Monthly Archives: November 2013



I was very pleased to receive this award from Deborah at Container Chronicles.

I do try to keep my posts concise and to the point, which is what this award is all about .

In accepting the award I need to tell you 8 things about myself , nominate 8 other blogs that I feel also say what they mean without waffling on, and let them know they have been nominated.

8 Things about me

1. I love public libraries, and when I see one I have to go inside. I find them relaxing places and can happily spend an afternoon mooching around.

2.I once worked as a photographer in New Zealand.

3. I miss not having any Indian restaurants where I live , as it is my favourite food.

4. I have just started to enjoy the taste of coffee.

5. My favourite car is a mini( I have owned 5)

6. I have lived in Portugal for just over 2 years now, and love it.

7. I enjoy many types of music, but for some unknown reason I tend to listen to Irish music when I am making and creating.

8. I will be spending Xmas day in England this year.

The 8 blogs I have nominated are

Congratulations to you all .

After a busy week of crafting, it’s holiday time !

I have had a very busy week sorting out pieces of jewellery and cards, for a Xmas exhibition. It is amazing when the clock is ticking what you can get done, and ideas that have been floating in my head for a long time turned into actions this week

The exhibition starts tomorrow in the Gois Tourist office. Unfortunately I am not around for the opening , as I will be heading to Lisbon to catch a flight to England for a holiday.

I can’t imagine a month without making and creating in some way, so I have packed my calligraphy pens and hope to get some practise in. I am also looking forward to visiting a few galleries, craft markets and maybe buying a few arty crafty bits and pieces whilst there.

In the meantime here are some photos of what has kept me busy this week.

Not bad for a weeks work !

Now I must go and finish packing my suitcase .

Acrylic painting – Why my painting makes me think of Braveheart

A month or so ago I went on a wonderful mountain walk, and was able to see for miles into the distance. I took lots of photos, but wanted to try to capture it with paint.

I also thought it was a good lesson in aerial perspective ; creating depth by using colour and varying the amount of detail.

schist village walk 016

I started off quite well, getting in the distant hills and painting in the basic shapes and colours.

I made the distant hills a more blue purple colour merging them with the sky, and gradually made the nearer hills more yellow green.

One rule of aerial perspective is that distant hills are lighter and have a more blue colour to them

Another “rule” is to make the foreground more detailed than the background.

That’s when I realized I did not have anything in the foreground of interest to make detailed ! WHOOPS ! A bit of an error as far as composition !

The real foreground was grass, shrubs and a few small rocks. I was not confident I could make the grass and stuff detailed and textured enough to give it life, and make the foreground interesting. So I left it on my easel, whist I had a think.

It sat there for a few weeks, as I made polymer beads, practised calligraphy, and struggled to decide whether to leave it, start another, paint over it or just have a go at painting foreground grass .

I still didn’t feel painting grass was enough, so once I had a brush back in my hand I did instead.


As I had started my painting based on an actual landscape, part of me felt I was cheating by painting a “fictitious” tree. However, that feeling soon disappeared, and the feeling of “it’s my painting and I can paint whatever” took over.

After I had painted in the tree I starting thinking about books and films, and their inaccurate portrayal of factual events.

I decided this painting is a bit like Braveheart . Inspired by actual events, but nothing like the real thing ! (At least my painting doesn’t have a terrible attempt at a Scottish accent)

I am much happier with it since adding the tree, although I still feel it’s a bit dull.

Maybe next week I’ll paint in a purple goat or two !

Polymer clay – making lentil beads

A friend gave me an off cut of thick Perspex this week, so I thought I would have another crack at making lentil beads.

A lentil bead is a round flattened bead, with a slight convex surface (like a chocolate minstrel)

assorted 078

I saw a blog or pinterest page showing someone making them with a plastic CD cover a while back. As I had a CD case( but no Perspex) I had a go but after a few failures attempts,I managed to crack the cd and decided to leave it ’til I had a bit of Perspex.

So with my perspex in hand I checked out a great tutorial at
and had a go.

Basically you take a ball of clay, and roll it between a piece of Perspex and the table in a clock wise circular movement.
The more turns you make the swirlier the pattern becomes. The harder you press the more flat it becomes.

The Perspex worked better than the cd case.

I still have a way to go to get them perfect, but they came out better than my earlier attempts.


1. Don’t press down too hard, until the bead pattern is almost how you want it, otherwise it becomes a lentil before you’re ready
2. Be patient. I was expecting the colours to swirl after 20 or so turns, but it took more like 150 !
3. If it goes wrong,try to keep the pattern on the top of the clay, make it back into a ball and have another go
4. If you turn the bead over then you must move the Perspex in an anti clockwise motion
5. You can use any odd bits of clay for the ball, as long as you cover it over with some nice coloured clay.
6. When you make big circle motions the bead becomes more pointy ( known as a bi- cone shape)
7. The smaller the circles the more flat and smooth it makes the bead

8. It is possible to make holes in the bead before baking, but it alters the edge shape

9. It is hard to know how the colours and patterns will turn out

10. it is addictive !

Once they are baked , I think it is going to be a challenge trying to drill them edge to edge… but will have a play and let you know !