Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wild Swimmer and Wonky Watercolour

The sun came out again today, so Autumn can wait! Maybe tomorrow...

But for today, something a bit different.

Over the Summer holidays, Theo and I set ourselves a challenge - to 'wild' swim every single day of the holidays. We're so lucky where we live that this is a feasible challenge.  We have several gorgeous rivers nearby, including one within walking distance, and lots of amazing beaches. So our challenge was really a pleasure, and we managed it very happily every single day. Quite often the boys and I would walk down to the river for an evening swim to make sure we managed to fit it in the day, and twice we had to get up early and swim before breakfast. But I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single swim, even the few we had in the rain! It was a great challenge, one we're hoping to repeat again next year - and Sam and Venetia want to be part of it too then (Sam was poorly right at the start of the holidays so he wasn't officially in on it after that this year, but he did swim almost every day).

Anyway, I wanted to make something for Theo as a momento of our Summer's swimming. I thought at first I'd like to do a fabric picture of a scene from our river with a little Theo figure sitting next to the river. I started it, but really wasn't happy with how it was going.

This was a very rough sketch of how Theo would look on it.

It just looked nothing like I wanted, and I couldn't see it improving enough with more stitching. So then I thought maybe I'd try to do Theo's head sticking out of the sea instead. I used wool and machine emboidered detail on there.

I was quite impressed with it in lots of ways, but it really wasn't Theo!

I was nearly on the point of abandoning the idea when I decided I'd try something completely different and have a go at painting a picture instead. I'm not sure why I came up with this, it does seem like a slightly crazy idea now. And it didn't start out brilliantly either, my initial rough sketch didn't shout Theo at me too much but I decided to slap some paint on anyway and see how it went. Painting is not something I've ever done (except with the children), and my effort is probably woefully poor in many ways, but, as I painted, I did, miraculously, feel like there was a glimmer of Theo coming through. And I'm reasonably happy with my end result.

Certainly I much prefer it to my fabric attempts. I don't know yet what Theo will make of it, but at least when Harry looked at it he recognised that it was supposed to be Theo! And I think it was good to try something different for a change.

I've also retaken photos of my peacock quilt today (for my Facebook page), I really wasn't happy with my previous photos. But to be fair, rain was hammering down all day last time I tried. Today the sun was shining so I took it outside and dangled it from a tree! Much better, do you think?

Got to go now, back tomorrow, Sally.

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