Thursday, 31 July 2008

Neglected Etsy

Oh, poor neglected Etsy shop will you forgive me? Today I am going to pay you some attention and restock the shelves!

And this one below isn't in my shop as I'm still playing around with it, but it does look better with colour on, don't you think? I stitched handmade paper to the backing fabric and tore it off to give a lovely jagged edge.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008


Grrrrr, I had to go into town this morning to take my mobile phone into the shop to be sent off for repair, I found that in itself annoying enough! How come is seems like however early you get there you are never first in the queue? And how come the person in front never has an easy-to-solve problem. I ended up being in there for ages and then got back to my car to find I had been in there for an hour and six minutes (yes, six minutes over the cheapest limit) It was £2.70 for the pleasure, and then I discovered I didn't have enough change in my purse. The payment machines wouldn't take my card either! This was meant to be a quick nip into town!

After scratting around in the depths of my hand bag and a journey back to the car to raid the spare change supplies I finally mustered together enough spare change for the ticket but then found the machines wouldn't take anything less than 20p piece. Arrrgghh! I had to go and find the man in the ticket booth, who let me pay for my ticket there and I was on my way home!

I finally made it home to the peace and tranquility of my studio and sunny garden where I have been doing a spot of meditative printing!

Hope you like....
Now I have to get all hot and sweaty in the kitchen making a huge batch of chilli for the weekend.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Angie Lewin

This is a beautiful little note book that my lovely sister little-hb sent me thru the post today, its cover is made of lino prints by Angie Lewin, an artist I really like. Check out her beautiful work here. I love her lino and woodcut prints and they, along with a few other artists work, have inspired me to try my hand at lino printing. (see results below!) This would be the kind of thing I wold love to create. Her eye for form and colour is amazing. Have a flick thru her gallery and you will see what I mean!
I have had a hectic weekend and this is the first chance I have had to blog. It spent with uni friends who we haven't seen for ages. It was lovely to spend a quality weekend with them and their two gorgeous girls, but, you guessed it, Monday came round far too quick and we were back at work before you could say, pour me another glass of vino! Well, I have wangled two days off from work this week, I was only meant to be having one day off, but I have tonnes to do, hope to be spending some of it in the studio printing, but also have a mega batch of chilli to make for this weekend. We are having a little 'do' at our house with some friends and family to celebrate the new studio! Needless to say we have stocked up on the wine, so will be having a tipple or two. Will be sure to post some pics of the event next week.

Friday, 25 July 2008

two posts in a day, my I must have been busy!

I have had a superb day in the studio today, have been very busy indeey, finishing off the lino series (well, it technically isn't quite finished yet, but hey, it nearly is) and intermittently sitting on the sun lounger catching a few rays. See below what I have been up to, the Euphorbia that looks more like an Allium got two lino cuts, one the relief of the other. And i got in the zone to cut the complicated one which i printed onto a background of beautiful blues (hope you like this one Karen F as I know your fave colour is blue!!)

Lino Project

Voila, my completed lino series inspired by my garden. I have printed them all off this morning to see what they look like together. Maybe they need a bit of tweaking as I think the big flower doesn't it well with the rest of them. Maybe it needs a bit more work?

I bought some brown paper gift tags yesterday to try out some lino prints on them. This one is my fave and it fits perfectly. Maybe I have a new addition to my Etsy shop.

And this sketch below, inspired by an amazingly complicated Euphorbia I drew when I was away a few weeks ago, is going to be the grande finale of the lino series. I think it will take me ages to cut this one, so it may be a while before you see it printed. I will have to be in the zone before I start this one.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Inspiration and Lino3

Here are a few pictures of my inspiration and work. These are the 'fluffy' poppies I stitched the other day, there are so many out in the garden at the moment in pale pink and purple. They are beautiful but only last a couple of days, but I think that's part of the beauty. It's a great day for sitting in the garden taking it all in, summer has finally come, at last!

Sketch book snaps

Are here are some more of my garden faves, geraniums. They remind me of the Mediterranean, holidays in Greece and Spain, sunshine and terracotta. See below for my simplified interpretation into a lino cut, the third in the series.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Four glorious days off!

And after the day I have had today at 'the day job' this couldn't be more welcome! Four glorious days to spend in my studio, forgetting about the trials and tribulations of being 'a manager', jumping through pointless hoops, ticking pointless boxes, and fighting my corner, being a bolshy cow and trying to do the best thing for my team and my customers, as well as trying to juggle too work to do in too little time. (can you tell it has been one of 'those' days?)

Yes I can feel the blood pressure returning to normal at the mere thought!! Watch this space for some creative inspiration, dreamed up in my sunny garden or on my comfy brown sofa bed. Let's just hope the sun keeps his hat on for the rest of the week and we get a bit more of summer! Roll on Thursday.....

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Busy weekend at home

Here are a few close-ups of my fabric pictures I have been working on. They are lovely frilly poppies and they are out in full bloom in the garden at the moment, and they translate really well onto fabric. Just wondering about how to apply colour, any ideas???

And here below is THE SOFABED! It was delivered on Thursday and it is FAB! Very comfy ideedy. We slept on it this weekend as we have had my family to stay, so Mam and Dad got our bed, L got the spare room and we spent two nights in the studio, which was a little bit like going camping ie. woken up with the sun rising at about 4am! I've had a lovely weekend, busy but lovely to have everyone to stay.

And this last picture I couldn't help but post, Barney our grumpy but lovable puss, waiting for his tea!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Studio action

in the form of..... some new pieces I'm developing for a commission for my sister for her house in Italy.

It was lovely to get the sewing machine out today and start stitching again, quite liberating. And having delved into the big box of material that a friend gave me a few years ago I have found the perfect 'no-scrunch' fabric, which doesn't gather when it is free-machine-stitched.

I had to have a little jaunt to John Lewis this afternoon, (no, not to go and gaze at the sofa-bed whispering 'you will be mine') but to try to find some more fabric. I got a bit side-tracked by the amazing range they have, wondering which would look nice in our house, but I soon made it back home, without spending too much money!
I couldn't help picking up a bargain in The Works, where I found Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' for £1.99. I have vowed to read all of her books after seeing a chic-flick about a Jane Austen book club (not an amazing film, but it piqued my interest nevertheless). SO maybe this will be the year I get a bit more cultured and read some of the old classics.
Anyway, I;m back off to poppyland to see what this new fabric stitches like.....

Monday, 14 July 2008

Lino 2

Here is the 2nd of my series of lino prints for my latest work, inspired by my garden. I like the shape of this one and even though it doesn't look a lot like the flower did in real life I think I have made it my own. Two more to do, although I think I will end up with a lot more ideas. This week I want to spend a bit more time researching if the weather is good enough before I start and develop ideas and try out different techniques. Plus the sewing machine is raring to go. I ahve two commissions to do as canvasses, and also a two framed pictures to make so i have a few irons in the fire this month.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Lino tryouts

These are the lino prints I was telling you about, I'm really happy with them, they just need a bit of tidying up. Also I just love doing these layered backgrounds, it's so relaxing. So I'm gonna spend some time working on these today 'dans la studio' while Steve jet washes the stone patio at the back of the house. It's one of those jobs he has been meaning to do for ages, the stone gets so slippery, and with all the rain we are having sooner or later someone is going to end up head first down the steps!
Oh yes, and I have ordered the chocolate brown chenille sofa bed from John Lewis. It's arriving on Thursday (much anticipated, as the studio will then have the long awaited 'comfort factor'). Will post pictures when it arrives. We have friends/family staying with us over the next three weekends, so I'm sure it will be well-used!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Just messin' about in the studio

Today is the first day since the studio was finished that I have had some proper time to spend on my garden project, I have been doing a bit of printing and and working on some lino designs which I will show you when they are finished. The plan is: I'm trying to produce a set of four designs I can try to develop into cards, gift wrap and tags but you know how it goes, you set out to do one thing and you end up getting side tracked and going in another direction completely. I just had to get my scissors and glue out today and just play around with colour and textures.

And I found some beautiful shells the other day when we went to the seaside, the colours that happen naturally in nature are some of the most stunning, even though I am meant to be spending time in the garden and developing that project I have some great ideas for these shells.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Having grown up near the sea I didn't really appreciate what was on my doorstep while I was there. But now I have lived inland for about 15 years I have to admit I do miss the sea. Today we have been on a little excursion-y day out to North Norfolk, as this was one of the only places in the UK where it wasn't forecast torrential rain! We had originally booked four days of camping but as usual the great British weather put a huge spanner in the works and we decided the way forward was a day out in the sun as opposed to four nights in a rainy windy tent.

So off we went at 7.30 this morning, equipped with waterproofs just in case. We went over to Brancaster, Cley-next-the-sea, Burnham Deepdale and Blakeney and have had a great time. I didn't realise how pretty and unspoilt it is over there and will def be back for another longer visit. There seems to be a wealth of craft shops, galleries and potteries, so there will be lots to see next time.

But for now, I'm back home, pretty exhausted but content, with a glass of vino and about to snuggle up as the next storm rolls in!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Comfy sofa bed puzzle

Hands up if you think this will look just groovy in my new studio.
We have been searching high and low for a sofa bed, to the point I thought we were never going to find one that my bum gets along with. Having had many a bad experience with sofa beds over the years I really want one that is just right, ie very comfy sofa AND bed, if this isn't too much to ask.
But there in the depths of John Lewis (i know, gorgeous shop but pricey) i think I may have found MY sofa bed. I never thought I would go for a corner one, but having moved things around in the studio, we have the perfect spot for it (and we have measured it this time, to avoid another episode of the cupboard that was too tall!!!). Um, just going to go and sit on it one more time to make sure its the one for me.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

New buys

Some Etsy lovelies, from some of my faves! This one is from the gorgeous Karen Faulkner, see her shop here and her blog here. This is now in a frame on my desk, soon to adorn the quite-bare but slowly filling walls of the studio.

And these two prints are from Toni Young Photography and The Fading Rose, respectively. Can't wait to buy some new frames for them. Check out their blogs and Etsy shops and treat yourself!
As for my week, well I have had better! I don't seem to have had time to think, hence lack of posts, work has been quite stressful (I even cried at one point, which is never a good thing at work). I will blame it all on PMT I think, I just had one of those 'Exorcist' moments, when my head was about to spin around, I turned a vile shade of puce, and uttered a shocking stream of swear words, which turned the air in my office a rather frosty shade of blue! Quite comical now I think about it!!
AS for 'sooziebee' work, not much has been happening, due to other time constraints, but I will hopefully have more new work to post thru July and August, so do keep reading. I will also be finding out whether I have been accepted to the Harley Gallery Winter Market soon, keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

What I've been up to...

Well, before I went away for the weekend I thought I would treat myself to these two books, which have been featured and recommended by PrintPattern and they are both full to the brim of amazing inspirational patterns and ideas. Highly recommended by me also!! If anyone else has any pattern-y reommendation of great books to inspire then let me know. My Amazon cart is ready and waiting!

Here are a few of my garden sketches that I did last weekend in the amazing gardens at Combermere. I'm really happy with what I have got so far, and have lots of ideas for development. As instructed by my little sister I have written myself a project brief for this next batch of work and I've been looking through my old college sketch books to get me back into the open-minded free way of thinking out a project. Does this work for anyone else?

My fave is this Euphorbia (or at least I think thats what it is), they are so cool to draw. I am hoping this one will make it to some kind of lino cut print, but I think I will need the patience of a saint to carve it!

So thats all for now. I have to spend the rest of the week at my day job, as we are having to replenish the old savings account after all the studio work, so not much time to play I'm afraid. At least I will be thankful at my next pay day, although it's not seeming like such a good idea at the moment. But if I look on the positive side (which I am more prone to do these days) I'm half way through my working week already, so its all down hill to the weekend! And then only three days to work next week... yey!!
PS I have been meaning to add some new blogs to my fave blog list for ages, so I have done now. Enjoy!