Monday, 20 October 2014

Leafy Patterns



I Love LOVE LOVE making patterns and have been very inspired by Lotta Kuhlhorn's Designing Patterns book - which is a fabulous resource for anyone wanting to make motifs or patterns. Her book is so extensive and she shares her practice and inspirations so openly. I found it when I was in Berlin this past summer. I've been using my gouache paints a lot recently to get these amazing and smooth colours. Here is a leafy pattern which will be used in the re-design of the Earthy Roots website.

Knitted Cacti - Round 2.



Last Sunday I ran the Great Eastern Run Half Marathon which was AMAZING and just makes me want to run races every weekend. I couldn't walk very far for a few hours after, so I spent the rest of my day making up more of these fellas to go into my shops!
They are so cute, I can hardly bare to part really...!

Monday, 22 September 2014

September so far...


Wow! So, September so far has been so busy! I am spending the first half term at Leeds College of Art mark-making and exploring tone on a black and white project with the students there. It is great to be back in such an energetic and exciting place! We have been using lots of tools to draw pineapples: 



which, I'm sure you agree look fabulous! As I begin my second year of my PgDipE, I am slightly anxious about my lecturing/uni/practice balance - but hey - I did it last year I am sure I can do it again. (arrgh!) Must remember that everything always seems impossible until it is done - right?! This weekend I managed to juggle a big editorial illustration brief too which was great. It is a Christmassy one, so I'll be able to share in a few months. Drawing trees and snowy landscapes and snowflakes has made me want to design my own Christmas cards this year - in the vain of my halloween set . So I'll be busing myself with that this week. I also have been trying out some new patterns, which are available as mini-prints in my etsy shop!


I will be applying these to different surfaces over the next few weeks
 - I'm thinking mugs and giftwrap! 
I originally designed the cactus one to go with my handmade knitted cacti - which have been really popular! I have two left in my shop right now, but have more ready to sew up so stay tuned! 




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.