Saturday, 5 November 2016

Our garden project

We are remodelling our front garden. It's been a long time in the planning and pondering stage but at least we are now on our way to a bit of a garden haven in the front as well as the back garden!
You will all remember the way my back garden came together when I had the major structural bones done by a landscape was such fun watching it progress.
The front garden is even more fun....albeit much my honey and I can do this one together :)
For some time it's been mainly lawn with some planting on two sides.

Back in May my honey made a start on getting rid of the lawn and digging it over.
Then holidays, work, weather and life stopped all the action and we ended up with a wild flower meadow effect come the beginning of October...
.....ha ha ha

The weather last month and so far this month has been kind and weekends have been spent sorting this out.....the grand plan under way


Happy when the first pergola went up a couple of weeks ago with stones laying out where a path would go.

Even happier when the second pergola erected, pathway partly dug out and bench all painted up to protect it. Some plants we had bought earlier in the year and potted on were scattered around to ponder some more on the layout!


Today my honey managed the last bit of the path and yet more would not believe the size of some of the rocks excavated..... and I got on with planting up the plants that had arrived during the week.

I'll show and tell some more when we have progressed a bit and detail the plants we are putting in.
Thanks for looking.
xoxo Sioux 

Monday, 17 October 2016

A birthday card

A quick post!
Butterfly stamped and masked....various overstamping and die cut numbers to finish inside and out.

Thanks for looking.
xoxo Sioux 

Friday, 16 September 2016

A little Corfu watercolour

I have been doing a little sketching and a bit of watercolour but mainly a lot of day dreaming whilst on holiday in Kalami on Corfu ;)

It's a little bit of paradise.

There is more to do to finish this small watercolour, I'm happy with the distant mountains at the back of Corfu  town and the sky.....the line of trees isn't too bad either.....wanted to stop before I mucked it up completely!

Of all the supplies I packed in the case....remember? do the watercolour I only needed these!

A pencil, rubber, watercolour pallete, water brush, collapsible brushes, water pot, paper and hardboard base....oh and some tissues to mop up. I probably will need to use an extra mixing pallete to finish this but I think that would be all!

Thanks for looking
xoxo Sioux

Monday, 5 September 2016

My travel art supplies

I've spent far more time than I ought just lately browsing Pinterest for ideas as to essential transportable watercolour supplies for our holiday to Greece shortly.
I have narrowed it down to this little lot! I'm thinking that listing it here will help both during and after to see what I did and didn't use! ;)

It's all packed into this small bag....a freebie from a long time ago as the logo on the bag proves! Not used more than a couple of times....fizz glass for size's not going in the bag! :) LOL

In the tin at the top I'm keeping some gelatos, neo colours and shimmery Luminex paint in the small black topped pots to provide extra colours not in my watercolour pallet and also in case I veer off into art journaling instead.

At the top here are baby wipes, tissues, plastic bottle for water, masque pen, ceramic pallete, masking tape, antique ink bottle that I'm using as a water pot...courtesy of my honey :)
A putty eraser and normal eraser, pencil sharpener, bits of sponge, charcoal pencils in soft, medium and hard, penknife, large lolly stick, four watercolour pencils, hardboard and watercolour papers with a couple of paper clips to hold the paper in place.

I have a smaller tin (not in the main photo) that will hold the smaller items in one place.
This also has a paper stump, some spare paint pans and space for filled pans that I can swap in and out of the watercolour pallete box.

Brushes and pens/pencils are held with elastic bands on a cardboard base.
Brushes include: a kurataki waterbrush, rigger and various other small detail brushes.

Not forgetting my new travel brushes...sigh ;)

Pens/pencils include: waterproof ink pens in grey and black, white unibol pen, two pencils in different hardness.

Everything packed into the bottom half of the bag with the hardboard, watercolour papers, brushes and masque pen in the top draw string section....that section still has room for something else and looking back at this, I have added some larger pieces of watercolour paper, an extra ceramic mixing palette and a plastic cup for clean water too.
This is all still very portable and I'm going for the lightest weight stuff I can find!

Thanks for looking.
xoxo Sioux

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Happy Birthday Honey

Friday was my scrummy honey's birthday...
...Happy Birthday Mr B!

I nearly scrapped this and started again as I originally thought the peacock feathers Distress on the stamp image was a bit too strong!

My tip for near disasters like this?

Make a coloured mat for your card front using the colour you are unhappy/unsure about... always seems to work for me :)

Thanks for looking.
xoxo Sioux

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Riding along on my push bike honey!

I've been planning this in my head for soooooo long! What's new I hear you cry!  LOL
I should have taken a before picture but suffice to say believe me when I say it was rusting a bit and silver ;)

I have to thank my lovely SIL for leaving his bike behind at his dad's when he moved to Bristol all those years came to Brixham when my honey and I married.

It should have been done earlier this year but I just couldn't find the colour of spray paint I wanted....but hurrah some turned up a few weeks ago and all in all (what with the weather and everything) it's taken 3 weeks to finish this.....and three years planning in my head ROFL !!!
A couple of large broken pot pieces helping to wedge it in place...knew there would be a good reason not to throw this on the tip! LOL

I am so thrilled with it, a couple of baskets front and rear added for the plants and a dream make was that will always remind me of Budapest as it's where I saw a similar idea first. Happy memories.
Thanks for looking
xoxo Sioux 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Art supplies for Greece

A quick entry today.
I'm trying to overcome my frustration at the Blogger app on my phone/iPad!!

I should be doing other things in my lunch hour but new watercolour supplies just arrived...ready to take on holiday. :)

Some new (to me) colours for my travel palette.

Best of all I haven't taken up cigar smoking! ROFL :) :) of all my retractable brushes...

...oh my, oh my!

I just sooooo needed those! Thank you to my lovely ya!

xoxo Sioux 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Polaroid ZIP

I have just received my Polaroid ZIP mini portable's love at first sight!
Gez asked me my thoughts on it so here they are ;)

I'm going to explain my experience using my iPad/iPhone and don't really know what difference (if any) there would be if you used an Android device as you just download the software.

I went for the sleek black colour but it also comes in white, blue and red...
It works with Android and/or iPhone/ need to buy different models to suit your particular phone like another product on the market!
There is no ink! It uses thermal technology to activate the chemicals embedded in the paper which measures 2 inches x 3 inches.

In the box is obviously the printer itself (no bigger than a mobile phone really at.....approximately 4.5 inches x 3 inches x 7/8th of an inch)
There is a lead with a USB connection for charging the printer, if you have an IPhone 3 pin plug adaptor charger already it will work with this, or just charge from your P.C. I tried both and both work fine.
Mine came with a packet of 10 ZINK (stands for zero ink) papers, and a brief (very brief) instruction sheet.....this could be improved on for technophobes but it gets you started!

Once it's charged it does not have to be connected to a P.C. or other device to work as it is fully Bluetooth and speaks to your phone/IPad wirelessly. (make sure your phone/IPad is switched to Bluetooth as I don't usually have mine on that setting!)

Now you have to download the software to your iPad (I chose to download it to this first as I have other photo editing apps already that I thought would be useful in conjunction with the printer...but as usual with most Apple apps it does appear later over on your other devices like your phone)

I went straight to the App Store to find the software and could not see it anywhere...
...having gone back to the instruction sheet there was a Qcode to I did not have a Qcode scanner app on my iPad I had to get one of those first....but it was free!

Using the Qcode app was easy and it recognised the code immediately and took me to the Polaroid web site with a link that takes you to the App Store and the Polaroid ZIP app (why the instructions couldn't just give you the web site address, or why you can't see the app without doing this is beyond me!) However it works and the app appears on your device.

The printed instructions tell you to then switch on the printer and it should appear in your Bluetooth settings....just click on the printer when it appears to confirm.

If you now open up the app it appears not to be doing quite what you thought it would...
...i.e. I thought it was not working....trying to stay calm I just kept hitting the various buttons ('cos it doesn't mention any of the following in the written instructions!) until I chanced upon MyZip and then device manager....where it said no device found grrrr!

By now the printer had switched itself off so that's why it said that (you can alter the length of time before it switches itself off in device manager) I had to switch it back on and it showed up then in device manager and it said something like download up to date with fingers crossed I did....the printer on light flashes as they are obviously speaking to each other by now! After that finished, it decided I had to update something else too (sorry but I can't remember what it was called) so I did that too. Hey presto now you can use all the various menu buttons to get around the app....this whole set up process only took perhaps 20 mins and most of that was wasted time trying to find the Polaroid app and the Qcode reader in the first know how it is! ;)

For quite some time on my IPad I couldn't actually see any images of my photos in the gallery but if I tapped on one of the greyed out spaces it would load was visible and I was able to edit and print.....which I did....but not an ideal situation you will agree.

However.....a whole day later with some fiddling around at stupid o'clock in the morning, while I was unable to sleep due to the weirdest dream I've had in quite some, I went into my IPad photo settings and hit the button for automatically upload to iCloud and the photos are now visible in the ZIP app! I can't tell you why but all the photo's show now!!

For the actual need to load the papers into the printer...the top just slides off a bit like the back of a mobile phone....and there is an oblong well to stack the papers in. the paper pack is a blue card and this MUST be placed on the bottom first before stacking the paper on top....the printer reads the blue card and does some sort of calibration so that the colours on your photo should not come out weird! I read that on one of the reviews before I bought it so I was aware of it....please note that the written instructions, whilst mentioning you should do this, does not mention that it is important to do so and I believe on every new switch on and print session it might be good practise to get into the habit of doing this for optimum's no big deal!

I edited the size of my photo in the app before I printed it to leave some space for writing on, making it look more like a Polaroid photo of old (cool)...and the other cool part is the photos can become a sticker as they have a peel off backing. (You can have your photo fill the whole space if you prefer or make a collage of more than one image too)
You can add all sorts of images and cool stuff in app before printing....I'm still playing around with that :)

Hey get a print out...

Even though there was a certain quirkiness to the set up it all turned out fine in the end and I really, really like this. I can see all sorts of possibilities and fun times ahead with it....perfect for memory books, scrap booking, planner addicts et al!

P.S. I was not paid for this nor was I given anything by Polaroid (that sort of thing never happens to me! ROFL)....I just wanted to pass on my experience of starting out....some reviews on Amazon do make me wonder sometimes!

Thanks for looking....let me know if you found this useful?
xoxo Sioux

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Holiday purse/wallet

If you are friends on Facebook you may have seen that I've been attempting to make a purse for "The Girls" for use on our holidays. We collectively share responsibility for the kitty :)
I've finally finished it and had the seal of approval ;)

The cover is made from artist quality canvas and I used Archival inks in red and black for the T!m Holtz script and butterfly stamps.

I've had this thing about wanting the pockets for notes to be in portrait orientation instead of the normal landscape I believe it makes for more secure storage.
The flip side with the attached purse at the bottom.

I was winging this as I went and would definitely change some things I did. For instance the appliqué butterfly on the purse had to be done to hide ugly stitching of the poppers to secure the purse.

I loved using the T!m Holtz fabric for the interior :)

You can easily open the wallet and hide your notes whilst opening the purse if you so desire.

I used Velcro as the fastening of the outer case and again the stitching showed so I glued another canvas butterfly on to hide it as sewing through the canvas was too difficult. The purse section folded up. (Don't look too closely at the stitches as my sewing machine has seen better days!)

Side view with the top section folded down to close.

The closed purse....ready for action on our holiday to Madrid in 9 days time. :)

Thanks for looking
xoxo Sioux

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Colour to dye for!

 Yesterday I went to a natural dye workshop held in Mortenhampstead.
The only thing I've ever dyed before was a pair of curtains and a bedspread using Dylon in the washing machine...and that must have been 20-30 years ago!

It was held in a felt artists studio in a disused chapel...very atmospheric...

...especially as the lady makes biodegradable felt coffins! Along with other lovely things and some great hats that I may have to make a return trip to buy at Bellacouche! ;)

Anyway enough of that lets get to the dye vats (pans)

We used four different natural dye colours with Isabella and Jane the tutors provided vast snippets of information along with historical dye facts that were fascinating.

We dyed lots of pieces of silks and wool thread and just before lunch Jane started off the indigo dye vat...very interesting how different it is to get it starting to work.

Our break for lunch in the graveyard! Fab!

In the afternoon those who wanted to dyed a scarf or some people were more prepared than me and had brought their own things to try lady brought a cashmere turned out fab in the indigo dye...but I forgot to take a picture! Here is Jane showing the magic happening as the indigo changes colour.

At the end of the afternoon we all sat and made up sample sheets of the different colours we had achieved with the help of Isabella and Jane.

Here are my sheets and the scarf...cochineal that had gone a bit wrong and taken on a lilac colour and the ends dipped in indigo.

Not saying I'll take this up in earnest (quite frankly I just don't have the room) but apparently a warm greenhouse can make a great dyeing area! Something to keep in mind should the need arise! :) :)

Thanks for looking
xoxo Sioux