Monday, 28 May 2012

Weekend Break

Just had a really lovely weekend break, - nowhere fancy - at home, out&about, picnics in the park, exploring round Sarehole Mill (again - it's a family favourite), mooching about the house hunting down the cool spots. But it was more than that - it was a break away from work, and I needed it and at a guess, I reckon we all did.
 I work at weekends because I don't have much time during the week - but this weekend showed me again how much fun we all have together when we're just chilling out and I have missed it - a lot. I need to make sure this happens more regularly, although not necessarily with wellies on in the hottest part of the day!

So it's time to streamline - the ranges and the processes. My work is becoming more popular, which is fantastic so I need to spend more time printmaking, developing the ranges and less time on some other aspects of the process - it's called out-sourcing or some other such horrible management speak term. I'll let you know, but am talking book-binders, nothing sinister (a nicer bunch would be hard to find lol). Talks are underway, but it's still at the cauldron stage. No magic answer yet, but at least I know it's in the air.

Also trying to get some more general album shots together for work marketing - 'feel' photos I suppose, and this one is just the start:

Now I must get back to making up Jubilee Bunting - not for sale, this is for us...the children have been potato-printing red white and blue and now it's time for the string and glue! Big family party this weekend and some time away together...we need the jubilee jazz to be in place before we go or they will never forgive me after all their effort!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Studio61 near Matlock

I recently sent some of my hand-printed notebooks and art-flag bunting over to Karina Goodman's gorgeous gallery boutique and if you take a peek over here on Facebook you will see some lovely goodies nestled in the gallery shop along with my art-flag bunting in one of the window shots. Thanks Karina!

I am looking forward to popping over some time over the next couple of months - hopefully it will still be as sunny as it clearly was when these pics were taken, lovely!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Honesty seeds

I have been experimenting with bookbinding papers. I recently printed up a new linocut design based on honesty seedheads - they're so beautiful. I am allowing myself to play with colours although am still drawn to plums, greys, greens and mustard. Moriki Kozo is another handmade Japanese paper - gorgeous to look at and touch, it is a dream to use for printmaking and with lovely strong fibres yet great pliability, it is also great for bookbinding.

I am very much at the practising-until-I-get-this-perfect stage right now, so anything I show on here is mine all mine lol. I will be selling these soon though, but I want to be sure that I've got the process just so before getting Folksy about it all.

It's not a bad start, and I love the way the mustard paper almost looks gold contrasted against the purple bookcloth. This will fill up soon enough with sketches, ideas and lists no doubt. A5 size, it'll be the smallest that I do with papers like this - albums and larger journals/sketchbooks are on my to-do list.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Folksy Friday - Jubilee Joy

My little boy is getting very excited about the upcoming Jubilee and after begging me for a (way too) expensive Jubilee set in the Post Office (posting off orders, yey) I felt bad for saying no, and looked out my old Jubilee coins from 1977. Cleaned up and sparkling, they made a great 'look what I brought into school' thing for him ....and he didn't lose them! Might have to check out the 2012 set again - you're only young once. We had the whole works in 1977 for the silver Jubilee, a decked-out street party and weather! I was young (very young obviously...) and it was special. Here are some special Jubilee favourites from Folksy:
Flourish Prints and Cards £15
CraftsCouncil £2.99
HelkatDesign £42
Jack and Bills £10
Josie-Mary £6

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Ding Dong the Bells are going to Chime!

I have been looking forward to uploading pics of the wedding stationery but wanted to wait until my first commission had landed, well it has now - no legs broken and big smiles all round, phew!

Inspired by the commission I went on to design a second range, so I now have oak trees, lovebirds, hearts and wedding bells ringing, singing and winging all round my studio. It's great.

I will be developing the bespoke maps further, offering different formats etc. but for now, I am thrilled with how these turned out - I wanted them to be extra special and now I wish I had one from our own anniversary present for another year perhaps? Shhhhh, don't tell!

 My eyes are blurry from listing them over on Folksy, and the maps aren't even there yet - all my own fault of course, can't stop tweaking! Time to curl up on the sofa and have a glass of wine - well almost ;P.

Friday, 11 May 2012

A little bit retro

I've got that Friday feeling, but am not reaching for a lovely honeycomb chocolate bar (sigh), no the threat of sunshine has had me thinking about spring and summer dresses - for me and for my little girl. Now, if I'm honest I don't think I could get away with all of these, but a girl can daydream. My furiously feisty beautiful girl however, she can pull anything off (and probably will, she's 2!)

A selection of lovelies from Folksy:

Wild Things - Funky Little Dresses £30

Susie's Wardrobe £110
Pink Caterpillar £22
ModeAlisa £40
With Hugs and Kisses £23.99
Grandma Chic £60

Fruit salad for lunch - warm weather is on its way, at least for a couple of days : P.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Little Glimpses

I have been having a lot of fun getting ready to send off my first wedding commission of handprinted invitations and maps. There is more to follow in the commission but this first instalment is exciting enough.

Maps eh? A new direction for me (sometimes you just have to give in to the impulse ;p). Tiny peek only - this pic isn't strictly just the commission but is a taste of what is around the corner (see, I meant it - give in to the urge!).

I knew I'd like it, but I honestly didn't know just how much would enjoy doing a wedding commission. It has been wonderful from the outset - in no small part because the couple getting married have been a real pleasure to work with.

I don't want to spoil their surprise so this'll have to do for now!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

City of the World - International Woodcut Project

Fantastic day for deliveries - flowers (always a lovely surprise) and my set of original woodcut prints as part of my participation in an amazing international venture - suggested, co-ordinated and brought to fruition by the indomitable Maria Arango Diener. I am so grateful to her for this opportunity - 112 printmakers from around the world joined in to help create a wonderful (and huge) piece of work. I think an exhibition is planned, a tour and a book - I'll update when I know more!

Here is the final eye-catching image and the blog that follows the whole story:
 And here's a pic of how my little corner of the city looks (mine's the one with the man and birds on the wire), next to the overall image with key. There are 5 sheets in total, and it is going to take a very very big space of wall to display it (not to mention a 10' length of perspex+frame!!!):
Please take a look at Maria's blog - it was a print marathon for all involved at the co-ordination, assembly and press end of the project!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Wishful Thinking Folksy Friday

This week's selection from Folksy is sheer personal indulgence. I would absolutely love any one or all of these shiny delights. They would make my jewellery box very happy  - and I am making sure that I tell all those who need to know, how to make my wishes come true.

I could have gone on forever so I am sure that I will revisit Wishful Thinking for another tour of Folksy Finds.

Silver and Stone £145

 Ali Bali Jewellery £70
Artigiana Jewllery £90
Decima Designs £12
EllyMental Jewellery £12
 Jewellery by Annie Coombs £258

Thanks for looking (now hands off my precious!)

AA, AAA, anysort of A

Batteries.  Never thought I'd be discussing these at any stage on my blog, let alone after just one or two posts!?  It's not been long enough to display my batteries, it's wrong, just wrong. But then I'm that kind of girl and I want to know how others cope with theirs. Who's winning, us or them?  I have rechargeables but they don't. Or won't - I have my suspicions.

Anyway, am sick of spending umpteen minutes teasing the little wotsits into a hiccup of activity only to see red again before the camera sighs and dies on me. So no new pics until I give in and go and buy some of those brazen use-me-and-abuse-me-then-throw-me-away-ones from the high street.

Still, here's an old friend, caught on camera before the hiccup-parade. This Crow design has been attracting interest so I thought I'd give the birds a chance to show-off here. I just love bad-boy birds and have lots more planned. Wish we had jackdaws around here, but it's just not that sort of area. Sniff.

Folksy Friday later. After school pick-up probably, oh and it's Ice-Cream Friday so it'll have to be after the 99's too.