Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Artist Research: Ancient Greeks

Following on from my earlier studies on a Greek rock, I decided to take a closer look at the various forms of art the Ancient Greeks had, particularly focusing on the pottery....

This is my information page. I compare the different techniques used for making the decorations, either red figure (left),or red figure (right). All the difference is made depending on what sort of clay is used, and in what order it is applied.

I also did a quick artist study  to replicate the technique and image. I, though, instead of using clay, used a pen and a piece of paper. Which, for a sketchbook, is probably the most preferable of the options.

I then took a look at the Greek Alphabet. I chose the letter sigma ∑, as it is also used in maths. I have this strange ability to like Maths and art. It's a toss up between which I like more. Those and physics.... but anyway. Cardboard printing makes a very interesting pattern, and an effective print. However, I get frustrated over its simplicity. Beyond the excitement of cutting out the image with a craft knife,printing is relatively boring.

This is a second information page, this time specifically focusing on the pots, their shapes, and forms of decorations, looking at colour combinations and average proportions.

This would later directly influence my final piece.

DIY: Ribbon Card

This is a card I made months back for my Mum's birthday, with the promise of a tutorial. Here it is!

You will Need:
Base colour card (I used blue)
Reflective card
White card/paper
Vellum, tissue paper, or any other translucent paper by another name
Organza Ribbon
Scissors and/or guillotine
Glue/Foam Pads

1) Fold your base card to create a card blank. Then, cut off half of the card front, as seen above.

2) With the reflective card, trim so that it fits comfortably within the outline of the base colour (my card front was 10x15cm, so the reflective was 5x10cm). Adhere only to the half flap on the front of the card so that it swings freely. The overlap creates the illusion of a full card blank.

3) Centrally, adhere the vellum at the top, and then a white rectangle to cover the adhesive marks.

4) Cut the Organza Ribbon into 3 equal sections. Around a smaller piece of reflective card, tie the ribbon sections, arranging them how you wish.

5) Attach ribbon strip to the white card, and you're finished!

You could use any ribbons. I think those ones were actually off of last year's Christmas Crackers, so there's a good example of recycling...
This card could be used for many things other than Birthdays - invitations, thank you notes, or any occasion, really...
Just a little bit of opulence...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Bark Studies

One of the exercises my teacher made us do was to collect a natural object, then experiment in techniques and media that we wouldn't usually have used.

I picked up a piece of bark from our field.

First, I drew it, but not in my usual, photo-realistic style. I used cross hatching to create detail and texture. Personally, I think it strikes a particular resemblance to a whale, but others said it looked ok.

Then, after tracing the image onto a second piece of paper, I used torn bits of sugar paper to collage the image. I hated it. The colours were too bright, it looked too abstract... Then I slid the tracing paper across it accidentally, and realised it actually made it better. It's translucent nature dimmed the colours,and the lines I had used for tracing gave it definition. I offset it, so the sugar paper is still visible, but it gives it more character.

This is a particularly bad photo of the final technique I used. I applied layers and layers of different shades of brown paint to the paper, before using the tip of a blunt pencil to scratch in the details of the bark pattern. This is called sgraffito, and it worked rather well.

Clustered together, I use these three experiments as a reminder to step out of my comfort zone every once in a while, and try something new.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Craft Review: Week 31: Sunday 22nd July - Saturday 28th July

This week's been a good one in my opinion... I got rather a lot done!

I also participated in my first Creatives Unite, a brilliant idea that makes a crafter commit to at least one un-interrupted hour of craft between 9pm and 10pmon a Thursday Evening. Please, check out Anna's blog, she's amazing.
Above is what I made: two felt hearts. The grey one is a design I've used before, but the red and green one I created to represent a more contemporary Christmas feel. This is because I'm starting my Christmas stuff now. Call me crazy,but it's always worked before.

Speaking of Christmas, take a look at these two! My first Christmas Cards of the year... I want to give them to my Grandma to use,as I myself am not particularly religious person. I did, however,love painting the watercolour background to each. In a way, these cards sum up what I enjoy, and what I'm good at.

Here is a painting I did one afternoon when it was warm. It has no purpose, as of yet, but I'm fairly pleased with it, especially the light and the shadow across the body of the shoe.

This, you have already seen. For my mama, the tutorial is here.

And this is another thing I finished, which now features prominently, my blog logo. I am very pleased with it.

So, that's all for this week... Next weekend, I'm away watching the Olympics! So that should be fun... The craft review will most likely be a bit later,and then in a fortnight, I leave for Holiday.But,don't worry, I'm setting up a load of schedule posts to carry this blog through until I get back...

Toodle Pip!

Friday, 27 July 2012

New Blog Design!

I spent rather a lot of time this morning, getting frustrated at the computer, moving and rejigging practically everything. All Because I finished this:

This, is my lovely new blog logo, based on the Ravenclaw Crest and combined with all of the things that make me and this blog. There are balls of wool (purple, of course, my favourite colour); Paintbrushes (as I do tend to do an awful lot of art here); and the Raven itself is holding a needle and thread in its beak. I kept it to my style of working, with watercolour and the sketchy black pen outlines, as another reflection on my personal style.

The redesign includes a background that I made myself, and moving all of my icons to the left,instead of the right. I also reordered them, to allow better ease in navigation.

What do you think? Any comments or improvements that could be made would be most appreciated!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

If I could, I would..... Thank Everyone for 10,000 Page Views!

..... But I don't know who you are. Oh well.

So,Yes. Last night, I went to sleep, and awoke to find that the toll had ticked over just enough...
This, is mainly due to CraftGawker, an absolutely brilliant site to drool over amazing art and gorgeous craft projects.

So, Here are the posts you, the viewers have been loving the most:


Felt Hearts


Henry Moore
 I would once again like to say Thank you. I know my blog isn't like others... I don't advertise, I don't want to make money from it. It makes me feel like I've got someone to share my journey with, no matter where it's going. You don't know it,but I had a rough time back in Autumn last year. The development of this blog, and the way it has changed,and changed me, I owe entirely to those little ticking pageview numbers.

Thank you


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

DIY: Stitched Writing Cushion

A while back, someone asked for a tutorial on  stitched writing. This is one of my favourite ways to embellish a plain cushion; a simple word can say so much. This one here is for my Mum and her study. Sometimes she gets exasperated at others, and this will match it perfectly! Here's my method:

Either a pre-made cushion cover, or enough fabric to create one ( I used 50cm x 100cm for my Cushion)
A Computer and access to fonts and a printer
A Tapestry Needle

If making cushion cover: a sewing machine

To make the cover, I first hemmed the two shorter sides. This makes a nice, clean envelope back. My cushion was 45cm square, so adjust the fabric requirements for your size of Cushion.
Then, right sides together, overlap the two sides centrally, so when flattened one side is beneath the other.
The Dashed line indicates the fabric beneath the top layer.
Run a seam across the two sides, turn right ways round, and you have a cushion cover!

Now, on the computer, type the word you want, and select a font/font size. Here, I used Comic Sans, and font size 216. Print this out and pin centrally onto your cushion cover.

Using the Tapestry Needle and the wool, using back stitch, run around the outside,and inside of all of the letters.
Other stitches could be used for a different effect.

After this, gently tear away all of the paper. Tearing is better than cutting, as it is best to avoid the possible slip and snipping away the stitches.

So, a few minutes later, and a huge pile of paper...

Tada! One word stitched cushion.

If you have any Tutorials you would like to see, please let me know, and I will make them.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Craft Review: Weeks 29 & 30: Sunday 8th July - Saturday 21st July

Well, the last two weeks have been a bit hectic.... But don't worry! I have a planned tutorial coming up, and I plan to start my Christmas cards, and making things for a Christmas fair... So, it should all be good!
But, here's what I've been up to over the last two weeks...

I made a simple envelope red cushion cover, I'm just adding the finishing touches now...

I made a card for corresponding with my friend up in Yorkshire... I far prefer sending post as opposed to sending e-mails... as it generally means that they have to reply using post as well. Which is good, as I like getting mail. Plus,this is actually a stamp that she gave me for my birthday,so I thought it would be a good idea to send her one of its products...

This is a very bad photo of another square for my Harry Potter blanket. It's the Sorting hat, or supposedly. It's a very dark brown, so it doesn't show up very well.... I hope to get some more squares done at some point...

Here is a ruffle flower brooch in teal... I found some glittery net, which I'd forgotten about, and I thought this was the perfect project.... a little bit of prettiness

I then started to make a Weasley jumper Decoration for my Mum..... I just need to sew on the other sleeve, and a loop to hang it from....This is hopefully for the beginning of advent, as a pre-Christmas present. I also plan to do one for my sister... Hers will be in a horrid shade of fuchsia pink...

Then over the last week, I had lots of fun painting my room... It's ok, but I thought it would be paler... But it's ok... Photos to follow at a later date when I have sorted out the carnage left behind...

And then, on Saturday, I took the train dressed as a Hermione Granger look-alike for the launch of the summer reading challenge at the library where I volunteer.

Always fun to watch the confused faces of other passengers..

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

If I could, I would..... Watch all of the Harry Potter Films in one sitting

..... but that would take two days, my optician does not adviselong periods of screen watching, and I constantly fear eye strain.

Yet, me and my best friend are planning it anyway.
(we've already done the extended editions of LotR)

Also, quick note on my front: I'm re-decorating my room, so my camera is currently buried somewhere, as is the cable, under a dust sheet. Mind you, so are most things...
Anywho, what I'm trying to say is, apologies for lack of posting...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Silver DofE - Completed

DofE - Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Basically, the award is for character building in young people between the ages of 14 and 24. There are 4 sections: Physical, Volunteering, Skill and Expedition. The first three have a set time that you must partake in for one hour per week, the latter is a set route and distance that one must walk and camp for.

I completed my Bronze award last year, which included: 3 months of Volunteering - I ran a sports club at a local school; 3 months of Skill - Playing my cello; 6 months of Physical - I did Archery. The Expeditions were 2 days long and between them we walked 15 km.
Not too bad...

Silver I eventually ended up calling Hell.

6 months of Volunteering.
6 months of Skill.
3 months of Physical.
3 Day expedition, now with HILLS, walking 30 km over the days.

What made things worse was that all through the expedition it rained, and it never stopped. School tents leak, waterproofs have a limit to how waterproof they are and it was cold.I didn't like it to say the least. I hated it.

But, the good news is, County have just approved and signed me off - I never have to do it again! And for that I am truly grateful. I now dread any mention of  the peak district,or hiking carrying 30 kg on my back, or any mumbling of the word 'camping'. Never. Again.

I lived in this hat for the entirety of the silver expedition. It's warm, doesn't fall off and vaguely waterproof.

I volunteered at the library for the summer Reading Challenge. The theme was circus. This meant I had to dress up like an idiot and take the train...
The Green ande purple thing in the background? Yeah I took the train like that.....
But as I said-good thing, I never have to do it again!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Recipe: Choclate Cake

This is an alteration of a cake by St. Delia. Not for the faint- hearted.

110g Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
110g soft butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
50g melted dark chocolate
Chocolate Butter cream
100g melted dark chocolate
100g softened butter
120g icing sugar
80g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

White Chocolate Chunks to decorate

Grease and line 2 18cm tins. Turn on the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients together until everything is combined. I suggest using an electric whisk.
Divide into 2 and spread equally between each tin. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. When time, takeout of the oven, remove frostiness and place on a wire rack to cool.
For the butter cream, use the electric whisk again to combine all ingredients together.
Spread butter cream equally, first for between the sponges, and then for the topping. Onto both,sprinkle a generous handful of white chocolate chunks.

Oh, the knitted-ness is not my work - our local church gave it to us!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Craft Review: Week 28: Sunday 1st July - Saturday 7th July

A pretty boring week, at least, not one that I want to think about.

I made a skirt! Intermittently.... I still need to hem it...
It looks like a WWII Schoolgirl, no?
I began to 'de-clutter' my room (aka, moving junk from one corner of the room to another).
 The tennis was ok, but in both of the finals, the one I rooted for did not win...

I made some cheese straws....
And then I went to prom for what I would call a mediocre time, and not really worth the bribe of ice cream.
And, on top of it all, I've lost my camera lead.
*Update: I stole one from the cable drawer.I don't even know what it's meant to belong to....*
So yeah. It's been a bad week for me.

Wow, I even sound depressed in writing.....

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Craft Review: Week 27: Sunday 24th July- Saturday 30th July

Here we go... Another week gone by... ah, shame. This week though, mother started leaving me jobs and chores to do.... I've put the washing on now so many times, it's unbelievable! But here is what I managed to squeeze in in my spare time...

Lovely little Radar.... You've seen him before....

This Egyptian Eye-Thing Painting for my sister (she's the one who knows too much about the Egyptians, I have absolutely no clue. I just typed something into google and this idea came up)
It's painted with both acrylics and watercolours,and I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

I also painted my mama this lily. Lily's are her favourite  flower, and I can understand why.I had a bit of trouble trying to decide how to outline the petals, but I settled on silver ink pen. It looks ok, doesn't it?
Painting in acrylic and watercolour,with pen as well.
I also knitted a few more rows of my Ravenclaw scarf, took some photographs, and made some lovely cookies from a recipe on DeerLittleFawn's blog. Recipe here. I definitely recommend them, my friends devoured them in seconds. Seal of approval, I'd say!
Toodle Pip!