29 September 2010

Dubious Science Fact 8

The temperature in Antarctica plummets as low as -35 degrees Celsius.


27 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 71-74

Day 71

The 365 Scientist needed a bit of a pick me up today so he made himself a very strong cup of coffee.

Day 72

The arrival of this book 'Wisdom for our times', the 365 Scientist took some time out in the garden with a cup of green tea. He even managed to get into the lotus position!

Day 73

The 365 Scientist got very impatient when he realised we'd missed the postman today and our Holga 135BC camera had been taken back to the sorting office. We've got to wait a very long 24 hours until we can collect it!

Day 74


Yay, we collected our package from Hong Kong today and inside was this shiny new Holga in purple! The 365 Scientist is incredibly excited about it, as you can see.

25 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 67-70

Day 67

Even though he is clearly very intelligent, the 365 Scientist can't help sneaking a look at the Dear Deidre problem pages like the rest of us!!

Day 68

Back to the lab today and the 365 Scientist had fun weighing out all the chemicals to make my solutions for me.

Day 69

The 365 Scientist did a great job calibrating the pH meter for me today.

Day 70

The 365 Scientist decided to join in with my Experimental Art Course this evening, and he did some lovely pen and ink drawings.

24 September 2010

Experimental Art Course - Week One Combination

So, the last thing suggested for this week was to mix and match some or all of the techniques we'd used in the 3 assignments. I was looking forward to seeing how the different materials would look together. I knew I wanted to start with a watercolour background so I used green and blue shades and mixed them together on the page using a foam brush. 

Then I looked for images to use and found the horse in a copy of Vogue, the butterflies on some old notelets and the meadow from another magazine. The phrase 'twilight zone' stood out as I flicked through the pictures so I used that as the basis for my odd creation. I used the ink blot again and the girl pen and ink drawing to finish it off. I wanted it to look like the horse was running out of the sea, and the butterflies were flying into the meadow. Really pleased with how it turned out.

Cool Charity Shop Find

I found this fab acrylic wall art which really brightens up my garden! I love finding unusual bargains like this.

23 September 2010

Experimental Art Course - Wild Sketchbooks - Paper

The final assignment was to use paper in lots of different ways to produce collages and random shapes or pictures. I've got a small stash of fashion magazines that I've bought lately just to take pictures and words from, so I trawled them and my box of pictures to find suitable subjects. I started by choosing a few random pictures then noticed the theme I'd chosen was quite calming and relaxing, so they worked well together. 

I love cutting up old books (rescued from charity shops for this purpose - I get weird about cutting up my own old books!), so I wanted to use some pages of my 'Poems by Shelley' book. For the first experiment I scrunched up a calming background picture then added a simple silhouette of a woman and some bird shapes cut from the book. I was going to add more but I decided it would then be too crowded.

For the second paper experiment, I used a beautiful sepia photo of the sea from a magazine, ripped it into strips and wove it back together! I cut the female shape from the rest of the picture. I'm so pleased with this even though there's not much going on! It just looks very serene to me and reminds me of sitting watching the sea in Cornwall on holiday. I could sit there all day I think!

Lastly, I looked through the fashion mags again and cut out all the industrial backgrounds and the pretty flowers. I thought a combination of harsh lines and materials with pretty colourful flowers would be interesting.

I love using paper and collage in journaling and for creating mood boards etc, but I've never really used it in this way to create art before. I'd love to combine collage with paint and drawing. There is just the question of copyright to look into. If I was going to sell the art, I need to find out what copyright issues there are. 

22 September 2010

Dubious Science Fact 7

Koalas sleep an average of 22 hours a day, two hours more than the sloth.

That's impressive sleeping - even I can't beat that, and I do love my sleep!

21 September 2010

Experimental Art Course - Wild Sketchbooks - Staining

The second assignment of the wild sketchbooks week was 'staining' uses many different materials and techniques. It felt just like being a kid again! I thoroughly enjoyed messing about with paint, food colouring, ink and an assortment of brushes and sponges.

For the first creation I started by painting a blue watercolour wash on the pages, followed by purple, and then used a cheap foam brush/sponge to mix them together. Then I got out all the brushes I had and splattered and generally played about adding different colours. I added the ink blot and then played about with my dip pen and ink. Really pleased with how it turned out.

Something I'd have never thought of myself is to use food colouring and straws to create patterns. I wasn't sure how it was going to sit on the page so I first had a go using a plastic pipette dropper to make lines and circles with the red and yellow food colouring. I ended up getting annoyed because the food colouring went through some of the other pages in the middle! Discovered I'm still not that comfortable with mess in my sketchbook!

My second food colouring attempt was blowing it through a straw on a plain page. I wanted to create the feel of a sunset by using red and yellow and then adding the green at the bottom to represent the grass/ground below. I quite like the effect produced with the straw and I'll probably use it for backgrounds on some of my artwork soon. 

If you use the food colouring/straw method on a wet/damp page, you get a totally different, softer effect like this blue tree. I added the green by flicking and dabbing paint, and then added the little birds with ink to add some interest.

What I've probably enjoyed most is allowing myself to just create something, anything, without having a plan or an idea first. I love just having permission to get messy and play with materials, without thinking I'm being stupid or childish, or wasting my time. It's for an art course so it's OK!

18 September 2010

And the winner is..............

.......entry number 11.............cmw2289! 

I will contact you shortly to arrange delivery.

Thanks for entering everyone, and stay tuned for another giveaway soon.  Please use the widget on my sidebar to easily follow my blog and stay informed!

16 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 63-66

Day 63

The 365 Scientist proudly displaying my Go Ape certificate! He was going to join me on the treetop obstacle course, but it started raining and he decided to stay in the car. I don't blame him, although it was fun as well as scary! Maybe next time.

Day 64

Excited by our new Diana Mini camera, the 365 Scientist and I went to the local park and took some practice shots. Can't wait to see them! We love our new Diana!

Day 65

This is exactly how I felt when I finished reading 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel today. Exhausted but relieved. The 365 Scientist and I both agreed that the story about Henry VIII was good, but very very hard to read. Thank God it's finished!

Day 66

The 365 Scientist helping out by hoovering up the crumbs in the kitchen with my little piggy tabletop hoover!

15 September 2010

Dubious Science Fact 6

Without its lining of mucus your stomach would digest itself.

Pretty yukky fact.

14 September 2010

Experimental Art Course - Wild Sketchbooks - Doodling

Yesterday was the first day of Amelia Critchlow's Experimental Art Course! I'm very excited to be taking my first art course. The first week is called Wild Sketchbooks and the first assignment was doodling, which I've been loving lately anyway. 

I tested out some different materials and shapes first:

Then I moved on to some doodles. I started out drawing random squiggles and lines with my aqua promarkers then I went over them with water. I then drew the fairy character very quickly and added the sleeping girl in the background as I thought the whole thing looked like a dream coming from her head. I added more lines with the aqua promarkers to fill in the remaining white spaces.  I enjoyed creating this as I didn't have a plan at all - I just did whatever I thought at the time! I never usually work like that.

I really love drawing female characters, most of which have been quite sad and solemn lately, and this time I drew just the girl's head and added the random fineliner squiggles in various colours and some lino print wings over the top.

For the last doodle, I started by drawing a tree-shaped outline and then decided to fill in the rest of the page only using lines of different colours with my 0.3mm fineliners.

12 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 59-62

Day 59

Autumn is definitely on its way. The 365 Scientist decides to check on the progress of our pumpkins - the tiny one is turning orange already!

Day 60

Oh dear, I caught the 365 Scientist settling down with the latest copy of Vogue and a chocolate bar! Maybe he needs to start spending more time around some male role models.

Day 61

During a game of hide and seek in the lab I found the 365 Scientist hiding in the fridge! Luckily I didn't take too long to find him.

Day 62

The 365 Scientist heads to the foormat to collect the days leaflets. He seems torn between getting a spray tan and ordering a pizza. My vote is for the pizza - extra pepperoni please!

10 September 2010

New Blog Banner - Opinions please!

As you can see, I've changed my blog banner to incorporate my other shop. I'm not convinced about it though. What does anyone else think? I wanted to show that this blog is for both shops, but not sure if it looks a bit untidy.  Guess I'll have to see if I get used to it or not!!

I could always have the we will fly banner smaller underneath, or as a little addition somewhere on the other banner. My abilities to alter this are very limited though! Any ideas or help welcomed!!

09 September 2010

Cloud watching - the British Isles

I was at work the other evening when I went outside for a break and saw some clouds that looked a bit ilke the British Isles! Luckily I had my camera to hand and here they are. 

Seems I was pipped to the post though, as someone told me the Sun newspaper featured some clouds that looked like the British Isles the week before! Typical. Still, I love clouds and sky photos so here is the Sun version:

I have to admit, theirs is a bit better than mine!

08 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 55-58

Day 55

So after yesterday's moment of madness with the fire alarm, the 365 Scientist regained his composure and spent this morning learning about fire safety. I'm not sure playing with the fire extinguishers is a great idea, but looks like fun!

Day 56

Hey, can't you read that label 365 Scientist? It says smoking kills and here you are rolling a cigarette, and looking rather happy about it. That is very naughty behaviour and I expected better of you.

Day 57

Oh, the smoking was all part of an experiment huh? And today you're using nicotine patches to give up? That's OK then. Hope he learnt some important lessons about the addictivity of cigarettes.

Day 58 

Still on his fire and smoking drive, the 365 Scientist decided to test all my smoke alarms. My eardrums confirm that they are all in working order.

Dubious Science Fact 5

An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

07 September 2010

In the News: Buzz Lightyear Carrot!

I just had to feature this story - a carrot shaped like Buzz Lightyear has been dug up from a vegetable patch in Henley-on-Thames!

There really isn't much else to say about it really - the gardener, Mr Williams, said; "I've grown carrots for about 10 years and there is particularly stoney ground where we live, so the veggies sometimes tend to fork. However, we've never seen anything like this, I couldn't get over how much it looked like Buzz."

My carrots are all funny shapes when I pull them up too, but I've not found a cartoon character one just yet. I will study them all more in future though, just in case!

06 September 2010

The 365 Scientist - Days 51-54

Day 51

I picked up a bargain table easel from Lidl and the 365 Scientist set to work putting it together for me. The cutest little spanner came in the box!

Day 52

Ooh, what shade of hair dye have you chosen 365 Scientist? Natural warm auburn huh? Very nice.

Day 53

Looks like you've pulled! To celebrate the opening of my new shop the 365 Scientist spent the afternoon hanging out with 2 of my new creatures!

Day 54


Hey, what are you up to there 365 Scientist? You're looking a little guilty. You haven't pressed that button have you? I don't see a fire. 

Meet Eirene

My first listing in We Will Fly is Eirene. She was named after the spirit of peace and goddess of the springtime, as she is made of natural springtime colours. Eirene was one of the first of my newly designed creatures to be made.

The floral fabric is repurposed - it was from a selection of fabrics given to me by my mum who had been hanging onto them for many years, just in case they came in handy, and I'm glad she did! I love this fabric and it matches the green fabric so well. The lace on the wings is from some net curtain fabric I rescued from a charity shop. All other trimmings and fabrics were bought new, so she is a mixture of ages!  

Eirene loves the natural world. She can often be found wandering amongst the flora and fauna in the forest. I like to think of her as a creature you might sense when you're out in the countryside, but when you turn around you can't see anyone there. You might even see her out of the corner of your eye, but she won't reveal herself properly. 

03 September 2010

My First Giveaway!

To celebrate the opening of We Will Fly, I've decided to host my first giveaway!

The lucky winner will receive a cute mini canvas complete with mini easel - it is entitled 'ascend 'and is hand-drawn and coloured using Promarkers. 

To be in for a chance of winning just leave a comment on this post, including your email address, before 09:00 (GMT) on Friday 17th September. The winner will be determined using the True Random Number Generator (from Random.org) and announced on  Saturday 18th September.

Good luck!
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