Sneak a peak at my next project: a children’s picture book

Morning everyone. I’ve finally got round to making a start on a long term project – my children’s book and thought you guys might want a sneak preview of the cover as a WIP 😀

image

Still a long way to finishing this and need to add a splash of colour, but I thought it an apt time to share. The story is based on a nickname my children gave me when they were little 😉

Best wishes xx

Ok, it’s been a while!

I’ve been away on holiday you see, soaking up some much needed sunshine in Cornwall. We had limited access to wi-fi and so I made the most of the break away from technology and drew, doodled

IMG_4918
and watched my youngest paint a picture of a labrador puppy.
Then of course, like all holidays, they eventually come to an end :-(. I had to play catch-up at work and still slot in some me and family time. So what have all you lovely people been up to? Have you been glancing across the road for the first buds of spring? I spotted snowdrops this week and suddenly daffodils are shooting up on the verges. My favourite season: spring! Excited! Not only do I wait in anticipation of the appearance of flowers and blossoms, but some gorgeous leaves that I will be able to print from.
Anyway, for today’s WordPress post, I’m going to share with you some photographs of my little getaway trip to Cornwall to accompany one of my drawings from my time away – hope you like them.

IMG_4692
This was a hidden underground pool found in a disused slate mine – isn’t it wonderful?

IMG_4887
For literature fans – we visited Jamaica Inn, the setting for one of Daphne du Maunier’s novel of the same name. According to some people, there are parts of the inn which are haunted and when we toured the adjoining museum we were treated to memorabilia by the author and details of smuggling that took place over the centuries across Cornwall.
As well as taking a sip of a cool drink, we were able to watch a fifteen minute video about the history of the inn and surrounding areas.

IMG_4888
One of many smugglers’ caves … This one was found at Polperro. When we weren’t exploring caves, we played around with our shadows. Even though it was February half term, the weather was glorious 🙂

IMG_4836

IMG_4718
Interesting then that we returned home to snow, sleet and rain making it feel all the more real that we’ve been away on holiday 🙂

Random Craft Swap

How much do you love receiving gifts in the mail? Do you clutch the unopened envelope for ages and try and guess what’s inside? What about receiving something handcrafted? The person sending has taken a lot of thought into creating something special and unique. They’ve considered what the other person might like. When I started on a craft to swap I went over to Gladeridercrafts blogger’s page – check it out as there’s some gorgeous stitching on there! We did a random craft swap this week and I was so excited when my craft packet arrived.

IMG_4670

Isn’t it lovely? Thank you so much Gladeridercrafts 🙂

Also this week, I opened the post at work to find my OH had sent me a large padded envelope with the word fragile written on it! I would never have guessed what was inside…a box of Matchmakers – I love these chocolates!

It made me giggle just like a few years ago when I had a postie calling card to collect a packet from the depot. When I arrived with my ID, the postman looked at me apologetically as he handed over the mail.
‘Should it feel like that?’ He asked.
I admit it did feel as though the contents had smashed. Also, as I hadn’t ordered or been expecting anything, I had no idea what it was. The contents shifted and chinked beneath the padded envelope. I gulped.
Finally, As I sat in the car, I opened the packet to find 200 buttons of all different colours (nothing broken or smashed) inside. Lovely!

So, what have I posted out this week? Well two lucky people received handprinted fabric goodies: an ATC

IMG_4672
and an expanding notebook

IMG_4671

That was fun 😀

Lovely Blog Award

What a lovely gesture! I’ve been nominated for the lovely blog award by fellow crafter and blogger Irene from http://www.sewstitchknit.com

IMG_4652
I am thrilled to accept this award and so will reveal 7 things about myself (that was the deal!) and nominate up to five people that I consider also worthy of the award.
So here goes …
1 – I started blogging just over a year ago to demonstrate, try out, create, make up and revisit as many different crafts as I could. Along the way, I’ve connected with lovely people, fellow crafters and delighted in sharing craft swaps.

2 – When I was seven I took part in a national art competition and won a packet of plasticine (a bit like play doh); a watercolour set and met the Queen for my picture of her on horseback in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace.

3 – I’ve only ever driven on the motorway once and will avoid it at all costs. My kids tease me about ‘big roads’! It was a case of: tried it once and didn’t like it

4 – I love exploring new places and have a strong desire to travel – my dad lived and worked in several different countries and I grew up surrounded by lodgers from around the world – yet my DH gets severely travel sick so it took me nineteen years to get him on an aeroplane

5 – I’m allergic to bee and wasp stings and discovered this when sipping white wine and got stung on the forehead

6 – I’d always wanted to own a cuckoo clock as my dad kept one in a cupboard. I later found out that he kept it unwound because it was so noisy. I dislike ticking clocks and can’t sleep if there is anything other than a digital clock in the room or one that I can silence.

7 – I once thought that a cream tea was tea with cream in it.

and now, a couple of nominations for the lovely blog award are
http://craftingwithfelt.com

Plus

https://prettylittlethingsinabox.wordpress.com

There are many more I could also mention, if I had more time to comment

Thanks again Irene for the nomination 🙂

Eighth pair of wristies

What do you do when the car’s in for repairs, an MOT or service? Shopping? Visit a cafe? Stay in the garage workshop and wait? Well today, we had a product recall on our family car. Driving there in the snow, the DH and I chatted about tomorrow’s party and wondered whether the snow would settle this time.
The car was booked in for an hour, so my DH and I went to buy some school sports socks for my daughter – her pair had mysteriously fallen out of her bag after a sports lesson on Friday. She also broke her zip on her school skirt and therefore it needed a new zip. We then didn’t need much persuasian to sit in the cafe and nope, I couldn’t just sit there, could I?

2015/01/img_4261.jpg
I wrist-knitted this scarf in between sips of cappuccino using wool that was in the reduced box. Then I headed home with the repaired car and tried out a new crochet pattern for my next pair of wristies 🙂

2015/01/img_4516.jpg
I’ve not done zig-zags before, so I’m pleased with the result 🙂

Haiku for 2015

New memo to self:
Turn a house into a home:
Personalise it.

2015/01/img_4447.jpg

How many different words can you think of for house or home or living accommodation? If you were asked to draw a house, what would it look like? Would it look like a square with four evenly spaced windows and a door set centrally?
If you were thinking of buying or renting are you drawn to the actual name of the address or the house name? My uncle used to live in a bungalow called Cobwebs and its front door had a stained glass image of a spider’s web, while my father-in-law named his house ‘Hardgraft’ because he bought the biggest house he could and then worked many hours to pay for it!
Here’s a list I’ve come up with and each carries a different story (it may prompt you into some poetry writing!)…

Squat
Abode
Palace
Mansion
Terraced
Cottage
Maisonette
Apartment
Semi
Igloo
Yurt
Tent
Digs
Flat
Residential home
Lodge
Cabin
Caravan
Stately home
Nursing home
House
Den
Tree house
Home
Wigwam
Teepee
Studio flat
Bungalow
Castle

Can you think of any more?

Interview

Tonight, loyal followers and likers, I am delighted to be the guest on http://greeneearthoriginals.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/gelli-printing-guest-post-3-with.html
and being interviewed about my gelliprinting. Hope you take time to read it; comment and get inspired 🙂
Some of the images shown in the interview are also found in my recently printed book on printing:

2015/01/img_44821.jpg

Handcarved rubber stamps

Hi everyone :-).

Hear is my latest stamp. I’m preparing my collection ready for a printmaking worksop next month.

2015/01/img_4511.jpg

Years ago, I owned a Mini Clubman. I loved it until one day someone broke into it and stole the stereo, then took it for a joyride. It’s now probably in Mini heaven. My friend bought a Mini recently and has even given it a name: Poppy :-). I hope she likes this card I made for her using the Mini stamp 🙂

Hope you’re all well and not snowed in. We had our first bit of snow in the UK yesterday. I woke to find the roads wet and grey as usual, despite the severe weather warnings the previous day. I got in my car and drove four miles and suddenly the scenery was different: cars driving 2 miles per hour; rooftops blanketed with snow thick enough to disguise the roof tiles and big flakes falling. I wondered how on earth four miles would make that much difference and also whether I’d be late for work!
The town up on the hill was indeed unique to the snowfall. As soon as I’d driven out the other side and down a steep hill into the valley, the snow had completely vanished.
To some, snow is a satisfying and joyous experience. To others it signals disaster and triggers fear … Fear of injury and perhaps fear if being stranded on the way to or from work. Great if you don’t have to get anywhere.
I now have quite a collection of stamps for the group workshop and hopefully they will be inspired to carve their own 🙂

2015/01/img_4513.jpg

Happenstance

This past week has been difficult and a mix of both excitement and sadness.
I’ll start with the sad part and end on the happy part.

On Wednesday evening my youngest child and I snuggled down to watch an episode of ‘six Puppies and Us’. We don’t own a dog, but my eldest has taken up drawing them … lots of dogs. She recently ran a competition called the twelve dogs of Christmas where people posted photos of their dogs and then others voted which should be the top thirteen (twelve dogs – one for each month + one for the cover of a calender). The dogs were voted for and the close of the competition was 6th January.
The programme, as the title suggests is about owners and their puppies. We hadn’t watched the first two programmes and just happened to come across one … The adolescent episode. What transpired was a lot of giggling from my daughter as each dog reached adolescence. However, there was one comment made by one owner that riled me. She said that she decided to buy a dog so that her children could understand death through a dog before having to cope with a person dying. I felt that that was a rather strange reason to take on the responsibility of bringing up a puppy. Anyway, it made my daughter and I have an interesting conversation about the validity of the woman’s comment and whether or not she was doing the right thing for her children.
Later, I went on to watch a film and death seemed to feature in this too. This time, a lad’s pet turtle passed away and was found by his step mother. Urgently, she ran out of the house to find a replacement – one that looked as identical as possible so the child wouldn’t discover the turtle’s sad demise.
It was nearing 11pm and I switched the movie off before it finished. Jobs beckoned me: the dishwasher needed to be filled and I had to go to work the next morning.
With the washing up sorted, I went to say goodnight, as I usually do, to our house rabbit Pom Pom. At that time of night I’m normally greeted with an excited bouncing rabbit eager to say hello and have her head smoothed and her ears rubbed. Not this time. I knew something was up. She was still. She was, well you know. I cried of course. Maybe the film and the programme were preparing me. Happenstance, coincidence. Whatever. Grief struck and I didn’t know how to tell my kid. We all were extremely fond of her. I will say though that despite how difficult this week has been, I have been moved by the outpouring of kind comments and thoughts from friends and family but also people I have met in creative groups and not actually met face-to-face. It’s certainly been appreciated and I know I am among some wonderful, thoughtful people who care very much and hurt too when they know you’re hurting or sad.
The rabbit’s life flashed before me: we went to see her as a tiny bundle of fluff and brought her back as a surprise on Christmas Eve seven years ago. My husband and I were like excited school kids as we hid the hutch in the boot of the car and then presented three squealing children with the bunny who looked like a pom pom ball. She was the most placid and delightful pet and now she’s gone … But Pom Pom won’t be forgotten.

2015/01/img_4485.png

Now to some fun news … My first printed book arrived on Wednesday: I’d spent ages planning out the pages and checked out various outlets for the best offers. I wanted something that would showcase my printmaking – the best prints from lino cuts and using the Gelli. Of course, when choosing the style and shape, I had to go for a square book. My portfolio of prints, now contained in a printed book, fit perfectly in my handbag and has arrived in time for workshops I’m starting to run in February. People taking part in my tutorials will now be able to flick through the glossy pages and find something that will hopefully inspire them in their own journey of creating 🙂
Best wishes everyone … And apologies for being away.

2015/01/img_4480.jpg

2015/01/img_4482.jpg