Daydreaming

Derwent Watercolor Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

Yarn and colour pencils have taken over my world lately.   In between designing and sewing paper piecing patterns, I am finding myself gravitating toward knitting needles and colour pencils.  Not only are they great for keeping the hands busy, they also share a common thread for me – travel.  As I knit a warm piece of clothing, I imagine myself wearing it in a far-away land, exploring.  Later on, I revisit a favourite travelled place through painting, specially an old stone abbey or other ruins.

 

Dryburgh Abbey Scotland Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

A few months ago I was travelling to England and I wanted to take a painting project with me to fill in the long 10 hours of travel time on the plane.  Of the places we visited in Scotland, Dryburgh Abbey is one of my favourites.  I found an old photo and it instantly became the subject of my painting. 

The picture you see above is how much I finished on the plane.  Sadly, after I came back, I moved on to other projects and it was left unfinished.

  

A little review of Stillman And Birn sketchbooks

 

At the time I didn’t have a travel-size sketchbook.  I am very heavy-handed with water when it comes to watercolour, so the new sketchbook had to be able to handle that.  

During my research, I came across Stillman and Birn watercolour paper.  Their Alpha series sketchbook with 270 gsm weight paper seemed ideal to me.  I also like the white paper of the Alpha series.  So I got a 8.5″ x 5.5″ sketchbook.

The sketchbook did not disappoint.  A lot of watercolour papers cannot handle too much water, they often get a lint-like effect.  The Stillman And Birn paper stayed smooth, I didn’t see even the tiniest bit of lint effect.  I couldn’t stretch the paper since it is in a sketchbook, but it warped very little.  I was able to easily fix the little warp afterwards. 

 

Dryburgh Abbey In Scotland with Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

I recently started making slow progress on it using my Derwent watercolour pencils.  The colours are less intense than Inktense pencils and are easier to lift off if needed.  They also blend beautifully.   As I was painting, I was reliving the moments of standing in front of the quiet Dryburgh Abbey Chapter House all on my own, soaking in the atmosphere of an old, wet stone ruin.

 
 

Derwent Watercolour Pencils Shade Card | Whims And Fancies

 

I always like to make a colour swatch of any paint set I acquire.  Even looking at these colours makes me happy!

 

While going through my sketchbooks searching for more unfinished drawings, I found one of my old pen sketches from another place we visited in Scotland.

 

Jedburgh Abbey Scotland Drawing | Whims And Fancies

A doorway detail in Jedburgh Abbey

 

Knitting Yarn | Whims And Fancies

 

A while back, my husband got me a set of yarn from the local yarn store.  I was browsing on Ravelry for a hat pattern and noticed one that has a striking resemblance to the design in the Jedburgh Abbey doorway.  I fell in love with the pattern and the red yarn was perfect for it.

 

Paragon Toque Knitting Hat Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

It is called Paragon Toque.  Instead of cables, this design is done simply with knit and purl.  I made the large size hat since I like my hats to be a bit on the loose side.   I had made a simple hat for my husband before, but this is the first hat I made for myself.  I think I will be wearing this one a LOT.  I love it!!

I am enjoying this daydreaming escape through knitting and painting.  Here’s to more daydreaming for all of us!

-Soma

 

I am happy to link up with Wool On Sundays and Winter Project Linky Parties.

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Story Book Teddy Bears

Story Book Teddy Bear Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I would love for you to meet my Story Book Teddy Bears.  They are two sisters.  They are in charge of all the stories that are being written at this very moment by people all over the world.  Of course, that would be too much work for just one little bear.  So they divide this enormous job between the two of them.

 

Story Book Teddy Bear Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

 She takes care of the stories between the sunrise and sunset.

 

Story Book Teddy Bear Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Her little sister then takes over while she rests a little.

 

I designed my little story book teddy bear quilt patterns on request, just before Christmas.  I couldn’t resist making them afterwards.

As I finished making one of them, the thought of the other one suddenly occurred to me.  I suppose such is the way of story book bears.

Stories can be told in so many ways.  I love to tell stories through paintings.

 

Daniel Smith Watercolor | Whims And Fancies

 

I picked up these three paints – Quinacridone Gold, Moon Glow and Indanthrone Blue.  I love the name Moon Glow.

Here is a sketch I finished in December.  I really wanted to paint this picture, and I also really wanted to use those colours.   Not a perfect match, but it was fun to use some unusual colours for the painting.

 

Daniel Smith Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

I see myself walking toward the viaduct despite the stormy sky.

 

We all have the power to weave a little tale of our own.  The little bears are muses, giving us a little nudge now and then.  If you want to make a story bear, the 10″ pattern is available on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

 

Happy Storytelling,
-Soma 

 

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Falling Into Winter

Inktense Fall Leaf Painting | Whims And Fancies

We are surely and steadily heading into winter, but there are still signs of Autumn in my corner of the world.  Fogs enfold the surrounding landscapes during the cold nights, while days are quite often wet.  There are also a lot of golden yellow and ruby-red leaves hanging on to a few trees.  I picked up one of those leaves and it made its way into my sketchbook earlier in the month.

I also got sent photos of a couple of autumnal finishes made from my patterns.  The creators were very kind to give me permission to show them here.

 

Fall Leaf Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Fall Leaf by Lea

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 
Autumn Harvest Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Autumn Harvest by Janine

Pattern on Craftsy

 

Custom Paper Piecing Pattern | Whims And Fancies

This was a special order pattern.  Melanie sent me a picture of her husband’s racecar and wished to make a quilted wall hanging as a gift for him.  I used that picture to draw up a paper piecing pattern.  This is the finished wall hanging made by her.

 

Teddy Bear Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

I also got a request from a customer for a 5.0″ teddy bear paper piecing pattern.  She was going to make little Christmas Tree ornaments with the blocks.  Due to the small size, I made a custom simplified pattern for her.  Then I went on to modify it to make a 10.0″ block.  I am hoping to join in the One Monthly Goal for January and finish making this little one.

 

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I am a regular visitor of the Fabric Frenzy Friday linky party hosted by Fort Worth Studio and they have been wonderful to feature my patterns before.  This week they featured my last set of Lego Harry Potter patterns.  I was very happy about that.

 

Harry Potter Giveaway

Congratulations to spierssusan, the giveaway winner of the Harry Potter linky party!  Since it’s holiday season, I will email the rest of you who linked up your blocks for a little giveaway of my patterns.

 

I also set up my Lego Village for the holidays.  I usually set it up such that there are many activities involving the minifigs.  A few of my friends asked me to post photos, so here they are –

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

The whole village – I cut the photo into three sections so it would fit here

Below are a few close-up snapshots –

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

A child playing with an astronaut and a robot

Christmas trees and refreshments for sale here as well

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

Snow play area.  A little one got stuck in the snow (red pants and shoes, on the right)

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

Plenty of food and drinks to go around

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

Musicians and carollers

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

Having a go at archery, one can even dress up in a medieval armour, if fancy strikes

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

At the centre they are enacting a scene from a story –

Good wizards are fighting the evil Green Wizard and the Green Witch

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

The Red Princess is there with her army…

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

…and so is the Blue Princess

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

The photographer is there to capture it all.

 

Lego Winter Village | Whims And Fancies

The little Christmas Tree has plenty of presents

That wraps up my Lego Village of 2016.  I like to think the little minifigs are having a wonderful time.

A few years ago, we decided to forgo buying presents for each other and spend the money on charitable donations instead.  We donate food, books and money to various organisations.

 

Watercolour lamp painting | Whims And Fancies

Some months ago, I joined Twitter and found #TwitterArtExhibit.  Artists donate their work which is then sold to raise money for a local charity.  This is my painting for the event that will be held in April 2017.  I am very honoured and excited to be able to join this wonderful organisation.  If you paint, draw or create, there is still plenty of time to register and send them a card.

 

This will by my last post until after the Holidays. I wish you all healthy and happy holidays and a wonderful time!

-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, SeasonsOur World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

Yosemite And I

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Last weekend of October I had an opportunity to visit my favourite place – Yosemite National Park.  I am fortunate enough to live “only” 4.5 hours away from it.  That is considered close proximity in California.  I take advantage of that and try to go there multiple times a year.  Because of that, quite often I get to hear “Yosemite again??  What’s there to see so many times!”

The thing is, I feel at home there. 

In the words of Lord Byron –

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

For me, it’s not just a collection of parking spaces for the attractions in the park.  Yosemite needs to be explored. 

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

A sunny day is stunning there, but storm clouds make it even more of a dramatic place. 

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

Clouds skimming over El Capitan

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

Bridalveil Falls

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Tall, ancient granite formations with cascading waterfalls surround you while you walk in the wide meadows and through groves of trees. 

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Water droplets catch the sunlight and gleam on grass and leaves. 

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

The Merced river flows through it all, sometimes raucous and sometimes whispering.

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Season and weather change often, and Yosemite changes with them.

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

Yosemite National Park Photo | Whims And Fancies

 

While I love to hike the mountains and walk the meadows, sometimes I like to just sit at our favourite places in the park with my husband.  He reads while I paint.

 

Yosemite National Park Cooks Meadow Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

That is my Yosemite and I love it.  It has been there long before us and it will continue to be there long after. 

I was going through the photos I took there in October, always good for my spirit.  I hope they bring joy to you as well.

Take care,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My LensSeasons, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.