Thursday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

Well this will be the last chance I have to wish you all a happy holiday! I hope you have a lovely time with family and friends and I will see you in the new year (if not before). As a parting gift I thought I'd show you some of my hand-made produce that I'll be giving this year, from top, hazelnut and plain truffles, apple and walnut chutney and crystallised orange and lemon peel.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 18

Winter Wonderland!

Well, if you've not heard, it's bloomin' snowy in England! 

We were out for a work do last night and it was just starting to snow. By the time we finished our meal there was about 3 inches of snow on the ground and we had to help cars get out of the carpark, and over bridges as we walked home in a huge blizzard!

We're forecast more snow tonight... So exciting!

Tuesday, December 15

Couple of new prints

Goodness, it's been a busy few weeks! I've got my last deadline of 2009 tomorrow and then a tutorial on Thursday but then nothing until late January, which is a bit of a relief, I'm knackered!

Today I've been doing last minute picture framing for customers who have a Christmas deadline and - somewhat more bizarrely - making a costume to turn a small white 13-year-old boy into the Three Supremes for a school talent show tomorrow night! It's a great thing to be involved with, and the fact that this boy is going to sing a Motown medley is reason enough for me to give up my evening! In case you're wondering, the costume consists of a plastic pipe with two life-sized Supreme's heads on either end, each with a clothes hanger for shoulders and then a piece of gold fabric that hangs as a dress. It sounds awful but looks surprisingly good!

I've also been making chutney for Christmas pressies, and found a nice Rick Stein recipe here which looks and tastes pretty good if I do say so myself. On Saturday I'm going to get to grips with crystallising orange and lemon peel a la Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, I'm feeling all homemade-y since watching Kirstie Allsopp. Although, how many times did she say "Meadowgate" in three programmes??? Bad editing I think...

Anyway, these two prints are from the linocut book I did around this time last year are now in the shop. I dug it out the other day and felt sad I'd not done anything with it at the time. So I thought I'd see how a few prints go in the shop. More to come in a few days.

Have a good week folks!

Thursday, December 10

Thank you!

You are such a lovely lot, your advice was so helpful!

I'm just about to start making a set of 12 cards that will fit together to form this larger picture, as an extra to having the actual poster for the crit tomorrow. Both the cards set and the poster (which will fold into 12ths) will be presented in slip cases which I'm covering in chartreuse and white gingham, to pick up the colour of the pears and bird cages.

I'm pretty happy with the finished result, I think using fewer colours worked to bring it all together, and by highlighting the path it makes a clearer journey - like you all suggested.

I hope you like it! Thanks so much for your help!

Sunday, December 6


Hello dear blog reader, I'm having a little trouble and wondered if you might give me your advice. 

I'm working on a poster as a response to a brief asking us to make a sequence of images following a figure through Porto. I chose to do a child running around counting things that he notices. So it goes, 1 boy, 2 hams, 3 boats, 4 pears, 5 moustaches, 6 sardines, 7 barrels, 8 birds in cages, 9 hands on 9 hips, 10 pigeons. 
I don't want it to be too obviously a counting game, hence not including words or numbers but I do want it to look more like a cohesive journey that it currently does. I think I would naturally read each row from left to right like a book but I need to make the layout design strong enough to show that in the second and fourth rows read right to left. I hope the windy path will achieve this. Confused?
I've got bodies to add to the moustache men and I want to use less colours to make it bolder and either block in some colour or make a continuous grey track for the boy to follow. The photo is of my first draft.

I realise I am procrastinating to the max by blogging this instead of just getting on with it but I genuinely feel stumped. Help me please!

Tuesday, December 1

Ceramic news!

So I'm pretty pleased with the latest set of tiles! They are all now in the shop. I love the bubbles one especially, and how the rainclouds have come out. Unfortunately the numbers one didn't turn out well - I'd filled them with red beads but the colour burnt off in patches. For some reason hot colours don't do so well as blues and greens. Weird. Anyway on those that have worked the glass is just so crackled and shiny! I love it!

Also, I just let Lucie know (as she's a woman obsessed when it comes to this stuff) that Portmeirion are reissuing some of their 1960s pottery designs in the form of mugs - perfect for the Christmas gift audience methinks. I saw this one in a posh shop today and they are just gorgeous, so tactile, and lovely in contemporary white - the sludgy blues and greens of the originals are dreamy of course but the new versions have a wider appeal I guess. Yum yum!

Recent vintage

I've accumulated this little lot over the last few weeks (and possibly months) but neglected to show you! I bought the baby sellotape tin just this morning for 50p and it's so cute! It's about 3 inches across and will probably store needles or safety pins in its new life.

I love the Francais book, it was printed 1961 and the charming illustrations run all the way through. And those 1950s plates were a snip at £2 for 6! 

Have you found anything good at car boots or jumble sales lately?

Monday, November 30

Guess who

This is a little project we did at uni to make a celebrity shoe. Can you guess who mine is? They wanted us to look at using objects to convey personality. I then put my image into a Time magazine cover I found on google just to see... I think it works!

Thursday, November 19

Tis done!

This is my first animation and I can't believe it's finally done. It took me three weeks - a week and a half to make the tram and rolling backgrounds and stop motion elements, a long Saturday to film the whole lot and the last week to edit. Phew!

I just have to work out how to show it in my crit tomorrow now... fingers crossed for some nice feedback, not just comments on my slightly dodgy steering of the tram! Wish me luck!

Well, the crit went pretty well, my tutor suggested adding a few extra sounds like the noise of children playing, as if the tram were passing a schoolyard or something. So I might do that. Also it was suggested that I get rid of the two people filling up towards the end, as I have already introduced the idea of people being represented by dots so it kind of "confuses the visual language". Something to think about anyway. Thanks so much for all your lovely comments!

Tuesday, November 17

Tiles and toils

Hello! These are the first couple of tiles to go through firing. I'm really happy with the chair especially! There are five more that I've filled with glass beads but still need firing, I'm so excited to see them. In the meantime I'm working on my tram animation and it's coming together really well, will post it once it's done (which will be by thursday night latest). Eeek!

Thursday, November 12

Quick new things!

Just a very quick post today as I must get back to cutting out boat shapes but I wanted to show you two new pieces I added to the shop last night.
The book piece has been on my mind for a while now, and the numbers are a continuation from my typoporto book. I hope you like them. I've so been enjoying using my scalpel lately! 

Have a lovely weekend all, and thank you for the encouragement with my animation, I'm actually quite excited about it now. Eep!

Today's workspace

Has mainly been filled with bits and pieces for the animation/puppet show I'm working on. It's about a tram journey, hence the little tram in the photo (which I made out of a washing powder box and some foamboard - very Blue Peter). I'm somewhat cacking myself about getting it all done in time for next Friday. iMovie looks completely different to how I remember it and general editing-related horrors await. I just know it. 

Filming commences on Saturday, wish me luck folks.

Sunday, November 8

Sneak preview...

...of some tiles I've been working on this week. I'll be having them fired soon, then I can pour glass beads into the little hollowed out designs and then have them glaze fired to make the beads melt. I'm especially pleased with the chairs! I hope they work!

Saturday, November 7


I finally managed to get a few photos of my "Typoporto" book this morning. I hope you like it. It is the result of this research which I blogged a few weeks ago.

We had the crit for the project last Friday and my tutor said I shouldn't have put the colour parts in, and kept it all white. Maybe he's right, but I kind of needed a bit of something zingy with the red and lime (although the last page didn't work out too well with the off-white backs of vintage colour paper I'd used on the previous page).  

I used a combination of embossing, pinholes and cutouts to further explore the typefaces I saw in Porto and I really enjoyed myself! 

Thursday, November 5

Wood you mind?

I've rediscovered a bag of different wood veneers I bought last year and have had fun playing today. I'm supposed to be researching puppets for a puppet show/animation we have to do for uni but serene alpine landscapes seemed infinitely more attractive today. This one is now listed.

If dear blog reader you know of any amazing puppet work do let me know, my research is somewhat minimal at present and I'm off out to fireworks display now. If you wouldn't mind just doing my homework for me that'd be great. Thanks!

Happy Bonfire Night!

Tuesday, November 3


Don't tell, but I may have bought two chairs today. They were a fiver each and were quite a nice shape. I'm going to replace their seat fabric and make them spangly new-like. We don't strictly need any more chairs but I plan on throwing a Christmas party this year, so it's totally necessary. Honest. 

Also, I bagged this lovely coat by Joules on ebay at the weekend. It fits like a dream and is beautifully made of navy blue wool. V. chuffed indeed - it's lined with gold satin! (The pic isn't of me by the way, but maybe one day you shall see a little pic of me in it).

Hope you're all snuggled up and are fighting the cold and wetness.  I'm off to make some soup for dinner as I'm planning a late working night and I've the house to myself - exciting!

Saturday, October 31

Have a Beastly weekend...

Happy Halloween! 
I've spent some of this week working in a group at uni (something I need to get better at, I fear I'm terribly bossy in a group, I need to learn to take more of a backseat!) to make a zine about mythical beasts. 

We made the a5 zine out of photocopied a3 paper and had to do all the complicated pagination (get me, I know the lingo) then fold, cut and sew it - so it was good experience. My pages were about Mokele Mbembe, a Nessie-type beast found in the Congo in Africa, which I read about in Redmond O'Hanlon's Congo Journey some months ago. We also included a little flip book where you can mix and match body parts of all 5 beasts featured in the zine. It kind of works, some of them don't quite line up but they just look really funny instead!

Hope your Halloween weekend is ghoulish and ghastly!

Sunday, October 25

Birthday book!

It was my birthday yesterday and I must say Jacob gets top marks for his present!

I've been after a copy of Edward and the Horse written by Ann Rand and illustrated by your favourite and mine, Olle Eksell for ages but had really given up hope. They are almost impossible to get hold of, let alone with an original dust jacket. This is a first edition too so is extra special and it's pretty much my favourite thing in the world! I know he must have spent a fortune on it...

The illustrations are beautiful and the story is really funny. I never thought about doing children's illustration before but this book makes me think twice. 

Hope you are having a splendid weekend, folks.