Wednesday, June 29

The Cockatiel

Hi all! This week's contribution to Midweek Mammals/Animals Inexplicably With Leaves is the humble but lovely Cockatiel (and a cheese plant). I follow quite a few arty types on Instagram, and for some reason quite a few of them seem to have pet birds. You could say it is the nature of an artist to want to observe beauty even if it's at the cost of freedom... A sort of tragic poetry that would appeal to the creative soul. I just wanted to paint little blushy cheeks and the colour yellow.

Monday, June 27

June Favourites

Hi all! I very much enjoyed illustrating my favourites last month, so I thought that I would do another round up for the month of June. I wanted to be super organised and post them before we got settled into July, so here they are for you now!

Saturday, June 25

Top Tips for a Happy Life #21

Hi all. I'll be honest and say I'm feeling a bit gloomy this weekend, but I thought that this quote from The Jungle Book was pertinent at this point in history.

Wednesday, June 22

St Bernard

Hi everyone! For this week's 'Midweek Mammal', I really just wanted to draw a big old fluffy dog.

I took a quiz recently, as you do, my sisters were all asking, to see which kind of dog I would be. We had a few Retrievers and Chihuahuas in our midst, but I was elected the trusty St Bernard. Loyal, intelligent, good in alpine climates... I would like to say there was a resemblance there. I would also have been happy with Dalmatian (I like monochrome aesthetically and am a bit loopy emotionally) or some kind of Spaniel due to my love for fluffy hair around my ears and a penchant for the countryside (also, a bit unhinged).

Monday, June 20

Monday Snapshot

Hello everyone! Every now and then I just like to do posts with some pretty photos that are a little look in what I've been getting up to. It was my birthday last month and I also passed my driving test, which meant that I found myself inundated with beautiful flowers. I love flowers, as you may well know, but I always feel a little bit blue throwing them away. This time, I decided to dance with death (slight over dramatisation) and press my flowers before they wrinkled away!

Sunday, June 19

Happy Father's Day

Hi everyone, I hope you're having a good weekend. To those with dads and without, I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to you all.

Saturday, June 18

Top Tips for a Happy Life #20

Happy Saturday all! I hope you're well. This week's 'Top Tip' comes from a play close to my heart, The Tempest. Much like Macbeth, this was a play I seemed to wind up studying at every possible stage of my education.

Wednesday, June 15

Cheetahs Never Prosper

Evening everyone! Sorry this week's Midweek Mammal is a bit late in the day, I personally have been suffering from a horrible cold these past few days, and to mirror that my internet connection has been having a nervous breakdown too. Anyway, this week's Cheetah was inspired by my intense desire to be somewhere hot at the mo, ideally with chic tropical plants around every corner.

Monday, June 13

Calligraphy @ Quill

Hi everyone! I recently visited  Quill-- it's a stationary shop/calligraphy studio who were offering free sample classes, so my friend Jen and I thought we would give it a visit.

Wednesday, June 8

North American Black Bear

Hi all! This week's Midweek Mammal is a bit of a return to form for me I would say. By that I just mean that I managed to sit down and have a good little painting session quickly without having my stuff all over the place, which felt great. It also represents the first bear to feature on Bear + Crocodile! Seemed about time to me!

Monday, June 6

Lepidoptera Lovers Anonymous

Hi everyone! I recently went to see the 'Sensational Butterflies' exhibition at the Natural History Museum with my good friend Jen and thought it might be nice to share a few pictures.

Saturday, June 4

Top Tips for a Happy Life #19 - Home Edition

Morning everyone! In lieu of your standard Top Tips post today, I have decided to enlighten you with some hard-learned decorating advice that Sam and I garnered this past week, with the intent to prevent you from making the same mistakes.

Tip 1 - Always Tie Your Hair Back When You're Painting. 

I've been watching a lot of Mr Kate on Youtube recently and she always has her long blonde hair flying free. I gave this a go and it was disastrous. When you're using a roller, the back splash and paint speckles will get all in your roots, and the second you have to paint any kind of crevice that requires contortion to reach you will be dipping your tips in emulsion. Just don't do it. Learn from my idiocy. Or, leave your hair out-- enjoy the Boho vibes-- but just be aware that sometimes the little stubborn bits of paint clinging to your ends cannot be removed without compromising the integrity of your locks. Essentially-- I need a haircut now because my hair is trashed on the ends from dipping them in paint too often. Save your hair. Tie it in a bun (or wear a hair net, you'll be sporting trackies and an old t-shirt anyway so throw fashion to the wind).

Tip 2 - Go With Your Instincts

If you asked me how long it took us to decide what colour to paint the living room, I would tell you that I couldn't tell you. This would be untrue, as I know for a fact it was about a month. A good solid four weeks of deliberation. This was stupid because we wound up picking literally the first colour we wanted right in the first place. We had wandered into the Tunbridge Wells Farrow & Ball for a bit of colour inspiration, when I said, "oh, look Sam, 'Elephant's Breath'-- it's the most cliché colour they have, everyone has 'Elephant's Breath" and Sam said, "Oh, I do quite like it though, but you're right-- better not". We spent the next four weeks looking for a taupey/neutral/grey/warm emulsion. Essentially, we wanted 'Elephant's Breath' but we didn't want to admit it. We caved. We ran to Homebase. In our tizzy, we brought the wrong one (see below). For the bedroom, we just pointed at a sample, said, "that one". Bought it, painted it. It's fab. You know what you like, just go with your damn gut.

Tip 3 - Trust No One (aka, Triple Check You're Getting The Right Paint)

Sam and I visited our local Homebase probably six to eight times over bank holiday weekend. We had a good chat with the Habitat staff, chummied up to the Dulex colour matcher man, had a general hoot all in all. That being said, when we put down our paint brushes Monday night after a long day of feeling like grown up DIY masterminds, to find that the paint appeared to be both too dark and also repelling itself off the wall, all those good times seemed meaningless. In our haste and joviality, we had grabbed a tin of paint intended for use on metal and wood rather than for normal human house walls. One of our friendly staff friends had failed to notice that someone had put Eggshell smack bang in the middle of the Emulsion shelf. Hours and £49 later, we fixed the problem. We had to sand away all of the expensive Farrow & Ball paint we'd spent the whole day before lovingly putting up and re-do it. Do I blame Tim* at Homebase? No. Have we learned not to get carried away and to take more care? Yes. I do wish we could have been enlightened without having to spend money though. Sod's law, that's why I'm here to help you.

*I never learned his name, I'm a fake friend, sorry.

Anyway, these are the trials and tribulations we have faced hence far in the house renovation process. I won't presume to say that you lovely readers would ever make such foolhardy mistakes, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the moment.

Happy Saturday! Your regularly scheduled arty updates will resume shortly :)
Until next time,
Steph (+ Sam)

Wednesday, June 1

May Favourites

Good evening everybody! Sorry you didn't get a monday post-- I had it all planned and ready but had a few technical problems in the new house. I decided to shake things up a bit and do an old #bloggerfave for today's post-- May Favourites!

1 - Hamilton - You'll already know from last week's Top Tip that I've been loving this musical, but I have. My spotify has had 'Take a Break' on repeat all week.

2 - Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Eye Shadow in Marie Antoinette - I bought this eye shadow a while ago, maybe Christmas or my birthday last year? I've always been a bit tentative using this as it cost $$$, which meant my attempts were a bit feeble and uninteresting. Lately I've been slathering it on with a bit of Rimmel 'Billionaire' on top to set it and it's been giving me the smokey eye of my dreams.

3 - Mr Kate - I've been googling DIY home renovations like mad in the past weeks, and I've been getting a lot of good tips and tricks from Mr Kate. If I hadn't found her channel the house would have probably wound up as another all-white penny in the house fountain-- sorry Design*Sponge. Thankfully, I found Kate in the nick of time, and she's totally inspired me to be more, well, inspired, with my colour choices. If I tell you Sam and I painted the bedroom Pigeon Green yesterday and leave it at that...

4 - My new scrabble mug from @Alexebohan - Alex has been my friend for the longest time, but we hardly get to see each other. We recently had our quasi-annual reunion to catch up for my birthday, and she got me some beautiful art supplies and a pretty new mug-- plus a handmade card after my own heart. Thank you, Bo :)

5 - Nike Air Max Thea - I've been after these damn trainers for so long, but been waiting for the peak time to strike. I saw them on ASOS on sale once for £45 but got greedy and thought I could find them cheaper. I couldn't. I developed an obsession. Sam bought me them for my birthday so I would stop looking at them wistfully through shop windows (thank you Sam).

6 - Never Sleep Again - The Elm Street Legacy Documentary - When I was at university locked away doing assignments, I would put all the Lord of the Rings behind-the-scenes featurettes on in the background for company. Something about hearing how big movies get made really interests me, more than the actual movie half the time. If you have four hours spare and love insightful documentaries then this one about the making of the Nightmare on Elm Street series is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I've not actually seen any of the Elm Street movies-- I know, how?? But I still found this totally fascinating. Next on my watch list: Nightmare on Elm Street, Elm Street 2 and Dream Warriors. Also Freddy vs Jason. I won't be sleeping well.

7 - Passing my driving test! At Last! - Goes without saying. It took five tests and a hypnotist-- now I just need to find a car.

8 - Peonies being back in season - I know I'm being basic. I know. I know. But I still love them. I'm sorry. Avoid my Instagram if you're a hater.

Until next time, there will be home updates soon!