Of Flowers And Trees


Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Lately it has been wet around here and my plans for planting our now fairly bare garden have been stagnant.  In the meantime, I moved on to working on a little indoor flower project.  This is another one of those long-forgotten quilts.  I designed my favourite flower quilt patterns in the style of stained glass window panels.  As I was drawing the flowers, they took on shapes of mineral crystals.  Since I love geology, the blocks are all named after my favourite minerals – Garnet Primrose, Kyanite Iris, Olivine Tulip and Selenite Clematis.  I made the initial blocks with the Downton Abbey fabrics.

 

 

Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I didn’t want an usual 4 x 5 block arrangement for this quilt.  I wanted something completely different, a special layout for this one.  Until I had the layout designed, I didn’t know how many blocks I needed to make and progress stalled.  The four blocks went into the cabinet not to see the light of day again for a long time. Now it is finally time to dust off the pieces and start working on the rest of the quilt.

This is the layout I came up with.  I imagined walking through a very big garden made up of smaller, sectional gardens.  Enchanted Garden is what came to mind as the name.  Now that the layout is done, I can start making the rest of the flowers.

   

Since I always get asked about the pattern links, here they are –

Garnet Primrose pattern on EtsyKyanite Iris pattern on Etsy

Olivine Tulip pattern on EtsySelenite Clematis  pattern on Etsy

 

They are quite easy to make 12″ blocks.  Many thanks to those of you who purchased the patterns already.

 

 

Derwent Pastel Pencils Evening Sky Drawing | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I do love nature and my most favourite are the trees.  One evening, I sat down to relax with my sketchbook while running one of my favourite movies in the background.  It was early March, the trees were still very bare and the sky took on beautiful colours at sunset.  Using pastel pencils I was trying to capture those colours peeking through the silhouette of a tree.

 

 

Sennelier Oil Pastel And Derwent Pastel Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

A few notes about oil pastel and pastel

  

Although they share the name pastel, oil pastel and pastel are really quite different from each other and cannot be used together.  I used paper stumps to blend the pastel pencils.  I tried to use the stumps to blend the oil pastel, but using my fingers proved more effective.  The heat from my finger warmed up the oil in the oil pastels, which in turn blended the colours a lot better.

 

I didn’t buy any special paper for the pastel pencils.  They worked great on Strathmore 400 Series 80lb drawing paper.  For the oil pastels, however, I used a thicker paper so the oil from the pastel would not seep through.  I used Canson 150lb smooth surface paper for the oil pastels.  I would like the try the oil pastels on canvas one day.

 

Pastel sticks create quite a lot of chalk-dust, pencils create a lot less.  That’s why I like the pastel pencils better.  They blend very easily, they smudge easily too.  Oil pastels have mineral oil which never really dries completely, so they would smudge as well.  Therefore, both of them need sealing. I used Grumbacher Matte Finish Final Fixative to seal both of them.  One thin coat was enough for the pastel pencils, but the oil pastels needed three thin coats.  I did take the time to let each coat completely dry before applying the next one.  I suggest you try out the sealant on a small test sample before you apply it to your finished painting.

 

I couldn’t find much information on this and had to figure a lot of this out by playing.  So, in case you paint, I thought you might find this information helpful.

 

 

Van Gogh style Field Of Wildflower Oil Pastel Painting with Sennelier Oil Pastel | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I painted this Field Of Wild Flowers with oil pastels in the style of Van Gogh.  As you can see, they behave quite differently than pastel pencils.  I wrote about his painting a couple of weeks ago in The Master And The Apprentice.

 

 

Copic Marker Landscape Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

One Friday, it was raining outside and I was feeling like doodling after work, but without taking out a whole pile of painting paraphernalia.  So I pulled out my box full of markers.  I have never used markers for landscape painting before, so this was a first for me.  Markers can get quite expensive and they can’t be mixed together to create new colours. Since I don’t have an unlimited supply, I lined up the shades I had at home and doodled away at this picture of trees in the morning at the local park while listening to the patter of rain.

 

 

Spring Vetch Flower | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I leave you with a photo of a tiny little Spring Vetch adding its splash of colour to the countryside around here.

Hope you find some inspiration in flowers and trees this week as well!
-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.

 

 

 

 

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Daydreaming – Weatherd Scottish Abbey

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

 

Weatherd Scottish Abbey On Etsy

 

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.

 

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!!

 

 
 

Derwent Watercolour Pencils Shade Card | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I recently started making slow progress on the painting again 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.  I always like to make a colour swatch of any paint set I acquire.  Even looking at these colours makes me happy!

 

 

 

Weatherd Scottish Abbey On Etsy

 

We visited Dryburgh during our stay in Edinbugh.  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.

 

This Scotland-inspired art print would be nice for anyone who loves historic Scotland and Britain as well as people who love old European architecture prints.

I now have prints of this painting available on my Etsy shop.  I would love for you take a look.  As most of my artwork is travel-inspired, I am sure it would make a wonderful travel lover gift too.

These old medieval architectures invoke thoughts of not just travelling, but also of stories from medieval times.  This print would be lovely for a book lover – anyone who loves to travel through pages.

 

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

-Soma

 

 

 

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