Monday, March 05, 2012


When I was 13, I had a run-in with my Art teacher. The assignment was simple, draw some shapes ( circles, rectangles, triangles), overlap a few and then paint them in 3 primary colours. Let's just say I failed. In hindsight I remember my piece to be extremely hideous, didn't follow the lines, splotches and smudges everywhere.

Needless to say, my art teacher used my piece as an example of what not to do. She went on and on about how we may not think art is important and that creativity was a necessity in life.

Being a silly rebellious teenager, the only thing I took away from that lesson was that I was hopeless in art and never really tried again.

Craft was a different matter, I followed a proscribed method and pattern and my creativity was expressed in the materials I choose. But to let go and try to use my brain to create something originally "mine", with a specific signature look was something I didn't attempt until I took up stamping and collages.

Again I felt I had failed. I could never tell when one collage was finished, how much more to add and how much more to embellish. More importantly, I never took away the need to discipline my creativity with preciseness. Which is why my work always had the smudges or that crooked line or the messy stamping.

A lesson I should have learnt at 13.

Lately I have been taking comfort in the freeform crochet and knitting, which is a lot more forgiving than the fine art of drawing. And with the great discovery tool that is Pinterest, I discovered Zentagle®.

I will talk more about this doodling art form method in forthcoming posts but just thought to show a few photos of the process...

Start with some Strings
Start with the String

Fill up some Bands - decide which ones you want to be on top and do that one first

Fill up the bands

Do some Swirls

Adding Swirls

Add some Fills

Adding fills

Finish with some shading
shading complete

I am still practicing on normal A4 printing paper and some markers before I progress to proper 3 inch tiles ( tiny!). I am still struggling with preciseness but hey, I have all those years to catch up on, so I am not going to be too hard on myself.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Scrumble Beginnings

I have always loved colours and textures.

When I first started knitting, I loved those fun and funky sweaters Cliff Huxtables for the Cosby Show wore.

When I was doing quilting, crazy patchwork intrigued me.

When I was stamping, collages mesmerised me.

When I started knitting and crocheting again, I had affairs with patterns with scrap yarn like the sock blanket pattern -

or Moorish Mosaic Afghan in my previous post while I knitted the lace and the sweaters.

Plain coloured yarn bore me, I adore ribbons and slubs.

But it is a gradual process. It takes confidence and courage to break out of the grain and I struggled with whether a piece needs more embellishment, whether that fringe in that yarn is too much or whether that colour looks off.

Most of all I struggle with whether anyone else will want to have that thing as a bag, wallhanging or something they can abide being near with.

I suppose a true artist would not care.

Last year, I had the great opportunity to take a class with Prudence Mapstone and was challenged in the most artistic core of myself (which is not that deep and not that talented). And so I present to you my scrumble beginnings.

How it all looks put together - well that is another creative process. Here's an idea:-

Friday, December 23, 2011

Moorish Mosaic Afghan

The original is a mosaic of earthy colours evoking the balmy skies of the south of Spain.

Since it was published in Interweave Crochet, hundreds have been choosing their own medley of colours and all of them have been breathtaking

You can see my medley of colours in the three motifs I made below, Grass Green, Deep Rose Red, Light Orange, Light Salmon, Lilac and my main colour Grey.


I think I may have been too ambitious by choosing to use a variety of mercerised cotton instead of worsted weight yarn.

Originally planning for a baby blanket of 9x9 motifs - that has changed to 4 x 4 and possibly even 4 x5.

Here's where it stands now ( pic by Instagram with Lomofi filters)

All ready to go then realise I forgot to bring my hooks!

BUT here I am already to start crocheting during the Christmas break in Malacca when I realise I forgot to bring my hooks.


Here's the google image search "Moorish Mosaic Afghan" for your inspiration

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: The Winter King

The Winter King
The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another Arthurian legend with a twist, but very much in line of a Britain in decline towards the dark ages.

Not your Morte D'Arthur variety, Bernard Cornwell's Arthur is a warlord, not a King, albeit a far-seeing leader in search of a united Britain as a last defence against the encroaching Saxons.

We know the rest, the Saxons won and Britain became England, entering into popular obscurity until the Norman Conquest.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wrote a review for this book for an English exam in 6th form and received an A+. It was read out in class! Wish I had that review now.

I remember it to be profoundly disturbing.

(This book was my first introduction to English literature as a subject, where I learnt to look at language, themes, alliteration, and a big word called "Onomatopoeia". Awesome memories.)

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Review: The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this re-envisioning of a half forgotten fairy tale. The additional elements of special gifts extend the story easily to sequels, and the romance is tasteful and utterly believable.

Its beauty lies in finely tune clear cut prose, none of the flouncy flowery language that often becomes too heavy handed for young adults. And none of the heaving bosoms, or rippling muscles either.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

NZ May 2010

Auckland War Memorial MuseumPriscilaPink flowers at Winter Garden, Auckland DomainWinter Garden flowerFlower displayWinter Garden Patio
Winter Garden StatueWinter Garden fountainHibiscus in the Winter Garden, Auckland Domain Pretty row of housesMy LunchAutumn Sky and Trees
Lake PupukeThe Pumphouse, TakapunaThe Pumphouse Door, TakapunaFamily of ducks on Lake PupukeDucks on Lake Pupukefarmersmarketflowers
Breakfast!Bunch of flowersBuskerMoo cows under the NZ skyThis is HobittonSkies over Hobitton

NZ May 2010, a set on Flickr.

It was a year ago and I have just finished processing and choosing the best ones this album

So It begins again

18 months it took!
18 months and plenty of social media experimentation such as Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook and now Google+.

It's a lot of changes for little blogger me.
I tried to microblog on Twitter and nothing beats the instant gratification of a reply or a mention not to mention the instant validation of the re-tweet.
But then it became more of a conversation rather than a self expression.

Then there is Facebook, all that poking and clicking on games gave me RSI and formed a habit for FB credits.

Ravelry has relevance mostly to my knitting yet I feel I have more to say than just about my craft....

Sooooo, in the interest of just recording the random, the meandering or just plain self- indulgent me.. KnitNut will Natter about anything.