Sunday, 28 February 2010

going home and coming home

We have just got back from a fantastic week in Northumberland where we have done some walking, sightseeing, eating, seen family, partying and chilling out. It's been just great. I thought I would share some of our pics with you... these ones are from a place called Steel Rigg on Hadrians Wall, which has given me lots of landscape inspiration, the rolling hills, the winter colours, the ice and the wind... it was freezing but beautiful and we soon warmed up once we started trekking up the hills!! It was hard to believe that the wall has been there so long, as we imagined Roman Centurions patrolling this harsh landscape in the depths of winter, and without fleeces, thermals and goretex to keep them warm and dry!! Not my idea of fun really!!
So we are back now, back to work tomorrow, big boo, but maybe feeling a bit more up to it now my cough and cold is slowly getting better! Will post more pics and sketches as the week goes on...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Tea For Four

This is one of my new prints, limited edition of ten only. It's called Tea For Four and is based on one of my current fave themes... TEA... yes, whether it be by the cup or the pot, it has to be tea for me every time!! I can't stand coffee, I have tried, really tried to like it. I love the smell of freshly ground coffe beans, Whittards, even our vintage percolator bubbling away on the stove, but that taste... yeuck.. I just can't!!
Anyhoo, I digress, this new print is available in my folksy shop now, get yours before it goes cold!!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

ever tried a self portrait?

Now they are blinking difficult. This looks nothing like me, maybe I have the shape of the face right but eyes, nose and mouth all belong to some stranger who is decidely prettier than me!! I think I need to have a visit to the National Portrait Gallery and get some pointers, and maybe just study other peoples work... will file this one under 'needs more practice'.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

hands are hard to draw

But I'm not as scared of drawing them as I used to be. I think this is part of my new artistic confidence I have gained since I started sketching on a more regular basis. I am finding that I'm not as daunted by the things I used to run a mile from!! I am definitely an advocate of 'practice makes perfect' and altho I have a long way to go, and probably will never reach 'perfection' I really am happy with the new skills I am developing and the way my sketches are improving. I'm about half way thru my sketchbook now, and I can see a definite change from the first few pages to present. It's going in the right direction!
Just one thing I wanted to say about this sketch, I seem to have given myself a french manicure, and tidied up my wrecked finger nails for public viewing!!

Monday, 22 February 2010

i love my iron

Those of you who know me well will know I am rather averse to spending my free time on domestic chores... in my opinion there are much more important things in my life than cleaning windows and dusting. Don't get me wrong my house is generally quite clean and tidy but if I had the choice of say, spending the day out walking the dog, reading a book, gardening or cleaning windows I know what I'd choose!

BUT there is one exception in my general dislike of all things related to household chores and that is the ironing. Don't ask me why, I just like ironing... getting all the creases out and making everything look all nice and well.... ironed! Am i weird? I draw the line at ironing socks and knickers tho, unlike my strange sister in Italy!!

So this is my iron... again from a variety of perspectives...

Friday, 19 February 2010

angles and demons

ha, see what I did there? I'm still working on this thing of trying to draw the same object from different perspectives. This one was quite quick and easy, a tube of handcream isn't the most challenging thing to draw, but i thought i'd gve it a try all the same!

Anyway, I'm feeling lots better now, almost human again, after lots of rest, sketching, vitamins, fruit and veg and sleep.

And I may have some more news to tell you in a wee while... I have recently been approaching more retail outlets regarding stocking my work, and I think there is going to be some good news in the pipeline soon... watch this space!! Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

blue birds

new print just listed in Folksy right here....

things in my bedroom part 2

as you can see my dressing table has provided me with a great source of inspiration and eye candy this week. I'm really trying to chllange myself now and am starting to draw objects at strange angles, not just side-on like I usually would be tempted to do! It's a good exercise which makes you think and look more. As I have had nothing to do this week, I have sketched a lot more so have lots of pages to share with you.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

things in my bedroom part 1

So what do you do when you are stuck at home, surrounded by tissues, vitamin c and echinacea? Some drawing of course, it's good for the soul and makes me feel a wee bit better!! And it is certainly good for passing the time of day when you don't much feel like doing anything else. And I'm certainly starting to love the ball-point pen, i didn't realise it was so versatile.

My dressing table (well the top of my chest of drawers) is a right clutter, the thought of drawing it all was a bit too daunting, so i decided to just do a little bit and got carried away. So here is a little glimpse into my chaos, called the bedroom, more to follow soon....

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


As some of you will know I started 2010 by treating myself to the amazing Danny Gregory book 'The Creative License'. I'm still following it and slowly filling up my sketchbook with my sketches of things around me.
One of the things that the author of the book says is that you should never feel as though you have nothing to draw. When I used to be in the mood for sketching I would sit there wondering what to draw, feeling completely uninspired and end up drawing nothing! Reading this book has made me realise that no-one should ever be able to utter those words. Just take a look around you, in your lounge, kitchen, sock drawer, bathroom cabinet, garden, fridge... I could go on, but I won't!! There are literally thousands of things to draw all around you.
So this is my latest sketch of one of my hair-clips, nothing earth-shatteringly amazing about a boring old hairclip, but when you draw somthing that you would normally just take for granted, you get to really see the way the light reflects off the metal clasp, the tiny indentations, the way the screw fits into the mount, and the way that black isn't always black if you just take the time to see... I guess you could apply this to many things in your life, but I'm not going to get too philosphical on you... I'm still full of cold and don't feel the inclination towards philosphy today. I'll have a lemsip and piece of cake instead!!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Handmade Nation Screening in Nottingham

this is one of the things I have been working on recently, a very exciting Handmade Nation Screening at our fantastic Broadway Cinema in Nottingham. You can buy tickets here. There is also a Handmade Market all day, well until 9pm, where you will be able to buy lots of handmade goods, and also meet the makers, as well as take part in superb selection of craft demos.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

don't be scared of the dark

which I think I am sometimes when I'm doing my sketching. I tend to draw the outline and then tentatively shade using a cross-hatching, which seems to be the flavour of the month at the mo!! I always feel as though my sketches look so much better when I get a bit braver and make the shading heavier, it gives much more definition and, even though it's more time consuming, it is a lot more satisfying!! And I have noticed there is a lot of white space on my pages, maybe I need to put an end to this and colour wash or collage some pages before I draw on them, to give a bit more depth and interest to my pages.

This weekend has been lovely (apart from living in the house of germs, yes we still have our colds!! boo!!). I got to look thru a lot of my 'sketchbook-books' as my niece came to stay. She is a bit of an artist herself so it was great to spend some time talking about ideas and how to look at things and draw them in different ways, setting yourself mini-tasks and challenges. We even bought her a new sketchbook so I have converted another person to Danny Gregorys cause of drawing more and hopefully she will start to fill it up with her drawings!!

As for other stuff, I have been in a bit of turmoil recently (well, I say turmoil, that maybe is a bit over-dramatic, maybe i should rephrase...? confusion, perplexity (is that a word)? perhaps) about my life-family-work-art-sparetime balance! I have been trying to think of ways to be able to spend more time on my business and had to make the decision to cut back on a few ventures I have become involved in. It's sad, but I think I have made the right decision, even though I feel as though I am letting people down. Why is it I seem to spend half of my life trying to make up my mind about things and the other half of it feeling guilty about the decisions I make!! True Libran, always trying to weigh everything up and make the right choices!
Ok enough blathering, enjoy the rest of your Valentines Day

Friday, 12 February 2010

new work

You would be really proud of me today, I have spent a whole day in the studio, making some new work. I recently sold a large textile piece, so have decided to make more, along the lines of the one I sold. I'm happy with how they have turned out, they are going to the framers tomorrow with the proceeds of my sale!! So there I have been all day, surrounded my wools, threads, sewing machine and ideas, it's been great.
And it's the weekend now, so even though we both feel full of cold still, we have two days off and a M&S curry for tea, what decadence!! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

blog mentions...

Well I just wanted to mention I have had a couple of blog mentions of late, the first by a lovely lady at The Design Engine blog, about some work I sent their way. Please check out the new blog, it features lots of lovely design inspiration and ideas and some gorgeous images too.

And secondly I have been awarded a sunshine award from the gorgeous Jeanette over at The
Lazy Seamstress Thankyou Jeanette for the nomination, I am truly honoured and I am sending some sunshine and love right back to you.

As for other stuff, I seem to be getting my focus back and have a full day in the studio planned for tomorrow. I just hope I'm in the zone when I wake up!! Night night for now!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


here is a bit of more in-depth development on the pictures of my converse boots, very comfy but not really suitable for this kind of weather... but I will be able to start wearing them again when things get warmer (things are decidedly 'not warm' at the mo, but at least the boiler is fixed now!) As for everything else, keep watching this space for our Nottingham Craft Mafia announcement!!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

mint choca

I love mint chocolate, so i thought these two colours would look quite nice together. You can find this new limited edition print on Folksy in my shop here. As for other news, I think I will have some very exciting news to tell you this week.... can't give away too much but it involves Nottingham Craft Mafia and our first major event... all very very exciting for us!! Watch this space... but until then, why not have a wander round my Folksy shop.... make my day!!

Monday, 8 February 2010


A few quick sketches of one of my fave pairs of shoes, present for my last birthday from 2 of my sisters.

Today i am off work, feeling poorly, i'm sure the doctor should be prescribing me a week in the Bahamas to convalesce. It seems I'm picking up everything that's going round in the last 12 months, Steve has got it too, and we were both up at 4am this morning watching BBC News 24 as we both couldn't sleep due to our bunged-up-ness and inability to breathe!! Hopefully we should both be feeling better very soon, with lots of sleep, vitamin c and hydration. Roll on feeling better....

Sunday, 7 February 2010

lazy sunday afternoon

this one will be going on sale soon, i have no idea what i want to call it yet though!! And here is my new print, Mocha Choca, very warm and satisfying!!

Saturday, 6 February 2010


this is the latest sketchbook offering, trying to practice doing people, umm, may need more practice!!

Good news today I sold my first 'big' piece of textile work at one of the shops where I have my work, and to say I'm really pleased would be an understatement! It has given me a boost, at a time when I could really do with it, and has made me think about how I want things to be. I have been spending too little time 'making' and 'designing' new work and too much time on other ventures, and I think that has resulted in a loss of focus, and things have all got a bit blurred!! I only get a couple of days a week to spend on my 'business' so I need to maximise this and make the most of it to be as productive as possible. I think this is going to involve cutting back the time I spend on other things, however much I enjoy them, and concentrate more on taking my work further!

So... how do I do that?? Answers on a postcard....

Friday, 5 February 2010

today is definitely a better day!!

yes, today is definitely a better day, the boiler has been fixed, I am warming up and I have made some new work... what on earth was i getting my knickers in a twist for??To add to the goodness,one of my cards has been featured on Found On Folksy today. Hurray for plumbers, sleep and a bit of sunshine thur the clouds!!

the power of sleep

i am back on track, had some good sleep, no more tired and emotional, although we are still waiting for the plumber to come and give us heat!! Just been out for a lovely walk, although I did have a comedy moment when trying to persuade Mac, our Border Collie, that the stream wasn't really 'that' deep and was perfectly safe for him to have a paddle and clean his legs, when I fell in and ended up with water in my wellies and a muddy bum!! Oh well, at least my boots are now clean, although the dog is still muddy!!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

tired and emotional

ok, apologies for the crappy picture, i promise i will have something a bit more worthy to show you tomorrow. as for the title of this post, feeling a wee bit sorry for myself at the moment. every so often i wish the world would slow down a bit, so there was a bit more time for sleeping and relaxing and even talking. this week has been so busy i haven't had time to do anything other than eat and sleep, with only work in between. so this weekend i have the whole of it at home, with some studio time sprinkled in there for good measure as i haven't had a decent day in there this year. today i went to the studio, pulled out the sofa bed, whacked on the heating and went to sleep!!! Our boiler has broken... not a good time of year for this to happen as you can imagine... so it's a bit chilly in our cottage... spirits are a bit low.... i think we need some sunshine, good hearty soul-food and plenty of sleep!! BUT, on the bright side at least the studio is warm and cosy!!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

le metro

can you believe these amazing metro signs, just on the street in paris? They are gorgeous, and will hopefully provide me with some well needed inspiration when i get to pick up my sketchbook again. busy, busy, busy at the mo, at work and home...

Monday, 1 February 2010


and I have been back from Paris for just 24 hours!! I am really busy with a very exciting event happening in Nottingham very soon and which I should be able to tell you all about later this week. For now, I will have to keep you in suspense...

As for the sketching I have had a look thru my sketchbook at what I have done during January, and have made a little list of what I want to try in Feb, adding colour and different media and getting a bit more experimental. I just seem to have been really busy, need to re-focus and get back in the swing of sketching again and i will hopefully have some new stuff to show you later in the week...