Friday, 10 February 2017

Rhino Winter Project WIP


Hello lovely peeps. Today is a good day. It is Friday, it's sunny, I have a vase full of flowers my husband surprised me with and I have made progress on my Rhino. Whoop!


Here he is.


Do you make softies or soft sculptures? I really enjoy the slow process of sewing something by hand. Just focusing on making each individual stitch, going slow and enjoying every moment.


The most magical part of sewing a softie is making the face. That's when they come alive. They change from a few pieces of fabric and thread into a little animal with a personality. This rhino 'came alive' when his ears were sewn on above his eyes. Then he really looked like a rhino.


He isn't quite finished yet, as you can see in this rather undignified photo. He still needs feet, which are just little circles of felt sewn to close up his legs.

I've stuffed and re-stuffed this rhino a few times. His legs are particularly troublesome. He's a rhino which, of course, are natures tanks. So I want him to look strong but not too bulky. The nice thing about the wool felt I'm using is that it stretches and forms ever so slightly with the stuffing, which means I can make him look like he's got strong muscles under his 'skin'. I don't think I'm quite there yet. I'll un-stuff and re-stuff a bit more until I get it the way I like.


To finish I'd like to embellish him to make him a bit whimsical. I'm thinking embroidery or adding some 3D elements out of polymer clay to make him all the more sculptural. Maybe something that makes him look like a mountain? Or just some nice swirly or floral patterns? I'll wait until he's all sewn up to decide.

I'm linking up with Jennifer's Winter Projects link party at Thistlebear. There are always lots of fun and inspiring projects that people share over there so I encourage you to go have a look at what people are up to.

Have a lovely weekend

                                                                     *B*

Friday, 3 February 2017

Simple Pleasures

There's something about the grey days of winter that makes colours seem so much more vivid. I suppose it's the same thing that makes chocolate taste so much better when you're really hungry (Have you noticed that?).


I decided to bring some colour and a bit of spring into the home with a potted hyacinth. I meant to do this at the start of winter but didn't get round to it until now. It sits, growing slowly on a colourful crochet doily. I can't wait to see the little flowers come out. Hyacinths smell so good when they bloom.

I love the burst of colour it's added to our living room already. The freshness of the green leaves and moss and the lavender coloured glass jar has cheered up it's shelf beautifully.


The sun was shining on the hyacinth this morning and, playing with the colours, made it look even prettier. I've tried to capture it in the photos but they don't do it justice.

My craving for colour today lead me to my sketchbooks. I used to paint and draw a lot but have got out of the habit. I cleared my desk to make space and got a few supplies out. Before I show you my colour play let me show you another simple pleasure.


This is my hedgehog. He is a clothes brush that I have owned since primary school. I love him. Of course a clothes brush doesn't need to have a face to be functional but does it make me smile? Yep. Every time.

I needed him today to brush my table down after sewing with some purple fluffy fabric. My table was covered in it! Here's what hedgey picked up. So much purple fluff.


When I paint I have a very free and expressive style. I love to see the interplay of colour. Here's what I did today. A quick sketch brought out with some brusho, which is a type of powdered paint/dye. My favourite way to use brusho is to wet the paper and sprinkle a tiny amount on and watch how the colours mingle with each other. The sketch is pretty bad but I love the colour.


Look at the effect it's made. It's little things like this that I love. 😊


My plan was to ink the sketch and then add a layer of colour over that, maybe in paint then pastel, but I love the colour and pattern in the brusho so much I don't want to take away from it. The problem with working in layers is having to be patient and wait for each layer to dry before adding the next one. I have another page waiting to dry so I can add the next layer. I love painting and really miss it. The drawing below, I did some time ago, has five layers but mostly dry layers so, no waiting around.

Another simple pleasure is looking through old sketchbooks.

This photo looks really cluttered because this sketchbook is made of lots of off cuts of paper
Another simple pleasure I indulged in today was a pot of delicious mango oolong tea. This one is made with roses and chrysanthemum. I love this little Japanese teapot and cup. It is impossible to feel any stress or anxiety at all when drinking a lovely tea freshly poured from this teapot.

I'm sorry the tea is out of focus, I was relying auto focus which is a bit rubbish
So they are the 5 simple pleasures I have indulged in today. I hope you have a nice weekend ahead filled with lots of simple pleasures too.  I have made some progress on a hand sewn rhino softie and I hope to have that to show you soon. Take care.

                                                                      *B*