Monday, 6 December 2010

Where I have been doing my Christmas shopping - etsy shopping special!

Hello all! Hope you've been enjoying the snow - or at least, coping well with the difficult weather. When the wind blows cold and the rain falls, venturing outside for Christmas shopping can seem like a real chore, especially in the big cities where the streets can get insanely busy with shoppers.

So, this year I decided to take the big Christmas present hunt online. I've saved myself from shopping stress, and also supported some great independent businesses - it's a double win!

Read on to find out where I've been spending my cash this festive season...

Wonderful collection of sewing supplies and crafty goodies. I was especially impressed with their selection of patterns and crafting kits! Great if you have a mate who loves a bit of gingham granny-chic.

Great selection of laser-cut jewellery, at very reasonable prices. These three little piggies are so cute!

This talented illustrator and animator hardly needs any introduction on this blog. Her etsy shop sells only bookmarks - but what a selection of beautiful bookmarks! Practically everyone reads, and there is bound to be a bookmark here for just about anyone.

This seller has the most amazing collection of vintage jewellery! Brooches, bangles, pendants... they have it all. The brooches in particular are gorgeous, with heaps of choice. The best part is that their pieces start from as little as $3.21 - not that you can tell by looking at them!

I'm sure that the work of the illustrious Gemma Correll is already familiar to many of you! Nevertheless, her shop deserves a mention because it's such a fab place to find gifts. It's full of great finds for fashion conscious pet-lovers everywhere. I have to admit that the above pocket-mirror was a little gift to myself this year!

Another illustrator/maker, Susie Ghahremani is already well-known throughout the creative community. Owls are a speciality of hers, so I was pretty much bound to like her work! Her shop has a really extensive collection of different items, including notepads, stickers, badges and this cute t-shirt above. Great shop for main presents, or for little stocking fillers!

Some really cute pieces of jewellery, and at reasonable prices. They have a great selection of little studs - these snowflake ones are a real festive find!

Hope you've all enjoyed reading this post, hope you visit again soon!

Monday, 25 October 2010

A peek in a pika package

Can't believe I still haven't got round to this, but I realised just yesterday that I never shared what I received in my pika package! It landed on my doorstep just before I left for a holiday in the lake district at the end of the summer, and by the time I returned there was so much going on that it completely slipped my mind. I was really pleased to receive such a lovely parcel! Thanks to all of the artists in mine for providing such a wonderful collection of goodies, and to Amy at pikaland for organising the whole thing!

A lovely little card and fold-out illustration by Chum McLeod.

Travel journal/notebook by Little Clouds.

A journal about Emilie Boudet's travels in India.

A woodblock print and collection of little goodies from Silver Tree Art.

Thanks for reading everyone, until next time!

Monday, 18 October 2010

It's autumn and the leaves are turning...

I realised it's been a while since I actually posted any of my own work on here! So today is some more work from my sketchbook as of yet unseen. I added a quick bit of watercolour to them as well just to brighten the drawings up.

The lovely Natsuki Otani has been kind enough to feature my work on her blog, so head on over there to check out that and her own gorgeous work (which was also featured here last week, if you remember.)

Hope you've all had a lovely Sunday!

Friday, 8 October 2010

More snail mail surprises!

Hello all! Sorry it's been over a week since the last post. I had been hoping I could try to cram in more than one a week... must try harder.

The reason on this occasion was that I needed to keep away from distractions while I did a complete overhaul of my portfolio. I booked myself an appointment with the AOI for their expert to look over my stuff and give me some advice. That was supposed to be this Monday just gone, but with the tube strike... so, next Monday it is. On the downside I have another week to get nervous about it. However, it was the 1st anniversary of my getting engaged last Saturday so on the upside I could just enjoy the day instead of working!

I got another lovely parcel through the post today that I thought I'd share. These are from the fabulous Natsuki Otani; who, as well as making beautiful, whimsical and colourful illustrations, also runs the Illustration Rally blog (and I am very proud to say that yours truly is the featured artist there right now!) So a big thank you to Nat for gracing me with both her lovely work, and a feature alongside all the talented people on her blog.

Thanks for reading everyone, hope you're well!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Beautiful goodies from Lesley Barnes

Yesterday I received a beautiful little pack of goodies from the lovely Lesley Barnes. Her work makes me feel at once inspired and envious! Great stuff!

Many thanks also to Miss Pearl Grey, Sandra Dieckmann and Jo Cheung, all of whom were so kind as to write a blog post about the goodies I sent to them. I'm glad they've been so well received! If anyone else writes a post about their giveaway package or my work, do let me know so I can give the shout-out you deserve here :)

Last week I did some playing around on my website, updating and altering. It's the first in a long line of improvements, so keep your eyes peeled!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

It's been a good couple of weeks!

It really has! First off there was the excitement surrounding the AOI Images show, and also finding out that my piece had been selected for the national tour. Then, last week I had news that my collaboration with Harry Walsh Foreman for the Half and Half Project had also been selected for their show. Throw in an awesomely generous response to the blog giveaway (thankyoooooooou!) and I am a very happy bunny indeed.

Speaking of which, I never got round to showing everyone what the finished Half and Half picture looks like. To recap, the project was conceived to encourage artists to collaborate with each other, and the collaboration could take any form be it sculpture, installation... or a straightforward picture, as in our case. The pieces were then submitted to the Half and Half team, who selected the most successful to be part of an exhibition, which will be at the The Vineyard Bar in Cork City, Ireland. The private view is on the 15th October, and I'm assuming it will be open for a bit afterward though the dates haven't yet been confirmed. I'll keep you posted once I know.

As I mentioned, the response to the blog giveaway far exceeded all my expectations. So many have been enthusiastic and given such kind comments, so a very big THANK YOU to all of you. Everyone's parcels should be arriving around now, and I have had confirmation from a few people that they have turned up okay. The one exception is the parcel for Handmade By Emily, which will be a little late. This is because, despite me having very clearly labelled where the parcel should be sent to and the return address, I opened the door on Friday last week to the postman trying to hand it back to me. I pointed out the mistake and the guy promised to take it back and send it again... clearly someone at the Post Office had not had their Weetabix that morning! But don't worry Emily, it should be turning up very soon anyway... and if not, I'll head down there and give 'em what for!

Hope all of you are having a good time too. Thanks for reading!

Monday, 13 September 2010

AOI Images 34 private view

To kick off the week (as a lot of people probably won't read this until the morning) some pictures from the Association of Illustrators Images show private view. It seemed strange to finally be there after such a long wait (I entered the competition around this time last year!) but I was very pleased and honoured to take part.

If you haven't made it along yet, the show is on until the 14th September at the London College of Communication, 10am - 5pm. There's only a couple more days left, so you'll have to hurry if you want to catch it!

I had further good news earlier this week that my work has been selected to go in the Images show national tour, so it will be part of an exhibition that travels the country for a year. The tour dates are as follows:

Beverly Art Gallery, Yorkshire Oct 18th 2010 - Nov 28th 2010
Nottingham Trent University Nov 29th 2010 - Jan 6th 2011
Blackpool and Fylde College Jan 24th 2011 - Mar 6th 2011
TBC Mar 28th 2011 - June 19th 2011
TBC June 27th 2011 - July 31st 2011
Clitheroe Castle Museum Aug 8th 2011 - Oct 9th 2011

The TBC dates will be confirmed later on the AOI site, and you can read more info about the show there too.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you're all having a good week too! xxx

Thursday, 9 September 2010

You're.... a WINNER!

Announcing the results of my massive blog giveaway! Last night I dug out my magical picking hat, and with the help of my lovely assistant drew the names of the three lucky people who would get the top prizes of the giveaway. And the winners are...

Happyfox, Cheism, and Sandra! Congratulations you three, you have each won one of my lovely A3 prints. And I am also happy to say that there are plenty of goodies to go around, so all of the entrants will receive a parcel of things to enjoy! Happy times :D

There is but one fly in the ointment... two of the entrants had no email address on their blogger profile that I can contact them by! That includes first prize winner Happyfox, and an entrant named only as Joe (so the chances of me googling you and finding the correct person are um... nil!) It would be a real shame if either of you missed out on your prizes so, do get in touch as soon as you can.

In other news...

I have been away on holiday in the gorgeous lake district, and returned home just in time for the AOI Images 34 show, which my work is featured in. Yay! Photos and more information about that coming next time.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Go Travel Pika Package!

Hello, hello all! The Go Travel Pika Package has now launched and is available for purchase, with work from yours truly and a host of other talented folks from across the globe. You can get yours from the Pikaland website, or by clicking the handy little link now installed on the right hand side of this blog ------------------>

Below are the travel inspired pieces of work I created for the project, a series of four national birds and five national dishes. It was a challenge to get all the work finished and sent off in time, but they were a lot of fun to make!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Half and Half Competition

Wowza, it's been a busy last couple of weeks! No sooner had I posted off my goods to the lovely Amy for her latest pika package (which a little bird tells me will be available from the website VERY SOON!) than I was hard at work with Harry Walsh creating our entry to the Half and Half competition.

In case you don't know, the project was devised to encourage all different kinds of artists to collaborate and make pieces of work together, from a painting, to an installation, or piece of performance art. The best pieces will be shown in the Vineyard Bar in Cork City. We decided to go for a straightforward illustration themed around tropical birds, with one half completed by myself, and the other by Harry. Perhaps not quite as avant-garde as a performance but... let's see how good old fashioned drawing talent fares! Wish us luck!

As I don't do this very often, I thought it might be fun for once to give my readers a glimpse into my working process, and let you see the work from thumbnail doodle to finished piece. We begin with three quick thumbnail sketches, different ideas for the composition:

It's decided that the middle composition would look cool and be easily split between us. Next, to sketch some birds and decide which ones might be included in my half of the piece. For me it was all about the colourful avians: peacocks, parrots, toucans, birds-of-paradise...

Twelve Wired Birds-of-Paradise

King of Saxony Bird-of-Paradise, Arfak Astrapia, Wallace's Standardwing

And last but not least, the classic macaw!

Next, the pencil work for the final piece with the selected birds drawn in position.

Time to put some colour on those birds... beautiful plumage!

Fill in the tree branches plus background and voila! One half finished!

So, for now all there is for me to do is sit back and await Harry's half... I will be sure to post the results here when it's all done. The competition deadline is 30th August so if you fancy getting down and collaborative... there is still time!

One last thing, my MASSIVE GIVEAWAY is still on, and has been extended! As of next week I'll be away on holiday catching up with friends, family and the in-laws, and it seems unlikely that I'll get round to sending off all those delicious goodies before I go... so the giveaway will now be going on until the end of August. I would love lots of lovely posts to read upon my return, so get commenting!

As always, thanks for reading. See you next time!