uuuuuhhhh quilts

Jeez, would you look at these quilts! I wonder wether I'll ever stop getting high on quilt pictures, it's been a good few years now so I suspect not.

I have no way of crediting these, I've just had them on my desktop for yonks, sorry about that.

People at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology

I paid a visit to Cambridge recently - solo. I went without the child, And I don't mind telling you that it was a bit of an anti-climax. I felt quite flat, almost as if I need the constant threat of a giant, get-everywhere type turd to keep my brain all sparky-like. Anyway, after quite a lot of wandering around feeling aimless I finally set to the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology to do a little drawing and some cutting out: which is a very fiddly thing to do in mid air whilst trying not to alarm museum assistants by getting too close to anything with scissors. I found myself drawn to all the little people and things with faces, I like them all grouped together - a real motley crew. They mostly have pretty nondescript 'I'm a museum exhibit' type expressions which I also like: as if they might be just putting it on and as soon as you turn your back they'll jig around and have a laugh.

My top tips for mobile making.

The mobile making carries on at a pace . . . a pace dictated by the rearing of a child and the earning of money. Dammit. But I'm quite determined and we haven't got a telly so not doing too bad.
I thought I'd share what I've worked out so far.
First of all - materials.
I've been using these paper balls which I've found to be just about the right weight.
Most important material is SUPERGLUE - things need to be held tight together so the balance holds. Superglue everything.
Waxed cotton twine - I started off using fishing line but it's too rigid, twine is better - floppier, gives freer movement.
The wire I use is a bundle I stole from my Mum who cleared it out of an old school cupboard I'm afraid (so unhelpful) but I think it might be this stuff - that Pisces Art is a really good website too, I could easily squander all my earnings on it.
I've also been using GOLD - love a bit of GOLD, I obviously haven't been using real GOLD, just this fake gold leaf stuff. I just used pva and waited for it to be tacky before sticking the leaf to it and then I gave the balls a good coat of oil paint varnish to keep them handsome through a little wear and tear.
mmmmm, I love gold, so shiny and warm.
When it comes to constructing I always start at the lowest hanging knot - does that make sense? Start with the piece that has nothing else hanging from it, set the balance and tie it. I tie all my knots tightly to start then . . . 
I hang the mobile up and check the balance. Any bits that are a little off I just carefully weedle and adjust until they hang right then I go round and superglue up all the knots so they don't wiggle and are held with the balance right.
Only problem is that damn Calder - he's done everything mobile related and everything you make just ends up looking derivative: I might have to start making some mobiles that are a little more Sarah Lucas ish. I'll keep you posted

Great Gran's pastels

I am lucky enough to have my great gran's pastel box - isn't it beautiful? Didn't they do things better back in the day? The colours are all perfect, as you would expect, but unfortunately I'm a bit scared to use them: I'm the kind of drawer who will scrub a pastel down to dust and then realise I don't really like what I did and throw it away, so I'll stick with my school quality sticks until I finally learn some finesse, until then I enjoy them with my eyes mostly.
Look at the lovely stamp . . .
And even the catches have a lovely elegance.
Thanks Great Gran.

New card designs

I've released a few new card designs - and finally got around to photographing them! You can see them on the cards page of my website and if you own a shop and you fancy stocking them, or just want to think about maybe stocking them, email me and I'll send you a super secret, high security password for the strictly hush-hush, classified, V.I.P. wholesale ordering area of that same website.
Here they are . . . 

Milton Avery

If you're ever looking for a bit of colour inspiration you should probably peruse the work of Milton Avery - isn't it so gorgeous?

Fruit wrappers

Someones collection of fruit wrappers, found in the bottom of a box at Hitchin Market. Beautiful no? I'm getting back in to the toot! I roll the boy down there in his buggy and feed him breadsticks to buy myself rummaging time.

Vintage clothes and textiles from Augusta auction

Just a little post to let you know that, if you're at a loose end have a peruse of the Augusta Auctions site: it's wonderful. And here are the outfits I'll be having thanks, and a suit for Jack.

drinks labels

I've just been asked to design another drink label so I was very happy to find these old labels whilst I was looking through my studio archive boxes. They are called studio archive boxes because Jack won't let me keep crap in the house, quite a lot of stuff ends up in my studio. Anyhow - aren't they lovely? I spent a bit of time poring over them to find the best ones for you . . . 

 I like these less colourful, more geometric ones best -

Shaker furniture

Enjoying the Shaker look a lot - I'd like this bench please/
And this rocking chair. And the background cloth too, obviously.

Shaker pegs

I made some shaker pegs for our hallway, I really love them and they're super cheap to make. 
I used these pegs and a length of timber from the timber merchant. I drilled holes that the pegs would fit really snuggly in to then hammered them all in with just a bit of wood glue to make sure they didn't work loose. We've now got 30 pegs over 2.5 metres in our hallway which is really convenient and it all cost less than £20.
*nice pat on the back*

I got that jacket from a charity shop and came home to Jack all like "Do you like my faux shearling jacket?" to which he replied " . . . it's a fleece". Dammit! Why he always got to pop my bubbles. 

New best paper

I ordered a ream of sugar paper from this place I found. I like sugar paper for it's slightly cruddy, grainy texture, it holds the colour oil pastels really nicely and is nice and thin for cutting up. Just as well I like it because now I have loads. No sooner did it arrive in the post than Team Anarchy set-to for their inspection: Maggie ate a bit of the parcel tape and then the the boy managed to fall off it - all 5cm of it - and landed on his face. That's how my days go now.
To test the paper out I made myself some new collaged blog buttons -->