April Bed Post

It’s been a while since I did one of these…so here we are….cool blues and one of my favourite afghans.

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Hamsa Hand Amulet

I’ve been thinking about creating a Hamsa hand amulet to hang in my bedroom for ages.

Chances are you have seen these symbols on jewellery or clothing at some point, many different cultures and religions use them. For more details see the entry on Wikipedia .

Today I was sketching ideas on a piece of paper and the hand kept appearing. So I grabbed a  piece of thick paper and drew this:

Once I’d finished colouring it in, I decided to cut it out and glue it to some cardboard and finally make that amulet

On the reverse of the piece of card (cut from a cat food box!) I glued some pretty wrapping paper.

Then I thought I’d like to hang some wooden beads from the base.

On the larger ones I painted eyes – thought to repel the Evil Eye and usually found in the centre of the Hand of Fatima.

And then threaded them onto some blue wool and hung them from the bottom of the hand.

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French Knitted Macrame Style Plant Hanger

After my forays into loom knitting I had an epiphany about old school French knitting.

Could it be used like macrame to make plant hangers?

Time to find out!

With some cream wool I created four strands of French knitting approximately 600mm in length.

I ran into a small hiccup with this in that the first ball of wool was from my stash, but only made two and a half strands. When I went to the shop to buy more they didn’t have it and I had to buy a different, slightly thinner ply. 

Serves me right for barrelling headlong into a project without being organised. That’s typical of me!

Anyway, I decided to just keep going despite the slight differences, and thankfully it’s not obvious in the finished product.

First I tied the ends of all strands together with a knot.

Then I knotted two stands together and then the other two strands together.

Then I took one of each of the strands knotted together, and knotted those together, a bit further up.

Rinse and repeat!

Then I tied the top strings of the strands to a metal curtain ring.

Using the rest of those top strings I wrapped around the ring to cover it in wool.

The finishing touch was a fat woolly tassel tied to the base.

And it’s ready for hanging!

Very retro 1970s!

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Loom Knitting Tea Cosies

Recently I discovered knitting on a loom. This has to be the easiest way to knit ever!

Do you remember French knitting from school? I’m sure most kids did it in art classes, I remember making long snakes of French knitting using a toilet roll and some ice cream sticks. It was fun, but totally useless!

Well this is just like French knitting on a grand scale!!

I bought a set of rings in different sizes. This one is intended to be the right size for making woolly beanies…. so naturally it is perfect for making a tea cosy.

My first attempt was a little wobbly, some imperfections that show the hand made nature of it. And I enjoyed it enough to repeat the process on the smallest loom for my one person tea pot and my coffee pot!!!

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Hellebores in the Studio 

I have wanted to paint a mural in my home for as long as I can remember but landlords don’t usually take kindly to such thing so I had to wait until I had my own house.

Then what to paint?

Flowers seemed obvious given the subject matter in my artwork. I love all flowers and paint a wide variety, but my favourite flowers of all time are Hellebores. Helleborus niger. 

I’ve loved them since I was a child and my mother grew them in her rose garden. She called them Winter Roses and they would bloom when her beloved roses weren’t.

She would often pick them and put vases of them on our dining room table, sometimes with snow drops or daffodils or freesias or whatever else was blooming in her garden at the time.

I return to these gorgeous and unusual blooms time and again in my artwork so I felt they were a fitting choice for a mural. Now painting in a large format or on walls is not within my comfort zone, so I spent some time sketching simple hellebores in preparation.

I will probably go back and turn these sketches into paintings later I think!

So after my sketching session I pinned them up on the inspiration board in my studio, grabbed a soft graphite stick and made a start on the wall, loosely drawing outlines of the petals and leaves.

Next, I began to fill in the shapes with colour and added some detail.

Once I’d filled in the details and outlined the flowers and leaves I was done!

Next came tidying the studio, which is a regular job that never seems to get easier. I’m a messy artist and tend to shift the clutter aside to continue creating instead of putting it neatly away, so a regular tidy every few months is needed.

I also decided to hang a bunch of my hellebore paintings in here to compliment the mural. 

I’m delighted with the results! The colours really liven up the yellow walls. Just when I was thinking of repainting them I’ve fallen in love with the colour all over again.

What do you think?

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Upcycled Metal Tray

I’ve had this tray for months, waiting to decide what to do with it.

When I spied this pretty paisley fabric in my local haberdashers I thought it would be nice decoupaged to the base of the tray.

I cut the fabric to fit and went to the cupboard for the Mod Podge.

Dammit!!! I was out of it.

I did have some regular PVA glue, so I decided to use that.

Unfortunately the PVA isn’t quite as effective as Mod Podge and caused some air bubbles under the fabric which I couldn’t smooth out. ☹️

Anyway, it still looks funky! I sealed the top with a coat of acrylic gloss spray varnish and it was done.

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Cloisonné Inspired Box

A few years ago at a community quiz night, I won a scented candle and aroma reeds set that came in this very sturdy cardboard box.

I’ve kept it all this time because I knew one day I’d do something decorative with it, and that day has arrived!

I love the look of Chinese cloisonné, and I figured with a little bit of paint and a gold paint pen I could come up with a cloisonné design for the box.

Firstly I painted it black.

Once it was dry I scribbled a floral design on it with a white pencil.

Then I filled in the design with acrylic paints.

Once the layers of paint were dry I outlined the flowers with the gold pen.


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