Friday, 1 February 2008

More pencils, stitching mags and viola-versary

Ooof, yes, I've been buying again. I seriously suspect myself of engaging in retail therapy.... Here's the latest addition to the pencils collection, Derwent's Inktense the full range. You use them like a pencil, then you can go over the marks with water and it turns into an ink-like quality. If you use the colour lightly to start with, it looks more like watercolour. They're really good, it's just a shame I'm not brill at drawing yet!! Here's what I did last night to experiment with them. It's just a copy of this photo and far from marvellous, but it was late and I'm no great shakes at paper based art. This sort of thing takes a lot of patience and practise and I think that could well be why I tend towards needlework where you can get it right first time!!!

I've also been hoarding more stitching mags. Went to WHSmiths and found the latest issue of 'Inspirations' there, much to my surprise! I didn't think it would arrive for another week or ten days, but here it is along with the current 'Stitch'. I also got a copy of this book from the Country Bumpkin designer series. Don't know that I'll ever make it up as is, but it's a very interesting book and a brilliant design. Got the weekly CB webletter this morning, which was full of all the new books they're planning to release this year. There's to be a 'Needlebook Cottage' in this designers series and an 'A-Z of Goldwork and Silkwork', which I am going to be totally unable to resist buying. BAD Country Bumpkin!!!

Today is my viola-versary. I am officially now a second year viola student. Given how little ground I've managed to cover, part of me finds that a bit disappointing, esp. as someone I 'met' on the ABRSM forums started violin a month before me, got a distinction in her Grade 1 exam last June and is already preparing for her Grade 3 in March! However, then I remembered the kind of year I've just had - about 3 months lost to illness, if not more when all added together, narrowly avoiding a nervous breakdown owing to an ill-suited (to me) job and various other hassles. Put in that light, I'm doing OK and, yes, I'm quite reconciled to the fact that I'm going to learn slowly. As DH rightly says, it's the fact that I enjoy it that matters, not the race to get to Grade 8 standard!!! Funny thing is that I've been unable to practise the last week and had to cancel my lesson on Tuesday thanks to having hurt my neck! It happens from time to time and is on the mend now, so onwards and upwards!

The weather is odd at the mo, JK. The forecast promised snow, but it's lovely and sunny right now with only light clouds. We've had stormlike winds, fit almost to take you off your feet, (I nearly did take off last Friday!!!), but at least not too much rain. Hmm, actually, I prefer rain to wind and I really get fed up with both at the same time!!!

Heidi asked what my plans were. Well, I've nothing set in concrete just yet, but lots of ideas and so forth. First and foremost, (as without it I can't really do anything else), is to get my strength back. Whilst that's in progress, I intend to build slowly up on other things, esp the Bible teaching work I do. When I was language teaching and it was stealing all my time and strength, it just became so hard to remember my real priorities in life. Felt like I was living in two conflicting worlds and I was beginning to feel more at home in (and spending vast amounts more time on) the one I didn't belong to! Most uncomfortable! So, now that's getting back to normal again, I can get on with what matters most. Doubt I'll get another job, but I might help DH with some of his admin work as he's very busy and earns more than enough to keep us both. I want to make some progress with my musical studies, pick my languages back up (nothing killed my Chinese ability as stone dead as teaching it for a year!!!), maybe even work through some of the Open University science courses I have copies of and, of course, stitch! We're going to Taiwan for 3 weeks in March/April and, after that, I'll be making moves on starting some needlecraft studies. Problem with most of the stuff on offer is that it's so contemporary and, frankly, I don't like that kind of style. I prefer traditional, detailed work, so I daresay a lot of the City & Guilds programmes on offer aren't going to work for me. The stumpwork ones look good though, so we'll see. Will let you know when I do, basically!! One thing's for sure, I'm not going to suffer boredom or lack of challenge and purpose!=)


Margaret said...

I am quite impressed by your drawing. In my blog surfing yesterday I was led, by whom I don't remember, to a blog that you might like as well It is called the Illustrated Garden. The author also has a portfolio site
I'm sending you the links to pay you back for the photo of the darling Village Bag. Now that really is a bad thing to expose people to!

Mylene said...

Hi Elisabeth, i just want to wish you goodluck in everything you do. Take care.

Kimberly said...

on no, another A-Z? I avoided reading that last newsletter but now I'm going to have to find that book :)

Sandra said...

I was surprised to find Inspirations in the shops last Tuesday too, it isn't usually here until February. I bought the lovely bag book as well, but I doubt I will have the ability to make it, but it makes lovely reading. I didn't realise CB produced any sort of update, I'll have to check that out.