Sunday, 30 October 2016

Bristol Urban Sketchers October Meet up

 Last weekend I met up with the Bristol Urban Sketchers. 
They are a really inspirational group and even though I have only just started drawing they are really welcoming and I have been trying to get to their meet ups each month since I started back in January.

Octobers meeting took place at Millennium Square in Bristol.  It is a great space with @Bristol (a science based exhibition and education center)  and the large mirrored sphere (pictured here) is actually a 3D planetarium!  Next to it is a sculpture of a tree which is actually made from solar panels and is free for people to plug into and charge their electronic devices whilst they sit there are take in the views.

I decided to sit for a while and drawer the scene, not the easiest but an enjoyable 30 odd minutes sat sketching and watching people.

This is also where the harbourside is.  Bristol is still a busy harbour and there are boats people live on, tourist vessels, water taxi's, working vessels as well as beautiful replicas such as the wooden boat the Matthew and of course the SS Great Britain.

I decided to do a quick sketch of a boat whilst I was walking along the harbourside 

After we have all sketched we meet up to share our sketches and usually grab some lunch or a cuppa.  This time whilst we were sat in the cafe a group of people on the next table all burst into song..they were an acapella group about to sing at a wedding in the Cathedral and were warming up!  I don't think the tourists could quite believe, all us sketchers with our kits etc and then the singers on the very next table!!

This is the group shot my hubby kindly took.  The umbrella was won in a silent auction by fellow sketcher, Ed, and has been sketched all over!  A brilliant idea.

As a new sketcher I was uncomfortable in sharing and joining a group, but I am so glad I did and recommend it.  
There are SO many different styles that each time I see or learn something new.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Scrap box and maltese flowers

Now, I am sure I am not the only one-crafters are a resourceful lot and rarely throw things out.  I for one am often re-purposing items and this is another one of those occassions.

These cards are made with papers from my scrap box (which I swear is getting bigger each time I talk into the room-it's like the childrens story book of the Magic Porridge Pot!) and the poppies are made from the fabric petals that the hotel in Malta decorated our room with on our Wedding Anniversary!

I thought I would try selling them at work and see if I can raise some money for the British Legion. I am hoping I can sell some before they come round with the collection boxes (we often get the motorcycle branch of the British Legion call in at work, with all their huge motorbikes decked with poppies, it always looks great).

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Hump day again so that means 'What's on your Workdesk Wednesday' where we all visit the lovely Julia's page (link over on the right) and bare our desks.

On my desk this week is actually some crafting! I know, shocking isn't it!!  To be honest the past few evenings has been spent trying to sort out some of my unused stash ready to take to the WOYWW crop next month to see if I can raise some money for charity.  So far I have stamps, some paints, scrap booking papers and a few punches.

On my desk this week is a card I am making for a friend who is getting married (three weeks notice!  How romantic is that-I love it, no pre wedding stresses) so I can't show the finished card until a couple of weeks!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards are ' Angel Weeps for Tycoon'-now I don't know if this is a 
Dr Who reference or the fact that many of us are weeping at the reality that america may just be about to vote for a tycoon (I will be polite and not say what I think about him) to have control over the nuclear button!  

Thank goodness for crafting and the escapism that it provides!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Routine and Inktober

On boxing day I decided to try to do a daily walk.  Each day I walk, sometimes only short (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis so if I am in flare then movement is difficult) other days longer.  Sometimes it is at lunchtimes, others after work or even around the hospital grounds during my appointments.  I have managed one most days this year and I feel it has done me the world of good.  Routine based around something for ME is a new concept so I decided to add to this by taking part in Inktober. 

Inktober was started in 2009 by Jake Parker.
The idea is that you draw, in ink, every day for the month of October.

Full details can be found on his website here

I decided that I would do a quick sketch (no longer than two minutes-that way I had a chance to do one everyday) of a robot on a tag (they are all held together on a ring so take up very little room in my handbag).

There is a published list of prompts in case you run out of ideas and I have decided to use these prompts to make my life easier.

These are some of my tags that I have already drawn. 
 Each day I post my latest one on my instagram page here

Very simple but a daily sketch has forced my hand to do something I haven't tried before and I am enjoying doing it.

Do you have any routines you enjoy doing, just for the sake of it?


Friday, 21 October 2016

Journal page

This is one of my latest travel journal pages.
I painted it in watercolours whilst travelling back from my Nieces Birthday party.

Can you guess how old she was?

I find journaling whilst travelling, especially with watercolours helps the time pass, especially since there appears to be so many engineering works on the railways at the moment.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


 Hump day can only mean one thing...What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Well after unpacking from my hols, doing a ton of washing and now the inevitable ironing mountain where the bleating of the odd mountain goat can be heard muffled by a shirt or two I have finally managed to get round to blogging (not crafting, but at least blogging).

On my desk this week is a lovely card and some feathers that a friend sent me (waves at Carolyn). I have no idea what to do with them but I am sure that inspiration will strike at some point (maybe for some art abandonment).

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Hero Reveal Fake Cop'.

Happy crafting


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Craft show stash

I have been absent for a short while.  Work, holiday, blah, know how it goes.
If you follow me on instagram (kylacotterell) then you would have seen my capers and art abandonments etc over the past few weeks.  I am slowly uploading the photos and will update my blog soon.

At the weekend I went for a Coven outing to the Shepton Mallet craft show.  I was lucky enough to be given a couple of tickets from the organisers as they used my photo on their publicity (ooh, get me!!) and I contacted them and they were very obliging.

I was being smug as I only spent £1 on craft.  The fat quarter hidden in the middle of the photo.  I kept walking past the Dinky Screens stall.  A couple of young ladies from Bristol and this was their first show.  Having done some screen printing in the past I was really taken with their compact and contemporary set up.  I chatted to them, wandered off and ended up back at the stall on 3 separate occasions!

As we went to leave to return home I decided it was fate as I walked past them again....out came the cash....purchase made!!  I chose the 'Bristol' stencil collection.  I live near a steam railway and we have the balloons going over us regularly so it seemed really appropriate.

I am looking forward to playing with this.

My only new stash for several months (apart from a couple of magazines and a replacement watercolour paint)....but we do have the NEC only a few weeks away!
Happy crafting


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Urban Sketchers at the farm

 If you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen these but I was a little slow in blogging them.  Two weeks ago I attended the meet up of the Bristol Urban Sketchers. 

 I have been to a few of their meet ups and its always a lovely group at a local spot, a cuppa and a chat then some sketching and then sharing of ideas etc over a cuppa and maybe some lunch afterwards-very refined.  
This event was at the Windmill Hill City Farm (which only last week end celebrated its 40th Anniversary) and somewhere I have never been.

The wall outside was painted by a local artists Andy Council (I have always been a fan of his work and was even lucky enough to go to his house at a local open art event a few years ago).

 There was so much to see and do from allotments, to chickens, pigs and goats.  I found the goats to be particularly delightful as they stuck their heads through the fence to play with passers by so ended up sketching at that spot for most of the time.

 I also decided to paint a watercolour postcard of the largest goat whilst I was there and leave it as part of the Art Abandonment project (search for the group on FB if you'd like more details)

On the way back into town my husband noticed the Arnofini art gallery has a stamp carving workshop for free and it was just a case of turn up and carve-everything you need was provided.  So I couldn't turn that down so I carved a face which reminded me a little of the Studio Ghibli character Calcifer!  I decided to sketch the process in my journal whilst I was on the bus home (never a missed opportunity).
I recommend local Urban Sketchers groups, they are great way of learning from others and it's always nice to meet up with like minded people.

Happy crafting