adventures in everything...

Cute Cacti

31 Jan 16

Last year, during one of my doodle a day challenges, I did a little pineapple pattern using water colours and inks. It was quite fun as I don’t often play with watercolours, I’m not very good with them, and I’m way too impatient to wait for layers to dry!

This morning it was a rainy, miserable day in London, so I thought I’d crack out the water colours and have a play again!

In front of me was my little aloe vera plant, gifted to me by my lovely friend Mazz, so I decided to paint little plants, and ended up with a bunch of cacti.

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I loved doodling these even more than the pineapples, they were so much fun!

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2016 Goals

24 Jan 16

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So, it might seem a little too late to be setting goals, but January was a busy month, and it’s not over yet, so let’s just say better late than never, ay?

I’ve decided to set myself a few goals for the year ahead, aside from the usual list of craft projects that I still haven’t finished.

So here’s my main goals for 2016!

  1. Learn to use my camera properly – I’ve had a decent camera for a good long time now, I got it when I was at college to use when I was animating, but it never gets used properly. I don’t know anything about aperture and iso and all that malarkey, so I want to learn about all that so I can get the most of out my camera and use it more. I’m actually looking at booking a short two day course, as I learn better from hands on experience than I do from reading stuff on the web.
  2. Blog every week – so I’ve already started with this one, obviously. My aim is to have a post up every Sunday (ish, some weeks might differ slightly based on events)
  3. Pay off my student loan – the end is so very nearly in sight, and I think I can finally be rid of it before the year is out! #adulting
  4. Start a mini side project – I think about little side projects alllll the time, but hopefully this year will be the year I finally put it into action. I have a few ideas up my sleeve that I’ve started working on, so watch this space.
  5. Do one fun thing in London each month – I’ve been living in London for a little over 5 years now, and I don’t really explore much outside of a very small radius. I’ve been compiling a list of things I’d like to do; some are out-for-a-day-trip kinda things, some are spend-an-hour-on-a-sunday kinda things, and the plan is to pick something off the list each month to do on a weekend. Hopefully it’ll also give me a chance to get the camera out and get some practice in to help me with Goal No.1.
  6. Spend one day a month unplugged – Have one day a month, where I don’t use social media and have a break from my phone. I’m not sure how easy this will be as my BF is permanently attached to his phone 24/7, and it will be hard for me to switch off if he doesn’t. Will see how it goes.
  7. Send snail mail each month – I love sending snail mail, just as much as I love receiving it, and although I’m lucky enough to exchange parcels with my good friend Amber every few months, I’d love to have an old school Penpal that I don’t know. As an alternative, I’m contemplating doing a little Instagram plea for folk who would like to do a postcard swap instead. It also means I get to do some organising which I LOVE.
  8. Speaking of organising, my final goal is to Set up a proper workspace at home. Although I spend most of my weekdays working in an office, I do often work from home, but I don’t have a proper desk/workspace, just a small desk in my room that is usually pilled with craft supplies and unfinished projects. Ideally by the end of February I’d like to have a proper workspace set up with a decent size desk. I also feel like having somewhere more comfortable to sit and work at home might make me more productive when it comes to my own little projects outside of paid work.

So there we have it. I might check in over the summer to see how progress is going on these as I would hope that by then a few of these will be well under way!

Have you got any goals for 2016?

Lx

The Neon Museum

17 Jan 16

Earlier this month I spent a week or so in Vegas, it was for work, but I also managed to fit some fun stuff in too.

I’d never been to Vegas before, but one thing I’d always wanted to see, if I ever got the opportunity, was the Neon Museum.

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The Neon Museum is a non profit organisation that collects and restores old Las Vegas signs, and, well, basically, it’s an Instagrammers dream!

I just about managed to get tickets for the night time tour, where they have a few restored lights turned on, and the rest are “dramatically lit”, and it was so worth it. The tours are great as they tell you a lot about the history of vegas, the casinos, and the signs themselves – the designers and the techniques behind making them.

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Needless to say I took about 500 photos! These are just a small handful.

If you’re in Vegas, I’d highly recommend checking it out, but book in advance for the night time tours as they tend to sell out.

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Neon Niceties

10 Jan 16

Last summer I started playing around with patterns a lot – they were a fun way to experiment with different techniques – and a few people even suggested turning some into fabric using Spoonflower, which I’ve actually been looking in to!

I’ve continued to experiment, creating new patterns and trying to tweak older ones to work better when tiling for fabric prints, and one I created this month was inspired by my current location… Las Vegas!

This particular one was inspired by the sign from the Neon Museum (their Neon Boneyard sign) which is super kitsch and vintage with it’s neon stars. The museum itself is awesome, I’ll post more about that soon!

Here’s a close up of a section of the pattern…

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And here’s the pattern across a larger area – I think it would make a pretty great 50’s style dress!

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I really do enjoy these, and I’m contemplating making one of my doodle-a-day monthly challenges a pattern themed one, so keep an eye out! :)

Christmas Crafting

03 Jan 16

Hello! And Happy New Year!

Hope your 2016 is off to a good start!

I have a busy start to January, but before I head off I thought I’d share a quick post with some gifts I made for Christmas.

I’m completely in love with this bunny rabbit pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits. Having made a few as gifts, I now want to make one (or several) for myself! This particular one was made for my niece…

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There’s also a pack available which contains a bunch of different dress patterns for the doll, and you can of course design your own pattern for the dress quite easily.

I bought the small suitcase from a website called Bijou, it’s perfect to pop in any additional dresses you make (I think you could fit two in, or one and a cardigan), so you can pack her up and send her off to her new home.

And if bunnies aren’t your thing (why?!), there are also patterns for cats, mice, monkeys, and even elephants!

Next up was a little bit of a challenge…

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I decided I wanted to hand-make something for one of my best friends, she’s a big fan of scandi stuff, so I thought she’d love these dala horse mittens. Unfortunately all that was provided in the pattern was the chart and no written instructions. I spent ages looking for another pattern with better detail, but none compared to these as they were so completely perfect for the recipient. Thankfully, after scouring all 260+ Ravelry projects for this particular pattern, I found one lovely user had written up extensive notes which were so incredibly useful, and I’m so grateful!

Colour work still isn’t my strong suit, but it was well worth the effort as they went down a treat!

This year I finally made some truffles to accompany gifts too (I plan to do this every year and always run out of time).

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I chose a somewhat risky Gingerbread Truffle recipe (not everyone likes ginger… or so I thought) and made a billion truffles, dipped in chocolate and topped with christmas coloured sprinkles. They turned out to be a big hit, and I may have eaten a few hundred myself.

Did you make any handmade gifts for Christmas? Or did you receive any?

Lx