Tuesday, August 31, 2010

le weekend

As we all know, rain seems to be the norm in the UK when there is a bank holiday in the offing.
At the very last minute, a will we? won't we? kind of decision (largely dependant upon the weather) led to a camping trip on the south coast, as the weather looked like is was going to hold.
In a bit of a weird kick back to girl guides, I actually enjoy camping. Well, my kind of camping, which involves a carpet in my tent (I'm not kidding - you can buy tent carpets), and a handful of other home comforts (like a camping loo) which make the experience a whole lot more pleasant.
The night time temperature was about 10 degrees - a bit chilly honestly but bearable with a sleeping bag and a trusty crochet blanket to keep us warm.
We managed to eek out a couple more beach days - something I am really favouring a lot at the moment. The landscape and colour palettes are so different with each beach. The ones we visited this time were mainly stone, which made for a couple of impressive fossil finds - an almost complete sea anemone fossil and part of another sea creature - although I'm not sure what it is exactly.

I wonder, with the onset of autumn, how many more days this year will be beach days?
for my sister

Friday, August 27, 2010

Seventy Six

I'm bursting with ideas at the moment - there just doesn't seem like enough hours in the day to realise them all. Regular visitors to my blog will know that I'm currently doing a lot more in the way of design using my new found illustrator skills. I'm really loving this, and have many plans under way, however there really is no substitute for the real thing, and I still love the process of making something physical with my hands. With this in mind, I have opened a new Etsy shop.
Seventy Six is where I will sell my printed design work - which will take the form of printed artworks, cards, gift wrap, tags and anything else that I can think to print!
I have just 2 limited edition screen prints in the shop at the moment, but there is more in the pipeline and I'll post more about this as it happens. For now, I'd love it if you'd pop in and have a look - and favourite me if you like what you see

Thursday, August 26, 2010

how times change

60 years doesn't really seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, but if you think of the advancements in technology and subsequently lifestyles in the last 60 years it is really quite significant. Attitudes and ideas of what was right and proper back then just seem so archaic now.
I'm quite fascinated with mid century design, and was chuffed to bits with my recent purchase of the Festival of Britain guide:
I really need to sit down and have a good read of this, but what swung it for me was the adverts it contains (there are loads of them).
I've snapped a handful of the one I like best - some because of the design, some because of the message or style of advertising.

Cigarette adverts
Cigarette advertising is no longer permitted, but just look at some of the messages on these, 'Have a capstan, made to make friends' for example.  
click on the pics to enlarge

Carrs biscuits
I actually just like this because I studied in Carlisle and often saw the Carrs factory

I love the colour choices in this ad:

Sanderson and Liberty - both still going strong 59 years on:

and this one just makes me laugh - look at the strap line 'the famous comfort-in-action trousers'. SOLD! I must get me some Daks

Imperial leather soap
'The quality toilet soap everyone wants' apparently. This ad must have worked though, because we used to have imperial leather soap at home when I was a kid, and I'm guessing that was because my parents had it when they were kids.
Today this would be considered as racist - back then, it was just the norm:

Friday, August 20, 2010

a week that was and the FoQ

another busy week has been had in Monda land. Where does the time go? I have achieved a lot this week, but I can't believe it's almost over.

I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC yesterday. What an amazing amount of talent on show. Not everything was to my taste, but I appreciate the work that has gone into each an every piece. So many tiny stitches and hours upon hours of work. Sadly the light in the venue is not great for photo's - I took lots despite this though. Here are a handful of my faves (click on images to enlarge):
and I have to say I was very restrained where fabric was concerned. I only (really!) bought some silk to make my wedding flowers and accessories.

This rest of the week in pics
testing colourways for print (purple again):
a commission, she's called Olivia:

a new print design, entered into the latest spoonflower comp

Now I'm off to look for a rain free part of the UK to see if I can cram in some seaside time this weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

printed by hand

Recently I had a commission for some invitations. The client wanted the print in silver, so the only option was to use my gocco screen printer. Having finished the commission (which incidentally, I didn't find that enjoyable - the design was just not my thing, although it was what the client wanted), I was itching to make something for myself again - it's been too long.
There is just something about the texture and irregularity you get from a screen print that really appeals to me. 
This is my new design - a limited edition print into two colourways:

I'm so pleased with the way these have turned out, and it has really fuelled me to print my designs more often.
They'll be available in the shop later this week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

perfectly purple

Purple. One of my bridesmaids told me she hated purple (yeah, you know who you are Zoe), but she'd wear it if I really wanted her to. I haven't chosen purple as a colour for my bridesmaids, and of course I wouldn't want them to wear something they are unhappy in. Why does it offend so?
I actually quite like it. Clothes wise, I think I own a couple of things that come into the category of Purple (mauve, lavender, grape) and I am reliably informed that it is THE colour for Autumn/Fall 2010.
One of my chunky bracelets is in purple tones, so I used this as a basis for a treasury on Etsy.
What say you? Purple, Yay or Nay? Will you be embracing it this Autumn, or is it a colour best left to your Grandma?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

chunky bracelets are now in my shop

1. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 2. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 3. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 4. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 5. Chunky beaded elastic bracelets, 6. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 7. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 8. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet, 9. Chunky beaded elastic bracelet

I've spent a good chunk of time today uploading my new chunky bracelets into my Etsy shop. There are 12 bracelets in various colours, so something to suit most tastes.
I'm making a few more for my folksy shop too, but with the new 'view in your own currency' feature in Etsy, it makes shopping so much easier because now you don't have to use your brain and work out the currency conversion. Go and check it out if you haven't already, it's a real godsend - thanks Etsy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

busy busy

Just a couple of the things I've been busying myself with today:
some new chunky bead and button bracelets for my shop upload tomorrow

a new gocco print design - because I'd forgotten how much I love my gocco

and all this whilst listening to a soundtrack of the baseballs. I might have to buy their album from here as I do love those 50's sounds:

I do love the bit where the pianist sets the piano on fire. Nice styling all round really.

Monday, August 09, 2010

the weekend

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind - lots of driving, some beach time, some boat time, a dolphin, some family time, lots of pictures taken, the best fish, chips and mushy peas, tasty ice cream and sunny days. Nice.
1. rusty harbour, 2. colourful rock, 3. Sea Snails (?), 4. Sea Snails (?), 5. Mussels, 6. Emlyn House - New Quay, 7. The Sea, 8. New Quay - SW Wales, 9. Llareggub

I took this picture of a rusty eroded piece of a harbour wall. Look at all those colours:

so, from this photo, I created this colour palette by using the dropper tool in illustrator:

and then created a couple of designs using colours from the rusty harbour wall pallette:

I've been to the seaside quite a lot this year and I'm really not tiring of it. If you happen to be in South Wales, I would definitely recommend a trip to New Quay.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I could make that

I could make that. I phrase I often say when I see something I like in a shop but cannot justify paying for it because I know I could make it myself, and I dare say even make a better job of it. The reality is, time often doesn't allow me to just make it myself, however, this is one of those rare occasions that I have done just that.
Last week I was in M&S looking for some new underwear, which I didn't end up getting because there was nothing that spoke to me. On my way out of the shop a spied a pretty bracelet, which I tried on. I'm surprised I picked it up actually as I don't usually go for chunky bracelets:

When I got home, I raided my stash of beads and buttons, made a few extra bead purchases and set about picking some colourways - lining them all up, arranging the beads and buttons and then rearranging them.
This is the result so far - although I am sitting here surround by all sorts of pretty beads, and definitely have an urge to make a few more:

I find it's good to take a bit of a creative deviation sometimes - it helps keep the creative juices flowing and inspires me with other things I'm working on too.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

time snatchers

I believe I have been visited by the time snatchers. They seem to have taken an entire week from me.

I have actually been busy this last week with lots of bits of this and that - maintenance, you know the boring stuff that just keeps us both ticking over, but I don't feel I have been particularly creative.
I need to make a physical list.  It will put me straight and help me realise some of those things on the mental list.

I have a couple of things in the making which I'll share soon, and I'm still pottering away with the digital designs - getting a bit more confident with it and what I can do with it.
This is one of my recent patterns, which I have somewhat optimistically named 'move over Cath'

I think it would make a lovely summer top: