Saturday, 29 August 2009

bird variation

I have just read a blog post by a fellow Craft Mafia friend, about feeling directionless and not having enough time to get ideas developed and resolved, and I can wholeheartedly say that this sums up how i feel at the moment. I just seem to be jumping round from one thing to the next, reworking old ideas, looking thru old sketchbooks, trying to decide what to do next, and then when i do decide i then spend the whole time wondering how to start.... bleurgghh, i can't stand feeling like this... Today i finally get to sit down in the studio, and what do I do? procrastinate!! My two new ventures, fruit+veg and buildings are going nowhere fast at the moment, I have thought about them a while and just haven't had time to put pen to paper. Maybe when you feel like this it's time to pack up, lock the door and go and read a book ar watch a film, or maybe just have a little afternoon nap!! hmmm, now that sounds good.... back soon x

Thursday, 27 August 2009

lovely new tea towels

those of you know know me really well will know i'm not usually one to get excited about tea towels (or anything else related to house-work for that matter) BUT, how can you not get excited about tea towels when they are as nice as these? They arrived this morning from a gorgeous company called Jam Tart, who stock a funky selection of home and kitchen goodies. I just love the VW campers and beach hut ranges, so beautifully illustrated... the kind of products I dream of making myself one day when I have finally learned how to screen print!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

where is the time going?

oh my goodness, i haven't posted in a whole week, partly because I have been in a field for the majority of the weekend, and partly because I haven't had much to tell you, apart from spending my weekend in a field! It was a lovely field though, and the weather was good, which made the field even nicer!!

Things have been busy, so I'll keep this nice and short, but I did have a little time last week to try out some ideas for a birdy print, which should be available in my shop soon, do you like??
oops, i for got to say i was in the field in a tent!!

Monday, 17 August 2009

american houses revisited

here are my houses again, this time reworked in the style of the birdy illustrations, with a thicker outline, which i think looks a bit better as they are more solid looking and a bit chunkier. I have been thinking of ways to colour them, non-digitally, and tried out watercolour, as you can see, but it hasn't quite worked out the way I had planned. The colour seems a bit too wishy-washy and not really bright enough. Digital may be the only way forward here! Any ideas??
As for the next project, I have been having a think, and also a chat with my lil sis (who I can always rely on for some inspiration), and I have narrowed it down to (1) local landmarks and architecture (i see some nice days out with the sketchbook) or (2) fruit and vegetables (this being an ideal time of year for apples, pears, plums and also an array of garden veg). I'm not sure what I actually want to produce, but am hoping i can come up with something sellable, whether it be a series of limited edition prints or some cards, or maybe even some original illustrations for the kitchen (or some screen-printed tea-towels??) Or maybe i shouldn't be thinking too hard about an end product and just enjoy starting a new project and doing some thorough research.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

a trip down sketchbook memory lane

I have been going thru bit of a retrospective phase at the moment, probably because I have come to the end of one project (the birds, the birds!!) and am getting itchy feet about moving on to a new one, inspiration yet failing to strike. So I have been revisiting some of my old work, in an attempt to get the creative juices flowing again, and trying to come up with a new ideas for whatever comes next.

So, due to lack of new work, here are some pictures from one of my fave sketchbooks, which I did a couple of years ago at college, whilst I was doing my Foundation course. We had a printmaking course, which I really enjoyed, and we covered everything from basic monoprint, to etching, collograph etc. I loved putting together my sketchbook, although looking back at it, it now seems a bit orchestrated (we were told that the whole module would be marked, including our sketchbooks. This, for me, took the experimental aspects of the sketchbook away, as I wanted it to 'look good' and get a good mark!! Ever studious!!)

These days, my sketchbooks are very different. They are just about me and my creative processes, rather than being about hoops which one must jump thru in order to get a good mark and pass the course! I don't have to show them to anyone if I don't want to, and I don't have any college tutors breathing down my neck, waiting to see what I have done this week!! I'm not sure I have a favourite in my collection, but maybe I'll dig some of mine out to show you too. One thing I do know is, even after all of the sketchbooks I have filled over the years, I'm still filled with a little trepidation when faced with a brand spanking new one, full of clean white pages, and there is still a little voice in my head (probably from my childhood) hoping I will do my book justice and not spoil it!! How weird!!
As part of my fascination with sketchbooks, I will be doing a series of blog posts on 'Sketchbook Peeks' for the Nottingham Craft Mafia blog, which I am really excited about. I'm going to ask some of my fellow mafiosa, and also see whether I can get some of my admirable blog-rollers involved. I'll be having a peek into their sketchbooks, and asking them some nosey-parker questions, so I hope you will stop by and have a read.

Monday, 10 August 2009

the studio, on year on

I can't believe my studio has been finished a year now! I was starting to worry that I would have to be singing happy 1st birthday to the blank, pictureless walls, but today we finally put up some pictures, (not as many as I wanted due to lack of nails, but hey, it's a start). I wanted a hap-hazard kind of jumble of lots of shapes and sizes of frames and pics, but as you can see my tap-measure-wielding, symmetry-obsessed husband influenced proceedings somewhat. Never mind, when he gets some more nails, I'm stealing the hammer and am going to make a few additions to the wallspace myself!!!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

do all chapters have to end?

They say that a change is as good as a rest, or somthing like that. I have been thinking of starting up something new, getting into a new project, sometime soon, as I have been on the bird theme for quite a while now, and even though I have had some success with my sales I'm wondering whether it is time to move on to pastures new.
So I was flicking through some of my old sketchbooks last night, and came across the American Houses series I did last year after my hols to New England, and I started doodling ideas, and reworking old ones. And this made me think it would be nice to work on them again with a fresh perspective, as I can now see where they need improving, and where I can make them better (which I definitely couldn't see at the time when I originally worked on them).
So this got me thinking about the bigger picture, of going back to something to rework/change/improve it. Does everyone do this, or do they resign old ideas to the scrap heap, never to be seen again, and come up with something new for each project, or do you like to delve into sketchbooks past to help get your creative juies flowing again?? Would love to hear...

Friday, 7 August 2009

et voila

something a bit like this!!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

more holiday windows

I know, I've got a french window thing going on!! I had this idea when we were on hols to take loads of pics of the beautiful windows and then make a bigger picture of them when I get back... haven't got round to it yet though. Too busy getting quotes for framing and finishing some illustrations... and also crying about my dog! I know, it just sneeks up on you when you are least expecting it (usually when in the house alone) and before i know where i am, i'm a blubbering wreck!! But time will make things better I know. I just have to be positive and stop beating myself up for feeling sad. Its all part of the process.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Featured Seller on Folksy

hey there, things seem to be slowly picking up pace, with an amazing feature on Folksy this week. Check it out here
I'm so pleased (plus i managed my first day back at work with no major stresses!! Yey!!)

Sunday, 2 August 2009


helloooo there, i'm just back from a wonderful week in the South of France, in a lovely villa with my friends, a well-timed holiday if ever there was one! We had beautiful blue skies and sunshine everyday, and we have come back feeling all refreshed and rested, although it was strange coming back to an empty house. I'm hoping the stress free mood will last at least until the end of the week!! Back in the UK though, we nearly drowned as we got off the plane and neary had to swim to the airport building, I couldn't believe it was the 1st August, this British weather is pants!! But at least it seems we may have brought a bit of the sunshine back with us, today its lovely, so happy sunday to you all, have a good one!