Wednesday, 29 February 2012

CPSH February

This month's topics were thought up by Rachel at The Awesome Lady.


We visited my home town, Salisbury, at the weekend. The Cathedral is a beautiful building, and one that I always find inspiring.

Something I Made

Roasted tomatoes, which I'm mostly proud of because, in making these, I actually did something in real life that I'd pinned on Pinterest!


I forgot about this topic when I chose the Week Word for this week... Or possible was subconsciously inspired? Anyway, here's Vince about to leap. Probably onto something that wouldn't take his weight and would result in a lot of crashing.


Salisbury Cathedral again. I was sitting waiting for Nick when I spotted this creature (dog? horse? wolf?) carved into the stone. I'm guessing it's pretty old, as they tend to frown up on people scratching pictures of their pets into cathedrals these days, and I like to wonder who might have done it.

Motif: Leaves

Does this sort of evergreen have leaves, or are they called something else? Anyway, I loved the contrast of the rich greenness against the blue of the sky.

Monday, 27 February 2012

This Week's Word

I've been tagged to pick the week word this week and, in honour of the 29th February, I'm going to pick 'Leap'.

Pop a comment on this post if you'd like to take part, and I'll do a round up of all the ideas on Friday.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #3

Actually managing my Someday Sketchblog on a Sunday for once! A blood orange that had such beautiful colours I wanted to try and capture it before I ate it.

The purpley smudge at the bottom was the actual juice... I'm wondering if it's possible to paint with juice? I'm guessing it would go a bit brown after a while...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Oh, look! #2

Things that have been catching my two eyes this week:

This collection of baffling black and white photos is wonderful. Hours could be lost trying to figure out what on earth was going on...

I like this print from Print Club London (where I did my screen printing workshop). Although I think it's pretty hard to forget the modern world on your bike if there's an articulated lorry bearing down on you... but maybe the artist cycles in more bucolic locations than I do.

This part of this painting by Patricio Betteo is haunting. It's a bit Day of the Triffids meets The Drowned World, and that is a good thing. (via lostateminor)

And this week's Pinterest favourites. Click on the images for the original links.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Week Word: Journey

Emma came up with our Week Word this week (or rather her boyfriend did, thankfully not insisting on 'seismic'...)

At the moment, there's (boringly) only one journey I'm really thinking about; my journey to work. I've cycled to work for years and I love it... not only does it mean I can eat chocolate with impunity, it also saves me money and means I don't have to start my day being grumpy about public transport.

So when we moved to Staines I was adamant I was still going to cycle. It's quite a long way, so I'm only doing three days a week at the moment but it's really not too awful a route (although some bits are Very Boring) and it means I can literally eat All The Things. 

Here is an entirely inaccurate map of my journey, featuring a few of the things I see.

Go and visit Emma to find out where other people are thinking about journeying to this week.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Day of the Pancakes

Yes, I should have posted this yesterday. But I didn't make the pancakes till supper time, and that's far too late for blogging in my (frequently revised, rather unauthoritative) book.

No one needs a recipe for pancakes, do they? And I don't have one to give you, anyway. I put flour in a bowl, add two eggs and milk and whisk until it looks like the right consistency. Admittedly sometimes it's not and the first pancake is more of a slab of stodge, but it's easy enough to remedy that with more milk.

Nick's something of a pancake purist, so had the classic lemon and sugar combination. I had those too, but also a couple with Nutella and Greek yoghurt. They tasted a lot better than these photos suggest...

I was going to ask if anyone else had pancakes, but actually did anyone not? My facebook feed was full of pancake pictures last night, and I sure I kept smelling them wafting out of peoples' houses on the way home.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Someday Sketchblog #2

Last year I sent my grandmother some macaroons for her birthday. In her thank you letter she mentioned some famous character from the past who always referred to having 'cawfee and a macaroon'. Despite some intense googling, I have no idea what she was talking about. (If anyone out there knows, please enlighten me!) 

Unfortunately, Nick finds the phrase intensely amusing and now can rarely offer me a coffee without a macaroon. And as I very much like macaroons but they're not really something we keep in the house I always think it's just a bit mean of him.

Anyway... I work very close to the Temple of Macaroons, Laduree, and it became this week's sketching subject.

That smudge at the top is chocolate. I suffer for my art...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Oh, look! #1

Rather than just keeping them to myself, like some sort of miserly hoarder, here are some things that have caught my eye this week. This is, after all, what the internet is for...

This Classic British Puddings print from notonthehighstreet. It's £25, and I might have already bought one for a friends' birthday.

The Composites is a site that uses 'law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters' to create images of people in books. It's a really interesting idea (and he takes suggestions), but I was particularly amazed because this is almost exactly how I imagined Tess of the D'Urbervilles to look. Although I do think his Edward Rochester has a touch of the Planet of the Apes... (via lostateminor)

c. Lisa Devlin

I'm not sure what these two are doing, but it looks like a lot of fun. (via rocknrollbride)



And a few of my favourite things from Pinterest recently. Click on the images for the original links.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Week Word: Love

This week's word, love, was chosen by Emily at Ready for an Adventure in honour of Valentine's Day. Go and see her post to see who else is participating this week.

I must admit, I struggled a bit. Not with the concept of love (I hope!) but to think of a way to depict it without getting too cheesy or obvious. 

(That I don't like either cheese or obviousness very much can probably be guessed if I tell you that for our 'romantic' Valentine's night out, Nick and I went to an allyoucaneat place in Staines. And were the last to leave.)

So I thought, and doodled, and googled, and didn't come up with much. And then I remembered this poem, Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. (Does Shakespeare always have the answers? Like some sort of Elizabethan equivalent to Smarties?)

Sonnet 130
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare.

I think that's love for me; loving the real person, not the dream or the ideal, and acknowledging that their flaws and imperfections are what makes them so real and loveable. 

And maybe a worthwhile thing to remember when we're feeling a bit meh in the face of yet another impossibly perfect (photoshopped) image in a magazine. Everyone, really, treads on the ground.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Warm ears. Better than cold ears.

(Just realised I hadn't had a 'better than' blog title for a while...)

It's been very cold here recently. 

Even Staines looks pretty in the snow...

And when everything's covered in snow and fingers are chilly, I've decided knitting is definitely the best craft. I've been hankering after a knitted headband/ear warmer thing for a while as, much as I love hats, if I've got my hair up it can be a bit of challenge to then get a hat over the top of it without looking like I'm channelling Joseph Merrick.

My relationship with knitting is a bit hit and miss. I can knit, quite well and quite speedily, and I can manage fancy stitches and things. But I can't count at the same time so following a pattern is usually a disaster. Oh, and I've never got round to getting any circular needles, so I only like to go in straight lines.

I'm really good at scarves. 

This headband, then, was just based on alternating two rows of knit and two rows of pearl to make it ribbed and keeping on going 'til it fitted round my head. I then blanket stitched the edges to neaten it up a bit. 

I'm pretty pleased with the result - it's exactly what I wanted, didn't cost me any money (as I already had the wool lurking in the spare room), and it was finished in a day or so meaning it's still cold enough to use it! (Although I think that guarantees an unseasonably warm snap now...)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Someday Sketchblog #1

Emma at The Gift Shed has suggested I join in with her 'Sunday Sketchblog' feature. This seems like an excellent idea... except that I don't think I've ever managed to post on a Sunday so far, and that seems quite unlikely to change!

So, with a bit of poetic licence, I'm going to go for a (wittily titled) 'Someday Sketchblog' - aim for Sundays but not feel too guilty if I hit Monday instead.

Emma completed a very beautiful, delicate sketch of a cottage on Orkney this week... I'm afraid I've not been anywhere that pretty and I rarely manage anything that delicate, but here's my equivalent: our 'new' house in Staines.

and with a little bit of colour added:

Friday, 10 February 2012

Weekword: Yellow

This week's word, yellow, was chosen by Erika at hub 52.

Yellow makes me think of sunflowers, but they seem to feature rather frequently on here and aren't really very seasonal.

So then I remembered this lovely poem, For Anne Gregory, by Yeats:

Oh, and in case anyone's worried, I've worked out how to avoid young men loving me for my yellow hair alone... I've found one who's hair is just as yellow as mine.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

I don't want to go to Chelsea*...

but I have to, sometimes, and I take my pencils to try and make the most of it. So here are some doodles that have been languishing in my sketchbook for a few months.

*apologies to any fans of Elvis Costello. Or Chelsea.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Week Word: Dragon

Just as I thought we were going to be weekwordless this week, Biomouse popped up with her word - dragon.

Possibly because I went to university in Cardiff, my first thought was the dragon on the Welsh flag. So here are two... one from our trip to Aberystwyth last year, and one from my sketchbook. 

I'm wondering if Sally, who's actually in Wales, will immediately think of the same image as me this week?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Bike and Old Buildings

An exciting day - I've just picked up my new bike, a very pretty one of these!

The lovely people at Tokyo Fixed had been customising it a little bit to my (very fussy) specifications, and I'm really looking forward to riding home tonight without a wobbly headset.

Despite the fact that it's freezy-cold here, the sun was out today so whilst I trotted through Soho I took a few pictures of some of the things I love about that part of London.

Unusual bits of architecture where you least expect them.

Beautiful typography on old shop signs. 

Remembering to look up to see what's above street-level.

Little details left when buildings change purpose.