DAY 27 MESSING AROUND CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re having a good start to this current work week. We are starting our sixth week in lockdown. The sun is shining brightly reminding us that there are good things to come. Things will get better but life will never be the same as we remember it. For some that might be a good thing.

It’s day 27 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies. Yes I said Day 27 …. I can’t believe it either because that means there are only a few days left of April !!!!! Time sure does fly. Are you ready for today’s messing around effort? Well, without further ado here it is …..

Keys

Today’s art journal page spread is very simple. I ripped a page out of a dictionary, trimmed it down and pasted it down. I added some simple stencilling, I did a bit of stamping and cut the subjects out and pasted them in place. I shaded everything using my water colour pencils. Bish bash bosh, that’s my art journal page for today. You see how easy it is. Anybody can do it. And you can use any format you wish.

I promised you a photo showing any progress I made on my hexagon quilt last week. I have been working on this project for a couple of years. I dragged it out again last week because I felt I needed to do some sewing, even if it was just something simple. At the moment I am busy filling in the shaped edges to even them out a little more before adding a plain border.

Hexagons 1

It’s starting to look like this now …..

Hexagons 2

I have no idea what I will use for the plain border. I will dig around my stash to see if I have anything big enough that tones in well with the hexagons. Once that’s done, I’ll have to decide on a backing and how to quilt it. All this will take a while but it will get done by Christmas.

So, it’s another lovely day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We haven’t had much rain this past month, this unusual for April. I watched our Prime Minister make a speech on TV this morning. Yes, Boris Johnson is back at the helm after contracting and recovering from the invisible enemy. He seems to be in no rush to ease lockdown and with good reason too.

Well, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something worthwhile. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 7

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all settled into a new routine. Have you been productive today? Well I’m slowly fitting into the new normal. I did some charity work and then indulged in messy time.

So, it’s Day 7 of my Messing Around with art supplies challenge. I am hoping to stick to for four weeks. Only three weeks to go. Today, I played with some Brusho. Brusho is colour crystals which are very versatile. I only tried one method so far. I started by laying some newspaper to protect the surface. I previously gathered up my supplies including watercolour paper…..

Day 7 Art Supplies

Brusho Tubs

I chose two different colours of Brusho and sprinkled it onto one sheet of watercolour paper…..

Day 7 First Sprinkle

Then I spritzed it with water …..

Day 7 Sprinkle Spritzed

And the next step, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but I sprinkled some coarse salt. Apparently, salt can pull some of the colour out giving the work an interesting look …..

Day 7 First sprinkled salted

Here’s the second try with two different colours and spritzed with water …..

Day 7 Second Sprinkle Spritzed

My first thought as I was removing my latex free protective gloves was that both bits of effort look like they’re part of a murder scene!!! I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with these creations. They’re not deserving of being hung in pride of place on the fridge, I’m going to have to practice a whole lot before I am able to create anything great with Brusho. They may take several hours to dry thoroughly. I’m obviously going to have to cut them up to fit them into my art journal. Rest assured that I haven’t given up on the Brusho. I will try different ways of using it over the next few weeks. I’m fired up now. I hope you’re all trying different things. My preferred medium is fabric. So, this paper art is well out of my comfort zone even though I have had a good introduction to many different kinds of art supplies.

So, life goes on at happy stitching manor. We get up every morning and do the things that need doing. We get out to stretch our legs while walking our Maisie girl dog. We play with fabric. We do charity work that we used to do as a group. We cook interesting meals using the ingredients we have in the house. The new normal still feels pretty strange though.

With being in a lockdown situation there may very well be increases in domestic violence. I would also say that family law legal practices will most likely be very busy in months to come after prolonged periods of being cooped up with abusive spouses. Remember abuse doesn’t only mean violence; emotional abuse now falls in the same category as domestic violence here in the UK. So, for anyone suffering at the hands of their abuser, please get help. Click here to be taken to the Woman’s Aid website who can offer advice and help if you’re feeling unsafe during this lockdown. And remember to dial 999 for the Police. Keep yourself and your children safe.

Well it’s been another interesting day in paradise. I love messing around with different things. I think my next endeavour will be playing in the garden. It definitely needs a good tidy. And with the improving weather, there’s never been a better time to get out in the garden.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing what you love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 6

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in reasonable spirits. I’m discovering the best way to get thru this lockdown is keeping busy. So, this morning I did some of my charity work. It made me feel better and now I’m going to try to add tasks to my To-Do List everyday for the next. We’re told that the best thing to do is stick to some kind of realistic routine. So, let’s aim for that shall we. I wanted to go thru cupboards and get rid of whatever is surplus to requirement however, the tips are closed. So, there’s no use sifting thru stuff to decide whether we need it or not because we can’t get rid of it. That’s a job for another time, I guess.

After spending some time in my sewing room doing volunteer charity work, I went on to do a little messing around with some art supplies. Today’s effort is another little piece using cut up Mollie Makes magazine pages, water colour pencils and a little fine liner for a wee bit simple doodling. It was fun. My little house might even translate nicely into a fabric project. So, watch for that sometime soon.

Messing Around Day 6

Tomorrow’s project might include a Brusho. I’m not sure how my journal book will take it so I think I’ll try it out on a piece of water colour paper and then sew it into my art journal using my sewing machine and some interesting thread perhaps. I may be getting a little too brave venturing into sewing coloured water colour paper into my journal but who knows, I may get a really good result. Anything it worth a try.

So, my friends, that’s my report for today. All is well in the sunshine at happy stitching manor. You can feel the warmth in the sun now. It’s very welcome indeed. So, whatever you may be doing, I hope you have a super cosy evening doing it. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 5

Hello my lovelies. For the benefit of those who have no idea what day this is and what they should be doing today; it’s Sunday April 5, 2020. It’s also Palm Sunday.

Life is so different these days. I can remember my name, which is a very good thing but I can’t work out what day it is most of the time. It doesn’t matter what I should be doing because nothing is on a time schedule currently.

I have made no sewing progress worth showing you. However, I am managing to keep up with my Messing Around Art Challenge. I didn’t post yesterday but here is my little bit of Messing Around for Day 4 ….

Messing Around Day 4

As you can see, I went back to Day 3’s effort and added some Lucie flowers and turned it into a two-page spread. I also prepped a couple more pages for today and tomorrow’s Messing Around art.

For today and tomorrow the art is produced by cutting up little bits of Mollie Makes magazine pages and making a simple picture. There’s also little doodling. You’ll notice I keep it quite naïve. Have a little peep at my sailboat …..

Messing Around Day 5

Once again, I can go back in and add something I might decide needs to be added to these pages. You know, for all its simplicity, I am enjoying my little bit of cutting out and pasting, my little bit of shading with water colour pencils and naïve doodling. My simple art journal pages, when I look back on them, will remind of how I felt during this hopefully once in a lifetime lockdown. With all that’s going on all around us, I’m beginning to realise that expressing ourselves in whatever manner we choose is important during this crisis. As I post photos of my simple artwork, I feel like I’m telling you all my secrets. All the things I don’t want to share. However, I am hoping that this may inspire you to express yourself in whatever way you can during this difficult period. So, have a go. Give yourself permission to play at doing something you’ve never done before. You know all those supplies that you bought thinking you’d try out a new hobby? Well it’s time to pull those supplies out and use them. Remember that your first attempts may not be perfect but the more you do the better it gets. This is the perfect time to learn something new.

It’s been a quiet weekend. Sarah and I have been citizens by staying home away from any place where people might congregate. It’s ok for now but I do know one thing ….. once this crisis is over, I will never take a handshake, a hug or friendly human contact for granted ever.

So, that’s my report for the weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

MESSING AROUND DAY 3

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in reasonable spirits. I have finally worked out that it’s Friday and we’ve been in official lockdown for 12 days so far, I think.

Last evening at 8pm thousands, maybe millions of people went out onto their doorstep, front/back garden or any suitable place outdoors where they clapped, banged on pots, used anything that made a noise to show their appreciation for the #NHS. Sarah and I went out onto our doorstep and made a noise in solidarity. Quite few of our neighbours were out there as well. I live in a small port town. The port is only small. The thing that impressed me the most about making a noise outside was that over our hand clapping I could hear the small ships in port hooting. It was an eery sound that brought it all home to me. It’s not only the #NHS that’s responsible for nursing people affected by the virus back to health …. It’s everyone’s responsibility to stay home and make that virus disappear. Never has the message the government has displaying everywhere been more important … STAY HOME    PROTECT OUR NHS   SAVE LIVES. Staying home is the most difficult thing we can be asked to do; but let’s stay home and be well. Please.

So, this is day 3 of messing around. For today this is my effort and please don’t laugh …..

Challenge Mess around Day 3

It’s a very simple art journal page which I can go back into and add anything my little heart desires later. Here are a few art supplies I used in the making of said page …..

Art Supplies Day 3

So, you see anything goes. You can use the most basic art supplies you have to make a little art. I find using word prompts might help. And besides it adds a little message or shows how you’re feeling. Art journals are a great way of expressing yourself. I have a little idea for tomorrow’s page but I need to work out how to get it onto a small page. I’m looking forward to seeing my idea turned into an art journal page. I may have to gather up a few more bits from around the house for tomorrow’s effort.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies,

Lucie x

CHALLENGE MESSING AROUND DAY 2

Hello my lovelies. I hope you are all safe and sound. This life is beginning to feel like the movie Groundhog Day. I think the trick is to build some kind of realistic routine that you can live with once our lockdown period ends. Something that resembles the kind of life we had before the lockdown but by eliminating the things we learn we no longer need; we can produce a fresh start. It’s worth a try.

I am trying to work out how to work my daily messing around art challenge into play every day this month. So, I sat down this afternoon and stared at my little Pink Pig sketchbook. Sarah and I bought a rather big batch of them some years ago and we’re still working our way through them.

Pink Pig 1

Pink Pg 2

I find a blank page rather daunting. So, I reached for a Mollie Makes magazine and ripped a page out and ripped that page into smaller segments and glued them down on the blank page. Then I added some Derwent Inktense water colour pencil around the paper to add a wee bit of shading and so on. This page is really simple and I may come back and add something else to it but for now this is what I’ve got. I’ve got a little inspiration for tomorrow’s page. My friend Joanna suggested I do an art journal. So that’s where the Pink Pig sketchbook comes in. I’m going to use only what I have at home as it’s a bit more difficult to get out and about to find little bits and pieces. As I sit here, I can remember bits that I have stuffed in a drawer across the room which be good to use in this art journal. Now I’m feeling a bit more enthusiastic about doing this messing around challenge. Who knows what inspiration I may produce for future quilt making projects by doing this? Sometimes you have to step away from what you love to push you forward.

Challenge Day 2

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Will you be going outside at 8pm to clap in support of the NHS? I may stand shoulder to should 2 metres apart from my neighbours and clap in solidarity. We’re all in this together. And if we do what’s asked of us, we will all save a life and be real heroes. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies,

Lucie x

CREATING …a mess

Hello my lovelies. I hope everything is ticking over nicely in your world. Life is unfurling with interesting twists and turns here at happy stitching manor this week.

This morning I decided to run the gauntlet by visiting the supermarket to replenish food stocks. I got in the car, armed with nothing but a shopping list and plenty of self-determination. I wore gloves all the way through the supermarket. It can be quite difficult pulling a debit card out of your wallet with woolly winter gloves on!!! But I did it. The supermarket was well stocked and I managed to get everything but one item which was sunflower oil. So, we are well stocked until next week when I have a click & collect order booked. I was glad to get home after my outing.

As you may remember from reading my previous recent posts, I find myself quite distracted. I cannot seem to concentrate long enough to get anything done. Well today, I decided to launch a challenge. I am aiming to draw or produce some kind of simple artwork, perhaps something that’s even good enough to hang on the fridge, every day. So, I went upstairs to the drawer where I keep some of my art supplies and chose these and put them in a basket …

Art Supply Basket

I may add to it in time but for today, I used a few things from this selection. I sat in front of the blank page for a few minutes trying to decide what to do. Then I decided to create these three purple blobs …

Gelato 1

Gelato 2

You must keep in mind that I’m not an artist. This is what I turned my three blobs into …..

Gelato 3

 

Don’t laugh. My aim is to just play everyday and produce something colourful or not. I plan on using only the simple art supplies that I have on hand. I’m hoping my friend Sandra jumps in and shows us how it’s done.

The blobs were created with Gelatos crayons and then outlined a little bit with fine tip markers. I’m not artist but I found it fun doing something I rarely do nowadays. My forte is fabric-based crafts but it was nice doing something different. And it was fun pulling out art supplies including this art roll which I created a few years ago …

ArtRoll

ArtRoll 2

So, tell me my friends, how are you keeping busy in these strange times. Are you trying something you’re not too familiar with? Are you stepping out of your comfort zone? Who knows we may all master new techniques that we weren’t familiar with before our lockdown?

So, you can rest assure that Sarah, Maisie and I are all in good fettle for the moment. We’re staying home and perhaps slowly getting into some kind of routine that we can live with.

I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a cosy evening doing things you enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and creating beautiful things that make us happy.

Lucie x

ALL CHANGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in good spirits. Like most of you I’m having ups and downs but thru it all I recognise that I am grateful for all I’ve got. Sarah and I feel safe at home and we’re in reasonable health at the moment.

We both step out first thing in the morning with our Maisie girl dog. We go early in order to ensure we don’t meet too many people. Yesterday morning we came across some chalk markings along the way …..

Hashtag Strong

And …..

Hashtag brave

I think this describes our current situation nicely.

And then on our way back home past the little play park …..

Empty Play park

We found this sign on the entrance gate to the park ….

Park Sign

And this padlock securing it shut for the duration …..

Padlock

I don’t need to comment on this because it’s obvious that it’s for everyone’s good. Normal service will eventually be resumed.

It’s all change on the current project. I switched from hexagons to some hand quilting …..

Hand quilting

I’m hand quilting in circles. I am keeping it simple by quilting concentric circles. I quite like this type of quilting design. It’s easy peasy to mark by overlapping every which way. And by using matching thread, you don’t see the uneven stitches, only the texture which is what I’m aiming to produce.

Here, at happy stitching manor, we’re keeping busy. I still feel a little distracted but I am confident that in a few days the isolation will become the normal and I will be back on track and being creative again. I’m currently jumping from one thing to another and not getting much of anything accomplished. I managed to spend several hours hand quilting over the last couple of days. I think things are improving.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all getting on with doing things you enjoy doing. After all life has to go on while we fight this invisible enemy. Until next time,

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

KEEPING BUSY IN LOCKDOWN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and well and in good spirits. We’re still on lockdown here in my little corner of the northeast of England. This lockdown will surely slow down the spread of Covid-19.

We’ve had a lovely couple of days weather wise. The temperature yesterday was 15C and pure sunshine all day long. What a shame the kids are on lockdown and cannot take advantage of the glorious weather with wild abandon as they usually would. The small play park across the road from my home is empty. The swings are still. It looks very sad indeed. Today was a little misty at times but plenty of sunshine.

The purpose of this post is not to moan but to reassure you all that you’re not alone. We’re all in the same boat. And once the dust settles and we don’t feel so distracted by the newness of the fear and panic, we should all take stock of what we’re doing without and whether we can eliminate it for good. I miss the social aspect of my life. I generally live a quiet life nowadays but I miss not gathering with other like-minded people a couple of times a month and catching up with what’s going on in the world. I learn so much from others. I don’t consider myself to be anti-social in the least.

Yesterday I mentioned that I felt quite distracted. Well I have heard from a couple of friends, male and female and they have confirmed that feel much the same. My friend Veronica described it as having birthday money and not knowing what to spend it on. That’s such a great description. We are confronted with oodles of time at home when we can finally play in our sewing rooms to create beautiful things but not knowing what to create. I’m not giving up hope that in the next few days I shall find the on button for my creative side to emerge and produce something splendid.

In our time of isolation, it’s important to stay connected. Most of us have the internet which helps everyone to stay in touch. My neighbour phones me everyday to make sure we’re alright. And I have a weekly phone coffee date with my creative buddy at 11am on a Thursday booked for the foreseeable future.

So, what am I planning on doing once I stop feeling distracted??? Well I managed to order some new garden tools …..

Trowel and Fork

My old garden tools had seen better days. They were ancient and the trowel was taped together but finally gave up the ghost recently. I kicked off the gardening season last week and I plan to get my garden up to scratch in the next couple of weeks. It’s something I can do without danger of encountering the current invisible enemy.

Do you remember I posted about finding feathers everywhere recently? Finding said feathers has been happening for some time now. Well, I came across several pictures of a feather quilt in different websites online. So, I tracked down the pattern and ordered it …..

Feather from heaven

Arctic Feather

I have pulled and chosen fabric for this project which I hope to be able to concentrate long enough to get it rotary cut and start stitching the patches together. It’s a long time since I’ve worked from a pattern because I design my own quilts but this feather pattern was calling my name. So, watch this space for progress reports.

After my morning routine was done, this includes walking my Maisie dog with my Sarah, I disappeared into the kitchen and baked a batch of cookies. I used the very last of my flour. I shared our cookies with my neighbour. They were soooo good. I hope to be able to buy some flour soon as I would like to make a lemon drizzle loaf which I plan to share again. I haven’t baked in some time but the whole process today kept my mind busy and we ended up with a nice treat.

Oatmeal Cookies

So, my friends, if you would like to pop in and tell me how you have been keeping busy or indeed are able to concentrate on life in lockdown, please do. We’re all in this together.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. Rest assured that Sarah and I working on conquering this new way of life. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing things that you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STAYING HOME AND BEING WELL

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and well on this glorious day. If you look outside everything looks just as it always did but it’s not just any ordinary day. We are in lockdown due to the war against an invisible enemy.

I count myself lucky. I have a roof over my head. I have food in my fridge. And I have the company of my Sarah and Maisie the dog. Maisie the dog is unaware of the war going on all around us.

We have taken government advice which of course is to stay home and save lives. I believe anyone who chooses to take this advice is a hero. So, congratulations to anyone who has hunkered down until it’s safe.

Sarah and I take Maisie out for her morning walk together. That way we all get a bit of fresh air and a leg stretch every day. As Sarah and I both live in the same household we are safe to walk together while keeping our distance from strangers. This morning we met absolutely no one. Early morning is a great time to step out. We have a small garden we can hang out in whenever we feel the need as well.

I’m finding it hard to find my feet. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time. This morning I forced myself to do a few household chores and some cooking. I have a ham cooking in the slow cooker and if I have enough flour (I couldn’t find flour at the supermarket for love nor money) in the flour bin, I might bake some oatmeal raisin cookies.

Has anyone else had to hit the supermarket since the official lockdown started a few days ago here in the UK? Well I went first thing yesterday. I went at 7am to my local Morrisons supermarket and was turned away because I wasn’t NHS staff. 7am to 8am is reserved for NHS staff. I don’t begrudge that. I feel we need to support our medics. So, I came home and waited it out until 8am and went back. It was all quite surreal. Even getting in the car and driving to the supermarket. I felt like I was driving thru a warzone that didn’t look any different than usual. I seemed to be on high alert on the lookout for police. I’m glad the journey to and from the supermarket only takes about 10 minutes from door to door. Once I got in the supermarket with my trolley, I was really aware of personal space. I felt like a ninja trying to avoid coming too close to anyone else. For the most part everyone was very accommodating. I got most of what was on my list except the flour. There were plenty of fresh veg and meat and fish. Milk and dairy were well topped up, they didn’t have skimmed milk but I can live with semi-skimmed for a while. There was no pasta but it wasn’t on my list, I just happened to notice the shelves were empty. There will be hundreds of people with dozens of bags of pasta which they will still be eating next year! The freezer sections were a little thin on the ground but the supermarkets are doing the best they can to keep up with the demand of people stockpiling. I must admit that I was glad to leave the supermarket and get back into the fresh air. Ninja style doesn’t suit my slow and measured pace.

So, now we are left to re-invent ourselves to suit the situation. I have been soul searching in order to decide how I’m going to go forward once life returns to some kind of normality. I truly believe that life will never be as it was. The economy will take a hot minute to improve. Employment will change drastically. And life will be very different from what we’ve been living.

I remain of the opinion that stitching of the sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework etc variety makes life better one stitch at a time. It keeps your mind occupied and your hands busy. You produce something that you can be proud of. You make history with every project you complete. The sense of accomplishment is amazing.
My sewing endeavour at the moment is my hexagon UFO. I started this project at least two years ago. And slowly but surely, I can see progress. And the progress feels soooo good.

DSCN1168

DSCN1507

As I write this post, I can see cars going past my house in both directions. All of these journeys are supposed to have a specific genuine essential reason. I can see familiar people walking their dogs and getting some fresh air while avoiding contact with others. There are no groups or crowds gathering anywhere that I can see. For safety’s sake this is how it must be for now.

I guess that’s my report for today. This is my account of how this invisible enemy is affecting me and mine for the time being. I am prepared to follow government advice that will hopefully save lives. Whatever you may be doing at the moment, I hope you are all safe and well at home sweet home. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching. And let’s all be heroes by staying home saving lives.

Lucie x