Wandering Camera – Christ Church, Oxford, UK

Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

A couple of years back we finally made it to England.  What had kept me away was the predisposed knowledge that once I went to England, I would want to go back again and again.  My prediction did come true.  We did go back multiple times, not just to England, but to Scotland as well.   I would love to share our journey with you. 

 

 

River Isis, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My first time in England had to include the City of Oxford and its architecture.  I wanted to see the city which introduced me to so many of my favourite writers.  We only had a couple of days there, so instead of rushing through a lot of the city, we decided to take our time and savour just a few places.

 

 

Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

First morning there, we walked up to Christ Church.

 

 

Meadow Building, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We were greeted by this beautiful Venetian Gothic Meadow Building, designed by T. N. Deane.

 

 

Meadow Building, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The pointed shape of the windows and the lancet arches reflect the style.  

 

 

The Cloister, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I always enjoy a walk along a cloister.  These cloisters were build around 1499. 

 

 

The Cloister, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Details of the cloister ceiling.  It reminds me of the green man motif.

 

 

The Cloister, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The cathedral spire is the oldest surviving stone spire in England and has been part of the Oxford skyline since 1230.

 

 

Dining Hall Stairs, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We entered the Bodley Tower, named after the architect G. F. Bodley. It houses the staircase that leads to the dining hall.

 

 

Dining Hall Stairs, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The staircase was built in the 19th century.

 

 

Dining Hall Stairs, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The stunning medieval style ceiling, however, was built in 1638.

 

 

Dining Hall Stairs, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Entry to the beautiful Christ Church dining hall.

 

 

Dining Hall, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The Hall is part of the college’s original foundation built in Renaissance style.  The walls are adorned with portraits and there is a large fireplace on each side.

 

 

Dining Hall, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The beautiful hammerbeam ceiling was built by Humphrey Coke, Henry VIII’s chief carpenter. 

 

 

Bodley Tower, Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

After descending the staircase we walked in to the Tom Quad taking in the view of the Bodley Tower from there.  We will continue on to the Tom Quad on the next Wandering Camera.

 

 

Watercolour Sketch of Christ Church, Oxford, UK | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I have started keeping a travel sketch journal.  Here’s a quick sketch of a window of the Christ Church Meadow Building.

 

Thank you for sharing your photos and stories too.  I love reading them!   All photography and creative themed posts are welcome.

 

 

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

You can add any number of links to your posts, or write a new post to link up.

Please add the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy as long as you link back :-)

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that runs on the last Thursday of every month.  If you follow me via email, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!



 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them. 

 

 

 

Wandering Camera – Magician’s Bookshelf

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Magician’s Bookshelf Print on Etsy

 

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to Wandering Camera.  I am really excited to share photos of this painted bookshelf with you this month.  I love the romantics of magic and decided to embark on a journey of painting a magic alphabet series.  I chose B for bookshelf. Specifically, a magician’s bookshelf.   I love to and tend to do a lot of research for my work.   I had a fantastic time looking into alchemy and magic.

 

 

 

York Cathedral | Whims And Fancies

 

York Cathedral, England, 2016

 

 

I looked into my vault of travel photos for stonework depicting vines and leaves.

 

 

St. Clement's Church, Isle Of Harris, Scotland | Whims And Fancies

 

St. Clement’s Church, Scotland, 2018

 

Nothing says magic to me more than stone.  These are two of the photos I used for reference.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Before I started inking the drawing, I practised on a separate piece of paper with a dip pen.  Unfortunately, the rough surface of the cold press paper that I used kept catching the pen too much, causing very uneven lines instead of the smooth and controlled lines that I wanted.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I switched to a very small brush which glided easily on the paper.  I was able to create controlled and tiny strokes for the cross hatching using waterproof Speedball Super Black india ink.

However, inks are very harsh on brushes.  I learned that the hard way after almost destroying the first one.  Brushes need to be cleaned quite often with a good brush soap.  Also, instead of my gentle watercolour brushes, I will be using a little stiffer acrylic ones for inking.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It took me awhile to draw those tiny cross hatch marks.  It was quite meditative.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then, early December, I started painting.  I wanted the stone bookshelf to be illuminated by candlelight.  Using warm yellows and warm browns, gently and slowly, I finished painting the bookshelf.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Magician’s Bookshelf Print on Etsy

 

I thought of painting all the books in one colour, but that seemed very boring.   Magic should be exciting!  So I decided to match the colours of the books with their titles.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I would love to paint this bookshelf larger one day and add more details to the book spines.

 

 

Magician's Bookshelf Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Magician’s Bookshelf Print on Etsy

 

The ancient and wise raven watches over both the books and the magician.  Even though she is candlelit,  she also glows from within.

 

 

 

Magician’s Bookshelf Print on Etsy

 

Quoting my friend Dixie – a bibliotheque filled with books on practical magic, spells, and alchemy.  I would so love to take a peek at these books.  If only I too was made of ink and paper!

 

I love stories, as you well know, and this fantasy and fairy tale-inspired art print is great for any book lover.  Also, the candlelit stone-art bookshelf full of spell books for wizards would make lovely library decor.

 

Print of Magician’s Bookshelf is available on Etsy.  Free shipping to all US orders.

 

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them. 

 

 

Bits And Pieces

Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

 

With the approach of October, one of my favourite months, I find myself in the flightiest of moods.   Sitting with anything for long is a chore and the thought of finishing anything seems an impossible task.  My otherwise tidy desk is now a mirror image of my brain.  This is true except for one thing- books!  A book is the only thing that can still pin me down for hours on end.

 

 

Freedom and Read Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Freadom pattern on Etsy

 

This week is Banned Books Week, an event sponsored by the American Library Association.  I am lucky enough to celebrate my freedom to read and think independently every day.  This FREADOM quilt I made last year is possibly my most favourite piece!  You can read about the story behind this mini here.

 

 

Dryburgh Abbey With Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Other than travelling in the pages of my books, I also travel by means of painting places I have visited before.  I love Derwent pencils.  I already have a set of their Inktense pencils and recently I was gifted a set of the Derwent Watercolour pencils.   I am trying them out on this sketch of Dryburgh Abbey.

 

 

Hexagon Quilt | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I pulled out my Hexagon quilt again.  After having made a little over 2000 hexagons, sadly, I have lost interest in this project.  I will probably sew a few more rows and then come up with a design sans hexagons to finish this quilt.  Any ideas, anyone?

 

 

Fall And Halloween Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

October of course means Autumn and Halloween.  I have been selling quite a few Fall/Halloween quilt patterns from my shops.  That means very soon I will be able to make a sizeable donation to my favourite charity.

Here is a collage of all the Autumn / Halloween blocks I made until today.  I have two orange kitties in real life, and they are both here of course!

 

 

  1. Wizard Tabby Cat – Etsy
  2. Halloween Witch Hat – Etsy
  3. Cat Eyes – Etsy
  4. Jack-O-Lantern and Cat-O-Lantern – (two patterns in one) – Etsy
  5. Fall Maple Leaf – Etsy
  6. Striped Tabby Cat – Etsy

 

I always get asked about pattern links right after I publish a post, so I am including the links here should you like to purchase any.

 

 

Halloween Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

Charlie’s Adventure

 

There won’t be any new fall or Halloween projects this year, but I have pulled out the Charlie’s Adventure quilt and its backing fabric.  I made this one for the Black Cat Crossing blog hop alongside writing a short story that goes with this quilt.  You can read the story here.  It’s high time I quilt this one.

 

Whims And Fancies

 

 

Janine from Rainbow Hare wrote a wonderful post called Leap In Colour.  I myself have been thinking about taking a leap for a while now, and her post gave me that much-needed push.  Many thanks to all of my online friends as well for their constant encouraging comments.  I started taking the first steps toward the next phase of Whims And Fancies.  Following on Janine’s footsteps, I am also letting my byline be my inspiration.

 

On the note of taking a leap, I just created a Twitter account – https://twitter.com/whims_n_fancies

If you are on Twitter, I would love for you to follow me there!

 

 

Handmade Halloween

Joining Handmade Halloween at Needle And Foot

 

Thank you for listening,
-Soma

 

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

 

 

Books And Bookmarks

Easy Book And Bookmarks Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

If you didn’t know this already, I love playing with paper and art supplies.  That obsession started at a very early age.

As a child I learned how to make little booklets in which I saved magazine and newspaper cuttings containing short stories, comic strips and trivia.  I drew and painted in them too.  Making those little art booklets was one of my favourite hobbies as a child.  They were a reflection of how I saw the world around me.

I will show you how to make very simple booklets with two kinds of bindings, and a few bookmarks with very easy watercolour techniques.  Kids can make these easily, with a little help.

You already have most of the things that you need for these projects at home.  You can also use up some of your fabric scraps.

 

Making a Signature

 

Books are made of signatures.  These books are going to be made of one signature.  We are going to make the signature first, then bind it.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

You will need one piece of card stock for the cover.

Other than that you can use any paper.  Printer paper will be more than fine.  If you wish to paint in your booklet however, you will want thicker stock than printer paper.

Just one thing to remember:  The thicker your paper, less the number of papers you are going to be able to fit into a signature.  I made a multi-purpose book where I want to draw, paint and write.  So I used 1 sheet of watercolour paper, 1 sheet of card stock and 5 sheets of sketchbook paper.  Watercolour and sketchbook papers are larger than card stock paper.  So I trimmed them all to 8.5″ x 11″ to match the card stock.

Fold each paper in the middle. Run the side of a ruler along the fold for a crisp fold.

Insert the folded sheets into each other.

Place one sheet of folded card stock as the outermost sheet to create the cover.

Depending on the size of your signature, you may need to trim the side.

Now that we have a signature made, we are ready to bind.

 

 Ribbon Binding

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Fold a new sheet of card stock to make a template first.   On the folded side, Measure 1.5″ from the top and bottom.  Mark those two points and the centre with a pencil.  Using a hole puncher, punch a semicircular hole on those marks.  If you insert the hole puncher too far past the fold and punch a circular hole, you will end up with two separate holes when you unfold the sheet.

When you open up the page, you should see three circular holes along the fold.  It’s fine if they are not perfect.  They will be folded anyway.

Now place the folded template on top of the folded sheets of the signature so that the folded edges are all facing the same way.  Using the template as a guide, punch holes in the sheets.  Remember to make the holes semicircular.  Depending on the thickness and number of sheets, you may have to do this in a couple of stages.

Tip – Use a paper clip to keep the papers and the template together.

Once the sheets are all punched, and you are happy with the arrangement of the signature, cut a yard of 3/8″ wide ribbon.  Feed the ribbon through the two outer holes toward the inside.

Then grasp the two endings together from the inside and feed them through the middle hole toward the outside.  After that, place one ribbon end on each side of the centre hole.  If you have any twists in the ribbon, fix those at this time as well.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Tie a pretty knot.  Trim if necessary.  You may also want to trim the tips of the ribbon to a V shape to avoid fraying.

That’s it!  The first book is made and ready to be used.

Your kids can start with decorating the cover now.  Doodle, draw, paint, add stickers.  Anything goes!

You can take out some of your fabric scraps too and press Heat-N-Bond on the back.  Let your kid draw his/her own designs on the backing.  Cut them out, arrange them on the cover.  Place another piece of card-stock on top and iron on the cut-outs using a low setting.

That’s how I added the leaves on my book above.  I might go back and add something else to it later on.  Great way to use up those scraps of fabric, don’t you think?!

 

Stitched Binding

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Cut a 9.5″ x 12″ piece of decorative paper.  Use an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of card stock as cover paper.  Apply generous amount of glue all over one side of the cover paper.  Place it in the middle of the decorative paper, positioning it so that there is approximately 0.5″ of decorative paper overhang on all sides.  Press it down.  Then add glue to the overhang on the decorative paper and fold it over the cover page.

Now cut another 8″ x 10.5″ piece of decorative paper and apply glue to its reverse side.  Place that paper in the middle of the cover page, making sure there is a 0.25″ gap to the edge on each side.  Press it down.

Tip – A good quality glue stick works really well for me.  No mess this way.

Fold the cover page back again along the centre.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Use another piece of card stock to make a template for the sewing holes.  Mark 1.25″ from the top, then continue to mark 1.0″ after that until you reach the bottom 1.25″.  Push a push-pin through each of those marks and you have the template.

Now unfold the papers of your signature and place them underneath the template piece.  You may want to hold them together with paper clips.  Then push the pin through each of the holes in your template. You may have to do this in couple of stages, depending on the thickness of the stock you have chosen.

Once you have made holes in all of your sheets, put the signature together again.  Now it’s ready for sewing.

Take a piece of thread that is a little longer than twice the length of your book.  A little thicker thread like DMC Pearl Cotton works best.  Using this thread and a needle, sew through every other hole starting at the top hole, on the inside.  Make sure to leave a few inches of thread behind as a tail.

Once you have reached the bottom, come back up again, sewing through every other hole.  You should now have filled the gaps you left when you sewed your first pass.  Once you reach the second hole from the top, tie a knot with the tail-end of the thread from the first hole.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

This is how the book looks, on the inside and outside.  Decorate the cover more or start using it as-is.

 

Easy Book Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

They took hardly any time to make.  You and the kids can make a bunch of them together.  Fill them up with artwork or give blank books as Christmas presents.

 

Watercolour Bookmarks

 

Now I will show you how to make a few bookmarks using simple watercolour techniques.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

All you need for the bookmarks are strips of watercolour paper, paint, a flat brush and a round brush.  Don’t worry if you can’t find a cheap flat brush, a bigger round brush will work well enough.

I used 7″ x 2″ strips of watercolour paper for my bookmarks.  I used leftover scraps from bookmaking.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

Using the flat brush, apply water all over the paper.  Then dab paint on the wet paper, letting the difference paints flow into each other.

Then sprinkle salt on the wet paint.  The salt starts absorbing the paint and creates a fun texture. I used a little too much on the top one and you can see how it lifted a lot more paint than I intended.  I left it as-is to show you the difference.  I will use it as background and paint on top of it later on.

Let the salt dry completely; this takes a while.  Once completely dry, brush the salt off and you’re done!  Use the bookmark as-is, draw on it with markers, stamp a favourite quote, anything you want.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

For these two, I used the flat brush again to apply water all over the paper.  I went back and forth on them with paint and let the different paints blend into each other.

For the left one, I dipped my brush in clean water.  On the wet paint, I drew a couple of lines with the brush and then splattered a few drops of water by tapping on the brush.  Let this dry and you will see the effect water has on paint.  I will go back and paint on it.

For the right one, I used a cotton swab to lift off paint to create those fuzzy white dots.  I cut a tree out of a scrap of silver fabric and ironed it on to the bookmark using Heat-N-Bond, just like the way I ironed on the leaves on the first book.

 

Watercolour bookmarks with kids | Whims And Fancies

 

I love making bookmarks.  They are fast, fun and easy to make.  You can make a whole bunch all together.  Sometimes I even make bookmarks to match the book I am reading.

 

Easy Book And Bookmarks Making With Kids | Whims And Fancies

 

I hope this inspired you and your kids to make a few of these as gifts.  Personalize them for the recipient.  Make a few for yourselves.   Fill the books with wonderful art.  Spend time together playing in the book and then swap them with each other at Christmas!

Happy Crafting,
-Soma

 

 

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