Wednesday, 31 July 2013

july 2013

Here's this month's blog round-up...

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

new website...again

I didn't like my website when I created it last year. But I had subscribed to this site builder thing that turned out to have templates that were only suitable for plumbers and builders....or dodgy accountants. All ugly boxes, rubbish fonts and naff shadows. So I was kind of stuck with it. Till now. The subscription was up for renewal this week....
I hot footed it over to Squarespace (thanks MATS buddies for the heads up) and made a nice shiney new website. Much better. Have a nosey here.

Monday, 29 July 2013

party in the park in the rain

On Saturday a load of us and our kids went to a local beer and music festival. The kids were totally mortified by the middle aged baldies singing dodgy eighties rock ballads and jumping about on stage. They didn't sound too bad to us oldies....after a few beers.
Then yesterday me and my sis and our friends Sam and Ali went to Party In The Park. It proper chucked it down and the music was bloody awful. The sort of music that would also have been better after a few beers. But it was a family thing. No booze. And the kids loved it. No middle aged rockers to be seen. So that's all that matters...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


I wasn't woken by the cockadoodledoo this morning. I was woken instead by ThunderAndLighteningVeryVeryFrightening! And Rain. Lots of rain.
It wasn't as loud as it was for the big one though. She's camping with her friend's family. In a wet tent. But you have to have rain when you're camping don't you. It's the law!
I used bits from my GTS entry for this illo....thinking of doing a whole range to match. I'm liking the whole CollagePaintScan thing.
Remind me again why I avoided a scanner and photoshop for so long? And paint? What was I thinking?

Monday, 22 July 2013

designer X factor

Everyone who did the MATS course was automatically entered into the Global Talent Search. It's like the X Factor for people who draw pictures and colour them in. But without Simon Cowell. (Although I'm sure that once he hears about it he'll get himself involved)
Round 1 closed today. You had to design a journal cover for Paperchase based on the theme "playground".
I decided to sew mine cos that's what I'm good at....spent hours putting it together...sewed most of it by hand...with a bit of printing...worked on a night after the rest of my work...finally finished it...
The big one said "it looks like everything else you do, it's a bit boring"

She was right.
So I started again!

This time I did a bit of the old CollagePaintScan thing I'd forgotten I could do. Then finished it off on Illustrator.
So here's what I submitted...
Loads of people who did MATS have posted their entries on the facebook page...there are some really amazing ones! Only 50 people can go through to the next round though. Glad it's not me deciding...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

pet advice

A note to anyone thinking of buying a pet. Do NOT buy a cockerel. Not unless you live in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours and you just have trees and fields and pretty stuff nearby. 
And especially don't buy a cockerel if it's the hottest summer for years and the people who live down your street can't sleep without opening their windows. It will just make them tired and grumpy. Thanks.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

another year another pool

I believe I have mentioned before how every year we buy a new paddling pool... use it twice... leave it out in the hope the sun might shine again...then notice sometime in mid December that it appears to be still in the garden...and in no fit state to ever be used again.
So after the weathermen said, in June, that it was gonna rain for the next 10 years I decided not to bother this year. 
Then just to annoy said weathermen the UK suddenly experiences the best weather in like a million years. The sun comes out and record temperatures occur. And paddling pools become as hard to buy as sledges are on that day in January when it snows a lot.
Until today.
My lovely sister managed to locate one for us. She arrived this aft with her kids, their swimmers and our shiney new paddling pool. 
I will gloss over the fact that the sun didn't come out, it was ever so slightly a little bit chilly, the kids argued over the hose pipe and no-one actually got in the damned thing.
We have a new pool. That's all that counts.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

big day out

I had a fabulous day out on Tuesday.
I went to London to meet Lizzie Mackay
I feel like I've known her like forever but actually we had never met in real life before. 
We used to share the same agent but never had any contact till he went bust last Christmas...after that we spent many happy hours moaning to each other on the phone and by email. She's now my bestest work buddy.
So you see, every cloud has a silver lining. We lost loads of hard earned cash but made a new friend.
Anyway...I went on the train (all grown up stylee on my own with a magazine and no kids) and we met in Covent Garden. Did lunch alfresco, cos it was red hot, and pretended we were in Milano. Went to Paperchase. Stayed there all day. And laughed. A lot. All day.
Next time we're gonna stay overnight. And we're thinking Paris. 
Do they have a Paperchase there?... 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Make Art That Sells

Well, it's over. The course finished yesterday. It was amazing! It really DID brighten up my life! 
I so nearly didn't sign up because it was called "Make Art That Sells". And I already make art that sells.
I thought it might just be for beginners.
How wrong could I be?!!! There were some absolutely fantastic people doing it.
The quality of artwork posted on flickr was beyond brilliant! 
Part A runs again in October. A few people have emailed me to see if they should do it. If you're thinking about it JUST DO IT! Stick it on your credit card like I did! It is soooo much more than just making art that sells. Lilla Rogers is now my official hero. She is a total inspiration. If I was an agent I would be one like Lilla. She is genuinely passionate about what she does and went above and beyond what she had to do for the course. She was always joining in with chats on facebook and was really interested in what people were doing.
I have done things in the last 5 weeks that I'd forgotten I could do. I have painted with real paints using a real paintbrush! And used art supplies that I forgot I owned. I've used photoshop again for the first time in years. I even had to buy a new scanner cos the one I had didn't work with my Mac (which I've had for 3 years!) And I had never even heard of Mod Podge before but managed to use a whole tub!!
I wasn't planning on taking part B. It's got a week on childrenswear and kids decor. I thought there wasn't much point learning about that...I could run my own flipping course on it! But for me MATS hasn't really been about making art that's been about making art that I enjoy making. It's all about the joy folks! So you know what? I think I'm gonna stick part B on my credit card too! Anyone care to join me?

week 5... gift

So for week 5 we had to design a zipper pouch. It had to be 'hyper lush' and full of imagery. Based on our "collection".
I decided to base mine on bits of tourist tat collected on my travels. (Yay! I am a collector after all!)
I used Photoshop for the first time since I ditched it in favour of Illustrator a few years ago. Who knew you could use Photoshop AND Illustrator at the same time?! (Well actually I did, I just never really bothered!)
I used scanned in bits of tickets and passport stamps and some flowers from week 2.
And I stuck a photo of the other half on a donkey in for good measure! It was taken in the Isle of Man in the 70's. 
He doesn't look like that any more...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

long grass

This is how long the grass is in our garden.
Can someone please come round and cut it because I do not have the time.
I am too busy being an artist.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

collections's the final week of LillaLand.
For this week's mini assignment we have to get our collections out and draw them or photograph them or scan them. Or all of the above.
Er...slight problem. I don't actually have a collection. 
I don't collect anything.
It's kind of shocking.
All the other people on the course have these amazing collections of vintage toys and retro plates and fossils and all kinds of antique memorabilia. 
But not me...
The kids collect all kinds of crap so I suppose I could borrow a load of headless Polly Pockets? Or 3,000 toy cars? Or stuff they buy for a pound 'cos they HAVE to have it? Their collection of playmobil people without any "hair" is quite impressive? And the other half has a loft full of football programs? Or about 2,000 bird books I could borrow... 
 I DO have a load of bangles...I suppose that could be a collection? But even they are quite dull. Their colour range appears to be somewhat limited.

My mum said I could borrow her collection of fridge magnets. (I don't think she really meant to collect them actually....she just bought one once and now when anyone goes anywhere that's what she gets as a prezzie!)
So I thought perhaps I'd just go in the garden and 'collect' some leaves and stuff...
Then I remembered THE DRAWER. Everyone has one of those. The drawer of tat that doesn't really have a home so it sits about for a bit till it gets in the way then it goes in THE DRAWER.
Maybe I'll use that as my collection?  
We find out tomorrow what we have to do with our collection...I'll keep you posted...

my work of art

So tonight I got the other half to hang my artwork in our hallway. Looks ok I think....
Oh ha ha...I'm sooo funny. I'm joking of course.
That's not our hallway!
It's our living room...we can't afford any furniture since splashing out on all that fancy floor to ceiling tiling!