Sunday, 17 November 2013

Linotype and Bagpuss

I shared this wonderful video over on my Facebook page where I am often as not found wittering on about linocuts, coffee and art to lust over, though not necessarily in that order as I notice the slice of life coffee now takes in my everyday existence.  : How beautiful books were made in the 19th Century. (VIDEO)

Over this morning's cuppa I decided it was so full of magic that I needed to keep it safe and on display for any visitor to see. I hope you watch it. You don't even need to be a print-mouse in disguise, though a love of all things printed will guarantee a smile.

To me, it's special and I'd love to be that print-mouse in a mouse-run workshop full of other inky mice and this amazingly wondrous machine - the Linotype. Ahhh. Where the tick-tock of the clock drives me insane, I swear I could sleep to the whirrs and clicks of this beautiful creature.

It is indeed A Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Machine...and obviously, the  workshop cat would be called Bagpuss.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

From idea to product. One golden tip.

General musings prompted by a number of very well-meaning requests for info on how I go about making my journals, sourcing materials etc.

These enquiries have taken me right back to how it felt when I first had the idea that I wanted to handprint journal covers too. It can all feel a bit overwhelming - where what when how? You know you want to do it but HOW?!

Apart from the obvious tips about making lists, breaking the task down into achievable goals etc I have one golden tip that I want to share and it's this: pick up the phone.

We all rely on the internet so much these days and feel certain that any question we have can surely be answered by a search on google. I do it myself. Until I get frustated that is. Then I start making phone calls and these are so much more really my tip is all about concentrated chat.

So for example you want to set up a stationery range then you will want to source papermills and speak to them - they're so friendly, usually small businesses (relatively speaking) and offer the personal touch. They can help you create your dream. What else - well you might need binders - again, ring them up, a lot are family run businesses and will remember your name. Don't be shy of sharing your real budget because then you can have a real conversation.

But it's there - in the conversation - that you will find the answers to your creative frustrations. You may even find that you can improve on your initial idea - I did and have plans for the future based around a relationship I have built up with my suppliers. They get involved, come up with ideas and we chat about them, go away and think then chat some more. I love it and am so glad that I still prefer the phone....sacrilege putting that into words on a blog but it's the truth. ;) 

Pick up the phone - it's good to talk. And good luck with my warmest wishes.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Libra, Virgo and Leo too...with just a little chat about working to a theme.

When I chose the zodiac theme for the monthly Prints for Press series this year, it seemed an obvious choice. Not because I particularly believe in the zodiac...I don't. No, I suspect I'm the same as many others and perhaps more tolerant of the whole shebang than a good deal more. I remember learning all about them as a child - oof, and lets not dwell too long on the teenage years of working out with friends our best love matches, sweep that one under the memory rug!! - and have had a soft spot for the general characterisations ever since. The fact that a lot of the character portraits are scarily accurate (even allowing for the whole 'well it could apply to anyone' angle) is neither here nor there - I like them because they are, by and large, an affectionate whimsical blast of friendly air, and I've always got space for a little whimsy in my life.

What I didn't know when I started the series was just how much I would relish being forced to consider subjects that I wouldn't ordinarily choose to draw let alone commit to linocut. I have particularly liked trying to deal with the difficult astrological customers where perhaps the image didn't come too easily...Scorpio and Sagittarius are still lying in wait, so perhaps I shouldn't speak too soon.

Zodiac round up of the most recent signs in linocut, introducing Leo, Virgo and Libra. x

Monday, 30 September 2013

Shhhh. Just popping in for a minute.

Am a busy squirrel gathering nuts and stashing them in places I shall no doubt forget about when the frost bites.

Latest in the stash of zodiac linocuts is this boy, strongman, paper strongman puppet....for Libra, Balancing Act Extraordinaire:

Now then. Back to collecting nuts. And no - not a word about how long it is since I last posted. This squirrel's been lost in the dark woods of cyber space, but am back in the park now and I'll see you later in the week with more info about my plans. Thanking you. Squirrel-style. 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Not lost simply mislaid

Still here! I have been very busy carving and printing new works and here's a bit of gallery update:

And that's not including the new journal cover prints but I'll save those for when the new range is out! The zodiac series has been really good fun to do and a real challenge - I think having an imposed subject matter (at least to some extent) has helped me to ensure that my own style is there in each work so that they are still very much mine - I have loved this tension between subject and style and am going to hang on to one of each print so that I will have a full collection at the end of it all.

Happy printing. Find your own style and let it shine through everything.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

I'm In A Book!

I thought about fancier titles - perhaps with a hint of sophistication? Or at least less gauche? Nope. I am just THRILLED!!!! The gorgeously lovely and extrememely hard-working Maria Arango Diener not only orchestrated a wonderful international project in the City of the World Monumental Collaborative Puzzle Print - she also had a book published showing everyone's work!!!

The prints themselves make for a HUGE puzzle print spread over 5 sheets!- I have yet to frame mine, I think I need a bigger bit of free wall first. As and when I do ever get it framed and up on a wall I promise to show the pictures here.Here's just a glimpse of them when they arrived last year with a complete image and key in the foreground:

Here's my page - so so so doing a little happy dance. I don't know exactly why it is so exciting to be in a book, I have never yearned for fame so it's not that. Maybe it's something to do with feeling validated in some way - daft, this was all voluntary participation - but I rubbed shoulders with some very experienced woodcutters and engravers in the process, so that felt pretty bloody wonderful too.

The figure in my block does not represent me as such. I had in mind to portray us all. A simple figure just watching the birds, finding peace, nature and connection where he or she can.  Without the birds, I'd have to move.

In the background you can just see faded images from the newspaper cutting I included with my block. We all did this - mine reflected the on-going financial crisis affecting us all, some so very much more than others, which I contrasted with some, ahem, fairly rum views (in my not always very humble opinion) from our current 'leader'. Hrmph.

The book also features a whole bunch of process shots (I personally love these) with the team of volunteers who did such hard work over the whole thing including the printing days.I know I shall keep coming back to it time and again.

I would love to do something like this again. That Maria would too is amazing, and this wasn't even her first monumental puzzle project. Nonetheless, she ends the book with 'Follow the blog for announcements about the next great project! Until then.' - I can't thank her enough.

Hehe. Am in a book. Who'd have thought it. :D

Maria's blog can be found here:

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A very chatty guide to sharpening tools for the fainthearted.

Sharpening tools when you have never done it before can be a bit overwhelming - at least it was for me. Printmaking is one of the geekiest corners of the artworld (we have the equipment and processes as well as the art!) and I have seen and read of different methods right down to which direction to push or pull the blade in.

My conclusion, before I even start is, yes you may not get it perfectly right, but that there isn't really a wrong either. Mind you, you will definitely find people to tell you otherwise. Have a go, your tools will not break even if they need a little love after their first encounter with your sharpening efforts.

I'm writing this mostly for those who are perhaps reluctant to buy individual tools because of the need to sharpen them. I'm also writing it for those who have got their tools but wait until someone else is around to sharpen them - this means that half the time they are probably using blunt tools.

If I can do this and not totally mess up, then so can you. I am sure others can do it better, but they haven't put their hands up to be my assistant and I can only improve!

Why bother?
Because sharp tools are safer and easier to use and because individual tools offer efficiency (no need to switch blades as you go along), there are more blade options than the economy range, they are better quality, enhancing the carving experience and will last you a very long time with good care.

Little and often. It's the second favourite answer to a lot of questions these days, after switch it off then switch it on again. But it's true. I honestly think that a quick session sharpening your tools when you sit down to carve for the day is a good idea. It only takes a few minutes and gets easier with practice. If you are carving a lot with one tool, then you may well need to resharpen during a session - I promise it only takes a moment and then you're off again.

Other times will arise - to deal with repairs for example - a dropped or knocked tool can easily sustain a nick in the blade. Don't be afraid of 'wrecking' your tools - they can be reshaped and sharpened. Just takes a bit longer.

What equipment?
Honing paste
Lubricant - water or sharpening stone oil

First of all you will need something on which to sharpen your tools. There are oil, water and diamond stones. I was a little intimidated by the choices and went for a diamond sharpener that comes in a credit card size and shape - nice and compact to carry around and not too expensive either. I get along very happily with this although must admit that I would now be comfortable using something like a series of small stones in varying grades available through printmaking suppliers. These also have edges shaped to help with removing burrs and would be better for more involved repairs.

Basic rule of thumb is that you start with coarse grades and move through to fine. I just use a diamond sharpener - remember, I wanted to keep it simple and this works for me. 

Depending on your choice of stone you will probably need to add water or oil (some diamond sharpeners state that no water is necessary). The water or oil acts as a lubricant.  I use a dab of water on my sharpener and this does the trick. I have tried it without water, and whilst it works for a quick sharpen, adding the water does make a difference (I must like learning things the hard way).

There are 3 main gouge types that you are likely to use straight off  - the V, the U and the shallow gouge. Each of these has a bevel at the very tip of the cutting edge and you need to locate this first. Every time you want to sharpen your tool you will need to lie this bevel edge flat on your sharpening stone/steel so it's a good idea to have a little feel for it - in the end the angle should become quite natural. It is very good advice that you should try to protect the bevel edge but don't panic if you haven't already done that - just create one - it probably won't look quite as pretty as when the tool is first machine sharpened, but that's ok. Also, bear in mind that people are all different and we like holding the tools in our own ways too - so deep or shallow angles is really down to the individual. It'll carve like a dream if it's right for you.

The V gouge
So called because it looks like a V...and so on for the others.

Step 1 - Sharpen: 
With these blades you will see that there are 2 flat sides to sharpen. Simply find your bevel, place flat on the stone and PUSH away from you maintaining a constant angle and direction away from the body. This is the main trick - keep it flat on the stone and you'll be alright. Remember I am writing this for people like me - I didn't have a clue when I started and it was damn hard getting anyone to point out the obvious. I wanted the obvious. I needed it. So here it is - push/glide and repeat. Keep checking the bevel and feel the edge to see how it's going. Watch out for any uneven pushing as this will very quickly affect the line and shape. Do a little, check and do a little more. See, it's easy really. Be confident and smooth, you will be fine.

Which direction? Honestly, seasoned expert fully paid up geeky printmakers will swear to this - push. No, pull. No, push and pull. Seriously, I have checked and rechecked. So I got brave. I have tried all of them. Uhhuh. I have. My tools are still fab. There were no bolts of lightning. I now consistently push away to sharpen and pull to hone. There, said it. But I'm less geeky than some and will allow that your method works better for you. ;)

Repeat for both sides of the V.

Step 2  - the burr: 
Dealing with any burr created on the inner edge of the blade. Keep a strip of fine grade sandpaper folded in your tool box, nice and worn is good, and this will take off any burr created on the inner sides with barely a flick.

Step 3 - Honing/polishing:

A leather strop is needed for this - I ordered mine from TN Lawrence but am sure you needn't. I got it at the same time as the honing paste which actually looks like a block. I had to guess what you do with it because again, nobody thinks you should buy these things unless you already know what to do with them. We have instructions on EVERYTHING except sharpening equipment. Maybe it was just mine eh. It's a geek conspiracy.

Right, get your honing paste and rub it hard over the leather to create a nice creamy layer. Take your nicely sharpened, de-burred (if necessary) bevelled edge and PULL towards you to polish out any roughness to your new edge. This doesn't take long and will turn the paste to a dark grey with each stroke.

Take at look at your blade now - it's all shiny and lovely and raring to go.

The U and Shallow Gouges

The steps above are all the same except for the way to move the edge over the sharpening stone. Again, I have come across various ways - the corkscrew spiral, the figure of eight, the oval/circle. Or mine - forwards with a touch of the oval. What they all have in common, is that you need to rock the blade gently from side to side to ensure even and full sharpening. This takes a little more practice at the outset,  but I now find this one the easiest to sharpen.

I used the corkscrew but had a bit of a disaster with it - but hey, I got my beautiful U back with some steady and consistent sharpening using my now trusted and simple method. It works for me.

The main message in all of this is HAVE A GO. It'll be fine. I promise.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Linocutting: Got All The Gear

Ok, so it was a silly title, but it tickled me when I typed it out and realised it sounded just like the hackneyed ventriloguist's test to say 'bottle of beer'. Ahem. :)

In a new series of posts I will chat about the world of printmaking, exploring, over time, different techniques, handy tips, the tools and other pertinent stuff. The first of these looks at the tools and equipment needed for linocutting.

Many people tell me that they were lucky enough to try out linocutting at school - we didn't but our art teacher was an amazing sculptor so I'll cope - and I think one of the wonderful things about linocutting is just how accessible it is for all levels of ability - you can make something striking and appealing with some straight forward cutting and some inking up all on the kitchen table.

The Kitchen Table List:
1. Lino or soft cut/similar
2. Economy linocutting tools (red-handled)
3. Spare nibs for economy cutter
4. Roller (and Ink)
5. Glass chopping board (see, it really is a kitchen list)
6. Vegetable oil....or baby oil
7. Kitchen paper towel/old rags
8. Paper
9.Wooden spoon
10.String and pegs

Right, now for a bit more about all that:

1. Lino v Soft Cut:
I have said lino or soft cut because I know that a lot of people recommend the soft cut to start with (or similar - there are versions available in many art stores) .....I don't. It's not that I hate it. I've used it in the past...but I just find that it's harder to get good clean lines. Easy to carve but wobbly and prone to raggedy tails....might just be me but I honestly think lino is the way to go.

TIP: to soften lino just warm it up a little. Leave it on the radiator/a sunny window sill for half an hour before you start carving. Works a treat. I don't always bother but on cold days I do, cold lino is harder to carve.

2/3. Cutters and Nibs:
Economy cutters are great. One red handle comes with interchangeable nibs. They will do the job just fine for many and most linocutting needs especially if you make sure to change the nibs often so that you are working with sharp blades. Get an assortment of the nibs and just see what you like - a simple guide is that the V gouges give deeply sloped furrows while the U give you a straighter side, good for more detailed work. A shallow gouge will clear unwanted ridges created while carving the main lines.I included my scalpel in the picture because it comes in handy so often that it's earned its place in any list.

4/5 etc Rollers - inking slab:
Again, the basic economy or student rollers are fine. Standard ones are made from a pretty firm black rubber. It takes a little bit of practice to use these to get a nice even coverage of ink, but practice is all it takes. I think it's worth spending the money on good inks - I now choose Caligo Safe Wash for my linocuts but really, it's only one kind of quite a few excellent inks. Roll out inks on a glass slab or similar - I started with a glass chopping board! Preferably painted white underneath to help see ink colour. Vegetable oil (or baby oil) is great for clean up with just a wipe over after...and a drop of very diluted detergent goes a long way on a dampened cloth for a final wipe over.

8/9 Paper Spoon:
If you are hand burnishing (rubbing over/pressing) then thinner lighter paper is MUCH easier - the Japanese papers are need to dampen. If you use heavier papers I would recommend dampening if printing without a press. I don't dampen anything except for intaglio plates, but I am using a press these days.

A wooden spoon is held bowl up, press down into the bowl and hey presto you have one of the favourite barens (proper term for tool to press down/rub over the paper) of many printmakers around the world. Also widely available are the sort I have shown in the top with a handle and one that's a bit like a doorknob with felt. Both great barens for hand burnishing.

10 String and pegs:
Easy and budget friendly drying system. Drill holes in peg tops (or use bull dog clips), hang on length of string suspended in safe place - charming and effective print drying which can accommodate many prints if you have the prints face front to back. Side by side (just peg onto string) also works well but you won't get as many on a line.

TIP: If you go for front to back, then cardboard spacers will stop the prints swinging into each other. Scraps of paper between peg and print also protect the print.

The Studio/Add-Ons List:

1)Individual cutting tools
2)Sharpening stone and honing leather/paste
4)Ink slab
6)Drying racks

1) Tools:
 I love mine. Yes I do still use my economy cutters as well - but not for fine work. Or the clearing. There I've said it. I have palm handled swiss made tools and it's a growing collection. There are different makes and styles...I can't comment on them as I've only used mine. Expensive if bought en masse but it's easy enough to buy one every so often, the great thing about individual tools is that you can switch between tools readily and sharpen them properly - for this you will need...
2) Sharpening stones:
..and honing leather (with honing paste)....I will cover this more at a later date, but it's worth it, a sharp tool is a safer tool - and carving is much easier. Mine is a diamond sharpening card - size of a credit card. Works a treat and it's compact!

I have just treated myself to a couple of higher end rollers - durathene (the shiny green style) - and I LOVE THEM. Ink coverage is excellent, rolling out is superb and it's all so much easier on wrist and arm. Can't see me going back now. These are pricey - they just are, but worth saving for if you print a lot.

There are much more expensive rollers out there - and one day I plan to get one of the really large durathene rollers for large linocuts and relief collagraphs, but am as happy as a night elf with my recent acquisitions, so that can wait.

4)Ink slab:
 I have yet to meet a printmaker who hasn't been thrifty here. I've heard of fridge shelves being adapted. Local glaziers being roped in. And then there's the Ikea bunch (me included) ...there is a certain cupboard top that is glass and white underneath and just the perfect size and price. You can see mine in the press and inking shot.

5) Presses:
I have a baby etching press and these can be used for both relief and intaglio printmaking - perfect for me. Presses are expensive and you need to a)get a bargain or b) be sure you really want one before splashing out - although they do hold their price well. Buy as big as you can afford/fit in because I guarantee that you'll be wanting a bigger one before long...:)

Relief presses (the screw down sandwich style) are also wonderful to use - but again, it'll set you back a bit though I have seen more of these on ebay etc than etching presses. If you are the engineering kind then a bit of online research will also throw up plans for making your own and I have seen fantastic examples of both bottle jack presses and mangles converted to etching style presses. Lots of hard work but rewarding.

6) Drying racks:
I have two free standing racks now and can print journal covers to my heart's content and then a bit more. Not pretty, but effective. Pretty studio racks do exist though, and the cream of all these has to be the wooden rack with glass balls...a thing of beauty. Still, mine work and cost a lot less!! ;p

There's more. There is always more. But these are some of my staples. If you have any other essentials you can't linocut without then I'd love to hear them - I love studio talk! I will be looking at all sorts of things over the course of studio chats like this one and some mini-tutorials - inking up, registering a print, sharpening tools - and these are just a few off the tip of my tongue.

Next up will be inking tips!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Blog Island with a Puzzler

No, I said Blog with an 'l' and that's an altogether different kind of puzzler too. Honestly, some people. ;p

There's something of that feeling about writing a blog - being a little island in the middle of the big blue cyber sea. I think part of that feeling comes from not knowing which way to look to get a fix on something and it's very easy to start slowly turning in circles round and around and around. My blog needs a bit of steer to become a boat on the websea again. With this in mind - you know, islands, boats (think rowing or dinghy sailing not ships and yachts), wind direction and are you waving or drowning - I have decided to revamp a little. Am still here for the odd dunk of a good crumbly biscuit with tongue-scaldingly hot cuppas, but I'd also like to set up a few printmaking tutorials. I thought I'd throw in a few 'ouch don't try this at home' moments too - after all, we all make them, so mistakes should be shared to ease the pain!

The Puzzler
Mistakes Made and Lessons to Learn will kick off this weekend with: Got all the Gear. I have chosen this title for a very bizarre reason. Say it out loud to yourself over and over and ask yourself if you're old enough to work out why this title appealed to me - are you brave enough to share it on here or my Facebook page - oh go on?!

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Prints for Press: January Facebook Special Price Nights
Every month (for 12 months) I will carve and print a new linocut exclusively for the Prints for Press Project and these will be available over 2 advertised nights on my Facebook shop AT VERY SPECIAL PRICES. After that prints will be available for purchase through my Folksy and Etsy shops at full price.
Why am I doing this? Well, I am saving up for a larger press (more details here, with pics! ) so that I can carve and print more bountiful linocuts and collographs.
There will be a running competition, open to those who buy on the night – the first customer to guess the overall theme correctly will receive a give-away linocut print of their choice between: Heart-Strings and Owl by Moonlight (colours subject to availability). If no-one gets it this month, then the give-away will carry over to February’s Special Price Nights. 

Sneaky peek, detail from the January linocut

The first print in the Prints for Press series is a two colour linocut, limited edition of 10 prints only (with a couple of artist’s proofs) 15x15cm, printed on Zerkall paper in light blue and teal-black. Normal full price will be £35. The special price of £20 will only be available for Facebook users on the night.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Studio Plumbing Genius!

I posted a pic of a corner of my studio on Facebook and from the responses it was quickly clear that this little bit of genius was worth sharing in more detail.

Years ago when I moved my studio into the attic I had to sort out the lack of plumbing up there. Printmakers need water for obvious reasons, and plenty of it. Ink is a very messy business. So I came up with something fairly rudimentary involving a water carrier with a tap and a bucket was all a bit Carry On Camping but without the innuendos. 

Nonetheless I carried on this way for a while until my dad came up with a wonderful solution for me....tailored specifically to my needs and the space available for the unit. This design could easily be adjusted for any space.

This little beauty has a stainless steel sink with plug and waste pipe leading to a 20 litre waste container. I think the sink was sold as a salad bowl and he cut a hole in it for the waste pipe fitting. The waste container takes precisely the amount of water which can be stored in the 2 storage tanks ( 10litre rigid water carriers) so needs emptying when they're both warned, never refill your water tanks without emptying the waste. I haven't made that mistake yet, but I like to stay wary! Yuk.

The shower head is ideal, it is moveable so can be directed. It operates very simply from a foot pump. I thought this might be a pain but in reality I don't even register that I'm doing it - it quickly became second nature.

To house the system and keep it cleanable, my dad adapted a painted steel shelving unit (cut a big hole in it) I have the added benefit of a central shelf to store all my cleaning bits and bobs. Note the scanty descriptions of the engineering side of things - I suspect there is a little bit more to it, but that is what is so magical about someone making something for you that you couldn't possibly make yourself. Am pretty sure that he had to change the height of the shelving unit as well - perhaps a welder was involved here as I don't think my dad still has any welding gear.Though I wouldn't put it past him!

All in all, it is an essential piece of equipment which, together with my etching press and drying racks, has been instrumental in turning the attic from a room into my studio.

Thanks Dad. :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

It's a question of lust

I've been doing a lot of dreaming and longing recently...and the object of my heart's desire is not what you might expect, but is something which means a lot to me. So the time has come and instead of dreaming I have come up with a plan of is my 12 step plan for 2013. Starting now.

'Prints for Press' is the working title for this project which will help me get together with a wonderful, gorgeously large and beautifully engineered fabulously heart-stopping Brand New Etching Press. Just so you know what I'm blithering on about, I'm going to run these little beauties by you.

The first up is this honey-pot press from . It is a Gunning etching press, the studio #2 which comes in at a hefty A2 (still portable? only if you're stronger than me!!!). I love it. I really do. Sigh.

Now you'd be right thinking that etching presses are pricey petals and even my trusty Polymetaal baby etching press will set you back enough to make you blink. These A2 presses, great for home studios, large enough for substantial work but small enough not to need a new extension, are the most price friendly of the bigger presses. A press this size will serve me well enough, alongside my old faithful, for all the years to come - should I ever need a larger press then I would happily head on into the studios at Birmingham Printmakers. No, the A2 is the size I long for. The Gunning press comes in at £1322, and that's without the stand!

Next up is this one from the Dutch company, Polymetaal - available in the U.K. through , coming in at £1,400 - again, without the stand. The stands are desirable, but I think a custom wooden stand might be preferable , built with my own shelf needs etc and that's where my lovely husband starts thinking, ok, so that's your birthday sorted!

There is another option (somewhat cheaper), but to be honest I'm really aiming for one of these two. So I'll leave it at that. Now my dreams are revealed - how am I going to achieve them?

Twelve Steps of Prints for Press

It's simple really  - I'm carving a special series of linocuts, in small limited editions,  to raise the money. I will offer these once a month (aha! 12 see?!) at a very special price for a limited period through Facebook (one or two nights), then they will go onto my Folksy shop at full price. All the money raised from this series will be set aside for the press. Prints for Press. Simple. I have started carving the first block of a 2 block print and will launch the project fully in a fortnight. Am excited. It feels good to save up for something special doesn't it. :) I will let people know about the print and the forthcoming special price nights  a few days beforehand through Facebook. If you see it and share it to help get this little plan off the ground, then a big thank you from me. :)

There is a theme to the prints, a loose one, but a theme nonetheless. I think I might do an extra little give-away to the first person to guess correctly once I've launched the project properly on Facebook.  More news soon. Very soon.

Right, am off to finish carving the first one! But not before I've made a large mug of something hot to keep the fingers warm in this cold cold weather. Brrrrr.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year's Revisions

That's right, am taking a stand against this whole resolution thing, it always backfires and I don't know about you but my resolutions (shhhhh, not that I have any) are (oops, game up) exactly the same this year as last year!

1) eat less
2) drink more....water ( you thought I'd say wine, but I'm on to you)
3) organise work schedule
4) and stick to it

So far so familiar. So this year I will trot along knowing that this fantastic four will plague my conscience no matter what I do, and I've concentrated on some new revisions:

1) evaluate the year's progress for Inkyprints and make changes accordingly
2) drink up all the pearls of wisdom I can track down - I'm still new to all this, but there are others who can help
3) write coherent business plan
4) and stick to it

So that's me then. Getting everything in order, all lined up and facing the right way.

Everything has been crazy busy already with galleries contacting me about stocking work with them whilst also trying to complete a new set of linocut prints, discussing a new collaborative fine art project, and print more journal covers - urgently. I then came across Handmade Lives by Dixie Nichols who was chatting on Folksy and followed up her offer of a shop appraisal. All very useful and if any of you are in the business of handmade business, please do take a look at her site - fabulous advice with hugely readable tips and quizzes.

It was a fantastic year for me, so thank you to 2012 and all those who supported me at home and online. I am looking forward to this year's journey. Part of the business plan included marketing and networking objectives. One of my revisions (see how I did that, not saying the other word) is to crank up the blog natters from sporadic to weekly. Once a week mind, and you'll have to forgive me if I ramble a lot. Because I do. HAPPY NEW-ISH YEAR TO ONE AND ALL. xxx