Couch to 10k (Week 1 Day 1)

It has been six months since I last went to they gym. As a result, my weight has crept up.  I have put on 10lb in eight weeks over Christmas! Arghh!

I feel so uncomfortable in my skin that I decided that it is time to take action and have bought myself a treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, I am not overweight, in fact my BMI is healthy, but my body lacks tone.  Some muscular definition in my legs would be great, but I find it hard to believe that my legs could ever tone up!

So, yesterday I started the Couch to 10k app, which consisted of a five minute warm up and then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. I’ve realised that I have failed at my previous attempts to run because I try to run too fast and burn myself out quickly, so I kept a slow pace. Running at 4mph and walking at 3.5mph.

I’m ridiculously unfit because I was huffing, puffing and could feel it in my legs by time I had finished! But, I am happy to have taken this step. I really hope I can stick to it.  I really cannot imagine being able to run 10k. That would be a huge achievement for me!

Anyway, today I met a friend for lunch. We went to La Tasca for tapas, which unfortunately doesn’t feature in my healthy eating plan.  So, I decided to hop back on the treadmill for a fairly easy incline walk which turned into a little jog at the end! I actually managed to jog for five minutes!

To all you hardcore runners out there, I know five minutes is nothing, but for me it’s a big deal!!!

So tomorrow is day two of the Couch to 10k app and you know what…. I can’t wait!!!!

Always Make Time for Art….

It’s been a while since I posted, as life often gets in the way of my creative time.  I dream of having more time for art. It would be lovely to work less and create more, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen.  Therefore, I have pledged to myself to always make time for art, even if it is just five minutes of sketching.

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I find it hard to create art quickly and I remember my art teacher at school telling me to speed up!  Perhaps sometime soon I will set myself a challenge to create art in one hour. I think that could also help me to loosen up and stop trying to be so meticulous!

This page was created using gesso, scrapbook paper, acrylics and ribbons.

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Cupcake Fairy

This was a piece of artwork that I previously wrote off because I wasn’t 100% happy with it. But, I picked it up a few days ago and started painting it again. I’m still not entirely happy with it, but I will persevere!

I really love big eye art and have been adopting this style in my artwork over the past year.

Here’s a sneak peak at it so far……

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Tweaking Twyla….The next steps

I decided that I wanted Twyla’s hair to be curly, so purchased some white Wemsleydale fleece from EBay which was supplied in a bundle and the curls had to be carefully separated. As her skin is a blue/ purple colour, I thought white would look quite striking. I’m thinking of an Ice Queen type style for her new image.

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I made my own re-rooting tool using a sewing needle with the top of the eye cut off (one side needs to be longer than the other), which I clamped into a tool that I have for hair extensions. If you have a craft cutter, this would also be suitable to clamp the needle into the cross section. The hair for re-rooting is then pushed into the fork of the needle which needs to be pulled taught and then pushed through the plug holes on the dolls head. Please check out YouTube for some really good videos about different rooting methods.

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I had previously painted her scalp white, but she has so much hair, this probably wasn’t necessary.

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I worked my way along the bottom of her head inserting the new hair and trimming away the excess inside. As it won’t be possible to brush her hair, I will place some flexible glue inside the head which will hopefully be enough to hold it in place. I worked most of the holes inserting new plugs of crazy white curls, but I’ve left some at the front unplugged for the moment, because I need space to insert her eyes and lashes.

I’m loving her big bouffant hair! What do you think so far?

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Monster High Makeover

All I can say is poor Twyla! On Saturday, I took a deep nervous breath and said goodbye to my Monster High doll as she previously looked. I was very apprehensive about doing this, in case I completely ruin her, but there’s no going back now.

FACE REMOVAL
The first job was to wrap the dolls body in cling film and remove her face. I used nail polish remover (acetone) with cotton buds and cotton wool balls. The dolls body was protected with Cling Film because apparently the body starts to break down in contact with Acetone. On the face the paint kind of smears as you swab it, but this isn’t a problem as you just remove it with more acetone. After all the paint was removed I washed her face with soap and water.

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HEAD REMOVAL
Next, I cut off her hair as short as I could (careful of her ears!) and then her head had to be removed. There are two ways that this can be done:

1. Blowing a hot Hair dryer around her neck area.
2. unking her head in boiling hot water (kids please ensure you are supervised by an adult).

I chose the hair dryer option. It took three or four blasts of hot hair and the head removed in stages. You need to be careful when doing this, as there is a plastic piece in the neck which could break if you pull it too hard and without enough heat to soften the vinyl.

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HAIR REMOVAL
The next stage is the worst bit! The dolls hair was held in place with glue, which I started off trying to remove by sticking tweezers in through the tiny neck hole. I didn’t have much luck with this method, so then put the hair dryer on her head to soften the glue. Once softened I managed to pull out large lumps of glue, but it was a slow process which didn’t result in vast quantities of hair coming out. By this point my fingers were getting sore, so I dunked the head in boiling water which resulted in further lumps coming out, but there was still lots of hair attached. As I am planning on putting in new glass eyes, I decided to cut the top of the scalp off so that I could remove the rest of the hair and get to the eye sockets.

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I was shocked how much glue was left inside the head!

SCALP REMOVAL
I did this by simply drawing a pencil line around where I was going to cut. I tried to draw the line in between the plug holes so that I could preserve as many plugs as possible. Then using a craft knife, cut around the line. I used more acetone to remove the factory green paint on her head.

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EYE SOCKETS
Now this was scary! I drew around the part that I wanted to cut away with a pencil and then cut out each eye with the craft knife. I cut really slowly to avoid slipping and cutting into her face. I didn’t manage to cut both eyes totally symmetrical but I am happy with the end result.

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I will post again soon with the next steps!

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Mini Me Art Journal Page

I was having a tough time a few months back when I really wasn’t feeling myself.  I felt like I didn’t know where I was going in life, so created this art journal page to try to get back in touch with who I am and where i’m going.

To create this page I recycled an old greeting card, which was primed with Gesso and then painted in Acrylic. This page has an altered matchbox with a ‘mini me’ on top and a drawer which pulls out to reveal little cards inside. I plan to create tiny pieces of art on these which will describe who I am as a person.

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I love how art journaling encourages you to try out new ideas. There is some amazing altered matchbox art over the Internet, which really inspired me. I just have so many ideas buzzing around my head, but I don’t have enough time to bring them all to life.

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