Saturday, 17 March 2018

Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom

So, I'm a slow colour-er. To be specific, I started this page over a year ago, and only finished it recently. Colouring isn't therapeutic to me, it's painful and tiring. So why do I do it? Well, I find everything painful and tiring, and at least this is enjoyable!

Anyway, Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom is a beautiful book, though like many adult colouring books, potentially a bit overwhelming at a first glance! The book is filled with gorgeous animals filled with tiny detailed patterns. Although some pages offer a blank background which I think helps offset this.

I coloured this page using WHSmith's colouring pencils. I bought these a couple of years back, as my previous set of WHSmith pencils were getting, well, over 20 years old! To be honest, I've been quite disappointed with my new set of pencils. They are nowhere near as soft as my previous set, and the colours just aren't as rich or go down as nicely. However, they are usable when you're on a budget!

I began this page by colouring in the poppies in shades of red, with some purple and brown to add depth. I then focused on the butterflies, splitting them into pairs based on their designs, and distinguishing each pair into a male and a female by altering their colours slightly. I added in most of the greenery, then after a bit of thought decided on the round "flowers" being fircones. I think this decision really added depth to the image - I'd love to know what Millie Marotta originally intended different shapes to be! The other flowers reminded me of thrift, so I added in some peachy-yellow tones, which also reflects the yellow of the butterflies. I was quite indecisive about the final tiny flowers on long stems, but really wanted to balance the bright blue on the butterflies by mixing in some blue and purple. I think it worked out well!

Animal Kingdom is printed on both sides of the page, but after photographing it I decided to cut this colouring out to hang on the wall. I think I'll get more enjoyment from looking at it then leaving it in a book to potentially colour the other side one day!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Gingerbread Man (Christmas) Cross Stitch

Well, it's only 292 days til Christmas! In reality, I finished this cross stitch last year, but helpfully didn't get it finally mounted until earlier this year... But, it's ready for next Christmas! The Gingerbread Man is made with a Christmas Characters cross stitch kit from DMC - a lovely little gift from my husband :) I mounted it in a wooden embroidery hoop that I painted gold, and added a little gold bell and a red hanging ribbon. I really love it when I walk by the tree, knock a branch, and hear a little jingle, so I couldn't resist that addition.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Hufflepuff Badger Birthday Cake!

Every year I love taking on the challenge of baking my own Birthday cake! Every year I learn something new about decorating cakes, normally related to their structural integrity!! I really had narrowed my cake this year down to a few simple options, but I couldn't choose between them. This led to my husband brain storminig with me and erm... a brand new slightly more complex idea took shape.

I'm a big Harry Potter fan, and a proud Hufflepuff. Obviously the animal associated with Hufflepuff is the adorable badger, and when I saw this image I just knew I had to make it out of cake!

The cake itself is Whisk Kid's chocolate cake, as it stays moist, but it's also quite firm for carving into shape. I stacked it with chocolate buttercream, added the back foot, tail and ears shaped from fondant, and crumb-coated the cake. The fur is created with royal icing which I'd coloured in various shades of grey, and applied using flat teaspoon handles - it created the fur texture quite nicely! I made the eyes and nose out of fondant, and piped the mouth on. I gave him a scarf in Hufflepuff colours, and a wee Hufflepuff badge - complete with mini badger! He tasted good...

Friday, 2 March 2018

Happy Birthday Explosion Card

Just a quick post to share this Birthday card made using my Cricut! The design is available in Cricut Design Space as 'Happy Birthday Explosion Card' and it was quick and easy to work up! I used some beautiful shimmery dark blue card from my stash and my favourite marble background papers. I did however realise I could do with a pen other than black that fits in my Cricut! Will add it to the wishlist...
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