Wednesday, 30 June 2010

payne's grey

Doing some work using paynes grey acrylic paint today. Thought I'd use up the excess drawing inky dogs. There is something kind of Chinese about this one. Makes me feel like I should be attempting to paint bamboo or something.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Work and stuff and Peter Callesen

Goodness me, more work is coming in! I am both pleased and tired. One of the jobs, fingers crossed, will be doing paper cut-outs using *gasp* my own hands and a scalpel and NO computer. I really hope this one works out. I did a test for it today and the response has been good so far. I like the sore patch on my index finger now. It feels like I've done something proper!

So I'm likely to be busy again and not around here as much as I'd like. Apologies in advance.

In the spirit of all things amazing and paper-cutty, here's a link to the work of Peter Callesen (that's his image above, not mine!), an artist I discovered a few months ago and whose work is quite similar to what I will be trying to achieve. I love how he manipulates the paper once he has cut it out of the sheet so that it becomes something different, even 3D. Some of them look like he simply cannot have made them out of one sheet of paper, but whether he has or not, the effect is often marvellous.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Norfolk coast

The husband and I went on a jaunt to the north coast of Norfolk on Saturday. We have been blessed with glorious weather these last few days, and were glad to have had the chance to get outdoors to enjoy it. The landscape in Norfolk is so special - with its stunning, gleaming mudflats, acres of saltmarsh and the vast blue bowl of the sky above. It feels like the end of the world in places - where the land simply disappears over the edge of the sea defences, and there is nothing else to be seen but swathes of grass and water. Photographs can't capture the sound of the boats' clinking hardware at Brancaster Staithe and the gorgeous sea-smell of the place, nor the way the wind was whipping fiercely across the land all day. It was so peaceful, despite the holidaying hordes on Wells beach, where a walk to the distant, distant waves takes you far away from those chattering people and into an almost surreal other place. It was magical. I hope you had a good weekend too.

Last picture was taken by the husband.

I brought along my parents' ancient Soligor camera to shoot some pictures on film for the first time in years. One day I will get them developed and see how they come out. I am no photographer, but I like to play anyway.

Friday, 25 June 2010


It's been a tough week here. I worked so long and late yesterday that my poor laptop - which should have been retired but for various stupid reasons has not - was whirring and groaning. I'm still at it today, but I have to deliver by this evening, so hopefully I will get a weekend. We are planning a trip to the North Norfolk coast, and thanks to tips from the lovely and talented Lynn, I am really looking forward to it.

Have a great weekend, all. I will be back next week.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

This afternoon

Do you think the England team will come out looking like a pack of smacked rats again?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

sketchbook - garlic lover

OK, so not a new one, but one you've not seen before.

the weekend

I had a wonderful weekend - seeing friends, drinking too much (!), acquiring a great leather suitcase from the junk shop, watching football and doing a bit of work whilst hungover :-) From the stickers and markings on the suitcase, it looks like it once took a journey aboard the SS Leda passenger ship. I love objects with a history.

This week I'm busy still doing animation work. I am already looking forward to the weekend! Sorry if posting is a bit light this week - lots to do! Will try and draw something silly for you later.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Ten years

I know, I know, it makes me sound SO OLD, but I thought I'd tell you a little story. Ten years ago, some time late on Midsummer's night on the Bowling Green in Pembroke College, Cambridge, I was standing just around where that red X is on the photo above, striking a deal with my future husband. We were just nineteen years old and had been inseparable friends since bonding on a geology field trip with the university. It was time to make things official after nearly two months of dancing around each other and NOT saying how we felt (or in my case not KNOWING how I felt). It was time to get my hooks into the boy.

It has been a wonderful ten years, my darling. We are both better dressed, better behaved, and have better hair than we did in those days. Thank you.

Image from here.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Happy weekend!

I've liked the necklaces from Verre New York for a couple of years now - you can choose the colours that you want for each glass drop :-) Delicate and pretty!

What are you doing this weekend? I'm going to a fancy dinner at my old college at Cambridge for people who studied Natural Sciences. Luckily six of my best friends, including the husband, studied the same subject so we are making a kind of reunion of it. I can't wait. Sadly I don't have an interesting new outfit for it, just my usual getup of teal blue satin cocktail dress, big blingy gold necklace and irresponsible heels :-) Hell, maybe I'll put on a bit of make-up for once. I don't get out very often.

Apart from that... football, football and a trip to the charity shops, I think. Have a good one!


So England are playing again tonight. I am sick with fear.

EDIT (Saturday morning): I should be a prophet. So we didn't lose, but we are all wearing expressions like that this morning. Godawful.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

auction action

Well, not so much action as just one little peep of love. I'm always on the lookout for Victorian and Edwardian silver animal pincushions. Call me weird, kitschy or whatever, I think they are really sweet. They are very collectible and therefore can be worth a lot of money (click the link to see some really nice and pricey examples!).

This little piggy-wig turned up in the Willingham catalogue, with a guide price of £60-100. Made in 1902/3 by Levi & Salaman in Birmingham, it's a big one at 11cm long. I get the feeling it won't sell for £60.

Does anyone know of a modern equivalent of these? Something cute and well-made to stick pins into?!


We are enjoying the nicest weather we've had for weeks and I'm stuck indoors animating. Annoying! I did nip out to the garden to cut a few flowers for our cheerfully clothed table, though. That tablecloth was the only thing we brought back from our honeymoon in Italy - bought at the market in Malcesine, it reminds me of sunshiney holidays.

When my mother-in-law saw it she was like 'why did you buy a tablecloth with weeds on it?' :-D It's because I want reactions like that.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Peace Industry rugs

These lovely rugs designed and made by Peace Industry caught my eye yesterday whilst I was thumb-twiddling between jobs. They are felted wool rugs, made using traditional Iranian techniques dating back to the Neolithic age. They have a Flickr gallery where you can see the rugs in situ - I think they look pretty good with mid-century style furniture (speaking of which, that pendant lamp at auction that had an estimate of £60-90? Sold for £320. Sheesh! And the Eames chair: £700).

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

busy busy

a fragment, without giving too much away, of what I was working on yesterday for Umbro. I like football so drawing footballers can't be a bad thing, right? Only it was an evening job for clients in New York so I missed out on watching last night's match. Sigh. I can't win...

Monday, 14 June 2010


bleurgh. Tired, crotchety, can't be bothered... you know the feeling?

Friday, 11 June 2010

my sketchbook today

Some of you may already know that I am an unashamed football nut. And most of you will have been unable to avoid the knowledge that the World Cup starts today. I have been a fan of England since I was nine years old, watching that wonderful, passionate Italia '90 tournament (and the godawful song that spawned the IN-GER-LUND chant). I am beside myself with excitement today. Pity me and my sad ways - set up for disappointment!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project, organised by the folks at Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, has been running for a couple of years now and the sign-up for the 2011 project was launched in May. The premise is that they send you a bar-coded Moleskine cahier and a theme, and you create a sketchbook based on that idea, then send it back to them. All the sketchbooks are taken on a library style tour across the US, then find themselves a home at the Brooklyn Art Library where they are catalogued and available for the public to view. Themes that you can choose include: 'dirigibles and submersibles', '(your name here)', 'I'm sorry I forgot you' and 'it will be fun, I swear'.

Sounds like fun, no? You can enter for $25 until October 31st this year, with sketchbooks to be returned to them by January 15th 2011. I might join in the fun. What do you think?

On the other hand, I could just choose a theme and fill a Moleskine cahier based on that and then NOT send it anywhere, but that would be defeating the object of the project, wouldn't it? The whole point is sharing your ideas and kind of 'releasing' them out there so they aren't just stuck on your own bookshelf where nobody gets to see them. I think it's a sweet idea.

auction action

It's been a while since we've been to an auction. The main reason for this is because we will be moving house this summer, potentially into rented accommodation for a few months, and I am on a house spending hiatus. I tell you, it's killing me. I cannot WAIT to have a new home to play with, but this may be a while away yet.

However, I couldn't help but sneak a peek at the Modern Design auction at TW Gaze's in Diss, Norfolk, that is taking place this Saturday. Here's a selection of items that caught my eye, but there is much more in the catalogue, and lots unphotographed! Sadly we will be up in Yorkshire visiting the husband's family so I can't even go there to stroke these things :-( Of course you can bid remotely but as I said, I'm not buying!

Clockwise from top left: Holger Georg Jensen for Kubus teak table, £50-70; 1930s slatted chairs, £40-60; rosewood sideboard, £200-300; AEG desk top fan, type NTVU - 2 designed by Peter Behrens, £30-40.

Clockwise from top left: cocoon pendant light fitting, £30-40; aluminium tulip base dining table with circular rosewood finish top, £250-350; Eames Chair, £600-900; Poul Henningson designed DH5 lamp for Louis Poulsen, £60-90; Gunnar Nylund for Nymolle of Denmark, a blue glazed bottle vase, £45-65.

wastefulness at the dump

So on Saturday the husband and I were at the local dump getting rid of some garden cuttings. For months I had been meaning to have a snoop around the 'household waste' section to see what people had thrown away, ever since I spotted some beautiful plywood school chairs a while back. You know what I found? A Minolta SLR camera in its case, plus a tube of pristine matching lenses. I nearly died, they were so good.

I picked them up to sneak them back to the car... But NO! Some bloke in an orange jacket apprehended me as I sniggered gleefully over my armful of treasure and wagged a prohibiting finger. Get this - the managing company's policy does not allow people to take things away from the dump for various stupid reasons. After some wrangling with the first guy's supervisor I still left empty handed. Mortifying.

What I want to know the most, though, is WHY on earth someone decided to throw those things away instead of eBaying them or at least donating them to a charity shop where they could have done some good! So wasteful.

Ah, health and safety, eh? Nonsense.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Pin it Forward - What home means to me

To me, home means... cosy evenings with the husband, reading in bed, wearing whatever makes me comfortable, pottering in our sweet little garden and growing my own food, then cooking and eating it, outdoors or in. My parents instilled in me a love of cooking and the heart of my house will always be the kitchen table where we eat, talk, laugh and relax. Home means surrounding yourself with people you love - I wish I had more room for them, but even in our tiny house we have hosted parties for sixteen people! It is wonderful to hear your home resounding with laughter.

I dream about living a simple and wholesome life in Wales, which will hopefully become a reality very soon, surrounded by objects that I love and vintage pieces that have been loved by others before me. I love wild walks in the hills and to me, that countryside is also my home.

Living so far away from my friends in London will be sad, but when they do come to visit, they can make it a kind of holiday! Hooray for holidays at (my) home :-)

My home will always echo with music. This is our piano, lovingly rescued from a junk shop and played, if not with consummate skill, at least with gusto by both of us. I like to think that I fill my home (and our poor neighbours' too!) with my sparkling Mozart, rigorously observed Bach, sensuous Brahms and ethereal Debussy, but in reality I think things are a bit more ear-achey!

Home means happy memories and my wonderful family. I grew up in the most incredible place (at least in my opinion!) and I miss it desperately when my thoughts turn towards it. I have so many memories of idyllic picnics, running wild in the house, wading in the River Severn, playing in the parks, picnics by the riverside, and living an unconventional childhood above our takeaway... I could write about it forever.

Click over to my Pinterest board for more images of 'what home means to me'. Links to image sources can be found there (some of the pics are of my own garden/house). Here is my Pinterest homepage.

Thank you kindly to Sandy a la Mode who Pinned it Forward to me yesterday. Sandy is a sweet Taiwanese American who, to my happy surprise, shares a lot of things in common with me - sewing experiments, making and eating delicious food, a mild obsession with dumplings/wontons/baozi, bubble tea, she wore at least three wedding dresses on her wedding (eep! I wore 4 in total (don't ask, I'm Chinese)), and loves writing about crafts and personal style - from clothes to home decor. Please do go over there and see what home means to Sandy - I loved her inspiring and pretty post, so it's well worth a look!

Tomorrow I Pin it Forward to Em at Ohgoshem. Like me, she comes from the UK, is trying not to panic about turning 30 within a year, and is an arty type of girl who likes cake and meeting up with friends. All good things, I think. Please head over to her blog tomorrow to see what she comes up with - I look forward to it.

Thanks to Victoria at sfgirlbybay for organising Pin it Forward, and to the people at Pinterest. This has been fun.

One Hundred Days no.100 (what home means to me on some days!)

In reality, a lot of the time home means...

And that's it! I've finished my one hundred drawings at last! What next? I guess I'll just keep on going, only without the numbers. It's not as if I've been keeping to my task very diligently lately anyway!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

One Hundred Days no.99

I'm being a bit cruel, but really, people are starting to discuss how better to cull the urban fox population because of this 'fox mauls twins' news story. Honestly! Freak incident causes mass panic... the usual in Britain.

a note for tomorrow...

Some of you may already know about Pin it Forward, organised by sfgirlbybay. It's a new and slightly different version of Blog it Forward but this time round it involves using Pinterest, a site where you can 'pin' up, on themed 'boards', images of things that have caught your eye around the internet, or pictures of your own. The theme for this Pin it Forward is 'What Home Means to Me'. I will be taking part in this tomorrow, so watch out for my post and links to other Pin it Forward participants.

Monday, 7 June 2010

One Hundred Days no.98

Such negativity!

Bridge End Garden

We had a good weekend here of thunderstorms and lazy picnics. We didn't stray far from home this time, only going as far as the lovely Bridge End Garden in our local town where we ate an enormous picnic and read the sunday papers before wandering around the maze and pretty Dutch garden.

Smoked salmon trimmings, Quorn sausage roll, mixed salad with beetroot, homemade bread, French pavé saucisson. All eaten from our sweet Blyton picnic tin which was a gift from my sister. Oh and washed down, of course, with ginger beer :-) Bliss.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Happy weekend!

Sorry I'm away again today - animating characters for a website. Hooray! As my reward, hopefully we will be going here tonight with some friends. Image from

Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

busy busy

Sorry, I know I've been bad and haven't drawn anything for a while. I'm really busy today with work :-(

On the upside, I just found out that I have won one of these from Pedlars. I entered the prize draw on a whim, since I already have one in the almond colour thanks to the husband. Now shall I get a black or a red one? I don't particularly like orange. I'm leaning towards red right now. Decisions...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Copenhagen carpenter's shop

Indenfor & Udenfor is a Danish company that sells antiques for your home, as well as providing props and styling for photoshoots. Their work has appeared in blogs all over the internet, but I saw this gorgeous old carpenter's shop that they styled and couldn't stop myself from posting just a few pictures from it. To me it is pretty much perfect, what with the industrial swivel chairs, the joyful use of colour and pattern against simple furniture, classic items like those red Tolix chairs and anglepoise style lamps, all made delightful by the quirky details that give the place warmth and charm. Click here for all the images. I exhort you to go there and look.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

the weekend

I'm starting to sound like a stuck record. Guess where we went and what we did? Yes, we went to Wales and walked for two days in Powys. At least we didn't go house-hunting again. Here are a few pictures from our weekend.