Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Emoji Keyrings

 I've shared emoji keyrings with you before, but this lot is different....

 ...because this lot has the poop emoji!

Putting together these keyrings is pretty simple. First I sew on the features, which is the most difficult part as things like eyebrows can be quite fiddly. I attached a ring of wire shaped to fit in the yellow felt circles to the keyring chain. I do this because I'm paranoid that the stitching attaching the keyring chain to the felt will come undone and the chain will fall off, but with the wire the chain would stay attached. The last part is sewing the two yellow felt circles together with a little bit of polyester stuffing inside.

 I had a good production line going on when I made these, and I've kept the little paper patterns I made for the all the features so I can churn out even more. Which emoji do you think should be next?

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Chocolate Day in York

At the start of the week my boyfriend and I went to York for a couple of days to start off our school holiday. Andrew has quite a big sweet tooth so as an early birthday present I booked us on to a tour at York's Chocolate story, and a chocolate workshop at York's Cocoa House.

First up was the Chocolate Story tour. It was very informative and each section came with a taster which was a bonus, though next time I'll give the cold chocolate water (similar to what the Aztecs drank) a miss. The tour ended with a chance to make our own chocolate lollies which were cooled and bagged up ready for us after a demonstration by their chocolatier on how to make filled chocolates.

In the afternoon we headed to the Cocoa House for our 'design and make your own chocolate bar' workshop. We were given different kinds of a chocolate buttons to try to decide which chocolate we wanted to use for our bar. 95% cocoa chocolate? No thank you. We went for the 55% dark chocolate instead.

Our bar was made of 300g of chocolate buttons which we melted using a hair dryer. There was a choice of flavourings to add to the melted chocolate and we chose mint. We poured the melted chocolate into plastic take-away containerss and added Smarties and sprinkles for decoration.
When we came back the next day to pick up our chocolate bar they'd wrapped it up nicely in cellophane tied with ribbons!

It was a really fun day but after such a chocolate filled time we were ready for a very savoury dinner with lots of vegetables!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Rose Painting

This painting is another one based on a photo from my America trip last year.

Portland's International Rose Garden has approximately 550 varieties of rose plant so there were plenty to take photos of during our vist. It's free to look around and you can get there on the shuttle bus that takes you all around Washington Park, which we were visiting for the zoo but the rose garden was an added bonus.

This painting is a small one and I decided to use acrylic paints as a change from my usual oils.

Thanks Portland for your inspiration and photo posing opportunities!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Felt Dogs

I recently had a free Sunday and felt like just watching tv all day so I put together a sewing project that would justify me doing so.

I decided on making felt dog faces, which is an idea that had been going round in my head for a while. With a ribbon hanger I thought they would be perfect gifts for dog-lovers and might do quite well when Christmas craft fair season comes around.
I made paper patterns for each dog, which will allow me to make multiples if I want to. For some of these dogs I was going for a particular breed, like this pug, but then what I thought would be a chihuahua ended up looking more like a french bulldog. Still cute either way!

One I had all the felt pieces cut out I just had to sew the features on to the main piece of felt and then sewing the two main pieces together, attaching the ears and the ribbon loop at the same time and adding some stuffing to give the faces a little more dimension.

I ended up watching almost the whole first season of UnReal on Amazon. That show is a bit ridiculous but pretty entertaining, and made for the perfect lazy Sunday.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

New Painting

My latest painting is a 30 x 80 cm oil on canvas. I have a preferance for long narrow canvases as they make for interesting compositions and, as someone who works primarily from photographs, I have to think carefully about how to crop the original image.

I was looking through my photos from my trip to America last summer, looking for something to paint, and came across this one which I don't even remember taking. I zoomed in on the image and knew straight away which canvas I was going to use.

The beach is Golden Gardens Park and my boyfriend and I took a trip there on our last full day in Seattle. We took the bus and asked the bus driver to let us know when it was our stop which he did by shouting back to us, "I am officially kicking you off the bus." Good guy.

I'm now on Instagram! @lisagharrold
This is the first large painting I've done since moving in to my boyfriend's tiny flat. Thank goodness for my table easel. That, combined with my old computer table, made for a pretty good workspace that didn't take over the whole living area.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Toot Fairy Book

 A little before Christmas my boyfriend Andrew decided he wanted to write a children's book (inspired by my previous literary endeavours I'm sure!) and I agreed to do the illustrations.
He played around with a few different ideas but knew he'd struck gold when he suddenly came out with, "How about 'the toot fairy'?"

 With the help of a couple of friends he wrote the book and then it was my turn to do the hard work and get the illustrations done.

With my previous two books I did all the artwork by hand. I drew the images and then coloured them using water colour paints. But for this book we knew we wanted a bolder, brighter look so I coloured the images on photoshop.

 I put the pages together in photoshop, adding the lines of text.

Then we sent it off to be printed! We're self-publishing the book using Create Space and it's available to buy on Amazon.

 So if you have a little kid in your life, or even a big kid, that likes fart jokes check it out!

And have a look at my previous books If I Lived There and Louisiana Ludgate and the Lollipops

Sunday, 5 March 2017

This Week I... my hair cut!
Since my last hair cut was three years ago this was kind of a big deal. During those 3 years I finally moved out of my parents house which meant I had to find somewhere to get my hair cut in my new town. I did thorough research and was happy with the place I decided on. A small, independent salon whose owner came with great reviews. She did a great job and discussed with me at the start which style would work best, although, word to all hairdressers; don't carry on the conversation whilst you're using the hair dryer. That can just be our quiet time, ok?

Like my last few hair cuts I will again be donating my hair to the Little Princess Trust. When I get around to posting it that is, for now it's just in a plastic bag on my kitchen table, creeping out my boyfriend.