Monday, 8 August 2016

Antler People, Round Robins and Owls ...

I've been working on some more ATCs for swaps.

Sometimes there are the most unusual, strange, or just plain different swap titles.  

This one is run by an member in Slovakia. 
And called "Antler People", which is basically what it says on the tin - people with antlers!

As usual we have to make three cards, and generally people make a fourth one 
as a gift to the person who hosts the swaps.

Running a swap is pretty hard work, as I found out for myself when I ran my first swap.

I decided to go for the theme "Folk ~ Primitive Art" as I hadn't seen any of those in 
recent art history on

As it was my first swap I was allowed to have 12 players.  It was so exciting to see people signing up to play!  It showed me that it was a pretty good choice of theme!

Above (x 3) is all the cards I received in the swap.  So I had 12 x 4 as they all included a hostess card for me!  I absolutely loved receiving all the delightful creations in the post.  It was like my birthday every day.

I decided that I wanted to make a card for each of the players too - so I could send them three back and an extra from me to say thank you for joining the swap.

Above (x 2) are my Folk Art cards.

I had great fun sorting through the cards, deciding which ones I was going to have as the hostess card 
and then dealing out three different artists to each player.  
And even more exciting is that they are arriving at their new homes as I write this!


I also participate in one to one trades. 
 So I trade one (or two, or three or however many we agree on) with another trader.  

I traded with a member in America.  She wanted owls.  So here are my three owls for her.

I love creating and drawing owls!  I think they are by far my most favourite bird!

There are also Round Robin swaps/trades going on.

Both in hand-drawn and hand-painted, and mixed media.

These consist of three cards where the first player draws the same picture on each card.

In the card above the first player drew the pirate.

I then received the three cards and decided to add a pirate ship.  These are now being sent to the third and final player.  She is going to draw the last item on the card and then all three of us get one of the cards!

I have also decided to be the starter on the set below. 
 I love Gorjuss and decided to draw my version of her on my three cards.  

Can't wait to see what is added to them!

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Monday, 11 July 2016

Elephant's Eye; Amidala; Abigal Cable & Swamp Thing; Roaring 20s; Mixed Media Hearts and Chunky Pages

Another mixed bag!

And again ... for the Artist Trading Cards forum.

Amidala was a special request from a member who'd seen one I'd made previously for another trade.  
It has taken me a while to make her.  Hopefully her recipient likes her!

The Elephant's Eye was a prompt for the ATC forum within Ravelry.  

I thought I would show you the picture I took my inspiration from.  As you can see it is in no way as good but it does show what it is!

I held off from drawing this one as I kept thinking it was going to be hard. 
 And I had to make seven for the girls that are in the swap!  
So I confess I cheated here ... I drew one copy and then scanned it in to make seven ...

I really didn't think I'd have it in me to draw it seven times :-/ 
I really hope that the girls don't mind getting a copy!

I love the site as it pushes me.  (I am currently drawing a chihuahua!)  
I have prompts and ideas that are not what I would usually choose to draw/paint/create ... 
and I am finding that I am loving it!

The one above is of someone I had never heard of ... Abigail Cable and Swamp Thing!  I had to research this.  This was for a MMH (Make Me Happy) Comic Book trade.  
Basically one person lists three characters they'd like an atc of 
and the next person says they'll make them happy with one of them and then lists their three choices.  
A great way to get lots of new and different cards.

Below are four cards I made for the Roaring 20s swap.  They are slightly blurred - the scanner wasn't playing ball and I think they were still slightly curled from glue (I often need a heavy book or two to weight them down!)

Great fun playing and making collages with paper and pictures!

And another MMH (Make Me Happy) forum - this time for mixed media hearts.  
And you all know how much I love hearts!  

The one above I decided to make to "match" a Chunky Page I'd made for a member and send them both off together.

A Chunky Page is usually a 4 inch by 4 inch square made from thicker card.  They can be just hand-drawn or painted - or as I have done here - mixed media - lots of pictures and bits of paper and cut-outs!  
A Chunky Page can have added tassels and bits.  The recipient usually says if they want the left hand side left clear for about half an inch or a hole punched at the top or wherever - this means they can then bind the pages together and make a snazzy book!

All good fun!

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Saturday, 9 July 2016


I have seen so many blankets in blogs, magazines and Pinterest ... and many of them are the V-Stitch.  
This is a stitch that I haven't used myself... until now!

Having used lots of pink recently I thought I'd return to my good old favourite - blue! 
I decided I was going to use just scraps again and also wanted an extra "pop" every so often 
so included a bright yellow and a peachy orange.

I cannot believe that I haven't used this stitch before.  It is wonderful! 
So simple and almost mindless crocheting.  It made an absolute ideal project to have in front of the telly!  
I usually do crochet or knit in the evening in front of the box - 
but with this one I barely had to look at the work I was crocheting!

It worked up incredibly quickly too - I found myself completing about ten rows or so a night.  
What a way to grow a blanket!

There is something very pleasing about blues and the yellow/peachy orange together, 
every time I looked at it I smiled.  
I can't decide if this is because I really like blue ... or that the combination is just one that works!

What do you think?

(I do like playing with colour combinations and sometimes find that I like combinations that I would never have considered putting together.)

And it got Trixie's approval too as she decided to photo-bomb the last photo I took!

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Superheroes and Alfons Mucha

Hmm ... well they certainly don't sound like they go together!

However that is the variation in the atcs (Artist Trading Cards) I have made this week!

On I am in a swap called Marvel Superheroes.  
I had to join this swap as in our house everyone is Marvel mad!

Adam had a big tin of coloured pencils with these superheroes on and I decided that they would make a good impact with the close up of their faces.

Captain America and Hulk are my favourite cards.  Thor is okay but I am not too keen on Iron Man - the one I thought would be the easiest!

I decided to use a transfer that one of the boys hasn't used.  
I coloured a bit of a fire blast sort of effect as the background using copic style markers 
and the blending pen.  
Then carefully transferred the tattoo transfer over the top.

In the Ravelry ATC swap group we've had two themes for June - Elephant's Eye - this one I haven't attempted yet.  It is on my to-do list!  The other was to make atcs in the style of Alfons Mucha.

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing these whilst England did incredibly badly in the match on Monday night.

They were fun and embraced the girly side after those superheroes!

I decided I would colour these in with colour pencils as I wanted to achieve a softer effect.

However before I started colouring-in I copied them all on one sheet with just the black outlines as I also want to colour them in with the alcohol pens and achieve a deeper effect.

That way I can also put them in my Gallery at

Loved the experimenting with different colours.

And the ornate hairdos!

Hopefully the girls I am swapping with will like them as much as I do!

This last one is my favourite (along with the first one)!

~~~ *** ~~~

The bane of my knitting so far ...

I am sure that everyone who crafts has one project that was just the bane of their life.

No matter how many times you tried it, things would go wrong, and it ended up taking so much longer than it needed to ...

This is mine ...

It is a fantastic little jumper by TinCanKnits that literally has sizes from babe to grown up.
It is a free pattern and part of their Simple Knits collection.

It is a gorgeous little sweater knitted in the round with a purl stitch panel down each sleeve.  This panel was the first hurdle I made myself - I didn't read the pattern properly and purled the sleeves all across the top!  So first frogging!

I used a gorgeous aran weight yarn called
Sublime Luxurious Aran Tweed

which was on sale at Hobbycraft in the shades of Indigo and Vineyard (I think ... I've only gone and thrown the label away)

This is a lovely yarn to knit with - thick and soft but with the feel of homespun.  Only problem was I had bought a limited amount.

I checked with my sister-in-law-to-be and she gave me Jack's measurements and I made the one year size.  Only problem was when I was knitting it I kept thinking it wasn't going to be big enough - even though the measurements seemed to fit.

It didn't fit!  There was no growing room at all!

So second frogging and this time it was ALL of it!

This time I went for the age two thinking that if it was too big - it would be one to grow into.  So off I knitted again ... only this time I didn't have enough yarn!  Seriously!  And I didn't have time to order over the internet as we were on route for Jack's first birthday and I was finishing it in the car.  We did an emergency stop at the Hobbycraft at Bristol only to find they didn't have any.  D'oh ... it was a sale yarn!  So I bought a yarn that I felt went the best in a tweedy mossy shade.

And off we set again.  I decided that I'd use this new yarn as the ribbing at the bottom and use the suplime yarn up by making stripes with it.  I had little bits and bobs from frogging it.

Only when I was on the first lot of ribbing I realised I'd picked up DK (double knitting) weight yarn instead of aran.  Urrgh!  I decided that as it was a fairly thick DK I would go with it.  I made sure I didn't rib too tightly with it and all in all I think it goes.

I managed to finish it off at the get-together.  And it fitted!

Only to have it returned by my parents on the Monday as it had started to come undone!  Where I'd been desperately trying to finish it (in a room that wasn't that brightly knit) I'd somehow managed to cast off and drop a couple of stitches on the way. Seriously sad face!

So again I frogged the ribbing back and re-did it.  This time I pulled and stretched and double-checked to make sure there were no loose stitches or anything... and then posted it off!

So there you go ... the bane jumper of my life!

Actually when you got knitting it knitted up really quick - especially once the pattern had been read properly.  And it hasn't put me off - I've cast another one on!  

Does that mean I'm a glutton for punishment?  Or just determined that one sweater will not win!

~~~ *** ~~~