Monday, 26 December 2011

Hope you are enjoying Christmas

I can show you my Tree of Life cushions now that presents have been opened and I wont ruin surprises by posting these photos.
The colours are bleached slightly by the flash and are more vivid in reality. I love these jewel colours and I am working on a collection of coordinating fabrics with this design as the main motif.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Labels for You - A Partridge in a Pear Tree

I thought you may like my 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' Christmas labels to print out for your Christmas presents. Save the image to file and print. Once printed just cut them out. Make a hole in a corner and thread through with some ribbon and tie to your gifts.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Christmas Stocking

A stocking and two mini stockings made up from my cut and sew fabric, hung on our Christmas tree that we bought on from the garden.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Christmas Fabric Delivery




I get so excited when my fabric samples arrive from Spoonflower. To have something tangible in your hands. To see how the colours and the scale work. I love it.

I can't show you everything as that would ruin the odd Christmas surprise for some of my nearest and dearest, but I have put a Christmas selection for sale in my Spoonflower shop already, including the cut and sew stocking designs, unfortunately you will have to be quick and live in the States to have any hope of getting my Christmas fabric in time for the big day. Moving house in October completely threw me with my preparations this year. Never mind, there is always next year.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Illustration Friday - Separated

I was doodling on the weekend papers, (how annoying!) and with Christmas looming I have a dearth of time to take it any further so I scanned my paper and as it turns out I quite like the texture the text gives the background. What do you think?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Festive Fabric

Some of my Christmas fabrics are for sale by the yard from my Spoonflower shop, although you can buy as little as a fat quarter. I reckon this reindeer design would make a brilliant table cloth.  My Partridge in a Pear Tree pattern is available in two colourways, as is my star pattern in the same two complementary colours and you could also make your own Christmas stockings from my easy cut and sew designs.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Rainbow Rag Book

My version of a babies rag book otherwise called a cloth book. This is designed to fit on a fat quarter of fabric then, following the instructions, easily cut and sewn together to make a babies first book.

The names of the colours were inspired by my littlest son who had his own way of describing colours. Daddy Brown was particularly apt, as Daddy being a farmer, was more often than not brown with mud!

I designed this a while ago, but this week the Spoonflower Contest is for a 'Cloth Baby Book' so I have entered 'Rainbow Rag'. If you like it maybe you could vote for me and if you click here you can see all the other entries as well.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Illustration Friday - Round

A new fabric with a retro feel for my fabric shop and I hope you don't mind but I entered it in this weeks Illustration Friday, 'Round', as I felt it fitted the theme rather well .

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Studio Pottery

We've been in our new house for a month now and we are still unpacking boxes. I found a box full of some of my favourite pottery that I thought I would show you. Over the years I have aquired quite an eclectic collection.
I used to be a decorator for Colin Kellam, a master potter whose studio is here in Totnes, so I have a number of seconds, mostly decorated with his iconic chickens and ducks.
I am also near the world renowned Dart Pottery and love Janice Tchalenko's vibrant decoration. The pottery shop was on the cycle path through the woods from Dartington to Totnes and there was many a time I found myself cycling home with a bowl or vase, suspended precariously in a bag from the handle bars. I never broke a piece in transit!
Then there are the pieces many of which I cannot attribute to their creator because they were given as presents or I found in a charity shop. The teapot, used daily, was from one such establishment and the blue-green lidded pot was a present from a friend and talented potter called Melon. (Where are you now?) And of course I cannot ignore the treasures created by my boys, the piece I decided to show you is Arthur's 'Arctic Man' made at his school which has a brilliant art department.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Tree of Life

The beginnings of a new fabric collection called 'The Tree of Life'. This is for a cushion cover, but could quite easily be curtains or something that can take a large repeat pattern.

The inspiration came from a black and white cushion cover I am designing with a photograph in the centre. ( a secret Christmas present so I can't show it to you yet!) This then lead to me drawing the boarder with the leaf pattern, which lead me to the idea for the tree of life as a motif.

The colours came from a desire to use vibrant jewel colours and a photograph I took a while ago of my little nephew on a beautiful bedspread made from indian silk.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Big Draw






The Big Draw is a nationwide event held every October in the UK with the aim to get people drawing. Here in Totnes The Big Draw and Transition Town Totnes got together and using recycled cardboard, black and white paint and chalk and charcoal posed the question 'how do you see the future?'
It was a gorgeous sunny autumn day, we were in a part of town called The Rotherfold and anyone who felt so inclined could stop by and draw their idea of the future. With the Transition Town idea of life without oil and the quote 'take a line for a walk - into the future' as a starting point, drawings and paintings appeared. Ideas could be as fanciful, bleak or as optimistic as desired.
So we saw many beautifully imagined ideas including robots, water wheels, windmills, cycle powered planes and buzzy bees. It was great fun and brilliant to see passers by, big and small,  stopping and joining in. I particularly loved the pictures created by the kids. Loads of fun!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Moved

 Boxes and boxes and boxes!
 Flat pack shelving to be assembled.
 Vats and vats of white paint.
 The kids and their cousins desperate to help, started to paint my new studio. (It was a much better space for them to spatter paint everywhere than letting them loose in the house.) And much fun was had by all!
Edward must have snuck in to the studio to have his say!

YAY!!!! We have moved across the river!
Much unpacking has been achieved, but now the big project starts, dragging this funny 1950's home out of it's 80's decor into the 21st Century and taming the amazing garden into a productive and beautiful space, but I am so excited it doesn't seem a problem. Not much illustration will be done this week as we are trying to get both boys bedrooms painted before they return to school after half term.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Across the River Dart

The River Dart from the Old Bridge

A beautiful chilly Autumn day in Totnes and this will be my last post for a few days. 

We are moving at last. Across the river, a significant barrier to us Totnesians! The little house is looking like a warehouse, piled high with boxes, and I'm wondering where we are going to put everything in the bigger house. (we have so many books!) Norman, the removal man with his lorry, is booked and we are waiting for a chain of solicitors to all talk to each other on Friday. 

I'm nervous, excited and exhausted already, and the hard work is only just starting. The bigger house is a huge decoration project, but it should be fun filling it with our personality! So I'll see you across the river next week.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Illustration Friday - Scattered

A fabric of scattered spring flowers. One design from my collection called Kitty Jay that I have just completed for my Spoonflower fabric shop. The fabric is inspired by Dartmoor and the sad legend of Kitty Jay, a poor servant girl who died and was buried at a lonely crossroads on the wild moor. To this day there are always fresh flowers like these foxgloves, bluebells, and snowdrops, laid on her grave and no one knows who puts them there.
The haunting melancholic atmosphere of the story and the beauty of Dartmoor is all portrayed in a beautiful song called Kitty Jay by the amazingly talented Seth Lakeman. 
I have tried to convey some of the atmosphere of the interwined legend of poor Kitty Jay and the wild beauty of the moor, with my scattered flowers.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Illustration Friday - Contraption

On pondering what I could draw to illustrate this weeks Illustration Friday I saw the contraption my youngest was building with his bricks!

Friday, 7 October 2011

A Ditsy Result

Just a quick post, but I had to tell you that I came third in this weeks Ditsy Print contest for Spoonflower.
This weeks contest had a lot of entries and there were some beautiful designs so it feels even more amazing that mine was placed so high.
I'm so pleased and thank you to all the people that voted for my design. I now need to produce some different colourways in this pattern, a brilliant and logical suggestion from Su Schaefer, a fellow Spoonflower designer from Australia.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Retro Kitchen Fabric

'A Winter Casserole'
I've created a vintage style fabric with kitchens in mind called 'A Winter Casserole'. There are two colourways, this vibrant burnt orange or a gentler on the eye, grey version. I have also created a complimentary smaller design called 'Carrot and Onion Soup' for both colours which is multi-directional, a table cloth perhaps?

The main motif is a block print created a while ago and I've been itching to tweek it into a fabric for ages. The push came from Spoonflower (the amazing company that print my fabrics using environmentally friendly inks and fabrics), who are running a contest this week with root vegetables as the theme. Once I have checked the samples the design will be available for sale on my Spoonflower shop.

This burnt orange is my new favourite colour and I fancy kitchen blinds in the big bold 'Winter Casserole' fabric, it has a large 12 inch repeat. I think it would suit the Linen Cotton Canvas that prints with a beautiful crisp vibrancy from Spoonflower.

'In the Kitchen' Fabric Collection

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ditsy Print

A ditsy doodle I drew a while ago but this weeks Spoonflower contest is for a ditsy print and I couldn't resist entering with this design. The voting this week is apparently very close so I will be intrigued how this does. If it's in the top half I will be pleased as there are a large number of entries for this one.
You can check it out and see the repeat here.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Open Studio

Fabric Swatches

Stuffies

Our Chaos
I feel a certain melancholy as I acknowledge the end of an era. That does sound somewhat over dramatic but it is time to say good bye to this lovely work space, in doing so we are opening the studio for anyone to come in and have a nose and a chat.

This really is Bethan, my amazing friend and talented artists' studio. Without her I would never have had the courage to return to illustration. She has given me the time, encouragement, cups of tea and lots of laughter, to keep at it until I stumbled upon  my new found passion of fabric design.

Bethan I cannot thank you enough for the last two years!

This is, however, a new beginning despite the fact that we will miss many lovely people who adopted us as the studio was almost a little shop with an open door for friends and the curious. Once I have moved house there will be a new studio in my back garden where there will be space for lots of paint and ink to be splashed around by myself and Bethan (although she will have space for some sanity in a new room in the High Street as well), and we will just have to meet up with old friends in one of the lovely bars or coffee shops in town, hardly a hardship. Plus I will have the new challenge of creating a new home for my boys. Busy times ahead!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Little Boat Upon the Waves

It was so surprised to find a these photos posted by the very talented Anna from Goteborg, Sweden, on my Spoonflower shop. She bought some cotton jersey fabric of my design called 'Little Boat Upon the Waves' and made this lovely child's jacket. Have a look at her blog, lillab-butik.blogspot.com. She makes the most amazingly beautiful kids clothes in fabrics that are fun with stories to tell.  Thank you Anna!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Finished Campervan Toy


My Campervan Cut and Sew fabric arrived. I'm really pleased with the vibrancy of the colours and the spotty background has worked well.
With trepidation I cut it out and sewed it up today......relief it works as planned. It is a bit fiddly and I would recommend tacking the campervan before sewing on the machine to control the fitting of the curves of the roof and ensuring the pocket is attached. The Surfies are really sweet and fit quite happily in the pockets. As for play potential my smallest has given it the thumbs up 'driving' it off round the house. Now I have to make up a whole load more for my soon to be opening Etsy shop.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Christmas Stockings

Yay! Finished designing my Christmas Stocking cut and sew fabric. Just waiting for the samples, then they will be for sale on my Spoonflower shop.

House move permitting I will sew some up for my etsy shop including the mini stockings(...I just am deciding whether to fill the mini ones with lavender as little stuffed decorations or to leave them open as mini stockings).

edit - here's what the stocking fabric looks like plus one cut and sewn up and hanging on our tree.




Sunday, 18 September 2011

Illustration Friday - Mesmerising

I haven't had time to draw something fresh for this weeks topic, as we are still in the throws of moving house (we've been waiting on solicitors for an age!) plus I am trying to sort out my Christmas fabrics (a bit late I know), but I find map contours quite mesmerizing and couldn't resist showing you this fabric design.
You can find it in my Spoonflower shop here.
 'Mapping Contours' on organic quilting weight cotton fabric

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Partridge in a Pear Tree Fabric
Partridge in a Pear Tree Card
I'm sorry, I know we've only just slipped into Autumn but I've been drawing Christmas cards and festive fabric and I should have been doing this six weeks ago, Ho Hum!
Anyway, I wanted to avoid the obvious festive colours, this year, but still have the Christmassy atmosphere. Have I achieved it? The card and the fabric will be available in both colourways.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Totnes Festival Lantern Procession





The wonderful atmospheric lantern procession marks the end of Totnes Festival and for me it also marks the end of the Summer, the beginning of Autumn with the nights closing in. The procession only happens every other year,  you can make your own lanterns at the work shops and take part. Process up the street to the market square to watch the fire juggling, samba band, dancing and fireworks. I love it!