Someone treated herself to some Rotring Isograph pens for Christmas, and then opened her presents too early… That someone was totally me! Hehe. So many circles, so many. Pretty sure I can see an eye and a weird mouth in there. What do you see?
Made with watercolour pencils, paints and ink. Keep experimenting!
This one was a mix up again of my Squeeby doodles and a watercolour background I was swishing around with. I bought some new Rotring Isograph pens for myself for Christmas and totally opened them early, so was messing around to see how they worked on thick printer paper, well, and on watercolour paper… Awesome. The one thing I can’t work out is what size nib I like the best! But it’s going to be a bit more environmentally friendly, I can refill them! I love Unipins but they don’t last so long (though far longer than Copics!) so least I’m not throwing plastic away every month or so!
So the original doodle is below, I threw it in Photoshop and tidied it a bit and thought I’d see what it was like if I coloured it. In the end I accidentally inverted it and it gave me the idea to put it in front of a watercolour. I think it’s got a bit of a boho tie-dye vibe to it. Let me know what you think!
I’m always trying to think up daft ideas when playing with abstract work. I’ve always really enjoyed working with watercolours and acrylics, but always feel a bit flat, so I thought this time I’d start cutting up pieces and sticking them together, and that’s where inspiration struck!
So once I had chopped all of the above watercolours into triangles I thought sewing them would be a lot of fun… But thread wouldn’t really stand out, rope would be too big and crochet thread too flimsy. I used to work as an engineer so I do love a bit of metal from time to time so decided to grab some wire I use for my clay creations and start sewing… This took a very very long time, but I can see how people get addicted to knitting, cause you can watch telly at the same time, very therapeutic!
It’s alive! ALIVE! Really enjoyed this experiment. I went a bit mad and made about 5-6 A4 pieces in the end. Hours of punching the card, sewing, getting the wire up my nails…
Keep creating everyone! Keep experimenting and remember nothing is ever wrong, just fun!
It’s been a long while since I’ve had the paints out. The house has been carpeted from top to bottom before it gets sold, and I promised, promised, I wouldn’t get the paints back out. But I feel like I’m drowning in my own head, so thought what harm can watercolour pencils do? It’s like drugs, it just lead to harder things! Well the real watercolours anyway. I made some circles from the watercolour pencils, then started adding a bit more depth with some watercolour paints. I quite enjoyed what came out, as I’m usually a jagged little critter.
As nice as it was I really fancied a doodle. I’m getting a pyrography machine for Christmas (if santa takes me off the naughty list) and really want to practice abstract lines and ideas so got a couple of Unipin pens out and started following the lines of the watercolour.
I left it for a few hours, but the little doodle devil in my head was telling me it’s not over yet so grabbed a pen and clipboard and took it to bed with me. Decided to stop around midnight! Got so involved, the only issue was I’ve been so used to drawing on an iPad I didn’t realise how bad my eyesight has got! Those little circles were almost the death of me! Fuzzy eyes! I’m calling this one Swishy Fooberry! Almost reminds me of a Cure album cover from the 80s… so, if you’re reading this Robert Smith I’m available for commissions! Hehe.
Keep doodling everyone! Don’t be scared to f#ck it up, push yourself!
Also I am not way affiliated or whatever from them but I fricking love Cult Pens and try and buy everything arty from them! Go buy your doodling things there!
Since the age of maybe 17 I have split myself in sections, then get so stressed out trying to work out who I am today I destroy the splits in a flame of ‘are you sure you want to delete this profile’, or better yet up sticks to another county, and try and draw it all together again. I do wonder in my old age if it is something I should have looked into more when I was younger, instead of wash, rinse, repeat.
So far I’ve had LaFink, DeBloyce, Finky, Scarlet, Red, Michelle, Daisy, Antique Adora, Squeeb Creative… There are a fair few I’ve forgotten, or chosen to anyway!
I guess deep down I’m just not content with myself, plus the fact I jump from craft to hobby to craft I find it hard to keep all in as one person, and on Instagram and other media I’m guessing it comes across as a bit manic, maybe. So if I split myself, maybe it’s easier… It’s not. I’m writing this to tell myself, it’s not. I’ve made so many websites, wasted so much time, been so unhappy. It ruins the fun of making anything too, I start seeing it as a business and think I should sell it… Then get despondent when my little piss drip in the sea doesn’t get noticed on social media. Run away, delete the evidence. I’ve been thinking if I just stayed the same person I was when I was a MySpace musician (yes, I’m that old) I would have a lot of online ‘friends’ still, I’ve lost so many by stupidly putting a b#mb under it and deleting profiles left right and centre. I actually genuinely miss some of them.
I’m hoping in admitting what I’m doing might just stop me doing it again. I’m too goddamn tired to start with another name. I’m certainly too tired to split myself again. so I’m just going to have to get on with it, and just let the craft do it’s thing. I might even start enjoying life again! Painting just for painting, who would have thought you could do that huh! I hope to god I don’t get back into the music again, too many wires. Mind you do we have wireless recording now? Sign me up! In fact I’m not even sure where my guitars are. Being in the middle of a renovation you start to lose track with who’s guarding what.
Anyway, Shelly, don’t do it again, I’m bored of you. You’re too old for this shit, pull your pants up and accept yourself as the kooky little weirdo you always have been.
I have some really beautiful vintage broken plate brooches and pendants for sale on Etsy now, just in time for Christmas. I’ve been salvaging plates that have been smashed and cracked and have been creating stunning one of a kind kooky pieces of jewellery with them. I have a sale on at the moment, with pieces starting from £8.99 with free UK delivery. Just the perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones, or why not treat yourself to something unique and upcycled!
There are so many wonderful programmes and people that champion the art of upcycling. Some create absolutely wild and wonderful things, and others stick more to the traditional route. I have been shooting in-between both for a few years now. Quite often a piece of furniture will tell you what it wants! The small desk table above was my first salvages. Totally destined for the bin it was covered in dark dark varnish, had scratched graffiti all over the sides and the worst… Chewing gum underneath!
I noticed it at a local auction house, and no one bid on it, so I took it before they tipped it. Now, you would think I’d do a bit of research, see what tools I’d need, how to make it easier on myself… But no. I had my elbows and I had some sand paper, and boy did I go for it.
Now, tips I can tell you now. Buy a sander!!! Hehehe, ok, if this is just a one off attempt then keep on with the elbow grease, but I seriously recommend a sander. I’ve ended up buying a mouse sander as you can use the tip to get into some of the nooks and tight spots with the tip (I recommend a Good Black and Decker brand, one with a dust extractor is a great idea! So much dust! https://amzn.to/32UNVmY )
Also get some face masks! Most of us have masks now anyway, and know how to make them, so there is absolutely no excuses! Even manual sanding can be dangerous to the lungs, even in a well ventilated space. You never know what the old varnishes have in it too, so keep safe! And please, if you’re going to start gouging out bits of wood get yourself some eye protection too.
Anyway, enough of mother Adora telling you to be safe! After 7-8 hours of sanding over three days my desk table turned out stunning! Such beautiful wood under all that gunk and goo.
Now, I did think about filling the crack in the top, but I just loved the fact that it was an honest piece of furniture, it has been round for years so why not show that? No a days I may have done a ‘Jay Blades’** and painted it a bit funky, but at the time I was more chuffed I salvaged a beautiful piece of furniture. So I got some clear wood varnish and finished her off.
After popping it on Facebook I got contacted by a local pub who was interested in buying it, and we came to a deal of £40 and a pint. Now, if you think about it the hours worked to money ratio is shockingly bad. But it ended up paying for a mouse sander and the varnish, so to me it’s paid for free tools so the next project will be cheaper to try. I always try and make my hobbies pay for themselves somehow, it’s an achievement.
So, will you go skip diving and bring an ugly piece of furniture back to life? These old pieces last way longer than any Ikea pieces, and remember you can always paint them to go with your vibe!
So now this desk table sits pride of place in the Hope and Anchor in Wokingham, and I try to put a pint on it when I’m in the area (though it does tend to see a few feet too being it’s just the right height to become a foot stool!)
Shopping list Links to things I’ve mentioned (they are affiliate links, if you do buy something I will get a tiny payment that will help pay for this website, so thank you in advance)
** Just realised that people outside the UK probably have no idea who Jay Blades is! There is a BBC programme called Money For Nothing where they go to the dump and save things from going to landfill, then create cool upcycled items, Jay has a wild time and often creates vibrant pieces! This is his website for inspiration! https://jayand.co/
My yearly fun, get the skulls out and make the weirdest thing I can think of. This year, well, I have no skulls, so I am stepping back in time. Made with a badger skull and vintage dolls clothes please meet your Victorian nightmares.