Monday, 31 January 2011

stuff and nonsense

I've been a bit distracted again this week. I have to get my head down and work my tits off until next week on an animation job I'm doing. Boooo... Now what was it that I wanted to say?

We made an exciting discovery last weekend: Empire House Antiques Warehouse in Failsworth, just outside of Manchester. It is a two-storey warehouse crammed with antique furniture and homewares of all kinds at very affordable prices. We could have bought a whole van-load of things if we'd actually been there to buy - a lovely early 20th Century wardrobe with little labels for ties, collars and shirts on the compartments inside; vintage school chairs and stools; old suitcases; industrial lamps. I was hyperventilating, I tell you.

I have applied to take part in the North Wales Helfa Gelf Open Studios event this September. Foolishly, I don't yet have a studio to call my own, but I am determined to have one set up by September so that I can receive visitors. I've got all sorts of ideas for things to do for it, and I can't wait to start working on new work. Hopefully it will provide an incentive and an inspiration for me to try out new things and meet some other artists too! Now all I've got to do is convince myself that I AM an artist, not just some commercial drudge...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

currently loving...

The new collection at Whistles, especially this dress.

The new collection at Zara. This dress caught my eye.

For the husband, grandad shirts by Magee of Donegal. Even contemplating altering and wearing one of their men's nightshirts as a dress. Too weird? Probably.

See more of what I'm liking on Pinterest.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Drawn - First dates 02

The close talker. Nothing much worse than someone invading your space. Thanks to Jessica Gowling for the suggestion (website, twitter).

Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Drawn - First dates 01

I don't profess to know much about first dates. I've only been on one.

Truth is, I met my husband when we were students at Cambridge and we were friends for eight months before we started going out with each other. As friends, we went on a geology field trip to Arran, in Scotland, and had such a wonderful week that from then on we were almost inseparable, even though it took another couple of months to actually decide that we liked each other in that way. During those two months, I went on a couple of dates with another chap - a ginger-haired, 6'5, half-Spaniard from Girton College. It didn't last long. And that was it.

I do know, however, that it's not very polite to lunge at someone with your tongue out. This is my new theme: first dates.

need to shake things up!

OK. Things have gotten to a point now where I'm just making excuses not to do anything proper - admin, phone calls, pointless online shopping/blog-reading. This is a new year, for heaven's sake! And it's nearly the end of January! What have I achieved? NOTHING. SOD ALL. Jack s***. It's awful.

I need a plan. I want to do so many things but I can't seem to get off my arse and do them. This year I want to:

1. Start painting
2. Work on some ideas for children's picture books (and ACTUALLY do something with them!)
3. Make more stuff for myself - clothes, jewellery and things, rather than buying them.
4. Get back into gardening - I miss my veg patch so badly!
5. Learn something new - I don't know what yet...

This post over at Modish was the inspiration for this.

Meanwhile I am trying to think of some new drawing themes.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

QUIT - Loony Lungs

You poor people who have to travel to work in the mornings might have picked up a copy of the Metro newspaper today and seen a feature in it about the Loony Lungs viral ad campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi X for the quit-smoking charity, Quit. The full article can be read here, in D&AD Behind the Idea. I was, with the help of my lovely agents at Jelly, the designer and animator for this campaign. It was a hoot making these!

Watch Sky Dive here on YouTube (links to the other two films can be found here too). Thanks to the people at D&AD and Metro.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Drawn - adulthood 19

the weekend

Hi peeps. I'm still sorry that I've not done any new drawings for the blog yet. Something seems to have gone wrong with my creativity. I think it's a thing called life - I am up to my eyeballs in paperwork and phone calls at the moment, and when I'm not doing that, I am trying to be inspired for a job I'm working on at the moment (failing horribly). How was your weekend? Mine was pleasant, quiet... we went to have a gander at our nearest farm shop on Saturday, and discovered that it is pretty amazing - we didn't bother to go to the supermarket after we'd been there. On Sunday we went to have a nose around a local auction house and to see The King's Speech at the cinema - what a lovely film it is!

That's all I have to report, I'm afraid. I'll see if I can come up with something fun later today.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

English Rose kitchens

I'm not a massive fan of kitsch-looking stuff, but I recently saw an interiors feature in The Times Magazine, showing a fabulously retro, stripped aluminium kitchen. I had no idea who the maker was, nor anything about it, until I stumbled across English Rose kitchens this morning. They were made in the 1950s by the CSA company, which made the nose-cones for Spitfires during the Second World War, using the excess, post-war aluminium to fabricate the distinctive, curvy kitchen units. They were originally painted in kitsch colours, but I much prefer the more industrial look of the units after they have been stripped, paired with austere tiling and accessories - no pastels, thank you! Here are some images I pulled off the internet today.

Here's a nice cream one, with horrible tiling (IMHO), from Flickr.

This set is for sale via Lassco.

Another cheesy one, but the unit is nice on its own. Via Flickr.

Finally, a stripped and polished one from Source Antiques, the biggest suppliers of these kitchens in the UK. I bet it's a pain in the arse to keep them looking as shiny and un-watermarked as that!

If you fancy some of these for yourself, there is an unrestored set of units for sale on eBay right now, or search Salvoweb for more. John Lewis of Hungerford also make a reproduction version called Crème de la Crème.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Friday, 14 January 2011

please bear with me

Ah. Things are going a bit cockahoop over here. I'm trying to motivate myself to start working properly but keep getting distracted by business matters and phone calls. I'm sorry I've not drawn anything for you yet this year. I promise better things next week.

For now, here's a lovely shop I discovered this morning, selling vintage and French furniture and homewares: Little Paris. Yeah, I'm on a bit of a window shopping binge at the moment and dreaming of having a house to decorate with things I can't afford :-)

I did splurge on a few things at Christmas for the husband, though. This vintage 1950s laundry box, from Country and Chic on eBay, was meant to be the hamper for all the food gifts I got him, but sadly it arrived too late because of the snow. He got it last Saturday instead, as a Ukrainian Christmas present (he's half Ukrainian and we had the whole family over for a traditional feast).

Have a marvellous weekend, all! x

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Neon signs

Today, after seeing this image from Emma's Design Blogg I'm obsessing over vintage neon signs. Yes, I should be working, but I just can't help myself! I would love a small, relatively subtle one for the kitchen or somewhere just for a bit of kitschy fun, but they aren't cheap! Here are a few I found for sale on the internet:

Oh, and I love that array of knives!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Ikea Toy Stories

I illustrated a Facebook app for Ikea, called Toy Stories, just before Christmas. It's an interactive children's book game using five of the toys that are sold in Ikea stores. Basically, you pick a character and a story, and then you write the text to go with the pictures of each story. You can print out the story to keep, to colour in, or you can just save it for later. The husband wrote a hilarious one (at least I thought it was hilarious) for the jungle story.

It's got a few glitches in some of the illustrations but otherwise it's OK. A bit bright for me, but I enjoyed drawing it all the same.

A New Year

Last year was pretty crazy. The husband decided to make a career change. We sold our house, moved to Wales, and are still trying to find somewhere to settle. It was a year of upheavals and uncertainty. Our hope for this year is that we find a new place to call home. That's all I want. A proper home.

These two photographs have been taken from some properties for sale in South and West Wales (nowhere near where we are looking to buy!). Isn't the first one in a perfect state of dilapidation? Call me crazy, but I think it's gorgeous.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy New Year

How was your Christmas? Mine was OK - nothing mindblowing, but good in its own way. Did the usual family stuff, then saw friends for New Year before heading to London to redecorate my old flat. Now I'm exhausted...

I'll be back and blogging again from Monday onwards. Have a good weekend, all.