Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sledmere project progress

Have made some steady progress this weekend with my collage for the Sledmere project. The pictures show a bird as part of the project and then some painted newspaper items which I am stitching on it. It takes ages stitching bits n bobs on paper like this and I suspect it's not great for the sewing machine either!

Coffee & Welsh cakes

I'm finding the milk not great for practising my latte art. In winter the cows diet affects the quality of the milk and makes the texturising of the steamed milk much more foamy & bubbly.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Start of year 3 of my blog

Well it's another blogiversary for me and to launch the blog year with a load of new words, pictures & projects I need a nice cup of tea & some biscuits to get me motivated on this cold, grey January day.
I found these Earl Grey biscuits in M&S which are rather nice and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of Earl Grey. 
As much I'm a coffee head my favourite refreshing brew is Earl Grey.

I'm hoping the rest of the day can be devoted to making some good progress with collage work I'm doing for the exhibition ERA are having at Sledmere House. Our deadline in Feb is approaching fast, the artworks will be displayed in the rooms at Sledmere which provided your inspiration and it runs from Easter to June.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Still harvesting peppers

My hydroponic pepper plants from last year are still bearing fruit on the same plants. The pot has remained on the window sill all winter and peppers are still turning red. They are a bit smaller as you can see from the picture but they were only miniature peppers to start with.

Geese on the move

Yesterday as it was getting dusk I heard a lot of quacking in the distance and when I looked out I saw a classic 'v' shaped goose formation in the sky heading this way. I rushed downstairs with my camera and it was too dark really to focus on anything that far away but you can just make them out on this picture. 
Shortly after passing over the trees here the formation began to break and ended up a straggly line as they flew into the distance. All very lovely and noisy!

Monday, 24 January 2011

1970's stuff

I do seem to collect and enjoy stuff from the 1970's or things inspired from that decade, actually same could be said for 60's & 80's!
Here are a few recent purchases.

First off is a new, 70's inspired tupperware sandwich box I found in the fabulous Dog & Bone gift shop in York.

Followed by an original craft / workbook picked up at a charity shop in Brid last week for a few pennies. It has some lovely ideas and diagrams inside. I will probably combine some ideas from it to make something new.

Lastly a groovy placemat which is an original 1970's St. Michael design. I also found the matching tea towel to the placemats at a vintage fair last year.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ferens Open Exhibition - 1987 - 2011

Way back in 1987 I entered the Ferens Open Exhibition for the first time and I was lucky enough to have a piece of work selected which I still have today, see pic below of Hull Marina. As a young person recently out of college and starting my working life at an advertising agency as a junior designer I felt the world was my creative oyster. And it sort of confirmed my optimism by having a small painting in the Ferens.

How quickly that changes when the design agency turns into a workhouse cum slave shop and you end up moving on, and not for the first time I moved on from the frying pan into the fire! Until I found solace working happily again in the newspaper industry.

Anyway I have only entered the open exhibition once more in the 24 years since and was not successful on that attempt which kind of knocked my confidence to try again. I felt a bit like, who am I to think I'm some sort of artist, I'm not worthy of the Ferens!!

So, rightly or wrongly in my final year as a full member of East Riding Artists, I have decided to take the bull by the horns and enter 3 pieces of work in this years open. I am not showing the work in this post for 2 reasons, probably because mentioning it will now be the kiss of death as to whether I get anything accepted and two, it is actually work which has appeared in some form on the blog before.
I will know sometime after Feb 4th as to whether I've been accepted.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Seattle furniture Co. buy my fabric

Yesterday I received the exciting news, via a Spoonflower notification, that I had sold some of my fabric. This is the first time anyone has purchased one of my designs listed in the Spoonflower market place so I was very surprised and pleased. I earn a few Spoondollars through the sale but that's by the by, for me its the thrill of someone else spotting the design and liking it enough to want to use it.

The design is my leaf pattern shown here and the buyer is a furniture company in Seattle. They are going to be upholstering one of their chairs and they have been kind enough to send me a 'before' picture which I will hopefully follow at a later date with an after picture of said chair.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Emergency coffee supplies just arrived!

Nearly ran out of coffee beans last weekend and have been eeking out the last few dregs this week. However a fresh supply has just been delivered by a van man with an assorted selection from James Gourmet Coffee. Haven't tried their beans before  but they roast on a Tues & Thurs each week so these are about as fresh as it gets. I will look forward to cranking up the machine tonight and sampling.

On the subject of coffee I will be heading back to Limini Coffee HQ in Feb to attend one of their cupping sessions which will be a first, plus I think we get to see them roasting some beans after the tasting.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Vintage stamps 1

At some point during the Christmas break I was rummaging in boxes and I happened across my old stamp album. I seem to remember I was in the stamp club at school when I was about 10 (along with the recorder club) and I used to save my pocket money to collect as many first day covers as I could manage. Maybe that sounds a bit boring but I was really fascinated by the designs and colours, gold embossing at Christmas, scratch & sniff stamps, holograms, heat/colour reactive stamps.... oh the joy of it!

I have always loved things in miniature so collecting these little works of art in a book was like having my own little art gallery to hand.
I had a secret desire to design a collection of stamps (still unfulfilled), do you remember the odd Blue Peter contest to design some stamps, well I always had a go but with no luck. (I did once have a picture shown on Tony Hart's gallery).

Anyway, I've gone off on a nostalgic tangent.
It was great to open my stamp album and see them again and I have to say, my favourites back then are still my favourites now. I think I might need to find a use for them, maybe a collage or something textiley.
I used to buy those packs of foreign collections and some of the designs have come full circle and are very contemporary so I have decided to show a few now and again when I need to do a filler post.

I think I was going to do that with packaging design although I haven't posted anything along those lines recently so watch this space.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

New design for Spoonflower contest

This is my first entry of the year in a Spoonflower contest, the subject being botanical and they restricted the palette to 5 colours of their choice. I have revamped one of my honesty pod designs for this contest.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

More crochet berries

I've got the bug for crocheting berries so I've now done purple & green grapes and clementines.
Soon to be followed by brambles or raspberries, and maybe blueberries!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Holiday crochet project

It has been way too cold, and still is, for much craft activity over the holidays. My hands & feet are too cold to sit for long doing anything so all I've been managing is a bit of crochet. I set myself the target of persevering with a pattern and making this little cherry brooch, which I'm quite pleased with for a first attempt.

Back to routine and 'normal' work again!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

It's here, I survived 2010 to see in another new year. I am normally one for a quiet, usually rather melancholy new years eve but last night was different. I had a most enjoyable evening at a friends new year buffet, lovely food and good company so a very pleasant way to look forward to a good 2011.