Monday, 30 April 2012

CPSH April

I chose the topics for this month's Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt, and here are my pictures.


Vintage wedding dresses.

Something I made

Easter egg chocolate cupcakes


Bunny decoration from my Easter Tree.


Quilts made from fabic scraps.

Motif: Symmetry

Vintage buttons from this month's Mollie Makes magazine.

Go and visit the other participants this month, and I'll do a round-up and pick my favourites later in the week.

Margot at Tulsi Crafts
Emma at The Gift Shed
Rachie at The Awesome Lady

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #11

This week's sketch is from my initial doodle-ideas for our first project on my illustration course.

We were given the starting point 'sometimes it's good to lie', and I was thinking about the devil being referred to as the prince of lies* and the phrase 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. Are those good intentions sometimes the lies we tell ourselves?

I think my devil was also inspired a bit by the Master in Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita? It certainly looks a bit how I imagined him. (Amazing book, and equally impressive adaptation currently on at the Barbican if you can beg/steal/borrow a ticket.)

Go and see if Emma's been sketching this week, and don't forget about the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt! I'll be posting my pictures on Monday and doing a round up of my favourites later in the week.

*Also a Buffy character, I've just remembered...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Oh, look! #5

I've not been very good at keeping up with this, but here's another go. Things I like...

How London looks in the rain (if not how it feels). New shoes. 
Apples and pears glass-wear in Soho. Tweed and bicycles!
(All from my instagram: timballoo)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Week Word: Travel

After last week's rather rushed affair, Sally at Diario has picked our word again this week and gone for 'travel'.

I'm sure most people will go for something exotic and day dreamy this week, but I'm afraid I haven't. For most commuters (especially Londoners) the ultimate travel dream is getting a seat on the train. Unfortunately, it's about as likely and happens about as often as that trip to the Maldives...

Even with all this rain, I still usually prefer my bike to the train! 

Go and see Sally to see what other travel stories we have this week.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

'What I Did' Wednesday

I think Wednesday's are going to become 'what I did last night in art class' days around here...

More portraits! I'm very glad I made some attempts at getting over my fear of drawing faces before I started this course or I think my comfort zone would be a dot to me about now.

Yesterday we did more very quick portraits of each other, each one with a specific style or way of drawing: with your left hand, with your eyes closed (yes, that's the one that looks a bit Picasso), holding your pen like a dagger, in thirty seconds, just using straight lines, or dots, not taking your pen off the paper, holding the very end of your pen, etc.

This was a really interesting exercise, especially as we were using felt-tip pens and working so quickly there was no option for rubbing out or reviewing what you'd done. It made me focus on making sure each mark needed to be there and really reminded me that less is often more.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Mr Trollope

I've not done well, just recently, at mentioning much of what I'm reading. So here goes... 

I'm reading Trollope. And that's pretty much it.

I have an English Literature degree, and have read anything and everything since I was old enough to hold a book by myself. How is it, then, that I got to thirty without ever having read Trollope? A mystery.

If I'm not alone in this then I urge you all to trot off and find some Trollope immediately. It's like a mix of Dickens and Austen, and that can only (mostly) be a good thing.

So far this year I've got through the Chronicles of Barsetshire, and have just finished the first Palliser novel. And thanks to the marvel that is the Kindle I've got the whole lot in my handbag.

I also have a tiny feeling that Mr Trollope, for his time, was a little bit of proto-feminist. I'm sure there are endless clever essays that would disagree with me, but his women seem real, are written sympathetically, and have minds of their own. I'd rather spend time with Glencora Palliser than Ada Clare any day.

Trying out my new drawing inks, so here's Lady Glencora in the ruins at midnight.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #10

I'm afraid that whenever I've had a fairly uninspiring week, sketch-wise, this is always going to be yet another version of 'what I can see from my window'. 

Emma's managed something a lot more creative this week - go and see.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Week Word: Tardy

Sally at Diario picked our word this week... and it's very apt because she forgot and only posted it late last night!

So a rather speedily done sketch from me, inspired by lateness, the terrible weather that keeps falling out of the sky onto London at the moment, and the true horror of both things combining.

Visit Sally to see who else has managed a last-minute week word.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

New Things News

Simultaneously exciting and scary news: I've just started an illustration course at St Martins. A bit like the screen printing workshop I did last year, I was convinced it would all be over my head and full of terrifyingly artistic and talented people and I'd feel like I was in one of those dreams where you find yourself in a class where you've got no idea what's going on and everyone's talking nonsense, but very cleverly.

But, of course, it wasn't like that. People were friendly and there were lots of different levels of ability and no one laughed at me.

Like the first day of any course anywhere in the world, last night was mostly being enrolled and being talked at rather than doing much. But I think I'm going to like it. And we did all have to draw a thirty-second-don't-take-your-pencil-off-the-paper portrait of the person sitting next to us...

Clearly room for improvement.

In other news, now that Instagram is available on Android, I have jumped on the bandwagon with both feet. 

I'm timballoo, if anyone wants to follow me?

Monday, 16 April 2012


As I've mentioned before, I'm not vegan or even vegetarian. But I do like to try a lot food that is... mostly because I'm intrigued by new ways of using ingredients and flavours, and because it's often a healthier alternative.

I was therefore quite excited to spot that a raw food cafe, 42°Raw, had opened in the back of the Royal Academy of Arts, and popped in to pick up some lunch last week.

You might not spot the cafe unless you know it's there, and you have to go into the back entrance of the Royal Academy to find it. But you don't have to look at any art (unless you want to).

I had the raw lasagne.

It's made of 'squash, tomato sauce, walnuts, parsley pesto, cashew creme, and baby spinach'. There were also definitely slices of courgette, some garlic, and sunflower seeds involved.

Obviously, it didn't taste like traditional lasagne. But it was amazingly flavoursome, definitely reminiscent of the concept of lasagne, and a clear improvement on a boring salad.

In the spirit of adventurousness (not greed, of course) I also tried a piece of the chocolate cake.

It was more like a mousse cake than a sponge - you couldn't eat it (tidily) with your fingers. Apparently it's made of 'cashews, dates, cacao butter and cacao powder', but there were definitely also more seeds and things in the crust.

Very good. I doubt it would count as a health food, but definitely better for you than the traditional version, and tasted just as rich and chocolatey.

So, if you happen to be sauntering along Burlington Gardens and have Pret-Fatigue I'd suggest this place as an interesting alternative. And you can eat cake and feel sort of virtuous. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #9

So, from strangers faces last week I've moved on to drawing my own. It looks a bit like me... I think people who know me might recognise it (with a bit of prompting) but I don't think it'd be much use as a photofit if I ever commit a terrible crime.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Week Word: Chocolate

Emma chose our very seasonal word this week: chocolate.

I haven't really been overwhelmed with chocolate this Easter (apart from the obligatory cupcakes) and so there was sadly no enormous stash of eggs in pretty foil to draw.

Thinking about images that relate to chocolate is interesting, too. I found that most things that came to mind were very... female. It annoyed me a bit. It's food, it shouldn't have to be gendered!

But in the end I went with it. A girl with chocolate hair.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Long Weekend

A few images from our Easter weekend, to continue my spring-y theme.

Daffodil hunting in Windsor Great Park...

they weren't that hard to find...

And the obligatory batch of chocolate egg cupcakes...

In contrast, if you leave purchasing them to Easter Saturday, chocolate eggs can be really very hard to find.

Monday, 9 April 2012


As promised, a prettier drawing today to make up for the zombie on Friday. And a spring-y, Easter-y one to celebrate the end of the long Bank Holiday weekend.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #8

Continuing with my attempts at drawing people, I've been focusing on faces this week. Cheating a bit, as they're not from life... but at least this way I can make sure I get the eyes and noses in the right places without offending anyone by making them look peculiar.

I'm not sure if Emma's posted today, but pop and have a look to see if she's got a Sunday sketch.

Oh, and Happy Easter! May your day be full of crossed buns and chocolate bunnies.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Week Word: Order

This week's word is 'order', chosen by Katy at Creating Misericordia. I found this a really hard one - it seems to have so many meanings, but none of them really struck a chord with me.

I was quite tempted by a photo of my newly ordered (by colour) jumper drawer. But I don't think anyone would be terribly interested in that, even if it does please me every time I open it.

Instead, what kept coming to mind was the phrase 'new world order' and, as I've mentioned my penchant for zombies before, I'm afraid this is what I've come up with...

Sorry he's a bit gory. I promise the next few posts will be a lot prettier to make up for it!

Go visit Katy to see the other interpretations for this week.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

'Did you ever see a drawing of a muchness?'

I was lucky enough to go and see the new Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ballet at the Royal Opera House last night. It's beautiful; true enough to the book to please purists but original enough to be exciting.

I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to take photos in the Opera House, but I couldn't resist a few of the amazing ceiling...

...and one of the curtain before the second interval...

It was clearly inspiring, as this is today's page from my sketchbook:

Monday, 2 April 2012

CPSH April: Categories

Kirst at The Leopard Anchor dreamed up the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt last year, but as she's busy preparing for a very big adventure various other people are guest-hosting for a while and it's my turn.

Everyone and anyone's welcome to join in. You can read about it here, and if you want to take part this month just pop a comment at the end of this post or email me. It would be lovely to have some new participants this month, so please don't be shy!

Without further ado, here are this month's categories:

(I'm aware my handwriting isn't always super-legible, so they are: inspiration, something I made, Easter, re-purpose and the motif is symmetry)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #7

I've got into the swing of this posting on a Sunday thing now. (By which I mean I do them earlier in the week and pre-schedule...)

We've had some beautifully unseasonable weather this week so rather than continuing to practice drawing the people I can see through my windows, I went and sat in the park.

You'd think that would be easier, but people are very wriggly when they don't know you're trying to use them as models!