Thursday, 30 April 2009

our house

I live in a little thatched cottage with my husband. We've been there more than a year now and it's finally starting to feel like a proper home. I'm not at all moved or excited by homes where everything matches, everything has been thought out to the last detail and all the furniture and accessories are tasteful but boring. To me that's not really a home - home should be full of stuff that has a personal resonance; it should be a bit rough around the edges and guests should feel like they can spread out and relax in it. I resist putting things in the house that are merely decorative and bland, acquired from this or that trendy shop and which adorn a thousand other homes. I want people to look at my home and ask me questions about what this object is, or what that picture means. I have an eclectic, slightly mad interiors style with pops of random colour against neutrals - I don't care, nor have the patience for colour matching. I love vintage and antique furniture and never buy something just because it is inoffensive or cheap. For me, home should be a place where you can express your tastes and not care about what other people think about it. This combined probably results in a chaotic, ill-thought-out jumble, but it's my jumble and I like it.

I'll maybe put up some pictures of our house one day. It's quite dark, with low ceilings and small windows so it doesn't photograph very well but I'll try.

For now, here's a little arrangement on top of our sideboard. The little dog was one of my husband Mark's childhood toys, the wooden type blocks were a 25th birthday gift from some lovely friends, and the vintage pressed glass jug was from a charity shop in London. The coloured print is from PinPals on Etsy, and the picture you can just see behind is an original drawing by a friend. This picture was taken on the day that Mark was out in the garden chopping a tree down and the branches of blossom were salvaged from the wreckage. I should have taken the photos a couple of days later when the flowers opened to splendid effect.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


In the spirit of my Tom Gauld post, here's a series of roughs that kind of show my progression from rough to finished piece. I'm not sure how I feel about the finished picture (I'm still waiting for feedback!). Hmm...

Studio Violet

Oh me, oh my! Studio Violet, the collaboration between Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker, has recently put up its new collection online. I think I want it all, especially the beautiful Circus Violet porcelain.

I also adore these prints (below). WANT! Why can't it be my birthday NOW, dammit?

All images from Studio Violet.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Feelin' mousey

An old drawing of mine. I'm kind of feeling a bit like this little fellow - hung up on things...

I have a sneaky feeling I'm going to get less good at this regular posting lark as time goes by. I'm behind already. I'm a bit tired and overwhelmed at the moment. I've been trying to write the actionscript for a video playlist in Flash for my website these last couple of days and it's taking ages! I wonder if I'm just making things harder for myself (almost certainly).

So much for the bi-weekly picture/comic strip. Maybe I'll manage one later this week.

I'll post up those Nature roughs tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

stuff and nonsense

Still working on this Nature job. I'll post up roughs and final piece in a couple of days' time.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Tom Gauld

I think Tom Gauld's work is wonderful. His sense of humour is spot-on for me - a bit weird, sometimes silly but always with a dark edge. His way of juxtaposing word and image generates a dialogue that neither alone could create.

I was just squirrelling around for inspiration when I came across a series of images on his website that showed a progression from his sketchbook roughs to a finished piece. I am always fascinated by that almost alchemical process that takes a little doodle from the sketchbook page to the final piece.

How about this?

I think it would be fun and challenging for me to do something regularly like draw a short comic strip every day. Maybe I'm being a little ambitious here... twice a week? Yes. I'll begin next week. For now I'm busy busy busy doing a little illustration for Nature magazine to do with the human body intercepting and reacting to bacterial chemical messages. Hooray!

Here is a strange little fellow.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Donna Wilson

I see the marvellous Donna Wilson has a new catalogue up on her website.

Particular favourites are this blanket, produced in collaboration with Roam Studio in Scotland; the crazy trays here, and these glasses (below), which I would love to have (with typical British weather irony) in my picnic hamper. If you look closely, you can see that the clouds have eyes. Sweet!

And of course there are her lovely, fun cushions.

Lordy, if only I had loadsa cash :-)

Rude bunny

Naughty thing.

Saturday, 18 April 2009


It's a lovely sunny day and naturally my thoughts turn to enjoying the great outdoors whilst the weather is fine.

It's probably not the most useful thing, but I think this from Chamomile Barn is cute. I can just imagine walking through a field carrying it (full of amazing food, of course) on my shoulder. The husband can trudge behind carrying all the other, much heavier, picnic paraphernalia! I'll just try my best to look pretty in a summery dress :-/

I'm off to one of my favourite places in the world - the garden centre! Byeee.

Friday, 17 April 2009


So I'm trying to sort out my old website and put up a shiny new one, but it has so far been proving rather frustrating. I've just posted off (can you believe I have to send it by post?) a form that will get back online. Fingers crossed.

In readiness for this event, I'm starting to think about how I want the site to look and have been spending the day smudging graphite around some bits of paper.

Here are some sketches that may or may not make it onto the site.

The God of Chippies

Some random dude.

This one is going somewhere fun.

I'm thinking the site will be based on the idea of freakshows or sideshows. Probably black and white since I seem to do that most naturally but maybe a splish of colour would be a good thing. We'll see.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Why the blog?

I'm flummoxed. Contemplative...

So why on earth am I starting a blog? Who wants to know about what I'm doing? Is blogging an exhibitionist or delusional activity, in which you kid yourself that you are an interesting person, or is it merely a different way of keeping a personal diary or notebook, but one that is simply open for others to read too?

This blogging business brings to mind a history lesson at school in which we discussed the reasons why people keep diaries. As a self-conscious teen, the notion that a diarist never writes a diary just for themselves but writes it instead (whether consciously or not) as a record for other people to read, was unthinkable. Yet here I am.

I'm sitting here on my own writing to nobody (or potentially lots of people... or just to myself?), and wondering if what I have to say or put up will be of interest to anyone. As a result I feel mildly embarrassed that I'm doing this - like I THINK that I've got something worthwhile to put out there. I'm not so sure in reality.

Anyhoo. I'll do it anyway. I think this'll be interesting for me at least.