Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Favourites


I usually do some kind of end of year round up post, where I go through month by month and describe the best bits of each month. But 2016 was so odd-all extreme highs or crushing lows, with enough emotional weirdness to keep a therapist in business for decades-that I'd rather not dissect it like that. Instead, I'm just going to pick out my overall favourites, and choose to focus on the positive parts of this year. And then move on to a hopefully better year! This also takes the place of my December favourites post-I haven't really had time to develop any favourites this month!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Yuletide Decorating


I almost didn't decorate at all this year. We moved a little over a week before Yule, I was ill for a week, and the place was full of boxes and mess. I clearly wasn't going to have the Yuletide I had dreamed of, and I thought I would probably just skip the festive season altogether this year, But then I found the decorations while unpacking, and I had brought my little pine tree from the old place, and the urge to decorate suddenly emerged.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Winter Adventures


In between the stress and hard work of moving, we've managed to fit in a few small winter adventures.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Vlogmas Week 1 Roundup


I know that sometimes it can be easy to miss or forget content on other platforms, so to make things nice and easy I thought I'd do a weekly roundup of all my Vlogmas videos on here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

My Fairytale Themed Cube Shelf Display


Currently all my belongings are packed up ready for my impending move, but I thought it would be good to look back at how some of them looked pre-move. I haven't shared a lot of my current dwelling, largely because it's never really worked out how I wanted, and parts of it are extremely un-photogenic. But my cube shelving was one space that I really liked.

Friday, December 02, 2016

A Few Of My Favourite Things | November

Harold and Maude


(Image from Wikipedia.org)

I didn't really know what to expect from this film-I only knew it was about a relationship with a big age gap, which sounded quite off-putting. But I gave it a chance when I had nothing to do one evening, and it is one of the sweetest, most visually striking, life affirming films I have ever seen. I cried buckets and I now want to live in a converted railway carriage.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Autumn


Autumn is one of my favourite times of year, along with Spring. I like the transitional seasons.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Steam Train



I have wanted to go along Bristol Harbour on the steam train that operates there for years, and luckily for me, we managed to catch the last trip of the year.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cirencester


In October I travelled to Cirencester, a town in the Cotswolds. As a very small child I lived near Cirencester, and I visited the town a lot through my childhood and adolescence. So going back was quite a strange experience, especially is it is one of those places which never really changes. There is always the same blend of Cotswold stone, market square, and looming church, whichever businesses come and go from the shopfronts.

Cass Art Unboxing


I made an order from Cass Art because they are having a really good sale at the moment, and I thought I would film a little unboxing video!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mushroom Hunting


I didn't have to venture far into the woods to find the first fungi.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Crossing Clifton Suspension Bridge


The day of Bristol Doors Open Day also happened to be the date of the Tour of Britain passing through Bristol. We'd taken a trip up to Clifton on one of the wonderful vintage buses BDOD had laid on, and after watching all the cyclists flash past we decided to take advantage of Clifton Suspension Bridge being closed to motorised traffic, and walk across it.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Autumn Thrifting


I am really trying to cut back on buying things at the moment, but I still can't resist a little thrifting-although I'm still trying to reduce the amount of stuff I accumulate, even from that. I'm trying to have a shift in how I thrift, to quality over quantity. So far I think I'm succeeding, just about. 

I recently lucked out and picked up what I think was someone's geology collection for a song. There are pieces of rock and an array of crystals, both tumbled and unpolished. There is a big piece of citrine, a chunk of amethyst, fluorite, clear quartz and smoky quartz, as well as some super shiny pyrites. 


As part of my quality over quantity vow, I paid more than I normally would for a pair of these gorgeous Denby cups and saucers. I think it was worth it though, I love Denby pieces and they last extremely well. I particularly like this design as I think the cup looks like an acorn cap. They seem like something faeries would use, but human sized.


Another lucky find was this completely untouched Rowney oil painting set. I'm interested in trying oil painting, but I didn't want to spend too much money on experimenting with it in case I decide it's not for me, so this is perfect for trying it out.


I also picked up a small desk easel. I've realised I like painting on canvases, and it is just so much easier to paint them on an easel. This one is great as it is very lightweight and doesn't require much storage space.


I bought a teeny tiny painted cauldron, because #witchlife.


Another example of paying more than I normally would but getting something pretty special for my money is this vintage glass terrarium. It has a wooden base, with a pyramid shaped glass and metal terrarium on top. Two of the sides are open for access to whatever I plant inside, and it has two triangular panels of pale green glass, which I think are a lovely detail. I had been wanting one of these for ages and this is only the second one I have seen in a charity shop in as many years, so although this was a little expensive compared to my usual thrift finds (£9), I knew I would really love it and that it would be worth the extra cost.


Finally I collected a few vintage books. A sweet little guide to trees and shrubs, Oscar Wilde's fairy stories, a nature book with a fabulous spine, and an old children's book which has beautiful illustrations.

I think I've had a pretty good haul recently, and I'm actually quite enjoying being more selective in my purchases. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Friday, November 04, 2016

A Few Of My Favourite Things | October



Phew October was tough! Between Inktober and general life stuff I am frazzled. But looking back over the month, there were actually loads of lovely things that happened or that I liked, so I'm going to share them with you.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

#CreativeKickstart September


#CreativeKickstart is a hashtag to share what we've been making and being inspired by each month, created by my merfriend Cuttlefishlove. I kept up with it for a few months last year but then lost track. This year I want to post a photo for each month. I think it will be really interesting to look back at the end of the year and see my creative journey!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

#Inktober 2016 | Days 21-31

Inktober is finally over and I can share the last pieces I worked on for it! I'm going to be honest and admit that I really struggled with the last ten days of the challenge. I think doing Inktober back to back with my own #ADeerADay challenge, while also trying to work on crafts, blogging and my day job was just a bit too much and I started to feel very burned out. I'm still glad I did Inktober and completed it though. I'll be trying to do a bit less during November so I can refresh and regroup.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Redcliffe Caves


As part of Bristol Doors Open Day I visited Redcliffe Caves, which I had been wanting to do for so long! They are only open to the public for free once a year, although you can visit them for paid tours at other times.

Friday, October 21, 2016

#Inktober2016 | Days 11-20


It's time for another Inktober roundup! I feel like I'm comfortable with using ink again now, and am getting a better idea of what will work in this medium, which has allowed me to be a bit more experimental. I'm still generally trying to stick to an aesthetic of dark backgrounds and limited colour palettes though, as I'm thinking of making a zine of my images and want them to look fairly cohesive.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bristol Doors Open Day


Bristol Doors Open Day is a free event which runs once a year, during September. Lots of hidden spaces, as well as well known attractions like the museums, open up their doors to the public for the day, allowing a glimpse of some of the most intriguing places in the city. We were a bit late getting going on the morning of the Open Day so only managed to do a couple of things, but it was still a really great experience. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Toadstool Rainbow Necklace



Quite a while ago I made this toadstool themed, rainbow coloured necklace...and then I put it away and forgot about it. I got it out again for UK Fungus Day this year, and I thought it was about time it made it onto the blog!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

City Farm


Back in the summer I visited the city farm to see the baby goats, but also had a good look around the rest of the farm as well. I was quite enamored by the sweet black and white calves. They have incredibly long eyelashes!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Volks Electric Railway


I had wanted to go on Volk's Electric Railway for a long time, and as I visited Brighton in peak season this year, it was running and I got my wish! Volk's is the oldest operating electric railway in the world, having opened in 1883 and kept up a service until the present day. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#Inktober2016 | Days 1-10


It's Inktober time again! I wasn't sure whether I'd be participating this year after the effort of #ADeerADay, but when October 1st rolled around I felt the itch to get the inks out. So here we are! 

For day 1 I drew one of the baby goats I saw when I visited the city farm. I used a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a Pentel Aquash waterbrush filled with a mixture of water and ink. I really like the strong, graphic style this drawing has.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

March of the Mermaids


Saturday, October 08, 2016

Baby Goats


Back in the summer I went to one of my local city farms to see their baby goats (kids). I get very excited about baby goats, I think they are adorable and very amusing.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

#ADeerADay | Days 21-30


I finished #ADeerADay on the 30th of September, but needed a little break before posting the final roundup! But here it is, the final ten images I produced for the challenge. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Few Of My Favourite Things | September


I thought I would gather together some of the things I have really enjoyed in September. So here goes!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

#CreativeKickstart August



#CreativeKickstart is a hashtag to share what we've been making and being inspired by each month, created by my merfriend Cuttlefishlove. I kept up with it for a few months last year but then lost track. This year I want to post a photo for each month. I think it will be really interesting to look back at the end of the year and see my creative journey!

#ADeerADay | Days 11-20


As the end of #ADeerADay draws near, I thought I'd better hurry up and share the next installment! On day 11 I painted a white stag, using acrylic on canvas. This is the biggest piece I've done in the whole challenge, on a 16 x 20" canvas, so just managing to cover the canvas in paint was quite an achievement! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

#Creative365 | Days 15-28


I'm just going to get straight into this without a preamble! On day 15 I continued knitting strips of garter stitch to make slippers, using a chunky purple yarn. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Brighton


Back in July I went to Brighton for a few days. Honestly, it was an odd trip for me, and I've put off blogging about it for ages because I felt like I should write some 100% cheerful and positive post, and I just didn't feel that way.

Friday, September 23, 2016

#ADeerADay 1-10


At the beginning of September I started an art challenge I made up called #ADeerADay. I had been complaining to my partner about how I wanted a deer print I couldn't afford because "I can't make deer art that good" and he suggested I actually do some deer art myself. So I set myself the challenge of drawing or painting or otherwise art-ing a picture of a deer every day for a month. If you're wondering why deer, it's because I'm obsessed with them. I love drawing them, I love how they look, I love the symbolism of them.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kensington Gardens


We have finally arrived at the last of the posts from my London trip with Laura, which in a rather confusing fashion is about the first place we visited! Laura suggested walking through Kensington Gardens to get to the museums in South Kensington, which was a much more pleasant route than traipsing along roads. I had never been to Kensington Gardens before, and was quite surprised by how idyllic it was.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

OOTD: Plum Tulle and Fairy Shoes


I'm trying to get back into dressing up even when I'm not going anywhere, just for fun. I feel that for most of the Summer I dressed very un-creatively, partly because of the sweltering, sticky heat and partly because I left a large chunk of self confidence somewhere this Summer and I'm having trouble finding it again. But dressing up is actually really important to me, as a means of self expression and as a creative outlet. as well as a bit of an ego boost, so I'm determined to get back into it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sensational Butterflies


When I was in London with Laura, we took an unplanned detour to the Natural History Museum. This ended up being an excellent decision as Laura suggested we visited the pop up Sensational Butterflies exhibit in the gardens. It was one of the most joyful experiences I've had all year.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

My Visit To A Cat Cafe


My last stop on my day of London adventures was something I have been wanting to do for a very long time-a visit to a cat cafe! I've loved the idea of visiting one ever since I saw videos of Japanese cat cafes about five years ago, and as soon as I knew I was visiting London I went ahead and booked an hour at London Cat Village.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#CreativeKickstart July


#CreativeKickstart is a hashtag to share what we've been making and being inspired by each month, created by my merfriend Cuttlefishlove. I kept up with it for a few months last year but then lost track. This year I want to post a photo for each month. I think it will be really interesting to look back at the end of the year and see my creative journey!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

London Vlog


While I was in London I filmed a little vlog of my adventures. You can see the museums I visited, the butterfly house, the Barbican Estate and Conservatory, and even a couple of cats. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Barbican Estate


After the otherworldly experience of the Barbican Conservatory, I emerged into the incredible Barbican Estate. I'm really glad that Laura and I took some time to explore the Estate, because it acted as a very much needed buffer between the peace of being surrounded by plants, and going back into the London bustle.

The Barbican Estate is a Brutalist masterpiece, a residential estate built during the 1960s and 1970s on a plot that had been decimated by bombing during the Second World War. It also stands on the site of a former Roman fort or Barbecana, from which it gets its name. It was designed by the modernist architectural firm Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, and is now a Listed Building. It also contains the Barbican Centre, an arts and theatre venue.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Barbican Conservatory


For the second part of my London adventure with Laura, we headed to the incredible Barbican Conservatory, which is inside the Barbican Estate. I had seen the Conservatory in one of Natasha's videos, and was absolutely entranced, so I knew I had to visit this strange and wonderful place. Luckily Laura also had it on her list of places to visit, so we were both quite excited about getting there. From the outside the Barbican Conservatory looked fairly unassuming, but walking in felt like entering a different world.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

#Creative365, Third Time Lucky! | Days 1-14


You may remember that back in January I started on a Creative 365 challenge.  This was already my second attempt at the challenge, and unfortunately I managed to keep it up for about a month, then someone came to stay, I didn't have time to take any photos of what I was making, and I then just...forgot to take any photos. For about six months. What makes it even more frustrating is that I had been sticking to doing something creative every day, I just hadn't taken any photos or kept a record of what I'd been doing. I did consider going back through and trying to work out what I'd done when, and take the photos in retrospect, but that seemed like an almost Herculean task. I considered giving up the challenge altogether. But then I saw this Instagram post from Laura of Bugs and Fishes, and it made me think. Yes it's frustrating that I can't use the time I had already spent being creative for this challenge. But is it really so bad if I carry on doing something creative every day? Another year of taking time to create every day seemed like a very positive thing! So I decided to restart the challenge at the beginning of June, and not post anything until I was sure I could keep it up. I have managed to keep up with the challenge for almost three months now, so I think I'm safe and can now start sharing what I've been up to!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Day In London


Back in the spring I spent a day in London with Laura. I hadn't been to London for around five years and was a little bit nervous, so having Laura as company was excellent. We packed a lot into one day!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Christ Church Meadow


The final stop on my day in Oxford was the picturesque Christ Church Meadow. Bordering Merton College and Christ Church College, it provides gorgeous views back over the city and is steeped in local history-including being the site of the some of the earliest hot air balloon ascents-but it is also a wonderfully tranquil pocket of nature.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Oxford University Museum of Natural History


One of my priorities on my trip to Oxford earlier in the year was visiting the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I am generally a fan of Natural History, and I'd seen snippets of the place on social media and was intrigued. I actually got lost on the way to the Museum and almost gave up, but I'm so glad I didn't! 

On entering the Museum I was completely awestruck. The first thing I saw was the huge jawbone of a sperm whale, pointing towards the iron arches supporting the sparkling glass roof, and looking for all the world like part of the architecture.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

My Castell Coch Inspired Castle Shelf


Sometime last year, I got this castle shaped shelf very cheaply from a charity shop. Although I liked it, it was clearly meant to be for a child, and the colour scheme and paint job reflected this. It also had part of the battlements missing, and had several stickers stuck to the sides. It was always my intention to repaint it, I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Real Life Fairy Tale Village of Blaise Hamlet



After visiting Blaise Castle Estate and climbing Blaise Castle, there was just enough time for a quick visit to the magical Blaise Hamlet. This is a tiny hamlet of nine picture perfect cottages, arranged around a central green.. The houses were designed by John Nash (who also designed Brighton Pavilion, Buckingham Palace, and a whole host of other notable buildings) and built around 1811, as retirement cottages for former workers from the Blaise Castle Estate.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Forest of Imagination


Back in June I went to a really lovely creative event in Bath, called Forest of Imagination. The Abbey Courtyard had been filled with gigantic inflatable silver trees, which made an interesting contrast with the golden stone and ornate carving of the front of the Abbey.