Friday, August 28, 2009

Faded Memories - Photo Collection

I've been experimenting with some of the photos I took in the grounds of Sawston Hall.

I wanted to create a dreamlike feeling, sort of looking back at childhood memories.

Some of the images use textures downloaded from DeviantArt and all of them have been heavily edited with the use of filters.

The above uses Colour Grunge texture 1 from Princess of Shadows.

Check out this texture collection by OneColdCanadian Abused Floor - number 19
I've also used an ivy picture from the same shoot.

The above image uses one of the Vintage Grunge textures by Princess of Shadows.

The above uses the Memories texture 1 by Freaky665.

No textures just filters on the above image.

I used lots of filters and two textures on this last image:

Texture 5 from texture_57 collection by Sanami276 and OneColdCanadian Abused Floor - number 15.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sawston Hall

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get into Sawston Hall and it's grounds (it's not open to the public) to take some pictures. The hall is currently being renovated.

Here are some of my pictures (I took almost 200 so I am still editing....)

Starting from the inside:

Fireplace in the Grand Hall

Fireplace in one of the bedrooms

The roof above the spiral stair case leading onto the third floor

The beautiful spiral stair case

Chimney pots galore

I love those chimney pots, they are like works of art themselves.

A painted coat of arms wall plaque on the front of the house

Another coat of arms above the grand entrance at the side.

A wall plaque on the side of the house leading to an out building

One of the rosettes that are dotted around the outside walls of the house

The grand entrance on the side of the house with the coat of arms above it

Tempus Edax Reum - Time, devourer of all things

This is one of my favourite pictures (heavily edited), a sun dial on the side of the house.

The roofs of the house seen from the grounds peeping out above the trees

Part of the house seen from the grounds in the back

Part of the house seen from the side

The grand entrance is to the left of this part of the house.

Beautiful tree in the grounds at the back

Half dead tree in the grounds to the side

Little bridge over a brook in the grounds

Red leaves on green

Pond reflections

Some of these photos I will use as reference pictures, others will go on RedBubble and will be available as prints. If you like one of them in particular, let me know and I'll add it to my images on RedBubble.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Purple Haze Cardigan

My new cardigan is finally finished - well, it still needs washing and blocking.

Sorry for the picture quality. When I took the pictures it started to rain, just a drizzle... but...

The yarn is the most gorgeous Sirdar Blur in a divine purple colour. The real deal is almost as purple as on the pictures. :-)

The design is originally by Stefanie Japel although I ended up making lots of changes as my replacement yarn (I couldn't get the yarn recommended) knitted up very different despite a gauge test:

I changed the sleeves to flared sleeves, and used ribbing round the waist rather than the cables of the pattern (they just didn't seem to work very well with the yarn, I tried). I also made one of the two wrap straps shorter than the other to avoid too much bulk.

When I tried it on I found it looks best with the longer of the two straps thrown over one shoulder and the other intertwined with it. Looks very 'boheme' that way. :-)

The good news is, I only used just under 3 balls of yarn... so I have two left for another project. :-)

Now I just have to wash and block it and make myself a pretty flower brooch....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feeling Blue - The Necklace

Recently I made lots of earrings, one pair was called 'Feeling Blue'. I like them so much but I didn't have a necklace to go with them, so I had to make one. ;-)

Feeling Blue Necklace

Above you can see it long and below doubled up.

I've used too many beads to count: resin, glass and lucite, vintage and new, heart shaped, round, oval, ribbed, smooth, and faceted. I've also included a black bird charm and lots of black plated findings and blue and black enamelled vintage chain. Details can be see below.

I am so pleased with this. It was finished last week, but I've been so busy with painting another picture (which is giving me no end of trouble), knitting a wrap cardigan (which is taking forever), the usual housework and things, plus editing the photos I took at Sawston Hall.

Watch this space for more new stuff....


July and August are always busy cake months. Lots of birthdays and lots of baking.

Here's a picture of the chocolate cake I made for Ben. His favourite - Roald Dahl's recipe. :-)

And here's another of Ben's favourites: Strawberry Cheesecake...

I've also made two custard tarts this month (so far) and a spinach pie. Of all of them the spinach pie was my favourite....

... sigh, and I don't even like baking!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Variations on a Moth

The other night I found this moth on the wall in the bathroom. Unfortunately, it was night and the moth near the ceiling, so not ideal conditions. This was the best of my pictures in my attempts to capture how pretty it is...

And here are the variations after playing with it and applying filters. The bottom picture is my favourite.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Maid Marian and Black Pearl Bracelets

I bought some wonderful salmon leather from Iceland a while back. It's so beautiful that I was worried I'd spoil it, but I really wanted to make something with it. However, as a 'tester' I got myself some leather and made some prototypes first.

Maid Marian Bracelet

Deep olive green leather with two leaves cut out and the different sides of the leather showing.

There is also a silverplated vintage leaf embellished with some Japanese glass seedbeads.

Two rings sewn onto the leather allow the bracelet to be fully adjusted. If you have a particularly slim neck you can probably wear it as a choker. :-)

Here are the leaves in detail. And below are the two rings with bead embroidery. The colours and textures just reminded me of Robin Hood, although it's not an oak leaf...

Black Pearl

This bracelet was a bit more complicated and complex. It's made to measure - this one is 6.5" (17cm) and closes with rivets and lacing in deep red satin cord.

The edges have been stamped out and cut out to give it a lacy edge. The black guipur lace has been embellished with black glass pansies, black glass pearls and red lustred Japanese seedbeads.

Above you can see the lacing and rivets. The lace and beads in more detail below. Perfect for the pirate girl in your life... :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rant - They're having a laugh!

Not a day goes by when I don't hear a story of some artist whose images have been stolen from their website. The most famous recent case can be read here. Each day one artist or another doesn't get paid, fobbed off or told that the profits this month haven't been good so they'd get paid another day!

Can you imagine telling your plumber, 'sorry, I didn't make enough money this month, so I'll pay you next month, the month after, or maybe never'? I can imagine what the plumber would say. (I doubt I'd get away with using this sort of language on my blog...)

Thing is there are two types of artists, the ones who run it as a business and the ones who are grateful for every illustration, image, greeting card sold. The first have confidence in their work and it's value, the others seemingly don't. The thing is, if your image does sell it's obviously worth it. And usually someone else is making money from it. So shouldn't you be making money from it? Why should you be working for free? There's always the small claims court.

Oh, and then there are portfolio websites (badly and amateurishly designed) who want to charge us for registration AND any sales we make, the art contests and portfolio books who want to charge us an arm and a leg just to look at our images,... and so on. They're all having a laugh and a porsche at OUR cost.

It's time for us to stand up and be counted. It's not right for people to take us for mugs. We provide a service and should be paid for it.

Any tips, suggestions, rants - feel free to comment!

Lovehearts all around - Presents

It was my lovely sister's birthday on Sunday, so I sent her some presents:

Raspberry Sorbet Poncho

My sister loves pink and yellow so I thought this cotton/linen mix yarn is perfect for her.

The design is similar to my Where the Land Meets the See Poncho although this design is not exactly the same as I made some improvements.

It's the perfect garment for all year round. It can be worn as a scarf, a shawl, a poncho a capelet over a Summer dress or a Winter coat. Best of all, there are no loose ends to flap in your face in a strong wind and it leaves your arms free to move (and you don't need to hold it tight like a shawl).

The pattern is again the little scallops which I think works really well with this yarn. It's so soft and yummy and available in lots of scrumptious colours from the Knitting4fun website.

The yarn is easy to knit and two skeins of yarn make the whole capelet. I might provide the pattern to download sometime soon.

Lovehearts Necklace

This necklace is based on my Sweetheart necklace, which I am wearing all the time. However, this time I've used a myriad of beads in pinks and yellows. Some vintage, some Ghana trade beads, some new, some fabric, some woven, some paper (with a coat of resin over the top), wood, lucite, resin, glass, metal... you name it, it's in there somewhere. :-)

Here are some detail shots of the beads and charms I've used:

All the findings are either black matt coated brass, brass, pewter, copper, vintage and modern, with lots of little details so the necklace never gets boring. It can be worn twice around the neck or long.

There are two sweetheart charms leftover. The sweetheart charm is actually a locket so you could put a picture inside it.

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