Saturday, 13 September 2014

Lucky You.


This Lucky You Black Cat Greetings Card with Pin-Badge (so you can always have a black lucky cat crossing your path wherever you go!) is now in my etsy shop and folksy shop!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sew Your Soul.

Last week I visited an amazing little cornershop in Bethnal Green in London. Down a very quiet terraced street, inside a once derelict normal newsagent cornershop was the most amazing stock...everything was handmade by Lucy Sparrow and made out of felt!


From the news stand outside...




...to the ice lollies in the freezer! Look at the funny feet (they were my favorite when I was younger!)...

 ...the local newspaper 'The Daily Sew' every article stitched...

 ..ooof! even the top shelf material...


 ..and celebrity gossip.. in fact EVERYTHING that you can think of that would be in your local cornershop made entirely out of felt - and I mean everything, spam to chocolate to crisps and wine, beers, ky jelly! Pregnancy tests and durex, all of the newspapers with such a fine detail stitched beautifully in - sparkley gold malboro' lights, lighters and rizzla - everything! Of course, just like a normal cornershop all the items were for sale - most had sold out signs when I went in. 

















It was such a unique and amazing installation to go to. Lucy Sparrow who you can follow on facebook here or check out her website here, was manning the shop which was open from 10am - 7pm, 7 days a week throughout August. Don't worry if you missed out though! You can still purchase the goodies here. In total there were over 4,000 handmade felt versions of the everyday items - the amount of labor, craft and attention to detail was incredible! Some people may ask 'why?' and 'what's the point?' but on a sign stuck to the outside of the shop, Lucy explained that she wanted people to walk in and feel overwhelmed by the shear amount of work that had gone into making the items. In total it took 7 months to produce all the fuzzy felty goodies. I believe that she is going to do a 7/11 next in New York in November. The entire shop was truly inspiring and makes you want to get your head stuck into generating lots and lots of work. So glad I went to see it!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Central Saint Martins - Summer School.



I've just had the BEST week in London Town. I spent a week at Central Saint Martins Art college - the new building with is based at the newly regenerated Kings Cross site. It's a beautiful building full to the brim of inspiring students and staff. I have always wanted to do a summer course at the college and this year I signed up for the Designing for Surface Decoration. My theme was 'under the sea' - I was inspired by the posters in my local chippy - you might have seen them before, the large illustrated posters of different types of fish? Here's the one in my local chip shop:


 I went to an aquarium and spent a good few hours wondering around and sketching fish. Here are a few pages from my sketchbook I took with me:









 Then, with my visual research, I spent a few days learning and trying out new techniques and having a good old play with colour, technique and texture. Here are some of the samples I created:



It was great to be able to just not think about what I was making and just play. I haven't had the opportunity to really do that for a while... 




Then I took some of the shapes into screen-print using newsprint cut outs. I was playing around with shapes of seaweed and fishes: 





I really liked the marks left on the printing cloth and the left over strips of colour in the bin! :-) 







As I said, it was really great to have a play and explore shapes, textures and themes without a deadline or someone else's brief. It made me want to be a full time student again! I would recommend the summer school to anyone! It was so inspiring and confidence building. I am planning on doing the embroidery course next summer as a treat to myself when I've (hopefully) passed my PGDIPE (!!) I'll post my final collection from the course in a few weeks when I've completed it and have had it beautifully printed. 

Catci are coming!



This weekend I spent some quality time with my Nana who is amazing at knitting. I've knitted in the past, but needed a refresher course as it's been a fair few years since I made a scarf or the cat for my stopframe animation at university.  So over a cup of tea she demonstrated how to make the cacti that she invented a few weeks' ago. I've made three since Saturday and I am going to make ten individual cacti and will pop them into my etsy and folksy shops! 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Berlin

Hello! I've realised that I have been so busy this past (almost!) year with lecturing and studying for my PGDIPE that I have neglected my blog and also my 'creative practice'. For the next academic year, I have cut down on the amount of hours I am lecturing so that I will have more time to complete my PGDIPE without having to work huge blocks, 7 days a week and sometimes 16 hour days, but also have more time to continue the momentum of my own design work. At the end of 2013 I was feeling incredibly positive with the steps I was making on the freelance road - I had managed to get my designs into big high street names and was regularly being comissioned. I want to make sure that I have a better balance with lecturing/making this time around. I have decided to be more committed to my blog posts, making sure that every Saturday I will share what I have been making and looking at during the week! This might be students' work, a gallery visit, a peep into my sketchbook, a bit of texture on the ground, an interesting flyer at a gig - anything that makes me go 'oooh'. Hopefully it may inspire and interest you too! 

So, a couple of weeks ago I went back to Berlin! I visited Berlin about six years ago in the winter, and have always wanted to go back in the summer and experience the city again. So many people I know completely fall in love with the city, I'm fond - but not in love. However, even though it was my second visit, I barely feel as though I have scratched the surface of the city. We rented bikes which was a fab way to get around - and to not feel so guilty that the gym was miles behind me! Here's some snaps from our adventuring of things that caught my eye: 


The Berlin Wall.



Bears are everywhere! 


Mcbess on the wall - we also went to the Dude's Factory which is based in Berlin and is super rad. If you are unfamiliar with Mcbess's work check it out here. One of my favourite illustrators. 









So many amazing book shops (where I could have easily spent thousands of euros) loads of galleries and exhibitions that were great - also so many memorials, tributes and reflective parts of the city. In many parts of the city I felt sombre, thinking about conflicts past and present...


One of my favourite things in Berlin are the photobooths or photoautomaten! They are dotted all over the city and for two euros you can mess around and be silly! 



It was a great place to play with my new Fuji Instant camera too! 



My boyfriend snuck into the spreepark - an abandoned theme park alongside the river - I was too chicken to go in! I sat by the river, guarding our bikes and doodling but he went in armed with his SLR and took some great snaps! He's going to put them on his tumblr, when he does I'll link up so you can see them! He did get caught by a security guard though! However, she was nice and actually gave him a guided tour of the park !