Thursday, 27 January 2011

Crofting and Crafting

These last few day has seen a variety of activities, as well as the usual felt cutting, sewing and sticking I have been chief crofter since Dad has been away.

It is only a small croft with a few hens and several sheep but they all need fed in the morning.  They wait at the house at the top of the hill and we all walk down together.  Tib, the border collie doesn't "do" sheep; they casually wander past her, and sometimes offer the odd head-butt.  She prefers rabbits (never catches them) and will spend hours with her head down the rabbit holes:

I love being out first thing in the morning, it sets me up for the day.

Is there any for me?

I have been doing a little bit of designing new products for spring.  I have used the same bird shape as the felt version of the bird notebook but have appliqued it using floral fabrics to co-ordinate with the felt.

Fabric and felt brid notebooks:

The notebooks have a removable cover and refills can be bought from artists shops, the notebook is made up of plain paper and can be used for sketches or notes.

The fabric birds on the felt close up:

These notebooks have been sent, amongst other felty things to the Newgate Gallery in Surrey for their next exhibition., the Spring Contemporary Craft Collection.  I will hopefully get them on my own website before too long!

I am working on other new notebooks and brooches using the floral fabric and applique, and I will share these with you as soon I am happy with the designs and get some pictures taken!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

If it stays still I will paint it

You might recall back in October that I was painting my kitchen units, the doors were lying on the kitchen table getting their treatment. You can see a picture here.

Now it is more or less finished at last (except for the new cooker and taps).

If you look very closely in the picture below you will spot a deliberate mistake - the bottom cake tin is upside down as it still has the remains of our Christmas cake.

The cooker has a brass handle which doesn't go with my new off-white and brushed chrome look, so in the meantime before I get a new cooker, the handle will be covered by a strategically placed dish cloth.  This one was from Rachel Taylor designs, she is a designer and textile artist turning her patterns into a lovely range of of textiles, cards, paper and mugs among other things.  You can see her website by clicking here.

I have my eye on a purple Aga cooker......I'd better get saving!

I used Farrow and Ball paints, the units are Clunch, the walls are Stoney Ground and the facings and skirtings are Hardwick White.

One of my favourite things in the house is the rayburn - a steaming kettle always on top meaning copious amounts of tea!

It all started when I changed the colour of the walls last year, then it was the table and chairs, shelves and then I took on the massive job of painting all the doors, which were originally pine.

Work in progress:

I am really pleased with the results which is just as well as it would be a lot to redo!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

It's Back to Work....

Belated Happy New Year!  I am a bit late but I haven't been blogging since Christmas and am trying to get back to normal.  Trying is the word to describe it, I seem to be finding it a struggle getting back to serious work.

I think it was so busy before Christmas that I tired myself out!  I was thinking it was just me, but I have been reading other creative blogs and have found many people are saying the same thing, so I don't feel so bad.

I have so many things I need to do, new designs, updating the website, accounts (arghhh!!), paperwork, invoices......and that's before I start making anything!  I also need to finish my big tidy up in the studio so I can find space to lay things down!

One of my desks in desparate need of a tidy up:

This was the state of my paperwork at the end of last week - it is all filed away now thankfully.

I sat down on Monday and wrote a list.  That always helps and puts everything in perspective, it usually doesn't look so bad when it's in writing, and it's always good to cross things off as you do them.

One of my main things to do is to upload my product photos on Not The High Street, I was accepted as a selling partner in October but because of the Christmas rush I decided to delay selling with them in case I couldn't keep up with orders.

The die-cutting machine is sitting waiting patiently to be used:

I need to be making lots of these:

and these....

and these (and thats just the beginning).....

Maybe by next week I will be in full flow again (well I can always hope!), I need to get going so I don't get behind before I have even started!