Thursday, 30 September 2010


my brain seems to be malfunctioning and I can't get an idea together in my head at all. I am a bit distracted, sorry!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Things are a bit crazy round here. I'll draw something for you tomorrow!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

life drawing

I last went to a life drawing class back in 2005 during my illustration degree. I haven't been back. I'm not that confident about drawing people, nor do I enjoy it a whole lot when I think I'm not that good at something. Today I joined the life group in Ruthin where we had a clothed model. It was good to start drawing again - not just rabbits and silly mammals but something that takes me out of my limited comfort zone. I will be going back in two weeks' time and I'll hopefully post something up every time I go. This week, I stuck with my trusty pencils.

The model was a LOT younger than she appears here. She was a teenage goth girl and quite gorgeous in her voluminous sleeves and long skirt.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 10

Panicking about how much our monthly payments could be if we want to buy another house.

And that's your lot of ten. I've really enjoyed drawing the 'adulthood' series - I will re-visit it again no doubt very soon. I will return with a new series tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on how long it takes for me to think of something new. Any suggestions are welcome!

the weekend

I simply cannot believe that I can walk out of my front door and be in countryside like this. Yesterday was like the last day of summer, with a blissfully warm sun but a sharp autumnal bite in the air. It was cold up on the hill but the view was spectacular, with the Clywdian Hills marching southward into Wales.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 08

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you always end up back in Ikea sooner than you wish...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 07

You know it's the beginning of the end when you look in the mirror one morning and you see something has drastically changed without you noticing it. Now, let me tell you something: I have never had a crease under my bum cheeks. It's just a feature (or lack thereof) of my strangely flat yet square-edged Chinese arse. Words such as 'peachy' and 'pert' have never really applied to it. It's just there, somewhere under the odd folds of my jeans (trousers have never hung quite right on my behind). But I didn't have creases under the cheeks. Not until (I admit, in my increasingly pointless vanity) I deemed to turn round and look at it in the mirror this morning. I'm not gaining weight; I'm not even nearly overweight, but there they were. They were not even the kind of normal creases that some ladies have - you know, a single, well-defined line - but were kind of dry, multiple wrinkles, like my bum's equivalent of crow's feet. I am mortified. I am not even 30 years old yet. Lord help me, I'm dying.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 06

Adulthood is when you realize that it would have been MUCH much better to have been born as a dog.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 05

Every morning is a bit of a struggle. With the husband getting up at 6.30am and me being naturally more of a night owl than a lark, things can feel a bit fuzzy in the mornings. Paradoxically, whilst it takes some effort to haul myself out of bed, I do love being up early, especially in the countryside.


Did you have a good weekend? We went to celebrate my sweet brother-in-law's 18th birthday in Leeds and officially welcome him to adulthood. The card I drew for him went along the lines of 'adulthood isn't about freedom, it's about being chained down by your neck by responsibility and shit like that'. I am busy busy this week with so many things that I can barely think. It's time I grew up and got a diary.

I was determined not to put the heating on in the house until October. Last night, the husband cracked and turned it on because neither of us could feel our feet any more, despite socks and slippers.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 04

When you finally get home and unload the car, that's when the real fun begins. Instructions? What instructions? It's meant to be easy.

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 03

(Click image to enlarge)
Once you manage to escape the Market Hall in Ikea, you think you might be safe. That is, unless you have to navigate the wasteland that is the Warehouse. Even if you've carefully copied down the location of the furniture parts that you want, success is never guaranteed. God help you if the thing you are looking for comes in several parts. You will NEVER find all the pieces, in the same colour and undamaged. And if you do, you will have spent half the day and worn out a pair of shoes wandering aimlessly down aisles, muttering things like 'Billy, aisle J, 27a, birch finish...' And then you won't even be able to find the tills without picking up another piece of useless junk. Oh, an ice-lolly maker! I've always wanted one of those!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 02

What the hell happens to people when they go to Ikea? It's like some sort of illness. Hands up if you've ever been to Ikea and left with something utterly pointless (and often hideous) in your trolley...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Drawn - adulthood 01

My first theme will be 'adulthood' - a series of ten drawings on being an adult. I find it very very hard being an adult and dealing with all the things that come with it - bills, finances, housekeeping, responsibility and ageing, so this series will be taken from personal experience (just like the one above!) :-)

themes for drawing

I'm thinking today that I need to set myself some targets, you know, kinda plan my days better. I'm not really working at the moment (I like to call it 'between jobs' so that I don't start panicking about my next paycheque!) so I have a lot of free time. I did next to nothing yesterday apart from cleaning those damn boxes (one of them STINKS like rotten egg/dog piss/dead chicken - yeurch!) and going for a boring meeting in town. Today I have been to the supermarket. Yeah. It's not great.

So I was thinking maybe I should start some series of drawings for the blog, based on a theme or an idea, and maybe do them in blocks of ten or something. Shame I can't think of any ideas right now, I'm so uninspired :-/

I've also slipped back into lazy lazy pencil drawings. I need a bit more colour in my life!

So I'm going to go away and think of a theme, draw something and then I'll be back to post it up here. Any suggestions welcome!

Monday, 13 September 2010

antiques fair finds

I hope you had a good weekend - ours was blustery and rainy, but it didn't deter us from going to nose around the antiques fair in Oswestry on Saturday. It was the usual mix of terrible ceramics, silver and glassware, rescued by the occasional vintage gem. I saw some pristine, unused 1950s bread knives with lovely coloured handles, and an amazing vintage route-length-measuring map which used a fascinating wire mechanism: the pre-cursor to Google Maps, I think. There were also some beautiful vintage RAF canvas sacks and three sweet children's school chairs - if only they had them in adult sizes!

What did I come home with? Four seriously dirty (I mean they've been stored in a shed and have dead insects, fossilized chicken shit and even egg yolk on them - I am trying to clean them without vomiting) wooden boxes to store our junk in, a giant glass mixing bowl/jug and a 1970s globe. I could have spent much more but I restrained myself! I'll post up a picture of the boxes as soon as I have finished cleaning them :-)

Friday, 10 September 2010

Fiat 500

In case you missed the links to my latest work the other day, here are a couple of examples of the ads I illustrated for the Fiat 500. I'm not too sure about how the font has turned out in the one below (I just drew it, I didn't do the layout for that one cos I was moving house!), but hey ho, the client seems happy.

See them in the weekend news magazines! I spotted one in The Times on Saturday :-)

the greengrocer

I get greedy buying fruit and veg sometimes. Yesterday it was not one, but two fat aubergines. Yum yum.

Have a good weekend, all! I hope you are doing something fun.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Our landlady has a black scottie dog called Hamish who likes to bark in a hoarse old voice at people and chew their ankles. Mad...

desk lamps

Let's consider desk lamps today. I've been snooping around eBay recently looking for a replacement for the 1990s space-age metallic green coloured monstrosity that currently lights my workspace. Incredibly, some time around 1996 I think I ditched my old red anglepoise-style lamp for what has become the biggest eyesore on my desk. Sure it's lasted a long time and seen me through countless exams and hours of hard work but the bottom line is, it's hideous. I need something better. Surely I deserve it, given that I have to sit in front of it all day long?!

So what'll it be? A 1960s Conran-designed Maclamp with wooden arms (the one above went for £100 on eBay!)?

Or maybe a vintage Anglepoise 1227 in black or cream? (If only one could find ones that aren't prohibitively expensive!)

I really like the industrial look of this vintage Memlite lamp.

Or maybe I could go for something like this counterbalanced grey beauty from Pigeon Vintage (sold, but there's a similar one here on eBay).

If you like the wooden arms on the MacLamp, Graham and Green do a new lamp based on a similar idea for £169, and some other charming retro lamps too.

Or the most affordable option I have found is this one at Rockett St. George, which has been doing the style-pages rounds for a couple of years now and is currently sold out. It's a very good price and quite sweet, if a bit small perhaps.

What I'm really hoping for is to find an absolute beauty for a bargain in the antiques fair in Oswestry that we will be going to this weekend. Fat chance!

Oh, and if you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this and this - finished layouts for some ads I drew for Fiat 500.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

work? what's that?

It's taking me a while to get back into the swing of things. I am spending far too long watching videos of Tottenham Hotspur on YouTube, stalking desk lamps on eBay and looking at other people's blogs.


I've loved the shop RE, or Re-found Objects, for years now and was delighted when we received a gift voucher as a wedding gift. Two years on, bad me, I still haven't bought anything, not through lack of wanting anything from the shop, just plain old indecision.

So yesterday, after I said I was on a spending hiatus for home stuff, I suddenly remembered this voucher sitting in my desk drawer simply crying out to be spent! OK, I know I don't have a house to furnish, but if I choose things that I like, surely they will work in any space, right? I will simply need a few extra boxes for when we move house again :-)

Here are a few things that I like from their current collection:

Peruvian hand-painted tin cans for a bit of kitsch and colour. Sadly sold out :-(

Recycled glass drops, £1.50 each. (I already own some of these though!)

Green American milk glass bowls, £48 for three.

Vintage pressed glass.

Vintage baking trays, from £8.50. If only I could bake...

I promise I'll draw something today!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Today I'm obsessing about James Leonard 'Esavian' desks and chairs. These were designed for the Educational Supply Association Ltd. in the late 1940s and 50s and have become a bit of a design classic. I'd love one of these desks in my studio to use for painting and general messiness. I think the aluminium legs would be a welcome break from all the wood I've got! The chairs I'm not so bothered about - I like their shape, but I'm not a big fan of leatherette so I'd probably choose a different chair to go with the desk. Unless I could get my mitts on a plywood version, like this headmaster's chair.

I saw a set for sale at Trainspotters for £450(!), which is a bit steep for me, so I had a hunt around for others and found Tuderhoff (via eBay), which specialises in mid century furniture. Here are links to the desk (£250), and chairs (£78 each).

Other items that caught my eye:

Vintage stackable stools, £35 each.

A pair of oversized school stools, £330.

A set of four Remploy vintage school chairs, £180.

Sadly I am on a furniture-buying hiatus until we buy a house to fill!

Images from Salvoweb and Tuderhoff.

Monday, 6 September 2010

messing around on a boat

I hope you all had a good week. We did the very English 'messing around on boats' thing for four days in Wiltshire where I did very little apart from eat too many sausages and too much cheese, bask in the glorious late summer sunshine and occasionally take my turn to steer the barge very poorly indeed. I wasn't made for driving vehicles of any type. I can barely drive a car safely!

It was wonderfully relaxing and we had some marvellous company in the form of two of my schoolfriends and their boyfriends/fianc├ęs.

I'm back from my travels for a good long time now, so hopefully my blogging will get back to normal very quickly. I will be working again and spending more time at home now the husband is starting his new job, so there will be plenty of time to draw and find interesting things to write about, other than what I've been doing on my holidays.