#30DaysWild 25 – wild crafts

A confession, I’ve prepared this one in advance, as I won’t be in a position to blog today but I will be out there, thinking wild thoughts …. But in the meantime, here are some of my favourite wild crafts.

Wintercroft masks

Wintercroft make amazing masks you can print off at home, stick to an old cereal box or something similar (so you’re recycling something old into something new too!) and then construct yourself. They have a wide variety of masks but a lot of them are based on animals, such as this gorgeous stag mask.

stag_wintercroft_3_e_s
Image credit – Wintercroft

It looks a bit complicated but honestly it’s not, it just takes a bit of time (I’ve made their skull mask before).

Embroider a floral motif

8336684
Image credit: Polka and Bloom

Embroidery is a fantastically easy hobby to pick up (check out Sublime Stitching for some tutorials, it was a Sublime Stitching book that helped me start stitching many years ago now, they also have some lovely wild patterns, such as their Birds of Prey pattern sheet). It’s also an extremely portable hobby, so it’s great to stitch outside too!

Polka and Bloom have a fantastic range of floral motifs, such as the floral motif pictured above. Or if you like your embroidery a little more complicated, Follow the White Bunny has a fantastic shading course, where you can learn to shade the outline of a bird or a bear with an umbrella.

Cross stitch some creepy crawlies

If your needlework is more towards the cross stitch variety, Floss & Mischief have some fantastic creepy crawly cross stitch patterns, such as this death’s head moth pattern.

yellow_moth_hoopla_preview
Image credit: Floss & Mischief

Or if you like your creepy crawlies more monochrome and a bit more buzzy, What Delilah did has a lovely bee pattern. She also has many other nature inspired patterns, I am very tempted by the magpie pattern.

 

bee_cushion_white_background
Image credit: What Delilah Did

 

Knit some faux taxidermy

Actual taxidermy is of course a bit yeugh but knitted faux taxidermy, that’s quite cute. I don’t feel confident enough yet with my knitting skills but Louise Walker’s Faux Taxidermy Knits is lovely to look at and I think celebrates our wild animals, I particularly like her moose head.

moose
Image credit: Louise Walker

And finally Paint some wild

Creativebug has a fantastic range of art classes, many of which look at natural subjects, such as in Lisa Congdon’s Sketchbook Exploration class.

 

z6qfnmjssrfa012ysvyz
Image credit: Creativebug

 

Creativebug is a subscription service but you can try any of their classes out on a free trial.

An unexpected day out (the non-wild version)

FullSizeRender 169

I went to see the new Tate Modern extension today and had a quick pop into Kew Gardens as well. After all the rain, London was looking especially photogenic, so I even enjoyed the walk to Tate Modern (although to be honest I normally do, as I used to work and live (nearish) that part of London).

FullSizeRender 139

This is one of my favourite London streets 👆, a hidden gem near Waterloo (also very near Konditor and Cook, one of my favourite bakers, which is an added bonus). There’s also a nice pub along there, although last time I went there was many moons ago, so it may have changed.

FullSizeRender 161

Not the pub I remember but another one ….. and a handy thing to know.

FullSizeRender 128

Now, Tate Modern is always one of my favourite buildings to walk up to, in London, it’s always very impressive but ooh it’s pulled out all the stops with the extension.

FullSizeRender 160
I love how the outside almost looks like knitting in this shot

And the inside looks even better.

FullSizeRender 137

FullSizeRender 147

FullSizeRender 155

FullSizeRender 145

The new space holds their more architectural pieces and their performance work. They’ve also now permanently opened up The Tanks (the old oil tanks from when it used to be a power station), which also shows some performance pieces.

FullSizeRender 149

There’s a new bridge that goes over to the main building.

FullSizeRender 157

FullSizeRender 153

FullSizeRender 148

AND there’s an amazing viewing platform on the tenth floor of the extension!

(The new shop is pretty nice too).

My second sight seeing stop of the day was Kew Gardens, on my way to see The Hive (see my previous post), I walked along The Broad Walk, which is, apparently, the longest herbaceous border in the UK. They’ve been replanting it (it’s been bare soil for months and months) but it’s almost completed now, the posters are advertising it from July, some of the flowers aren’t blooming yet but it’s already looking stunning, so definitely worth the visit.

#30DaysWild 21 -an unexpected day out

FullSizeRender 156

I’ve been going into central London a lot recently, as I’ve been preparing for my upcoming op. I didn’t think I needed to go into London today but I got a phone call yesterday, to tell me I needed to pick something up today, so I got an extra trip into town. Now I wasn’t going to go all the way in, for a 10 minute chore and then go back home again, so I managed to tick two things off my ‘to see list’ as well.

FullSizeRender 132

The first thing on my list was the new Tate Modern extension. The architecture of the new building is fantastic, but as this post is about wild things, for the architecture bit skip to the next post.

As part of my #30DaysWild, I kept my eye out for wild things and it was, I admit, quite a bit harder than when I went to the V&A. But I did spot a giant metal spider, a money tree and (my favourite) Tree 2010 by Ai Weiwei.

FullSizeRender 140

Tree 2010 is made from dry branches, roots and trunks from different species of trees that Weiwei gathered from across China. The tree was inspired by the Chinese custom of displaying eye catching tree trunks and weirdly shaped roots as decorations in the home. But the fact that it is also dry and dead, draws attention to China’s rapid growth and urbanisation, which has damaged the environment and suppressed traditional culture.

The second thing on my ‘to see’ list was The Hive at Kew Gardens but first I had to get there, walking to Blackfriars via the river, which was low today.

FullSizeRender 171

The Hive is an installation which links actual hives to a giant sculpture, which produces light and sound depending on what is going on in the hives.

It certainly was interesting and anything that promotes how vitally important bees are, is good by me, it’s just that, ummm, I dunno, I think I thought it would be a bit more ‘whizz, bang’ but I think that was probably just me, my senses already overloaded by the Tate Modern and something else at Kew (which will also be in my next post).

*Source material – Ai Weiwei, Tate Modern

#cbdrawaday April – art journalling

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yes, I know it’s June. In April Creativebug did a blog post with a list of things to draw each day for the month, I didn’t do it at the time, as I was struggling through the remains of March’s #cbdrawaday but I liked the idea, so I started it once I finished March.

I’ve been keeping diaries on and off since I was a kid, I tend to loose incentive once I’m on my second notebook for some reason, so I can be a bit patchy. However I’ve been having a fairly successful run of journalling since the end of January, I’m currently about two thirds of the way through that crucial (and often fatal) second notebook and showing (touch wood) no signs of stopping. And one of those things that has helped, has been using my journals as art journals too. I’ve always really been inspired by the art journals you see on places like Pinterest and having the April #cbdrawaday list, has helped encourage me. So, since I’ve been doing April’s #cbdrawaday, I’ve also been adding more art work, photos and collages inspired by what I’ve been doing that day, to my journal entries as well.

To encourage myself to continue, now I’ve finished April’s list, I’m going to try and continue with themed months, so for example, a month of drawing what I had for lunch or a month of drawing the first thing I spent money on that day, not only as a way of recording my life but also maybe making me a bit more mindful too because if I spend a month drawing cheese sandwiches or a month drawing chocolate bars, I maybe need to change something about my life! So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to draw the clothes I’m wearing for 30 days, I often feel a bit shallow saying this but what I wear each day does affect how I feel about myself but it can be too easy to forget that and just slob around in tracksuit trousers and tshirts, so maybe drawing my clothes will make me a bit more mindful about this. Also, thanks to my upcoming op this month, the clothes I’m going to be wearing is probably going to change, so it’ll be interesting recording that.

 

 

30 Days Wild 6 – taking it outside

IMG_6462

My #30DaysWild yesterday was trying to take what I normally do indoors, outdoors. Unfortunately I kept forgetting to charge my laptop up, so I couldn’t work outside and unfortunately the housework stayed stubbornly inside too but I did manage to –

  1. Eat lunch outside.
  2. Finish an embroidery, some suitably wild flowers too! (pattern by Sublime Stitching)
  3. Do some painting, following along with the latest Creativebug #cbdrawaday.
  4. Eat dessert outside for the evening meal.