Garter Swingy Sweater

So guess what? Yup that’s right, this is an actual knitting post!!! I haven’t really done a lot of knitting this past few months – simply because of college deadlines – but I won’t bore you with that again.

I decided to pick up one of my nice easy projects; and what’s easier than a garter stitch sweater?? This cardigan is really cute, it will be nice on chilly evenings in the Summer and I love the colour:10170694_10152024040177401_3095740442037689668_nI already split the sleeves and popped them on some waste yarn; the rest is just knitting the length of the cardigan – quite a lot of garter stitch, I know but it’s so relaxing and easy which is just what I need from my knitting right now.10256897_10152024041832401_7285757682816669715_nI also thought while I was taking pictures of the sweater, I would share this uber cute photo of Miss Holly; she is an African pygmy hedgehog and we’ve had her for over a year now:hollyWhat are you knitting at the moment? Are you looking for an easy knit because of crazy deadlines or are you working on something a little more complex?

V xo

L is for…….

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A few days ago I broke out my illustration sketchbook and Sharpies. I  did a quick freehand sketch of a lion’s face and went a little crazy on his mane!!!

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I love this piece, it’s fun and the colours scream safari!! I might do a couple more of these….. just for fun.

Before I go read my book, I wanted to say a massive thank you – for all the comments and likes on yesterday’s post. I was really overwhelmed by it.
Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing – I’m baking a whole bunch of fruit cakes for my Mum’s wedding.
V xo

Inside Beautiful Minds

For every piece of art, there is a reason. Sometimes that reason is “just for fun”; sometimes it’s work or college (folio’s anyone??) and sometimes the reason goes deeper.

I went back and forth quite a few times on whether or not to share the “real reason” behind my Inside Beautiful Minds pieces; do I continue to share them and not share my own mental health issues; do I not share them and thus not mention my own struggles or do I share these pieces and share the real reason?

1959316_10152005955712401_790613993_nIn all honesty I have rewritten this post over and over; trying to think of the best words to tell you “my story” and so here it is; in all it’s glory (touch of sarcasm!!!). You don’t have to read this next part; I completely understand that some will not and I understand that some people will judge my decisions or just who I am – but that’s your choice and not mine.

In 2003 I started to feel like my whole world felt unreal; I attempted suicide a number of times and finally ended up spending 3 weeks in a psychiatric unit. I spent the following 3 years trying to explain while feeling more and more dragged under by the pain. I developed bulimia and had some pretty major trouble with OCD. At this time I lived down in England; but by November 2006 I needed to move home.

After a fairly extreme few months; which included smashing a mirror because I didn’t recognise myself; I was placed under section in a psychiatric unit where I remained for 8 weeks. I was given medications; I ran away and couldn’t remember anything. I felt like I was failing fast and no-one knew how to fix me.

In April 2007 I was finally diagnosed as having dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder); an illness which is created by your mind fracturing (as a child) because of severe trauma (I won’t go into this here because it’s not really appropriate). I was very confused at this time; I wasn’t even sure what this illness was, how it worked and I constantly asked, why me? DID is on the same spectrum as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder); just further along and slightly more complex.

It’s now April 2014; and I’m in a different place. I will  always have DID but I chose life (actual life – not the George Michael version) and I have worked really hard (along with psychiatrists; my wife; the hospital and several of my closest friends) to get to this point. To the point where I can make this public and not feel ashamed; to the point where I can make art that discusses mental health and to the point where I have a future – one that means I can go to University; which is something I never thought was possible. DID means that my life has it’s interesting and difficult points; it’s means that I have 10 other personalities living within me but it also marks me as a survivor and as a person who saved themselves. I know that there will be bumps and bangs along the way; but I KNOW that now and I accept that. And part of all mental illness is acceptance; no matter what your diagnosis.

If you got this far, thank you for reading.

V xo

Inside Beautiful Minds

On Sunday it was Mother’s Day here in the UK; my lovely boys bought me both a book on oil colours and a moleskine sketchbook. I love this sketchbook – it’s really nice to use and I think it will be great for all mediums – anyway that’s not what this post is about.

On Sunday afternoon I drew this scene within a face:1625737_455119857965836_927256936_nThis is probably one of my favourite pieces of illustrative art that I’ve done; and I’m going make it into a series of illustrations called Inside Beautiful Minds; which will be highlighting Mental Health Awareness. Mental Health Awareness is something I feel very strongly about and something I don’t feel is taken into account as much as it should be. I’m really excited to start work on this; I will be sharing some more of the illustrations soon – but I might not share all of them right away.

Be sure to check out my facebook page; ART, By Vicki to see more of my art.

V xo

Butterfly and Insect World

 

On Monday; Jay and I took the boys to Butterfly and Insect World out past Edinburgh. My mother in law had kindly managed to secure us tickets on Groupon (seriously if you haven’t used the site – go sign up now). So off we went early on Monday morning and I have to say we had such a great time – we’re definitely going to go back in the Summer. I really wanted to share some photos I took – I’ve set myself the challenge of using my camera more over spring and summer; just to focus on photography a little more.

The first thing we found when we went in is that the room is VERY hot I and therefore very steamy – I couldn’t see for the first 20 minutes and neither could my camera. Thankfully once the lens got used to the steam I managed to get some pretty good photos.

I fell absolutely in love with the Quail – they are so super cute; they have the tiniest little legs and they kind of bounce as they run. There were a lot of brownish red ones but I loved this white one more:P1140746Have you ever seen the video for Christina Aguilera’s song Fighter? If you haven’t go watch it now; this butterfly reminded me of that video – it’s exact wing shape and the way it’s sitting – pretty perfect right?P1140751Of course it wouldn’t be a butterfly world with a chrysalis; I cannot wait to just do some sketches of this – I love the shape and texture: P1140755There were loads of these butterflies everywhere; the wing pattern is absolutely fabulous and these butterflies are quite big too:P1140759My very favourite butterfly in the whole world is this one; she’s a glass winged butterfly and she’s so beautiful – I was hoping to get at least one good picture of this one – you cannot even imagine how pretty she is in real life:P1140761As well as butterflies and insects; there were various reptiles – mostly lizards and snakes – I completely fell in love with this one and one of the staff told us that she is very cuddly:P1140781This is a leopard gecko; these lizards hibernate so they stay in a dark room – getting a photo of this one was great:P1140800And of course there were both tortoises and terrapins – I got this lovely picture of this tortoise eating:P1140845

And lastly; the boys got to hold a millipede – it was pretty gross and had way to many legs but the boys loved it:P1140807

What are you up to during the Spring holidays? Jay and I are going to the cinema on Saturday to see Divergent; we are spending time with friends and family; and we’ve organised our train tickets for our Summer holidays – I can’t wait.

V xo

Alice in Wonderland Hat

A huge part of the reason I haven’t done much blogging lately is college deadlines – for my higher we have to present 2 folios – 1 expressive (I’ve done portraits of my Gran) and 1 design (which is what I’m sharing with you today). I’m almost done but everything is due to be sent off to the examining board after the Spring Holidays. The folio’s mean having a whole load of small images (both drawn and found online etc) to share on various sheets of A2 card – it’s a big project but I have to admit I have loved every bit of it. Projects have been one of my favourite things to do since I was a child.

Anyway here is the hat; I got my lovely friend Natasha to model for me; and both myself and my tutor (Hazel of Art Room Plant) took photos:

558982_10202049849107967_420482030_n1660362_10202049853908087_521362973_nP1140702These next 2 images show close up details of the hat – most of which have been shared in previous design element blog posts. Both Alice and The Red Queen were made using mannequins; the flowers and small toadstools were made using cold porcelain clay; and my blue caterpillar is satin and kitchen paper layered together and sprayed with blue glimmer mist:P1140708The whole hat is tea stained; then the chipboard elements (clocks and keys) were painted in gold. The large toadstool was made using mod roc and making a skull cap – it was then painted and large pieces of cotton wool were placed in circles to give texture and detail. My flamingo and dormouse were both made using wire, newspaper and sellotape; they were then paper mache’d over.P1140712Overall I am really happy with this hat; there were a couple of small issues – which is true of any design project but I overcame them and made what I feel is a good piece of work. I’m so excited to get my boards finished and sent off – then it’s time to revise for my prelim later this month and my exam in May.

V xo

Just for Fun

Today, Robbie and I decided to have some fun with sunglasses:

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One of my favourite things about being a mummy is being spontaneous – doing things just because!!
Also I realised I hadn’t blogged for a bit; I will be back soon to share my finished design project for college – it has been a month of deadlines.
How has your March been?
V xo