Friday, 30 September 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

  1. The actress Lucy Liu is, in fact, a highly respected fine artist. She's been exhibiting for the last twenty years and currently has an exhibition entitled Seventy Two running at Salon-Vert in London throughout October.
  2. 32 count linen is INCREDIBLY hard to cross stitch on.
  3. The element Helium is so called because it was only discovered by studying the sun during a solar eclipse in 1868. An unknown yellow spectral line signature appeared, suggesting a new and unknown element. Helium=helios, from the Greek for sun.
  4. Emmaus, my fave charity shop and cafe, now has an online shop. You can buy lots of their interesting knitting patterns, as well as gift vouchers to use in the shop and cafe, Christmas cards and order resources - posters, flyers and the like - to help promote the chariddy.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Southover Grange, Lewes






I think Dahlias might be my new favourite flower; I love the geometric shapes and how they look delicate, but actually feel quite sturdy. More infoblurb about Southover Grange and Gardens here

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Wanna Knit These....

....but have FAR too many other knitting projects on the go.

These are Spatterdash Wristwarmers

Monday, 26 September 2011

Illustration Crush: Alice and Martin Provensen

The Owl and the Pussycat

I Saw a Ship A-Sailing

The Jackdaw's Fine Feathers

A Catholic Child's Bible The New Testament


The Fox and the Grapes

"The Lamplighter" from A Child's Garden of Verses

"Pirate Story" from A Child's Garden of Verses

Provensen - Ballet 1

The Provensen Book of Fairy Tales

The Provensen Book of Fairy Tales

The Provensen Book of Fairy Tales

All these examples are from the Illustrations of Alice and Martin Provensen Flickr Group. Alice and Martin Provensen were a husband and wife illustrating team who wrote and illustrated many children's books from the 40s until Martin's death in 1987. In her 90s, Alice Provensen still works as an illustrator. Hope I can keep going that long!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Owls and Pussycats All Over The Shop

Are you sitting down, because this is going to come as a bit of a shock. Yes, I've re-opened my Folksy shop. So far, I've just uploaded my prints, but I'll be slowly adding more over the next few days. Most excitingly, my new print is up there:

owl and pc 2


owl and pc 3


It's priced at a rather bargainous £18, so if you fancy treating yourself please do pop on over and have a look. Cheers, ears.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

  1. There were such creatures as Wooly Rhinos, as well as Wooly Mammoths
  2. Some dinosaurs had reddish brown feathers, much like a modern day pheasant, and could glide from the tree tops.
  3. There are fossilised giraffe skulls painted on ancient Greek vases.
  4. During the English Civil War, King Charles I decamped his whole court to Oxford. He was based at Christchurch College, the poshest of the colleges, and his wife, Henrietta Maria, at Merton College.
  5. Spectrophotometric. It's my new favourite word.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

New Print Shocker!

I've finished my current set of roughs a little early, so this week I've had the chance to do a bit of personal work and get down to the poor, neglected print room today. I've been hankering to do a print based on The Owl and the Pussycat for about a million years, so I finally pulled my finger out and did it. Man, my feet ache, though. I've not stood up for that long for ages! Not to mention all the lifting of the heavy frames and the pulling of the squeegee and the constant swapping out of sheets of paper. Cream. Crackered. Anyway, here is the fruit of my labours:

layer one

two layers

final print

It's my first three-colour print; all the others I've done have been only two colours. The registration on the outline is a little off on the last picture there, but all in all, I managed to pull off three colours without too many hiccups! The more colours you do, the more likelihood there is of messing it up on the final layer and wasting all your hard work!

The purple of the background came out lighter than I was expecting, but I think it works OK. I may do another edition with a dark blue background, making the final image two shades of blue and the one green, but I'm not sure.

These will be up in my seemingly long-forgotten Folksy shop. Shocking, I know! I closed my online shops when we moved back in March (!!!) and I've not yet got around to re-opening them. What better excuse than a new print, eh? I'm going to permanently close my two Etsy shops, as that site just seems to have lost all its morals, and stick with Folksy alone. I've always fared much better on there, anyhoo. I'll also send a few up to the Church Street Gallery, if they like them, who sell some of my other prints, like my Wolf, for me. I've also worked this design up into a new promo card - my first this year (!!!!!!!!!!!) - in my usual illustration style, as opposed to the flat colours of the screenprint. My new banner up there is the B&W back of the card, which is the Piggywig With the Ring at the End of His Nose from the poem. I'll post pics up of both sides once good, old Vistaprint have delivered them to me. However, if you pop on over to my newly updated website, you can have a peek at it now. There's a new animation on the splash page and everything.

Right, I'm off to soak my poor, aching tootsies! (Wimp)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Retro Tastic

Last weekend was Goodwood Revival, (which would've been AWESOME to go to. Bah that I missed it) and who should pop up there but Tesco in all its 60s glory?

Such fantabulous graphics. All these great images are from Tasteologie. Check out more of the vintage Tesco shots here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


reamaining toms

Well, autumn definitely seems to be settling in. Huzzah! My favourite time of year! Time to get the scarves, boots and coats out of the wardrobe and ready for wearing. I do like the change in the seasons, especially when it's so noticeable. I always feel much more inspired to cook "proper" meals in the autumn/winter and I've already made a good start with braised red cabbage this week. And, not only that, but I also collected in all the remaining tomatoes to make chutney (1kg! How did I have that many left on just four plants?!) and gave the herb pots a good haircut and brought the cuttings in to dry. I've also made plum jam, but only managed to have enough for two jars, which was a bit disappointing, but it does mean I have three jars spare I can make some other type of jam for. AND, right now, if all that Domestic Goddessery wasn't enough, I have a huge pan full of what is going to be beef stock bubbling away on the stove. Squirrel, squirrel, store, store. LOVE that feeling of stocking up and preparing, even if I do have a supermarket directly across the street!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Another Adventure

Jenny and I went off for another adventure on Friday. A five hour adventure!


I hadn't planned on it being that long exactly, but I was having such a nice time that I wasn't really bothered about getting back quickly. I caught the train to Shoreham-by-Sea, then rode up the river along the old railway track to Steyning. It took me about 40 minutes or so with a couple of brief stops to read the nice information boards along the route and um-and-ahh a bit about whether or not I was taking the right route! I parked Jenny up outside the Steyning Tea Rooms, and, of course, had to pop in for some refreshment. Like a total idiot, I hadn't taken any water with me, so tea was very much in order. Plum scone with homemade plum jam, butter and clotted cream:


The Steyning Tea Rooms is very nice, I recommend popping in. Husband and I tried to get in there one Sunday afternoon in the new year, but couldn't find a seat, and I seemed to have timed it well this time as it was beginning to get busy as I left. I had a very nice wander around Steyning, looking in all the little shops. I really liked the Sussex Produce Company, which is a bit like Bill's here in Brighton, with lovely local produce for sale at the front of the shop and a cafe at the back. I bought a couple of fresh figs (yum) and a massive smoked garlic. The bookshop is just fab, too. Such a good selection of children's books, particularly picture books, and lots of nice cards to browse through. I wanted about eight books in there, but I suppose I should be thankful I was on Jenny and couldn't fit them in my basket! There is also a nice little crafty/arty arcade hidden behind an old shop facade, Cobble Stone Walk, which is made up of lots of little chalets selling all sorts of interesting things from cake decorations to antiques to deckchairs. I'd love a little chalet to sell my prints from, maybe next summer....? So, after my wander about, I jumped back on Jenny and made my way back to Shoreham. The tide had come in while I was in Steyning; the river was very high and very tempting. I could've quite easily stopped to dip my toes. The wind was also against me on the return leg, so it was a little harder going, and took a little longer, but I needed something to work off that scone.

Lancing College in the background there:



Back in Shoreham, I parked up and popped in to a few shops and had another cuppa in Teddy's. They've been digging up the main route through Shoreham village itself for ages, and part of it has been finished now to reveal a lovely continental-style pedestrian area which the local cafes have taken great advantage of. It looks great, and I can imagine it'll boost trade no end and improve the monthly farmers' market.

It was back to the station and back to Brighton then, arriving home just before 4pm for a much-needed shower and leg rest! I seemed to manage the whole ride without any problems at all, so the planning for my trip to Stanmer Park is well under way! If I'm feeling very energetic and ambitious after that, I might train it to Lewes and try the ride back from there. I definitely have loads more energy, and much more of an appetite, which I'm not so sure is a good thing after all the ice cream and scones on our week off! I think I'd like to join a gym again, my membership having lapsed at the one in Hove, but one with a pool this time so I can go for a swim. Will do a bit of research...

Monday, 5 September 2011

Zombie in Love

Husband sent me a link today to the most fabulous illustrated story. I don't think it's a picture book judging by its format or its subject matter, more of a graphic novel. It's Zombie in Love, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Scott C, neither of whom I had heard of before this morning. I'm deffo glad that situation has been rectified. Here are a few illos from the book, which I've borrowed from Geek Art Gallery, link below:

I love how the waitress is holding the tray, and the finger still in the ring. His little wormy sidekicks are great, too.

The thumbs up is hilarious!

I love the watercolour style. I'm always very envious of artists who can use watercolour "properly". I'm always too scared I'll spend ages layering up colours, only to bugger it up with a muddy brown on layer five or something. It really reminds me of some of the wonderful concept art in Corpse Bride: An Invitiation to the Wedding, which is an AMAZINGLY inspirational book; I referenced it heavily when I was creating The Eeries. Beautiful, beautiful stuff, Mr. C.

You can read more about Zombie in Love, see more illustrations from it and find out about its accompanying exhibition (which I really wish I could just hop over the pond to go and see) on Geek Art Gallery here. I've added it to my Amazon Wishlist and will be getting a copy ASAP.