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.