Isolation art

Hello, hello! I had previously mentioned that quarantine is making me feel more creative, it is giving me more time to sit and create random art without the restraints of coursework or perfection. Art is a big part of my life, my main hobby, the course I’m taking at A-level and I realised I hadn’t talked about it here which is odd to me, I normally can’t shut up about it! So, here is some of my favourite pieces I’ve made during quarantine and some just before all this kicked off:

I finally got around to finishing this piece I made of Dominic Harrison aka YungBlud which I started a couple of months ago. This was the first time I had properly tried a black and white monochrome painting and I really like how the slightly different shades add dimension and tone.

This is a painting of my baby cousin Darcy which I made for my auntie. Here I discovered how difficult blonde hair is! I put a lot of pressure on myself with this piece as it was a gift, I am critical about certain parts of the tone and colours that don’t quite match realistically but I’m still happy with the outcome and I believe my auntie is too.

I have previously used palette knives in some of my artwork to create texture, especially in the hair but, in this piece, I created the entire portrait using palette knives. I found it challenging to add detail and to keep in proportions at A4 size but, the texture it added and freedom palette knives give in contrast to brushes was really fun to try out. I used a photo of my younger sister Jessica from a photoshoot we did for my photography coursework.

Earrings! I have a slight obsession with random crazy earrings and I’ve had a bag of mini people- randomly – with no idea what to use them for. With hot glue and old jewellery set from our auntie Lisa, I turned a handful of these little people into creepy dangly earrings for myself!

I’ve seen a lot of people recently bleaching their jeans or their clothes so, I thought id give it a go. I didn’t want to completely ruin these jeans if it went wrong so, I did a small design on the back pockets of a happy and sad face expecting the bleach to turn out a brown/orange colour. the bleach worked really well and came out more white which I was so pleased with.

I tried out some animal portraits too, making one of my bulldog Wilson and a present for our American friends Vic and Carol of their dog Daisy -Mae. I found that texture was my biggest enemy in these portraits, trying to make them look fluffy and furry was difficult but, I think it turned out alright.

I have a couple more paintings on the go at the moment (one is a secret birthday gift) which I can show you once they’re complete. I don’t think I’ve ever made this much art in such a small amount of time. I’ve just been told I have to start my art and photography coursework at home so I’ve brought some more supplies and sketchbooks to start and I’ve been wracking my brain for some ideas too. I want to keep making my own art on the side of this coursework but I need some ideas of what or who to paint (if you’ve got any, let me know).

Zoe :))

Food and art?

I’ve seen so many delicious looking charcuterie boards going around on Pinterest and Instagram so I thought I’d give it a try.

My family make ‘floor picnic’ dinners which are essentially bits-on-a-plate like cheese, salami, pieces of bread and dips which we snack on throughout the night. I decided to pimp up our regular floor picnic and make one of these charcuterie boards. I kept all the meat and vegetarian food separate so we could all enjoy it and I’m very pleased with the outcome. These boards usually consist of: ” an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese, and sauces” so, I grabbed the antipasti meats, pepperoni and various cheeses and assembled. Turns out there’s an art to this, I didn’t realise how much went into making pepperoni look bougie!

My charcuterie board consisted of Emmental, cheddar, red leister, pickles, gorgonzola, pork pie, pepperoni, salami, parma ham, king prawns, beetroot and crackers. I also tried a greek yoghurt, honey and chilli dip and it was delicious. Although this took me 2x the amount of time it normally takes to set up the floor picnic, it was definitely worth it; it just makes food look more appealing. I can see how people do this as a career, could you imagine a massive board for an event? It’s also very therapeutic to stand there folding pepperoni into little flowers and arranging everything to make sure the board looks balanced, it truly is an art.

Would you try this out?

Zoe :))

I kinda did a thing…

What a surprise, I’m bored so I dyed my hair.

I’ve recently been dying my fringe a spectrum of colours since November and because of quarantine and no school, it’s now bright red. I used the dye ’crazy colour’ in vermillion and I am SO happy with the colour. Before this red, my hair was a dark ginger so I thought the colour would be a bit murky and I would have to bleach my hair again but I was very wrong! The red is so gorgeous and bright and even covered my dark roots and gave it a slight gradient. I would recommend this hair dye to anyone who wants huge colour payoff that’s cheap and reusable. My main struggle with hair dye is you can only use it once and I usually have so much waste because I’m not dying my whole head. I find that it’s a lot of money to only used 1/3 of the dye. This dye comes pre-mixed in a bottle and you can use it however often you want which is really handy. I definitely think this is the best colour I’ve had so far! Bright colours are definitely more my style and I’m so happy I didn’t have to wait until summer to try it. I guess good does come out of quarantine.

I’ve also learnt how to Dutch braid. As I couldn’t even French braid and honestly struggled with a tight normal plait, I am very proud of myself. This, of course, leads me to sport a Dutch braid pretty much every day and, I’ve learnt how to do cornrows on my sister’s hair. I found it’s just very tight Dutch braids using smaller sections so, hours have been spent on their hair too (I should start charging!) it’s impressive how much you can learn just by setting your mind to it and with an abundance of time. I have also definitely won the ’best hairstyle’ for the first day of school ( sorry mum )

To fill the time further, my dad and I have been baking. So far we’ve made apple cake, Apple crumble, two types of bread, pineapple and coconut cake, banana bread and easter baskets- bake off here we come! It’s nice to get the whole family involved and enjoy a tasty treat at the end of the night knowing you’ve made it. Although we’ve had a couple issues with density and missing flavours I’m glad to say everything we’ve made has been edible and very yummy (even if they don’t turn out how we envisioned it). I’ve always loved to cook and bake so being able to grow and improve on that has been really fun but, fighting for flour has made us improvise a couple of recipes with pancake mix- turns out it works pretty well.

Apart from baking, I’ve learnt how to make sushi too. I am a massive fan of asian food and I always crave it so, I got some sushi rice and nori sheets and I’ve been practising. The first time I made cucumber maci and vegetable gyozas which were delicious, the batter was slightly too thick on the gyozas but delicious nonetheless. The second time I attempted making red pepper and cucumber California rolls and, although they were slightly messy, I still count them as success. Count my sushi cravings fulfilled!

How do you fill your time at the moment? Are you learning anything new? Challenge yourself.

Zoe :))

Quarantine things

The world is kind of crazy at the moment, new information is coming out daily, both real and fake and you can’t escape hearing about corona at least once a day. It’s consumed most of our brains for the meantime, it’s difficult to focus on anything else so, here’s my attempt at focusing my energy into something good and healthy. I personally don’t think I’d live through something like this in my lifetime, I have the feeling a lot of people share that same mentality which is making this all slightly more difficult and unbelievable, I still don’t think it’s properly sunk in. I want to blog to share the changes in my day-to-day while we all adjust to this new way of living and learning while hopefully distracting from reality for a while. Saying that this post will be corona-heavy just so I can get it out of my system

I’m in my second week of social distancing/ quarantine/ self-isolation, whatever you want to call it. Now all my school work is online, I’m spending everyday at home with my family trying to just fill time. This has made me realise how much school was a distraction. It filled 6 hours of my day which I could spend with friends, spending at least 3-4 hours doing whatever I want and I took it for granted. Now I’m at home trying to find the motivation to do the minimal work I’ve been set so far. I used to complain about school, how much I hated it and I thought it was a waste of time but really, it gave me the opportunity to see most of the people I love with no effort what so ever and just spend time sitting doing nothing and God, I miss it so much. I miss being able to just talk to people face to face. Just being able to go and find who I wanted to see. However, I’m still in touch with people who make my life amazing and it’s different talking to them over text or house party and it’s not making me insane quite yet!

A painting I made of my Auntie

I have found myself finally doing some art for fun. For the longest time I’ve struggled finding the effort to finish a piece for myself, I put all my effort into my school art and not really just for fun so I lost quite a bit of creativity. Already I’ve finished 2 paintings, one as a gift, I’ve played about with different materials, practised more with palette knives, texture annnd tried an acrylic pour: all in 2 weeks. Although they aren’t perfect by any means, it’s nice to just sit and paint with no stress or perfection in mind. I also want this to become an outlet again for me, probably focusing more on my art and things I enjoy without putting too much pressure on every post being perfect and important (which I think caused me to stop a while ago) when my life isn’t that interesting! I guess this long break has already taught me a couple of lessons which is refreshing.

I was wondering what you guys are doing during quarantine? Are you picking up old hobbies or making new ones? Feel free to message me to let me know!

Talk again soon,

Zoe :))

Hello, again

Wow, its been a hot minute since I’ve genuinely sat down and written for fun. A lot of stuff has happened recently so blogging has been sent to the back of my brain so I could focus on bettering myself and focusing on school etc. So, let me fill you in on what you’ve missed.

The last blog post i wrote was back in September, i had just started 6th form, a whole load of stuff was changing in my routine and life that just really stressed me out. I went from seeing all my friends all day every day to a couple of hours a week, Callum has gone to college so i only see him a couple of times a week while juggling new schoolwork and free time to spend wisely on course work and essays. I genuinely missed writing though, for the past 5 months i’ve been writing annotations and essays on Literary periods and i thought i had forgotten how to just write! But it’s not just my routine that changed, my interests and plans have changed too. I’ve been getting more interested in art as a career, looking into tattoo artistry or something along those lines once i get back from travelling. I think it’d be a good way to still make art for fun while earning money to live. This doesn’t mean that journalism isn’t an option but im just looking at my avenues of what i CAN do. This, however, is made difficult by my school. My school very much focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and university which, are very much opposite to my personality. We recently had a careers fair which was very much based around STEM and university, having no creative outlets or careers represented. This means i’m having to look into my options alone, slowing down the process but i’ll work it out. School is surprisingly going well now, i had a little blip in motivation and focus meaning my grades suffered slightly but i’ve been able to pull it around and got myself my first A in English Literature which i am insanely proud of. Art and photography are going well too, we are coming to the end of our practice coursework meaning we are planning final pieces and pulling everything together before we start our 60% coursework on something completely new (i’ll make sure to show you guys what i’ve been doing, making a little art post for you). That’s pretty much all that’s happened in school, i’m about 1/3 of the way through my first year and i’m feeling pretty okay about it all so far.

Now my personal life! Physically i’ve changed quite a lot, recently i’ve been experimenting with my appearance, i bleached my fringe blonde for a while, then dyed it grey then now a dark ginger. I’ve also poked some more holes in my face with a septum piercing and more recently my lip piercing. I’m finally working out what i like and feeling more comfortable in my self which is well overdue. I’ll be honest with you, recently i’ve been struggling mentally, i fell into a deep hole which i didn’t know how to get myself out of but with A LOT of patience, i’m finally getting some help outside of school to cope with my lows. It took a lot for me to ask for help but i was overwhelmed by the support i got from my parents and some of my friends and i couldn’t be more grateful. I guess this is life, everyone has their lows and its the people around us who can really help and support you through tough times and not being okay is okay. Hopefully, soon i’ll be getting my dreadlocks installed. I know, slightly random but i’ve always loved dreads since growing up with my aunty having rainbow dreadlocks. I’m having partial dreads meaning i will have loose hair on top to make a softer look. Whenever i tell someone this they struggle to picture it but I am excited to finally get the hair i’ve dreamed of. More exciting news, i’m turning 17 this week! I can learn how to drive and that’s pretty much it… i’ve always seen turning 17 as pretty pointless but i’m excited none the less. I’m looking forward to another year of memories and experiences. The rest of this year looks busy, i’m seeing my American cousins, i’m off to Ireland for a holiday with the Spicers and going into year 13. Let’s just say i’m slightly excited.

As its half term, I have a lot of free time so maybe you’ll be hearing from me again soon. I genuinely missed this so much, its such a nice outlet to just sit down and pour out whatever is in my head, even if no one reads it, it is nice for me to just write.

 

Zoe :))

 

Busy bee!

Annnddd I’m back! Wow, I’ve been busy recently. I’ve started 6th Form, got a job, worked my first couple shifts while still juggling my personal time. Let me fill you in…

GCSE results day came out of nowhere; before I got my results I was very nervous. I wasn’t too nervous about the grades themselves, I was more worried I was going to be disappointed in myself and beat myself up about perfectly fine grades. I personally do not feel comfortable posting my grades online but I’ll tell you that I passed everything and got into the subjects I wanted at 6th Form (the bits that actually matter). Now I’m starting my first full week at 6th Form and I’m still trying to wrap my head around independent study times and new courses as well as homework and timetables etc. It feels odd being some of the oldest students in school and not wearing a uniform and being able to buy coffee and all sorts of new rules. Also, I need to get used to not having Callum at school every day and all of the people I used to hang around with. Callum is now studying engineering in college which is his passion and he loves it. This does mean we see each other less but to be honest, it gives us more to talk about when we do see each other. Luckily, I have the majority of my best friends at 6th Form so I’m not sitting alone at lunch (one of my fears). I’ve fully invested in my courses already; I’m doing art, photography and English literature and honestly, I’m loving it already. It’s really exciting to be in a class with other people who actually care about the course and will actually try. It’s motivating.

I got my first job! A little while ago I applied for a job at a local restaurant and I am very pleased to say I got the job! I’m very proud of myself and I feel proper grown-up and independent. This weekend was my first couple shifts and I love it there. My managers are so lovely, the staff are really kind and help me so much as I’m still learning and we all have a laugh. I seem to be picking up how everything works quite quickly and I’m really comfortable there. At the moment I am a runner meaning I clean tables, take food out, clear up, sort out bills and I’ve started taking a couple of small orders. Hopefully, once I’m more confident and I’ve been working there for longer I’ll be trained up as a waitress so I’ll be in charge of my own tables and taking orders which sounds exciting and stressful but I think I could handle it.

Everything aside from school and work has also been amazing. Callum and I did indoor skydiving together which was super fun, I’ve been to a local festival and saw the Zutons play live (they originally wrote and sang Valerie before Amy Winehouse did a cover of it), I’ve been to Countryfile live with my family, hung out with my favourite people and had the best summer ever. So so so many memories and jokes made that I won’t ever forget.