Here's a little imaginary drawing of my three different dolls, done when I was assigning them their various names and quirks. I tried to give Isabel glasses, but when I stitched them on they looked like goggles, and a little strange so I suppose she wears contact lenses now!
A little while ago one of my sisters phoned me up to ask my opinion on some paintings she'd seen on Etsy by US based artist Karen Fields. She couldn't decide which of three to buy, and while we both ummed and ahhed over their respective merits, I somehow convinced myself that I should buy whichever she turned down. So we both made a purchase, and are very happy with the paintings, mine in my bedroom (see below) and hers in her sitting room. They're so bright, with gorgeous colours and sunny dispositions, and were extremely reasonable price wise.
I've just revisited Karen's Etsy page and seen some lovely recent work (all sold), so will keep an eye out for any shop updates from now on.
A couple of Fridays ago, I met my sisters after work at the Cockpit Arts Open Studio private view. Cockpit Arts is a huge studio space/organisation, which seems to really support the designer/makers who work there, calling itself a "business incubator". It was a very inspiring visit, and a lovely start to the weekend. Here are a few of my favourites:
Graphic cushions, lampshades, prints and cards by Helen Minns
Jolie-laide graphic cushions, deckchairs, cards, linens and bags by Thornback & Peel
Last but certainly not least, one of my favourite designers Abigail Brown, with her beyond gorgeous birds, creatures and cards. If I could ever have such a cohesive range, distinct style and happy aesthetic as Abigail I'd be happy!
I was very excited at lunchtime today to make a pilgrimage to our post office sorting depot to pick up a parcel that I've been dying to open... it was two Paume books, which I've had my eye on (the whole series in fact, not any particular issue) for a while, and had seen in the Ella Doran shop but had stupidly assumed I could just get [cheaper] from Amazon. Well, it turns out they're quite elusive, and although I know you can order them from the Yvestown Shop, I was reluctant to pay too much on postage, so the kind girls at Ella Doran agreed to send a couple to me as I didn't know when I'd be able to get to the shop, and here they are.
Very inspiring, and the unintelligible Japanese characters just seem to add to the charm. I suppose it's quite refreshing to be able to make up your own mind about the pictures without someone else's copy getting in the way. Now I want London Ateliers, Appartements de fille à Paris, Stockholm's Apartments... like I said, any of them will do nicely!!
I've finally finished off a series of nine dolls that I've been working on for quite a while, in fits and starts. I've put three of them on Etsy, joining my bears and paper dolls, and am glad to have a bit of a collection on there now. The dolls are called Isabel, Penelope and Coco, and are three sisters with very different personalities and looks.
When I was thinking about making these dolls, and doing a bit of preliminary doodling, I drew this picture of a doll on a bookshelf with Penguin books (seem to have something of a preoccupation with these), and I found the drawing a couple of days ago and thought I'd set up the picture in real life seeing as I had everything to hand...
The other day I went to Ikea to buy a couple of picture frames, thinking I'd be in and out in 15 minutes, but of course you can't just buy two things in Ikea, and it's like a shopping Bermuda Triangle. So, I ended up an hour or so later in a bit of a daze handing over £40 at the checkout and hauling my haul back home. The best things were some lengths of fabric. You cut your own whatever length you like, and then they weigh it to price it up.
These are the ones I bought, and although they haven't left their packaging yet, I'm fully intending on running up some cushion covers to freshen up our sitting room. Sometime.
I love the Penguin Classics homewares, and have a couple of the cups which are my favourites to drink coffee out of. A while ago I saw canvases (screenprinted?) in The Conran Shop, which were nice and big and just so good looking. But I think they cost around £100, which was a bit much really. So, a few months ago I decided to make my own version. I couldn't decide which existing title to use, so I used a film title which I've always loved the sound of - The Beat That My Heart Skipped.
Then, last weekend my friend was having a birthday/housewarming party so I painted her a smaller version - Home Sweet Home! I've also posted them on the Living Etc. See What I Made forum, where each month someone wins some vouchers for the most inspiring show-and-tell post.
Having set up an Etsy page last year, stocked with some of my bears and a few paintings, then having sold the bears in real life rather than virtually, I've had a bit of a hiatus. But I've just restocked with 3 bears and 4 paper dolls, which are new little papier maché characters I'm trying out. Having a digital camera of my own makes all that so much easier - like posting on here - so I'm now dedicated to making some sales and keeping the shop going!! We'll see how it goes...
Blue beeb bear
Blue and pink paper dolls
I've become really keen on making gifts for friends/family's birthdays rather than buying them. Although it's generally cheaper, it is a lot more time consuming but that feels so much nicer, like you've properly put some effort into it. It's almost too easy to pop to a shop and hand over your card.
A friend of mine recently got an iPhone, which she adores, and which was being temporarily housed in an old glasses case. So I decided to make her a new case for it, which is here.
It's slightly padded, and nice and colourful. My first attempt would have been way too small, and lies abandoned and unfinished by my sewing machine, and in fact this one is slightly too big, and could probably do with a popper or some velcro, but it seems to be doing the job as far as I know!
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was going for an interview as a teacher in a primary school. The day before, when she was preparing her lesson plan, she realised she needed some finger puppets. It was a Sunday, and hard to know where to go for finger puppets, so I offered to make some for her. So, I made some bear-type creatures by sewing round some paper cut outs, then painting on a face, some ears and some different patterns. They're barely bears (!), but I was quite pleased with them!!