Sunday, 28 November 2010

Spoonflower Take II

I'm entering this weeks' Spoonflower competition, just like I did back in May. It's taken me that long to get off my bum and do another! Anyhoo, the theme this week is "The 12 Days of Christmas", which, as you may know, is a bit of an obsession with me, so I couldn't resist. My entry, below, is entitled "And a Partridge in a Pear Tree".


I used just red, black and white in the hope of emulating some sort of Scandinavian feel to the design, a bit like these. Voting starts from Thursday, so if you could pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me, that would be fab. It would be awesome to win again, but I'm obviously not going to hold my breath! Can't wait to see what the other entries are like; must remember not to vote for 9 others this time...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Gradually Decreasing... To Do (or rather TeuxDeux) list is, that is.

Although Crappy Stomach Bug last week was a total pain in the backside, it did mean I had a few days off from library work to sort a few things out here at home and in the studio and work on reducing my long, long list of things that need doing before Christmas and before the new illo project starts.

So, my websites are all updated, my accounts are pretty much up to date (without turning out the entire room to find every single last scrap of paper I need. Nope, I'll leave that til April!) and I've finished off a couple of crochet/knitting projects that were just sitting in my Ravelry sidebar over there on the right hand side. This big, old pink baby below is much the same as the yellow version I made last year, and was only 75% finished yesterday lunchtime, but I took it on the bus to work, and sat and listened to some fab Radio 4 programmes last night while I finished it. A bit crazy-heavy on the tassels, but you can never have enough, right?!


Quite a bit of Christmas crafting has been done already; I'm just waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my last payment from the Korean publishers so I can get in some more supplies to complete the rest. And some cards, wrapping paper, ribbon, food, etc, etc, etc. All that Crimbo gubbins.

*Warning - boring diet-related discussion commencing* In other news, I've reached my diet goal. Woo! I've not really talked about dieting on here as it's INCREDIBLY boring to hear people banging on about their weight, and how little they eat these days, and oo-I've-lost-2-pounds-this-week blah, blah, blah; but in March I decided I really did need to lose some weight and ideally I needed to get rid of 2 stone and 1 pound and go down at least one dress size. Mission accomplished! I started off at 14 stone 1 (eek!) and am now 11 stone 13. Hurrah! My new goal is to get to 11 stone 8, making it 2.5 stone lost in total, and stay around there permanently. I think that's achievable - once Xmas scoffing is out of the way! I'm going to make myself a Crimbo party dress out my HUGE stash of fabric to celebrate.  *End of diet-related discussion. Breathe easy now*

So, I'm off to Oxford tomorrow for my meeting about the new illo project. Fingers crossed it goes OK and it will turn out to be exactly what I'm looking for, bringing with it all the good stuff (hopefully) full-time illustration work brings.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Saturday, 20 November 2010


I've spent the afternoon updating my own website and all my online portfolios. They are now all lovely and shiny and full of new work. Takes for-blummin'-ever to resize everything for each different site and make all the thumbnails, though. I've got button links to the lot of them in the left hand column over there so do take a look, if you like. I'd be very grateful if anyone could go to my own website and just check all the links are working. Cheers muchly!

maybelline contact

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Pimp My Coat

A few weeks ago, I bought a green coat from good, old Primark. Now, as you might have noticed, these days I tend to make most of my clothes as I just don't like much on the high street. Plus, I get to faff around and make them fit better and add things in and take things out and generally be bossy with my clothes. Coats, however, are just a little bit out of my league at present. So, buying coats is fine. What's not fine is putting up with something I don't like about a item of clothing just because I bought it from a shop. So, cue Pimp My Coat! Stupidly, I didn't take a proper "Before" picture of this baby and I can't seem to find one online, but what you need to know is that it's dark green, made from a kind of tweedy/waffly-wool-type fabric and came with pocket flaps, plasticy buttons galore and a kind of sash piece on the back.

These are the original buttons:

old buttons

Which would be quite nice if they were actually made of metal and not of cheap and shoddy plastic. So they were the first to go. I ummed and ahhed about what kind of buttons to replace them with, bearing in mind I didn't have a tonne of money to spend on them and I didn't have 6 matching buttons in my stash (or 6 near enough matching, anyhoo). So, I took a leaf out of Lovely Sam's book and bought some self-cover buttons like these:

sc buttons

A bargain price, I think you'll agree.

What I needed then, natch, was something to cover them with. I went all the way through my fabric stash, but then realised what I really wanted was something inconspicuous, something that wouldn't detract from whatever awesome scarf or brooch I was wearing on top. So, as I HATED the pocket flaps, I took them off with the good, old seam ripper, along with the sash type piece on the back (what is that bit called, btw?) and used part of those pieces to cover my buttons.

back piece

Poor sash piece.

covered button

covered buttons

But hello new buttons! The covering is uber easy to do. You just take the back piece of the button off, cut a circle of your desired fabric, run a running stitch around the edge, place over the button's face, gather, and then push the back on tight again. Et voila. Lovely buttons of your own design.

All I needed now was an awesome brooch to wear on the lapel. You can't see it, but one lapel is longer than the other, which is a nice design feature, but needs something sparkly or colourful on it. I grabbed a few fabulous buttons from my stash, sewed them together, glued on a pin and there you have it, awesome new brooch:

new brooch

And here I am wearing the Pimped Coat, although, of course, I never took a "Before" picture and I'm wearing a big, old scarf so you can't even see the blummin' brooch, but I think you get the idea:


A much less fussy version of the original which shouldn't date as quickly. (I hope!)

I got so carried away with my Pimping that I decided to cheer up my old coat by changing the buttons from these:

original button

To these:

rose button

See? It's so easy to jazz up or alter clothes that you're not so keen on anymore, or even ones that you've bought and you're not 100% sure about. Give it a go, I says.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Badges and Bleurgh.

Bleurgh. This week I have mainly been ill with some horrible stomach bug-type-thing, so not a lot to share, other than I've been watching films, catch-up TV and trying to get on with some Xmas crafting. I have, however, put up some of the fabric badges I made for the craft fair in my Folksy shop. Go take a gander, if you like. Cheers chickens.






Sunday, 14 November 2010

It's Sunday Already?!

And I haven't blogged all week. Terrible of me, I know, but I've been busy beavering away on some Xmas pressies. In the absence of anything to show for it (yet), here are a few pictures of our stall from last Saturday's craft fair, which went quite well:






I'm sllloooooooooowly putting up what's left in my Folksy shop. There are a few bits and pieces in there now (mugs, monsters and the like), and if it ever stops raining I might be able to take a few photos and get some new things up in there. Shocking!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Craft Fair, 6th November - A Reminder!

Just to remind all you crafty types in the Brighton & Hove area that the Brighton Craft Guerrilla will be at the Cornerstone Community Centre craft fair tomorrow from 11am-3pm. Come and take a look at all the loveliness for sale, have some tea and cake in the cafe, and maybe pick up a few Christmas pressies, too. All welcome, it would be lovely to see you.




Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Workspace

I had some exciting news last week: an illustration project I did some samples for over the summer is going to go ahead. Woo! What's more, it's going to be a 14 month job! Woo-hoo! I'm not going to say any more, in case I jinx it, but if all goes well then I start work towards the end of the year. It's certainly been the kick-up-the-bum I needed to get my workspace sorted out. Since getting my Wacom and working digitally much more, I really don't need a humungous desk to use for painting and the like. What I did need was a load more storage for books, my vintage china habit and all the rest of the gubbins I need to be all creative and arty-farty and that. So, after that recent Friday evening trip to Ikea to get ideas, Lovely Husband bought me, and pretty much single-handedly built, this:

shelf and desk

shelf and desk 2


sewing table

Lots of room to store everything, a nice desk with lots of natural light, and a separate area for sewing. (Which is great, as I do tend to put things off because "I'll have to get the sewing machine out from under the desk and I can't be arsed right now.") Plus, it makes the living room feel a bit more spacious which is a nice bonus.

So, the plan now is to get myself nice and prepared for the (hopefully) upcoming project over the coming weeks. I want to update my websites, try and get on top of my accounts, make a few Xmas pressies and get another external HD just in case my present one dies and I lose all my work. Again. Preparation, preparation, preparation! Keep your fingers crossed for me, everyone.