Saturday, 18 June 2016

Adventures in Laser Cutting

Something very exciting happened at my work this year…we got a laser cutter!  I love laser cut products and have been a fan of the detail and professional quality you can achieve from using a laser cutter.  It has been great fun learning how to use this shiny new piece of kit and exploring the creative possibilities it has to offer to our students.  It arrived in time for some Christmas gift making totally essential practice, which was a bonus too!

Necklace for me ;-)

Whale necklace combining different coloured and transparent acrylic

I was so excited I kind of went crazy ordering myself bright and shiny acrylic in all the colours of the rainbow to have a play around.  I love anything that can be personalised and also love the look of in your face acrylic jewellery.  Here are some of the results of my experimenting.  

It has been great for me to develop my Adobe Illustrator skills and also make me think about drawing becoming products or more 3D.  I would like to develop some statement pieces that are more sculptural.  I also like the idea of exploring layering and combing different materials.  I can’t wait to try out some different things.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Handmade Gifts

Cuddle Kitty
I love to when possible make handmade gifts for people.  I like the idea of being able to create something with that person in mind as well as having a reason to make and get creative.  I love to make things for children the best.  I like trying to match an idea to a little person’s personality and the love the idea that something can be adapted and personalised.  Here are a few images of some gifts I have made over the past couple of years.

Super Finn
Ballet Bags

Crayon and Sketchbook Rolls

Crayon and Sketchbook Rolls

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A little adventure to soak up some inspiration in the big smoke

We decided to go on a little adventure to London to see some art and get inspired.  We got a very early train to London and first stop of the day was The Breakfast Club at Angel to fuel up before our day of adventure.  I am a big fan of The Breakfast Club and love their food and cool venues.  I went for The Huevos Al Benny which tasted every bit as amazing as it sounded on the menu and looked when it arrived.
Excited for our day of bright lights, art and most importantly our breakfast!

HUEVOS AL BENNY Poached eggs, chorizo, roasted peppers, avocado, fresh chillies & hollandaise 
After Breakfast we headed to Walthamstow Central to check out Gods Own Junkyard.  After some wandering then some helpful directions from a friendly local we managed to find this magical place.  Gods Own Junkyard is the work of the late Chris Bracey and is a collection of 'new & used neon fantasies, salvaged signs, vintage neons, old movie props and retro displays.'  
Gods Own Junkyard 
Inside was utterly breathtaking, floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall neon, almost too much to take in, too beautiful to appreciate and definitely a whole lot of wow!  They have a café inside so you can grab a drink and sit surrounded by neon soaking up the kitsch and the fabulousness.  I would definitely love to have a little piece of neon in my house one day.
Wall to Wall and Floor to Ceiling Neon!

There was so much to look at and take in

Artificial Fascinates Me The Bright & The Shiny

Wish My House Looked Like This!
After all that neon we headed over to Tate Britain to see Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979 and then Tate Modern to see Performing For The Camera as well as exploring the perminent exhibitions.  It was so nice to spend the day looking at art and being inspired, a day in London is never long enough. 

I love a good photo cut-out


Monday, 30 May 2016

My Finished Umbrella Prints Entry

This bank holiday weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to finish off my entry for the Umbrella Prints 2016 Trimmings Challenge.  I still had to add my hand stitch detail, which for me is totally like adding the sprinkles to cake you have baked.

My "Little Helper" insisted on sitting on my knee while I worked!
Once I was happy with my piece it was time to fame it and photograph.  I think the Mountain Girl fabrics look fab against the green walls in my house; I'm obviously drawn to those colours.  Here is my finish entry, I'm pretty pleased with the results but am more happy that this challenge has inspired me to start creating again.  I feel like I am motivated to put myself out there and make new work and just enjoy the process of creating without worrying about who or what I'm making for.

My Finished Entry #umbrellaprintstrimmingschallenge  
All that's left to do now is to email my entry and keep my fingers and toes crossed!

Framed design in my dining room

Close up detail - Poodle

Close up detail - Pug

Close up detail showing hand stitch 

Close up detail showing hand stitch 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge 2016..

Trimmings Challenge 2016 from Umbrella Prints - Picture from
I thought I would let you all know what I am currently working on.  We decided at work to run the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge 2016 as a live project with our level 3 year 1 students.  As staff we have followed previous years competitions and admired the creative responses to the challenge of creating something from a pack of trimmings. Of course not wanting to miss out on the fun the staff decided to join in too.  The trimmings packs are available in 6 different colour ways.  I chose the Mountain Girl Pack.

6 Different Trimmings Packs to Choose From - Pictures from

I Chose The Mountain Girl Trimmings Pack - Picture from

I decided to create a piece based on some dog illustrations I had done some work on a few years back.  I decided to combine appliqué with screen printing.  Here are some images of my work in progress just after I had screen printed the line on top of the appliquéd fabrics.  I still need to add some hand stitch and work out how to mount it and then photograph my entry.  Watch this space for updates and my final challenge entry.

Appliquéd Dogs with a Screen Printed Line

Close Up Detail

Monday, 23 May 2016

Drawing on Ceramics...

Marabu Porcelain Painter Pens & Plain White Ceramics

My First Creation 

One of the things I had a little go of a while back was drawing onto ceramics using.  I was inspired by a trip to Homesense where I discovered these beautiful Sagaform Carafes which were crying out to be turned into people!  I bought the ceramics first and then went to Hobbycraft in search of ceramic markers.  I bought a selection of Marabu Porcelain Painter Pens and these are some of the results.  The pens are brilliant you can doodle away on the item of your choice and then simply cure the design in your oven.
A Circus Inspired Plate
Feed Me I'm Hungry
After posting my samples online I was lucky enough to be contacted to create some commissioned pieces.  I created an RAF inspired carafe and illustrated a plate for a fireman retiring from the fire service (not pictured).  I definitely want to explore using these pens to doodle on things in the future.
An RAF Inspired Commissioned Carafe 
An RAF Inspired Commissioned Carafe 
Playing Around With Hand Lettering & Quotes

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Starting Again...

So I accidentally took a just over 3 years break from this space!  I feel like I'm finally ready to try and give this little space on the internet the focus it deserves.  I am going to try my best to not put too much pressure on myself for this to be anything other than a happy place for me to document what I'm up to creatively.

How I've been spending my free time!
One of the things that kept me busy whilst I've been away was my PGCE!  It was something I had been avoiding meaning to do for a long time.  It took up a lot of my time I would have usually spent getting creative over the past 2 years.  As of last week I am officially all done and submitted;  I can start to focus on making work and fun creative pastimes.

My Happy Place has looked very different these past 2 years!