Friday, December 30, 2011

DIY Cushions

My Family bought me a sewing machine for Christmas!! I don't mean the confusion of farmyard animals illustrated here, my other family (I have two, my life's awesome like that) ;)

Soooooo I had to break it in (the sewing machine, not my family). The sitting room cushions needed replacing so that was job one!

Here are the befores

And here are the afters!!

I still need to finish the bolster cushions for this couch. I'll do my best to post my progress!

What happened to the fabric I took off the other cushion I hear you ask?!

I dyed it! :)

I'm still in the process of figuring out exactly what to do with it but if I come up with anything good I'll post it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 25 - 30!!!

Hello all!! I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!! If you don't celebrate Christmas I hope u had a lovely weekend ;)

I'm about to post the final drawings from the challenge (it officially ended yesterday). So here we go!

Day 25 was scenery. My apologies for the slightly crumpled nature of this drawing. Biro and water colour tend to have that effect on paper. 

In case you were wondering, this is the view from one of the many glorious windows in my bedroom :)

 I had no trouble at all thinking of something I don't like for day 26.

I would go so far as to say that I despise mosquitoes. I'm constantly irritated by them and I'm yet to discover what role they play in our ecosystem that is so important that they just can't die already!!
I think I should be able to wear shorts around my house without fear of having my legs bitten to shit and then having to spend the rest of the day stinking of aloe vera. I feel it is also my right to go to bed without covering my entire body with repellent only to wake up and find i've been bitten on my eyelid because, silly me, I forgot to smear a big dollop of cream there!! grrrr!!!!

OK, calm is returning.......mosquitoes, u suck. On to better things. Here's a picture of someone I love for day 27.

I think you'd be surprised by how accurate this is! My boyfriend did just point out that he doesn't have quite as impressive a neck beard as this guy seems to have. I did try to explain that the absence of neck means that his beard has mingled with the hair at the back of his head but there's just no pleasing some people!

Anyway, on day 28 I was supposed to be drawing anything I'd like which was a refreshing change. Day 28 was Christmas eve so I decided to draw a Christmas tree!

 Day 29's challenge was to draw somewhere I'd like to go. I'd really like to go to peru to see Machu Picchu (and also pick up some new pyjamas). Here's my shocking attempt at capturing it.

From what I can tell it's really beautiful when I'm not left to draw it.

That brings us to the final day of the drawing challenge, day 30! Here's my congratulatory banner for finishing the challenge :)
To be honest I'm pretty glad to see the back of this drawing challenge business. There's a few things I've discovered in the last month. Firstly it's really hard to draw something good every day, secondly it's a really bad idea to attempt this over Christmas (or any time that's likely to be busy for that matter). And thirdly, Crayola don't make enough varied colouring pens. It's no wonder children draw such God awful pictures!

Friday, December 23, 2011

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 17 - 24

Once again I'm waaaaaaaaay behind posting my drawing challenges. Ironically I lost my inspiration shortly after drawing it on day 16 and couldn't think of anything to draw on day 17! Luckily I've been designing some fabric for a curtain in the living room and it just so happened to have leaves on it. So from now on my favourite plant will be a Breadfruit tree!

I don't know if the challenges are getting harder or if I'm getting lazier but something about the subjects after day 15 has me stumped.
Having said that, day 18 was probably the easiest so far! Here's my doodle,

It would have been a lot easier to come up with something to draw for 19 after Christmas considering I should have at least one new thing by then. The newest thing I could think to draw was an earring (from my August........)

Day 20 was something orange so naturally I had to rep the B to the L to the O to the double G, E, R. Don't worry my boyfriend has already taken the trouble to point out that I'm "not even slightly cool." You should know that he makes this observation whilst reading science fiction on his own in a dark corner.

It took me a minute to come up with something I wanted on day 21! Originally I was gonna draw an elaborate house with a big pool and lots of outdoor living space but that hurt my brain so I went with something more straight forward (and attainable). 

I feel like I maybe should have drawn me with my family and friends in a heart-warming embrace on day 22 but.......instead I drew a Game Boy!

I almost reached the absolute pinnacle of laziness on day 22 when I went to draw something I need. I was going to draw oxygen so that I didn't have to draw anything at all. Deciding this was damaging to the spirit of the challenge I drew a hoody!

Yes people you heard me right. I'm in Barbados and I need a hoody.

The Muppets finally came to the island after being released just about everywhere else in November so Piggy and Kermit were my couple of choice on day 23.

My piggy looks a little bit stoned! Oh well!

I still have 4 more days to post before I'll be completely up to date but I have to go and decorate some cakes I made last night. Got a bit of a cocktail party happening this evening and I seem to have found myself in charge of the food :-s

I'll try and post the rest a bit later or failing that tomorrow. Toodles for now!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 14 - 16

I'm still beavering away with this drawing challenge! As the title would suggest I'm gonna show you days 14 to yesterday (day 16).

Day 14's challenge was to draw my favourite fairytale. This is a fairly abstract representation of the fairytale I chose (but then it's also a pretty abstract fairytale). I would encourage you to comment if u know where this sentence comes from :)

I don't generally have the patience required for drawing great portraits so I decided to take a different approach to the challenge on day 15. Here is a portrait of my family according to the Chinese Zodiac.

If you're wondering who's who I'm not gonna tell u! But you're welcome to guess ;)
I'll even help by telling u which members of my family are pictured here. Me, my Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister and Granny.

Moving on. Yesterday's challenge was tricky. I had to draw inspiration. This concept had me confused because I'm pretty accustomed to drawing from inspiration but I wasn't entirely sure how to go about drawing inspiration itself. In the end I figured that colour was my only constant source of inspiration and went with that!

Today's drawing is my favourite plant but since I haven't figured out exactly what that is yet I'm gonna close this post to go think about it. I'll leave u instead with a picture of the Christmas cookies my clever boyfriend made!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Orange & Clove Christmas Decorations

Here's a quickie Christmas decoration I pinched from my Mum! These look and smell fantastic and all you need are oranges and cloves!

Use the cloves to create any pattern you like! You can add ribbon for hanging or just for decoration. 

Here's a tip: If you find the cloves hurt your fingers after a while, use a cocktail stick to make holes in the orange first.

Grouped together in a bowl or hanging from the tree these clove covered oranges beat 'scent of Christmas' air freshener any day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Braided Palm Wreath

I really wanted to find a way to make Caribbean Christmas decorations this year (since that's where I am in the world right now). I think I succeeded in finding something Caribbean inspired, easy and fun!

To make a braided palm wreath you will need a palm leaf and a man with a knife to cut down said palm leaf (or just a knife and a willingness to walk into the bush and cut your own leaf). I chose a man but you're welcome to make your own choice.

You will also need some wire or string, basic braiding knowledge and some pretty things with which to decorate your palm leaf once it's braided!

Once you have cut yourself a leaf or found a willing participant to do it for you, fold the leaf into a circular shape and secure with string or wire.
We used wire but I suspect string would work just as well, maybe even better (I did stab myself with the wire whilst putting this together).

Once the loop is secure begin to braid. If you already know how to French braid or cornrow this will be easy. If not I've just found this tutorial that might help you! Try to think of it as a regular plait that you add an extra leaf to each time.

Palm leaves are double layered so make sure you are only braiding one side at a time. This is what the leaf will look like with one side completed.

If you're left with extra braid at the end of the loop just tuck it into the rest of the loop. If you have braided the leaf tight enough it won't fall out.

Once both sides of the leaf are braided you will be left with a basic wreath shape. Now you can decorate it however you like!

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 12 & 13

OK, back to the drawing challenge!

Yesterday was day 12 and my most recent accomplishment. Now I wasn't sure just how major an accomplishment this was supposed to be. See there's big mile stones like graduating from uni, starting a new job, getting engaged (not quite there yet) etc. which are all great things but none of them are that recent. Then there's things like completing a difficult level on Rollercoaster Tycoon or killing that last really annoying pig on Angry Birds! These things, although not that useful in the big scheme of things are really awesome day to day victories which I feel are often overlooked.

I wouldn't say I went quite so far as to celebrate the death of any pigs yesterday (my iphone ran out of battery) but I did get paid :)

I think we can all agree that keeping myself clothed and staving off hunger for at least another month is something that's deserving of acknowledgement!

Today's Challenge is to draw a comic strip so that's exactly what I've done!

I wanted to give you an incite into my daily life so I decided to draw a conversation between my boyfriend and I. The first one that sprung to mind is illustrated (badly) below.


Yes that is a blank thought bubble coming from my boyfriend's head. It occasionally gets filled with thoughts of food, aeroplanes and gymnastics but for the most part it looks like that. 

Anyway, I was gonna make a proper comic of this but I felt we'd already covered my inability to shut up on day 11. This is why I took out a second piece of paper and created this equally crappy comic!

My boyfriend laughed when he saw this. Apparently it was funny enough to take his attention away from video games momentarily but not funny enough (or thought provoking enough) to encourage him to move his damn clothes from the basket!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Papier Mache Baubles

This year I am spending Christmas with a man whose name may as well be Scrooge for all the joy he feels for the season. So in an attempt to give him some Christmas spirit (and to make each day a more pleasant experience for me) I came up with some Craft projects that we could do together.

Some worked very well and others not so well. This first one is an example of one which was not so successful. I'm determined it can work though which is why I'm posting it. Also it's very messy and I had a great time screwing it up!

To make a papier mache bauble you will need glue (PVA is probably best because it dries clear) mixed with a little water, paper (something thin like newspaper or tissue paper), a balloon (the smaller the better) and something to decorate it with ( I used paint and glitter)

First, blow up a balloon. I used a 9" a smaller balloon would have created a more rounded shape.
Shred or cut your paper into thin strips. I think paper towels might be the best thing to use since they take to glue so well and are thin enough not to distort the shape of the balloon.

Next, mix glue with a little water (make sure the glue is still thick, too much water and the glue won't hold). Start sticking!

Build up the layers until the whole balloon is covered several times. The newsprint I used to start with left the balloon with an uneven finish so I did my final layers with kitchen roll.

Don't forget to leave a hole in the top or a loop of paper so you have somewhere to attach a ribbon for hanging.

Leave overnight. When dry burst the balloon with a pin and decorate!

As you can see, the surface of this bauble is quite uneven. I think it may have been better if I had used tissue from the start. Then again, if I had dipped the entire thing in glitter no one would be any the wiser! Something to think about next time...............

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Days 8-11

I'm back with day 8 leading on from yesterday's post. I had to draw my favourite animated character which, like many of these daily challenges was difficult to choose. But I did!!

If you don't know who this is you're really missing out on a good thing. Click this, watch and enjoy!

Although I watch and enjoy a LOT of animated comedy I decided to go in a different direction with the answer to challenge 9 (drawing my favourite TV show). At first I thought this show was stupid but then I found myself getting sucked in. Can you guess what it is?

Did you get it? I'll give you a clue, It's anatomy and it's grey! get it, get it?!

On day 10 I had to draw my favourite candy and I didn't know if that extended to chocolate but I didn't care, I drew it anyway :)

Yesterday I was faced with the challenge of drawing a turning point in my life! I thought of a few but they were all too hard to visualise (or rather I was too lazy to visualise them) or too cheesy (I try to avoid cheese wherever possible unless it's going on pasta).
I finally came up with this,

I chose to draw the day I learned to talk because it wasn't only a significant turning point in my life but in so many other lives too! Since this day I have spoken a great deal (not always a whole lot of sense). I tirelessly continue to rant about petty, insignificant topics and annoy people with childish taunts and sarcasm, often sharing my opinion where it's not wanted. Carrying on and on until my audience yells at me to desist or tunes me out completely. Yes, learning to talk was brilliant!   

That bring us to today's effort which is a drawing of my most recent accomplishment (at least it will be when I eventually get around to drawing it).

So I'm gonna go get on with it! Be back soon........