Silver Crow Project

Rocking My World Friday...

AGAIN! Already! How can that be?

This is going to possibly be a picture light post as I haven't taken many this week - we'll see. I rarely know what I'm going to write in my Rocking posts. That's the beauty of them. You sit down - start pondering your week and then all this good stuff comes out.

OK - first up - a while ago I bought a huge canvas in preparation for doing the Magical Mythical Makings class over at Willowing. Still haven't completed the class (on my to-do list) but the canvas was literally gathering dust. Craig has been nagging me to do something arty for our walls which are bare and boring (rental house)  magnolia. So I thought, ah stuff it. And started prepping that canvas, whenever I get to that stage in the class I'll find something else to use.

Ruby Monster came out and asked if she could paint too, so then I had the bright idea of getting everyone in the house to contribute something to the canvas. We're only a few layers in but so far she, Devvie and I have done something to it. Logie Bear too if you count the hand prints where he grabbed it when it was wet. Craig has agreed to take up the paintbrush and we'll get Pheebs on it too when she comes home. I just love the idea of a piece of art that we've all had a hand in. This is it so far...
Whoopidooings: Family Collaboration Canvas progress picture
  3 guesses who went for the hot pink!
Whoopidooings: Family Collaboration Canvas progress picture
So, this has been a lot of fun this week - who knows how it will turn out but we're enjoying it.

Second positive - I only had strips of just over an inch wide sandpaper. I'm pathetically trying to sand down this canvas after layers of Gesso and texturey stuff. Sanding more of my knuckles than I am of the canvas. Much muttering and cursing obviously reached my beloved's delicate ears in his workshop.  Lookee what he presented me with this week! 
Whoopidooings: Silverline Sanding Block
Picture filched from Amazon
It's a sanding block! That yellow grip is all cushioney soft! It came with 3 types of sandpaper so I put the finest one on and took it for a test drive. Oh wow - it's so smooth, so easy, I had to run my hand over where I was sanding to make sure it was doing anything! I love it and really recommend it if you are sanding down Gesso a lot - wasn't even to big to work in my journal! I've said it before, I'll say it again. That man really gets me! Flowers? Pfft - tools win my heart every time!
Some other little things that have made me smile:
  • Getting the majority of the school shopping finished with minimum fuss. Phew.
  • Quorn Ham being just £1 a packet in Asda (Can be nearly double that in some shops!)
  • The Walking Dead - TV highlight of the week, apart from Once Upon a Time and maybe Holby, I'm not really fussed if I don't watch anything else.
  • Days out that include hours in the open air in a huge play park, Logan going down the slide, playing in an old fashioned penny arcade and Ruby getting excited over cartons of apple juice. It's the little things.
  • Logan's army style belly crawl.
  • When Devvie makes dinner
  • Time in my shed, short but sweet
And that my lovelies, is that :)  How has your week been? Why not pop over to Virginia's and link up with the rest of us? 

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to look back with me.

Rocking My World Friday

Hello Strangers :) It's been a quiet week for the old blog but I've been busy off it. Fancy seeing what's made me smile? Read on...

Firstly and with much fanfare - it's my gorgeous Devvie for getting all the grades she needed for her 6th form place... and then some. She's worked her socks off and I'm so proud of her and happy that it all paid off. The future is bright.

The celebratory Chinese takeaway and ice-cream we had that night was pretty fabulous too, it has to be said!
The day after Devvies exam results we packed a picnic and boarded the train to London to visit the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. None of us had been before and I hadn't realised that all the museums were so close together. These two were next door to each other and the Victoria & Albert is just over the road! We didn't see even half of the two we went to see but we will definitely be back. The museums are free so for the price of train fare, a couple of ice-creams and a small donation we had a relatively cheap, knackering and fun day out.
Whoopidooings - Natural History Museum
We were heading to the dino exhibit when we came upon the birds.  The albino section was so interesting - after our trip to Scotland I did a bit of crow googling because the crows up there are so much bigger. I pondered whether what we have visit us are jackdaws and what they had up there were carrion crows. After seeing this exhibit I'm convinced of it. This picture is of an albino jackdaw... it's distinctly silver in colour! Apologies if you are glazing over at this point - the more I find out about these fascinating birds the more I want to learn. Am on the lookout for a good handbook now so if you can recommend one - drop me a comment please.
Whoopidooings: Albino Jackdaw at the Natural History Museum #Crow #Corvid
This is a Dodo - it was pretty busy so I couldn't get to close to see if it was an actual Dodo and there were two of them in the case. Devvie is sure she caught a glimpse of the word "preserved."
Whoopidooings: Dodo at the Natural History Museum
The dinosaur section was fab. If you are going to visit I really recommend you go to the website first and book a fastpass to this section. It's F.R.E.E. And it means you get to walk smugly and oh so V.I.P-like past the massive (and I mean humungous) queue and walk straight in. Oh yes you can. 
 Whoopidooings: Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum
Had to laugh at Craig's OCD flaring into life in this section - you walk along a tall walkway so can see on top of the cabinets... which had huge dustbunnies covering them. He was lamenting not having a hoover with him. Seriously. We don't call him Monica for nothing!

There was a wall depicting possible reasons for the dinosaurs demise. Craig found this one particularly amusing and we all had great fun spotting which skeletons could be Nessie.
We took the harness again which meant Logey Bear could join in the fun. He loved the rock exhibit and wanted to bring them home I think. The water feature in the basement of the Science Museum was his favourite though. Doesn't he look big here?
Whoopidooings: Fun at the Science Museum/Natural History Museum
You'll notice no piccies of the Ruby Monster. Craig was taking all these on his phone and she was running around all over the show like Speedy Gonzales - all we got of her were blurs as she streaked past .She loved it and wants to go back - we definitely will as Pheebs missed out, being away for 2 weeks. Much recommended indeedy.
Lets see, what else...
  • The lovely book a friend, who is packing in paper crafting, sent me. Artist Trading Card Workshop by Bernie Berlin - It's one I've been recommended many a time on Amazon so will enjoy reading that.
  • The first two books in a zombie detective series (Hessius Mann novels) that I bought dirt cheap from the Amazon Marketplace arrived this week. 
  • Finding Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is just £1.57 on Kindle versus £7.19 in paperback... I may have accidentally clicked 'buy' (Wow - it's been a real book haul week hasn't it?)
  • I've decided to take part in the September 29 Faces. I've seen this challenge around Blogland for a while and it looks fun. 
  • Pinterest. (You can find me here.) I've been finding it hard to get back into online life since taking a break for a few days. Pinterest has been easing me back in with lots of lovelies to look at.
  • As has Words With Friends - thanks for playing me if you are and for putting up with me not playing till I'm (usually) in bed.
  • My sketchbooks, who I no longer fear.
I'm off now to link up with Virginia and the other Rockers - why not pop over yourself.

Thanks for stopping by today - how has your week been?

p.s Hello to Ruth who left a lovely comment on my last post. (Thank you.) I tried to return a visit but your name wasn't clickable and the email notification had no return email attached. Very jealous that you live up there :)

Rocking My World Friday...

We've been away for just under a week. 12 hours up and 14 hours back (longer pit stops!) 1470 miles on our poor car clock. I loved every single mile going up - I lamented every single mile coming back. Yep - it was a Scotland year and we headed back to Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness.

The scenery was gorgeous...
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit
The crows were huge (twice the size of our crows and without the 'hood')... 
Whoopidooings: Crow at Scottish Service Station
Whoopidooings: Crow
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit
Nessie was spotted...
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit - Nessie Spotting
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit - Nessie Spotting
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit - Nessie Spotting
Gift shops were visited...
Whoopidooings: Drumnadrochit
...and the obligatory (for me) Highland Cow souvenir was purchased. This one was a hand painted tile by Skye Tiles which I am going to frame.  
Whoopidooings: Highland Cow hand painted ceramic tile by
GOLD was discovered! (OK, Gold Marmite but at the bargain price of £1.50 a jar! Inverness Farmfoods people - get there and buy what stock I left! It makes your toast all sparkly!)  
Whoopidooings: TREASURE! Gold Marmite.
Much walking was had - we visited Inverness, Drumnadrochit... and Fort Augustus and the small animal holding there. We didn't take the pram away with us to save on boot space, just the harness. Logie Bear was able to get in on all the action - which he loved.
Whoopidooings: Fort Augustus animal Center
The air was clean, the water was soft. My sister and her partner came too so we were able to spend quality time with them. It was lovely I didn't want to come home. I never do. If someone had said to me "here's the keys - leave everything behind, just stay." I would have.

Once again it brought home to me how little we need to be happy. I took a small travel art case (an old make-up bag packed with sketchbook, travel watercolours and pencil case) a back issue of Somerset Studio and my tablet. Can honestly say I wasn't bored once. Why do I need a house full of crap? The house isn't going to know what hit it when the girls get back to school!

We've talked about it and we wont be going back for at least 4 years - the next driving holiday in 2 years time (we space a year in between to save) we are trying somewhere different - still in the UK. I'm trying not to think about it. Someone said this week that Scotland is my spiritual home. Couldn't have put it better myself. I definitely have a tartan heart.

How has your week been? If you fancy looking back and seeing what made you smile - no matter how big or small, why not stop by Virginia's and link up. We'd love to see you.
Thanks for stopping by today :)

Tutorial Try-Out: Lynne Hoppe Face

I'm still picking tutorials from Kristin's list. I've wanted to do this one for a while but put it off because I so admire the dreamy style that Lynne captures.

So here we go - Lynne Hoppe's How To tutorial.

I don't have hardly anything that was on Lynne's supply list so I muddled through with what I do own. The main ingredient lacking was a cream oil pastel - I used white.

My lady didn't come out dreamy at all - in fact quite stern. I may have even remarked she looks like a Tudor... a boxing Tudor - what an unfortunate nose! Then I noticed some words on her background paper - so highlighted them. She's a Matriarch, Mayhap...?

Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Lynne Hoppe inspired face.
Emily Anne - Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee!
I have to say, I absolutely loved this tutorial - my lady may not have come out like Lynne's but I loved the technique, I loved how she suddenly just appeared from the paper. I kinda love her  - boxers nose, serious face and all.  I will definitely play around some more.

Lynne mentions in the tutorial that sometimes the pieces crack with all the different mediums going on there and my girls' face did start to peel as she dried off. I slathered her in gloss varnish to try and protect her but had to be careful as this caused another reaction with the oil pastel. It started to move! I gently laid her on a spare page in my sketchbook to dry and noted down what had happened so I can play around some more. Now that the gloss has dried she seems pretty stable - unlike her creator! Ha! Lynne's right though - the flaking does just add to the effect.

Another very generous tutorial - definitely recommended a play :)

Thanks for stopping by today.

Rocking My World Friday...

Nope. Nope. I'm not late. You are!
Ahem. So. Positives that have happened in my week...

Logie Bear has discovered balloons...Whoopidooings: Balloons!
 ...and boxes...
Whoopidooings: Fun with a box
 Silver Crow was spotted on the roof of the house over the back from us... He doesn't seem to stray far!
Whoopidooings: Silver Crow

The book review I did last week received a lovely comment from one of the authors and a blog post from the other. Very chuffed indeedy I was. I said to someone the other day that authors are the rock stars of my World - and they are, so it always makes me happy when I get one, let alone two stop by.
A couple of cooler days towards the end of this week has meant I can function a little bit. Honestly - this heat just wipes me out. But after a break of nearly 5 days I have finally been able to get out to my shed over the last two.
I've been following the weather and plotting where to go on our holiday thanks to the BBC weather app and an Inverness Walking Tour app. Thus ensuring that I can pester involve the whole family with things we'll be able to do and constant weather updates about how much cooler it is in Scotland at the moment. I don't just compare here and there. Oh no - I do the whole journey up in various towns. Aren't they lucky? Yes they are.
Devvie's two weeks as a volunteer teaching assistant culminated on Friday with the whole lot of them going to Harry Potter Studio's. Jealous much? Told her to enjoy it as chances are we could never afford to go as a family. She loved it and even bought me back a postcard of Snape because she knew I love Alan Rickman (especially as Snape!) Bless her cotton socks! She's already missing going in to do the work experience so I think it's safe to say she enjoyed it.
Whoopidooings: Alan Rickman - Snape
My Poe-laboration came home the other day. It's GORGEOUS and deserves a post of it's own so that's what it'll get. Has me all in the mood to read a bit of Poe though so may take my book with me on holiday. If you really, really want to see you could sneak a peek at Sarah's blog ;)

And that's going to do me for this week. If you fancy counting your positives instead of being a grumpy knickers (it works! I'm almost a reformed grumpy knickers! Only occasional relapses these days!) then drop by Virginia's to read all about it and link up. We'd love to see you.
Thanks for stopping by today - how has your week been?