parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme


watercolourWas help­ing Mike with a design project, he need­ed a sketch for a pho­to con­cept. This was fun to paint, with ref­er­ence to one of my favourite songs. Though after com­ing across the Mup­pet ver­sion of the song now every time I think about “pars­ley, sage, rose­mary and thyme” I hear Miss Pig­gy singing in my head.

Hope you’re hav­ing a good weekend!


watercolour stripes

Because acrylic paint does­n’t come off clothes.

So I thought, why not paint a shirt with it? I had a cou­ple of plain white t‑shirts that I’m wait­ing to refash­ion, and one day I saw some­one wear­ing a shirt with water­coloury stripes, so I thought I could just dilute acrylic paint and make it look all watery. It was acrylic paint from a dol­lar store too :D

Oh yes, and it was one of those Hanes white under­shirts. I cut off the col­lar and the sleeve cuffs before paint­ing it.

Because the paint is so watery, it soaks in all at once as soon as the brush touch­es the shirt, mak­ing it all blotchy-look­ing. I even­tu­al­ly devel­oped a method of paint­ing the shirt with a line of plain water first, then went over with paint. It made the paint flow better.

I let the paint­ed shirt dry and then put it direct­ly into the wash. Did­n’t rinse it or iron it to heat-set the colour. I guess I just had a feel­ing that the acrylic is going to stay put.

And I’m glad I was right, because I real­ly had no idea. But the paint did­n’t run in the wash, it did­n’t colour any of the oth­er stuff blue, it did­n’t even fade much (it just looked lighter when it was dried) Suc­cess! :D

The shorts were also refash­ioned from a pair of hand-me-down jeans that did­n’t look very good on me. I just cut off most of the pant legs and rolled the cuffs. I haven’t worn shorts since I was in grade school. Not that I did­n’t like them, I just did­n’t buy new ones after I out­grew the ones from child­hood. But because this sum­mer is warmer than usu­al I thought about mak­ing some shorts. Mike said they make me look taller :D

I real­ized that I cut too much off the col­lar, so I had to take in the shoul­ders and sleeves after­ward. But it made a real­ly cool chevron pat­tern :D

Hope you’ve had a good start to the week! 









Just hang­ing. Nei­ther here nor there. I don’t know what to call this. An apt descrip­tion of how I’m feel­ing lately.

On the tech­ni­cal side, I’m quite hap­py with how the “engrav­ing” turned out. It even inter­act­ed with the pig­ment and cre­at­ed a feath­er­ing effect.


When I was look­ing for my files of origa­mi dia­grams in my par­ents’ base­ment the oth­er day, I found this water­colour that I made a long time ago.

If you click on the pic­ture you can see a larg­er image and read the poem that’s writ­ten on it. I’m sur­prised how much this looks like the paint­ings I’ve made in recent years. The colours, the cir­cle, the water.

I don’t remem­ber where I saw this poem, but I remem­ber being real­ly moved by it. And I con­tin­ued to be moved and encour­aged by it today, being remind­ed that I came out alive after all.


Yes­ter­day I had to change my head­er pic­ture because I wrote a new page, and with the old head­er pic­ture the tab for the new page did­n’t show up very well. I real­ly liked the old head­er pic­ture, and was sad that I had to replace it. After I took it off I real­ized that I nev­er talked about the paint­ing that the head­er was made from, so I thought I should write a few words on it.

It was a spon­ta­neous doo­dle with water­colour I made last win­ter. Some­one showed me a book about cave draw­ings, and appar­ent­ly in cave draw­ings water was depict­ed as many cir­cles linked togeth­er. I thought it was such an inter­est­ing way to inter­pret the nature of water, so I tried paint­ing it with water­colour. To me there’s also a sense of con­nec­tion and com­mu­ni­ty. It’s one of my favourites. Maybe it will come back on the head­er once I fig­ure out how to relo­cate the tabs for the pages…

The cur­rent head­er pic­ture comes from Water Phoenix, anoth­er one of my favourite paint­ings. I’ve writ­ten about it here. I’ve noticed a recur­ring water theme in my paint­ings, and I pret­ty much only paint with water­colour nowa­days… it’s strange, this recur­ring water theme, because I can’t swim and am ter­ri­fied of deep water…

So, any­way, about the new page about the use of the patterns/tutorials on this blog… A cou­ple of days ago I thought I should grouped all of the pat­terns that I’ve post­ed under one cat­e­go­ry so that they’re eas­i­er to access. While doing that I real­ized I’ve post­ed 7 pat­terns already. I’ve nev­er real­ly thought about the issues of copy­right or what­ev­er; I like to share pat­terns because cro­chet­ing cute things makes me hap­py and I thought oth­er peo­ple might feel the same. Besides, the pat­terns I post aren’t com­pli­cat­ed; they did­n’t take long to “design”, if I can even call it that, and many peo­ple can prob­a­bly fig­ure them out just by look­ing at fin­ished prod­ucts. Also, I don’t plan to make a prof­it out of the things I make any time soon. How­ev­er, I might in the future. Actu­al­ly, it’s always been one of my dreams to make things full-time, but I’m in the midst of pur­su­ing some­thing else at the moment and I don’t think now is the right time to try and make a busi­ness out of this… any­way, I just like to cro­chet, but I thought after 7 pat­terns it’s prob­a­bly time to put cer­tain para­me­ters around my work so that I can still use them in a dif­fer­ent way in the future. I hope the “con­di­tions” that I put around the use of my work aren’t too restrict­ing. I’m so very grate­ful for all the feed­back and kind words peo­ple have sent me on this blog and on Rav­el­ry, and I’m always thrilled to see pic­tures of cre­ations made with pat­terns I wrote.

And I’m always, always, always thank­ful that you’re vis­it­ing. Have a great week! :D

Favourite things of the week!

Hope you’ve had a fab­u­lous long week­end! Did­n’t write for sev­er­al days because I have been away, but I’ve also been sav­ing these links to share! :D

I saw this quite a while ago — anoth­er bril­liant, bril­liant way to make small gift bags by How About Orange! From envelops! And also pret­ty tape! Per­fect for Christ­mas cook­ies, I think. Or those cook­ie mold orna­ments I was mak­ing! :D

Spot­ted anoth­er paper-fold­ing project recent­ly via Whip uppaper crane cup­cake top­pers! Would go well with green tea cup­cakes, I imag­ine. This looks like a promis­ing recipe…

And a real­ly neat activ­i­ty I saw today via The Crafty Crow, Com­bin­ing music-mak­ing, song-writ­ing, and water­colour! :D Read the post on Net­tle’s Notes to see how it works, it’s real­ly cool.

I stum­bled upon these fab­ric flow­ers on Sim­ply Vin­tage­girl a while ago — look how pret­ty!!! Real­ly want to try mak­ing them, but kind of weary about the flame part for the petals… the tuto­r­i­al has real­ly clear instruc­tions though! So maybe if I come across some syn­thet­ic silk one day I’ll give them a try…

Aaaand last but not least (though the tini­est), saw these can­dy corn *squeal* by Danielle­o­ra­ma on Tiny Plush Tues­day! They remind me that fall is quick­ly approach­ing and that makes me so very hap­py :D (Yes, I’m one of those odd species that aren’t too fond of sum­mer) I’m also feel­ing rather inspired to start cro­chet­ing a can­dy corn :D

Hap­py day!




water phoenix

Break­ing down and becom­ing whole again.

I should prob­a­bly invest in bet­ter water­colour paper. But then if I were to use good qual­i­ty paper I prob­a­bly would­n’t be able to paint as freely, because I would be afraid that I would ruin the expen­sive paper. Any­way. It’s some­how mor­phed from an attempt to copy this pho­to with watercolour…

And I’m not sure why I want­ed to copy this pho­to in water­colour. I almost nev­er copy pho­tos, and I don’t usu­al­ly paint real­is­ti­cal­ly. But some­how I want­ed to know what it’s like to paint this with watercolour.

I have been in a bit of a funk late­ly. Self-doubts, lack of moti­va­tion, feel­ings of hope­less­ness and inef­fec­tive­ness and all the nasty stuff. I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I’m feel­ing bet­ter today. I guess now I know why I want­ed to copy the pic­ture in the first place.

Adventure in dough, part 2!

The salt dough orna­ments are all paint­ed! :D

I paint­ed them with water­colour, fol­lowed by 2 coats of gloss acrylic var­nish. Despite the nasty smell of acrylic var­nish while they were being paint­ed, they actu­al­ly still smelled pret­ty much like cin­na­mon and not very much like acrylic after the var­nish was dried. I’m glad! :D

This one is my favourite. Just a very sub­tle blue.

Before I paint­ed them I kind of pic­tured them in porce­lain blue (that’s why I used water­colour), so I paint­ed sev­er­al like that.

I was going to paint all of them blue, but then I fig­ured since I got all my colours out I might as well see how they look with yel­low and pink…

The sur­face start­ed to crack a bit after the var­nish was dried (you might see it if you look close­ly), but I don’t think it’s a big deal.

I’m actu­al­ly quite hap­py with how they turned out, and I quite enjoyed paint­ing them! So I think I might make more of these orna­ments with the left­over dough instead of mak­ing owls. I can always make anoth­er batch of dough to make owls.

Have a great week­end! :D

Practice freedom

{Step 1} Place sheet of paper on table.

{Step 2} Rip a sheet of tis­sue paper into bits.

{Step 3} Hold bits of tis­sue paper in closed palms, raise palms above paper.

{Step 4} Close eyes. Open palms and release tis­sue papers.

{Step 5} Brush over bits of tis­sue paper on the sheet of paper with dilut­ed PVA glue exact­ly where they land­ed. Do this as quick­ly as pos­si­ble and mechan­i­cal­ly if nec­es­sary to avoid giv­ing in to the urge to “fix” the “com­po­si­tion” of the “pic­ture”.

I once heard a quote, its ori­gin I’ve forgotten:

“The oppo­site of hope­less­ness is not hope; it’s imag­i­na­tion. Imag­in­ing that things can be different.”

I imag­ine the same goes for freedom.

For me, it is main­ly free­dom from fear.

Many peo­ple have asked me, and I’ve also asked myself many times, that whether mak­ing art makes a dif­fer­ence. Just because you can make a pic­ture with tis­sue papers fly­ing freely about does­n’t mean that you can actu­al­ly expe­ri­ence the free­dom that you want in real life, right? Well. I can tell you that I have def­i­nite­ly seen mak­ing art make a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives, includ­ing my own. I would also say that if we don’t even both­er to imag­ine, to make a ten­ta­tive ges­ture, to take a stance against what­ev­er that took away our free­dom — even just prac­tic­ing on paper, then how on earth do we sup­pose we can expe­ri­ence free­dom in “real life”, what­ev­er real life means?

I’m not upset with any­one, real­ly, oth­er than the inse­cure chat­ters in my head that kept attack­ing my faith and con­fi­dence for the past two weeks. So I guess these are lit­tle steps I take to reas­sure myself. To regain my com­po­sure. To keep going. And it does make a difference.

So, any­ways, on a lighter note, we have been cel­e­brat­ing Marshie win­ning the Instructable Crit­ter Con­test with cream cheese frost­ing on Ritz crack­ers :D I saw this idea on MADE and thought I must try! We have a jar of cream cheese frost­ing in our fridge from when I was try­ing to make cup­cakes sev­er­al months ago, and Mike went out and got Ritz crack­ers after he heard me talk about it (he’s the bestest!). It’s actu­al­ly quite good! Reminds me of the lemon cream bis­cuits I real­ly liked when I was a kid (there are dif­fer­ent fun flavours! Scroll down to the “cream sand­wich bis­cuits” sec­tion!). I love cream cheese frosting…

May your day be filled with peace.