Friday, 26 February 2010

Self portrait

I've produced many self-portraits in my time so I thought it would be fun to have a little retrospective and look at my skills through the years.

This wonderful drawing was made in reception class, so I was age 4/5. I hadn't quite grasped the concept of shoulders but I did draw fingers. I also made a good attempted at the check print on my school dress.

A year later and now my arms are coming from the right part of my body, though I have taken a step backwards with the fingers. To be honest, it was probably laziness.

On to year 4 (age 8/9) and I have both fingers and a neck. Definite progress. I've also done away with the spider eyelashes from the previous drawings in favour of a more natural look. Good work younger-me!

I now skip ahead to year 9 (age 13/14) as I seem to have misplaced all of my artwork from middle school. I've moved on from colours pencils to poster paint, and my hair has gone from blonde to brown. I even have ears and eyebrows and a varying pose, though I do miss the beaming smile present in the other drawings.

Year 12 now (age 16/17) and I have my medium of choice; oil paints. This was painted just from observation so it doesn't look like me very much, but it was displayed in the Principal's office for a while so it can't be that bad.
Year 13 (age 17/18) and I achieve a likeness I am happy with by working from a photo, which is the way I have worked since. This was from a whole portraiture project so I was experimenting with different colours and backgrounds.
I painted this in the summer of 2008, for funsies, and I loved painting the hair. I still haven't got eyes quite right though.

This painting is from summer 2009, right before I went to university.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Rockstar fingernails

For Halloween 2008 I dressed up as a rockstar, so I had some pretty rockin fingernails to match. Black with different coloured glitter on. Awesome.

Inspired by this look I created another version of my fingernail necklaces. Instead of black nail varnish I just used black acrylic paint and covered them with layers of PVA glue. There's no danger of these nails chipping.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Bottle cap barrette

Last year when I was working at my local arts centre I would sometimes work behind the bar for their evening events. I say 'bar', really it was three tables in front of two fridges but I still had to serve people drinks. The bottle caps would just get thrown in a box and then put in the rubbish so I often saved some of them, thinking I could make something with them one day. Well that day has come and I present to y0u the bottle cap barrette.

I started by drilling three holes around the side of of the bottle cap. You can put more for extra security when it comes to the sewing part but I'd say three is the minimum. (That's my Dad's model railway you can see there; I'm not a giant who enjoys doing her crafts on train tracks.)

I then made a yo-yo/rosette in a matching colour to the logo on the bottle cap. You can learn how to make them here. It's a German site but there are pictures.

Using a colour thread that matched the bottle cap, I sewed the cap to the rosette. It is a good idea to make sure the holes you drill are big enough to fit your needle through.

Then I sewed a hair grip to the back of the rosette by covering over one side of the grip with the fabric. There's probably a better way to do this.

And voila. I made two sets; one San Miguel and one Stella Artois.

Friday, 19 February 2010

'The crocodile wanted to eat the monkey'... the caption on the back of this drawing. By me. Dated 1995. Pretty good huh?

I've noticed some cool things on the web which transform children's drawings into more than just scrappy pieces of paper stuck on the fridge.

Korean artist Yeondoo Jung uses photography to take a child's drawing from imagination to real life.

David Devries, a comic-book artist, makes realistic paintings based on children's drawings in a project called The Monster Engine.

Lizette Greco creates plush characters based on children's drawings. The creations are also available to buy on etsy.

Here's a couple more of my pre art school works of art, and some advice to parents of young kids; write the date and a description of the drawing on the piece because I'm sure your child will appreciate it when they get older.

Age 3, 'A tree house'

Age 4

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Recent makings

Recently I've been making these hairbands using rosettes and buttons.

It was fun experimenting with different sizes of rosettes and colour combinations.

What do y'all think?

Monday, 15 February 2010

Glove love

This is another project from make it! by Jane Bull; a fun glove friend! It's really easy to make, you just turn the glove inside out, sew in the thumb, and, because I was using fingerless gloves, I had to sew up the fingers too. Then add facial features like buttons for eyes and a strip of felt for the mouth and finally stuff it. You can use regular polyester stuffing but the book encourages you to recycle and fill it with old socks, so that's what I did.

Now I just need to round up some more abandoned, discarded gloves so I can make some more.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Things that have changed since I've been at university

Number 1:

I shop at charity shops more. I've never been a big spender but when I want to buy something new I've started going to charity shops. It's a little easier on the pocket and you never know what you're going to find.

Here are a few of my recent buys

This brown bag was £1.40 and is quickly becoming one of my frequently used favourites.

75p for a stripey skirt. You can't go wrong.

12 Real Photographs of Land's End. Why? I'm not quite sure yet, but at 15p for the lot I couldn't leave them in the shop.

Number 2 :

I eat Petit Filous. Everyday. With sultanas mixed in and a biscuit instead of a spoon. It's a winning combination, and it makes my bones grow strongerer.
Also it teaches me things! There are facts on the side of the pots, like did you know that the smallest bone in the ear is the size of half a grain of rice? You don't get that with your boring adult yogurts.

Number 3:

I watch Gavin and Stacey. I never did before coming to uni. Yes I know the show's actually finished now but I only jumped on the Gav-wagon half way through series 2 so I've still got quite a few episodes to go back and watch.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Alternative Valentine's Day cards

If you're bored of hearing that roses are red and violets are blue then maybe you want to consider these cards as a way of expressing your feelings.
Now this is definitely the sign of true love. Who doesn't love bacon? Nice one Design Dude.

You could make a card with a classic mix tape of love songs on it. No credit unfortunately, but I know the cassette tape was made out of an old pair of jeans. A good alternative to over-the-top girly cards.

This fun card by the long thread is extra awesome because your valentine receives a multi-coloured crayon in the shape of a heart. What more could you want!

I love a good play on words so this card from Lark and Lola caught my eye. They even sent a Starbucks gift card on the back.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Internet Inspiration #2

After seeing the above image online ( I don't have the credit unfortunately) I was inspired to create my own version.
It's a little less crazy than the original but I like it. I went through old magazines cutting out all the circle shapes; car wheels, watches, rings, cakes, plates, flowers, and then printed out a photo of my head and cut around the hair. I arranged the circles with the face on a piece of purple sugar paper, going underneath the ears with the circles but on top of the forehead. Then I grabbed my trusty glue stick and got sticking. Simples.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Jazzing up photos

I know that photoshop is awesome, but jazzing up a photo by hand is fun too. Lots of websites have registration offers for free prints (Jessops, Snapfish, Photobox...) so there's no excuse not to have a glossy 6x4 in your hand. The way photos used to be.

To add texture to a photograph I used embroidery thread to pick out features in the image. I particularly liked drawing attention to my friends curly hair by sewing zig zags into the photo.

A needle pierces photo paper quite easily, and instead of tying a knot at the back when I was done, I just stuck the thread down with sellotape so it was secure.

With this one I wanted to emphasise the light streaks in the photo so I added red shiny thread and finished with a couple of seed beads to add another dimension to the flat surface.

I used several strands of thread to sew the patterns on these two hats which I think brings back the texture of the original items which was lost in the photo.

I picked out the details of these dresses with sequins, beads and more thread. They're just sewn on the same way they would be on to fabric. Alternatively these embellishments could be added just by glueing them on but I like the textiles element of it.

Thursday, 4 February 2010


I recently purchased Waitress on dvd (with Juno and Little Miss Sunshine for £6.98. Kerching) and that movie makes me hungry for pie! The dvd itself is even printed like a pie.

A shot of the opening sequence. Yum!

This leads me to my other pie-themed viewing; Pushing Daisies. Alas, it was cancelled after only 2 seasons, but they were 2 quirky, sweet, pie-filled seasons.

This show prompted my friend and I to have our own Pie Day a couple of summers ago where we tried our hand at baking some traditional and some more experimental pies.

The Bueno and Oreo pies were not so successful.

But our traditional apple pie was much better.

And now for the craft:

I don't have a credit for this unfortunately, so if you know who it belongs to let me know.

They're tiny pies made of polymer clay with bottle caps as the pie dishes. Seed beads have even been used for the fruit filling!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Armful of bracelets

I find myself wearing more bracelets after seeing Taylor Swift's armful of them in May last year. And the easiest way to fill your arms up is to make them yourself.

I used cheap, plastic beads on thin elastic and the pink bracelet and the one with the hearts were made simply by threading the beads onto the elastic and tying a knot.

With this bracelet I used two pieces of thicker elastic and threaded both of them in and out of the beads so they were side by side instead of end to end.

I threaded this bracelet the same way using a random combination of different sized and shaped clear, silver and black beads.

Most of these blue beads were double threaded side to side, but then I threaded each piece of elastic through one of the holes in this flat bead.