Saturday, 31 January 2009

be my 100th heart

oh go on someone, be my 100th Etsy heart!!!

Had a lovely day shopping today with my niece, what a great time we all had! Was very tempted to buy lots of warm winter woollies, but as my husband kept reminding me, we weren't shopping for me! I think Ella was happy with her new outfit, she looked very grown up!!

Its gonna get very cold this weekend so I don't think we will be going far, staying in the warmth next to the fire and watching films!

Friday, 30 January 2009

old photos

Today started off full of good intentions, and I did a few card designs but soon veered off into 'jobs-that-have-needed-doing-for-ages-and-I-haven't-got-round-to-them-land' , one of which was scanning a lot of my old photos onto the computer as they need putting onto my digital photo-frame. Now, me and old photos, I could waste a whole lot of time just looking thru them. See one below, which should make you smile, as you can see my love of alcohol started early!!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Nuther two sales!!

yey!!! Sold another two cards on Etsy, I know this prob sounds like I'm losing the plot a bit over two sales, but its a MASSIVE deal for me after all the thoughts that have been whizzing through my head today about my work!!! V V pleased, glass of vino, big bubbly bath and pat on back for self, then settling down to watch ER.

Sales buzz

Here are a few of my scribblings from last week at the Victoria and Albert Museum (I can't believe that was a week ago). Sorry nothing more exciting to post picture-wise! But I have some good news to report re: sales.
I was doing a shift today at the Nottingham Craft Mafia shop, and was thinking about Etsy and my shop sales, and sales at the Craft Mafia shop etc etc etc and pondering how to go about getting more. I had a chat with my sister about which direction to concentrate on this year. Do I concentrate on selling to the public or try to go down a more commercial route selling designs to companies??? Whilst in the middle of my thinking about how I'm not getting the sales I want, and why, and do people just not like my stuff, I then had the next two customers thru the door buy some of my cards!!! Mini-cheer to self, and doubts banished!!! (for now!!)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Original Watercolours for sale

After an excellent suggestion from a well-respected fellow artist, I have decided to list some of my original watercolours on Etsy and I'm hoping to list one every day or so. I think I might have to get some instructions on how to improve my photos, maybe making a lightbox or something...

life/pattern philosophy

There were some amazing ideas and inspiration for sooziebee down at the Victoria and Albert Museum this weekend. I was particularly interested in looking at the jewellery exhibits (where I did lots of sketching, will post pics later in the week. As an aside, does anyone else get really self-conscious when they sketch in public places???). As well as the jewels, there were patterns galore with the amazing exhibits from different countries around the world. I got some great ideas for developing my patterns and new ideas for shapes and colours, and also a better insight into different ways patterns can fit together.......which got me all philosophical and thinking about how things fit together in your life, the patterns you like, the ones you don't like and also where the gaps are and what you want to fill them with! I love spending time with my sisters, its precious, and too infrequent for my liking, maybe I need to alter my pattern a little......

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Ear, ear!!

Hraah, the tablets have finally started working, and my ear seems to be on the mend. Have been feeling proper sorry for myself the past few days but the new tablets the Dr gave me today have done the trick, and I'm feeling tonnes better. Don't want ear ache again anytime soon though!

So, the good news is.......... London is still on! The Spa unfortunately isn't (these things turn out for the best in the end, I didn't really want to go swimming and get lots of chlorine in the old ear!) but we can still have fun, after all there is plenty to do and see in the Big Smoke!
So my bag is packed, very last minute I may add, and tomorrow I'm off to the Victoria and Albert Museum, armed with my trendy Angie Lewin sketchbook, and the gorgeous one I bought on holiday (yes, I'm fianlly going to use them and not just look at them) to look at all the beautiful jewellery, shoes and bags, and do some research for my next set of cards and patterns. And, BIG BONUS, I get to spend three whole days with my sister, who I don't see that often as she lives in Italy. As we aren't going to the Spa, we have shortlisted some arts and crafts markets to go and browse, a West End show (The Sound of Music) and Camden Market on Saturday. Will be doing a nice juicy post when I return. V excited!!

Get well soon

A wee message for myself, I have an awful ear infection and am fed up with feeling poorly. I've never had the pleasure of ear problems before and will be so much more sympathetic in the future to anyone who has. To add insult to injury, my Spa Day in London with my sister has been cancelled, there was a small fire at our Spa, so all bookings are cancelled until Feb. Bugger!!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Stars in your eyes!

But what do they say? I'm not sure whethe stars could say 'good luck', 'thanks', 'you are a star (too obvious??), birthday. I like 'em but not sure what I could use them for. They need tweaking so they look a bit brighter so this isn't the finished article by a long shot but I have high hopes for my stars. I am going to try them in different colours too so the range is similar but different, and also try some flowers too. Not sure whether it will be tonight or now.... I have an ear infection, which is hurting and I think I just want to curl up on the sofa and go to sleep.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Good Luck

Good Luck cards in the making.... in the same watercolour style I am enjoying so much at the mo.
I've had my first Etsy sales for ages today, which is great news, hopefully this will be a good sign for 2009. I have ordered a load of blank cards so will be printing some more cards this week and putting them in the Nottingham Craft Mafia shop, I need to shuffle my stock regularly to keep things looking fresh. Watch out for a good Etsy sale soon, I have decided to have a spring clean of my shop, even though Spring isn't in the air at all, its good to be organised. And talking of Spring cleaning... the house is in dire need of one...ugh... don't want to even think about THAT!!!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Starting something new

Yes, you can breathe a collective sigh of relief, no more hearts today!! Instead we have stars and four-leaf clovers for the beginning of the Good Luck cards. Now then, do they look like clovers, or do they just look like green flowers?? It's been a refreshing change of palette, but I am keeping the same kind of composition and style and hopefully in the end they will be good enough.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Gold Star for me

I have just listed three new Valentine cards on my Etsy shop and one on Folksy. This BIG KISS bing one of em, oh blimey, I need a sit down now!!
Just been to see Slumdog Millionaire at the pics this evening, wow, what a great film, would highly recommend it.
By the way, does this card look like a big kiss, or just a big red angry cross, as that def isn't the message I want to get across, just wondered? Or am I being too critical?

'Hearted out'

I think I've done the hearts thing to death now (not a very romantic notion I know, but there are only so many hearts a girl can handle in one week!) so I have tied up the loose ends of my Valentine Range today, I ended up with 15 designs all told, but I am not sure if I have the stamina to list them all on Etsy today. I also had the pain-in-ass job of counting my stock of blank cards as I have run out of polythene wrappers, so put an order in (my least fave studio job as its so boring I end up losing my concentration and having to count everything three times!). I did do a bit of painting but I now feel like every piece looks the same so I'm giving up for the day now and may do some yoga to soothe my aching legs after my run this morning.

The lovely Karen from Karen Faulkner Art has put an idea into my head about my watercolour hearts, and I think I am going to list some originals on Etsy and see if they sell. I really admire Karens watercolours, the colours are so vibrant and the simplicity of her art is stunning, check out her blog and her Etsy shop and you will see what I mean. If I have a tiny bit of the success Karen has had with her watercolours I will be extremely pleased. Thanks for the idea Karen, just not sure when I will get around to listing them!!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Folksy and Etsy

Just uploaded to my Etsy shop this evening in a larger format than normal (about 8 x 10 inches in all) and available for you to buy now.
Also while I am on the topic of self-promotion, I have opened a Folksy shop which you can find here Its a little empty at the moment, I only have three items in there and I am trying to spend more time on both shops. Folksy is beta-phase at the moment and should be going all the way in Feb 09. It's like a UK version of Etsy and seems to be taking off. There are some beautiful shops on there selling all things handmade. Watch those pennies, you will want to spend, spend, spend! Watch this space for more news soon.........

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Loving the hearts

The results of some watercolour painting in the studio yesterday, have made their way to cards already. See in Etsy shop this week. It's just tricky keeping the colours as warm as the original watercolours. It was great to be able to get back to basics and experiment with different media again, and also it made me realise that for every half decent piece there are at least a couple of duds!! It refreshing to be able to revisit and develop an idea (this one I had about two years ago) and look at it differently. This is one of the reasons I like looking through my old sketch books when I'm ready for starting something new.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Heaps of Hearts

Just posted in my Etsy shop this very evening. I'm determined to make more of an effort with my Etsy shop this year, and hopefully it will pay off, I'm hoping to make at least one new item a week, but how long this will last I don't know.... I have more ideas up my sleeve for Valentine Cards, I know I'm organised for once, will show you them tomorrow if they go together well. And I must thank little-hb for help with inspiration, big kiss to you X


I bought these lovely little note books when we were on holiday last year and have only just got them out of their packaging after seeing a post about Ecojot on PrintPattern. Check out their website, it's like reading a story, the designs are so fresh and original, they are an eco-friendly, green company based in Canada, and I think the whole thing is very inspiring. Go buy some....

Friday, 9 January 2009

Snappety snap

Thats me with my camera! Have been photgraphing some of my work, the ones below are the up close ones of the Cold Landscape piece as the picture i posted yesterday wasn't very good, the light at the moment is crap, it hardly ever seems to get light.

This is starting to grow on me now and I'm starting to like it a bit more, to begin with I just thought it looked like something a five year old could do!!
Today has been really productive, partly because I sat down last night before I went to bed and made a list, which was REALLY useful to put in order the odds and ends jobs I had to finish off. I can't be doing with disordered chaos in my head! One of the jobs on the list was to print out and tweak the Valentine cards designs I have had for ages and here they are..... you may have seen the designs before but now they are real cards.

Second job on the list, was to finish off my foxgloves cards, again which I had done the designs for ages ago, here they are too. Will be posting these on Etsy later along with Valentine cards.

So thats all for now, I'm pleased with what I've done today, but am looking forward to sketching again. I'm off to London in a couple of weeks with my sister and have a full day to myself for research and visiting places. I'm thinking the Victoria and Albert Museum. ANyone know any good exhibitons on at the moment??

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Cold landscape

This is how my landscape textile piece is coming along, inspired by the Northumberland countryside. I'm hoping to make it into a framed or mounted-on-canvas finished article soon and have spent today in the studio working on it. It still needs a bit of work, as usual Im not 100%happy with it, the sky is looking a bit sparse, but then I think if I stitched into it anymore I'd be losing the watercoloury pale lightness of it (does that make sense to anyone else??) I wanted to try and reflect the moodiness of winter, with pale skies..... ummmm..... any ideas anyone?
I wanted to try and finish this today so I can get on with making my New Years List of Projects for sooziebee for 2009. I'm determined to be more focussed but even as I type this my head is whirling with 'what shall I do?'. I can never make up my mind what to do first........

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year

Well, hello there!! And Happy New Year to y'all. Hope you all had a great time, I have missed blogging but it has been nice to have a computer break. I have had a fantastic festive period and have spent a lot of time with my family, chatting, eating, drinking, cooking, laughing and generally having a good old time. I can't believe how fast it has gone, and here we are in a brand new year, full of possibilities. Bring it on!

Now I never make resolutions, too much pressure and mostly I don't stick to them for long, which makes me feel crap (which is the main reason I don't do diets!) so this year, my sister and I have decided to make a list of things we want to do. I know it sounds like New Years Resolutions, but it isn't, its New Years Aspirations (less pressure you see, more positive slant on the whole thing) so its a win-win situation, plus the list is quite long, so hopefully by the end of the year lots of things will be ticked off. I won't bore you with all of the details, as I haven't finished it yet. But I promise to share some with you as the year goes on.

So, what about 2008? It was a pretty good year, no complaints. We have had an amazing holiday to the States, which had given me lots of inspiration for my work, my studio was born and I hope to spend more time in there in 09, I got some of my work published (although haven't seen the book in real life yet), did my first sooziebee commission, joined the Nottingham Craft Mafia, and got my work into a real shop, have met lots of lovely people in blog-land and in the local area, and feel like I know a bit more about what I want from my business. Watch this space....

As for my life outside of my art and aspiring little sooziebee business I feel a lot more grounded, and have finally started to accept certain things in life that I have spent the last few years trying to make happen, and I've started to be able to say 'what will be, will be' and to mean it, and now I can say I am a much happier person.

So here's to 2009, and it being a good one......