Sunday, 9 September 2012

Great Expectations

No I'm not with child!

Hello lovely readers.

As you will know from my last post, I'm just getting back into my crafting.  I've just started an art journal which, although I'm no 'artist' in the general sense, I can use to sketch, doodle, fling paint at and stick things to.  I'm enjoying the freedom that the journal is letting me have.  It really doesn't matter that I'm not good at art - it's the 'doing' that I'm finding quite therapeutic. When I'm feeling tired,  I can sit quiet and doodle in my armchair with just a pen or pencil and have a good old colouring in session without the need for lots of materials around.  Conversely I can allow myself to be surrounded by every craft item known to man and sit up at the kitchen table where I can get messy with glue and glitter and oils and pastels and all that malarkey!! As I've just been diagnosed with spondylosis in my lumbar spine, I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself so this journal will be just the place to let off a bit of a creative steam.

My friends over at The House of Bears blog SEE HERE  set a literary challenge a few days ago using "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens as a prompt and using the words

  • gentleman
  • Neglect/decay
  • Nature/nurture 
for inspiration.

I'm ashamed to say that I've never read Great Expectations so the challenge was more, erm, challenging.  Thanks to the mighty Google however, quick character synopses and quotations were provided to me - and with this help I think I just managed to pull it off. 

Borrowed from the t'interweb
The character of Miss Havisham drew me in immediately and I knew it was her that I wanted to feature.  I printed off a picture of Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham (apparently a new film is in the offing)  in grey scale and then used pencil to de-prettify her! (Ms B-C is FAR too pretty to play Miss Havisham, I feel - although from an eccentricity point of view she has it in spades!).  

As I just wanted the picture as a base, I went to work on altering her a little, giving her black button eyes and a stitched mouth a la Sally in A Nightmare Before Christmas.  Her hair was created using Angelina's Fusible Fibres which I cut to shape before sticking down.  Some  thread and lace dyed with good old fashioned tea was added and Miss Havisham was .. erm... born! 

I used watercolours to create a gloomy dark background and, as the text advises that the room was 'yellow light in the darkened room' I added a touch of yellow to the mix to reflect this and the suggestion of neglect/decay. 

The nature/nurture element was relatively easy really.  I colour washed the top of the page with the palest hint of blue, then found a feature garden picture in one of my old Country Living magazines.  I painted the window frame around the picture and then added two painted strips of card to denote the window itself.

The quotation "So!" she said, without being startled or surprised; "the days have worn away, have they ?" 

was added to complete my challenge entry.

Thanks bears - I had great fun!!  


  1. Very impressive Kim! Am looking for bits and pieces for our Autumn Swap ... How are you getting on? Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, hope you're ok xxx

    1. Hey! Thanks for your lovely comment. Yes I'm beginning to gather the Autumn Swap stuff too - I'm trawling your blog for your likes! I'm looking forward to it lots!

    2. Aw don't go to a lot of trouble, it's just a bit f fun and nice to get parcels n the post! We need to swap addresses and decide when we're sending, I'm not quite ready yet though! xxx

  2. This is fabulous. We really love your take on our challenge, and your Miss Havisham is just fab fab ab, we love her, kind of how we think Pip must have viewed her at their first meeting, bizarre and a little scary.

    Thank you for taking part in our challenge. :)

  3. How can you say you are not an artist - that is amazing. Sorry to hear about your health problems.

  4. I think your art is very good and you should be proud of your work.

  5. Sorry to hear about your spine problems, bit of a nightmare aren't they. Very job scrap-booking, lovely interpretation, especially of Miss Haversham. Speaking as someone with a BA in Fine Art, I can tell you, there were at times, nothing fine about my art!

  6. Blimey, Kim - I'm super impressed!

    This just shows how unready I am for the Bears' challenges right now 'cos I wouldn't have thought of something like this. It's really cool.

    Actually, I'd like to get into freeing my mind a bit - except it's full of other stuff right now.

    Rock on, petal x

  7. Wow!this is stunning ,so very like Miss Haversham (sp?) x love it. I'm only a few pgs into my art journallingtoo. It's fab. Typing on decking tablet so words crap and I late for work so can't change them!

  8. I LOVE Miss Havisham! Blinking great interpretation. So excited by your comment that there is a fillum in the offing too.

  9. Good grief, I got in! Will have to whizz round other blogs now!


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...