Drawn: ‘Death Is Not The End’

DeathIsNotTheEnd_3

Happy Easter!

Here in Australia we celebrated Easter over the weekend. Though it’s a time that some people like to associate with chocolate eggs (and who doesn’t love chocolate eggs! :)) and rabbits, some people also like to spend this time of year remembering how Jesus died and came back to life again.

I wanted to share with you a postcard design I did last year during Easter. The brief was to create a design around the phrase “Death is not the end”. As I wanted this phrase to reflect how Jesus died I turned the “T” into a cross – which is what Jesus was killed on. But I also wanted the design to reflect how Jesus came back to life I turned the “ND” of “end” into pictures of an open tomb – which represent Jesus’ empty grave (empty because he was no longer dead!).

It took a few attempts to get the design correct on paper but eventually I ended up with the sketch below:

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I scanned this sketch and using Photoshop, I coloured it and ended up placing it over a picture I shot when I was in Cambodia.

The picture was taken at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, where many Cambodians died horrific deaths during the Cambodian Genocide. It was a picture of a place which represented, for me, how devastatingly painful, final and hopeless death can seem.

The phrase ‘Death is not the end’ however, represents the hope we can have in Jesus. Jesus died so that we have hope of a new life after death (which you can read more about HERE !). Death does not have to be final and hopeless!

But back to the design – I was and still am pretty pleased with how it turned out!

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Thank you for letting me share with you another piece of my artwork!

I hope you have a great week! x

 

Drawn: Monkey King

Monkey King

 

Happy Chinese New Year!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything to do with drawing – but I thought I’d share with you a monkey I illustrated recently.

About a month or two ago I was asked to draw the ‘Monkey King’ from a classical Chinese novel called ‘Journey to the West’. I had never heard of this story (and still don’t know much about it!) but illustrated my own version of the ‘Monkey King’ after seeing how other artists had illustrated him.

Unfortunately this illustration didn’t end up being used for the project it was intended for – so here it is on my blog – just so it doesn’t remain forever in the archives of my computer!

Happy Easter!

amigurumi_easter_rabbit_1

Happy Easter!

Its been a while since I crocheted amigurumi,  so I was more than happy to get back to it when I found this cute Ichigo-Chan Easter Bunny Pattern by Mei of AmiguruMEI.

This well written pattern was quick and easy to follow and in little time I had my very own bunny ready for Easter.

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The details of the bunny – its bow and popping cheeks as well as embroidered eyes were a different but delightful way to how I usually decorate my amigurumi.

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The only things I changed in this pattern were (apart from the colours and positioning of the arms) were crocheting a tail instead of using a pom pom. You can kind of see it in this picture – I forgot to get a proper shot!

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I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend. I will be spending mine with this little rabbit, much chocolate (much of which I’ve already eaten!) but more importantly remembering how Jesus so generously, willingly and lovingly died for my (and your) sins so I/we will never have to.

Happy Easter!

Please Vote: Mario the Italian Chef Cat

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Meet Mario the Italian Chef Cat – my entry in the Amigurumi Patterns’ Design Contest! I’m sorry that lately my posts have been competition related – I promise that it will be the last for some time. However, if you would be so kind as to spare a moment or so by clicking HERE, and voting for Mario I would be ever so grateful! Thank you in advance.

I thought in this post I’d also share a bit of my process in putting together Mario. When I watch animations, I’m always interested in the nerdy commentaries about the production… so I hope you find this brief “behind the scenes” of my pattern making somewhat interesting!

When I first heard about the Amigurumi Patterns’ Design Contest I was still in a holiday withdrawal kind of phase. So when I discovered the theme for the contest was “Animals at Work” my inspiration, naturally, was drawn from my travels. In Italy, Greece and Turkey I had encountered a LOT of stray cats. (The picture below is a cat eating a cupcake in Ephesus.) Therefore I decided I would create an amigurumi cat.

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As for my cat’s occupation – because I had loved so much of the food I had eaten, I decided that my cat would be a chef (so I would have an excuse to crochet little foods too… haha). Mario’s name came from this bit of graffiti I found carved into a train in Rome.

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As Italy has a lot of iconic meals, I decided that my little chef Cat would be an exclusively Italian Chef. That set, I went about sketching Mario’s “look”. (Yay! Finally! Some illustration in my posts!)

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As you can see, my sketch of Mario, compared to his finish self only changed a little. I omitted Mario’s moustache as I felt it was a bit distracting to his face. I also omitted his apron as I ran out of time. Despite this, I was still happy with how Mario turned out.

To give Mario a bit more character I alternated between a dark brown yarn and the multi coloured yarn to give him distinct markings – such as a patch around his eye and an odd coloured ear. I also applied this technique to his tail.

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I had a lot of fun too crocheting Mario’s little foods – a pot of pasta, a pizza and a tomato. I also (crazily) built Mario’s little table out of balsa wood which I then painted (yes, I was the crazy one painting a miniature table at 10pm even though I had to wake up at 5:30am the next morning…). The backgrounds were some pictures I printed then arranged to create a small makeshift ‘scene’ for Mario to be photographed in… quite a bit of effort… but I felt that having put effort into every other part of the project it only made sense to finish it with equal dedication!

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Even if Mario doesn’t win any prizes, I enjoyed the experience of designing and creating him. Using techniques like joining his legs and body as one piece and interchanging yarns to create an eye patch challenged my crocheting skills. It was also pretty cool to translate a idea and sketch into something tangible! I hope to do more of this in the future.

When/If you create your own amigurumi patterns, how do you go about your design/creating process? Do you start with a sketch or do you crochet and see what happens?

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into how Mario the Italian Chef Cat came together. Please do vote for him if you haven’t already via the link at the beginning of this post. Many thanks! 🙂

A + O

Whilst I haven’t been drawing anywhere near as much as I should be, one recent project I have ‘contributed’ to recently is the wedding invitation of my friends Angela and Owen!

The talented Victoria Garcia illustrated the flowers in the upper half of the invite whist I illustrated the rustic nest of branches and ribbon below.

It was a little tricky but worthwhile working out the arrangement of the branches – as they had to conceal a “secret” message. As a flat piece of paper, the branches framed a sweet little recount of the proposal – but folded…

…they transformed the flowers into a bouquet (and the words spelled out another message!).

It was an honour to be able to help out with the invitation, especially for a couple as lovely as Angela and Owen. I can’t wait for the wedding! 🙂

Red Velvet Cake and Tea

 

Last week I crocheted some more food! A Red Velvet cake (because that red is mesmerizing) and a cup of tea. I was inspired in part by a Bake Sale we were holding at church to raise money for a project called “Operation Christmas Child” held annually by Samaritan’s Purse.

I started with a magic circle of 7 and increased until I was happy with the size, then continued in rounds until I felt that the cake had a good height to it. Instead of working in back stitches to give the cake base definition, I popped in a strip of cardboard into the cake to give it shape. I then stuffed it and decreased the stitches until the cake was finished.

For the icing I also started with a magic circle and increased until I was content with the size. To make dripping icing, I would randomly do single crochet chains of 2-4 stitches about 1-2 stitches apart on the final round.

I topped the cake with a crochet heart pattern I found here. I’m not sure if I followed it correctly, but it looked like a heart!

I was happy with how the cake turned out – and it made a pretty decoration (and useful pincushion for random tacks whilst pinning other decorations) at the Bake Sale.

I also designed/illustrated a small poster for the Bake Sale.

 

Operation Christmas Child is a project where shoe boxes are packed with various items (toys, toiletries, stationery etc) to be given to children in third world countries. In previous years when our church participated in this project we handed out shoe boxes to be filled before collecting them back for Samaritan’s Purse. We found that some of the boxes were, despite good intentions, unequally filled. Several were also missing their postage money (which at $9 a box added up a deficit quickly!) .

 

To try avoid these problems this year we collected items over a period of a month and held a Bake Sale to raise money for postage costs. Our aim had been to collect enough items and money for 50 shoe boxes. For much of the month, despite some generous donations,  I was unsure we were going to make our target.

 

BUT the Bake Sale blew away my expectations. It alone raised over $560. Combined with our existing collection of money (over the last few weeks), our grand total tipped just over $813! We now not only had enough money to post 50 boxes but also buy items that we hadn’t collected enough of!
A strictly budgeted shopping trip followed and then on Saturday we packed the shoe boxes. However, we were surprised again to find that not only could we easily reach our target of 50 boxes, but we could even afford to fill and send another 9 boxes!

 

God proved again to be generous and provided for our needs. Looking back it was pretty stupid we were even worried about making our goal!

 

And now that I’m at the end of this post, I’ll give a few little seconds of fame to the adorable little cup of tea (he is actually coffee in the original pattern – but I like to drink tea – so tea I made him!). The Cup of Coffee Pattern is from Ana Paula. I attached his handle on the opposite side to the pattern (just because) and gave him 9mm eyes (as I don’t have any 6mm at the moment).

 

I clip my work key to him and now he joins me on my tea breaks. 🙂

 

Pirates Ahoy

This is a little illustration I did for a local church to help advertise their upcoming Winter School Holiday Program “Polar Extremes“. It’s a little cluttered as I drew each of the characters separately before compositing them together (so they could also be used individually as well as in a group). I’m a little annoyed at the lost detail (the big, goofy pirate has a tattoo!) but I’ll know better next time I have to put together an illustration like this!