30 December 2011


...whilst outside the other day, maybe it was Wednesday - i was trying to get some good photos in order to put some of my work online in the shops. i took a couple like this with the light splattering through.  i am no photographer but i try my hardest and with help from Cat - my photography skills are improving. as much as i moan about chasing natural light - it is a challenge and i like finding ways of how to improve my product shots. the one above though was not used but i wanted to share it. it was the best one out of four i took. the wind was wild and unfortunately the cloud was cropped right at the bottom of the screen/photo. if you pop over to my etsy shop - the grey raincloud can now be found online. today it is grey and wet - no photos to be had today.

quilt progress is going well - figured out that it is best to iron all fabric before folding round hexagons which i have done before in the past but never bothered to do until last nights ten hexagons. i was being lazy. this afternoon i am getting out the pencils and print equipment in the hope of getting some progress made on the to-do list. i have not really adjusted well to the self-employment routine. i blame christmas.

29 December 2011


...for the year ahead is to make a quilt. one made from hexagons in the traditional way of 'piece-ing' it together by hand sewing or something like that. i have started tacking the fabric round hexagon shapes - doing about five or ten of these a day. the fabric was bought with intentions of making Christmas bunting to sell as it was manic this winter at the markets, online and between friends and family with the bunting. i was unable to get the usual fabric i make bunting with and so ordered some new stuff which when it arrived i was unsure about so instead of sending it back i decided to use it some other way and so started the task on 26th December while watching a naff Arnie film. The aim is to make about 150 to 200 hexagons and plan the overall layout of the quilt from there - there will be progress reports no doubt.

today i am off to the Post Office to send another hedgehog on its way and to pick up a puzzle magazine - i have taken to doing the competitions during illustration break times. resting the drawing brain cells but working on the thinking cells - beats putting the telly on as an half hour break can turn in to two hours especially if there is a Midsomer or similar on. Other tasks to tackle today is an important project with the butterflies, a new card design, a new moleskine design, printing of some large plush teeth as per a request and some other bits and bobs of printing.

24 December 2011


...get the photo sizes right on this 'ere blog! Little bit frustrating. Does anyone know how to find out how wide a log post is in pixels? this is a very nice colourful working out from some serious sketching that i have been doing these past few days. i have finally returned to full-time illustrating and left the day job. It will be hard without the pennies but something had to change and i was starting to feel quite unhappy. hopefully the chance to 'wing it' for a few weeks maybe months may be good fun. am going to enjoy it best i can and make the most of being free to draw/print every day.

Happy Christmas to everyone who has supported my work this year - thank you.

12 December 2011


...always watching with them sneaky eyes are the foxes. my granma has a fox (maybe two) that come in to her garden nearly every night to eat the tasty treats that she leaves under the tree for them. She often feeds them more than she feeds herself. This goes for the birds and the three legged squirrel as well! I am forever being asked to pick up 'so and so seed' or 'them packs of fat balls' from the shops when i am in town. i saw the fox once while painting her kitchen walls near the window. best time to fox watch, as you are not expecting it. if you sit and fox watch - the fox will never turn up until you turn your back. in the photo are many fox badges that i made last week for the stock tub. i am trying to take a lot more photos of everything/anything in order to improve my photo taking ability. theyse badges can now be found in the online shops with the acorns, ice-creams and teeth (see sidebar for links).

10 December 2011

do you remember...

...this bad boy? yep you say? well - he is on ebay with two other prints of mine and loads of other prints by other printmakers as part of a charity auction for West Yorkshire Print Workshop. This is the place where I often go printing and they are hoping to raise some much needed cash. Please take a look and place a bid if you can - you may get a bargain. Click on the purple link.

07 December 2011

partner in crime...

...a little hog who looks after your pins while you are on one of them mad sewing frenzy missions. it is normally the case here but with everything! there is always a constant work of working going on but it gets harder and harder to keep up with what is going on. today i finished making up six hedgehogs - the prototype was made in March with the hope of screen printing my own brown fabric but nope, plus I had some fabric in the stash box to use. prototype stayed on the desk and has been in use as pin cushion ever since. he was not quite fat enough or stuffed enough so I adapted it yesterday evening and cracked the whip. there is now one in each of the online shops and the others will be taken the Elsecar Heritage Centre Fair. I remembered that there will be a brass band playing - please come and say hello to my table and be prepared with tissues as I may shed a musical tear. brass bands - marching bands get me every time.

06 December 2011

last one...

...last big fair of the year! this weekend will see me take part in my biggest fair yet - Script Events' Christmas Craft Fair at Elsecar Heritage Centre. This was the first winter fair that I sorted out - way back in June! I couldn't believe it when I was first contacted about it - it was early JUNE! Time has passed and this week I have been sorting out any last bits of drawing and making in the hope of being ready for the big weekend ahead. More information can be found here - plus I am still waiting for someone to come and ask me to draw them a doodle - I dare you! there has been no takers yet. Admission is free and there is ample free parking on site. As well as the Craft Fair itself, there will be Christmas-themed entertainment in the form of Barnsley Metropolitan Brass Band and performances by local schoolchildren together with various food stalls. It sounds like it will be a great event.

I must say a huge thank you to those who have bought my portfolio clear-out prints - I am trying to clear out more but I am unsure about some and whether I should keep them for portfolio pieces for a while longer. This evening I am catching up on Merlin via the BBC iplayer whilst sewing some hedgehogs that I intended to make way back in March after the first prototype was made.

05 December 2011

on the web...

...trying to do more of the online thing as possible - I sent two pieces of my work to Made It - Flaunt It and both were accepted for their December Showcase. Hurrah. The full showcase can be seen here as my computer screen would only allow me to 'printscreen' a portion of it. But as well as trying to do more online stuff, I have decided to show less of my sketchbook work while I try and work on new-ish and new ideas. I think it may be better for me to mull over ideas without feeling too exposed. Alot has been written/said about 'illustration and inspiration' lately. I would like to try and explore and experiment on my own for a tad.

In other news, I would like to thank everyone who has visited my travelling stall these past three weeks and to anyone who has been to see my work at any of the shops/galleries. The last fair will be this weekend at the Elsecar Heritage Centre in/near Barnsley - two day event. Today I dropped off some pieces at a shop in our village - Unravel for display within their Christmas Craft Exhibition. There are also some new pieces in The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley - bits and bobs. This evening I am busy making up some more badges and have ninety percent decided that once these materials run out - no more will be made of the small illustrated badges. I am also hoping to sew some more raincloud mobiles as they have been waiting for couple of weeks in the to-do box.

02 December 2011

double date...

...this weekend in Leeds at the Corn Exchange - just a short walk round from the train station - with ReetSweet Craft Events, I will be there with the lovely Kim of Finest Imaginary. Two days of two of us with two lots of work to look at and buy if you have spare pennies. Oh yes - tow days this weekend - Saturday and Sunday! There will be other fabulous stalls full of goodies and treat. Prices to suit all pockets big and small. Please come along and support little independent businesses. More info here. Again - please bring your sketchbook along or a piece of paper and ask for a doodle!

i have been busy this week with all sorts of little jobs. Making up things from the 'to-do' box and trying my best to draw new pictures. I will hopefully try and take some pictures tomorrow at the fair of our shared stall and of the Corn Exchange as it is a beautiful building.