Friday, 15 December 2017

christmas shopping...

The eldest wanted to go Christmas shopping for her friend's pressies. So I took her into Leeds after school last night. Had all kinds of plans to do mucho shopping myself. But when it came to it I just couldn't be arsed. I've been avoiding shops lately due to the increased numbers of manic shoppers about. So when I got there I was more interested in looking for an outfit to wear on Saturday night. Didn't get one though. The shops really are full of tat at this time of year aren't they?
Hey ho. Still a week of shopping left before the big day. And I never miss a deadline...

Thursday, 14 December 2017


I absolutely bloody hate getting out of bed when it's still dark. That is all.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

no snow

So today it snowed. Like everywhere. It snowed everywhere apart from here. Well... it snowed a bit here. Enough to make the youngest feel an urge to go on the trampoline for the first time in two years. And come back inside soaking wet. And for AlbertFromNextDoor to get his trusty snow shovel out. But not enough to build a snowman. Or to go sledging. On the sledge we bought 3 years ago which has been sitting unused in the garage ever since. 
So I put the Christmas tree up instead. Happy days.


I soon get bored of illustrating Christmas... It's all the same really isn't it... So glad I didn't start on the old advent this year. Back to autumn for a bit.....

Thursday, 7 December 2017

did someone mention christmas?

I ignore the PeopleWithNoLife who start obsessing about Christmas in September every year. 
I have trained my brain to zone out when the PeopleWithNothingBetterToDo bore everyone on social media with their super organised xmas schedule and the fact they have already completed all their shopping, wrapped it and hidden it in the loft. By the 14th of October. 
I smugly tell myself that these people must live such a dull existence, and their autumns must be so boring, that they have to start Christmas early to bring some excitement into their lives.
Then every year, usually around the second week in December, it suddenly dawns on me that I seriously need to get my shit together cos I have so much to bloody do and CHRISTMAS IS TWO WEEKS AWAY!
That time is now 😬😬😬

Sunday, 3 December 2017

festive spirit

So it might only be the 3rd of December but I'm catching up fast with my Christmas spirit. I've bought a tree, been to 2 Christmas fairs, ordered a couple of pressies and watched the lights being switched on in the village. I imagine all the nutters who started Christmas in October are gonna be well and truly over it any day soon.... doesn't pay to peak too early people....

Saturday, 2 December 2017

feeling festive

Turns out the other half is verybloodygood at surprises! I was whisked away to Paris for 2 nights ❤️ 
I've been to Paris loads for work...I used to go twice a year at one point. But I only ever saw the Parc des Expositions and the shops. I had only seen the Eiffel Tower once ...and none of the other landmarks!
It was so lovely, we went to Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur....and he'd even booked us a trip up the Eiffel Tower!
The boy done good!
But now the BirthdayMonthOfFun is over. For a while anyway. Time to get all festive for a bit. Before the celebrations continue...

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

magical mystery tour

I'm having a significant birthday on case I hadn't already mentioned...
And in a rather exciting twist the other half is whisking me away for the weekend a mystery location!! I have no idea where we are going! All I know is it requires a passport! 
We have been together for 19 years and this is the first time he has ever done anything like fingers crossed he turns out to be really good at it...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

party party

My BirthdayMonthOfFun continued yesterday. I went out for tapas and drinks with the girls. A lot of drinks. And a fair amount of tapas. Found some old mates in the pub afterwards. Much fun was had by all. 
I'm a little bit tired today...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

men at work

British Gas are changing all the pipes in our area from copper to plastic. This involves digging all the roads up, leaving them in a right bloody state for 4 weeks then getting someone else to come and patch them up. They have now reached the bottom of our street. I have to do a lot of face to face interaction with the workmen and a few nifty driving manoeuvres just to get my car out. I am practically a prisoner in my own cul de sac. But it's my turn to do girls night tonight. And the girls will be hungry. So I'm gonna have to turn on the charm with the high viz brigade...

Friday, 10 November 2017

MAKE ART THAT SELLS illustrating children's books

Last week I finished the 5 week long Illustrating Children's Books course with Lilla Rogers and Zoe Tucker. 
I signed up because I felt like I was drifting a bit and needed a kick up the arse and an injection of fresh ideas (and enthusiasm)
And I got it.
It was a struggle to fit it in with my normal work but I loved it so much I just worked stupid hours. And abandoned my children. And the cleaning. 
So here I am, just beginning to recover...and writing this in order to put the cleaning off a while longer...

Week 1 We got to choose from 3 texts that Zoe wrote. (I'll be honest... I only read one. It was perfect for me so I didn't bother with the other two. I'm soo profesh. 😬) It was called Pet Problems ... about a kid who lives in a tiny high rise flat but really wants a pet. I drew a zillion character ideas. I even did some real life cutting-and-sticking-collage and painted some bits too. With an actual paintbrush! I enjoyed the old school methods for about a day before having to admit to myself that I'm a computer sorta chick. I can't do with the length of time the real life methods take... and the total lack of an undo button stressed me out.
So I used some of the real life bits but put them together in illustrator.
Week 2 was all about expressions...
and Week 3 was about poses...
with a BobbyBonus if we wanted to submit secondary characters...which of course I did. Why make things easy for yourself...
In Week 4 we looked at environments. By this point I was feeling a bit like my usual flat style was just not cutting it. Everyone else's work was so full of depth and texture. I do like the flat and simple look but I started to feel a little inferior next to all the photoshop brushes and actual real life painting going on. So I scanned in a few textures I created with pastels and I had a go at photoshop brushes. 
Then I moved them all into illustrator cos my total rubbishness in photoshop was making me want to kick my screen.
We had to illustrate a double page spread. I'm not kidding, the hardest part was deciding which one to do. It took a few days of total faffery before I settled on this one.
In real life you get to illustrate every page so it doesn't really matter where you start. And in real life when I work on books I keep going back and forth on all the spreads and kind of do them all together. Obvs I couldn't do that with this 15 one week.
Finally we got to week 5 ...this was the cover design week... I had to finish it super early cos I went to London for the weekend with my Dotty Wren design besties.
I have to admit I've been a bit sad this week with no new brief and no classroom posts. Back to the normal jobs where people want everything like yesterday and there's no money in the budget for pastel pencil faffery.
I loved the course and would recommend it to anyone. It's made me  determined to go get myself the proper picture book deal I've always this space people x

polar bear week

Apparently it's #polarbearweek. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Under no circumstances should this be viewed as a Christmas post. Just saying.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

hi de hi

I'm gonna stop going near shops. Nipped out with the eldest cos she needed MAC foundation and came home with a cushion, a top, an enormous tupperware box, 4 pairs of white ankle socks, 4 yellow bags, a daisy trimmed headband, chocolate and 5 rolls of Christmas wrap (cos Lizzie designed it)
The socks and bags are for Saturday night. We are dressing up as hi de hi yellowcoats for a charity 80's bash. (young people and non UK residents should google) Yellow polyester all the way...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

october 17

This was october.....well..some of it....

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

happy halloween

Not sure how many more years of trick or treating I'll get. The eldest has already dumped us. So have two of my sister's kids. Might be just me and the dog next year....