Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Etsy Treasury Featuring: Yellow Mellow Flower Garland

The Etsy Treasury West is currently featuring my Yellow Mellow flower garland.

Check out the treasury here. Thanks Ginny!

Oooh! Check out Ginny's shop on Etsy, fabulous felt brooches!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moebius Shawl

Here's the Moebius Shawl I made last week. It was a fairly quick knit although the first row was quite difficult.

The pattern is by Cat Bordhi and one of her free patterns.

The shawl is knitted in one piece with a half twist and no seams. It's a bit like knitting an Escher painting. Here's some info on the Moebius strip.

I don't think I would have been able to knit it without this helpful video by Cat Bordhi on YouTube. Once started, it's quite easy... as long as you don't think about how you are knitting this. LOL

Here's a picture showing the shawl in detail (natural light). The shawl is knitted from the centre and just grows from there (don't ask me how, can't get my head around it).

And here's another picture with flashlight showing off the gorgeous colours and texture of the FleeceArtist Merino yarn in the colourway Paris.

The yarn used in the original pattern is a much heavier weight than this so I doubled up the number of stitches and rows which worked really well. I also changed the border of the shawl to a picot edge.

MagpieMagic Featuring Skunkboy Creatures

Below is Ben's belated birthday Narwhal from the lovely Katie of Skunkboy Creatures. Ben only told me the day before his birthday that he'd really like the Narwal or I'd have ordered it in time. However, it arrived very quickly and is the cutest thing ever. He is very pleased with it. :-)

He's all handmade and handstitched with a lovable smile.

... and his lovely stripey horn.

Narwhals are REAL creatures although they look like they're from some fairy tale. Unicorns of the sea....

And since I was ordering already I treated myself to this cute snail.

How could I (or anyone for that matter) resist this sweet shy little smile?

Katie's Etsy shop is closed this week, but check it out next week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pattern Mania

I love making patterns and it's something I do a lot, whenever I have a minute, really. I use them as they are or to create the highly textured backgrounds in my paintings. Check out the Origami Dress and you might spot some of the patterns. :-)

Some of them are black and white so I can layer them over colour or use them as a texture for painting my backgrounds, others are coloured.

I've decided to make some 'packs' of PDF patterns available to 'crafty' people to use in scrap booking and greeting card making. They'll be available from my Etsy shop as and when I finish a pack.

There will be highly ornamental packages with patterns like the Art Nouveau spiral below:

Patterns inspired by a country or particular theme, like a Japanese pack that will include patterns like the butterflies and flowers below:

A 'Grunge' pack with textured backgrounds like the two below:

A Gothic pack with things like gargoyles and thorny spirals:

The gargoyles below can be turned upside down for a different effect:

Fossils and other interesting textures and patterns from Nature:

Art Deco pack:

An Oriental themed pack with cherry blossoms, peonies, fans and so on.

Fun packs with cute toys and things that little ones like:

In the colour packs the colours will be coordinated. In the black & white packs different opacities of the pattern and sizes will be provided. Some special packs will include colour and black and white. You will be able to chose A4 or Letter size packs and I will also offer custom packs where you can choose packs with various patterns.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you an e-mail when the patterns are ready.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Plume Moth

This is a plume moth that took shelter on my backdoor during the thunderstorm last week.

The pictures aren't brilliant as they were taken at night with a flash and the light of the flash reflecting off the glass in the door. However, I just loved the shape and textures of the moth and wanted to share.

Check out some more pictures of plume moths here and here. I think one of these will make it into one of my paintings sometime soon....

Rodney Le Chat

Here are some pictures of one of our cats - Rodney - named after Rodney in Only Fools and Horses.

Rodney is a very sweet docile cat. All he does is purr, eat and sleep, but he's cute and much loved.
... and he's very soft and loves sleeping on the garden bench in the sun shine. :-)

Almost Done: Bluebells and Roses Shrug

Here's the shrug, finally, almost done. Note, it hasn't been blocked yet.

Unfortunately, it doesn't fit because I changed the yarn from the previous shrug and this one isn't quite as loose when knit. :-( Sniff. I really, really love it, especially the colour, but it will go into my Etsy shop to make someone else happy.

Here are the sleeves in more detail - I shaped them like bluebells and I love the little points and the way they make the shrug into something really special. The shrug still needs blocking to ensure the sleeves fall into perfect bluebell shapes.

Here are the three rose brooches. Each brooch is different and has been embellished with a little lace (some of it vintage with a teeny bit of aged staining).

The brooches make the shrug really versatile as they can be worn in a variety of ways, here are just some:

- wear them in a clump like shown,
- leave them off and make it into an every day shrug,
- wear one on each sleeve and the third on the collar or bow,
- wear them in a clump at the lower back or arranged on the bow.

The shrug would be perfect worn with a pair of jeans or with a wedding gown. It's been designed to be as versatile as possible. :-)

The yarn is handpainted and varies from an almost (pale) cornflower blue to turquoise to pale aqua green to silvery white. The 'overall' colour impression works with a variety of other colours - from a white wedding dress to a brown evening gown to a pair of jeans to a wine red or dark green dress.

Look out for it in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Progress: Icy Shrug

This is what I've been working on when the mermaid shawl got too much. The shawl is very fiddly to do and sometimes I just need some time to think about what I'll do next or how things fit together (it is a bit like a jigsaw).

The shrug is knitted in the same way as the Smolder shrug, but with a few little changes to ensure a better fit (the red shrug is a little looser).

It's not quite finished - hence the stitch holders - because I ran out of yarn. Well, not quite, but I did not have enough to make the bell shaped sleeves I want for this. I'd like to wear it in Summer and Winter, and thought 3/4 length sleeves are therefore better and look prettier with this colour.

I ordered my yarn last week and unfortunately it wasn't in stock - BUT credit to Nicola at YarnBox she ordered it away and it arrived today - one day earlier than expected. :-)

Here you can see the beautiful yarn (Louisa Harding, Grace Handpainted in shade 02, aqua) in detail - I've used a seed stich for the tie:

And here is the plain stotcking stitch:

The yarn is absolutely wonderful to knit with. It has a well defined stitch pattern and the colour variation is well done and there's no pooling. It's half silk, half merino and light and very soft with a beautiful soft sheen. Perfect! I can only recommend it.

The shrug will also have some removable flower brooches (3 altogether) which I can use to dress it up or down. I can't wait for it to be finished as it's just so lovely.... :-)

Progress report: Mermaid Shawl Part 3

Here's the next installment of the mermaid shawl:

And here's a detail image of the anemones:

I took more images but the morning sunlight reflected too much off some of the metallic threads and the photos looked blurred. So more details with the next installment.

The shawl is between a third and half done. As you can see it's wider in some parts than others which means it flows and drapes nicely.

I have so far included:

acetate floss in turquoise
metallic thread in peacock blue
hand dyed bamboo in shades of jade green
Rowan kidsilk in medici blue
handpainted kidsilk in shades of turquoise and blue
opalescent glitter thread
furry thread
hemp in blue and green
lurex in black and turquoise mix
silver white fuzzy novelty yarn
sequins (shells and spirals)
beads (various Magatama and Miyuki beads, seed beads, glass pearls)

The design choices I make are based on the story of the little mermaid by Andersen. I thought that she might be homesick and this shawl should be something that reminds her of the life she left behind. Hence, anemones, starfish, shells and sea snails, blues, greens, waves and nets.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


My latest painting. took a while to complete, partly because it is close to my heart, partly because of the break-down of my computer.

The painting is the second in a series of paintings, all inspired (loosely) by the poem 'Hollow Men' by T.S. Eliot. It's one of my favourite poems and I love the imagery in T.S. Eliot's poetry. I've seen a documentary about his life and work recently and it made me want to paint this.

I have slightly modified the first painting in the series with a new technique to frame my paintings, therefore here it is again:

Panier Avec L'Oiseau


Here is the new painting where the original caged bird is joined by a raven.

The raven is a very spiritual bird and I've always found it interesting; be it in Edgar Allen Poe's poem 'The Raven' or in mythology the raven is a fascinating creature.

Here is a close-up of the bindweed:

And here is a close-up of the two birds' faces. I am particularly pleased with their eyes and expressions.

There will be two more paintings in this series, one I've already started, the other is still in the planning stage.


Once all four are done, I am considering to have them professionally printed and will offer them together with some of my dress designs in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Origami Dress

Maybe a bit mad but it needed to be done. :-)

Origami Dress

I am so in love with this dress, and I even thought about if it could be done, but the fact is, I might be okay with a crochet hook, knitting needle and a paint brush... but sewing needles are just not me. Anyway, this is a dress for the red carpet at the Oscars not for every day or even a special day...

Each layer of fabric has been designed around an origami fold (looseley), like the Kanzashi flower which is often used in Japanese accessories.

Each and every pattern was made by me and layered over the 'fabric' to create the damasque effect.

The shoes are based on a popular Japanese design and look a bit like the Geta sandals.

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