"Whatever you are, be the best you can be."

Monday, 31 May 2010

May Achievements

  • I created my Triffid Colour Pencil Drawing for Wetcanvas' Monthly Colour Pencil Challenge.
  • I lost 3 pounds in weight!
  • I paid £120 off my debt
  • Took pictures of a gorgeous snail on my windowsill
  • Watched at least 4 new DVD's this month: Elizabethtown, Twilight, Starship Troopers 3 and Make It Happen.
  • Played one new PS2 Game: X-Files
  • Closed a bank account and credit card I no longer owe any money to - Woo!


I'd like to do more writing, after ScriptFrenzy in April, I didn't do any writing this month! Need to do more hoovering, decluttering and PS2 Game Playing! I also want to do some more art, I only did one piece this month! I need to find a way of balancing all my challenges, so I get to do a little of everything each week, and make progress with everything to keep it all ticking over nicely - a happy balance is what I need!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Eurovision 2010 - Proud to be British

I was so surprised by Eurovision this year, there were many more really good songs! And it's nice to say I am proud of our English entry! Usually they either can't sing, or have a rubbish song, or just really annoying! But this year Josh sang lovely!

Here are some of my favourite songs from the night, but before that, here is Alexander Rybak's winning song from last year - I love Alexander Rybak, I'm in love with a fairytale...

British Entry - Josh Dubovie - That Sounds Good To Me

I don't think it was necessarily good enough to win as the competition was surprisingly good this year, with only a few really rubbish entries, but it certainly wasn't the worst!

Romania - Playing With Fire

These were very bouncy, fun and such a catchy song. The woman also reminded me very much of Shania Twain! Loved the interaction between them, and how well she integrated classical singing into the song! Ever since I watched Popstar to Operastar (On ITV I think), I've really discovered how much I can enjoy opera singing when it's done well!

Denmark - Chanee and N'evergreen - In A Moment Like This

An amazing song that just hits you and instantly you love it! Apparently both the man and the woman singing here are well known singers in their own right in Denmark or all over Europe, and I think it shows by how professional they are and how well they sing together. They're obviously enjoying the song, and it makes the audience enjoy it all the more too! I love this one, it could definitely be a winner for me!

Ukraine - Alyosha - Sweet People

This was great how one woman, with impressive vocals, held our attention, and for me personally, sang from her soul. A slightly melancholic song, but I loved it!

Georgia - Sofia Nizharadze - Shine

I'd never heard of this country before, and have no idea where it is other than in Europe, but what an amazing song, passionate performance, and lovely movement with the dancers! Ok, I like the male dancers dressed in white uniforms, and that is a gorgeous red dress I would love to own, but it is still a fantastic song that country should be very proud of!

All in all, an impressive Eurovision! I just wish one of these would have won, instead of the winning German entry by Lena, as I didn't think it stood up to well against the ones I've pointed out here!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Planning a Naga - How to draw a monster?

The weather is gorgeous, and I have two days off work this week! Woohoo! I'm going to tackle my next drawing challenge - Wetcanvas' Creature Feature - a Naga. A Naga is a mythological creature, usually seen with a female head and torso, and a serpent tail from the waist down. It has the ability to change form either fully human or fully serpent.

I am not at all experienced at drawing a make-believe monster, or planning out how I want it to look! The links on the Wetcanvas Creature Feature forum lead to images of statues, the Naga creature appears to be depicted as a many headed snake, and I really fancy having a go at that. I will need reference photos of snakes, especially angry looking snakes. I want to do individual heads all looking angrily at the person viewing the picture.

Looking at some other artists work to get ideas as to how they do their monsters, I was looking at Marc Scheff's website, and found this image of a "Scorilla". Not only is it an awesome and imaginative creature, but I noticed he gave it a background that it seems to fit into. So I think rather than just do a dark background, I could do with thinking about where my creature is likely to live, where will it be found? My first thought is a D&D dungeon, though it could also be in the water.

Another artist whose great at doing Monsters is Christopher Burdett, a couple of his images really caught my eye, Galog Bullfrog and Post Apocalyptic, both are action shots that appear to tell a story, and both have extra characters in them you either feel sorry for, or will to fight and overcome the monsters in the images. I would like to include another character in my image, but I'll have to see how I can fit them in. I'm thinking of doing the image in colour pencil on A4 paper (English Letter Size), not sure how much room that will give me to do detail on the secondary character. Although having said that, Christopher Burdett managed to fit his extra characters in easily, although I don't know what size he was working on, probably digital so I guess the size doesn't count the same on the computer!

I'll also need to come up with a pattern on the snakeskin, either similar to that of a real snake, or one made up. I might use a real snake's pattern but change the colours - I quite like the greens and yellows from the first picture of a Naga at the top of this post. :)

This picture is definitely going to be a challenge, but again looks like it will be good for me to improve my skills! Any help or advice anyone can offer would be gratefully received!

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  • Louise
    Petite Wonders 28 is a gorgeous blog featuring Louise's crafts in Polymer Clay and Roving Wool, I adore her cute dogs! She also has a great Etsy store you might want to check out!

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Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Borrowers - New Miniatures

I've been buying some new miniatures from ebay. I love ebay for the unusual items you can find, plus I've found by looking in non-dolls house categories you can find suitable things for The Borrowers. For example, a search for McDonalds Toys could contain something you could use as an ornament. Do you remember the Chess Piece Ornament The Borrowers used in their original home under the floorboards at Firbank? The 'statue' gave the room an air of prestige. Although a McDonalds toy isn't quite so majestic, it does give an amusing and colourful addition to a Borrowers living room, or bedroom. Here's my recent addition:

When I first bought him I didn't realise he came with such a large base, I'm now wondering if my Borrowers would even be able to lift Sylvester & Tweety Pie? Although they would probably be able to sit on the edge of the base quite comfortably!

Spare Board Game pieces are also handy as ornaments or even useful utensils. This Scrabble Tile Rack is handy as a shelf for displaying coins or ornaments, and these spare scrabble tiles could be used as a chopping board, or turned upside down and becomes a bowl! Try searching on ebay for Spare or Part in the Board Games section.

Looking under all toys and games on ebay is where I found these Lego Helicopter skids. These will be good for propping up against a wall and hanging laundry from. A Borrowers gotta do their own washing!

Food is important to a Borrower, so I picked some grapes in a basket from ebay's Dolls House Miniatures section. To a normal 12th scale dolls house these would be perfect size for grapes, but I found them excellent size for Blackcurrants or Brambles, in a handmade basket! Perfect! I also have this crazy idea that as Borrowers would go foraging for food humans drop, and if you look on the streets these days, humans drop all kinds of food, mostly chips in plastic cartons, but also many different kinds of sweets. I imagine a half-eaten Mars bar would make a great dessert for a borrower, just keep it cool (in a dark shady place under the floor), cut a triangle shape out, maybe put a small slice of fresh fruit on top (a sliver of fresh wild strawberry perhaps?) - and it would look a lot like this novelty bead I found on ebay!

Now as for wall decoration, wouldn't keyrings be the most easy to hang wall ornament available to a Borrower? Nails are easily found dropped down the back of furniture, with a small stone to hammer it into an under-floor joist. Keyrings come in all shapes and sizes, but these picture ones would be the closest to having your very own framed picture! And yes, I did choose Bella and Edward from Twilight, but it's only because they are both climbing in trees, and it reminded me of Arrietty and Spiller climbing the hedge in The Borrowers novels - honest! ;)

I hope you like my choices, and hopefully come up with many more of your own - I'd love to hear about them!

The Borrowers Home

I am planning the basement of my new dolls house to have a floor for The Borrowers, I loved the TV series as a child, and soon fell in love with the books by Mary Norton when I received it as a Primary School leaving present back in 1993! I think the Borrowers in Mary Norton's book were set in Victorian times, whereas my Borrowers will be set in modern time, therefore I have the fun of choosing unusual items for them from modern times - giving me scope for a whole host of new things for them to play with! Well, ok, for me to play with! LOL!

A little while ago I put together some of the pieces I had for my Borrowers and arranged them on a shelf in my bookcase. I thought I'd post a few pictures of them here, and add some new pictures of items I've more recently bought. I hope you like them!

Here's the room as I first laid it out, you can click on the pictures for a larger image. On the left you can see a pink heart-shaped tin filled with a few beads, buttons and christmas cracker toys I've kept from when I was a little girl. For some reason I was loathe to part with these things so I kept them in a little tin - I'm so glad I kept them now! In the middle you can see a trinket box with small perfume sample bottles, a metal beer bottle top, a plastic thimble and some Tudor Food I bought on ebay. I thought the 'steak' in the stew would resemble stewed garden worm!

In a little sack to the right of the middle trinket box is a small sack of parsnips, another ebay purchase, which resembles unearthed dandelion root, which is meant to be edible, and can be roasted up like potatoes. Next to that there is a Tealight Candle with a metalwine bottle top, the kind that holds the cork stopper in, which serves to hold the cooking pan (a camping cooking pan from ebay) over the fire. In front of that we have a plastic white egg cup from my kitchen, and a small trinket box with a plastic button holding a glass marble as an ornament.

Here you can see I added a black coffee jar lid as a table, standing on the white plastic egg cup. I now have the 'worm stew' and a couple of rolls of bread (both from ebay) on top. You can now see my Kinder Surprise Turtle I've had since primary school, and a little plastic yellow bed bug from a board game I can't remember! I thought these would make nice ornaments! You can also see an open compact mirror, which will make a nice dressing table if I can think of a way to prop it up. I'd also like to have some kind of a mantlepiece for displaying the ornaments, but I haven't thought of one yet. Unless I just put up a shelf of some kind for that.

In my next post I'll show you some of the new items I've been buying for my Borrowers! Any suggestions or ideas are very welcome! :)

DVD - Twilight

Last night I watched Twilight, I am keeping to my goal of watching one of my DVD's each week, til eventually I will have watched all my DVD's. I have no idea why I bought so many until my shelves are heaving, but I should watch them if I bought them - it's about time I enjoyed them!

So, back to Twilight! I enjoyed it, but couldn't help thinking of Vampire Diaries, the TV series on ITV2 I seem to have fallen in love with! There were some similarities, but to be honest a completely different story in the end I think. And I did enjoy it, though if I had to pick between the two, for me, Stefan from Vampire Diaries makes a much sexier Vampire for me! Edward is good, and I like him, but Stefan is more tanned and I've seen him shirtless - he wins! Yummy!

In Twilight, I liked the addition of the Indians, I loved how they're a 'family' of Vampires, and the father of them seemed especially caring towards humans, he is a doctor after all. After watching this one, I'm keen to see the second one, as I get the feeling this one's a skirmish, the next one's war! :)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Triffid - Finished?

Here's what I have now! I have darkened it a lot, and it does look more improved. I'm wondering if I should call this finished or do some more work on it? So I'm going to allow it to sit for a bit while I figure out what to do next! Besides, I find when I've just finished working on something I never think it's that good - then after a while, I look back and think it's turned out much better than I thought it had!

Please let me know what you think! Constructive Criticism very welcome! :)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Triffid - WIP

Taking part in a Wetcanvas Challenge, I've started by doing a yellow crocus in coloured pencil, and now it seems to have evolved into a Triffid! As always, just click the image below for a larger version:

It's not finished yet, still needing some more layers and a darker background, but this is what it looks like so far - I hope you like!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Art - Teaching Myself

"Frozen in the Moonlight"

I am a self-taught artist, and still in the process of improving my skills. You can see a sample of my art in the header of this blog, plus some of my works I have uploaded here. Just click on an image to see a larger version of it.




I haven't done much drawing in a while, I like pencil and colour pencil art - that's what I do best. I'm just not skilled with a paintbrush, probably due to a little too much playing and paint fights in school for me to learn much!

I want to be a fantasy art, I was first inspired by Boris Vallejo, I got a calendar of his back in the 90's, and it kicked off the fantasy art bug in me. I've since sought out new fantasy artists to add to my inspiration, I moved on to the works of Chris Achilleos, Luis Royo, Clyde Caldwell and Greg Horn. I would love for my meagre art talents to reach these standards, then I would be so proud of my work!

So what do I need to do to improve? All the above artists tend to focus on people in their artwork, very realistic figures. My figure drawing leaves a lot to be desired (in my humble opinion), and I want to be able to do amazing and realistic figures. I also don't have a lot of experience doing fantastic creatures, monsters or dragons. I would also love to do more backgrounds to my images, so landscape, and most especially cityscape, I would love to improve on. The simple answer to this - Practice! Now I've figured out what I want to imrove upon, I need to find reference images for these types of images, and practice them over and over again until I improve! So here's a simplified list of what I want to improve:
- Figure Drawing
- Fantastic Creatures, Monsters & Dragons
- Landscapes (Greenery)
- Cityscapes (Buildings & Architecture)
- Still Life (Weapons, Fantasy Objects)
For the fantastic creatures, monsters and dragons, I will need to collect reference images of animals, both furry and reptile animals, to be able to draw fantasy creatures. Once you can draw realistic normal animals, you can learn to draw fantasy animals really well. I've added still life as it occurred to me I don't have hardly any practice of drawing weapons, and the few I have done, have not been very good at all. So it's time to improve on them as well.

If I stick to this plan with my art, and work on these various subjects, by the end of this year I should be able to do these subjects with much greater ease, and be much more able to produce high quality fantasy art of my own. Wish me Luck!

DVD - Elizabethtown

Well, in keeping with my goal to watch one of my DVD's a week, this week I watched Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. It's pretty much a romantic comedy, with what they call Rock n Roll thrown in. I don't think it was a partcularly great film, as it did have a number of spoofy moments in that I don't really care for. I like my films to be believable. However, it does have some really great moments in it I think, I love the all night phone call, and I love the road trip, even meeting the family was mostly fun. I think this film misses out on being fantastic, even though it's a great story and idea.

I love the phrase "This is your life, let's do something interesting with it." I love anything inspirational in a film. But for a truly inspiring film featuring an uplifting life-affirming road trip, then I think you really ought to check out Into The Wild, a truly amazing film, with a much better feelgood factor, as well as a true rollercoaster ride for emotions, and one that stays memorable long after you've finished watching it.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Welcome - 1 new follower!

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  • Kim
    flowers & art
    Kim has a gorgeous blog featuring her crafts, life, and thoughts on things she learns about on her friend's blogs. A delightful place to visit!

Many Thanks for following my blog!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

May Goals

I created my Goals List, and added it to the right of my blog, beneath my ScriptFrenzy participant logo! Here's a list of my current goals:

  1. Ghosts Of Time - a time travel screenplay, originally for ScriptFrenzy.
  2. Wetcanvas WDT Challenge - May 9th - Animals!
  3. Wetcanvas Monthly CP Challenge - May - Orange!
  4. Wetcanvas Creature Feature - May - Naga!
  5. Create my first Polymer Clay piece!

I hope to work more on my Script this month, I'd like to think of some new characters that could be added, I have already thought of one being from the future, a post-apocalyptic future, where aliens have invaded and conquered earth. Humans are an endangered species, and the aliens are trying to exterminate them!

Aliens have started using Time Travel to try and take away our triumphs and achievements, like inventions and anything to further our race. If they can weaken our race in the past, it will make us all the more conquerable in the future. At least that's their plan. My heroes will steal the time travel technology, stealing people from the timeline that are just about to die, and adding them to their team. Then travel through time, trying to undo what has been done by the aliens.

I've added a number of Art Challenges to have a go at, I want to practice my art more, I feel I've been letting myself down by not doing any recently, I want to further my skills and become a publishable artist. I need practice to do this!

I was given a Polymer Clay set for my birthday recently, and I'm looking forward to making my first sculpture. I'm thinking of doing a snail or other cute creature for my first attempt!

Beginning of May - Thinking about Goals!

Although I have been falling behind and not everything has been going quite according to plan, I have been managing to turn things around this last couple of days. My room is tidy and clean, I am on top of things again! This is making me much calmer and happier, and enabling to think up more ideas for my ScriptFrenzy script!

I am feeling inspired by Wendy's Blog, she says "My goal is to do something I like to do, every single day for the rest of my life." It's a beautiful idea, and so simple a way to make sure you enjoy every single day of your life, and why shouldn't we? I also like the way Wendy appears to set creative goals for herself every month, and rounds up what she has accomplished from the previous month. I think I will create a sticky post at the top of this blog, with a list of current challenges, and things I want to accomplish this month - though it may be quite a long list! One thing I have learnt from setting goals though, is that even if you don't achieve all you set out to do, you do more than you would have if you hadn't set any goals at all!

Happy Creating and Crafting Everyone! :)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Clearing Out The Clutter

I seem to have made a mess of my goals lately, I've fallen behind and missed the deadline of my ScriptFrenzy project, my room has turned into a complete tip, I've eaten nothing but cakes and chocolate over the last month, I now have over a stone to lose to meet my target weight. But funnily enough, I'm feeling good!

They say things have to get worse before they get better, you have to take one last look at your bad habits to reinforce in your mind why you want to change. And I've reinforced my goals now! A Native American Indian quote I once read says: "Continue to pollute your own bed, and one night you will choke in your own waste." And I believe this to be true. The American Indian was referring to the white man building his towns and cities on their sacred land, polluting the landscape. This refers well to my own home, fill it full of crap and it will find a way to choke me, be it through tripping up on junk and injuring myself, or choking on all the dust I disturb every time I go hunting for something I've lost and can't find.

Today I spent sorting through a bookcase of things I own, finding old paperwork from 2006, old diaries from 2008 and 2009, old magazines I no longer need or find relevant. It felt like I was clearing the junk out of my life, making way for my new life, choosing to keep only what I want and need in my life now. It really does feel like I'm clearing myself out spiritually, as well as clearing space out physically. A clear space really is a clear mind, a therapeutic process. And now I'm really starting to enjoy the journey.

Welcome - 1 new follower!

Hello and Welcome to my new follower! Thank you for entering my woods and following my blog! I hope you like what you see and stay for a while!
  • Ascension
    Mis Miniaturas
    Ascension has a lovely blog of Miniatures, it appears to be all in Spanish, so I struggle to understand it without the aid of Altavista Babelfish Translator, but the pictures are beautiful even if you don't understand the text!

  • (In Spanish:) (En español:)
    Mis Miniaturas
    La ascensión tiene un blog encantador de miniaturas, aparece estar toda en español, así que lucho para entenderlo sin la ayuda de Traductor de AltaVista Babelfish, pero los cuadros son hermosos incluso si usted don' ¡t entiende el texto!

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