Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year at 221b

New Year at 221b, December 2014
New Year at 221b
First attempt at Sherlock fanart, and a little seasonal message to all readers! I wanted to do it in Little Forest Folk style, but with the poses I used, that didn't really work out. Oh well. John is a happy and cheerful drunk whilst Sherlock is working on The Case of the Man in the Blue Box.
This didn't turn out brilliantly as I got a bit clumsy with application of colour (why did I even bother painting a wall and floor?!) I did, however, get to use some more masking fluid, which turned out a bit of a bugger to remove when it was too thin, but was also damn handy for making sure John's streamers turned out alright.
One thing I am pleased about with this is Sherlock's hair.
Medium: Watercolour on 300gsm hot pressed watercolour paper (ooh heark at me with my fancy art materials)
Size: A5

So this is the last post of the year from me; I'm now going to wander off and post this Elsewhere.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

2014 Recap, 2015 Hopes

2014 is drawing to a close. This blog has been running for ten months and because of it, I've probably done more this year than I might otherwise have done! Success!

So here's a look back on what I got up to this year, and some of what I'd like to achieve in 2015

In March, I started this blog! HELLO, WORLD!
I also went to the Ideal Home Show at Earl's Court, London.

Bunty's Tea Room in Lincoln. Excellent for tea and cake.

April was my 'Month of Doing'.
I took a trip to Lincolnshire, bought vintage clothes at a kilo sale, sold handmade goods at a craft fair and much more!

The Tight Modern: tiniest temporary gallery ever!

May heralded the start of Brighton Festival & Fringe.
Activities this month included a couple of comedy shows, art exhibitions, some music (with added humour) and the Volks Electric Railway (the oldest working electric railway in the world).

June was a quieter month but I did get to the South of England Show in West Sussex.
I also wrote one haiku each day.

With July came warmer weather.
I started to post a new art/writing project, Folk Tales of the Sea People, had a picnic, and went to an annual village fair, which has run for over 700 years. I also signed up to Bloglovin', so if you use it, you can follow me there!

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

August was another quiet month, but I got on with a few 'indoors' goals.
I painted a whole bunch of pictures, continued posting Folk Tales of the Sea People, and toured around Brighton Museum and Art Gallery with a friend.

September brought a few more things to do!
I rode a bucking bronco, went to London for a gig, saw more art, crafted with willow, went to a wood fair and sang in front of people! Phew!
...and continued to post Folk Tales, of course :)
I'd like to share a live clip from the gig I went to, but I didn't record any, and at any rate, live recordings tend to be rubbish unless professional, so here's an official video instead (note: language is Japanese, video probably NSFW and yes, he really can hit all the notes. Flawlessly.)


After a busy month, October was a Month of Doing...Nothing.
I read some books, and finished posting Folk Tales of the Sea People, ticking off one of the goals from The List.

November was another pretty quiet (and cold) one.
In my defence, I spent the first two weeks participating in NaNoWriMo, and reached my target (and the end of my novel) in the second week.
I spent the rest of the month catching up on my reading and eating chocolate...but also took time to watch some fantastic TED talks. Here's one from Amanda Palmer, which is simply brilliant:

And now we're in December!
I've been to countless Christmas fairs that I haven't blogged about!
My focus this month has been on finding those last little gifts for my family, so Doing Things has fallen by the wayside somewhat. I have, however, kept up the reading! I also found time to discover exactly how muddy some of the local footpaths are, and how broken my camera is.

As for 2015, here are 10 goals in particular that I hope to begin, or complete:

It's an experience that isn't appallingly expensive!

003. Go to the cinema alone
It really shouldn't be hard. I don't even have to go to an evening screening, as plenty of cinemas start showing films in the daytime!

010. Visit 30 museums/art galleries/exhibitions
Admittedly I'll be looking at the free ones first!

012. Complete 3 photography projects
If I could manage to complete one in 2015 I would be pleased! I used to love photography, but have become lazy with it.

013. Go swimming
A pool is probably only a couple of bus rides away. I need to dig out my swimsuit...

018. Go llama trekking
This one might be a little more difficult to complete (as it requires a Person With Car to drive me to said llama trek) but I really want to do it!

038. Go on the Brighton Sewer Tour
It's there, and it's one of the more unusual attractions on offer in Brighton, so why not!

059. Go to 5 music events
Alright, so this mostly banks on there being a music event that I want to attend. However I do manage to find one or two each year, so if I can add another one to the list, I'll be happy!

067. Sell unwanted things at a car boot fair
With the money that Doing Things costs, it would be great to make some back by getting rid of some stuff I don't want! Let the bargain-hunting madness begin!

079. Go to see a play
There are so many theatres around, some of them only a walk away, some of them a bus ride away. There are plays being put on all the time, so in 2015 I want to get around to seeing one! 

You'll note that I don't have any of my 'Staying Indoors' goals on this list. Most of those are listed as things to do when I want to do something but don't have the cash/motivation/health/weather/transport/time to Go Out And Do Something.
So I'll continue to watch TED talks on YouTube, read books, eat new chocolate and write stuff!

You may have also noted that 084. Climb the O2 is at the top of this list, whilst the rest of the list is in numerical order. That's because I really want to do it!

2015, I'm waiting for you.

P.S. Look! I found a link party to join! Hooray!

MultiMEDIA Splice #5

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Nacho Party

Nacho Party, November 2014
Nacho Party
I painted this at the end of November, but couldn't share it until now as it was a Christmas present for my middle sister and her boyfriend! The subject is their chihuahua, Nacho. I painted it to match the painting I did of their other dog last May...

Chihuahua, May 2013
I think my skill has improved somewhat! I'm also using better quality watercolours--the older picture was painted with a set from a discount book/art store; whilst I like the vibrancy some of the colours give, the overall quality and ease of use isn't so great.
Of course there are a few things I'm not so happy with when it comes to Nacho Party, but overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out (I wouldn't have gifted it otherwise!)
Medium: Watercolour on watercolour paper

I was given a new pack of watercolour paper for Christmas, which I'm very pleased with! The last several paintings I've shared here have been done using paper from a cheap A3 watercolour pad, which I've been cutting to A5 size! One thing with watercolour is that the materials are kind of expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for. One day I will learn not to scrimp so much when it comes to art materials!

Nacho Party is part of a goal from The List:
055. Create 52 paintings in 1 year. 
To see more from this goal, check the 55 tag.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Psychopaths, Invention and the Impossible

At the end of November, I made the first post for a newly-begun goal:
062. Watch 100 TED/TEDx talks
As I decided to make a post for every five talks that I watched, here comes post number two!

Shigeru Ban: Emergency shelters made from paper
A fascinating talk by Shigeru Ban, an architect who has experimented with building materials like cardboard tubes. His constructions have come to help people in many disaster-struck areas including Rwanda, Japan and Haiti--they're quick to assemble, strong, and resilient. Watch the video to discover the full extent of what he has designed with the humble cardboard tube, from cubicles to churches.
This is definitely one to watch.

Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu: A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.

Monday, 22 December 2014

God, Excess, and Mrs Flanders

Alright, so this month, I nearly struggled with this goal...
050. Read 3 books per month for 1 year
I wanted to read The Hobbit but decided I didn't have time. Instead, I read these...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Flight to the Stars

It's been a while since I updated with paintings for my goal, so here is another one, which I painted in August.

Flight to the Stars, August 2014

Flight to the Stars
In what seems to be tradition for my punctuality of posting my paintings, I finished this one in August!
This is the result of my second attempt at using masking fluid.
The paper tore in a couple of places when I removed the dry masking fluid; I'm not sure if that's down to my ham-fistedness or cheap paper. I was trying to be careful!
I think the line of the moon ended up too sharp and uneven, whilst the clouds at the bottom don't look cloudy enough.
After removing the masking fluid from the moon, I thought it looked too stark, so I rubbed over it with my fingers and smudged some of the lilac paint across the white. To be honest, I think it looks a bit of a mess.
However, I'm pleased with how the nebula turned out, along with the bird/winged spirit.
Medium: Watercolour on watercolour paper
Size: 14.2x20cm

As noted in most of my other painting posts, this is part of a goal from The List:
055. Create 52 paintings in 1 year
This is number 33--I'm over halfway! I've painted 37 in total so far, though there are some that I've yet to post.

I was hoping to share this as part of a set of paintings, but haven't been inspired to paint along the same theme. I will, however, attempt to use masking fluid again sometime!

For more of my paintings, check out the tag for goal 55.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

What Happens When You Use A Broken Camera

Today I decided to go for a walk and get some fresh air. I took my old digicam with me, and braved the muddy footpaths to take some photographs.

Unfortunately it turns out my camera is on its way out, as this shot above shows!
I wasn't sure if it was the lens or the screen, but thought I'd carry on taking pictures anyway as the problem seemed to have a cool effect.

I wasn't quite prepared for this when I loaded the pictures onto the computer...

Looks mad, right?!

Occasionally the camera managed to take a reasonable shot...

You can see the trees on the horizon have warped on the left...yet my next picture turned out fine.
That path was muddier than it looked.

Despite how crazy and trippy most of the other photos turned out, this one I took of some sheep turned out fine.

I'm a bit disappointed that the camera is broken, because it has a lot of functionality for a point and shoot, but I have had it for a few years. At least I got some unusual photos out of it!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

New goals!

Since I last mentioned new goals, I've added a few more to The List!
082. Go on a day trip
It has to be over 30 minutes away, and can't count for any other travel-related goal (that would be cheating!)
083. Ride in a hot air balloon
So basically I saw a bit of BBC's Glorious Gardens from Above and decided riding in a hot air balloon would be fantastic.

084. Climb the O2
I discovered it was possible, so I want to do it!

Today, Marcy of (Don't Be) Too Timd and Squeamish left me some suggestions, and I added the following three goals to the list...
085. Go clay pigeon shooting
Marcy suggested 'shoot a gun', which I've kind of done (rifle range when I was a child). But her suggestion reminded me of clay pigeon shooting, which I'd like to try!

086. Milk a cow
Well, why not? Some of my ancestors were farmers, so it might be in my genes?!

087. Memorise a poemThis may or may not be The Lady of Shalott, which I have never succeeded at memorising before. On the other hand, I may pick one of Longfellow's poems. Or Spike Milligan's! ;)
(P.S. Marcy's blog is great and you should read it)

After that, I was perusing blogs via feedly, and ended up adding another goal:
088. Go ice skating
I've never done it, but I want to!

Now I need to find out where I can milk a cow...

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Picking Fruit

One of the goals on The List was to pick fruit outside...
066. Pick fruit outside

Thursday, 4 December 2014

And in November, I slayed a dragon.

At the end of October, I wrote about my participation in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

Well, in case the big graphic above didn't give it away, I won! (The prize? Deep satisfaction in having written 50,000 words in 30 days, and finishing a story).
Am pleased to see that my lovely blogging friends Lilia (Paracosm of Lilies) and Terry (Write. Create. Connect.) also slayed the NaNoWriMo dragon and reached the 50k target. Three cheers, pals!

I wrote in my previous entry about NaNoWriMo that I was undecided on which idea to write. Well, I went for the more challenging supernatural storyline, and am pretty pleased about how it turned out!

To participate again was one of the goals on The List, so I can happily cross another one off:
032. Take up the NaNoWriMo challenge again

Today I began reading through and editing my novel, so who knows where it will lead me...