Back Into the Swing…

Not quite sure what to do with this. Does it need more patterns or is that enough?  Or should I cut it up and use it on cards? For the moment it’s going into a journal, I think.

Up until last week it had been a while since I posted anything, so there’s still a lot to catch up on. We haven’t travelled a lot outside the UK since June, when we went to Bulgaria for a seaside break. It’s not somewhere we’ve been before and I don’t think we’ll go again. To be fair, we barely left the resort, except for a wonderful boat trip across the bay to the nearby town of  Nessebar, which was unbelievably beautiful. For the most part, our hotel was fine, except the staff seemed to be saving their smiles for someone else. It took a week before we got a genuine response.  However, the beach was amazing and the sea was both warm and calm, so we spent hours in it. (One of the reasons for staying close to “home” a lot of the time. )

One of the side streets in Nessebar.
Some of the hand made crafts for sale there.
Looking from our table at lunchtime
My lunch that day . And the loved one had something similar. It cost under $15.00 for the two of us.
The view of Nessebar as we approached on the boat.

We walked a fair bit around the resort and found a couple of nice bars for coffee/snacks/beer, which were staggeringly cheap.  In retrospect I think we would have been happier in an apartment rather than an hotel but who knows?  So why wouldn’t we go back? Because we felt that the place was geared towards a younger, rowdier guest than we are.  (We were staying in Sunny Beach, a purpose built holiday town, not Nessebar, which I think would have suited us better.) I think  we found the place too noisy, both in terms of music and just “normal” conversation. People seemed to lack any concept of personal space and everyone seemed to be shouting at each other. Every conversation seemed to be on the verge of turning into an argument. Perhaps it’s my tolerance levels that need a boost.Better get some tangling done.

The tangling has been on the back burner a lot of the time as I have been trying new, well, new to me, skills. I’ve been continuing my exploration of mixed media and art journalling but am a little discouraged at the moment. Unlike Zentangle, it helps to have an end result in sight and my finished product tends to fall woefully short of my anticipated version. I am disappointed more often than not. The thing is, it’s not enough for me to have tried, I need an end result that satisfies me and most of mine don’t. I know it’s my mental approach that isn’t right but it is how I approach things and that’s that! Discouraged or not, I will keep on for a while yet because every now and then I see signs of improvement.

Over the Summer I have a done a lot of crochet, mainly shawls and toys and this is something I CAN do. I started a bag for use at the beach but then got sidetracked onto a baby blanket for my son’s wife’s brother’s new baby. (Did you keep up with that?) In fact I have done more starting than finishing and really need to get my act together. The crochet does please me because i actually end up with what I pictured at the start.

In addition, I’ve made quite a few cards using the Creations CeeCee methods and this has been a lot of fun. (I’ve got about 15 Christmas cards done so far, just another 3245 to go!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers, stars and baubles are made from card I painted and then cut into shapes.  In fact, they’re made from pages from the failed art journals, which look a lot better cut up than they did as pages! The flowers were done by hand, the baubles and stars on a Big Shot die cutting machine. I’m happy with them because they are hand made but fairly quick to do.

A couple of friends came round one afternoon and we used to same method to make greeting cards to sell for charity and it gave me an idea. I have lots of Zentangle pieces that I could cut up and use like this on cards, which might make me a bit of space in my craft room. Hmmmmm! I’ll let you know how I get on with that at a later date.

dav
In the back garden of the Royal Hop Pole

We did a UK road trip in August, going down first to Tewkesbury and  staying overnight at The Royal Hop Pole, which is where Charles Dickens set part of The Pickwick Papers. It’s absolutely lovely and I would highly recommend it. Tewkesbury itself is a very pretty town, with a lot of old buildings and an abbey too. It’s renowned in UK history as being the site of one of the most decisive battles during the Wars of the Roses and I really enjoyed our visit.  These are some pics of the inside of the Abbey and about the streets of the town.

This ceiling is painted in the colours of the House of York, who won the battle in 14 umpty something.
That Zentangle gets everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of several examples of Tudor buildings. (Possibly earlier.)
these little alleys between the houses lead to tiny courtyards, many filled with pots of flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I said, a lovely place to visit.

Apart from the various swaps I’ve been doing, there hasn’t really been a lot of Zentangle, so I really enjoyed picking up the two Diva Challenges last week and just letting go. I’m hoping this week is just as pleasurable.

LATER

 

And indeed it was. Straight lines.

Weekly Challenge #368: “Straight Lines”
This week i wanted to do something with straight lines.  little straight lines are my go to when i’m feeling stressed out or anxious… and it was a pretty harrowing week.  So i thought for this week’s challenge we could do a Straight Line Only challenge!! these can be quite fun, and there’s different ways to interpret the challenge!

I forgot to mention Fentz, which I used as a string in the middle bit.

I followed Laura’s lead and used a curved string with Baton, Hexonu, Paradox and Irradial.  I can’t say the finished tile is visually particularly satisfying but the process was, so that’s OK.

And so, for now, I’ll say a fond farewell and rember,  be good -ish.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Back Into the Swing…

  1. So much beautiful stuff to look at! I LOVE the first you show here; just leave it like it is and frame it! I also love the (blueish) Christmas cards, may ‘borrow’ that idea. And the Diva tile is beautiful too.

  2. Lovely work Margaret 😍 That first piece is perfect just the way it is! I love all of your CeeCee inspired cards. I have a box of old reject/underwhelming tiles waiting for a slap of paint and a pair of scissors…and a dream of a garden of “pretties” 😉 You should check out the videos by Cat Hand for some very inspiring mixed media tutorials. Her Mixed Media Morsels series is especially addictive.
    Thanks for sharing your holiday pics. I love your travelogues.

  3. Welcome back to the cybersphere! Bulgaria is on our future travel list because both my husband’s parents were born there. Fortunately, they managed to leave in 1940, as Europe was descending into Hell for the 2nd time in the 20th century. They actually met and married in the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Excitement will follow your advice and stay away from seaside resorts. If they were too rowdy for you, I imagine we would be similarly unimpressed.

    As someone else said, I think your first composition is fine just the way it is. Sometimes it’s hard to see that more isn’t more in our own work. As usual, your crocheting prowess is admirable and I like that you still do “real” Christmas cards. I’m afraid ours have devolved into the online variety.

    Striving to remain “goodish”,

    Suzanne

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