Skyscrapers and String

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the art category.

The Week Of The Giant Jaffa Cake Invasion!

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far!

It has been an odd week, fast paced and fun at some points, and extremes of peace and love followed by witnessing bizarre and unkind behaviour at turns.

On the peace and love front, everyone at home is well and happy, our week has been full of kindness and affection. Amber and I have had lots of hugs and girl time, and we have been walking through our park each day, which has made a tremendous boost to my quality of life. Not only is the walk good for our health, with the fresh air and exercise, the sight of nature waking up each day fills the soul.

After work, Jon and I have been going to the pool together, the pool is softly lit and the day at work speeds past, happily knowing soon I’ll be swimming and zoning out with Jon, then us chatting and travelling back home together.

Knitting Club is in it’s second week of two day meet ups, it is wonderful to have double knitting company! We are ramping up our collective knitting efforts, we have a charity sale in a couple of weeks time. I have made two Minion hats and some striped mitts so far:



Today I have to knit some eyes for the new Minion hat. I am knitting a small baby sized one next. So cute!

One of the great joys of this week has been the discovery of the giant Jaffa Cakes in Costa. Sadly for my waistline, on Wednesday, right next to the till they had a plate of these delights free for patrons to sample. I succumbed!

Saturday was delightfully spent in the company of dear Lexie, who is the cleverest, warmest and most wonderful friend. A true kindred spirit. We met for lunch at Liverpool Street and the weather was gorgeous and sunny.

We ate at The Real Greek in Spitalfields Market, and we put the worl to rights over a bottle of Macedonian Rose and a plate of Gyros with salad, it was gorgeous, however the wine went to both our heads and by the time we toddled off for our Cultural Expedition to the Museum of London we doubted whether we’d get there!

Here you can see Liverpool St station glowing in the sun.


The exhibition we saw was the Elizabethan Hoard which was buried before the Fire Of London and was discovered by workmen in 1912. I have no idea why it took so long to put the jewellery on display, and there was little idea given of who owned the items.

Having said that, it was an amazing exhibition! Emerald cube watches, signed gold watches, hair jewels fit for a queen, earrings, all accompanied by portraits of contemporary people bedecked in pearls and necklaces of the exact type being shown. I was amazed at the quality and variety of the objects, it was breathtaking.

We had a nice pit stop in the tea room and set off for home, but not before enjoying the photo opportunities:


Outside, London was turning to dusk, and we grabbed a quick selfie before heading to St Paul’s station to come home:


Today has been a lot quieter, Jon and I have been lounging about like lazy dinosaurs dozing in the soaring temperatures. I think the most constructive thing I’ve managed is to marinate the meat for tomorrow’s dinner, do some laundry and sort some wool. I’ve also managed half of one of the James Bond novels I bought in Scotland two years ago. No wonder I only scored 50 in that BBC quiz on how many books you’ve read, I only like obscure pulp fiction and have read more spy books than I can count! I was ruthlessly honest and didn’t tick the serious books on the list I’ve bought and given to the charity shop unread! I would have had over 70 if I’d fibbed, but that’s not the point!

I hope you’ve had a jolly weekend, enjoying the sun and some light knitting or whatever! I am moseying into the kitchen to do something breathtaking with a chicken for dinner!


Drawing Tools

Hello all,

I hope you’re having a splendid Monday! I got up early today and sat reading “Game of Thrones” and knitting. At The Same Time! Bliss!

Jon and I are off from work together all week, and our plan for today was to catch a bus and go get the new kitchen taps.

The store farthest away from us had the tap in stock, so I got off the bus at the mall with the intention of grabbing some bread and eggs, then I was going to sit and drink coffee, whilst Jon got the taps from the DIY place.

You can tell I didn’t do that, right? Hahaha!

I went to the big newsagents and stood for ages browsing the craft magazines. To be honest, everything is getting either a bit samey and complacent, or else I am at a point where I have so many ideas I’m trying to realise, what I see is a bit of a disappointment in comparison.

Next stop was a new store called “Tiger”. Apparently this is a Danish company, and I must admit I browsed for an hour. Amongst the stationery and homewares and crafts they had every kind of cute thing to buy. I picked up a stand for my earrings, some spice mixes, so ears, some dark chocolate hazelnuts and an iPad stylus. £11. Bargain!

When we got home we had a late lunch and a nap.

Sitting here this afternoon I downloaded an art app for free from the App Store and thought I’d give the stylus a go. Oh my! What fun!

Here you can see some of my scribbles. Go get one of these stylus things! I’ve never had so much fun!





Thinking Forward To 2014

Hello everyone!

Today I have been sent home by my GP to rest, as my germs have gone to my chest, and I have pleurisy, lucky me! I’ve been too tired to write this week, but I wanted to capture some ideas as I’ve had a good sleep since I came home this afternoon.

On Friday I caught up with my dear friend Michelle, we went to Libertys. I bought some presents for my Aunties, and some yarn for some replacement mittens. Christmas is getting all too close and there is too much to do.

On Saturday I went on a jaunt to Loop in Angel, I went to a class run by Jane Crowfoot, who is famous for her amazing surprise crochet blanket club projects. I’ve been to one of her classes before, and my crochet was transformed from barely able to crochet a chain to feeling confident enough to attempt Japanese crochet flowers and so on and that was a few years ago. I needed a brush up, so when I saw this class advertised I knew it would be perfect for me! As I expected, it was wonderful. I learned more in the first hour than I have done in ages. When I’m better I’ll share my notes and pictures with you.

What I have been doing whilst feeling awful is to think forward to next year, I love making resolutions! It is very cheering. I have done well with my resolutions this year.

  1. Walk round London. I bought a pocket map from Paperchase. I am going to pad the streets and write up my travels here
  2. I want to use my Wii more. I bought it and couldn’t use it as my old front room furniture was too big. Now I can actually move about in here!
  3. Read old sci fi. I used to stay overnight in a friend’s brother’s room who was away at Uni as a teenager, he had a wall of classic sci fi which I used to borrow and enjoy. I will start with the Foundation books
  4. Do weights every day
  5. Get in the garden and do garden jobs every weekend
  6. Listen to the top 10 singles music chart every week
  7. Go to a gallery or museum every month. Starting with the Museum of London
  8. Try out a new recipe every week, starting with a risotto at the weekend

Sunday Snippings…

Hello everyone!

What lovely weather we had this morning! A bit windy, we’d planned to have a barbeque Just the three of us however the BBC weather said it would start to tip with rain at 3pm, so we opted for a roast dinner instead.

I don’t know how you guys cook your roast chicken, we have our own way of doing it, we have a very elderly enamel roaster with a lid, and we put stock cubes, fennel and carrots in the bottom with about a pint of water, then we put in the bird and season it liberally. In the oven for a three or four hour slow cook it makes a restful dinner.

We make our own seasoning sprinkle in a little pepper grinder I bought years ago in IKEA, it has a mixture of cardamom pods, chilli flakes, fennel seeds and cumin seeds and salt flakes. We grind it over everything meaty pretty much.

The first thing we did today was put the blue cashmere jumper out to be blocked. It is drying now.

I wanted to show you some pictures from around my house today, firstly the cat print I bought a week or so ago, Jon framed it for me today and it has pride of place in the front room now.


Also, you can see my cutlery drawer with all my hand knitted and crocheted dishcloths. There’s quite a selection here, it makes me really happy to see them all folded away. They do last for years.

Some of the ones you see here are the traditional “Grandmother’s dishcloth” pattern, this is my absolute favourite design. The first ones I made were too small, I was following an American pattern and their dishcloth cotton is worsted weight, so would turn out bigger.

Also, the yellow ones are the Tunisian crochet ones I made recently. The pastel ones are from Plymouth Yarns in the US, my dear friend Michele bought the yarn back for me as a gift. There’s also a slip stitch pattern one, that’s coral and white.

I have a selection of dishcloths to make in my Ravelry queue, mostly they feature houses in the design, one is actually house shaped with a chimney, the other has eyelets making the shape of houses. The other one I want to make has a leaf design in lace, I am quite obsessed with leaf designs.

Also, I am making a shawl, it is getting really big now, I plan to make the main body in the two colour stripes, then do a lace edging in the denim blue. Here you can see Woozle helping.


Vintage Style




Here is my latest art purchase. I can paint but why try to make something more beautiful than this?

The artist is Sue Barrett. Amazing talent.


Colour Theory With Madeline Tosh

Yesterday was terrific.

I had a leisurely long bath and get ready, I wore my new navy cardi and felt so happy to be going out on a jaunt to my favourite shop, Loop, even though it was bitterly freezing cold and ghastly outside.

My journey went perfectly, I knit two rows of my Blue Thai Silk Shawl, there are so many teensy stitches I can no longer knit this during my commute.

As it was too cold to browse much I headed to the Elk in the Woods, a gorgeous gastropub just a few doors down from Loop. I had the best Full English of my life. Seriously. I don’t even like baked beans and now I am definitely planning on asking for a plateful next time…
Feeling very trendy, and full up, I headed for my class on colour theory at Loop. The teacher was Madeline Tosh, aka Amy. I went to art school and Amy gave the best colour theory class I have heard.


I will not go into the details, however we all came away with a full understanding of the theory, how to put it into practice in our textile arts, and best of all, a really good idea of what colours we individually should wear and be knitting with.


I had been really wrestling with this as I was looking to pick a colour for a new sweater recently, and although I am usually always very drawn to bright colours I knew something in this style would look ghastly on me in a bright hue. My hairdresser wears cream and pale grey and looks lovely, yet I fear cream and grey yarn for garments.

Amy helped me understand my own colouring, and what works for me. What was really nice was how everyone in the class (what a super group of clever and creative ladies!) helped everyone else as we went along in this part, and I now have a selection of very distinctive and elegant shades to work with, and my confidence in colour is now completely restored.

A big thank you is due to Susan, who runs Loop, and also to Amy who transformed my thinking.

Shilasdair Saturday

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re all having a jolly weekend thus far!

My news is as follows:

  • The blue thai silk shawl is coming on apace. For anyone making the seed stitch wrap, have something tedious you want to finish to hand that is sticking stitch. You’ll thoroughly enjoy it as a change from the K1P1 tedium.
  • My amazing seed stitch wrap is exciting – I am about to start colour 5 (cream) today – (yippee!)
  • My friend Alison might be coming to visit next week, she has a houseboat and chickens
  • I am examining my collection of naturally hand dyed Shilasdair yarns from the aisle of Skye and trying to decide what to make from them
  • This week’s two balls of Kochoran are slowly forming into the inspiration for a gorgeous fuzzy spring jacket in teddy bear beige with Noro Stripes – mmmm!

Having a massive stash of yarn to play with just makes the brain thrill at the creative possibilities.

Any suggestions as to the Shilasdair below, please comment and help me along!


Friday To Myself

Morning everyone!

Friday is the best day of the week for many of us. When you’re young, it’s no more school, when you’re a teenager you look forward to going out with your mates, in your twenties you go clubbing, you get married and stay in for the weekend then when you’re divorced and single again you have your parents have the nippers so you can again go out clubbing.

When you get to my advanced years, if you can wangle it, you can do what I have done and go four days at work and have Fridays off. A kind of pre-retirement.

I have been having Fridays off since September, but not a one of them until today was me in the house by myself all day. So today I am celebrating!

My plan was to become a reincarnation of Frida Kahlo, and paint every Friday. I have bought a flower headress and am growing my hair to plait. Sadly, many years of plucking my blonde eyebrows means I will never achieve the mono brow effect, but I can live with that. I have paints, brushes canvas and an easel. Anyone who knows me knows I can pull off the fierce stare.

So, before I start my morning with a relaxing bath and knitting book, I will share with you my promised Ta Daah!

Here is a shawl I finished last year which sat sadly in a bag until Jon kindly blocked it on Sunday.

It is kidsilk haze by Rowan, and Noro Sekku. It is an interplay between solid and shadow, made interesting by the mauve kidsilk which disappears like smoke between the fragile lines of Sekku.






Becoming Inspired!

Here is a Look Book of things I’ve been coveting today, which may or may not end up becoming realised into being…

The bag and the striped knitted jumper are both from Anthropologie, which I hopelessly adore, the catalogue just came.

The other goodies are from a book, “Granny Square Crochet” by Catherine Hirst. Nice work! Can you see the Woozle on the bedspread? I think the one in the picture is a boy. You can tell by his face.

I could order my work if I didn’t suddenly have to make something else entirely that I’ve just spotted!