Tag Archives: craft

Knitting – Dollies

It’s been a while since I posted about the amigurumi knitting I did, so I thought I’d share a bit more of my crafty world with you. Knowing how I like to knit, my lovely London sister sent me a copy of “Knit Your Own Royal Wedding” by Fiona Goble. (This was back in 2011, as a tribute to the wedding of Kate and Will.)

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding - Fiona Goble

I have gorgeous twin nieces, and I thought they might love to have a dolly each with a wardrobe of clothes!

The need for decoration on these tiny clothes saw me feverishly collecting sequins, buttons, ribbons and all manner of other embellishments – I love a good excuse to make a new stash!

Fiona’s book is beautiful, her instructions are clear and concise, and shoes, hats and handbags abound.

Knitted Dollies

I adored creating these girls for my pair of sweeties. Who knows, one day I may just get busy and make them little dolly husbands – and corgis!  🙂

painting miniatures ~ and other artistic pursuits

When I was younger, I had no idea that I had any artistic talent. In fact I thought I was devoid of it – that being able to ‘do art’ was something you were born with, and I wasn’t. It took me a long time to recognise some things about art.

Ogre Ninja Maneater

One of the things that started me thinking I had an artistic bone in my body was when my son encouraged me to have a go at painting his Warhammer miniatures. (Warhammer,  you ask? Picture toy soldiers meet Dungeons and Dragons meets chess.) These guys come as little grey metal or plastic pieces (the standard ones are around 5cm high), which you have to glue together and – paint. I couldn’t paint to save myself.. could I? After a year of his cajoling and convincing, I finally gave in – and instantly discovered a passion. My early attempts weren’t the best, but I read and researched and practiced – I got better at it, and even won a prize or two for my efforts!

Warhammer Night Goblin Giant

One of the first things I realised is that art can be found in many mediums. ‘Craft’ can be a form of ‘art’. So the ability to knit and sew and embroider and crochet can all be artistic talents. Gosh, huh, who would have thunk?

Warhammer Malagor

The second thing is that artists can be made as well as born.  Painting and drawing (and all those crafty pursuits) are skills that you can learn! I amazed myself when I went from being a bad stick figure drawer, to being able to freehand draw realistic three dimensional pictures of jewellery in just a few lessons!

Warhammer Giant

The third thing is that practice makes perfect. Sure, we all know those three year olds with the freakish ability to pick up a pencil and make masterpieces – but for those of us without that fortune, just keep trying, keep experimenting. It will come!

Warhammer Shaggoth

And finally – art is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve seen some expensive ‘masterpieces’ that anyone with a sponge and some poster paint could have slapped together – and some divine works of art that go practically unrecognised. Each to their own – just have the courage to appreciate (and do) what you really like!

And if you’d like to see more of my Warhammer painting efforts from this previous life, you can visit my ‘Cool Mini or Not’ gallery. There are some TOTALLY awesome artists there if you browse a bit further afield!

Knitting – Amigurumi

Blogging about the knitting we did for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital recently got me thinking about the many other craft pursuits I have. Yes, long before becoming a silversmith, craft was already in my blood! My mum is a very creative woman, and taught me just about everything I know about most of the various handcrafts I’ve taken up. My granny is a fantastic artist, I have two of her beautiful oil paintings hanging in my home – one of them I keep in my workshop, which always inspires me! My dad loved to play the guitar, as did my uncle; my grandfather was an author, and as I’ve blogged about before, three of my ancestors were blacksmiths, just to mention a few. Lots of creative juices in there!!

Anyway, back to the knitting. Even though I’m left handed, my mum is right handed so that’s how I learned to knit, back when I was six! A few Christmases ago, she gave me the most divine book, Amigurumi Knits, by Hansi Singh.

Amigurumi Knits

Amigurumi is more often seen in crochet, but Hansi has created the most wonderful knitting patterns for all kinds of amigurumi creatures and things – everything from tomatoes and earthworms:

To octopi and deep sea black devil angler fish!

Hansi’s book is really well written, with very clear instructions. I learned so many new techniques from knitting these fabulous creatures, I feel quite competent now! Knitting – satisfying, creative, relaxing, and very Zen. Speaking of creativity running in the family, It is a shame I can’t ask my grandpa about his experience of it. I believe he wasn’t a bad knitter himself!