Monday, 23 December 2013

The 2013 Christmas Card

Well, (hopefully) by now everyone who I've sent a card to will have had theirs through the post, so I can share the 2013 Crimbo card without spoiling the surprise! Part of it has been up in my banner there since the beginning of the month, but here is the whole thing, front image and inside message:

With inspiration coming from this image from the game Minion Rush, which I've been addicted to since the summer:

(Can't wait to see Despicable Me 2; I've asked Father Christmas to bring me the 1&2 box set, fingers crossed.)

I went for summat a bit different from my usual/current style with this one: a limited colour palette in not-very-traditional-Xmas colours, NO EYEBROWS ON THE CHARACTERS (this is a really big deal for me!), and not very much in the way of shadow or highlight; I think it's come out quite well.

This is a way of working I'd like to explore more, particularly as it has the definite advantage of being very quick to produce! I also got the inside printed in colour this year, as it was included in the price. This may well be the way to go on all future cards; it ties it together with the front nicely as looks tres profesh.

I hope everyone has a very lovely Crimbo and New Year, I'll see you in 2014!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Sir Lance a Lottery

Earlier this year, the Martlets Hospice contacted me asking if I would re-imagine their lottery mascot, Sir Lance a Lottery. Um, well, you can't really turn down a dude with such an orsum name, so, obviously, I agreed!

The idea was that they would use Sir L on their literature and promo pieces and HAVE A 3D COSTUME MADE!!!!!

Here is my Sir L in full Martlets colours and regalia:

Sir Lance a Lottery

And the costume out and about at Brighton station this week:


Sir L 2

They were going to make the horse to go along to make a costume in this vein, but budgets dictated only Sir L by himself. And isn't he just fab?! I'm so glad I took this job on, it was loads of fun and I get to see him in 3D! (I'm so glad someone can fathom out how my illos would look from all angles; I certainly can't!)

I really hope Sir L will raise the lottery and the hospice loads of dosh.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Greetings from St Leonards!

Well, hello.

Hubbo and I are now firmly ensconced in our new abode in the lovely St Leonards on Sea, just an hour up the coast from Brighton. We're still getting used to the new travel route to our respective jobs and we're still surrounded by boxes, but the new flat, and the area, and the how blummin' QUIET it is compared to the old gaff is just lovely.

More photos to follow once we're a little more settled, but, for now, have a sunset, taken today at 4.10pm on the seafront, a mere five minute amble away:

sunset 2nd dec 2013 410pm

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Brief Interlude...

I'll be taking a bit of a break from the blog for a couple of weeks while Hubbo and I MOVE HOUSE to a NEW TOWN!!! Exciting!

I'm also going to have to break my good habits of the past year or so and not update my banner this month. My current history books project doesn't start up again for the next month or so, and I've not really been out and about taking many photos, so I have nothing to update it with! However, my Christmas card is already printed and ready to send out, so I definitely know what next month's will be.

In the meantime, have a pumpkin:


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Paper Watch Project

A few months back, I heard about Templar Publishing's Paper Watch Project and decided I'd have a go in the name of charidee, and, of course, for the sheer fun of it.

I took my paper watch on holiday to Wales with me at the end of August; I just grabbed the blank watch, a fine liner and a clutch of coloured pencils in a rather limited colour palette, and chucked it all in my luggage last minute, working on it at the massive kitchen table in the cottage in between platefuls of birthday cake and endless cups of tea. I went for a kind of amoeba/bacteria vibe, all coloured BY HAND using your ACTUAL, PHYSICAL COLOURED PENCILS. No ctrl+z here, I can tell ya. Here it is:

Part of my #paperwatch


Anyhoo, I finished it off, sent it back to Templar, and then had the inevitable pangs of envy/angst when all the other watches created by all the other fabulous illustrators involved appeared on Twitter and the like! (Par for the course, natch; it's an occupational hazard.)

The action is in aid of Breast Cancer Care and will run from Sunday 3rd - Sunday 10th November with all the details here. Please do go take a look; it's for a very good cause and all the watches are just lovely.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A Shop Re-Jig

If you're at all familiar with lovely online crafty space Folksy, you might notice they've had a revamp recently. I've just re-jigged my shop here, and listed a few things I didn't realise I still had; a couple more WANTED/BB Wolf posters (and therefore my super-bargainous Bumper Print Deal), and my one and only copy of my Fantastic Mr Fox Giclee print.

Go take a look, the updated beta UI is very nice:

shop front

Monday, 14 October 2013

So Much Drawing, so Little Time to Blog

The title of this post sums it all up, really. However, all my recent projects are finished for now, with the next one not starting until the end of November. This means I can have a nice break and crack on with some personal work, my Christmas card (sorry to use the "C" word already), and all that boring admin stuff that gets left by the wayside when all the scribbling is in production.

Annnnnd, relax. Here is a nice, soothing butterfly to relax and calm us all down:


Sunday, 8 September 2013


Phew! I've just spent the last two and a half days glued to my computer screen totally revamping my website and updating my other portfolio sites with new work. Boy, was there a lot to do. The problem with working on stuff 18 months before it's published it that the work on your site is always out of date! But, finally, it's all up there and hopefully selling me better.

new header

I've created a new button/banner over there in the left hand sidebar for my own site, please do click though and take I look; I hope the new, larger thumbnails are clearer and that it's all nice and easy to navigate through.

I must now go and get away from my screen before my eyes go on strike!

Cheers me dears.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

New Girl Crush

I've had these images sitting in an open tab on my browser for weeks now. I like to take a quick look at them every so often if I'm in need of a chuckle, but I think I really need to share them as they're really too lovely to keep to myself. This is Hilda:

This is the image that has made me totally fall in love with her. Quite honestly, that is my butt right there, and I'd love me a red onesie.

I came across Hilda, and her creator Duane Bryers, through some link or other, probably on Twitter, in this article here. Leaving aside her fabulous facial expressions, excellent taste in bikinis and gorgeous puppy pal, her history is very interesting. Plus, you know, she seriously makes me want to go back to being a redhead!

You can check out more Hildas in a gallery here, although this one is my favourite:

Gah, who am I kidding? They're all my favourites!

Hilda is the property of Brown & Bigelow, images from

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

These Are a Bit Nice

Ten days ago, Sisters nos 1 and 2 went to the Harry Potter studio tour (again), and came back whispering tales of lovely new adult editions of HP they'd found in the shop there. What should pop up in my email inbox this morning but a link here to these:


Follow the link above to see the others. Some are available on Amazon now, the rest come out at the end of this month. I may just have to add these to my not-to-be-read-but-just-look-pretty-on-the-shelf collection of nice HP editions.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Gene Kelly Navy Dude

Awesome birfday shoes



Red hawt

Part of my #paperwatch



It was breakfast of champions. Only just hungry again now!


Wednesday, 14 August 2013



Hello poor, neglected blog. I promise I will write something more interesting in you soon, I just have, well, the above, plus another 500 000 000 images to finish off first.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ice Cream of the Week #2

Goat's Cheese and Cherry:

goats cheese and cherry

Again, another one you'd think would be weird, but again another one that's delicious; it's basically cherry cheesecake flavour.

I used the same basic base of Jeni's, but I'm afraid I really don't like it. The texture is just all wrong, and churning it takes forever. Scooping it up into a nice, firm, one-piece ball is a nightmare, too. So, although the Jeni's flavours are fab, I'm going to go back to Nigel Slater's basic ice cream recipe for my base.

I couldn't find the cherry compote I wanted, and fresh cherries were a tad on the Very Bloody Expensive side, so I went for a soft-set, fruit-packed cherry jam and watered it down a bit. It worked really well. I think I'll go back and give this flavour another go with Nigel's base.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sunday, 21 July 2013


This week I have been mired in the bog of computer woes. On Tuesday, my beloved iMac decided it didn't want to play ball anymore and just went blank. AAAHGHGHGHGHGH!!!!! Although I could still hear it working OK, nothing at all was coming up on the screen, so I booked it in to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store for Friday morning. The very helpful Genius there seemed quite hopeful of a recovery, so with luck the iMac will be back in early this coming week.

And not a moment too soon, either, as not only do I have approaching deadlines, but...wait for it....I've had to use REAL PAPER for my roughs this week. Proper old skooltastic, although there is a frustrating lack of cmd+z.

Actually, it's been quite enjoyable, although having to plug my scanner in to Hubbo's (hawk spit) PC and commandeer his Photoshop to tidy it all up ready to email off, and all the palaver that entails, is not so.

imac-less working

Thankfully good, old iPad is keeping me connected to the outside world and providing me with Google Image Search when late-night sketching.

Fingers crossed for the return of my big screen pal ASAP.....

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Ice Cream of the Week #1

Now, as you may be aware, when I go down to the West Country once a year or so, I tend to base my day trips around where I can get a decent ice cream. Last month's trip was no exception to this. In fact, I came home dying to get my ice cream maker out again and churn up a few flavours of my own.

My Ma bought me "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" by Jeni Britton Bauer (owner of a chain of eponymous ice cream parlours all over Ohio, USA) for my birthday a couple of years ago, and, although I OOOooooOOed at all the scrummo flavours in it at the time, I never actually got around to making any. So, first up from Jeni's book: Sweetcorn and Black Raspberry.

Straight up, I've never seen a black raspberry, so I followed Jeni's advice and used half red raspberries and half blackberries. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, bar actually leaving a few whole sweetcorn kernels in the mix.

Basically, you mix up the ice cream base, and as the cream/milk is heating, you add the sweetcorn kernels to infuse in the warmth, straining them off again once the whole mixture is cool. Once churned, you layer the ice cream up with a simple coulis made from the raspberries and blackberries and sugar, and freeze for a couple o'hours. 

Et voila:

sweetcorn blackberry

Blummin' delish. Now, the idea of sweetcorn ice cream may sound bizarre, but it really, really works. It doesn't seem savoury at all, which, given the natural sugars in sweetcorn, and that its ACTUAL NAME CONTAINS THE WORD "SWEET" IN IT, isn't really surprising.

Tasty as it was, I'm not 100% happy with the basic ice cream base Jeni uses. Whenever I've made ice cream in the past, I've always used this recipe by Nigel Slater, which is egg based. Jeni's is egg-free, using cream cheese for the protein element, along with corn syrup (golden syrup) and corn flour. It tastes pretty good, but takes forever to freeze/churn in the maker and gives more of a frozen yoghurt type of texture when fully frozen.

I shall persevere!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Last Two for Now

And so on to the other two books.

These two are activity books published by the lovely peeps at Autumn Publishing. My AD, Gemma, used to work for SGA illustration agency when I was a member there. We always got on really well, so it was great to finally be able to work on a project together.

These are the first activity books I've done, and they were SO much fun. I particularly LOVE designing the mazes, and could quite happily spend days fiddling about putting in little roads and obstacles here and there!

Anyway, here is the first:

knights cover

Yep, more knights and horses. I'm ya go-to gal for those these days.

knights 3

knights 2

knights 4

knights 6


knights 9

knights 7

The second is superheroes (AWESOME):

heroes cover

heroes 4

heroes 6

heroes 5

heroes 3


heroes 7

I'm so chuffed with how these came out. The paper quality is lovely and the matt finish just yummy. The stickers look AMAZING on their glossy, bright white paper, and I love, love, LOVE the spot varnish on the main characters on the cover (not that you can tell it's there from my photos, but, trust me, it is and it's blummin' fantastic.)

Right, that's all of 'em. I have another two activity books coming out at the end of this month, also for Autumn Publishing, on a historical theme and in a slightly different format. I will, naturally, be bigging those up in due course!

Now to update my long-neglected portfolios and get some postcards printed.....