Sunday, 26 April 2009

The "Shoulderette" is Finally Complete!

And, according to Ravelry, in only a mere eight months and seven days since I cast it on. I know, I know. It's an easy pattern, but in my defence I have been busy and I did run out of yarn and then my sock obsession got in the know how it is.

Anyway, it's done, and I'm rather chuffed with it.


Oh dear. Hair is rather in need of a good handful of gel.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

New Website Is Alive and Kicking!

My re-designed website is now up and running. Hurrah! After the initial Oh-My-God-What-Have-I-Taken-On-Here moment, it actually came together quite quickly. It's somewhat pared down compared to its previous incarnation, but I think it's easier to navigate. Go check it out here. Can't wait until June when all the Pirates stuff can go up, and then September, when all the Frogs stuff can join it, too. Feeling in a particularly web-based-tidying mood, I also updated my rather neglected pages. All I have to do now is spruce up my Picture Book page and I'm all done!


I have to say I'm pretty chuffed with this little animation. So simple (only four frames) but very effective.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Speaking of Things to Salivate Over... is some lovely yarn:



These are the by-products of our second Dyeing Day last Tuesday at Jan's. I love this hand-dyeing malarky. Again, these were fabulously named by Steph as "Hummingbird" and "Lolita". As you can see, "Hummingbird" is already making its way into a pair of socks for Boyfriend*.

I've just come back from the print studio where I finished all the LRRH prints this afternoon. I'm uber chuffed as I thought I would definitely have to go back in tomorrow, but thankfully it all went super-smoothly and it's now no longer necessary. I will be spending my day looking for suitable A2 card and washing my bedclothes instead!

* I did for a moment think "this yarn is waaaaay too nice to make into boy socks!", but then my caring, sharing side kicked in and I relented. Bah.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Cream Crackered and it's Only Monday

My. Feet. Ache. I've been up to Lahhdahhn Tahn today to the London Book Fair. I didn't stay long, but I got to meet up with my first publishers again, and meet one of my current publishers face to face after months of emailing, which was lovely. I casually dropped the fact I'd written a junior novel into the conversation and they asked me to email it in, so that's a bonus.

I met up with Boyfriend for lunch beforehand (even though I'd only said goodbye to him this morning) in St.James' park and marvelled at all the lovely tulips.


Then it was off to the fair, then a trawl through the artshops after A2 card to protect my screenprints. None to be found that wasn't either too flimsy or too expensive, so I will have to have a look around the shops here before Saturday when it all has to be delivered to the library ready for hanging.

This weekend was very nice. Boyfriend and I finished painting my bedroom (which didn't have much left to do on it, so it only took an hour or two) on Saturday, then went for a monster walk on Sunday up to Queen's Park, down to the seafront, along to Hove then back up to Dyke Road and home. We found a lovely cafe next to the park called Home which I'd read good things about in the past, but had never ventured up there to sample them. I had these FANTASTIC pancakes with summer berries and greek yoghurt, and Boyfriend had a dish of baked mushrooms, egg and goat's cheese served with toast. All very yummy, and I couldn't help but think what a fabulous place for a knit it would be! They had some very homnomnom sounding Apple & Carrot Cake on the menu, too.....



Excuse the slightly dodgy photos; they were taken on my phone and I was busy salivating.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Apron no1 of Potentially Many

I've got a bit of a thing for making aprons right now. I got this fab book, "A is for Apron", for my birthday last year, wanted to make everything in it at the time, but have only now had the chance to get the old sewing machine out. (Not only are the patterns in it lovely, the title reflects another of my current obsessions, alphabets. Awesome all round)

I made a simple bib apron for my Ma for her birthday last week, but, of course, forgot to take a photo of it. It was so quick and easy that I made another straight after for myself (which I also happen to be wearing right now). Here is Youngest Sister beautifully modelling it for me:



Quite impressed with myself as I have never made anything from a pattern before. Usually it's just curtains or transforming a pair of jeans into a skirt. I even altered the pattern slightly for the second go as my hips are quite high up (which is a blinkin' pain int' bum when buying tops as I have to make sure they are long enough to balance my weird-arse figure out) so I shortened the top half to make the ties higher. And check out that bias binding, man! Never used that before, either.

I've cut out a third apron already, so I'll keep you posted on its progress! Quite what I'll do with all these aprons, I'm not entirely sure! Etsying them seems a good idea. But it is a good way to use my Ikea fabric stash, another thing I have a weakness for. No trip to the Blue and Yellow Place is complete without just a metre of this one, and just a metre of that one over there. Ooo! That one's nice.....

Thursday, 9 April 2009

New Toy, New Hair.



So the iMac is here at last! It came last Tuesday, but it took me until Friday to get it out the box. It is AMAZING. So fast! Boyfriend and I worked out it's SIX times faster than the poor little MacMini (not that it was a bad computer, just not big and beefy enough for my present requirements.) I feel I've hardly started playing with it, but I'm sure there are projects around the corner that will mean I spend all my time playing ... um, that's working on it. It's going to make my working processes so much easier and quicker. And it's great to watching films/TV on, too!

I feel I've barely stopped to take a breath in the past week, although I also don't seem to have all that much to show for it! Boyfriend and I spent the weekend painting my kitchen, which is now lovely and clean and bright, and putting up two new shelves in there. There's been a bit of crafting and knitting going on, and a trip up to London to the Tower. (Which was fab. Go see the Henry VIII: Dressed To Kill exhibition. Modern, exciting and uber informative.)

As you can see, I've also changed my hair colour again. The pink was lovely, but it just faded so fast and left me with two-tone hair. I had to go to the hairdressers and beg them to cut all the over-processed orange-tinged ends of my hair off. Be that a lesson to you, my children, don't bleach over an already existing permananent colour. So I am a tomato now.

So now I am going to have the long Easter weekend off, spending it at my Ma's, followed by another Dyeing Day (that's yarn, not hair), then working on updating my sorely neglected website for the rest of that week. Then there's a bit more screenprinting the week after to finish off the Little Red Riding Hood prints ready for submission on the 25th. Phew! The postcards I ordered last Tuesday came this Tuesday, even though I opted for the slow 21 day delivery. I've never ordered cards with a coloured reverse side before, and I have to say they've turned out beautifully. Vistaprint really can be brilliant sometimes. I know a lot of people don't like them, but I've never had any problems.

So the postcards are here, and I've ordered cellophane bags for them and the A2 prints, and three frames to display the best copies. I've just got to get some card to put in with the prints to protect them - and to actually finish them off, of course! So I'm pretty organised. All I need now is people to buy them!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Cream Crackered

Wow! Uber long day in the printroom although, I have to say, the time just flew by. I had so much to carry in my over-stuffed "Big Shoulderbag" that I couldn't squeeze in my camera to document it all (not that I would've had time!) so apologies for no photos as yet. BB Wolf is completely finished and I've set up a new screen ready to print Grandma tomorrow evening. I'm only in for four hours, so I think I'll only manage to get the backgrounds done, with the possibilty of a few of the keylines. I'll try to take the camera tomorrow if I can fit it in my bag. Feet are killing me.

On a bit of a different note, one of my favourite illustrators, Jen Corace, has a show on in Philadelphia at the moment, which you can read all about and look at the beautiful illustrations here. I LOVE her stuff - I have a couple of her children's books and her "Hansel and Gretel" has been on my Amazon wishlist for ages - and these larger pieces are just beautiful. I love the negative space. What I am very excited about is her silhouettes. They give me all sorts of ideas for potential future screenprints. Negative space, negative space....hmmmm...........