Tale Of Two Shires

 

Summer is definitely here, but it feels like Spring in our garden.   Despite the heatwaves we have been having, all the plants in our garden are bursting with flowers.  The pink and purple flowers reminded me of the field of wildflowers we saw during our trips to the UK.  Inspired by a couple of photos that I had taken during our travels in England, I finished an acrylic painting and a quilted mini wall hanging.

 

Heather In Yorkshire Moors Painting In Acrylic | Whims And Fancies

 

Seeing all the flowers growing in the garden gave me an urge to start painting this Yorkshire Moor scene.  Acrylic as a medium is very new to me.  Before this I had only done one small tree painting in acrylic.  Not to be overwhelmed by the size of the painting, I worked on it in little sections.  I made innumerable mistakes, covered them up with a neutral base paint and repainted until I was happy with it.  I learned too.  Overall, I think I spent well over 12 hours on this painting. 

 

 

Pinwheel Flower pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

In June, I  wrote this one-block WIP-s post in anticipation of finishing a few small projects.  This Pinwheel Flower block was one of them.  I designed this flower through the window a long time ago and finally created the block in April.

 

 

The idea for this block came from a combination of seeing a flower through my atelier window and, of course, a pinwheel block.

 

 

Originally I wanted to quilt circles, but I ditched the idea because it reminded me too much of a circular wave motion.  Then the V-shape of the corners gave me the quilting idea.  I used an acid green thread to make the quilting stand out a bit more and finished the quilt with a green leaf binding.

 

 

When it came to naming this mini, that was easy.  The purple flower made me think of Regency Purple.  I love Jane Austen.   I also fell in love with Derbyshire while visiting earlier this year.  This photo I took while standing on Stanage Edge made me think of Pride And Prejudice.  So my mini is called A Flower For Jane Austen.

 

 

 

A Flower For Jane Austen Mini Quilt

 

I love making small quilts for my kitties.  I am going make a multicoloured flower quilt for them using this pattern . It is such an easy pattern, very quick to make.  The 12″ size also makes for a nice size quilt with fewer blocks.  Now that I have figured out the quilting, I can’t wait to get started on the quilt itself.  This little flower is going to reside in our kitchen as a reminder of the lovely Derbyshire.  The Pinwheel  Flower quilt pattern is on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

I am very happy to have brought back wonderful memories with me and that a bit of both Yorkshire and Derbyshire are now part of our home.

-Soma

 

Linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  They are great source for new inspirations.

 

Sketchbook 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Lost Pages Bookstore Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Lost Pages Book Store

 

Every year I get this notion of doing a long-term project to improve a certain skill.  Last year I did the Wandering Camera daily photo project to explore new photography ideas.  This year, I wanted to keep a sketchbook, but with one thing or another, time passed on.  I finally got tired of waiting and decided that June was going to be THE month to embark upon my Sketchbook 2017 project.

Lost Pages is the very first painting in my little sketchbook.  Although it is a make-believe book store born in my head, I would love to own a real one by that name.

 

 

I am very fond of Stillman and Birn sketchbooks.  The pages of this 5.5″ x 3.5″ sketchbook are the perfect size for playing with ideas.  The Beta sketchbook is also great for pretty much all painting media.  I started filling this book when I was sick earlier in the month.

 

Orange Maine Coon | Whims And Fancies

 

My orange kitty Taffy is my constant companion.  I missed him while he was having a surgery yesterday, it was the ninth surgery for this little fellow.  He is back home now, in pain and a bit battered, but otherwise safe and sound.  I will be busy taking care of him over the next few days.  I love this photo I took of him a few days ago.  He is really as soft as he looks here, and as sweet as his name.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Cat On The Wall Prismacolor Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Charlie – trying to climb a wall

 

We have another kitty called Charlie who is equally sweet and also very clumsy.   He can’t climb anything to save his life, so it’s a good thing he is an indoor-only kitty.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Sirens Prismacolor Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Sirens

 

The morbid side of me is fascinated by the idea of Sirens.  I am thinking of expanding this scene into a larger painting.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Dawn Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Dawn

 

Once, when we were camping in the Inyo Mountains, I was up early to see a lunar eclipse.  Shortly after that, dawn broke just as the moon was setting.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Vintage Tiles Winsor & Newton Watercolour Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Rusted Tiles

 

Rusted tiles are quite beautiful.  I was having too much fun painting this one, making random rust spots on these tiles.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Silocon And Gold Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Silicon And Gold

 

I wanted to see if I could paint sand with marker, then came up with the idea of sand to circuit boards.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Bristlecone Pine Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Looking Up At A Bristlecone Pine

 

California is home to Bristlecone pines.  During the same camping trip in the Inyo Mountains, we hiked the Methuselah trail to see these oldest living beings on Earth.  The colour of the bark on these trees is created by fungus and polishing through ice and wind storms.

 

Round Pencil Case | Whims And Fancies

 

On Sunday, my 14-year-old pencil case bit the dust.  I had become so fond of the round pencil case, I had to make a new one.  I came up with an idea of making it in a certain way.  I made a few prototypes; these two are the final finished ones.  Both pencil cases are lined and the zipper ends are covered. 

The dark green one used to be my husband’s pyjama pants.  I love green tartan, so when he discarded the pair, I saved the leg fabric which was in very good condition.  I used the same fabric both for the outside and the lining. 

The yellow one is a newsprint fabric that Kris sent me in a surprise package last week.  When your friend sends you fabric, you have to make something fun with it!   I used a pinstripe grey fabric for the lining as well as for the sides on this one. 

I got another couple of sweet packages from another friend, Mary as well.  That however, is a story for another day.

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell!

Until next time,
-Soma

 

Linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

One Block WIPs

sailboat, star, flower, phone box art quilt patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

I was having a wonderful time working on different projects until I came down with a nasty cold featuring a fever, body ache, the whole package.  I knew if I forced the matter and sat at the sewing machine, I would end up unpicking every single stitch and redoing everything.  However, being me and not wanting to stay in bed for long, I decided to go through my WIPs and form a plan for tackling them after I get better.

I spent almost all of the last few months working on the Lego Harry Potter quilt – designing, writing, sewing and testing the patterns to share with you.  That didn’t leave me time to work on much else, so I only sewed a few other blocks now and then.  Now I want to finish making a few things with those one-off blocks.  Not only have I figured out what I want to do with them, I have also picked out the coordinating fabrics for these projects.

 

Sunburst Star on Etsy and Craftsy

 

I love cross-body bags.  The last bag I made was done a long time ago and has seen better days, so I will be making a bag with this Sunburst Star block.  I love the nebulosity of the background I picked for this block.

 

Red Telephone Box pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

This one was meant be made into a bag all along, even as the picture was forming in my head.  I found the perfect coordinating travel fabric in my stash.

 

Pinwheel Flower pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

I will turn this pinwheel flower block into a mini, a mix of modern and vintage.  My friend Mary gave me the idea of making a quilt with the flowers done in multiple colours.  I am going to make a kitty quilt that way, and I will test out the quilting motif on this little mini.

 

Summer Sailboat on Craftsy and Etsy

 

Lastly, I am hand quilting this recently-finished Summer Sailboat block.

 

Hang Quilting | Whims And Fancies

 

Hand quilting is quite nice when you’re unable to do much else.  I am a very slow quilter, but at least I have started on this one already.

 

Little Sketchbook | Whims And Fancies

 

I also got a little sketchbook for doodling in everyday.  As you can see from the warped pages, I have been scribbling in it quite a bit, even while parked on the sofa and huddling under a quilt.  Apologies for not being able to take new photos.  I will share more very soon.

 

Have a healthy and happy week everyone,
-Soma

 

Linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Yorkshire Skies

Yorkshire Skies | Whims And Fancies

 

There really is no doubting that the Yorkshire countryside is a beautiful place.   The hills, valleys, limestone cliffs, heather and waterfalls make for a very tranquil setting.  For me, being in the north and the remoteness of the places adds another sense of enigma to Yorkshire.  Last year, during our roadtrip through England, we spent a few days in Yorkshire, visiting the countryside that I dreamt of so often.

Many months ago I got a beautiful skein of yarn very aptly named Yorkshire Skies.  I just had to make a pair of mitts with it before we visited Yorkshire.

 

Hermione hat and mittens with Yorkshire Skies Yarn | Whims And Fancies

 

I was looking for a pattern that would show off the yarn, and came across Hermione’s Fingerless Gloves on Ravelry.   I managed to finish knitting the mittens the night before our flight.  I was so determined to wear them in Yorkshire that I finished weaving in the stray yarn during the one-hour travel time to the airport. 

Once we were back, I noticed I had enough yarn left to make a matching hat.  The hat pattern was written for worsted weight yarn.  Since I was using smaller size knitting needles for my fingering weight yarn, I added two extra cables to my hat.  That resulted in just 1 extra stitch at the end after the decreasing was done.  It was a tad big for my head, but one run through the dryer in low heat setting made it just the perfect size for me.

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

View from Malham Cove in late summer

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

Malham Cove in late winter

 

As we peregrinated the streets and countryside of Yorkshire, I was smiling happily while wearing my mittens.  My husband and I fell in love with Yorkshire so much that I planned our next England roadtrip earlier this year fully around Yorkshire with a few added days in Derbyshire.  I took both of these photos from Malham Cove, one of my favourite hikes.

 

Whitby Sea with Winsor Newton Waterbased Oil | Whims And Fancies

 

Sunset At Whitby

Of course, very soon after our return I had to paint a picture of the beautiful skies we saw in Yorkshire.  This was my first time playing with oil, and I could not have picked a better subject to paint.

 

Sailboat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

The painting, in turn, had me look back at a pattern I had designed a long time ago.  Sewing this block is going to be my One Monthly Goal for this month.  I know I will be thinking of the beautiful skies.

 

Yorkshire Moors Heather with acrylic | Whims And Fancies

 

I am also very sure that Yorkshire will continue to surface now and then in my paintings.  Currently I am working on this acrylic painting of heather in the Yorkshire Moors while listening to stories.

 

My Orange Maine Coon Kitty | Whims And Fancies

 

My kitty sleeps and purrs beside me, hopefully dreaming of a happy place.  I love a peaceful life.  Whenever I can get it, I enjoy it to the fullest!

 

See you next time,
-Soma

 

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