Pottery painting

Yep, it’s new hobby time again. Although this one will probably be much more sporadic than the others.

Last week my friend at work asked if I would like to go with her to try pottery painting, and I (being unable to resist anything crafty) said heck yes! So on Friday we went along to The Craft Pottery in the city centre.

First things first we had to select an item to paint, which sounds easy enough, but actually took us 10-15 minutes. They have so. much. choice. There are bowls and plates, mugs, egg cups, square tiles, faeries, bunnies, cookie jars, sugar skulls, camper vans, the list goes on! My friend was planning to paint a plain mug with a star wars character, but ended up choosing a novelty mug in the shape of a castle. I kept it simple and went with a little noodle bowl, although I will definitely have to go back soon to paint the ‘cup and saucer’ soup bowl I spent ages dithering over.

After noodling around on Google images earlier in the day I decided I wanted a pattern made up of little dots, and a cat peeking over an edge, but that was as specific as it got until I sat down with the blank bowl in front of me. Which made choosing colours another difficult decision.

The Craft have these clever plates on every table to show you how the colours will look.

Colours

There are so many beautiful colours I couldn’t choose just one so I went for a rainbow. You can’t go wrong with a rainbow.

And I must have been in a particularly loving mood because I decided to do a heart. Pencil marks burn off in the kiln so I sketched in the shape as a guide for my dots and got started.

I wanted pretty strong colours so each dot needed 3 coats.

At the start I was worried about the colours running or me smudging them, but the paint dries really quickly so neither was a problem.

We painted and chatted away, with occasional help and feedback for each other, and the time just flew by.

By the time I finished the inside of my bowl 2 hours had whizzed past! The £3 painters fee gets you unlimited time though, so I decided to also paint the outside of my bowl. This time keeping it simple with some rainbow stripes.

By then my friend was finishing up (I wish I’d taken a photo of her castle, it was amazing) so I just had time for a quick cheeky cat on the base of my bowl.

Then we were finished, just over 3 hours later! We left our goodies where they were, paid for our pieces, and headed out for a coffee. The staff will glaze and fire them and we’ll go back later this week to collect our finished items. I’m so excited to see what the colours look like.

So if you’re ever in Glasgow I highly recommend checking out The Craft Pottery. It’s super fun and really quite relaxing, plus you get to take home your very own work of art at the end of it.

Hannah

xXx

New Zealand round-up

I’ve tried not to be too quiet over the last couple of weeks, but I was rather busy being on my travels! This is going to be a loooong post with very little crafting involved, so feel free to skim read/just look at the pictures/come back tomorrow when I get back to crochet.

Here we go!

Before I even got to New Zealand, I had a 10-hour stopover in Sydney. Luckily, you need a visa to be in the country more than 8 hours so I was allowed to leave the airport and got to spend a lot of that time outside.

Having come from snow and single digit temperatures in Scotland, I actually enjoyed the feeling of heat hitting me like a toasty wall. My plan had been to find a café not far from the airport and go there for some coffee and food, but it was just too gorgeous to be inside so I found a pretty bench by the river, slapped on some sun cream and sat in the sun.

Then it was off to Christchurch. I landed just before a tropical storm, and kiwis don’t seem to have the Scottish attitude to rain (if you only go out when the rain stops, you’ll never go out) so my first couple of days were spent getting over the travel, catching up with my Aunty, and getting to know the fiancé and his children.

When the skies cleared I went out for a run

We went for a drive to Akaroa, a harbour town across the mountains. I took over 100 photos of the scenery along the way.

Akaroa is gorgeous, as well as boasting not one, but two fudge shops, and a yarn shop!

On the way home we called at Birdling’s Flat, where a shelf at the end of the beach makes the sea boom like thunder as it throws up enormous waves. It’s amazing, but it does remind me why I’m terrified of the sea.

Next day we had lunch at the Botanic Gardens

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and I went for a wander around the city centre. There is art everywhere in the centre, from graffiti-style paintings

 

To serious monuments

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To funny little pieces of indeterminate use

It’s a square sheep. Of course…

 

I saw the Cardboard Cathedral, the ‘spire’, and New Regent Street, before making my way home for a girls night in.

Saturday was the big day, the whole reason I was in New Zealand; my Aunty’s wedding. It was a lovely sunny day with a breeze so it never got too hot, everyone looked beautiful, and it was just the most lovely, relaxed, enjoyable wedding I’ve ever been to.

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This is my favourite photo of the whole day

 

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And this is my second favourite 😉

 

 

Of course I cried all the way through the ceremony, I am so like my mother. But I learned the trick long ago of not putting any make up under my eyes so I managed to avoid the panda look.

The next day a few people came over for a barbecue and we sat in the sunshine chatting for hours and hours.

Then late afternoon we went for a wee trip to New Brighton.

It was a bit windy.

Then we had a quieter day at home to recover, which Whisky the dog enjoyed very much. Fun story – I went to visit my Aunty 4 years ago and Whisky decided I belonged to him; he followed me everywhere I went, and jumped up and barked at anyone who tried to touch me (a bit of an issue when you like hugs as much as I do). I thought 4 years was a long time for a dog and he would probably have forgotten me, but I was so wrong! I had two shadows the whole time I was there.

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My second shadow

 

That’s the best picture I could get, because he was never far away enough to photograph him properly!

The next day was a bit of an experience. I never do very well on buses, and at 30 years old I really should know better by now, but in a moment of madness I tried to get a bus to the art gallery. It didn’t take the route I was expecting at all, but instead of getting off when it turned into an area I didn’t recognise, I sat there hoping it would turn back and start heading where I wanted to go. You can guess how that turned out. When I finally gave up and got off, it took me around 45 minutes to walk to the gallery.

It was worth the walk though, I do love me some art and I even got to join in with a piece!

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Plus they had an excellent café.

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Then (deep breath) I had to get the bus home again. Long story short; I took a wrong turning, ended up walking for over an hour through streets I’d never seen before, and I actually cried when I finally saw the bus stop I needed.

When I finally made it home and collapsed into a chair, Fitbit told me I’d walked 7.3 miles and taken over 17,000 steps. I slept well that night.

My last day in Christchurch came around far too fast. For my last trip, my Aunty took me to Halswell Quarry Park for a last bit of Hobbiton lookalike scenery and sunshine. We did the gentle walk so my poor knackered legs didn’t fall off.

And finished it all off with an amazing iced coffee and a slice of cake.

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Now I’m back and I have to say it’s surprising how quickly you can get used to the heat. We’re dealing with the tail end of the Beast from the East in Scotland and I just cannot get warm, despite being pretty hardy before I left! It is good to be home though. Much as I love NZ, this is where I belong. Three feet of snow and all.

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 28.02.18

Current WIP count: 6

I’m going to apologise right now for today’s WIP photo, it is actually awful, but I will try to make up for it with some gorgeous NZ photos as well!

I’ve been chugging away with my chevron blanket, getting a few rows in on the bus and over a cup of tea. Now the pattern is becoming more obvious

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I really should get some of those ends sorted, shouldn’t I?

Now, to New Zealand! Yesterday I went to the art gallery in the city.

And in the art gallery, I found a crochet piece.

It’s the moon, made from crocheted ‘craters’ made by members of the public!! And it’s an ongoing project, so they had hooks and yarn sitting there for anyone who fancied making their own!

Of course I couldn’t resist.

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My crochet crater

I handed it in, and at some point my crater will be added to the piece. I can’t believe I’m going to be part of a work of art!

Then I went sightseeing:

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I begin my flight home obscenely early on Thursday morning, and I’ll do a full NZ debrief when I get back. Be prepared for an overload of utterly gorgeous photos.

So that’s been my crochet week, how’s everyone else doing? Got some WIPs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx