Ready To Go!

ready to go

Here it is, my first assignment ready to go. It’s taken me ages to actually finish it even though there was nothing complicated or difficult about any of the exercises; it was making the time that was the tricky part. Setting time for coursework and sticking to it is easy in theory but sometimes in practice…

Anyway, I enjoyed each part of the assignment (when I did allow myself the time) and it felt great to make marks and admire the black lines on white paper purely for their own sake.

Mark Making

mark making pencil

Starting with pencils, each round of scribbles, dashes, swirls and doodles became slightly addictive. Reminds me of doodling while on the telephone.

brush with indian ink

I used Indian Ink instead of gouache with a brush and loved the smoothness of the application. Very therapeutic to watch the tone change.

fat sharpie and masking fluid

I had never use masking fluid before and I enjoyed the anticipation of waiting for it to dry. You never know quite what your going to get as you peel it off. I used it here with a fat sharpie marker and quite like the result. A sort of ‘cartoonish’ repeat pattern. Bold and blocky.

charcoal and maskig fluid

This time I used the masking fluid with charcoal. Kind of zebra-like result. I also learned about the paper peeling off with the fluid if your not careful.

stick and gouache

This is one of my unconventional tools, a stick with gouache. I love the little random circles.

grass stems and indian ink

This time I used cut grass stems and indian ink again. I like the pattern these little circles make with the edge of each one slightly darker.

gull feather

A gull feather was probably my favourite of the unconventional tools. It felt languorous and smooth across the paper. It even sounded peaceful with a slight swish. Very pleasing lines.

grass seed heads and indian ink

These marks are the opposite of the languid gull feather. Grass seed-heads with indian ink, all bunched together and swirled around the paper. Lively and unpredictable. It makes for exciting, jittery marks; just like seed-heads in the wind. A tip for the next time: don’t wear your new white t-shirt when doing this exercise…

My favourite aspect of the mark making exercise was using the unconventional tools. I really liked their unpredictable nature and this helps in ‘letting go’ and just relishing the act of making marks on the page.

Drawing

fork first drawing

I put this off for ages. I don’t feel that drawing is my strongpoint but, as is usually the way, once I started I found myself relaxing and becoming quite absorbed. Having said that I hated my drawings of the fork. They’re so fat and dumpy whereas the fork is actually a lovely long, elegant object. Something to work on…

nutcracker first drawing

My other kitchen utensil, a nutcracker. A little happier with this drawing but I know I’m not paying enough attention to detail.

Left-hand Drawing

fork left hand

Drawing using my left hand actually helped me loosen up. It helps when you haven’t as much control over your lines and the results were pleasing. Interestingly, I found myself paying more attention to the actual object.

nutcracker fine sharpie

I had always steered clear of using felt pens but after the mark making exercise I enjoyed the quality of the lines the sharpie made.

left hand fork gouache

Again, drawing with paint would have been something I avoided but using my left hand it didn’t seem to matter as much if I went ‘wrong’.

fork with gull feather

For my final, large drawing of this exercise I chose the gull feather with gouache to paint the fork. I got closer to the look of the object. Nice long, clean lines.

Continuous Line

continuous drawing fork

I chose the felt-tip for this, the fine sharpie. I really enjoy the boldness of its mark, the very definite black lines even though you can be quick and light in using it.

Blind Drawing

nutcracker blind drawing

Using pencil to draw the nutcracker blind gave the drawings a light feel in contrast to the heavy, definite look of the object. You really get to know your subject using this method, staring while being unconcerned about the look of the finished drawing. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Final Selection

blind drawing final selection

Blind drawing was the method I chose for my final selection. I used the fine felt-tip to draw the fork, the more simple object but also the one which I had the most difficulty representing.

blind drawing final selection 2

It was a treat to allow the pen roam as my eye followed the lines of the fork.

blind drawing finla selection 3

I’d love to see these repeated on a table cloth or something else on a large scale.  definitely my favourite exercise.

Bui Crafts Bunting

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Today I’m happy to post about my other self: Bui Crafts. Bui (pronounced bwee) is the Irish for yellow, so I’m sure you can see the connection between Yellow Dog and Bui Crafts… It’s all about colour! Actually it’s all about the dog but never mind : ) 

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One thing I love to do in Bui Crafts is make bunting. Whatever the occasion, a bunting is sure to please. This pirate fabric is great for all those little Captains out there, whether Jack Sparrow or Hook.

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It also looks great with orange letters. A great vibrant bunting that will really stand out in any bedroom or playroom.

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I love these classic blues too. Great for new babies and, with a slight vintage feel, this bunting will add a nice touch to Noah’s nursery.

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Little pink elephants are teamed with polkadot purple for Líle’s bunting. The soft pink felt letters are hand-stitched with a bright pink for a little girl who loves everything pink!

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More pink!!  This time for a new baby so softer and this time with little daisies for a really cute touch.

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So Bui Crafts just loves bunting!  If you’d like to see more pop over to my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/buicrafts  I’d be happy to make a beautiful bunting for someone you love. 

 

Back on Track

Well I guess I fell right off Planet Blog for a while there.  I kept putting obstacles in the way of sitting down and sharing: too busy, too tired, no nice photos, nothing much to say… The list of excuses goes on.  And on.  But I’m back!  And this time with no excuses.

YellowDogDays New York

I’m typing this sitting in an airport waiting to board my flight home.  We have been in the U.S for the last week, our first visit, and I have a feeling it won’t be our last.

YellowDogDays TopoftheRock

Our first stop was New York and it’s no exaggeration to say that this city is overwhelming.  The energy, the noise, the buildings, the non-stop pulse of life.  Fantastic!  There’s so much to see that we barely scratched the surface.  It’s just not possible to do it all in one short trip and it’s easy to become stressed and frantic trying to squeeze everything in.  Better to do less and remain sane!

YellowDogDays Florida

Our next stop was Florida, Fort Lauderdale to be exact.  What a difference!  The sea air, the palm trees swaying, the laid-back beat… The perfect antidote to frantic.

Some great things happened here and we met some incredible people.  My ideas book is bursting at the seams and I can’t wait to get back home to me desk and start creating.  I also can’t wait to see my smiley Yellow Dog…. I guess I’m back on track.

Liz

Crafts Al Fresco!

buicraftsquiltedball

Such fantastic weather has made it difficult to stay indoors in front of the sewing machine so I’ve been using every excuse to get outside to make the most of the sunshine.  My friend Sheila introduced me to bauble quilting and it fits the bill for an al fresco craft perfectly: no electricity, no fancy equipment and no sewing! It’s a new addiction and I’m already looking forward to the baubley delights of Christmas!

yellowdogdayslbuntingcloseup

Apart from sticking pins into balls I can’t leave my trusty ‘brother’ for too long. I found a cute skirt in a local charity shop and thought the pattern would make a great summertime bunting.  The big blue flowers reminded me of board-shorts, surfing and the cool blue of the ocean.

yellowdogdaysleahbunting

I teamed it with the denim from some well-worn jeans and a light green and white dotty fabric to make a fresh sea-side bunting for Leah.  I used a soft pink felt for her name for just a touch of girly pinkness. Hope she likes it as much as I do!

Lizzie beach

Speaking of the seaside… I think Lizzie is trying to tell me something. Time to go play!!

Old Denims Die Hard…

sweetwilliamblooms

At last my Sweet William has bloomed.  It’s the first time I’ve grown this butterfly-friendly plant and I’m very happy I gave it a go.  Its lovely pink and white flowers add a gorgeous splash of colour to the garden although I’m still waiting on the butterflies!

cushion2

While waiting I’ve been busying myself making cushion covers.  Remember last time I had some lovely tea-towel/scrap fabric I wanted to transform?  Well here’s the result.  The first of three summery cushions ready for lounging around in deck-chairs spotting butterflies during our long hot days.  Well, that’s the idea anyway…

cushions

Here are the other two.  I love the stripes but I love the patchwork even more!  I teamed the two fabrics I had with some denim from an old pair of jeans and I’m very happy with the result.  The colours and patterns on the fabrics work really well together.  This is my first foray into the world of patchwork and I can already tell there’ll be no going back.  Addictive.  That’s all there is to it.

yellowdogdayssummerpolkadotfabric

Staying with summery fabric check out the dress I found at a local jumble sale.  I fell for the polka dots straight away and decided to use the fabric for another project.

polkadot bunting2

The old jeans came in handy again and the denim gives my polka dot bunting a lovely 1950s summer feel.  I think the next patchwork project will involve these two fabrics.  After all the washing and wearing the denim has faded and softened really nicely and it’s always hard to give up on a favourite pair of jeans isn’t it? This way they’ll get to hang around a while longer…

Good Day Sunshine!

yellowdogdayslizzieongrass

Summer has finally arrived and there’s nothing yellow dogs enjoy more than lazing around in the sunshine.  It’s a rare enough treat in Ireland so best to lap it up while you can.

yellowdogdaysclover

At last the buttercups and clover are displaying their wares and the countryside is getting back to normal summer conditions after our long, cold winter.

yellowdogdaysstrawberries

But all thoughts of winter outstaying its welcome are forgotten once the strawberries appear! Fresh Irish strawberries are worth the wait and all is forgiven with the first bite, especially when accompanied by some cream (full fat!) and sunshine.

yellowdogdaysstripefabric

Aside from eating strawberries and lazing in the sun I have been busy with some summer projects.  I’ve been making lots of bunting for children and even managing to sell some, but I fancy making something for me now.  I found this fabric in a local shop, it was an odd bit left over and cost next to nothing, and I loved the fresh, summer colours.  It brings to mind deck chairs, windbreakers on the beach and overstuffed sofas in bright conservatories.

yellowdogdaysteatowelfabric

This lovely light blue is actually a tea towel, one of a pack of three that I wouldn’t dream of drying dishes with!  I love the colour and the design and think it deserves more than a future of mopping up spills.

yellowdogdaystwofabrics

The two together will look great as cushion covers and will add a splash of summer colour to my sofa. I can’t wait to get started, just as soon as I’ve finished these strawberries…

Baby Booming!!

yellowdogdaysbunny

Lots of babies arriving lately giving me a great opportunity to enjoy even more crafting than usual. Between knitting, sewing and card making I’ve been having busy coming up with cute baby gifts that are relatively quick and easy to make.

yellowdogdaysgirl1

My last post closed with a picture of the button love-heart which I had sewn onto a fabric background.  Here it is now made into a cute card to welcome a new girl into the world.

yellowdogdaysgirl3

Along with a super-soft bunny and stripy beanie hat, it makes a nice little gift.

yellowdogdaysgirl2

Both the bunny and beanie are knit following Debbie Bliss patterns.  The beanie is an old favourite of mine, I love knitting them and think the stripes look great on babies.

yellowdogdaysboy1

Another card I’ve made using fabric squares and hand-stitched felt lettering.  This time for a little boy!

yellowdogdaysboy2

He also gets a stripy beanie, this time in cool blues and white.  Great for keeping little heads nice and warm! There are a couple more babies on the way, we don’t know yet if they’re boys or girls but I’m looking forward to making some more welcome gifts either way.  Hope this baby boom continues!!