05 May 2016

A little teaser post...

A few days ago I told you that one of my top-secret projects was going to be coming to fruition this month, and now it's time to reveal a little more!

The picture above isn't from this project, but it is a little taster of what you might expect.

This project is Japan-themed, and relates to my first trip there exactly 10 years ago this month! I'll be releasing it in less than a week's time, so stay tuned for more!
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03 May 2016

Wicked workshop

Last month I went to a choir workshop in Edinburgh to learn to sing two songs from the musical Wicked - One Short Day and For Good. The workshop was led by my own choir leader, Rachel, and the Edinburgh choir leader, Elaine.

I hadn't ever seen the musical before, so I prepared for the workshop by reading the book Wicked, and downloading the two songs.
The workshop was held in the Assembly Roxy, and it was a great place to have it. The atmosphere was enhanced by bunting and lanterns.

It was great fun learning the two songs, and I particularly liked the fact that there were a lot more Upper Sopranos (my part) than in my usual choir where there are about 5 of us!

As well as the two songs we were learning, the choir leaders got into costume, Rachel as Elphaba and Elaine as Galinda, and performed a couple of other songs from the musical.

01 May 2016

Top-secret art projects!

Over the past 6 months I've been working on three separate top-secret art projects, for three anniversaries that are coming up (not of the wedding variety, but instead anniversaries of events and places that have been significant in my life).

It's been so difficult keeping all these artworks under wraps! I'm so used to sharing everything here on emuse! But I wanted to keep these a surprise until they were finished.

I'm really excited to announce that the first (and biggest) of these projects will be getting released later this month. I will tell you more about this over the next week or so, so stay tuned!

30 April 2016

This month on emuse

This month on emuse there have been some craft projects:
Some Sunday self-portraits:
Some newly purchased items:
Some great exhibitions that I visited:
And a photo walk:

29 April 2016

This month I have been mostly...

To lots of interesting exhibitions, the local archives to look at old newspapers, and a choir workshop where we learned two songs from Wicked. Also had the annual asthma clinic visit, at which I was told my asthma is "resolved" and I don't have to go back!

Wicked (in preparation for the choir workshop, since I hadn't seen the show Wicked). Also The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, and The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Line of Duty, Follow the Money, Undercover. Finished watching The Water Margin on DVD with Mum and Dad. Caught up on lots of episodes of Call the Midwife from earlier in the year. And I really enjoyed a Japanese film, A Tale of Samurai Cooking, that I'd recorded ages ago.

Dyed my hair black, and at the same time the bath drain decided to clog up, so I had lots of exercise carrying buckets of purple water downstairs to the kitchen sink! I had to shower at Mum and Dad's for a few days until the plumber sorted it out. And I've been getting my life organised with my new planner.

28 April 2016

Carved ring

Remember the ring carving workshop I went to? Well, the finished ring arrived and it looks amazing! I can't wait until June when I go to another CARVE workshop to make another ring!

26 April 2016

Symmetries of Light

I was heading to Edinburgh anyway, and knew I'd be in the area of this exhibition of kaleidoscopes, so I thought I'd pop in for a look. I only expected to spend a few minutes there, thinking it would either be too childish or too boring, but in fact it was one of the best exhibitions I've been to and I spent about an hour there! It was very interactive, with most of the items being out on tables and very few behind glass.

The exhibition was held in the Playfair Library Hall off the old quad at Edinburgh University. I hadn't been in this particular building before, and discovered that it was very grand, with a large staircase with old portraits, and the hall itself was wonderful - it's not surprising it gets used for weddings!
The first thing that impressed me about the exhibition was that there was somewhere to hang your coats, bags and umbrellas (and my umbrella had been well drenched so I was glad to get it off my hands for a bit!).

The exhibition was set up along both sides of the room. It started with some simple kaleidoscopes and some background information on the science, including quite a bit about the physicist Sir David Brewster who I'd become interested in after learning about him on the Victorian photography course I took online last year.
The intricate patterns of the ceiling and carpet were fantastic for making use of these kaleidoscopes!
Then it was onto the collection of kaleidoscopes from Japan. These were visiting from a little museum in Japan, which looks really cute from the photos I saw of it (I can't remember where it is, though!). I did also discover online that there is a kaleidoscope museum in Kyoto, so that's another thing to add to the list for my next visit there!
Luckily, being an adult, I was allowed to use these (some of them are very expensive or fragile so children couldn't play with them). The staff members explained each of these - the history of them, the design of them, and how to use them. There was every shape you can imagine - ferris wheels, a lake with trees, a grandfather clock, and even some (real, preserved!) bread rolls!
There were some very large kaleidoscopes, which were great for taking selfies!
There were some demonstrations of polarisation and interference colours.
There were some very cute kaleidoscopes!
All in all it was a brilliant exhibition! Unfortunately it has finished now, but Edinburgh University did get to keep one of the bread rolls!

23 April 2016

Celts exhibition

The Celts exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland was a great opportunity to break out my Moleskine sketchbook for the first time in years, and also to use the wonderful gold paint which was a gift from my friend Miki in Japan.
No photography was allowed in the exhibition, so my only way to record my memories of it was in the sketchbook. The low light levels did make this a bit challenging!
I drew those items that most caught my eye as I was walking around the exhibition, starting in pencil then going over it in pen. It was fun working out how to fit the items together on the page in a pleasing layout as I went along. I used some of the details of the Battersea Shield to inspire the lettering of the word Celts, so that it fitted in with the theme.
Luckily there were some portable seats available, so I took advantage of one of these, which made it easier than standing up! After I'd been round the whole exhibition I sat down with the gold paint and a water brush, and added the gold details. The photos don't really do justice to how lovely the gold paint is! I added the red and white marker pen when I got home.

I love the way that drawing items in a museum makes you look at them really closely, and helps you to remember them.

21 April 2016

Spray-painted pine cones

Here's a simple idea for a decorative item - spray-painted pine cones! I used the tiny little ones, but you could use larger ones. They look great displayed together in a dish.

19 April 2016

Planner love

One of my plans for my Easter holidays was to get more organised. At the beginning of the week I ordered a lovely planner from kikki.K, and by the end of the week it had arrived! I'd been admiring other people's planners online for some time, and, to tell the truth, I'd wanted one since Filofaxes became popular in the 1980s!

I chose the tangerine one, which just happens to match the make-up bag I got from Birchbox that I use as a pencil case! I'm going to print some of my custom to-do lists in matching colours too!

Part of the reason I decided on a planner was that I'd come to the end of a notepad that had lots of pockets in it, and realised that I was constantly having to transfer information from an old notepad to a new one. 
The other reason - too many pieces of loose paper, and struggling to remember where particular information was! Now I'm working on transferring the information from these to my planner.

And the best thing - gathering together all the fun supplies to use with my planner!