Friday, 7 September 2012

Its Finished Object Friday and here is mine! Its my King Cole Riot Cowl. Please see previous blog post for more info about how it was made. I tried to take a photo of me wearing it too. Its sooo warm and snuggly.

Other news is that I have started my Art and Design Access course this week at the local college. It was a great first day but my goodness - so exhausting. When you feel you need to really concentrate on all the important information its really wears you out! However I met the other students and they are all lovely and we got to see our studio area and explore the supplies cupboard which was full of amazing things like, charcoal, paints, drawing inks, papers, glues, textiles............. It was like walking into heaven.

In preparation for the course they said they would like us to make a sketch book of work over the summer and note any ideas or inspirational things we come across along the way. As part of this journey my mother and I went out one morning and went to visit the John Leech Gallery. John Leech himself is an excellent potter and you can see his work on the website here.

They are holding an open day this weekend on Saturday 8th September, if you live nearby or are on holiday here then I really recommend that you pop along and see how they work, its just fascinating and Nick and John are so friendly.

At the end of my first day at college they set us our first assigment. We have to make a black and white, colour or mixed media drawing on a postcard which responds to the title: 'A meal, snack or a plate of food'. Then send the postcard to the person next to you. They can then make any sensitive additions and then post it back to the teacher. 
 As you can see I decided to paint a picture of that British favourite 'fish and chips'. I then cut out some newspaper as it is traditionally wrapped in and glued that as my background and stuck my painting over the top. I am now wondering what the man next to me is going to add, maybe a splash of tomato ketchup or tartare sauce or maybe a slice of lemon?..... we'll have to wait and find out......
Finally, back to yarny matters. I caved in again when I was in the charity shop with my mum and I spotted this lone ball of wool. I loved the colours but I was expecting it to feel a bit man made and scratchy at first glance. But no, it was soft and is made of 50% wool so the question now is, what should I make with it......hum.....any ideas?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Back to School


The cowl is nearing completion now. I have really enjoyed this project - simple and therapeutic and I'm looking forward to wearing it on my bike when the weather turns.

As I said when I first started this blog, it is going to be following the ups and downs of my life as a mature (only 35) student who going back to college to study Art on an Access Course. Well, I have now registered formally and my course starts next Wednesday! Its so exciting but also nerve-wracking at the same time. What if all the other students are all brilliant at everything? What if the first project I do is a complete flop? 

Well in order to instil a bit more confidence into us before we start, it has been suggested that we bring along a small selection of work done over the summer in a sketch book. This has been a fantastic idea as it has forced me to sit down and confront my fears. I have had to get pens, inks, pencils etc out and sit down and actually do something!

Here is one of my first attempts. It is of a camel, done in drawing inks and in the style of the great children's book illustrator Jackie Morris. I love her work and she has a blog too, see here
Where to get my next inspiration from hey? Then I noticed in the paper that it was the last day of the Summer Exhibition of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen in Painswick and I thought I'd pootle along over there. The Guild are based in this beautiful traditional cotswold building where they have a shop and you can tour the studios within. 
It was great to talk to the artists directly about their work and their training. I bought a couple of lovely cards from them.
Then I headed over to the Painswick Rococco Gardens as they were holding their annual Art in the Garden exhibition. I used to volunteer here as a gardener so I could see how the garden was looking at the same time. There were some really beautiful pieces like this one by Patricia and Stephen Volk:
This one changed dramatically when the sun came out and shone its rays over the metal changing it into a shimmering beauty. It was by Rick Kirby
One of my favourite set of items were these gorgeous bird houses made by Peter Garrard. He has won a prize for best Affordable Garden Art - so yes I might be able to afford one of these one day! 

So, the new time is coming fast. I am morphing from stay at home mum to art student and possibly also part-time worker and mum. I am really excited about this next chapter in my life and I hope you will be keen to follow me and maybe it will inspire you to do the course yourself one day? Sonja@Sunnyville x

Monday, 20 August 2012

Crocheting with more than one strand


I'm sorry I haven't blogged for a little while but its been so hectic and I was waiting for some photos from someone elses camera but due to a technical hitch I haven't got them yet. 

I have run my first craft stall! It was great fun and I can't wait to do it again next month. I sat with 2 other stall holders and we chatted - exchanged ideas about items to make and how to set up the stall and has a good laugh too. Jeanette running the Afternoon Tea session in the hall plied us with tea and a gorgeous piece of cake at the end too. I sold a few bits and pieces which was lovely but the best bit was having the chance to chat with customers about my work and theirs too. There will be photos to come I promise!

I know its been the hottest day of the year in sunny old Gloucestershire this week but I have started to think about future stalls and the fact that the weather will eventually change and it will get cold. That is when crochet and knitting items come into demand so I have been rooting around in my pattern and book stash trying to decide on my next project and this is it:

A while ago I bought too much alpaca wool for a shawl I was making and Lucy at Along Came Polly kindly allowed me to swap the extra balls for something else. So I chose 2 balls of King Cole Riot yarn in grey shades and then added it back into my stash...

Now its out again and being put to good use! Its a very simple pattern and you have to use 2 strands of yarn at the same time which I've never done before so thats interesting in itself. It seems to give the yarn even more colour variation.

A lady I met the other day in Emmaus where I volunteer is super good at crocheting with many yarns at the same time. She is called Sophie Buckley and we had a lovely chat about crochet as I worked on the linen section of the shop. She has her own website so please take a look here, she uses such beautiful colour combinations and makes stunning 3d work.

Here is another article about her work from the local paper: article

I will blog again much sooner this time I promise, thank you for stopping by. Sonja@ Sunnyville xx

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hi, wow again work in progress Wednesday is upon us.
Firstly I have a little finished item to show off. Yes its the yellow facecloth I was working on last week. I went to a car boot sale and there was a man there selling off stock from a shop and there were these lovely Crabtree and Evelyn soaps for £1 each. They smell so strong and beautiful I had to have a couple and thought they would go well with the facecloths as presents.

 As promised I have also worked up half a new facecloth in the variegated cotton yarn I bought. I think its looking great and ideal for a man or boy (my son has his eye on it already)
 My second work in progress update is the tea cosy. I nearly ran out of wool but refusing to let my stash grow again by investing in more I modified the pattern and ran out just in time. I am crocheting roses to go on the top as I loved the version of the pattern that this lady made here
Finally another finished object but this time done by my eldest daughter. Having been inspired by my orange and purple flower she too wanted to have a go and felted 2 green shades, cut them out, sewed them together and then hunted through my sewing box for some suitable beads. I like the way she has snaked her line of beads around don't you?
I am working madly on items for the next local stall I will hold at my friends Afternoon Tea event on Sunday 12th August 2-4pm in Leonard Stanley Village Hall near Stroud.
I also sold one of my lengths of crocheted bunting on my folksy shop so I have to crack on with another one to replace it. If you want to take a look click here on the Sunnyville folksy shop  busy busy... have a great week Sonja@Sunnyville xx

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday - again already!

I can't believe a week has gone by already. The weather has turned and we now have glorious hot sun every day. Everything is ripening in the garden and  I even spied 3 strawberries which is great as so far my little patch has not produced a lot - in fact thats an understatement - it has produced 1 strawberry so far!
This week I have been busy making face cloths. I was unsure about the purple one before as it was a bit shiny and then I read that its best to make them from wool made of 100% cotton. So I visited Yarnarama in Stroud, an experience in itself, and with help from the lady managed to find 4 lovely balls in various colours. The shop is an Aladdin's cave you see, wool from floor to ceiling. You wind your way through small narrow corridors and emerge triumphant with your wool at the end. Here is a picture of what I finally settled on:
and this is the one I started working with first as it was my daughters favourite:
I am also busy on another project which is a tea cosy. I bought the lovely white teapot in my favourite charity shop Emmaus for just £3.50 and it looks brand new. I found a lovely pattern on Ravelry and this is how far I have got:
Just one more piece of news and that is that I now have a shop. If you need a small present for someone why not take a look and if you are local to Stroud then I can even drop it off to you. Here is the link to my shop:

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

I thought I'd have a go at linking up with another blogger who likes to share the work she has in progress with others on a Wednesday. In turn, she links to others doing the same. Its a great way of seeing what other people are up to mid-week and get inspiration for future projects of your own. She is known as Tami and you can see what she's up to here

My work in progress this week is a face cloth. A small and quick project to add to the nice soap and card for my childrens teacher in the morning. I am following a pattern from Ravelry that I found called 'Nubbie Scrubbies'. You can see the pattern on the creators blog here
I also have to share my finished item photo of my lovely crocheted bunting. My daughter particularly likes it and says we should keep it and hang it up for a bit of added colour. With this incessant rain at the moment I can understand that longing for a bit of brightness in the grey - so I'll keep this project.

We also went along to a great event at the weekend, The Painswick Art Couture Festival, held in the streets on Painswick, Gloucestershire, UK - and whats more its all free to watch. Two catwalks in the town to wander between and admire the creations and listen to great live music. Coupled with a break in the bad weather it made the atmosphere really chilled and happy.

The festival is a chance for students, local people and children to have a go at creating some 'Wearable Art' and its always amazing what some people can create. I have added a couple of the best photos to give you a sense of the competition. I can highly recommend it to anyone who might be thinking about going next year. 
This dress is made of wood - amazing!
They also have a body art category and this young lady started out the day as a car park attendant but was asked to stand in as a body art model at the last minute - what a star!
Thanks for reading my blog and please pop back again soon, sonja@sunnyville x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hello everyone,

This week I have been very busy. I found this feltmaking book in the local charity shop in Stonehouse. I had been wanting a copy for ages and had it on my Amazon Wishlist but then suddenly it was there, in front of me, calling I bought it home

I thought I'd start with a small project. It took a while to make an A4 piece of coloured felt as per the instruction in the book but it was great fun and my hands were amazingly soft and clean from all the rubbing with soap and water to matt the fibres together to make the felt. Then it dried out in the airing cupboard for a night. 

Next I cut out 2 flowers and dug out one of my small dorset buttons that I made a while ago, to use as a centrepiece. I sewed on the button and the beads and then glued the flowers together with my daughters glue gun and sewed a new black hair band to the back and volia!
My second project of the week was inspired by my friend Tickety Boo (who has her own blog too: to look at the Tangled Happy Blog for ideas of small things to make. 

It lead me back to Attic 24's lovely crocheted bunting post. The image below is of my work in progress. I still need to make the line along the top thicker and add some coloured buttons. Hopefully I will show you the finished piece next time - its going to look so colourful and happy strung up somewhere.
I have also been busy making labels for my 'small things' what do you think? I have stuck my blog address to the back as well so that people can look me up if they want to after they get home with their new item.
Finally I must put in a mention for a great event due to happen this Sunday. Its the Painswick Wearable Art Festival or 'Art Couture Painswick' as they have now renamed it. Its wonderful to go along and stand in the streets of Painswick and watch all the beautiful creations on the open air catwalks. People do think of the most amazing things to create as wearable art. If you are free I highly recommend a trip up there. Here is their website for more info:

Hope you have a great week, Sonja@Sunnyville xx