31 December 2020

This December I have been mostly...

Doing:

I watched a live musical, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, about the painter Marc Chagall and his wife Bella. It was by Wise Children who had also done Romantics Anonymous which I watched a few months ago, and it starred Marc Antolin who'd been in Romantics Anonymous, and Audrey Brisson who was in Amelie which I saw in Glasgow last year. It was a beautiful show with gorgeous singing, lighting, and choreography.

I watched another live online Hue and Cry concert, this one with a Christmassy theme, and with Pat Kane's daughter Eleanor as a special guest. I also watched a live Roddy Woomble concert online, which was great, and he did sang my favourite Idlewild song. Unfortunately with an online concert I could not nip backstage as I usually do to say hello to him (our dads were at uni together)!

I had a lovely relaxing Christmas with my family. We are an extended household, so it's OK for me to spend both Christmas and New Year at their house! I've been on lots of walks, including some to look at the local Christmas lights on people's houses. For the first time in my adult life I did not go shopping in Edinburgh during the Christmas holidays.

Making:

I did more of the Painting with Fonts sessions with Typetasting.

I did an online Shaun the Sheep making workshop with Aardman Animations and the National Galleries of Scotland. I was worried it might be a bit simplistic and geared towards children, but it was actually really good and there were lots of great tips. I've been working with polymer clay for almost 40 years and this was the first time I'd used cocktail sticks to join parts together! It was interesting to hear how the angle of his ears changes his mood, and I'll be watching out for that next time I watch him on TV! I think I made his legs a bit chunky, but it would actually be fairly simple to take them off and make new ones.

I drew a couple of bauble designs for a competition by I am Acrylic, and they loved all the entries so much that they decided to make one for each entrant! They made two live on Instagram, and the first of those was mine! He is Bob the bobble-hatted bauble.

I also took part in a project by Fun a Day Dundee, who sent me a wooden star to decorate. This was a perfect chance to try out the Posca paint pens I'd got recently. I decorated both sides of the star.

I'd bought a terrazzo tray making kit by Katie Gillies, which has materials to make two small trays using jesmonite which is a type of resin. You weigh out powder and liquid, mix them together with pigment, then spread this out in a thin layer which later gets crumbled up into pieces, mixed into more of the resin, and poured into a mould. Once it has all set, there is the time-consuming process of sanding the trays to reveal the coloured chips!

Eating:

I had a long weekend when I cooked a Mexican meal, an Indian meal, and a Japanese meal. I ate all the Christmas food imaginable, and my new boss got me my first ever chocolate advent calendar!


Watching:

I really enjoyed The Valhalla Murders. Over Christmas I watched The Repair Shop, the celebrity Sewing Bee, and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Listening:

I finished listening to The Stubborn Light of Things podcast (I'd saved the final episode for Christmas time), then pretty much straight away bought the audio book so that I could still have the company of Melissa Harrison's voice during my walks. I've also been listening to Nigel Slater's Christmas podcasts, which are very comforting and relaxing. And I've found the Radio 4 series The Senses which is absolutely fascinating.


Reading:

I'm making an effort to read Frida by Hayden Herrera, about Frida Kahlo. It's really interesting but it's huge! I finally got round to reading Lowborn by Kerry Hudson which was eye-opening and moving, and I've been continuing reading the Crown Colony series by Ovidia Yu.


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