Saturday, July 23, 2011


A few days ago Gina posted about her summer sketchbook project that she will be teaching and invited her blog readers to join in. I looked back over her posts from last summer and decided it might be just what I need to get my creativity going.

The first challenge was to choose a colour, which is to be used throughout the sketchbook. I chose blue so that I could indulge my love of turquoise. Gina then asked us to paint our first page with a wash of watercolour and cover it with clingfilm and leave it to dry.

I couldn't find my watercolours, so I dug out my acrylics instead and made up a juicy wash of paint. Once dry I had some great textured background to work with.

The theme of the sketchbook is 'close to home' and Gina suggested using something from the garden. My garden underwhelmed me completely and I struggled to find anything that I could develop into a good graphic image. Also, my drawing skills were most decidedly rusty so I cheated and photocopied a piece of bracken and blew it up by over 300%.

I then cut out the image to form a reverse stencil and once I discovered that no matter how hard I scribbled my white oil pastel just wasn't going to work, I switched to a darker blue which seemed to be much more promising. However, I wasn't very excited by the image so it was back to the drawing board.

After a good think I decided I'd love to do an echinacea flower....but I don't have one in my garden and cheated even more by using my very close to home computer and downloading some images off Google!

Echinacea #1 - outlined in orange oil pastel (still can't get the white to show up) on a background of Minx's cheapo watercolours.

Echinacea #2 - again on a background of Minx's cheapo watercolours, outlined in blue and worked into with black biro. Starting to look a little more promising.

I then decided to have a little play with some Markal paintstiks and my cut out images.

I coloured each image in with the paintstik and then using the image as a mask on white paper I scrubbed the 'paint' onto the white page with a toothbrush, as I'd seen Gina do on her 2010 posts.

After dinner I delegated the clearing up and got out Minx's crayons and watercolours for a quick play with some wax resist.

Earlier today I was doing some sewing - teachers' presents - and kind of mastered drawing (or rather writing) with the sewing machine and of course this got the cogs whirring so I sent Minx outside to bring in the washing while I tinkered with a bit of free-machine embroidery.

I'm already having so much fun with this and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes - thank you Gina for inspiring me :o)

As I mentioned earlier, there was present sewing today too. This year I opted for an apple for the teacher in the form of a pencil-case, for each of the children's teachers. Everyone loves to start the new school year with a brand new pencil-case, right?

Now for the knitting news.....I've recently been suffering a distinct lack of knitting mojo - most uncharacteristic for me. Even having four different socks on the needles wasn't inspiring me. Last night I decided enough was enough and got cracking with my beautiful bonkers Hexagon socks - this is my second pair of's a Ravelry link to the first pair,

I thought you might like to see my current bed-time reading - to round off this suddenly rather miscellaneous post!

I've wanted to do screen printing for a very long time but haven't yet managed to give it a go. I've been looking for local courses but having drawn a blank I did some Googling and came up with this lovely book.

Well worth a read if you feel the urge to print. Not just screen printing but block printing, stencilling, stamping and lots more. I love this book :o)

I'm hoping to squeeze in some more creative moments this summer, once we've broken up from school. We don't break up until Wednesday - far too late as far as we're concerned!



dottycookie said...

Oh, your sketchbook is gorgeous already! I want to give it a go this year too, but I'm a bit behind. I remember marbling boxes with acrylics and cling film years ago when I was into painting. It also gives a lovely effect if you scrunch it up in your paw and pounce it on and off a layer of wet acrylic. Very messy though!

dragonfly said...

Love your sketchbook. Echinacea is a great choice.

mrspao said...

What a gorgeous sketchbook. The colour is terrific.

Jodie said...

Look at all that work already in your sketchbook....and i just cannot comprehend those socks...You make hexagons and then sew them together???

wonderwoman said...

Wow, brilliant sketchbook Mrs Moog! I love those socks, how the heck do you make them?


silverpebble said...

Oh I love your sketchbook project results - you know we share a love of turquoise and Echinacea too. The was resist images are my favourites I think.

Those socks are amazing! How does it work? My mind is boggling.

Gina said...

Fantastic sketchbook work. Especially love the echinacea no 2... and the freee machining is great.

Leanne said...

Your sketch book is fantastic, I wish I could draw I can not even do stick men justice. I have been wanting to screen print for ages shame we didn't live close we could have had a play date.

Daisie said...

You may just have inspired me to have a go! Lovely images x

Locket Pocket said...

Now look here Missus! I've just about come to terms with the fact that you are a super-whizzy knitter and fantastic at sewing but you didn't need to go and be brilliant at art too! Your sketch book looks amazing already! Locket xx

JP said...

wow - you have been creative - really impressed - looking forward to seeing more

Charlie P said...

Beautiful! I'm so impressed with your sketchbook skills and experimentation. Keep up the good work ;-)

Angela said...

Your sketchbook work is lovely. I love your echinacea.
It's really nice to see you back blogging.

Heather said...

Your sketchbook pages are wonderful - I love the echinacea and the free machine embroidery version. The hexagon socks are fantastic and Mr.Adams will love his pencil case. The printing book sounds very interesting.