Saturday, 16 November 2013

seasons - colours - leaves

The top image is a photo of 'Summer Leaves', printed on fabric, it's a design I created a while ago with a view to creating a collection based on the drawings. They were an experiment on my part as I wanted free pen drawings.

This week there is a competition on the Spoonflower site to create a design with 'Fall Leaves' as the theme. This gave me the impetus to play with colours and complete a leafy collection.

Below are the Winter and Spring!

......and it might not mean much to anyone else but I'm rather chuffed that the Spoonflower blog chose my 'Autumn leaves'  from the many amazing entries as one of the nine designs to promote the competition.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Brightness on a dull day

It's a dull grey Autumn day, not the best for taking photos and showing vibrant colours. But the postman delivered a parcel full of my fabrics and I couldn't resist trying to show you.

The first shows how my sample swatches arrive. They are 8 inch squares on a basic quilting cotton. I can now check the designs for the colours, the pattern repeat and the scale. If need be I can tweak whatever needs tweaking before I make them available for sale in my Spoonflower Shop.

The second image shows my new resized dolls as cut and sew designs on linen cotton canvas. They are smaller than the original 12 inch dolls, about 8 inches high and will be quicker and easier to make plus you get a set of four (Nellie, Lencie, Arthur and Alfred cousins) on a fat quarter rather than one big Nellie or Lencie or Arthur or Alfred!.

The third image is of a yard of my ever popular campervan cut and sew kit, with the little surfers who fit in the pockets down the sides so they look like they are driving along inside.

I have to say I am really pleased with the colour intensity, it's a shame I can't quite show how zingy they are, and I am also impressed with the crisp precision of the printing I just need to adjust the scaling of a few designs. Speaking of which,  I have reduced the scale of the monster collection, to make them more useful for a great quilting project and funky kids clothes and they are already for sale here.

Also my new Sunflower Calender tea towels arrived, but it was impossible to get even a vague impression of the sunniness of the design. When there is some brighter light I will attempt to show you!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tea Towel Calender

I have created a tea towel 2014 calender using my Sunflower linocut print. I know we are only just hitting November, but if you buy it now from my Spoonflower shop you will have time to hem it and then it makes a great Christmas present.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Colour - Reds

Autumn is here and the garden is popping with every shade of red. They sing against the greens that are still vibrant before the real chill of the season sets in. It creates a beautiful palette.

Oh!.....and we found a fairy door in the magnolia tree at the bottom of the garden. I am told that Maggie the fairy lives there!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Illustration Friday - Together

This weeks Illustration Friday is 'Together', so I found a linocut that I cut a while ago for Hansel and Gretal.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Aqua Love

A collection of four fabric designs. All are small scale patterns in simple geometric shapes. (Somewhat different from my usual hand drawn, illustrative designs.) An indulgence in four basic colours that remind me of the sea this beautiful summer just gone.

Once I see the fabric samples and check the colours, they will be available from my Spoonflower shop.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Sneaky Peek

A sneaky peek at a book I have been illustrating for Plum Tree Books. I'd love to tell you the story but I can't...yet!

Sunday, 18 August 2013


This year we have grown cucamelons (or my prefered name mouse melons). It's a new vegetable to me. It's basically a tiny little cucumber that looks like a dolls house sized watermelon. I have to say on first taste I was not impressed, although others loved it. It's quite bitter with a lemony cucumber taste.
What to do with them? As I am a fan of pickles I decided to work out how to do just that and I must say I am much more impressed with the little fruit now. Yum!

To make pickled cucamelons is simple:
The liquid is 1/2 water to 1/2 vinegar (1/2 distilled vinegar, 1/2 white wine vinegar). Add salt, peppercorns and dill. Bring to a rolling boil, add the cucamelons, bring back to the boil for a minute or two then stuff into sterilised jars. Voila!

Saturday, 17 August 2013


It's the Summer holidays, no school! So an on going game for my boys is to find faces in unexpected places. This is a selection of the weird and wonderful expressive photos they have taken so far.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Doll Cousins

Just a quickie to say that finally, by popular demand, my dolls are available individually as fat quarters of fabric (specifically Linen Cotton-Canvas) here at Spoonflower. They are very easy to cut out and sew, all you need is a little patience a needle and thread, some pins and something to stuff them with.

These four little guys were inspired by my two boys and two of their cousins. The girls use their dolls as cushions on long car journeys.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kid's Collages and Competitions

I have recently been popping into Alfred, my smallest son's school to help with some art projects. These are Reception class's  'Seaside Collages'. (In the U.K. the Reception class is the 4 and 5 year old's in their first year of Primary school.) I think the children created some beautiful work, I'm loving the colours, the textures and all the different materials.
.....also I thought to mention that I won this brilliant laptop bag from Bright Colours who make the most lush coloured bags and run regular competitions.

I sussed a where a photo was taken and to my amazement, as I never normally win anything, £100 and this bag arrived in the post. Perfect for my faithful little Macbook, tablet, sketch book, pencils, phone etc etc....well I always seem to be carrying everything but the kitchen sink!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Meet Anabel

 Life is busy not least because I am working on this little character, Anabel, and her story. She is having a frustrating time and I am having fun drawing her in her exasperation; I reckon it's because I identify with her maybe a little too much. Ho hum!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Elderflower Cordial

The beginning of Summer is here in Devon and the froth of Elderflowers cover the hedgerows. We have had such a cold Spring that the flowers are about 5 weeks later than normal.

You would be amazed at the lovely things you can make with these pretty flowers, including cakes, biscuits, fritters, elderflower sugar and of course delicious  Elderflower Cordial. So I have been out harvesting the blooms to make cordial, a favourite with my family. Mixed with ice cold, still or sparkling water, Elderflower Cordial makes the most refreshing thirst quencher or freeze it to make ice pops.

The left over flowers I have mixed with sugar and will make little elderflower cakes.

Inspired, I was doodling in my sketch book and ended up illustrating the recipe, which you can find They Draw and They Cook. All in one weekend!

wendy howarth©
Elderflower Cordial Recipe

20 - 30 freshly pick heads of elderflowers
zest from 3 lemons
juice from 4 lemons
1 1/2 kg sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid (optional but it helps to keep longer.)

Shake the eldeflowers to remove insects
Put the elderflowers in a large pan
Add the lemon zest
Cover with boiling water
Leave overnight
The next day, strain through a cloth, squeeze all the juice out
Add the sugar, lemon juice and citric acid
Heat until the sugar has dissolved
Once cool strain again through a cloth and pour into sterile bottles


Monday, 10 June 2013

Cornish rock

The colours and textures of the rocks in Cornwall were wonderful. Even the hole we dug and lined with stones created a fascinating tactile thing! But wow! the ancient walls built from Cornish slate are stunning!