Art in August #22 – Fingerpaint Dragon

Fingerpaint App Dragon

Fingerpaint App Dragon

At 6.30am this morning I still didn’t have a clue what my Art was going to be for today, as I crawled into bed exhausted at 9.30pm last night and spent some time with Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

I thought about using a photo of the kids and photo-shopping it, but I haven’t taken anything special recently. I trawled through my KidsDoodle pictures but I’m a bit bored of that app. And then I spotted a new one in the children’s games folder on the iPad. Fingerpaint.

This app is even more beautiful, annoying and uncontrollable than KidsDoodle. On this one, not only does the colour change randomly mid-stroke, but – depending on the force of your finger stroke – tendrils of colour run off in different directions. I chose ‘pencil’ and so the tendrils were delicate coloured pencil lines that I ache to be able to create in real life.

Oh to be a child of today, with all these amazing ways to create vibrant pictures. Of course, not being a child, I found the lack of control hugely frustrating. It took around thirty attempts to get this dragon. Still, it’s the process, not the end-product, that’s important, right?


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What’s Possible Today?

Amanda Martin (writermummy):

I absolutely love this post. Carpe Diem.

Originally posted on Must Be This Tall To Ride:

Possibilities word cloud

Marital status aside—my life looks a lot like I thought it would when I was growing up.

I live in the Ohio suburbs. I’m middle class. My child goes to Catholic school now, just like I did.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really know what marriage would look and feel like, so I didn’t spend a great deal of time imagining it.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really understand what separates the financial winners from the losers. And I still don’t. I often feel like a complete failure. But compared to many people (the statistical majority, actually), I’m really doing quite well.

I hold myself to pretty high standards. And maybe that’s not psychologically healthy. But I don’t know how to quit. And I’m not sure I’d want to if I did.

Ask me why I’m 35 and have never been promoted at any of my…

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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Parenting


Art in August #21 – Shark Week Cat

Cat in a shark hat

Cat in a shark hat

At 10pm this evening I remembered I hadn’t done anything for my Art in August post due to go live tomorrow morning, and the only loom-banding I’ve done today is triple fish band bracelets, because it’s been a day of coffee shop catch ups, kids play dates, and medical appointments (new glasses and high blood pressure anyone?)

I saw this adorable photo of a cat in a shark hat earlier (while hubbie was watching some awful movie about a giant shark, ironically), from The Cat House on the Facebook page, so I put my loom down and looked for my pencils.

Unfortunately the best I could come up with was an Ikea pencil (those freebie ones you’re meant to hand back at the till – the kids never do) and a black pencil crayon that quickly went blunt.

Fifty minutes later I’d managed this.

Including original

Including original

I’m pleased enough, considering the time and materials I had to work with, (although of course a workman never blames his tools or lack of).

I haven’t managed to capture the adorable shocked expression, but at least you can tell it’s a cat (even if you can’t tell the hat is a shark!) I used to love drawing cats, especially their eyes, so it was nice to have a go.

Anyway, time for bed. Thanks for sticking with me so far with my random artistic efforts, and thanks for a fab idea, Laptop on the Ironing Board!

(And, hey, my new Class Act front cover seems to have attracted a couple of Kindle Library borrows – my first this month – so that was worth the effort! Let’s hope for a few more…)


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Art in August #20 – Kingfisher Doodle

Doodle kingfisher

Doodle kingfisher

I spent most of the day at the park today. We haven’t been once this holiday and, as the kids were playing nicely, I tried to work out why. Then I remembered that even walking from the car and sitting on a bench for an hour would have exhausted me a week ago. Let’s hope our three-hour visit today means I’m getting better.

Daughter also went into her holiday club without tears today, making me very proud. I got to have a couple of hours with my son on his own for the first time in weeks and, I admit, it was nice. I love my children equally, but I fight less with my son and we see the world more the same way.

I’m hoping a little bit of one-on-one might curb the increase in tantrums, too, though I doubt it. If it fixed his new habit of going to the toilet every ten minutes (and I mean every ten minutes…) I’d be ecstatic. I’m taking him to the docs about it later in the week, but I’m 99% certain it’s psychological. When you and your hubbie have a history of mental health issues, even little hiccups like that can be frightening. I dread my children ending up on meds too.

Anyway, I did some doodles at the park and while the kids were eating ice cream in the Kingfisher Cafe, and this was my favourite.


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Art in August #19 – Neon Rothko

Neon Rothko

Neon Rothko

Today was all about my little girl growing up and being brave so I thought I’d do some doodles based on her old class name, Rothko. Much like any abstract art, this was much harder than the end result would suggest, especially as you get a different colour with every tap when using the KidsDoodle app.

I don’t know much about art – I only studied it to age 16 at school and we didn’t cover art history – which always comes as a shock/disappointment to people when they find out I paint but haven’t heard of their favourite artist. A bit like when you study history at uni and everyone assumes you can answer any pub quiz question regardless of time period. Or like being a writer and having people say, ‘will I have heard of you?’ when you tell them what you do. Anyway, I digress.

At my daughter’s school, all tutor groups are named after famous artists and I’ve heard of only a handful. Thankfully she’s in Picasso next year although I only realised I was telling her how to spell it wrong when we parked next to a Citroen Picasso at the supermarket (I’d guessed at one s and two cs).

'Blue, Red, And Green'

‘Blue, Red, And Green’

However, as it happens, I had heard of Rothko before it became my daughter’s tutor group. Ironically I found out who he was several years ago, via an analyst I used to work with, who asked me to paint a Rothko replica. I wouldn’t, because he was paying me, and that felt wrong, but my style isn’t a million miles away from Rothko so I did something in the spirit of the picture he was after, after Googling who on earth Rothko was.

I have to say, I do love Rothko’s style. Deceptively simple and incredibly soothing. I’d have them on my wall.

So, today, for my daughter who went to holiday club, despite dreading it for weeks, and didn’t hide under the table (as threatened), and stopped sobbing and screaming almost as soon as I left (I thought she would, but it’s still hard leaving a near-hysterical child), and who came out three hours later all smiles, this is for you. Mummy’s twenty-first century interpretation of Rothko’s ‘Blue, Red and Green’.


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Art in August #18 – New Class Act Cover

New Class Act Cover

New Class Act Cover

I finally decided on a new cover for Class Act (because I’m impatient like that). It’s by the same photographer as the most popular of the six I posted before, although in this one the daisies and heart are a bit clearer. Yes it doesn’t have people on, and doesn’t really scream romance, and yes it doesn’t explain the title (Sorry, Rinelle, your advice was good and I did try to find my perfect shot, with paint brushes and theatre tickets and daisies and people holding hands, but after four hours I admitted defeat.).

It does at least have daisies and a heart, so hopefully says romance a bit more than the previous cover, and I think it sits nicely alongside Baby Blues & Wedding Shoes, so it will do for now! It can’t do any worse than the current one, I haven’t had so much as a borrow this month, despite the new Kindle Owners Lending Library. The only question is whether to change my Goodreads Giveaway, or let it run with the original cover. I’ve had so few people sign up so far, I’m thinking of the latter.

That’s about it for the art today. It turns out my mum doesn’t have a virus, she’s just topsy turvy on sleep from watching too much sport (she says she’s regressed to being a teenager) so I have to accept I’m not ill either. Just stressed and all-parented-out. At least hopefully that means I’ll feel better when the darlings go back to school. Only nineteen days to go, not that I’m counting. ;)


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Art in August #17 – Loomband Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloon and passenger

Hot air balloon and passenger

I had so much fun making my loom-less flower (using only the hook) that I decided to make this hot air balloon using a tutorial by the same person, FeelinSpiffy/Crafting Fantastic.

It took quite a long time for me to get the hang of it, and even longer to finish (it uses a lot of bands). Mine doesn’t stand up too well, I think because the jelly bands are so bulky. I wouldn’t have used them, but they were all I got in my last bulk order – unfortunately the cheaper the bands are, the less choice you get about what turns up!

In the original tutorial, Ellen (I think that’s her name) uses one of her super-cute turtles as passenger (and weight, to help it stand up), but my kids insisted on these penguins instead, using a DIY Mommy tutorial. They’re much easier to make, but the black doesn’t show up too well.

Hot air balloon with penguin

Hot air balloon with penguin

Of course my son wants a hot air balloon now, in green and black, although I doubt he’ll ever play with it. I’m having to take it easy though, as, even more than using the loom, this hook-only stuff kills my neck and strains my eyes. I feel 100 years old today.

Actually, hubbie and I are both shattered. Hubbie finished work on Friday, so has that post-handover exhaustion, and I’ve definitely discovered the limits of my childcare ability. Three weeks and I’m ready to do pretty much anything other than listen to twelve hours of squabbling for another three weeks. At least I still have my loom bands!

I’m trying to decide what to make next. There are so many cute things on the tutorials, I want to make them all. Suggestions? :)


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