Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy weekend!

Sorry, I've lost my drawing mojo at the moment. We have a bank holiday here on Monday so I'll be back on Tuesday with stories from the weekend. Have a good one!


This morning I would kill small mammals for the staircase in this house. It's the lack of a bannister that gets me excited. Not great for children/older folk/drunks, but I am none of those right now (although occasionally childish/drunk), so it works for me :-)

Or if you want a bannister, how about this one (above)?

But maybe those are a bit sterile, so how about something a little less white-on-white, like this or this below?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.97

crawling towards the finish line...

what I've been up to

I've been doing a little illustration job for another educational book, this time on ways to trick your body into doing or imagining weird things. Here is a snippet from it. If you do what these people are doing in the picture and stroke both noses at the same time (you being the person in the blindfold), eventually the other person's nose will start to feel like yours and you will think that your nose is as long as Pinocchio's. I haven't tested it yet!

As you can see it wasn't in my usual drawing style, but it was a good challenge! I'll be back later today with something else, work permitting.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

ABK Custom Leather Craft

No time to blog today - busy busy on a tight deadline. So I thought I'd post up a link to some gorgeous leather bags and shoes. Those shoes! The shop is ABK Custom Leather Craft in Brooklyn. See you tomorrow! (sorry about the lack of drawing recently)

Seen via The Snail and the Cyclops

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Homespun Vintage Design

Came across another shop this morning that sells an interesting selection of mid century pieces. It's called Homespun Vintage Design and it aims to showcase and sell pieces made by the last century's more overlooked designers - in their words: 'going beyond the usual celebrated design icons to shine the spotlight across a wider arc'.

Monday, 24 May 2010

the weekend

Wasn't it a glorious weekend here? We were blessed with some amazing weather, perfect for prandling about the North Wales countryside in search of the perfect house. We went to some of the loveliest countryside in the UK, and the only photo I took was the one above. Someone shoot me. It was in the attic of that beautiful townhouse in Ruthin I was going on about the other week. My goodness, was the house in a state! Whilst it was a wonderful building and had heaps of potential, I reckon it would take between 50 and 100 thousand pounds to do it up, what with a leaking roof, cracked walls and a pervasive smell of damp on the ground floor... I'm afraid that if we bought the place we would have bitten off MUCH more than we could chew, so sadly I think it's not for us :-). We simply do not have the building contacts, know-how and friends that would be necessary to complete a job like this without bankrupting ourselves!

We also saw a wonderful farmhouse with a detached artist's studio and paddock, but somehow I didn't like the house at all. Then we saw an immense 16th century merchant's house in one of the sweetest villages in the area, but which didn't have a big enough garden for its price. Oh, and lastly we went to possibly the most depressing cottage I've ever set foot in. I wanted to die as soon as we stepped out of the car. I can't even describe why.

So, no house-buying was achieved, but I did get this lovely vintage mirror for £3 at an attic sale in Ruthin market :-)

Friday, 21 May 2010


So I've spent a whole week procrastinating and pretending that I'm doing something useful. I wish my work were more of a constant, rather than ebbing and flowing as it does - sometimes I feel swamped and then it all goes away very suddenly, leaving me floundering in my own inability to self-direct. I am at a loose end this week, so I've been thinking about the things I could be busying myself with if only I had the get-up-and-go that I am so severely lacking on days like these. I saw this post over on illustrator Dani Jones's site the other day (via another blog I can't remember). It lists 101 things to do if you are an illustrator with a bit of time on your hands between projects. I thought it was a good list but UTTERLY terrifying. I am so bad at self motivation that all these great ideas just scare me.

So maybe I should have a go at some of those things, or find some of my own. I've long wanted to get back into proper painting: doing something a bit more 'arty' than just drawing silly characters and scenes. And maybe I'll have a go at papier mâché - creepy masks and cool animal puppets with fabric clothing could be fun to make. I only ever made a very bad papier mâché hot air balloon when I was very young. Time to play, I think. Now I just need to find a place where I can make a sticky mess!

Today I've been playing with my blank matryoshka dolls and have finally started to colour a second set. See the original set here.

This weekend the husband and I are off to North Wales again to nose around yet more houses, and we will be dragging my Mum with us because she's all lonesome at home with my Dad and sister away. I can't wait! Have a good one, whatever you're doing.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.96

My friend the garlic lover again.


I've been awful with this Etsy lark. Haven't updated in ages, so I've just re-activated a few items. I shall think of something new to make and sell soon, I hope! Click here to go to the shop or use the sidebar on the left.

LSA recycled glassware

When I was in London the other day I popped into Heal's on Tottenham Court Road and spotted a few things I liked. In particular I could barely get over my desire for these stubby recycled glass tumblers (the short ones) made by LSA. They look very ordinary, I know, but trust me, they are much more elegant in the flesh, as it were, with subtle faceting, tiny bubble inclusions and a lovely colour. They are really simple but well made, and they suit my rustic/eco taste. Get them slightly cheaper (although I couldn't be arsed to read about delivery costs etc.) here. Wine glasses and dessert bowls are also available.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.95

Ever drooled on your favourite toy in your sleep?


Oh dear. I really shouldn't be let loose in London. Not only did I buy a lovely grey coat for the husband but my hand, uh, slipped in Urban Outfitters and I ended up with these trousers in navy. Oops! They are just the thing I've been looking for, though, that's what I'm telling myself.

I also had a close encounter with these shoes at the Faith sale (Faith are in administration so everything is 20% off right now) but I walked away at the last minute. Seriously, I could have done a lot of damage to our bank balance yesterday if I'd let myself. Thankfully I only got the trousers, although I could have bought up half of Urban Outfitters, including these super-impractical suede booties. Dangerous.

OK, enough with the clothes! I'll be back with some drawing later this afternoon.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

peg leg trousers and a blouse

I am away in London today running a few errands and seeing old colleagues for lunch. I might even go and draw somewhere interesting in the afternoon. Alternatively I could go on the hunt for that elusive spring/summer jacket that I've been looking for ever since I consigned the last one, faded and ragged, to the bin. Or I could go to Gap and get the husband the coat that he has been eyeing up but which he hasn't found in the right size yet. He, like me, is a pretty average-sized person so whenever something is popular, it always runs out in our sizes first. Annoying!

I thought I'd bite the bullet and show you a couple of things I've mentioned before, namely the sewing project from last week and those pesky peg leg trousers that I keep prattling about but never photograph. Well, here they both are in all their combined peculiar/androgynous glory. Sorry about the rubbish photos - I am not brave enough yet to get the husband to take pictures of me whilst I prat around in silly clothing so I'm doing it on a timer or in the rather dusty bedroom mirror.

The blouse is the sewing project from last week, and was inspired by the one from Jackson, Johnston and Roe that I blogged here. I haven't decided yet if I will sew tiny opaque white buttons to the placket or leave it as is. Amateurishly, I made the pattern up myself, so the fit around the shoulders isn't perfect (it's a bit funnel-necky on someone as square as me) and it's a b***** to take off! Oop! Maybe I'll get better with practice :-) But it was fun to make. I have never made a garment with sleeves before so at least I've learned something!

In order NOT to look like a bloke, perhaps some heels might be in order, but I'm in socks here. Never mind if I look like some random from the 1920s or 30s - I love these pictures of girls in menswear and workwear, from Wikipedia and The Selvedge Yard.

Monday, 17 May 2010

the weekend

was wholesome. We went on a pleasant 6 mile amble between the villages of Cavendish and Clare in Suffolk, and took in a few antiques in Clare. I nearly bought an oversized tweed 1970s jacket suit for £12 and a Scandinavian enamel milk churn but in the end I bought neither, which only serves to increase my thrifty wholesomeness I think. It was all very Constable and bucolic, and the weather made for some interesting light in my photos. All that farmland makes me yearn for something a bit more wild, though. Something a bit more Welsh? I haven't adjusted any of the colours because I'm on the computer with the colour problems so sorry if they are a bit off. That said, the light really was weird on Saturday.

On Sunday I finished off my little sewing project and puttered around in the garden, which has gone BOOOOOMPH!! in the last week (yes, that is my onomatopoeic word for 'the goddamn bindweed has shot up and is strangling my lavender etc.'). I also made some lovely Finnish style gingerbread biscuits and a tasty fennel risotto. Achievement!

Friday, 14 May 2010


Wow. How did it get to Friday already? That animation job didn't materialize in the end because of copyright issues with the style that the client wanted. So I've been finishing off this Dorling Kindersley job and doing some sewing (I'll show you next week). Here's a snippet from the UFO book spread (it makes a lot more sense when the text is dropped into the beams of light because each beam tells a different alien story):

It was good fun to do. I hope I get more work like this because it's easy and enjoyable. I love being paid to have fun!

What are you up to this weekend? I think we will be going for a walk and a pootle around some villages in Suffolk. Hopefully this time I will remember to bring my camera! Have a good one x

Thursday, 13 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.94

I love how my neighbours yell at their insane dog as if he understands what they are saying.

and... more chairs!

Remember this post about some Bauhaus swivel chairs at Pigeon Vintage? Well, I just found this seller on eBay in Germany who sells similar chairs for a lot less than £325. Nice!

Image from the seller.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.93

A quick one today. Remember to eat your greens or your tentacles won't grow nice and long.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


It looks like I'm going to be stupidly busy until Friday - yet more work is about to land on my desk with a tight deadline, and it's animation as well, so I'll be up into the wee hours on Wednesday night at least.

So I thought I'd leave you until Friday with a link to a shop that I wish I could afford something from - Tucker by Gaby Basora. I don't normally do loud prints, but something about the cut of the blouses and the casual retro chic of the shirt dresses gets my attention.

All images from the Tucker webshop.

Monday, 10 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.92

Oh dear. I seem to have been stumbling at the last hurdle with these drawings. This is how I feel after the weekend I've just had. Lazy drawing. Sorry.

the weekend

was a bit mad. We had a wonderful time at Go Ape - it really is worth having a go, even if you aren't all that confident with stuff like heights or swinging between trees and climbing rope ladders. I love that kind of thing so it was perfect fun for me. We went with a bunch of my school friends and their partners and spent the rest of the weekend eating, playing Cluedo badly (ever tried it drunk?) and drinking too much. I am exhausted and a bit fluffy today as a consequence.

This week I'm doing another Dorling Kindersley book spread, this time on famous alien abductions. I am really enjoying drawing UFOs!

Hope you all had a good weekend. I need another one right now...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Happy weekend!

I'm afraid I'm too busy with work today to write or draw anything here. Please forgive me. Tonight we are welcoming weekend guests to our house who will be going with us tomorrow to swing amongst some trees in Thetford Forest. I am looking forward to climbing trees and behaving like a boy with some of my very best friends. Then we will have a big party in our tiny house, cook dinner and make a mess. We are calling it a 'house-cooling' party: a last hurrah before we move on.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Old Cinema

Bleurgh. I have been empty-headed all week, sleeping poorly (I have been itching and thrashing at night - what's that all about?) and at a bit of a loss creatively. I haven't got much to say for myself, I'm sorry.

The husband and I went to a local pub last night to watch my darling Tottenham beat Manchester City 1-0 to gain a Champions League spot for next season. It was the sweetest victory we have had all season, but I was quaking in my seat for pretty much the whole match. Sorry if you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about, or if you couldn't give a s***, but I just had to write this down, I was so happy :-)

So, have I got anything good to tell you (other than my football news which, to me, is good!)? I just came across this shop in London called The Old Cinema which labels itself as London's only department store dedicated to selling antique, vintage, retro and upcycled furniture. The pictures on their website certainly make the showroom (in Chiswick) look worth visiting, with art exhibitions on the walls and a huge amount of stock to drool over.

There are pieces from a wide range of eras, mostly 20th century, but some of it a bit too, uh, retro for my taste. However, here's a small selection of the things that I liked. What did I choose? The usual suspects for me - industrial steel furniture (there's LOADS of it!), lockers, desks and haberdasher's cabinets. Am I getting boring?

(top image left) French soccer lockers, £625; (top image right) steel and brass lockers, £480; (above) Danish rosewood desk, £1050; 1950s draughtsman's desk, £1200; oak haberdasher's cabinet, sold.

I also liked some of the lighting, especially the anglepoise desk lamps. Ah, if only I had loadsa money, eh?

I've just received a commission with a very tight deadline so I'm off to work for the rest of the day. I will post a new drawing if I have time!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

One Hundred Days no.90

Another thing involving vinegar...

the weekend

Image above from

Hope you all had a good weekend and (here in England) Bank Holiday. I spent it up in Birmingham with my family. Lots of marvellous things were achieved: we went shopping, attended a charity fashion event for which I made a promotional film a while ago, went on a random family jaunt to Buxton, and, most importantly of all, I wore those peg leg trousers I wrote about a while ago. Yes, I was brave enough. OK, I was in Buxton - hardly the place to exhibit ones sartorial edge - and got a few weird looks from passers by who must have thought I was wearing pyjamas, but I enjoyed it anyway.

We went to Buxton because the husband and I spotted a few magnificent townhouses in need of renovation that were for sale at very affordable prices. Buxton is not at all in our first choice of area, but we have been spreading our search very wide in order to find a house that suits our requirements. My family has been in the business of buying and selling property for a long time, so we all piled into the car and went off for a day trip and to nose around some houses. There were houses with turrets, B&Bs, eight bedroom townhouses, blocks of flats... it is amazing what you can get there:

I had a day of fantasizing about running a bed and breakfast business (the bottom two images) - imagining how I would decorate the rooms with clean whites and simple furnishings, imagining the delicious breakfasts I would serve... and then I thought about having to do all the washing and cleaning myself and thought better of it!

Alternatively, this beautiful grade II listed townhouse in Ruthin has just come on the market and I am drooling buckets over it. It has original shutters in one of the downstairs rooms (can you see them in those right-hand windows?), four bedrooms, four attic rooms, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, huge pantry AND a good sized garden. All in need of a whole load of renovation. I want!