with a few other herbs. Unfortunately little Brucie Boy has very recently started to take interest in it so I may need to move the chives sooner than planned.

Today I am needing to do a bit more concrete laying as it would be lovely to get it all finished while the weather holds out. I am getting quite obsesses about my pebble border, I feel I want to get the hoover out to clean it up and then varnish it so the colours in the stones can be seen better.

Here is a close up, again, by no means perfect but it's fun (and back-breaking) work and Brucie Boy can't dig it up like he does the slate that we still have around the edge of the patio.

(PS. I have wet the pebbles to show some of the colours better.)

Right, waffle over. Chris is already out in the garden and waiting to mix up the cement for me. I am going to put the kettle on first though.


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Christmas!!!!! EEEK!

I am NOT going to frighten myself........but I sat down this morning a flicked through the Lakeland Christmas Ideas book as I drank my tea!!!!!!! :

Now for a long as I can remember, I have never been prepared for Christmas, certainly not since having the children. This year I have no real work commitments so I actually stand a chance of being a bit more organised.

As well as hoping to make my Xmas cards this year, I have high hopes (or pie in the sky) ideas of making Christmas cakes, Gingerbread houses, truffles, decorations, gifts...........

If I can achieve even a few of my creative Christmas ideas I will be very happy. I think it is time for me to sit down and sort myself a few targets.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Pre-School Book Corner Re-vamp

Well another school year started. Jack is now in Year 12 and starting A Levels and Amelia is starting Year 9. It has been a long and difficult Summer Break this year, what with Chris starting a new job, not being able to get away as a family, lack of respite available for Amelia and my health.......the list could go on. I feel disappointed that the Summer has passed us by and that I have not done the things I had planned.

Hey ho, it's no good pondering over that now, it's too late to worry about what could have been. I know I need more in my life, I need a focus, a direction, a few goals.....but exactly what that means.....I do not yet know. I am going around in circles with my health but I have now been referred to the Rheumatology Department at the hospital. 

Shattered and full of aches and pains I should have spent my first few "child-free" days pampering myself but instead I offered my creative services (if you can call them that!) to the little Pre-school I used to work with. It has been something I have said about doing for many years whilst working there, and that is re-vamping the book corner.

Never done anything like this before and I was very limited with paint colours. On day 1 I only had one tin of blue and 1 tin of very pale I improvised and added a dash or two of the kiddies ready made, squirty paint to help add a bit of detail. Not great but as a first attempt I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

On one wall I did a daytime scene which spread around the corner and into night time.
I would have liked to have gone a lot darker with the night sky but was concerned about the paint mixes. By the time I got to mixing colours for the darker grass, I just decided to go for it and see!

Today I did a few details, the sun (which still needs another coat and perhaps a few sun rays) a few fluffy clouds, some faceless sheep (because paint was still wet to add details) and the most enjoyable part.......some glittery stars and a rather obscure looking moon. Oh yes and a few scattered flowers  dotted around too. 

I also painted the corner of the ceiling a cloud shaped blue with a few clouds and stars.

I'd like to think of it as a work in progress and would love to go back and add to it. Any ideas would be much appreciated. 

I am now crashed out on the sofa with a cup of coffee, a heat pad and a tube of gel for my back pain but with a little smile on my face. I do hope the children will like it when they arrive on Monday morning.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Paper mache meets Zentangle??????

Now several years ago, when Amelia was back in Infant School, part of a school project was to make an animal that was over 1 metre tall. She chose to make a giraffe but due to some of her delayed development and sensory issues, it was me that ended up doing most of the work.

(it was funny looking back at these especially as Jack turns 16 today!)

Amelia called him "Hula Hoop" which were one of her favourite treats at the time and over the years he has been moved around the house and garden. A couple of years ago, after decorating our dining room I felt that I would like to give Hula Hoop a bit of a re-vamp. Now this never happened, and it may never ever happen as there will always be other things that will be put first. lets face it, when I can prioritise decorating a 5ft paper mache giraffe, my life will need to be pretty relaxed.

I did have visions of tidying up a few places, reinforcing here and there, giving him some better eyes and eyelashes, possibly decoupaging him in wacky colours (well wacky colours for a giraffe!) and giving him a pretty beaded mane and tail.............pie in the sky? Maybe but who knows.

Recently old Hula Hoop was moved out into the garden where we have been trying to tidy up and make a little covered seating area. Work is still in progress and I still have a little list of crafty ideas to try. But, here is Hula Hoop in situ on the patio.

Out of the blue the other day, Amelia was cuddled up on the sofa next to me, she turned and asked "Mummy, are you going to Zentangle Hula Hoop?"

WOW, now that wouldn't that be a great idea!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, 28 August 2015

Yeah, Day 11 Zentangle complete.

Well, I've finished. Not 100% sure of it, especially about the white spaces, but over all I am quite pleased considering I threw myself out of my depth with this, my first A5 piece of work.

Here is the piece before shading.


And a few comparisons.

Ok, it's not perfect. I have a lot to learn
It's funny how I seem to have changed. On the first few days I was more comfortable about the Tangle Patterns and unsure of the shading but now, when it comes down to actually using creativity, my confidence flies out the window .......but I feel happier with my shading!

I am looking forward to moving on to day 12 on a more positive note. 

Thank you for looking.

See you soon,


Still working on Day 11, One Zentangle a Day

Now yesterday I was just about ready to throw my Zentangle Book into the hidden depths of my craft room but I am glad to say I stuck with it. As unsure as I am, I just went with it, not sure of how it "flows" or what artistic composition it has as I know nothing about those. I was also unsure of the big white space I'd left! Should I have filled it in? If so with what pattern? 

I bit the bullet and left the space, if it doesn't work I will take a "so what" attitiude and try to learn from the experience.

I MUST remember that this whole journey should be enjoyable and relaxing and not have me ready to cast off my feeble attempt by Day 11. Get a grip Adele!!!! LOL

I am actually looking forward to shading this now.

Onwards and upwards!


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Day 11 Zentangle. Auras and Rounding!

Oh my, feeling more and more out of my depth here but I will continue plodding along in the hope that practice will make perfect better!

In my utter stupidity, rather than sticking to something I would have been more "comfortable" with to help my confidence I have thrown myself, head first into some mad mixture of Tangle patterns on an A5 sheet! Considering all but one of my practice attempts have only been approximately 2 inch squares, I was immediately out of the tiny comfort zone I have.

Not sure where this is going (apart from in the bin!) but I will attempt to do some more today in the hope that a bit of shading with help "bring it all together!"

One thing I have discovered  is that I love using FLUX!

....and I have a regret making my attempt at MOOKA so big! LOL

I feel mine is going to be less of a learning curve and more of a learning spiral or roller coaster.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

One Zentangle a Day, Day 10

Yes, I know, I skipped a page! I didn't have everything I needed for Day 9 so I went straight on to Day 10! Sorry!

Now I know I am not a confident person, especially when it comes to doing something out of my comfort zone (not sure I actually have one of those any more!) but once again I found these quite daunting and I am very critical of my work. I did the designs quite quickly, one after the other and I don't think I put the care and attention into them as I would have liked, but Amelia was bouncing around the room on the Wii and getting stressed out and puppy Bruce was having one of his mad moments....chasing his tail, attacking cushions, pulling throws off of the sofa.......puppy madness in general. It was absolutely pouring down with rain and looking back although my heart was into it perhaps my head wasn't.

I do feel however, it came out quite natural, messy but perhaps more relaxed in some ways.

Now I had up to this point been blending with my finger, and using an eraser to rub out small areas I wanted to highlight. BUT I braved the chaos of my craft room, clambered over boxes and furniture  that were dumped in there as we are sorting Jack's room, and recovered my box of Prismacolor Pencils, half a bottle of Sansodor  and some tortillions. Now these haven't seen the light of day since my Copic craze began several years ago!

I used a tortillion to shade on these Tangle patterns and I took the leap into the unknown and TRIED some colour work. Really not happy with the results and I am surprised as I loved the look of these tangles!

Perhaps I made too many changes to my "normal" way of working.

Today has been a rather busy, stressful day but fingers crossed, this afternoon I can move on to the next page, Day 11 in an attempt to stay positive.