Sunday, 30 November 2008

Ahhh

I was sorting out my pictures the other day on the computer and found some of Barney. We miss him.


How quickly this weekend has gone. We went to a Salsa Birthday Party last night and even though neither of us have done salsa dancing ever we really enjoyed it. Have spent today at a Craft Fair, but it was blooming freezing, got very cold toes, and didn't buy anything although I did see a beautiful porcelain lamp by a company called Sassan Ceramics in Nottingham. Very tempting....

Friday, 28 November 2008

Thanks



Some pics from the sketchbook to show you, while developing some background flowers for my girly stuff range (i always seem to get back to flowers!), but I enjoyed doing them! We have a real cold snap over here in the UK, freezing fog and ice, very wintry, but it was lovely and warm in the studio yesterday. Been at work though today, which was warm, but I'd rather have been in the studio.
It has been Thanksgiving in the States this week (Happy Thanksgiving to those over the pond!)and I was listening to an interview on the radio yesterday about Thanksgiving. It really hit home that we should all be thankful for the all the good things we have in life and having an 'attitude for gratitude', even if there are some things we aren't happy with, there are still lots of things we should say 'Thankyou' for. You never know, I think I may be tempted to celebrate thanksgiving myself next year. And as well as the sentiment and tradition behind it, it sounds like there is lots of good food involved too (even more reason!!).
Thanks for reading my humble little blog and sharing your comments, and also thanks for providing me with some funny, and inspiring blogs to read too xx


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Stitching away



Today I have been a good girl and have spent my time in the studio wisely, ie. I have actually made something rather than sitting thinking about it. I have stitched some canvasses, five in fact, and if my staple gun ever arrives back from the awful company I ordered it from, well firstly I will be amazed, (as I have tried emailing them about 10 times to find out where my package is and have had no reply), and secondly I will actually be able to get some canvasses finished. Grrr, I'm getting really p***ed off with them now! Things like this get me soooo mad, I knew I should have just gone to the shop to buy one. But doing things online, I thought I would save myself a trip out in the car, and my new staple gun and staples that fit would be delivered straight to the door.


Anyway, back to work. Looking forward to a relaxing yoga class tonight.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pink house

Nuther one to add to the ever growing collection

Monday, 24 November 2008

Houses

New print for sale in my Etsy shop soon. House Series 1. Soon to be more than... when I get time. I have twelve houses in all and they are in various states of being finished. I have big plans for them so get one now before its too late!!!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Lovely cosy Sunday

We woke up to snow this morning, but by the time we eventually got out of bed it had all gone, boo! But it has been very cold and wintry, we took the dog for a walk and froze, went out for Sunday lunch to a local pub (which is becoming a weekly event, less washing up) and have spent the afternoon being very lazy, chatting to my sisters on the phone, making soup and lying on the sofa in front of the fire. A perfect day for me at this time of the year.

This is what I have concocted today in the studio, which I did tidy before I started my work. I'm not sure I'm very happy with it.... are the letters too small? Any comments welcome...

Still haven't found the camera charger hence no photos today. Had to order a new one, it will probably turn up now.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Relief

I've been doing some monoprinting today of the images I have been developing for my girly range. The monoprints turned out ok, I love the quality of line you get with monoprinting and the imprecise undetailed sketchy look of them. But, even better is the relief images left in the ink.... ummmm, think I could do something with this concept.


Another day in the studio where I just couldn't seem to get my head together. Have too much going thru my head about what I want to do. First of all, I was thinking maybe the studio needed a tidy up


but if I do that I'm wasting valuable time, but if I leave it, its just gonna bug me! No win situation! I have stuff all over the place, and have decided that even though we bought the biggest cupboard in the whole wide world, I'm still short of storage space. I'm loving those big wide artists drawers, which would make a great surface for the printer and scanner and loadsa room for all my sketchbooks and paper.... so yes, I'm a bit distracted... and then I go and lose my camera charger, have looked everywhere for it, and cannot find. Should I waste even more time turning the house upside down ot just order a new one from Canon? Maybe I should knock it on the 'ead and call it a day, crack open some wine and watch the X factor!!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Introducing the Stephanie Levy Print Collection








I just have to tell you about Stephanie Levy, an American artist living in Germany, whose work I JUST ADORE. I have been following her blog for a while now and I noticed that she has started seling giclee prints of her gorgeous mixed media collages (see above). They are selling in her Etsy shop for the bargain price of $28 and she has produced a fantastic range of 24 pieces of work in this print format.
All of her prints are made using museum quality pigment inks that will last a lifetime without fading. She uses heavy weight (310 gsm), acid-free 100% cotton rag fine art printing papers from the Hahnemuhle William Turner series. This paper has a beautiful texture which looks and feels handmade, and lends itself perfectly to reproducing her stunning collages. If you are into mixed media/collage/painting please check out her shop and treat someone special (or yourself) for Christmas.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Birthday Girl

My latest Etsy shop addition, printed off today on my lovely Epson printer (which has had an easy summer, its gonna start to earn its living now!).

Today 'procrastination' has been my middle name. I spend the first half of the week looking forward to my two days off in the studio, and then when it gets to Thursday, I seem to spend all my time farting around, doing mundane stuff, thinking 'I must get up to the studio'. Today when I got there I didn't know what to do..... how annoying!!! Feeling a bit distracted I suppose, oh well, you can't be firing on all cylinders all of the time can you? Can you???

Monday, 17 November 2008

To-do lists and business plans

More developments from my new project, which I'm just loving working on, think pink and girly and thats pretty much where it's at at the mo! The sketch book is filling out nicely with research and doodles. It's really good to try something completely different to the usual. I'm thinking gift wrap and cards for this design, it just needs a bit more tweaking.

So I can add that to my list of things to do for whats left of this year and then into 2009. At least I don't have the mad Xmas Craft Fair rush to contend with. I decided not to do any, and try and concentrate on getting a bit of a portfolio together. The thing I really wanted to do this year was to get my goods into some shops locally, which I must admit, I hadn't really spent much time on 'doing' due to working extra thru the summer and also our big holiday. Thanks to Nottingham Craft Mafia, my goods are now in a shop, which ticks that box for 2008.

My aspirations for 2009 are to sell some of my designs and patterns and produce more cards and canvasses and also try to boost my online sales. I feel like I need to revisit my 'business plan' and beef it up a bit for this coming year and get a bit more focussed. I look around online at the amazing work being produced and the inspiring people that are getting out there and making it happen, and that's what I want to do!! I haven't got a clue where to start really but at least I feel now that I'm starting to gather enough work to be able to show people and not feel like I'm just 'pretending'. And I do feel this year, even though I haven't had masses of work to do that I've been able to take my time discovering a bit more about my work, not putting myself under too much pressure, enjoying my lovely new studio (although time in there never seems long enough) and kind of firming up the ideas of what I want to do. I feel more confident that I can do it (just don't really feel I know exactly 'how' just yet!), but plenty of people out there are doing it, so why can't I?

What are everyone elses plans for 2009??? Please tell....

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Girly stuff



For my latest project, I have really enjoyed doing this research and trying out a new style of simple illustration. I will be incorporating my stitch and some collage too and will show you the results when I'm done.
Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend



Friday, 14 November 2008

Crappy week rant




Yes, its been a crappy old week, with the puss-cat and all, I had loads of other minor things to moan about which I have now deleted, as I'm sitting watching Childen In Need on the good ole BBC, and realise how pathetic I was being....
Above are two designs for new range I'm working on, the rest of the 'range' isn't worth talking about....boo, what a crock! Never mind though, I'm about to eat Fish and Chips for tea (which is a bit of a treat, got a real craving on the drive home from work and sent psychic vibes to hubby). Yum!! Life isn't really that bad, just ignore me, I'll snap out of it!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Goodbye Barney


Had to have our cat put down today, it was the right thing to do, but still not very nice at all. Rest in peace Barns.

Monday, 10 November 2008

How sweet!!

Just a little picture of my surprise that was waiting for me tonight when I got in from work, a lovely and unexpected present from Natasha, the lady who won my 200th post blog-giveaway. Thankyou so much Natasha, you really shouldn't have, but it was a very kind gesture and I really hope you loved the package.

You know, it's good to spread the blog-love!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

It's warm under foot!

In the studio.... under floor heating is the way to go! Haven't any pics to post as you can't really photograph warmth.... or can you?? I didn't anyway.

Needless to say, I have spent a glorious afternoon up in the studio. We are having an officially lazy weekend. I was sketching (on some new work to be revealed soon, but had to go and buy a new sketchbook for the occasion of new project) and Steve was reading/snoring on the sofa-bed, Jack (our dog) was asleep on the roasty-toasty floor. We were at peace with the world...

But one thing I need to ask you, how many of you have to have a new sketchbook for new projects? Is it just me? I just feel the need to have fresh new pages for fresh new thoughts and ideas, I have loads of half-full sketch pads, (which will be full one day, I like to keep going back to them and adding things as and when). It just totally seems wrong to fill my holiday book (latest green sqaure skethcbook, half-full of stuff )with new girly ideas for my latest 'girly' project..... am I just weird? I know there are some of you who will agree, please someone say I'm not!

Anyway, just to keep in the vein of 'spendaholic' which I seem to have unusually morphed into this week (the boots, another new stapler gun, a fleece for winter-hibernation-mode, coloured tights to go with boots and fleece etc etc) I didn't just buy one sketchbook, I bought 3! Yes three, they were on special offer......honest... I couldn't resist..... bugger the credit crunch!!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Nottingham Craft Mafia Shop 'Get Made'








Nottingham Craft Mafia
opened the doors to their shop 'Get Made' yesterday and today I did my first shift there from 11-2pm. I must say the founder members have done a great job whipping the room into shape, it really looks fantastic, packed to the brim with handmade goodies. It has a great atmosphere and the fact it is attached to the Malt Cross gives it a buzz. I'm really excited to be a part of the Craft Mafia, it sounds as though there will be some good things in pipe-line in the near future. Will be posting more about it soon.

As for sooziebee, there has been nothing going on today as the studio has been out of action due to underfloor-heating-connection-electrician-y kind of stuff and I ended up in town for most of the day, shopping for outfits to go with my new boots (they had better bloody fit me!!)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Houses and more importantly... new boots!!

Okay before I bore you with the details of my day I have to tell you about my find of the year. I have been looking for a pair of boots for AGES, not just any boot, they had to be flat, of a certain stylee, and crepe soles (I saw a lady with some on quite a while ago, and thought 'wow, they are the perfect boots' but wasn't brave enough to wrestle her to the ground and steal said boots, or even just ask her where she got them from). I have searched high and low, even looked for them in the States on holiday, no joy. Until today when I ventured onto the Clarks Originals website, (great website, and lovely shoes too). And as I was scrolling through shoe heaven, there they were.... my dream boots, to go with the new trendy image i will someday invent!! I am soo excited (I know, over a pair of boots, how sad, but i just had to throw my suedey faves out as I have worn a hole in them).

Anyway, enough boot talk..... the houses in my little series are coming along well, and I have been working on them today dans la studio.



And even tried lino cut, which looks ok, well a bit crap really, it was rushed cos I was getting a numb bum and had to take the cat to the vet. Enough of that, am off to make the tea, and go to new yoga class (and try not to think of new boots). Will post tomorrow after my stint in the Craft Mafia shop.






Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Holiday spends




Tonight I wanted to post some pictures of my canvasses, I was really looking forward to getting home form work and piecing together the stretcher bars I ordered the other day and using my new staple gun to make some of my previously posted free machine work into canvasses. Best laid plans and all that..... most of the fabric was too small for the bars I had ordered and then, two staples in and the new 'birthday present' staple gun broke!!! Bugger!! Much swearing and cursing later, I have ordered a new gun and staples from Amazon and I will have to save my canvas-making evening for another day.
Instead here are some pictures of some things I bought in a little shop in Boston. Its called BlackInk and it was one of those shops where you want to buy lots. This bag is a screen printed design, which says 'bloom where you are planted' (which I loved and it has a wonderful design on both sides. The note book is made by Lizi Boyd Papers, of Vermont, and it just beaut! Check out the website for more Lizi Boyd goodies, esp loving the wrapping paper designs.

Monday, 3 November 2008

More houses




This is what my little houses look like with some colour, courtesy of my old vintage box of conte coloured pencils. I spent the evening last night 'colouring in' but have loads more ideas for developing this series. Collage, paints, inks, screen prints and lino, to name but a few. It's great feeling inspired again, and working through a project like I used to in college. Being a bit of a perfectionist I do like going through the whole process and explore lots of different media. The part of projects I used to find really difficult was choosing my subject matter (being a Libran, I can never make a quick decision). Once I had done that I was sorted. So, will post over the next few weeks with my Rockport series and show you how its going along. I'm thinking repeat patterns, gift wrap, tea towels, cards..... blah, blah, blah!!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Rockport house series


Oh dear this looks really small now, I need more practice with Photoshop, I'm crap at it!! I have been playing around all afternoon sketching up my series of twelve or thirteen Rockport houses and scanning them in and colouring them with different palettes, I really wanted to show you, I suppose if you have a magnifying glass handy you can see what I have done!!

As for other stuff, I have taken a load of my stock down to the Craft Mafia shop which opens this Thursday. I will be doing my first 'volly' shift there Friday morning, so will take some pictures to show you. Anyway, now I have hardly any stock left so really need to be getting on with doing some more. I have ordered some stretcher bars to make my own canvasses so will be playing with my new staple gun this week (watch out!!), whilst I attempt to make my own stitched canvas type things. Then I want to look into getting some screen printing done, but haven't a clue where to start. If anyone has any screen print expertise they would like to share with me, I need to know, whether I should buy a starter kit, or get stuff indiviually, also is the ink really expensive? I have been inspired by all the fantastic fabrics in blog land and Etsy, as well as printing books by Lena Corwin and Lotta Jansdotter, and am dying (ha, scuse the pun, only just realised on re-read) to try my hand at it, just another excuse to make some mess....