July 5, 2011 § 9 Comments
It’s school holidays… again… where did that term go. It’s all systems go on the home front but sadly not much on the creative. We’ve started the holidays in wonderful mid-winter style, timing a couple of kid-seeking lergys with being one parent short. So until the jetsetting Mr returns and Daddy Daycare reopens I’m on a mission to get as many vitamins into our systems as possible. I’m taking on the ‘Getting a Fussy Four Year Old to Eat Greens’ Challenge. Which is the height of creativity in it’s own right.
A while ago when I saw this recipe on Morrgan’s sweet blog I swear the heavens parted and angels sang. It was bookmarked at the speed of light. It’s got heaps, literally heaps, of zucchinis smuggled within it’s moist cake body and it’s got gooey cream cheese icing on top. I figured she’ll love it, it’s a winner for sure.
I did all the grating on the sly and the littlest was sniffing the yummy baking smells and helping smooth on the icing in no time. All the while I’m thinking if we pull this off it could be the smoothest con of all time. I sprinkled on some flaked almonds and served it up trying not to drool all the while. And then we waited, perched on the edge of our seats as she took a nibble … smiled … inhaled the icing and …
… tossed the rest.
Needless to say the zucchinis are jubilant. Cheeky sods!
June 22, 2011 § 14 Comments
For a while now I’ve been thinking about opening a little online shop and I think I’m ready to take the Etsy plunge. But before I leave dry land I thought it might be time to reveal a little more about me. (Yep, that’s me up there. Eep! I’m usually on the other, much comfier side of the camera) If you check out my About Page you’ll find it all updated including this, the only dodgy holiday snap of me to be found ’round here.
Although feeling super silly about it I realize that it has other huge benefits. I have been drawn into the amazing and wonderful world of Pinterest where time no longer seems relevant. I don’t know how long I’ve spent in here pinning away but I’m seriously loving it. I love that I can have loads and loads of boards and I can theme them or go all chaotic. I love seeing everything all at once and noticing patterns and rhythms in them. So addictive!
I wish I’d packed some chocolate and I’m not sure how long my water will last. But at least now that you’ve seen my picture I’m hoping someone will find me… eventually… if they don’t start looking at boards themselves… Sigh! Scratch that, please someone just throw me in some Green & Blacks.
My Pinterest link is now in my sidebar making friends with my Flickr account. Come and look, if you dare!
June 16, 2011 § 22 Comments
Ta Dah!! Here is my Gocco-ed fox with his final colour, all done and dusted. I can hardly believe it myself.
I promised I’d show you soon and I am, without getting distracted by a new idea. Yikes! I could be setting myself a new standard.
I’m so happy with the way he turned out despite the many lessons learnt in the process. Some were embarrassingly obvious, some not so much. But most due purely to over-enthusiasm. Anyway I wrote myself some notes and if you’re a gung-ho Gocco-er like me you might find them useful too.
Gocco tips for the over-enthusiastic:
- Take your time making up artwork for screens. Check and double-check. Otherwise you can spend donkey’s years getting things registered and centered properly.
- Have the paper merchant cut all your stock to size, especially when you don’t have a guillotine.
- Blocking can be cut mega-thin and ink puddles spread further with each press. So use it and apply before inking the screen.
- Respect Gocco ink. Gocco ink is sticky. Super sticky!
- Gocco printing comes with inherent irregularities. So play with them. Play with the amount of pressure applied to the handle and different types of stock. Design to make the most of it.
- Allow at least 24-48 hours drying time (in cooler weather) before stacking your prints to avoid transfer.
- Dark colours in small areas look darker. Dark gray looks black in line work. So ask yourself is it worth hand mixing ink for smaller areas if there is only a subtle difference.
- Registration will shift no matter how careful you are, don’t worry that’s part of the Gocco charm.
And the other thing that is apparently finished is Autumn. I downloaded some leafy photos I took a little while ago only to notice that those trees have shaken off practically all of their lovely crimson and now look quite skeletal. Not that I mind, I love winter. But without seeing these shots I would never have guessed how completely influenced by the Autumn palette I’ve been. Now I’m looking forward to what winter will bring.
Right, now I’m off to see what the other Creative Spacers have been up to. So much goodness in one place!
June 14, 2011 § 9 Comments
There is something a little romantic about foxes. I have to admit before living in London I’d never given them much thought. Never wondered if there were anything in the sly, craftiness badge. But late one night, on my way home through the sleepy streets of Southfields I came face to muzzle with a sleek red fox apparently out for a stroll. I stopped, he stopped. We both stared for what seemed like an eternity. Then, having deduced that I wasn’t much of a threat, he continued on his way. You’d guess a little more briskly and in the opposite direction, since I am a tad larger. But no, no, no. He strolled right past me. Right under my nose at an entirely leisurely saunter. Bold as brass.
That’s a kind of confidence you just have to admire. And to be cunning, to be a trickster I imagine you would have to have bucket loads of the stuff. Which brings me to the title of this post. I finally have a project I wanted to try out on my Gocco, and since it’s been, ahem, quite a while since my last Gocco frenzy I may need a bucket load of daring myself.
So this last week it’s been all busy-ness on paper rather than online. Designing, illustrating, mixing inks, working out how the whole registration thing works, playing with how much pressure to apply etc. etc. and writing lots of notes for next time. Oh yes, there most definitely will be a next time, I already have a design in mind. I’ll post some pics of the finished print soon and hopefully the winter light will play nice.
p.s. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments about my little snoozing fox. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am that you like him and you took the time to say. You are sweeties one and all! I’ve just finished nestling him in his packaging and he’ll be on his way tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done, so far there have been so many gorgeous brooches. Such a fab idea Susie!
May 26, 2011 § 41 Comments
Behind the scenes I’ve been working on a little secret project. I signed up for gorgeous Susie’s Flower Press Brooch Swap not a hundred percent sure if I could do it justice but wanting to give it a try.
So here is my little friend all finished and napping peacefully in the grass. (As it turns out felt is pretty forgiving. Phew for that!) Sadly I can’t tell you who he’s for but I hope she loves him nearly as much as my girls do. I’m going to have to watch them like a hawk till he gets to the P.O. Now all I have to do is settle him into some super comfy packaging and off he goes to his new home.
If you are thinking of using felt for a project like this I recommend visiting Melissa at her beautiful blog Tiny Happy.
I found her brooch tutorial wonderfully helpful.
Visit Our Creative Spaces for lots of wonderful creative goodness. Make sure you’ve a cuppa in hand and some time up your sleeve, it’s hard to drag yourself away. Thanks Kirsty for setting up such a swanky new space!
May 24, 2011 § 2 Comments
This weekend whilst on a mission to find leaves, we headed for the biggest fattest park in our neck of the woods. We needed big trees and lots and lots of leaves. We’re talking mountains of leaves. At the gates of Edinburgh Gardens we knew we’d hit the jackpot. Under all those big beautiful trees it was positively raining leaves.
We threw ourselves in. We crunched through them, kicked them and lay in them… then all of a sudden a leaf battle broke out. A frenzy of scooping and hurling. No one knows who started it and no one knows who won but all agree it was wild. They were in our hair, down our necks and in our pockets. I laughed till my cheeks ached.
Oh yeh, I had to include this shot. This is my little inventor’s way of transporting her collection, hands-free. Hope your weekend was fun too.
May 18, 2011 § 6 Comments
Lately I’ve been drawn to the palette in these beautiful images. Nut browns, Delphinium purples and mustard yellows. I love the sombre feeling of the purples and browns and how even just a touch of yellow instantly lifts them. Speaking of brown, did you know that nut brown was the most loved colour of the Edwardian Era? It’s true. So much so, it was thought to be very unfortunate to be blonde. I always wondered why brown was ever present in early 1900s clothing and homes.
I love putting together image montages, it’s become a valuable part of the process for me and a lot of fun. It helps finding an atmosphere for an illustration. But I’ve been wondering whether it would be even simpler to start up a Tumblr or Pinterest page like this or this… hmmm.
Images | Untitled, Lesley Kerr | Misty Forest, Tariel | Edwardian Portrait, Otto Sarony Co. | Life is Love, Yves | Morning Awakening 1876, Eva Gonzales. To view larger or for licencing click on image titles.