Heart Dressing Table Mat

Every which way I tried to decide on a title for this “thing”(!), I stumbled.  If I call it a tablemat it could be thought of as a placemat, but it’s not large enough for that, and the beads would probably get in the way.  Looking at its spoke-like configuration, it was very nearly entitled the “Heart Wheel”.  Imagining it on a dressing table with a bottle of perfume standing on it, it seemed only fitting it should become a Heart Dressing Table Mat – and just in time for Valentine’s Day!  However, in reality, it is a decorative little crochet mat for placing on your tabletop, or on top of your sideboard, or anywhere you might please, where you would like to stand a little vase or ornament or suchlike on something for the sake of displaying it. Inkeeping with my recent Valentine’s theme, I included red, white, and pinks and crocheted some hearts.  The centre is made from a series of crochet circles.  Then I joined eight red hearts onto the circular mat, along with a red wooden bead for each heart, by creating an outline around them all.  Finally, I crocheted a long pink chain and joined it at the base of each heart to hold everything in place.


“Heart Dressing Table Mat”.

Approx. 26cm/10 and 1/4″ across.

I won’t be offended if you call it a “Heart Wheel”, though. 😉



“Minty Valentine” Hat

Following on from yesterday’s post, I have another Valentine themed hat to show you, but this one is adult-sized.  This hat is crocheted throughout.  Again, I used two strands of DK yarn to give it a chunky look and warm feel.  Five light pink and two darker pink crocheted hearts decorate this hat.  While I know some people love Valentine’s Day, I also know that it holds no appeal whatsoever for some people, which is why I thought it would be nice to make the colour scheme of this hat a little more subtle.  While it has pinks and hearts, it is not the traditional red and white that we so often associate with Valentine’s Day gifts, and which I know I usually gravitate towards when I’m trying to come up with ideas for that occasion.  Having used two strands of yarn at a time, I was able to make a number of soft, gentle colour combinatons using mixtures of pinks of different shades and a little white.  Then, nearer the bottom, I added a little green and some light blue just to mix things up a bit.  That is where I feel the “mintiness” comes in, hence the name I’ve given this hat.  Largely because of the colours, I feel this hat could be worn any time it’s cold, not just in mid-February!



“Minty Valentine” hat

Approx.22cm/8 and 1/4″ from top to bottom.  Approx. 52cm/20″ around the inside of its brim.


Kinda cool and minty, yet warm and snuggly at the same time!


“Little Sweetheart” Hat

Hi!  I had no idea it had been so long since I had last been on here.  This is why a few of my replies are a little late.  😮  (I hope I didn’t miss any.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I say this because the turn of the year has been and gone since I last posted on here, but that said, every day can be the beginning of a new year, can’t it?

With February 14th on the horizon I have been making a few Valentine’s themed crafts of late.  Today I’d like to share this one with you.


“Little Sweethearts” hat. 

Approx. 18cm/7″ from top to bottom.  Approx. 38cm/15″ around the inside of the brim.

“Little Sweethearts” hat is a child’s hat I have knitted.  Some people love Valentine’s Day, some people hate it, I know, but the emphasis with this is on cuteness rather than romance.  Even though I was inspired by an occasion, it wouldn’t look strange to wear this hat at any time when it’s cold. After all, who doesn’t love a good heart?!

I have knitted this with two strands of DK wool throughout, except for the very brim, which I knitted solely in pink and with only one strand.  As you can see, I used pink and red and white to provide a “nod” (pun intended!) to Valentine’s Day, especially with the six crocheted hearts I have made and sewn on for decoration.  The brim is rolled up and sewn into place with red wool to make a fixed woolly brim – hopefully that should avoid having to keep rolling it up or unfolding it.

It feels quite warm, which judging by the forecast for here later this week, that’s not such a bad thing!


“Lonely Aubergine”

When clearing out the greenhouse the other week, this was one of the last items to be picked before the plants were wrestled out of their pots and dispensed with. I still can’t believe how empty the greenhouse looks! How did so much ever fit inside it earlier in the year?! 😀



“Lonely Aubergine”


Watercolour painting.

Double Stubble

Round bales always bounce light and harbour shadows so brilliantly that I find myself drawn to them time and time again. One of my favourite aspects of this scene on this day was the light stubble and bales contrasted against a brooding sky that was verging on stormy.

Here, I painted two versions, both in watercolour, on the same day. The first painting did not turn out as I had hoped it would because the trees and sky got too vague for my liking.



“Straw Bales On Stubble” (1)  #23

Watercolour painting.

In my second attempt I tried to give the hedges and trees more definition to make them stand out from the sky more and to give an increased feeling of distance between the foreground and the grassy verge immediately in front of the trees.


“Straw Bales On Stubble” (2)  #24

Watercolour painting.

On reflection, I think I like different aspects about each painting.

“Ripening Tomatoes”

Several weeks ago we began to reach the time of year when tomatoes still hang on the plants but are slowed down by the dwindling daylight and the cooling temperatures. We picked some to let them ripen on the kitchen windowsill. In time they did. This pair amused me because one was much further ahead than the other. Nevertheless, they were always changing subtley under our very noses. With watercolours I tried to immortalise these Beefsteak Costoluto Florentino tomatoes!



“Ripening Tomatoes”  #22

Watercolour painting.

Legacy of a Seaside Trip

During a particular trip to the coast many sights caught my eye and imagination. Among them were these: shelves and shelves of sweets in jars inside the quaint, traditional sweet shop, and a couple sitting on a bench staring out to sea. There is a magic about sweet shops that is never found around the confectionary aisles of supermarkets or the racks by the tills in all sorts of other shops. An almost childlike innocence seeps out from between the jars like some kind of ghost of nostalgia, yet it is at the same time joyful.


“Sweetie Shop Sweetie Jars”  #20

Acrylic painting on a 7″ x 5″ canvas board.

A similar type of poignancy struck me when I looked at the two people on their bench. There was a wistfulness about their companionable gazing out to sea, out to all that can be imagined and cannot be seen. Were they contented or sad? It seems impossible not to wonder what might be going through their minds.


“Staring Out to Sea”  #21

Acrylic painting on a 7″ x 5″ canvas board.

The Rough and the Smooth


“The Wool Trug”  #18

Acrylic painting on a 7″ x 5″ canvas board.

Earlier in the year my Mum gave me this lovely trug, thinking it would be just the sort of thing I would like to paint. Mum meant it as a surface for me to paint on, and I’d like to think that in time I will do just that. In the meantime, I have actually painted a picture of the trug. And what else would you put in it but wool?! 😉

After trying to paint the rough texture of the yarn, I turned to the smoothness of shiny beads. Amongst my bits and bobs I found these two bracelets. The morning light cradled them so well that the highlights and shadows it left behind made it seem like there were twice as many bracelets to paint!


“A Brace of Bracelets”  #19

Acrylic painting on a 7″ x 5″ canvas board.

“Escaping Ribbons”

I had hoped to paint more and post more and do (read: catch up on!) a gazillion other things lately, but a grumpy cold slowed me down for well over a week, so these things did not happen. Adding to my already overwhelmed mindset at the time, I suddenly felt even more behind! I’ve come to the conclusion I can’t possibly be that behind all the time. The key work must be MINDSET, and I think I need to change it! Perhaps this painting, called “Escaping Ribbons”, is a metaphor for all these mental lists spilling out of my head! 😀




It seems I have a previously unnoticed fascination with ribbons. Suddenly I find myself twirling them around things and in and out of things just to create different shapes and, more importantly, more surfaces for light to bounce off or hide behind.  I guess the ribbon painting possibilities are infinite!

Acrylic painting on 5″ x 7″ canvas board.

(Painted on 29/09/2015.)

“Dahlia Parent and Baby”

My first experience of growing dahlias, so far, has been a joy.  At the moment we are experiencing some night time temperatures here that are a little too close to frost for comfort this early in the autumn, not least for vulnerable plants.  In fact, I’ve heard it said that one frost can pretty much kill off dahlias.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but since this seems to be their time of year for coming into their own, I’d hate to lose them so soon.  The trick up my sleeve is that, because they are in pots, the pots simply go into the shed overnight and then come out again the next day, unless the weather is bad.  So I’m hoping this will preserve the dahlias a bit longer.  If they were in the ground I know they would have to face whatever came their way, but they have gotten used to being pampered a bit, what with trying to dodge any easterly winds and the like that have come this way at times in recent weeks.

Anyway, admiring their blooms as I do, the other week I did a drawing and a quick watercolour sketch of one of the blooms and a bud.  More recently, I used them to paint this acrylic painting.

Let’s hope the dahlias last a bit longer! 🙂



Acrylic painting on a 5″ x 7″ canvas board.