Sunday, 17 October 2021


 I wanted to try a blue or purple flower for today, inspiration from Vireya again! Hope you don’t mind, but you have so many fantastic flower photos!

 I still need to do some more work on the flower centre, and add in some leaves for contrast & background. Need to let it all dry out really well before going back in now. But happy with the layered colours so far! Ordinary sketchbook paper today.I have ordered a couple more markers, and a pad of Kraft paper, will be interesting to see how the markers go on the different paper & with the non- white background.

 I found a great free app called “Marker Match” which makes it much more easy to keep a list of which colours I have, and compare the colours of other markers on sale. I have found the “Touch New” brand has the same numbers & names as my Graphic Pro Duo and Mont  Marte markers. The little colour square in the app is way more accurate than looking at the colour on the lid!

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Poppy Posy

 I saw these lovely poppies in a garden on a recent walk. I spent a while trying to draw & colour them yesterday, but was not happy with the result. I used a sheet from a Monte Marte Jumbo drawing pad with 95gsm paper, but I felt the colour were just too dull and flat. I couldn’t get the same lovely depth of colour that I get on other paper. I persevered because I figure it is all good practice! Interesting that different papers produce such different results.

I had started with only the briefest of pencil sketch outline, just some circles to place the poppies, then sketched the flowers with a pale grey marker before outlining in red or pink, then layering more colour. I wanted to try something different by filling in the background with colour, to fill the page a bit more & make the flowers pop a bit more, but it still looked dull. 

After a bit more research - reading online & watching some more marker YouTube tutorials, I got up this morning & thought “ what if I outline everything in black fine liner?”.

So I did, and am soooo much happier with the result now! The poppies definitely “ pop” a bit more now!

Monday, 11 October 2021

Latest drawing…

 Just popping in for a quick update - here is my latest drawing. Quite unplanned, I went into the study last night to print a recipe I had found online ( chocolate chip cookie dough bites, found via Frankie magazine website- will let you know what they are like if I make them next weekend!). I saw my markers on the desk & thought “ I must pack this up before work tomorrow, but maybe I’ll just check though some photos on the iPad for ideas…”.

And so I sketched this …and then I coloured it in!

Huge shoutout and thanks you to Vireya who takes such superb photos of her amazing garden, and posts them on her blog. I took some screen shots recently and used this one as inspiration, a  dahlia from a post on April 15. And there are plenty more flowers there I plan on trying!

I don’t have a lot of yellow shades, but I am very happy with the leaves! I sketched the flower very lightly on the paper then rubbed most of it out til I could only just see the outlines, but did the leaves freehand with the markers. I only have 60 something markers, and unfortunately the starter kit I bought had a lot of grey ones, so I have had to add in some extra colours here & there. Hmmm, maybe I should try to recreate a black and white picture & use all the grey markers!

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Making a mark

 I borrowed a box of alcohol markers  from a friend a few weeks ago, to colour in some black & white picture cards for work. We don’t have a colour printer, and figured  black & white pictures would not be very appealing/ engaging for my students during my online teaching sessions! 

I had a lot of fun colouring lots of little pictures ( about 8 cards to an A4 page, which I then cut & laminated into individual cards). In fact I had so much fun I started looking online for some not too expensive / but not too crap quality markers for myself!

I have bought a range of different art & craft supplies from Riot Art over the years, and although there was only one online review for their markers, it was very positive - and they had a good sale on! I would have bought some from Daiso, because their markers have had great reviews;  but for some unknown reason they don’t have an online store in Australia. Officeworks had very little info - hard to tell what colours were in their sets, and really their website/ search is a bit rubbish. Cotton On/ Typo had some super bargains but lots of bad reviews for their markers. 

So I put in an order with Riot Art for a set of markers, plus a few extra individual colours ( I mean they were on sale for 99c and $1.99, so hard to resist!). Of course I had sent my order off just as there were huge delays with Australia Post - at one point I got a notification that my parcel had gone from Melb, to Qld, and was now sitting frustratingly only 20 minutes up the road at the Sommerton Road dept ( but outside of my then 5km limit!). 

It arrived eventually ( think it took 2 1/2 weeks!) and there was only 1 of the 99c single colours not in stock. 

I had fun trying out the colours, experimenting with layering and blending ( watched a lot of YouTube for research!)  and made a swatch/sample sheet of my colours. Then I remembered Monte Marte art supplies, and ordered a couple of extra colours to fill in the gaps - mainly greens, yellow, brown I think. The staff at  Moorabbin Art Shed were very helpful over the phone, and my order arrived in a few days.

I have been experimenting with different colours, and different papers too. First I found a photo I liked ( I have been admiring the neighbourhood flowers when out walking The Dog). After playing around with a free photo to sketch app, I printed the photo on regular copy paper & tried colouring it in.

Original photo

Photo sketch on copy paper

Photo sketch printed, then traced onto cheap sketchbook paper using the light box.

Today I found a photo, sketched a flower freehand from the photo, then coloured on water colour paper. Quite happy with the results, I will keep practicing, lots of fun so far!

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

New threads!

I have been wanting to try some new sashiko patterns, and ordered a new set of stencils a few weeks ago. I traced off the Asanoha pattern and started stitching it in grey, but decided I really wanted a variegated green thread. 
After some searching online looking for some Sue Spargo Wonderfil threads, I ended up phoning Mill Rose cottage and ordering some new threads. My package arrived last week!
Look at these lovely colours -
I had noted down a couple of colours I liked, but found so many on line - some had numbers, some had names. The staff member at Mill Rose explained that there are new colours released every year, hence such a huge range. I described the colours I wanted, and they had 3, but I ended up having to put my faith in my description & the staff member's choice for me! Luckily they are all pretty much what I had in mind. Will have to trace off some new designs once I finish my current project. The variegated green is just right. 

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Time to put my feet up

I found a footstool at hard rubbish a couple of years ago and always meant to get around to giving it a make over. Last weekend I was looking for a quick craft project & decided on the footstool. Plus there have  been times when I need to put my legs up after a big walk with The Dog - but my H is using the footstool ( another HR rescue from a few years ago). 
I still have a box of upholstery scraps purchased from Rathdown Fabrics ages and ages back. I used some of thoses pieces, plus some vintage sample pieces gifted to me by my H's grandmother  years ago.
I didn't take many " before" pics, suffice to say it was dusty and stained from having lived on the verandah for a couple of years. I ripped the cover off but left the under layer of fabric. There were abour 350 staples in the timber frame. I removed the ones on the sides but decided life was too short to be bothered with the ones underneath!
I simply hemmed a piece of calico and hot- glued it to cover the base & hide all those rusted staples!

The cover is simply slipped on with a calico casing holding  some elastic, so it can be taken off to wash. 
Too easy!

Monday, 23 August 2021

Birthday quilt projects

I have made 3 birthday quilts in the last few months, but due to lockdown I have not been able to deliver any of them yet! And just in case the intended recipients check in on the blog, I can't post any photos of the first two quilts! 
But I should be ok posting the most recent one, which hopefully I will be delivering after work tomorrow. 
On Saturday my friends daughter  turned 18. On Friday I decided to make her a quilt! I looked through some books- and my stash!- for ideas  and worked out a design. Saturday I sewed up the front and back pieces, and Sunday I pinned and quilted it. All fabrics from The Stash - I have a box of rainbow strips from the first few quilts I made, I must have cut out heaps of strips!  Even the binding was 3 lots of leftover pieces, there was just enough to go around,  with only about 30 cm left over.
Today I managed to duck outside just before the rain started, and took a couple of photos. Of course The Dog had to check it out, as you can see in some of the photos!