Category: Craft

Day 3


The hump day of the week, highlighted by a rebellion from Charlie over running this morning.  All I can think is, why wouldn’t you? The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the blossom is out.  But there’s that expectation to lash out at, the enforced decree.  I think it’s what Boris Johnson is so scared of hence his fudged message: Stay at home, unless you have to work at work, which you can only do safely, but your bosses will decide what that means. Certainly on run, there was very little difference, the main roads are the same, the residential roads are quiet except for builders, who were told to shut up shop, but now are considered able to work safely. A builder working safely? The niggling feeling is Boris is trying to blur the line between caring and the economy.  I wish he would just make a strong stand one way or the other.

Charlie did go for his run – the threat of losing time on Fortnite was a powerful motivator.  But we ran different routes.

The big success has been the daily sketchbook challenge.  On day one Carla Sonheim explained her daily page dump – drawing a box, dividing it up, filling each square with different subjects: day and date, a diary entry, an ideas section, a drawing and an anything goes box.  We’re all doing this every day so that by the end of this we’ll all have diaries of this bizarre, never known before time to look back on and remember.  Once that page is complete, there’s a different artist offering something new to do each day.

 

 

These were from blob drawing and looking at food.

 

 

The idea is not for perfection – and the random nature of the vintage-handmade-sketchbooks really helps with that.

 

 

The email of ideas comes in at 12.  I find myself looking forward to it.

Laters, Kate x

Day 1

 

This morning is the first test of the strength and endurance of our internet – all four of us are working at the same time.  So far, all good – the biggest concern is between those who can work quietly (me, John, Bella) and those who can’t (Charlie) and whether those who work quietly will influence  a dial down, or the constant nagging needs of one will dial it in the opposite way; I’ve only yelled once…

 

 

We’ve all kept to our normal times. Apart from Bella, who over slept so missed the newly installed 8.00 am run – we’ve each installed the couch to 5k app with the aim to run with it every day.  It’s a great programme especially for beginners; it tells you when to run and when to walk and is designed to progress you from a beginner to running a full 5k. There’s an option where you can choose your personal running coach – mine is Michael Johnson, because when he tells me I’m doing good, I really believe I’m doing good. He’s fast becoming a good friend. When we’re running as a group we look like a flock of birds, when with no obvious signal we all transform from walking to pounding the streets.  The streets today were probably two thirds down on traffic, but busier than expected.  I think everyone thinks their car is their own portable bubble. The thing is it’s what you do at either end of your journeys that can matter…there’s news that petrol pumps are sources of infection.  Just saying.

 

 

This weekend we prepped for the sketchbook revival 2020 challenge, buying nothing, but going through book shelves for old books, gathering dust that could do with a re-love, finding old sketchbooks, tearing out pages, old letters, cards, wrapping paper, tissue paper – anything that would make it interesting, then sewing it together…very satisfying.

 

 

Mine is done now.  Just waiting for the first email to drop in with instructions for the day – better check my spam folder…

 

 

Also redid our window boxes: ivy, trailing white geraniums, miniature daffodil bulbs and some white plant that looked pretty! They’re going to get a bit of love every day as well.

 

Something little, something often, something creative, something together.  This is could be more a blessing than a chore.

 

Laters, Kate x

Carrying on x

 

As this week comes to an end we have potentially the biggest change so far – I have Bella at home for the first time today and Charlie’s school will close at 3.50 pm.  Things to be grateful for:

 

  1. My children are older.
  2. We have a garden.
  3. I like my children.

 

I think it also helps that I am used to working from home and already have systems in place that I know work. My rules are pretty simple: Run a planner to prioritise what needs to be done, turn off all distractions apart from appropriate music, set a timer – 30 minutes max, focus till timer goes off, re-set with 10 minute timer, start a podcast, do a cleaning or admin job to tick off planner.  Repeat. There’s something about this system that means you’re always willing to re-start the 30 minutes because you stopped it just before you lost concentration. And you always look forward to the 10 minutes because you left the podcast at a critical stage…

I am hoping we’ll all be able to work in the mornings, and create in the afternoons.

 

Through Carla Sonheim’s amazing website, I have joined the sketchbook revival for daily drawing sessions.  What appeals  about this is the unleashing of creative freedom that is the opposite to perfection.  I received the first pre-event taster in my email box straight away – (so far all of this has been free) – a tutorial with Calylee Grey on making a junk art journal from an old vintage book.  Utterly delicious and a must to do: You don’t actually need anything to start, other than a willingness to experiment and a drive to do a little bit every day.

 

This is my heaven.

Every cloud.

Laters, Kate x

Going Viral x

 

 

 

Here in London, the sky is a birds egg blue, there are buds on the trees and the supermarket toilet roll aisles are empty. If it was a stomach bug, I’d have more understanding, but…toilet roll?? It means they’ll have to close the schools soon for fear of pupils stealing from cubicles and selling it on the streets..All jokes aside, this is the one time we need humour: Enjoy the following… I have.

 

Laters, not in lock down yet, Kate x

Blooming Marvellous x

I never like this time of year; the glitter and sparkle of Christmas has been packed away, the weather is cold, grey, rain, the garden is sleeping, the shops are full of unwanted crap, and Netflix has been over eaten to the point of explosion.  But there is a little silver lining, a sliver of what’s to come, the turning of the tide: Indoor bulbs. Now is the time to raid charity shops, find big bowls and fill with your hearts delight.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

The second wave of wonder is, once they’re over, they can be planted in the garden. And the bowls are ready for giant summer salads…

 

Laters, Kate x

Sashiko x

 

I love this; a functional marriage between the fragility of these crocheted leaves and the darning of these jumpers. The message being that old things can be treasured, worn things aren’t bad and that imagination is precious. These are all examples of Sashiko, a form of decorative reinforcement stitching from Japan, (though it also reminds me of Indian Kantha quilts). Every piece has been given some much needed love, transformed and given new life.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest)

It’s the sort of message I like for the start of a decade.

Laters, Kate x

Christmas x

I’ve learnt the hard way – set a time and set it early for Christmas crafts, otherwise days will fly past and time will be eaten by nothing. My time is Saturday afternoons: A week to plan and gather bits, an open fire, a family film = perfection.


This Saturday we started with interpreting and making these, found on Pinterest, and as ever, it was a learning curve.  We used Inkjet printable Iron on T-shirt Fabric paper for light fabrics bought from Amazon for £11.99. Whilst it does work, the material you use is critical – we had to change from a coarser cotton to a smoother version.  Also a simple thing, but important – you need to cut out all the background and leave a white margin – it does something important to the eye.

 

This, for me, is the spirit of Christmas. Pour me a large one.

Laters, Kate x

Madness with love x

A fusion made in heaven: Tall candlesticks – already an object of desire because of their perfect balance of functionality with beauty – now upgraded to lust level with whimsy, madness and imagination.  Apparently these lovelies were originally from Anthropologie, and – apologies – are both unavailable and required deep pockets (I saw them priced at $395 each). But their joy is the love they continue to radiate in inspiration, because when should price stop anyone?

I particularly love this pic, and can only doff my hat to the skillful drilling it must’ve entailed. Muchus Kudos.

Quite a few examples have used glass: I have no idea what kind of glue they used, or how long the bonds would last, but how appealing for a Christmas table…

(All pics Pinterest)

 

And then there’s this little beauty, a hybrid of many things, including a brutal yet fanciful version of Japanese Kinsugi, the art of finding strength in the broken.

 

Come to Mama.

Laters, Kate x

Leaves, left, gone..

First came the stone art post, little gems of time and love, nestled in their creative blankets.  Now it’s leaves with crochet.  Moments of change caught forever; the turning of the tide from summer to autumn, the passing of another year. Less decoration, more frosting, ice crystals made permanent.  Delicate representations of fragility and tenderness.


(All pics Susanna Bauer and Pinterest)

 

Because why does purpose always have to lead?

Laters, Kate x