For any regular followers you will know that I visited RHS Harlow Carr last weekend with my hubby to make the most of the fine bank holiday weather and get some fresh air as we were both feeling ill. Apart from the gorgeous gardens we went to the Just Makers Spring Craft Fair, which is there until 9 June so pop down if you’re in the area, and discovered some great creators/makers as well as some that I was already familiar with, so today I’m going to share just 3, and the first of several over the next few weeks, many of whom will also be stocking the Just Makers shop in Harrogate with me from July:
Riddles Crafts – Helen has some gorgeous hand felted, and embroidered pieces (which are my faves of her range) but also jewellery, I bought some earrings for a friend, and cards – I found the perfect one for me, something to do with a fabric habit!! I was already familiar with Helen’s fab creations as apart from being a fellow Craft Soup member she was opposite me at a craft fair I did at Headingley, where I will also be this weekend if you’re in the area.
Myroo Skincare – Rachael’s bath truffles really did look good enough to eat, and seeing them on a day when I wasn’t feeling well they looked perfect for a relaxing bath! Again, I had met Rachael before at Country Living when I went to catch up with some fellow Craft Soupers, and also in passing when visiting the soon to be Just Makers shop in Harrogate (opening in July so watch this space)
Tilly Pepper Art – Giles will also be stocking the new Just Makers shop in Harrogate, and has a gorgeous illustration of the front of the shop which caught my eye, but it was the Dj illustration that caught my husband’s attention! I love the quirky and fun style that Giles has, with a touch of colour to set it off.
Right, better get back to making more stock for Harrogate now and my Heart and Craft Fair in Headingley tomorrow.
Well I started my new Paperblanks sketchbook this week, and to be honest I felt a lot of pressure to get the first couple of pages filled with ‘good sketches’, otherwise I would have convinced myself it was only my combination of pen and sketchbook that allowed me to freely draw some of my fave sketches in my old one over the last year. So, I decided it had to start with something completely different and out of my comfort zone or I would be comparing it to my other sketchbook and I don’t need any hurdles at the moment. Therefore I started with some flowers as I want to design a gardening themed pattern for the Tigerprint competition I’m working on. Page number one was not so bad, so I then turned to some illustrations that were more fashion themed, and although not my best I soon realised that I was beginning to get used to the company of my new sketchbook (Tiffany) and was actually quite at ease with it as I now have a couple of ‘study’ pages rather than finished designs.
All was going well until we got back from Harlow Carr yesterday and I was trying to sketch some ideas for my latest pattern in a style different to my usual one, and all went wrong – I had lost the ability to sketch!! So, I walked away, took the evening off and came back to it this morning, but things got worse… my sketches were worse than last night, and no matter how much I tried I couldn’t get my pen to do what I wanted! Panic, what has happened?? Is it because I’m feeling ill, a lack of sleep? Is it a mental block? Am I overwhelmed with inspiration? Was Harlow Carr a mistake because I am now comparing myself to the depth of talent there? Is it just a bad day? Am I trying too hard to find a ‘style’ when I already have one? Or have I really lost the ability to sketch? Now, I’m not claiming I am or ever will be the best illustrator but I need to believe that I can draw to a certain level, and that level has just plummeted severely! I’m not a trained illustrator, I have an interior design degree – am I just too out of my depth? What to do now? I can’t see the wood for the trees. Does anyone else get like this? I imagine how frustrated my hubby would feel if he suddenly thought he couldn’t DJ, but I can’t imagine that ever happening!
Time to walk away, get out of the house and come back later or tomorrow with an open mind to try again – wish me luck! Any suggestions of what I could try to get my confidence back would be greatly welcomed.
I was in a panic this morning when I realised I only have 7 pages left of my all time fave sketchbook, but luckily after some help from a friend locating another one from paperblanks which actually has unlined pages (the problem seemed to be that they were all lined) I am happy in the knowledge that it will hopefully arrive before I finish this one. I find it quite funny that my fave sketchbook is on the expensive side for me but I draw with a bog standard biro pen! Anyway, it got me thinking that I genuinely believe that it makes me sketch better and I have produced some of my favourite sketches in it, including the first ever animal drawing of Nelson the elephant which kick-started my craze for drawing animals, my first scenic sketch of Haworth, which again has turned into a new and popular range and my gocco prints have all started life as a sketch in this little book. My sketchbook is like my bible, I carry it everywhere with me, but this particular one has been keeping me company since July 2012 and taken a while to fill because I save it for my ‘important’ and meaningful sketches, no scribbles in this one. So why do I love it so much?
1. The hand stitched binding means that when I open a page it actually stays open and I don’t have to keep flicking the pages out of the way, a bit like when you get a hair in your face and it just keeps falling in the wrong place
2. The quality and colour of the paper is perfect and my pen just glides over it and the slight off white colour makes everything seem a bit less harsh, especially as I tend to draw in black pen
3. It’s the perfect size for me to sketch in as it’s not too small but I don’t have a big scary A4 bit of paper to fill with my detailed drawings, and is easy to use as a landscape or portrait book
4. The hardback cover means that it can travel in my bag and stand up for itself agains the other contents, and admittedly it’s looking a bit battered at the moment but the pages inside are in immaculate condition (apart from my sketches obviously)
5. I love the design on the front, and it’s great to be inspired before I even open the cover
On that note, I’m off to go and work on some new sketches. Would love to hear if you have a favourite sketchbook or item that makes you more creative.
If you’re a regular reader or have looked at my Accidentalvix Etsy shop you will know by now that I love to sketch animals, so I had to share with you the whimsical animal illustrations from Corella Design for many reasons, but here are just a few:
- Each animal is brought to life and given it’s own personality with the clothes/accessories they are wearing, which is a clever addition to the sketches and makes Donna’s work easily distinguishable
- The flat digital colours works well in contrast to the detailed linework of Donna’s pencil sketches
- I love the descriptions of each illustration, it’s almost an insight into Donna’s thought process as she draws these lovely and quirky characters
Time for me to go back to my illustrations now, as I continue to aspire to be as successful, recognisable and inspirational as Corella Design.
I thought I would continue the screenprinting theme this week and share with you some of my finished designs. After leaving the Bluberry Park workshop I came home with the knowledge of how to use what little space I have to finish printing with an embroidery hoop and some fabric, and above are the finished results. As much as I liked the blue print of my birdhouse silhouettes it was always designed as a two colour piece and the red seems to compliment it and add another dimension. Although my first screenprint since leaving my Art Foundation many a year ago I like the result so much that I want to create a screen to continue to print it in different colours and onto different fabrics/items such as bags and teatowels so any suggestions are welcome! In the meantime I just have to decide what to make with the fabric I have already printed, apart from stretching the best one onto a frame for our bedroom wall.
I urge you all to find inspiration and try something new, doing my screenprintign workshop was exactly what I needed to keep my designs fresh and ideas evolving, not to mention that challenge that I seem to strive for.
I’ve not been around for a while thanks to a lack of internet at home, so now we’re back online, albeit sporadically it’s blog time and what better way to start than by sharing a great screenprinting workshop I attended a few weeks ago courtesy of the lovely Karen from Blueberry Park. If you haven’t seen Karen’s work then what are you waiting for? As you may know I’m addicted to sketching and gocco printing because I can easily do it at home and get the fine detail of my sketches into my prints but I thought it’s about time I experimented with different techniques and I haven’t done screenprinting since my art foundation (many years ago!) so it was time for a refresher. We learnt everything we needed to know from cutting our stencils, to the best way of organising your screen to print at home, and of course the difficult bit (for me) of pulling the dreaded squeegee so that the ink was even and covered the whole image. Ok, so it took me several attempts but I got there in the end and was quite pleased with the results.
My design was 2 colours and we only had time for 1, maybe because there were 4 of us in the group and we had a great time printing but also plenty of talking! I’m really glad that I met Jess Hogarth, check out her designs if you haven’t already, her mum Wendy, and another lady with a gorgeously simple geometric design called Chrissie. Oh yes, my point was that I left the workshop with one colour still to print for some contrasting details but learnt how to make a ‘homemade’ screen with some muslin and an embroidery hoop (yes, I do have plenty in stock) so watch out for part 2 when I will reveal how my printing alone at home goes!
I’ll leave you now to check out our prints in action and say a big thank you to Karen for making it a fun way to learn and introducing me to some fab new ladies.
Well, I’ve been out of action for a while as I had more surgery on my hip just a week and a half ago in London and it was a long journey back to Yorkshire to recover. I’m back now though, and supposed to be resting (never been very good at that) so I thought I’d take the time to share some things that made me smile in the past couple of weeks as I begin my recovery after what I hope is third time lucky:
Flowers – These gorgeous flowers arrived from some of my fab friends at my old work, and they are going strong and making me smile every time I stop and look up… thanks ladies!
Cute kitten – I was really pleased to have so many friends visit me in hospital, and every visit cheered me up so thanks Jane, Anja and Jess! On top of the visits I got some wonderful (and some unusual) presents including this gorgeous hand printed kitten card, so please check out Jessie G Designs on Etsy for more of her fab cards and prints
Haworth – I did a craft fair in Haworth at the weekend, well I did a short stint and my mum did the rest as my hip was too sore, and it’s a place that I have grown up with and have fond memories of so decided to do a quick sketch, which has now spurred me on to do some more places in this style
Highland cows – there are some in the fields near home and they always make me smile when walking past, I’ve named this one Boris and decided to do a quick sketch (whilst doped up on painkillers!) to keep my mind off the pain
I’m hoping that I can slowly get into the swing of things again now, and that I will be back with my weekly blogs, sketches and creativity so stay tuned.
As we’re getting closer to completing on our new house, but still crossing fingers it doesn’t fall through, my mind keeps wandering to things like crockery, furniture and lighting (I can’t wait to put up my tom dixon light which was my leaving present from work!) When I want to find unusual, unique and handmade design items my first port of call is Etsy, where I stumbled upon Asleep from day:
- I love Scandinavian design, especially fabric design and patterns, and Cyrielle’s designs remind me of this
- Each design is hand drawn, and I love that no-one will ever have anything identical
- The beautiful mountain teapot is on my wishlist, as you can never have too many teapots and this would be gorgeous on display even if you weren’t using it for tea – pretty and practical, you can’t go wrong!
Before I get even more distracted I had better get on with more creations to sell so I can then buy lots of gorgeous things for our hopefully new house!
Well my parents jetted off to Spain for the week today, and although it’s raining over there at the moment it can’t be any colder than here – I can well believe the forecast for snow tonight! As I sit here with my hot water bottle I’m dreaming of some of my fave Spanish cities:
- China town branch – Sagrada Familia illustration (Barcelona is definitely in my top 5 cities, and this is one of my fave bits of Spanish Architecture with so much life in this detailed sketch)
- Andre Rocha Design – Madrid A3 poster (I remember going on a work trip to Madrid for a few days and definitely want to go back)
- Loud n creative – Digital street scene, Barcelona ( I love the character of Barcelona and this captures the little streets perfectly)
Back to reality and the cold British weather now, so I’m off to finish making my next scarf.
So much talent to write about but I’m in the mood for some printing today, so that’s where I’m going to showcase today’s faves from – Roddy and Ginger. I don’t need to say much more so take a look at their work, and here are my top 3 reasons to see more:
- There is a good chance that we hopefully have a new house to move into by Christmas and these colours are exactly what I have in mind, bold but not too bright
- The repeated patterns and geometric shapes are so striking
- Suitable for any room, the subject matter could fit in anywhere from a nursery, to lounge to kitchen and beyond
If you’ve not checked out their Etsy shop then what are you waiting for?