Friday, 30 October 2009

Cream Crackered Again

Well, it's been a bit of a busy week. Moving furniture here, there and everywhere and painting and cleaning... it's all going on at the new flat. My stuff is going on Monday, so hopefully by midweek the place will have some kind of semblance to it. So, this will probably be my last post for a while. We're getting the internet reconnected on Wednesday - but two whole days without access, eek!

I'm sure I'll survive it .... right?

Friday, 23 October 2009

Say it With Fabric

Our JimBob (that's Boyfriend, by the way) bought me a lovely little present this week. I'd stumbled across Fabric Rehab (now that is an awesome shop name; so apt), and in particular Australian company Prints Charming, and sent Boyfriend a link to them with the vague notion of planting Xmas present ideas in his head. But, Lo and Behold, the next day this little wedge of Fat Quarters turned up. Ain't he good? I think some patchworking is in order for these. I heart Scandanavian-style design.





We signed the contracts for our new place today. We're moving Boyf's stuff tomorrow, but mine is waiting a week. VERY exciting. Must go remove a tonne of stuff from off my working desk as that is going tomorrow. Squeeee!

Monday, 19 October 2009

A Bit of a 180.

Soooooooooo, I put all my dancing ladies together and at first I was pretty happy with the result. I knew I'd have to tweak the text a fair bit, but in general I was pleased. Then I printed out the rough at 100%.


Eeek. It was WAY too busy for the small size of the card.

OK, I said, I just need to alter the idea so there's not so much going on. How about this?


I ummed and ahhhed a lot about this. A LOT. I was in a pretty bad mood for most of Saturday. Boyfriend can attest to that. (Sorry again, by the way.) I decided to sleep on it, picked it up again Sunday afternoon and knew it was just wrong. Again, too much detail for such a small card.

So then I was faced with the conundrum: what the bloody hell do I do now?!

I felt bad about abandoning this idea. I liked where it was going, it's simply that the Christmas card size is fairly small. If it were one of my usual large-size postcards I was making then I don't think it would be such an issue. I like my dancing ladies a lot, so I'll use them for something else. Maybe some kind of poster, or a new set of screenprints. There's no such thing as wasted work.

So, anyway, I scribbled about a bit yesterday and came up with a new, simple idea that is much easier to execute. So easy, in fact, that I did the whole thing today. It's been uploaded to Vistaprint and should be with me within 14 days. Here's just a sneaky peek:


I manage to experiment a little with it, too, which I'm quite glad about. Although you can't really see it in this small section, I've only used colours from within PhotoShop, not any scanned textures. The sky is painted, but that's the only "real" colour. I used a paint brush to ink the outlines, and I've removed some of them in places to give it a kind of retro/screenprint feel. I'm so glad it's done now. It was beginning to stress me out and I really wanted to get it done before packing everything up for moving, especially as after this Saturday I won't have my working table. What a weight off, though! Now I can go pack without worrying I'm going to box up some paints or something that I'm going to suddenly need!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Monday, 12 October 2009


Today I've been on a discussion day with other people from B&H Libraries and, indeed, with people from other libraries all over the south east. We got together to discuss some of children's fiction books and picture books that have been nominated for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards to be awarded next year. It was a very interesting day. I've been reading like mad the past few weeks just trying to get through the six junior fiction/teenage titles and the eight picture books up for discussion. We voted on which two from each category should go through for consideration for the shortlist, which will be announced in April 2010. Some fantastic JF, but, most of all, some AMAZING picture books. I was longlisted myself for "Munch" back in 2005, so it was doubly interesting to see how the nomination process works.

I bought The Troll, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by uber-hero David Roberts a couple of months ago. I just love DR's illos; I want to be him. (In a strictly professional sense, of course.) But, the surprise love-at-first-sight moment for me today, though, was Millie's Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura.

EVERYTHING about this book is fantastic - the story, the colours, the detail, the, love, LOVE it. I've not really paid much attention to Satoshi Kitmura in the past, but I'm definitely going to go through his back catalogue. This one is going straight on my Amazon Wishlist for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I've just started scribbling ideas for my Christmas card. I think I'm going with "Nine Ladies Dancing" from "The Twelve Days of Christmas", with colours inspired by the lovely Ikea decorations I saw last Friday.

I've already started my Christmas catalogue collection. Sainsbury's was first off the mark this year - I picked theirs up on 1st October. I have a Waitrose one, too, which is just full of lovely, lovely things to get me in the festive mood. SUCH nice food in there.

At Crimbo you're allowed time off for good behaviour when it comes to diets, right?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

We Have Confirmation

The flat is going to be ours! Woo! I've been trying not to think about it too much, just in case it all goes wrong, but this week it was confirmed that we can move into the new flat in Hove from the 24th. That's two weeks' time. Eek! Unfortunately, pretty much everyone else is off from work the week beginning 26th, leaving me in charge, so I can't take that week off to properly move in. I have booked the following week off, though, so that's when the main move will happen. Lots to do before then. I've been putting off sending the RV postcards out, but I'm going to do that before this coming Tuesday and begin work on my Christmas card idea - not that I have any inkling what that's going to be yet! I'd like to have it all done before the move.

Boyfriend and I went to Ikea yesterday afternoon to buy new bedlinen and decide on a new bedframe. We need a wardrobe, too, but neither of us are very keen on the selection there. I think that'll be a second hand, charity shop, paint-it-in an-awesome-colour job. Boyfriend made me laugh trying out all the office chairs and pretending to be some big-shot business man. I've never known a dude to be so keen in a furniture shop. I also managed to get a couple of Christmas presents and spent a good 20 minutes getting excited over all the nice red and white decorations they have in for this year. I'll have to go back to pick up a few.

I also found this awesome tray while I was there. Not sure if I'll eat off it - it's bit too nice for that - so I may keep it on my desk to organise my smaller arty bits and bobs:




Suffice to say, I hung around the fabric department for ages touching all the pretty cloth. There's this amazing new range that's patterned more like a large print, or even like a roll of wallpaper - one with crabs and sea life on it, one like a park with squirrels and trees, one with birds in cages... All VERY nice, but I can't seem to find pictures of it online anywhere. Maybe it's too new.

Right, I'm going off to play with zips and buttons. Photos to come.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Here's my stall from Sunday:




It was a enjoyable show with a good, constant crowd of people who seemed genuinely interested in what was for sale. Lots of other lovely stalls, but I managed to restrain myself from buying anything. I was a bit worried about the venue when we got there and realised it was the same room they have the weekend comedy nights in (ie dark and industrial looking), but once all the stalls were set up it looked fab. I didn't sell loads - no prints at all! - but a fair bit. The Scrabble tile badges were very popular, so I'll definitely make more of those to put up in the various shops. I'm so glad it's over, though! I didn't have that much to make, but all the packaging and sign-making took forever. Boyfriend did a stirling job helping me with everything. Not sure he envisioned spending his whole weekend that way, but he didn't complain once. Ain't he good, eh? He was well rewarded Sunday night with bangers and mash for dinner, followed by homemade apple & plum turnover and Cookies & Cream ice cream.

Hmmm....just remembered there's two thirds of that tub left....

Friday, 2 October 2009

Print Mania!

In the last five days I have sold NINE prints. NINE. This is - so far - unheard of! My Big Bad Wolf print was mentioned on two blogs, Cowdy Calling and Quest Twenty Eight, and I've just been made a Folksy Featured Seller for this week! So exciting! It does means I've been to the Post Office rather a lot this week, and I'm going to have to invest in a lot more cardboard tubes. (I wonder if this is what it's like to be The Black Apple??!!! Hehe.) Thanks for all those who have mentioned me and/or bought prints. Very much appreciated.