Thursday 16 April 2020

Going With the Flow

Hello! How's everyone doing?

I thought I would be doing lots of writing on this blog but it turns out that's not the case. I just haven't felt like it. Just like I've not felt like making artisan bread, doing online yoga and pilates classes, finishing all my sewing and knitting projects, learning a new language and cutting my own hair. Some days it feels an achievement just to get through to the end of the day but I'm learning to go with the flow and do what I feel like doing rather than what I feel I should be doing.

The lovely weather over the Easter weekend made me feel like tackling a garden project and this bench seat was in dire need of some restoration. I managed to scrounge a couple of pieces of sandpaper from a friend when I was delivering her shopping to her doorstep... she threw them at me from a safe distance. And fortunately there was enough paint left in the can from when it was first painted many years ago.

I have the same aversion to sandpaper as I do to sandy beaches but I persevered and a couple of coats later it is almost as good as new. I managed to paint the dog's ear to match but we won't mention that. I had to have a sit down and pour myself a glass of Prosecco as a reward!

We also managed to organise a family zoom call on Easter Sunday with all six grown up children and various partners plus the two grandchildren... although the six week old stayed asleep on his Mum's lap throughout. It was lovely to see everyone together. I know I'm not the only one to be missing the family.

Silly hats/masks were optional... as was the green paint up the arm. It came off eventually.

This week has been a slow burn but I have made scrub bags for the NHS from an old flat sheet.

And masks for us too...

Although I regretted mentioning that on social media as it seems everyone has an opinion as to their usefulness. I agree they offer no protection to the wearer but the general opinion seems to be (and this is from a couple of nurse friends) they help prevent passing the virus on. It also stops me touching my face when I'm at the supermarket and hopefully gives some sort of reminder to others to keep their distance. Although I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who have no concept of two metres. One chap actually brushed past me at least three times yesterday, close enough that I could have punched him. I was very tempted and I've been googling cattle prods since coming home!

I also quite like the Dick Turpin look and feel like I'm about to hold up a bank!

 I have been drawing pages into my art journal on a regular basis which I'm hoping we'll look back on one day when all this is a distant memory. It seems like a good way to keep a record of what we are going through, both the good and the bad. I don't think you can watch the video of my pages here but it is on my Facebook page and Instagram

Anyway... that's what I've been up to. Now if you excuse me I'm off to take my advance yoga class whilst brushing up on my Cantonese. Actually no...  I don't feel like it so will probably pour a glass of something and see what's on the telly!

Stay home, stay well everyone!

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Appliqué Tutorials

How are you all copying as we enter our third week of lockdown?

Like many people I'm up and down. There are busy days and slow days, but mostly very long days. I relish my daily dog walks and I'm grateful that we live where we do and that it's possible to walk for miles and hardly see a soul. And when we do see others it's a chance to wave and have a chat from a distance. But like many others I'm also struggling with the fact that I no longer have work, which has not only meant no structure to my days but being self employed, also means no income.

To fill my time, I'm teaching myself new skills and have been posting regular mini video art tutorials on Instagram and Facebook, as well as putting them on my YouTube channel. It all feels very scary and I'm learning as I go but it's also good fun. But I'm also starting to think about how I might find ways to fill the shortfall in my earnings

I thought that one way might be to share share some of my old tutorials and so have decided to make my seasonal appliqué hoop PDFs available here with a Pay What You Can system for as long as we are in lockdown. Each one is a fully illustrated guide to creating your own seasonal hoop, complete with traceable patterns. The patterns could also be printed out and coloured in if you have children at home.

At the bottom of this post you will find a PayPal button and all I ask is that if you are able to make a small payment in return for downloading any of the tutorials, then please do. Of course I appreciate that times are hard for everyone right now and if you can't afford to pay anything at the moment, then you may download the patterns for free with my blessing and I hope it gives you something creative to fill your days. We could all do with more creativity!

The spring hoop is perfect for this time of year, especially Easter and I think I will probably hang mine in the window this coming weekend.

Click on the link below for your download.

The summer hoop features beach huts and hazy summer days.

You can find the download for the summer hoop here:

The Autumn hoop features berries and seeds as well as a little fox

You can find the download for the autumn hoop by clicking here:

And finally the winter hoop features a suitably snowy scene.
Although each design is intended to be displayed as a hoop to hang on the wall, they could be adapted to fit in a regular picture frame or possibly made to decorate a cushion or a bag too.

You can find the winter hoop download here

I have been selling these patterns in my Etsy shop but I have deactivated them while I have the downloads available here. You can find my PayPal button below and thank you for your support.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below... and of course if you make up any of the patterns I would love to see them!

Wishing you all a happy lock downed Easter... We are attempting a family zoom call  on Sunday with fourteen of us!

Gina x