Today I made ink patterns

Colouring is probably the most relaxing forms of art around. You choose the colours, deep and dark or pretty pastels. Here’s a few bits I’ve done from Enchanted Forest.

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After doing a bit of ink drawing from everyone can draw I decided to ink the next pages of enchanted forest. I started with indian ink and dip pen. I enjoyed it until Baratheon decided he had to be on my lap right then!

not even fussed
not even fussed

This isn’t even the first time he’s been a pest when I’m trying to draw.

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I picked up again with a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen.

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I decided to make small patterns for the first tree and then use the bold pen for the taller trees leaves.
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It’s lots of fun to dip in and out of whenever you fancy. though now I’m tempted to buy lots of pretty coloured pens and inks.

Today I made an attempt at drawing

I’ve always been keen on drawing but my perfectionism has gotten in the way. If there’s a drawing I’m not happy with I’ll often just tear out the page rip it up. This is not conducive to learning. Recently I’ve decided to make another attempt. It took me a surprising amount of time to find a book that actually began with the basics. Every book I looked at went into very technical detail and demanded knowledge of technical materials. This is an awful lot to assume of a novice.

I finally found one that seemed perfect when perusing the little library down the road. |his trip in itself was a big achievement as it was the first time I left the house by myself in a very long time.  I managed to push through the anxiety and even had a nice conversation with the library assistant. I walked home, very proud of myself, with a Everyone Can Draw and a small bundle of books under my arms.

everyone can draw
Everyone Can Draw: Step by step instructions for artists Barrington Barber

       I skipped the introduction, hopefully I’ll go back but I was impatient to start. The very beginning  taught me different ways to hold a pencil, work with tones and create simple shapes.

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I particularly like the fact that Barber give advice on which pencils to use an later which charcoal, pens and brushes. So far the ‘lessons’ are clear concise and not the least bit patronising.

The ink was trickier than pencil, it feels a clumsy
The ink was trickier than pencil, it feels a clumsy
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working on shading, I’m not that keen on this
starting to have fun here and not being technically correct
starting to have fun here and not being technically correct

I’m really looking forward continuing, I’ve just order watercolours and brushes and will post my mess of an attempt here.

Today I made a teapot pencil holder

It turns out I have a surplus of teapots so decided to re-purpose one of them into a pot for my colouring pencils.

Things you need:

  • A teapot
  • PVA glue mixed 1 part water 1 part glue
  • Some form of brush, I used one from a paint tester
  • Roughly 25 scraps of fabric 10cm long and between 1cm and 5cm wide

    it will get messy so make sure you've got a sensible surface
    it will get messy so make sure you’ve got a sensible surface

Slather a piece of fabric with glue and starting with the spout and handle begin wrapping the fabric around the tea pot. If the fabric isn’t sticking well enough try applying glue to the teapot surface too. You may not be able to finish in one go, (I tried to stubbornly continue but managed to make myself stop before I got too frustrated.) I recommend doing a base layer and then leaving it to dry.

I took a break here to let the glue dry and fabric harden.
I took a break here to let the glue dry and fabric harden.

Once the fabric has dried continue adding strips until the teapot is completely covered. I ended up trimming down the spout. Cut off excess material and voilà you have a fancy new storage solution. You might want to spray it with something (I used shoe protection spray. I have no idea if it made it any more durable but it didn’t hurt.)

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It works perfectly in my little stationary shelf.

Today I made a plan

‘If a job is worth doing it’s worth doing badly’

When my therapist gave me this piece of advise I told her she was wrong.  I absolutely hate doing anything that I deem less than perfect. This way of thinking is not helpful, it often leads to not doing anything for fear of doing it badly. This perfectionism is ever present in my life. I have only recently been able to consider the idea that even if I feel I’ve done something poorly, it does not mean that I am a failure.

Recently I’ve been able to do a lot more, however this is not as good as it may appear. I have gone from doing very little to filling my day and exhausting myself.  I now start to feel I have to work endlessly in order to prove I am a worthwhile person.

My solution  to this was scheduling and alarms set on my phone. I wrote  a list of things I would like to do this month and divided it into weeks and then planned one or two activities to do each day.

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With set activities each day I hope I can concentrate more on doing what I enjoy without the the stress of trying to do too much.  I am starting to believe that if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing badly….so long as it gets done.

Today I made rhubarb crumble

On a visit to my in laws I picked up some lovely lovely Rhubarb. I’ve never made anything with Rhubarb  before so I thought I’d go with a simple crumble.

Freshly picked rhubarb
Freshly picked rhubarb

Decided straight off this crumble would be for my husband. As I don’t really eat Rhubarb it didn’t feel like a ‘safe food,’ I have been challenging a fair few things  relating to my eating disorder recently and decided not to push myself too far. 

For the Filling

250g Rhubarb, 50g Golden caster sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Port (if you fancy)

Rhubarb chopped up
Rhubarb all chopped up

For the Crumble

70g self-raising flour, 42g chilled butter, 25g light brown muscovado sugar,

  • Pop the Rhubarb sugar and Port into a pan, cover and simmer over a very low heat for around 15 minutes or the rhubarb is soft but still holding it’s shape.
  • Place rhubarb in a small baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200 c (180 c fan)

now comes the terrifying bit….

  • Form a crumbly mixture by rubbing butter and flour together using your fingers!!!!!

My thoughts went from this isn’t so bad to If I don’t get this crap off my hands soon i’m going to cry then back to a slightly calmer I can do this for a few more seconds. 

  •  Add the sugar mixing with your hands!!

This was a tiny bit easier as it was dryer and stuck to my hands less.

  • Sprinkle the mixture on top of the Rhubarb and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden brown
    All finished
    All finished

    My Husband said it was delicious.

Today I made my vote (and a little felt mouse)

I woke up bright and early ready to vote! It had been planned, I had to arrive after most people have been to work but before the elderly folk and people with kids  had managed to get out and about. It worked, just  about, there where only three people ahead of us in the Parish Hall. I handed my poll card over to a nice middle aged woman and she gave it to a balding man lingering behind her. He ripped it into four rough scraps and threw it away.  I’d been guarding that piece of cardboard obsessively for over a week and took an instant  dislike to the man.

It only took a few minutes to get there and back. I was home with a cup of tea in no time. However my body refused to accept that I had nothing more to do. After trying to relax and becoming irritated I decided to make a little something from Everything Alice : The  Wonderland Book of MakesIt was very difficult to focus, and the method of  measure twice, cut once went out the window.  I did not pick out materials that particularly matched. His ears are too small and inside out, his eyes are weird looking and the tail could be a lot neater. I debated whether or not I should post. I am not proud of my work but I am trying to work on my issues with perfectionism. So here the little mouse is in all its imperfect glory.

A bit of a mess starting off
A bit of a mess starting off
pretty button sewn on the back
Pretty button sewn on the back

 

 

little cow mouse
little cow mouse

Today I made a trip to Buttons Boutique

I decided it was high time to stock up on material and other nice bits. Going into town (or even leaving the house) is something I find difficult. I’ve had panic attacks in the middle of shops and become so overwhelmed I give up on whatever I was there to do. This has resulted in the complete  avoidance of the outside world.

So  this outing required forward planning.

Step One: deciding a town outfit, (pretty Cath Kidston dress, leggings and thick long socks.)

Step Two: Write a very detailed list of things that I need.

Step Three: Plan the trip with contingency plans.

The plan was to leave nice and early  so all was quiet, this plan was somewhat scuppered when my kitten Lannister (named by the RSPCA and kept by us) refused to come indoors. After half an hour of calling we decided to open up the greenhouse and leave with her still outside.  This was the first stumbling block but I think I managed to remain calm. We (my husband and I) got in the car and put on a bit of Florence and the Machine.

We arrive in Leicester and I went to lovely Buttons Boutique and my husband went to Forbidden Planet. I was alone in the store and for a moment it felt like an assault course. I took a deep breath looked at the list written on my phone and wondered about the store. Customers came and went before I managed to focus my mind enough to look for what I needed. I picked up a basket when my arms got too full and had a nice little haul. After I had my bits and pieces I went on to the fabric. Their were lots of bundles and next to them A printed sign read: Fabric may be available by the metre if in stock.

My anxiety peaked. I would have to go to the counter. I waited in a small queue. My heart beat too quickly and my hands felt clammy against the patterned blue material. A young woman stood at the counter, sorting out stock between each customer. I hesitated and then blurted out my request. She smiled and said she’d check if the material was in stock. I breathed again and wandered about the store. She came back down within minutes, two metres of the pretty patterned material in her hands. I bought my wares and met with my husband. I still felt breathless but proud of myself.  Nothing terrible had happened. I didn’t make a fool of myself. The world outside the sanctuary of my house isn’t as scary as it seems.

At home I sat happily in the living room with a lovely cup of tea. 2015-05-06 11.51.03

My haul.

Today I made…my first post

I can proudly say that for over a year now I have been on the way to recovery from an eating disorder and depression! One thing that’s helped me a lot is writing down my achievements of the day. To start with it was little more than ‘got dressed’ or ‘ate without feeling anxious’. More recently my accomplishments have been more substantial.  It’s far from easy. I still struggle to balance being active with overdoing things.

I’ve posted a few pictures of things I made in the past few weeks:

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Brioche!! took me forever to make but was well worth it
Teacosy, I got to play about with lots of pretty top stitching
Tea cosy from Everything Alice. I got to play about with lots of pretty top stitching
Little pin cushion.
Little pin cushion from What Delilah Did: Storyland Cross Stitch
Mini doughnuts...these went very quickly
Mini doughnuts…these went very quickly
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