Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Five Hour Two Hour Project

When reviewing my incomplete goals just before the new year, I found I'd been overlooking one that was perfectly seasonal to be getting on with:
052. Crochet a hat
Seriously, what better time to start than the middle of winter, when it is cold and damp and frankly, the exact sort of weather for piling on the layers?

Since I didn't have any yarn, or any clue how to start, I ended up going onto Amazon and searching 'crochet hat kit'.
Which led to my finding this:

Monday, 2 January 2017

A Mermaid at the Film Premiere

Garden Punk (01/50)

One of my goals on The List, which I've picked as one of my top ten this year, is this:
53. Design 50 outfits/costumes
This basically means any kind of outfit/costume, be it simple or outlandish, daywear or evening wear, streetwear or theatre costume.

I started this goal in 2014 with the 'Garden Punk' design above, which I drew when I was trying to figure out what to do with some fabric I'd picked up at a charity shop.
Then...I drew no more.

Come end of 2016, and I got started on more designs!
For the time being, I decided to design outfits for some of the characters in my Folk Tales of the Sea People stories.

So here are the first handful of designs, which I've come up with over the past few days.
(Click photos to see bigger versions)

 Cadogan Browne (02/50)
From: Folk Tales of the Sea People Introduction

+ Blue-grey tailcoat with grey collar and gold mermaid-design buttons.
+ Black hat with band to match tailcoat.
+ Dark grey trousers and gloves
+ Off-white shirt
+ Dark blue cravat
+ Black boots
+ Wooden cane
+ Worn brown leather satchel

Halwyn (Transformation) (03/50)
From: Halwyn, or A Pinch of Salt
(I drew this as a half-and-half of two versions - sea and land - but am counting it as a single design, for her transformation between Selkie and Human)

+ Long-sleeved, floor-length brown faux suede dress with uneven neckline and seal tail-like quilted train, all embellished with black rhinestones

+ Long-sleeved brown faux suede minidress with uneven hem/neckline/cuffs and black rhinestones
+ Flesh-toned leggings (dancewear fabrics) with patches of faux suede, and black rhinestones

Both: Long cloak with hood and wooden fastening; gold charm on bracelet depicting a footprint on land. Sleeves are part faux suede, part flesh-toned dance fabric, to give the appearance that the suede 'pelt' is part of the skin.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Top Goals, Completed Goals & Recap of 2016

After I spent most of December being relatively lazy, the final days of 2016 were spent rushing to complete those last few goals before the year ended!

As is tradition with this blog, here's a recap of what I got up to in 2016, completed goals and a list of my top goals for 2017!

I started January by embarking on a year-long goal:

029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year

This seemed daunting at first, and I was looking everywhere for new-to-me acts to try out!
January was the month I completed my goal of trying 50 new chocolates (goal #64), though I didn't do anything much besides that.

By February I was into the flow of goal #29, went to an art exhibition (goal #10) with a friend, and found some cool natural forms when beachcombing (goal #05).

March was a fairly quiet month, though I did finally go swimming (goal #13)! I also discovered a new favourite band, and started to participate in the photography & art theme challenges over at Delightful Aberrations.

With April came more photography and more music, a trip to a zoo, and the discovery of a couple of nice cafes (goal #36). I also tried Japanese food for the first time, in a new place (goal #44 / goal #36), and painted a pottery skull (not a goal, but a birthday adventure with one of my sisters!)
If that wasn't enough, I also started walking several times a week (goal #28)

May was a quieter month. Asides from the photos and music, and the realisation that I'd not blogged about my watched films for a while (goal #61), the only thing I did was continue walking at least 3 times a week, and see some more art exhibitions (goal #10) with a friend.

In June, I went to the South of England Show, which is an annual trip in our family! This year I had a go on the rifle range, and crossed goal #85 (Fire a gun) off my list.
I also did the first of a series of car boot sales (goal #67) to reduce clutter and make a bit of cash!
Oh, and I walked, listening to more new-to-me music, and took photographs, too ;)

By the time July swung around, I was well into the habit of walking--and it was here that I completed my walking goal (goal #28), achieving my target of walking at least three times each week for three months, but also having strolled over 200 miles of beautiful British countryside!
I went to a photography exhibition (goal #10), and of course continued with the photography and the music. (I also went to an anime convention, but I didn't blog about that!)

August was the month I went to the most awesome restaurant ever (goal #36), took a tour of Brighton's sewers (goal #38), wandered around yet another art exhibition (goal #10), and if that wasn't enough, completed goal #44 (Try 10 foods/drinks that I've never tried before).

For September, I'd planned to explore a town with a friend for part of goal #39. It rained. A lot. But that didn't put us off, and we found a nice cafe in the process (goal #36).
In September, I also met a snake (not a goal, just unnerving), and finally got around to blogging about collecting found objects (goal #14)

Not content with challenging myself with the snake, in October I challenged myself even more with a charity zip-wire (goal #90) in aid of Blind Veterans UK.
Later in the month, I went to Stylist Live with one of my sisters, where we learnt how to make Macrame hanging planters. Not a goal, but a fun day out!
With the weather turning a little changeable, I also caught up on watching some more films (goal #61).

November was a much quieter month, as I was fully into Christmas Shopping Mode (which started in October, in the hope I could avoid the insane December crowds).
However, I did find time to try a new restaurant (goal #36), watch a bunch of TED talks relating to the arts, and whilst on a shopping trip, happened upon a photography exhibition (goal #10).

December ended up being a productive month, goal-wise! Not only did I complete my music goal (goal #29), but I also reached my target of watching 100 films (goal #61), made an assemblage (goal #15) using some of the found objects I'd collected for goal #14, and painted a picture on canvas (goal #06). I also inadvertently began a photography project (goal #12) and finally shared the short story I'd submitted for a writing competition (goal #24) back in 2014.

All in all, I was able to cross fourteen goals off The List:

05. Go beach combing
06. Paint a picture on canvas
13. Go swimming
14. Start a collection of Found Objects
15. Create an assemblage
28. Walk at least 3 times a week for 3 months
29. Listen to 2 new musical acts per week for 1 year
38. Go on the Brighton Sewer Tour
44. Try 10 foods/drinks I've never tried before
61. Watch 100 films
64. Eat 50 different chocolates
67. Sell unwanted things at a car boot fair
85. Fire a gun
90. Ride a zip line

The bolded goals are the ones that were on my top goals for 2016.

Alongside the completed goals, I made more progress with goal #10 (Visit 30 museums/art galleries/exhibitions) have nearly finished goal #36 (Eat/drink in 30 new places), and began on goal #33: Memorise every country in Africa--though I haven't blogged about it yet!

Now that the new year has begun, here are my
Top Goals for 2017!

01. Fill a sketchbook with artwork/studies of only one subject
Already in progress, but far from finished because I procrastinate.

10. Visit 30 museums/art galleries/exhibitions
This one will stay on my Top Goals list until I complete it, damn it!

12. Complete 3 photograph projects
Seriously this should be a doddle. The only thing stopping me is lack of motivation (and a pinch of anxiety).

18. Go llama trekking
I'll walk a llama one day. Hopefully one day this year.

20. Reach the top of a climbing wall/go rock climbing
Honestly, if I achieve this one I'll be really surprised, as rock climbing places are a pain in the butt to get to. But here it is, so let's see what the year brings.

33. Memorise every country in Africa
I've started, so I'll finish...

53. Design 50 outfits/costumes
This is another one that I've started (in 2014, oops), but haven't yet blogged about. Seven down, 43 to go...

65. Complete a 365 project
I'll post the photos here, but also on (link goes to my page) and instagram @keidoesathing

76. Make 3 sculptures
What they'll look like is presently a complete mystery.

91. Make something with power tools
Another one carried over from last year. I don't know what that 'something' will be, but hopefully it will make power tools seem less daunting!

Here's to 2017 being a productive, goal-achieving year!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Colouring In

Last week, I didn't have time to participate in the theme challenge at Delightful Aberrations.
However, the prompts were rolled over to this week, with the addition of five more!

So I've stuck with last week's prompt lip (with the prompt write included, kind of) for this image.
I may yet produce something for one or two of this week's new prompts, but shall have to see.

This time around, the image is a combination of photography and intense amounts of photoshopping! I wanted to give the effect of a pair of lips that are in the process of being coloured in to look 'realistic'.

Not as keen on this resulting image as some of my pictures from previous weeks, but this is better than a blank page!

Memory, Assassins and...Felony?

It's the end of the year, and here I am with a stack of DVDs and another challenge complete! I've really been racing the clock to get some extra ones squeezed in at the end of this year, though this particular challenge wasn't too difficult to get finished. Christmas is definitely the time of year for kicking back with a movie or two, and there have been a lot on TV lately as well!

So here are films 91-100, completing my goal!

91. The Bourne Identity (2002)
Genre: Action/Thriller/Mystery
In a Word: Amnesia
In a Sentence: Rescued from the sea and suffering from amnesia, a man finds himself pursued by assassins as he seeks to uncover his past, and his identity.
Recommended: If you like your thrillers on the mysterious side.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Fall Weather and Forgotten Saints

Autumn Wanderings
One of the goals on The List - in fact, one of the first I wrote down - has been continuously pushed aside due to lack of inspiration/time:
006. Paint a picture on canvas
I chose this one because though I had a couple of blank canvases, and certainly have enough paint, I'd never painted on a canvas.

As with creating an assemblage, this is one of the goals I wanted to get done before the year was up, and I completed it today!

I ended up with a lot of gold paint left on the palette after the first picture, above...

So I painted a second canvas, too!

Forgotten Saints #01

This one was a painted a lot faster, and has more of a primitive style to it--simply because I was using up paint left over from the first painting.

I was a little worried with this second one, because as I was painting on the gold background (which I painted across the entire canvas), it started to go baggy, as though I'd overstretched it with the wetness of the paint.

However, it tightened up again once it dried, which was a relief.

Of course I can nitpick issues with both paintings, but I think that's something every creative does!

I won't be rushing to paint on canvas again any time soon, though mostly because I don't have ideas (or canvases) and canvases take up a bit more space than paper does!

Another goal complete!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Country, Not The State

It's the final week of this challenge, hooray!
For week 52, I listened to two new-to-me acts from Georgia (the country, not the US state).

Formed in 2009, this four-member band released their first album in 2015 after several lineup changes.
Their music has a typical indie/alternative rock sound. The vocals remind me of another rock vocalist, but I can't think who! Since the songs are performed in English, it's easy to understand them.
As one of the members is a keyboardist, a keyboard/piano sound is more prominent in their songs than in bands that only use the instrument as an extra outside of what their lineup play. The music is easy to listen to, just right whether you want to relax or are feeling energetic!
Enjoyed listening to them!
LOUDspeakers on Facebook

Trio Mandili
This musical trio came to fame at the end of 2014, after they posted a music video online of themselves singing a Georgian folk song. It gained over two million views in two weeks, which led to them appearing on TV and radio. By 2015, they released an album.
The music basically consist of the three members singing folk songs in harmony to the accompaniment of a some kind of long-necked lute (the internet says panduri and tschonguri), which gives the tracks a really earthy, traditional feeling.
Most the videos I watched follow the self-filmed style of their viral video (which at time of writing has over four million views), and feature the trio walking along a street. Whilst the idea sounds amateur, the outcome makes the videos fun to watch!
I liked this group, so do give them a listen. It's great to see something different to what's on the radio!
Trio Mandili Official Website

With this post, I complete the challenge and can strike a goal off The List!
029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year
It's been really interesting to seek out and listen to so much new music, beyond the bands and solo acts I might have found in passing. There are always a few 'new discoveries' made each year, but through this challenge, the number of new-to-me acts I listened to leapt from a handful to over 100!
I didn't like all the music I found this year; sometimes the artists I heard made music too distant from the sort of thing I like. Other times, I was greatly surprised by how much I ended up liking some artists--I even ended up with some new favourites!

This was a really fun goal to complete!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Assembled Regression


As the end of 2016 looms, I've been looking over the goals I've completed this year and - perhaps in a bit of panicked, 'I've not done enough!' kind of way - been considering what I can achieve in the last few days of the year.

One of the goals was this one:
015. Create an assemblage
I've been procrastinating over this goal for ages, but today I finally knuckled down and got it done!

The items I used came from a number of sources, collected up over the years for this or that reason, or some found objects collected for another goal. The old London Transport Bus ticket (stamped for 7 old pence!) was found in an old book I found in a charity shop. The book was redonated, but I kept the ticket :) The screw goes through the punch hole.

Through this project, I finally found a use for some things that I'd been hanging on to for ages--a single earring, an escutcheon that ended up unsuitable for what I bought it for, a broken link from a watch.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

D.C. (A Tale of Zombies)

Way back in 2014, I entered a writing competition for goal #24.
I didn't win (I would have written here if I had!) but since I didn't, it means I can post it here!

I'm totally late with posting it, and I could have shared this at a more appropriate time of the year, such as Halloween, but for those of you needing a break from Christmas shenanigans, here is a story about zombies.

Warning: This is not a pleasant story.


Scott was having the time of his life.
He was also dead.
No thoughts, no feelings and no responsibilities dampened his spirit. Scott knew only desire and instinct: desire for flesh, for food, instinct to hunt and conquer. It was like a never-ending stag weekend.

It was the desire that changed things. As Scott lurched down a shadowy alleyway one evening, a busty woman fell to the ground ahead. Scott’s gut growled, stomach digesting itself for lack of food. Hungry as he was, his craving for food was squashed by a primal instinct to take the woman as his own. All men had needs—even the dead ones, and his body hadn’t yet forgotten the desires of living men. He felt no concern or pity, thought not of her wellbeing or even of his own. Scott staggered towards her.

That was when the humans attacked.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Indian Rock

I'm nearing the end of this challenge. It's hard to believe it's almost a year already!
This week's new-to-me acts come from India, home of real curry, Bollywood and the Kolkata Knight Riders (who I only know of because a friend is a fan!)

Formed in Kolkata in 1992, this Bengali rock act had been through several lineup changes and is currently made up of six members--two vocalists, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer.
Their music is clearly influenced by western rock, and they cite bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin (among others) as their inspiration. The difference being that they sing in Bengali!

Although the song embedded above has more of a hard rock sound, most of the songs I listened to were softer rock ballads. I prefer the louder stuff, though the vocals in the more balladic songs have a more prominent Bengali tone.
If you've never heard Bengali rock before, this band is worth checking out just for the experience of it!
Cactus Official Website

This four-piece alternative rock band hails from Thiruvanathapuram in Kerala, and formed in 2003.
Avial's songs are performed in Malayalam (a language mainly spoken in Kerala) and their name is taken from that of a southern Indian dish made from vegetables and coconut!
Like Cactus, they are inspired by Led Zeppelin, but also bands like Incubus. Their fusion of Malayalam lyrics with the rock genre creates a really unusual, melodic sound.
I found this band engaging and pleasant to listen to, so give them a try!
Avial on Facebook

That's it for this week's listening!
Next week is the final week for this challenge, though there will be a few days left of the year, and I like music, so perhaps I'll do a bonus week and write about it in the new year...!
You can read about all the acts I've listened to for this challenge by checking out my Goal 29 Tag.