Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Hello peeps, Wednesday again so that means across the globe we share our workdesks of shame (well, mine is as its nearly always messy).

 On my desk this week (yep my desk rather than my kitchen) are a couple of super hero cards I am making. The circular dies in the middle are on magnetic card I stuck to waste picture mount card and punched a hole in so all my nesting dies are in one handy grab book. Tucked under some green and yellow died waste card on the left is my now VERY grubby poundland paint spreader that I use to clean my stamps (an idea from Shaz Silverwolf and works brilliantly).

My "Man Bites Dog"  cards this week were oddly random but totally went with the cards I made 'Thousands Mourn Lost Hero'-spooky!!!

So why not join us as share your workspace be it a shed, craft room, floor (waves at Helen) or a kitchen worktop (as mine has been the last few weeks).  There is a link over on the right to the Queen of Desks the lovely Julia who is the hostess with the mostess.

Happy crafting

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Foraging for harvest chutney

 So after filling both my freezer and belly with foraged plums and blackberries last week I thought I had had enough (I mean HOW many plums can one woman eat.....about 4lb is the answer!!!).  But no, the weather forecast of rain and heavy winds meant I was concerned the foraging bounty may get damaged so off I went on a few more walks and topped up the blackberries in the freezer and SO many more plums.

I decided to make some chutney.  I have foraged plums and apples and added a pear from our veg box and some rhubarb from the garden and made the rest of the recipe up.

 I have been making jams, cordials and chutneys since I was a child so I was confident the flavours would go well.

What I wasn't prepared for was how little it made!!! One large jar and one small.

A bit of a disappointment as I tend to use large jars for us and smaller jars ready for Christmas presents, but with such a small amount there won't be enough to gift (or have I just found another excuse to go for another walk this week for more supplies-though the plums at Kyla level are thinning so I may have to walk with a ladder!!).


Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Time to 'fess up.  This is not my desk and the photo was taken a couple of days ago.  Work is crazy so I had to schedule this.

I recently came back from holiday to find a lovely card and ATC from fellow WOYWWer Scrapbook Lynne, all the way from Canada.  How lovely is this?  The ATC is in my ATC holder and the card is on display in my craft room. Thanks Lynne they are lovely.

Crafting this time of year usually involves lots of foraging so my desk during August and September is often my kitchen!

My walk this week came back with Sloes (a little early but I left it too late last year and the birds stripped them all) which will be put in the freezer for my sloe gin later in the year.  I have frozen half the blackberries for later in the year and the other half have been made into a diet friendly 'jam' (cooked down and sugar free jelly crystals added, testing the setting point as usual-needs to be kept in the fridge and only last about 4 weeks but sugar free!!).

The plums are being eating as sweets and also taken into work to feed the team!!!

So there you are, my temporary desk (sorry no Man Bites Dog cards this week I forgot!!).



Friday, 5 August 2016

Painted pebbles

 Whilst I was at Sidmouth Folk festival I also picked some pebbles up and painted them insitu with Posca pens and coated them with clear nail varnish to protect them.

This lady bird pebble was left on a low ledge in the Childrens field

and at the base of this post on the seafront I left a pebble I painted with a Koi carp

Not very delicate but I painted it whilst sat in the cafe at lunchtime!

Just a couple more pieces I set free (I write the art abandonment FB details on the back of the rocks so if found and they wish to get in touch they can).

After all, it is always nice to find something for free isn't it?

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

WOYWW and Free pens

 Wednesday again but this week I don't have my desk as I was away at Sidmouth Folk Festival for a few days so my desk is just full of my dumped sketching items and pebbles I picked up to decorate as part of the Art Abandonment project that I recently joined.

What I do have is some new stash!  This time it is the best sort of stash....FREE!  
I know, nada, zilch, nowt, zero!  The lovely guys and gals at Uni Ball (thanks Uni Ball) that I met at the Upfest street art festival said as a left handed sketcher using a competitors pen they would send me some to try....and they did!  To be honest I thought they were just being nice, but look at all these goodies.

The jetstream pens on the left are suitable for left and right handers and the pens on the right are a collection of various nib thickness and waterproof.

The nibs range from 0.05 - 0.8 and I plan on taking them out on my next sketching session and giving them a good road test which I will report back on.

Happy crafting


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Free art

So, last week I explained the Art Abandonment (and also Free Art Friday) that I have started to take part in.  Last week in readiness for Sidmouth Folk Festival I made some more tags and decided that the festival would be a good place to set some free.

One I tied to the binoculars that are on the seafront

Another I tied to the fence at the top of Jacobs Ladder (the tallest point along the beach and some very steep steps up to the top).

 This one I tied to the railings outside Exeter Cathedral

Luckily all were taken when I walked past later, hopefully someone liked them and took them home (I thought they would make good bookmarks).

Full details can be found either searching Art Abandonment or Free Art Friday on Face book and full details of my 'drops' can be followed on my Instagram page (Kyla Cotterell

When I take a photo I try to include some clues in the photo as to its whereabout, but I think the pleasure comes in just randomly finding some art.  I know on the two occassions I have found art it was stumbled across and I loved the feeling of finding some art.

Happy crafting


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Whiskey Money Boxes

 Just a quick update as I realised I hadn't blogged a money box I made recently.

The photos aren't great but basically I use the tin/cardboard tubes from whiskey bottles to create money boxes.  This one was especially poignant as it was the last bottle my father had before his death so I decided to make a money box for my mum.

I start by gesso'ing the tube to create an even layer then add torn papers and emphemera.  I often add a watered down gesso layer to blend everything together adding gems, items of importance, ink dirbbles, stencils etc. 

 I cut a slit to add the money and the sunflowers are torn from napkins with a lady bird added

 I added leather die cut flowers, buttons, the word 'Mum' from metal etc
I then applied several top coats of a spray varnish to protect it all.

Full of sentimental value and made with love


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

What's on your Workdesk Wednesday?

Hurrah I actually managed to make a Wednesday blog post!!

Things have been a bit hectic here, work, London visits, festivals etc !!

But this is not my desk, I will be honest this was Monday night at Coven where I decided to make some more tags for my next art abandonment project (see my previous post for full details about what it is!).
I already have a plan for when to set them this space!



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Upfest and Art Abandonment

I thought I should warn you in advance this is a heavy photo post but nowhere near as many as I actually took but hopefully enough to give you a rough idea of what I have been up to.

I have taken part in Free Art Friday (google it-its a great idea) for a while and recently joined the Art Abandonment facebook group.  The idea is you create art and leave it somewhere for strangers to find and enjoy!

So for my first 'abandonment' I decided to make some tags using a stamped face and a devil icon that I carved (the words are stamps that I bought). 

 I added colour with spray inks and a little mica

I decided the time to set them free was this weekend at Upfest.  Upfest is the largest free street art festival and is held in my hometown of Bristol.  They have over 300 artists from across the globe and they paint, in real time, on buildings, hoardings, cardboard, floors, get the idea.  They paint across an area of the city based around a few streets and parks.  It is great free family entertainment with music, art classes, sales, food and all round general greatness!

To set ourselves up for the day we popped into the local YHA for a coffee and this is where I made my first 'drop' (tucked into the bottom left of the notice board)
 My next drop was at one of the several large boards placed around for kids and adults to 'have a go'

 I soon got into the swing of things, abandoning on park fences
 and even in  a church garden

 When we returned the next day they had all gone.  Hopefully people will be in touch to say they found them, but if not, at least I know someone may have liked them enough to take one.

So, I took several hundred photos but I am hoping that these few will give you a flavour of the event.

 They painted buildings

 Skate park ramps

 Book pages painted and pasted onto junction boxes

 Sides of businesses

 Wooden boards placed up especially for the weekend

 Bristol is well known for being politically astute so hardly a surprise that there were several political ones

 Small stencilled faces

 Stencilled vinyl records (infact we even bought the 2nd on the left)

 This painting was several stories high and blew us all away

 This Game of Thrones/Jeremy Corbyn parody prompted a lot of comments
 These stencils are fantastic (Big Issue vendors are a big part of Bristol life-the people of Bristol even recently organised a wedding for one of them!).

 This was on the side of a train carriage!

 The background on this one is amazing, I watched the artist create it with torn cardboard and spray paint!

 I love this one, crowds walking through a rain streaked city scape.
 Again, another building painting (seriously I have NO idea how these artists scale up their sketchbooks!)

 These were painted on temporary hoardings

 Whilst this 3D image was painted on the floor (I was lucky enough to see his work in Malta last year)

 and this was painted on a double decker bus!!!!

 As usual the tallest was this 5 story building.  

Whereas these two were much smaller and not as colourful but just as powerful images leaving you wondering HOW they paint these!!

So a weekend of much walking, catching up with friends, art abandonment and watching some skilled artists create some amazing pieces.

Upfest - you did it again!!!