Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Shades of Autumn

Autumn has definitely arrived, although after such a wet summer the change hasn’t been very noticeable. The leaves here are starting to turn gold and brown, and the last of the berries and fruits are just clinging on.

Looking at the fir cones I have started thinking about Christmas decorations already- I’m  torn between using some real cones, or replicating the shape of the pine cones in another material.

If I decide to use real pine cones in my decorations I will have to start collecting perfect-looking ones soon as the birds and squirrels have been stripping them of their seeds, leaving funny-looking husks behind.

The dogs seem to be enjoying the change of season and one of them even managed to stay still long enough to have her picture taken!

HAPPY-SPANIEL

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The Natural History Museum

I recently popped into the Natural History Museum for a quick visit when I was in London for the day. I usually enjoy having a leisurely time admiring objects, hunting for inspiration, and making lots of sketches, but I only had time to look at some of the Asian and Islamic exhibits and snap a few photos.

I have roughly bunched the pictures into three categories: figures (above), patterns and metalwork.

The patterns made using inlaid mother of pearl, and those painted onto Islamic tiles, were particularly intricate and eye-catching.

The metalwork is particularly impressive considering the age of the exhibits, and the simple tools that would have been used to make them. The sheer opulence of some of the Indian pieces is stunning!

Even such a brief trip to the museum was inspiring, and there is always something new to see. Being able to admire such beautiful objects certainly makes me feel inspired to make things, and to learn new techniques and push my abilities.

Natural History Inspiration

DSC_3575

A recent museum trip provided lots of inspiration- I particularly enjoyed looking at the textiles and natural history exhibits. As you can see here, there were some interesting bird displays, with a wide variety of species from all over the world displayed together.

Monday Mood Board: Bunnies!

I seem to have acquired quite a few rabbit-related bits and pieces, including jewellery, stationary and small ornaments, some of which are shown here. I think I’ve always found the motif appealing, and can clearly remember particularly liking a picture of a black and white dutch rabbit in a Ladybird book when I was about three years old. Rabbits also make me think of spring, despite there being no shortage of them in the UK year-round!

I made the necklace and knitted rabbit shown above (the knitted rabbit is a great quick Easter gift); the ornaments and buttons are vintage; the blue wooden brooch is by a modern designer-maker (I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember her name); the gold charm is modern.

Monday Mood Board- Beach Pottery

beach-pottery

After some rough seas over the winter there seems to be more pottery fragments on the beach than usual- or maybe the (rare) sunshine has just made them easier to spot!

I particularly like the piece with an anthropomorphic lion face painted on it.

pottery-lion-face

pottery-fragments

I have used the pieces in small mosaics before, and would like to use some to make a mural on a section of the garden wall at some point in the future (when I have collected enough pieces!). In the meantime I just enjoy admiring all of the different patterns.

broken-pottery

Crochet Christmas Gifts

amigurumi

I have made a start on a few of the smaller presents that I am making for Christmas with these crochet amigurumi. The rabbit is for a work colleague, and the alien and elephant were requests from two small children I know, who were intrigued to see me crocheting!

The patterns are my own designs; using a few basic shapes/forms it is amazing how many different animals/creatures/aliens you can make! The elephant is only just over three inches tall, making these quick projects too (always a bonus in the run up to Christmas!).

Monday Mood Board

Estuary-View

It is difficult to avoid being inspired by the sea and the countryside around here, especially in spring and summer.

Budleigh Sept 14(1)  Spaniel on Beach

Dartmoor1  Winter skies 2

Dartmoor4  Flowers by the Sea

Budleigh Sept 14(c)  Estuary 2014

With the longer days I’ve been spending even more time outside, and the sunshine and brighter colours after winter are so cheerful. It’s also very nice to be able to sit in the garden when undertaking craft projects.

We’ve been enjoying some lovely warm weather in Devon this month, and it even stayed dry (and sunny) on the day that all of the boats were craned back into the water. The craning-in starts very early in the morning (it has to fit in with a very high high-tide) and takes a few hours, and usually seems to be a guarantee that it will both rain on that date, and be 10 degrees C colder than the day before!

 

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