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Or should this post be titled “Where did April go?” or “Things I didn’t make”?

I was very excited to discover the Virtual Paintout this month. The idea is that every month a new location is selected and you “walk” around the area using Google street view and find inspiration to paint. April’s destination was Gdansk in Poland. What a wonderful idea – it had never occurred to me before to use Google maps to be an armchair tourist! I started off a bit like a car-chasing-dog who has suddenly caught a bus – I didn’t know how to take it all in and I started clicking randomly all over the map (with not much success). Then I decided to pick a hotel and travel from there. I found a delightful house with a door intriguingly ajar. It looked so invitingly cool inside and  baking hot outside. Here is the location if you’d like to have a look around for yourself.

Drawing of house in Gdansk

Doors open in Gdansk by Cate van Alphen

It’s been years since I did any drawing and I found it required a surprising amount of concentration, but I did enjoy myself (although next time perhaps I’ll choose something quicker to work with than coloured pencil and I’ll select an image which actually includes the focal point!).

“BUT WHERE’S THE POLYMER CLAY?” I hear you cry. Disappointingly nearly all of it is still in my head. I did manage to start on some texture stamps, but not any of the exciting things I had planned to make using them.

Polymer clay texture stamps Screenshot of Gdansk wall

Then there are the architecturally inspired beads from the Royal Road I haven’t started yet…

I had a wonderful idea for the Art Bead Scene Challenge, but alas, on Saturday the 28th I discovered the deadline was the 25th!

Still, watch this space, some of these ideas may make an appearance eventually – one of the major culprits for my missing the challenge times is a bead that has been sitting in my “in progress” bucket for YEARS which suddenly demanded to be finished, and has grown up into something quite interesting. Sometimes these things have their own timescales.

Amazingly I HAVE managed to keep up with the 52 earrings challenge.

Polymer clay bead earrings