Marriage is a solemn and binding promise. Even those of us who opt for a civil wedding rather than a Christian or other religious ceremony are reminded of its essentially grave and restrictive nature, courtesy of stern words on the wall of the register office. Marriage, in my ATC for December’s CMP Exchange, is more of a shiny purple-and-gold promise. Much preferable to all that solemnity.

Artist Trading Card (2.5″ x 3.5″) Original, 1/1
Gouache & pen on cardstock

Das singende, klingende … er, Bäumchen of fingerless mittens


They grow on trees. No, they really do.

Three pairs of basic crocheted fingerless mittens, made for my father, my mother and my yarn guru Liz. The pair made for Liz required much fussing and faffing with two not-quite-matching skeins of Noro Kureyon to produce the near-identical twins you see here.

I do wonder whether any of my neighbours witnessed me hanging hand-crocheted mittens from trees; and, if they did, whether they were at all surprised by my behaviour. By now, one likes to imagine they were not.

Have your cake … but don’t eat it


I machine-sewed another felt wrap, based on the pencil-roll project in The Creative Family; Melody will now be able to carry along her crayons on the long train journeys we’ll be making over the Christmas period.

With the many smaller remnants in the crayon box, I had some fun making crayon cakes – an idea for which I must thank CraftSanity. Here they are before …

… and after 10 minutes in the oven on a low heat.

They were so pretty as they melted that I had to resist the urge to grab every crayon and oil pastel in the house and bake ’til we had a stack of cakes in rainbow colours climbing to the very ceiling. Fun though it might have been, I would have regretted it.

And I’ve had cakes on the brain, it seems, because I have also crocheted these little fellas – based on a pattern by KTBdesigns – to go with M’s tea set.

Lastly, my Christmas cards for this year, of which I’ve made only a handful.

This is one of the simpler designs from Paul Jackson’s wonderful collection of paper creations, The Pop-Up Book, which I recently tracked down at my local library, having found much in it to delight and impress me when I first browsed its pages years ago.

My Christmas card-giving has diminished over the past 14 years. This is, I suspect, the very last time I will send them.

I’m free … freeforming


I’ve no idea what this thinks it is, nor what kind of life it envisions for itself, but it is growing … I suspect it may have antibiotic properties …

Around My World in 80 Days


… or thereabouts.

My sincere attempt at Project 365 (to take a photograph every day for a year, which I began randomly on 11 August) crashed and burned after 84 days. It wasn’t the only creative casualty of this hideous past couple of months: my second-ever sock-knitting project has been frogged, while sketching and painting have been set aside until … well, simply until. I’ve chosen these 25 favourite images for a Flickr mosaic celebrating what I did manage to achieve over almost a quarter of a year’s worth of daily photos …

… and having taken my digital camera with me on an excursion to the train station/supermarket/children’s playground yesterday, I now appear to be tempting myself with the idea of a more achievable weekly photo for 2009. Out of a handful of lovely pictures that emerged from yesterday’s walk, this one best sums up for me the season I’m going through, as certain projects are frozen: frost outlining the green and purple leaves that carpet the flower beds of Ely’s Jubilee Gardens.

My soundtrack to the advent of the chilly winter months has been Bon Iver’s shockingly evocative album For Emma, Forever Ago, and this photo reminds me of listening to that music. Just beautiful.

November’s end


For my contribution to November’s CMP ATC exchange on the theme “Remember”, I cut out and pasted strips of various greens from an art materials catalogue, collaging over them a representation of a Remembrance Day poppy whose black centre marks my first ever artistic use of a hole punch! The piece is fixed with a spritz of craft varnish, the downside being that it has scanned poorly, but hopefully the recipient will find something to like about the card itself. I enjoyed making it!

ATC Original (2.5″ x 3.5″)

Collage & pen/gouache on cardstock