Spring is sprung. Possibly.

I admit it, I didn't take this picture but it is exactly what it looked like on the day, deer and all.
I admit it, I didn’t take this picture but it is exactly what it looked like on the day, deer and all.
The river Ben didn’t fall in.

Having had a glorious Easter break, with sunshine and everything, I’m feeling a bit shell shocked. Generally, Easter in the UK is a bit chill and Bank Holidays are notorious for attracting bad weather, so to have been able to play out on the garden with Ben and go for walks in Derbyshire has been a real treat. Ben managed to avoid falling in the river and was rewarded with an ice cream that dwarfed him, leaving him so sticky that falling in the river started to look like a good option. The pleasure of his visit was not unalloyed, as, on the first morning, he decided to climb into bed with Grandad at 4.30 a.m. The first thing Grandad was aware of was when Ben sneezed violently onto his (Grandad’s) neck and then, while he (Grandad) was still fighting off cardiac arrest, wriggled his frozen toes into Grandad’s lower back.  I told the loved one I would willingly have swapped places but I don’t think he was convinced.

It was my birthday last week. We’re not going to talk numbers but Paul McCartney wrote a song about it. For once, we managed to get almost the whole family together.  (Not, alas, our much loved son in law, he had to stay in Wales and work, but there was our son, his partner with her parents and our eleven month old granddaughter, our two daughters, our grandson, the aforementioned Ben and our bestest friend, Judy.) The pub we chose to go to for a meal proved very crowded and noisy, due, in no small part to us, of course, but we did have fun and, since I wasn’t driving, I had two glasses of wine, which left me giggling and silly in the extreme. (And, so my family tell me, LOUD.)

Anyway, they’ve gone back now and, as always, the house is much too quiet and much too tidy. I haven’t trodden on a toy in days.

Zendala 99And as for drawing, I’ve had a whale of a time. There is an event coming up that I’m not going to tell you about yet but, as a result, I’m putting together a portfolio of drawings, as well as preparing some bits and pieces to pattern using the Dreamweaver stencils I mentioned in my last post. This circular one is one of them. I was sort of going for steam punk without cogs.

And I was having a look at old Diva Challenges from before I started doing them and followed a link to Margaret Bremner’s blog, where she had done a small piece on black scratch card. It was very pretty and of course I had to have some. Did a trawl on the internet and found plenty, not very expensive but mostly in the States, so I left it, only to find, later that same day, a pack on sale in Poundland. Whoopee.

It didn't scan too well but the real thing is much brighter.
It didn’t scan too well but the real thing is much brighter.

I used a stencil again – a bit addicted to them at present – and this is how it turned out.  This is about postcard size. So then I used the same stencil with sponges and stamp pads for colour. It’s incomplete, obviously, and the colours are a bit paler here than in reality but I’m liking it so far. Stencil butterfliesI’ve got a couple of other things on the go too and if I’ve got them finished in time for the Challenge tomorrow, I’ll add them. And then I decided to try something totally different, again, based on something I saw elsewhere and, for something so simple, I think it works quite well. It also uses Maryhill, a pattern I hadn’t tried before and which I enjoyed using. I’m wondering about shading…? Leaves 2






This is another circular one I’ve been working on. If I had an idea at the start of what it would look like, this is not it but it is, as they say, what it is.

I thought the bits of colour livened it up a bit.
I thought the bits of colour livened it up a bit.


 The Diva Challenge this week is to use the outline of something as a string.  I used a hair clip and tried it two ways, once closed and once held open. It didn’t look very complex but I quite liked the shapes it gave me and everything else I saw was either round or square, which seemed a bit unimaginative really.  hair clip string

 Let’s see what we can do with these, shall we?


I made a real mess of the middle of the first one, which is why you see a huge splodge of black but, following Laura’s principles, I’m still putting it on here, even though I am distinctly dissatisfied with it.

DC 213I made even more of a mess of the second one and three all my good resolutions out of the window and the tile in the bin, So I drew another string using the same hair clip and tried again. I can’t believe something so simple can be so hard.


First thing that came to hand.
First thing that came to hand.

So, teeth gritted and with a seriously “Don’t mess with ME…” attitude…


Patterns used - Flux, Brella, A's and 3 giant Rixty.
Patterns used – Flux, Brella, A’s and 3 giant Rixty.



7 thoughts on “Spring is sprung. Possibly.

  1. Brilliant blog Love everything.(The hair clip not quite so much) The trio of butterflies is brilliant, must have that stencil.Lovely to meet your daughter and grandson. Hope I didn’t out stay my welcome .Your cousin is very welcome to come on Friday.Love Ann

    1. hi Ann

      My cousin will be coming, I’m pretty sure and, if you like I’ll bring the stencil for you to borrow for a week or so. I won’t need it again until about the 25th. Are we going to do some beading at yours? Looking forward to seeing you,


  2. So many beautiful works of art!!! Let’s stick to the challenge piece: I love this one, and what a fun idea to use a hair-clip. And I really LOVE the first one, with the two circles.

  3. Good heavens, Woman, you are impressively productive. Good job making lemonade out of lemons. Your black splotch resulted in an inspiring tangle of your hair clip. If you didn’t have the splotch, maybe the zipper effect wouldn’t be so obvious. Your butterflies are special!

  4. Maggie…your creations today are so inspiring! I look forward to seeing your blog each week. I am amazed at how busy your social/family life is and yet you still seem to be so productive with your crafts. Love your first “clip” tangleation for the diva’s challenge….I think it’s the one you didn’t like. But I always tell people that we are our own worst critics because we have in our minds how we wanted it to turn out and when others see it they don’t have a clue what we wanted and just accept it for the beauty that they perceive. Truly wonderful creations.

  5. Maggie, I loved all of your creations. The steampunky one was all kinds of fun for me because I absolutely love all things steampunk, just not too good at drawing them. The hair clips looked like they would present quite a challenge. I find as I visit the blogs this week, the items that people used for their string really pointed out to me just how creative a group this is. Both of your “clip” strings look good to me and I to kind of like the zipper-y one. The last one if inspired. Great work on all of them!

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