Like a pig in…

Clover!

You thought I was going to write something else then didn’t you? 😀

May and early June was a busy month on the old mouse front which I’m over the moon about but I was worried that I would bore myself to the point of not wanting to do anymore so I’ve taken a bit of a break from them.

I met a really, really lovely lady last week who runs a fabulous shop in Aberdeen called Peapod! It’s full of vintage treasures from teacups to sewing paraphernalia. She gave me absolutely tons of Tweed in all sorts of sumptuous colours so I’ve been experimenting with different little creatures, including owls and pigs. Yes, bit of a random leap there but everyone loves a pig!


Those back legs were tricky (and still are if the truth be told) but I’m getting there and I’m not a fan of perfection anyway!

I’ll be working on this site over the next few days/weeks, it really needs a shake up and I’m hoping to have some lovely new logos to show you soon as well. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter, where you’ll get some tasty offers and maybe the odd pattern or two over the next few months!

Be Happy x

I should have started sketching years ago…

I mean, I’ve always doodled or drawn, whether it’s quick sketches or filling in a notepad page while chatting on the phone but with my work, I tend to just have an idea in my head and go from there. Most of my birds have taken shape properly, after a third or fourth pattern attempt. But recently, after making several little birds with butterfly applique, I had the grand idea of trying to put my little birds onto a stamp and using that for lavender bags. This idea hasn’t panned out, although I still have the Speedball linocut block at the ready, just in case.

I was sketching and colouring in one of my birds when I started sketching a mouse.

 

And the rest they say…is history. I have been having a blast, working on improving the shapes, making the bases neater and easier. I’ve also improved the shape I think.

 

I really thought this would be it but my brain has been working overtime and I’ve been adding more and more work to these little mice, giving them real characters. Here’s a few of the most popular ones.

 

Last but not least, I also made some small Angel Mice. These lovely little mice were so nice to make and it was a really special thing for me to know that they were bought by people as reminders or gifts for people who had lost loved family or friends.

 

I’ll add these to my portfolio page and will continue to do so as I add more variations. If you are interested in any of my mice or birds but can’t see any on my Etsy shop, please send me a message on my FB page and I’ll see what I can do . Some of these mice sell very quickly, within a

 

Have a great weekend x

Keeping busy…

I have found my creative mojo. There’s no telling how long I’ll keep it for this time so I’m making the most of every day!

As you know, I already design my own patterns for my larger embellished birds, like the peacock, swan etc. Lots of trial and error goes into those birds, even after I’ve used the pattern many times I’m still tweaking and adjusting.

swan main

But with my little birds, it was pure laziness that kept me going back to the fabulous pattern that started all of this, the Ann Wood Handmade pattern.

I had a massive clean up of my craft room, which had (to my shame) got in a bit of a state in recent months. It meant that I rediscovered so many different fabrics that I knew I needed to start using them or it was just a waste. It was this that got me fiddling around with paper and fabric to work on my own pattern. It’s very basic because I prefer the decoration aspect rather than the construction.

I know that my larger birds are out of the price range of many people (me included to be honest) but because of the sheer amount of work and hours that goes into them, I can’t realistically charge a small amount. I wanted to make a bird that can be affordable to most.

My first diversion with the birds has been to use fabric with lovely images on and incorporate them into the design. I had some gorgeous butterfly and peacock fabrics which were perfect.

Unfortunately I have a limited amount of these fabrics and the fabric shop that I use is low on them as well, so I’ll be sourcing more of this type of pattern.

My little ‘Birds and the Bees’ range has come into being purely by accident. I managed to find a shape that I was happy with and was messing around with putting embroidery on the bird itself when I realised that maybe the wings would be a better canvas. This resulted in my first, a vibrant green bird with a little ladybird on the wing.

ladybird 1

This has turned into quite a collection of birds with embellishment as you can see below.

Both of these collections have sold very quickly and I know that some of you have missed out. I will be making more of different fabric and embroidery combinations but if you see a design that you like, send me a message on Facebook (you’ll also find more images of the birds on there) and I’ll see what I can do. Remember, it won’t be exactly the same, the shape will differ and I will make the embroidery slightly different so that each bird retains it’s uniqueness.

You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and of course on my Etsy shop, where I currently have a few birds and where I try to upload a bird on a regular basis at the moment.

So, make the most of my creative mojo, it’ll likely be moving on soon!!!

Birds, birds, birds…

How are we in the middle of January already? We had snow for about three days last week but the same came out on Sunday and it was gone in a flash. Apparently we are heading for temperatures of 8 or 9 this week, with some sunshine so I’m planning to steam clean the patio and sort out my potting shed ready for planting some seeds. That’s going to involve putting the window and the door back on my greenhouse after those high winds last week though! 😀

Painting wise has involved me experimenting with feathers and fur! I’ve tried to incorporate some of the techniques I’ve learned with Anna Mason’s tutorials, they have proved to be invaluable and I will continue to recommend her online school to anyone who is interested in trying watercolours.

Flamingos are a favourite of mine, I’ve made quite a few in the last couple of years so it was only natural that I’d attempt one. I’m really happy with the feather work, not sure if the images are good enough to show the detail but there are LOTS of tiny brush strokes. I think the beak could do with a bit of work but I’ll go back to that at some point.

 

Someone suggested a puffin because of the beak, we all love puffins, they are real characters.

 

I’m having a few problems capturing the silveryness of the fish but I’m thinking of adding a bit of silver ink to it, that’s cheating isn’t it? I’m giving each layer of work, time to dry and also giving myself time away from the paintings so that I can go back to them with a fresh eye.

The other painting I’ve been working on, is a present for my husband. He’s not on Facebook so he won’t see the photo. It’s my attempt at painting one of our first dogs, Archie. Archie was this gorgeous little Jack Russell who we lost in the spring of 2001, 16 years ago but he is still a big memory for us. This is a very difficult painting for me as it’s one thing to paint a bird or flower from photos because it’s impersonal and easy to be happy with the result. As I work on this one, I’m finding so many errors and issues because I knew that little dog so, so well, it’s harder to capture his essence and personality. I know it’s at the early stages so I’m not giving myself too hard a time but even so it’s quite difficult.

img_2362

So far, I’m happy with the left eye! LOL

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing this week…..

Happy New Year….

2017? Where did that come from so quickly?

2016 was a difficult year for so many people and for the world as a whole. Did it seem like the world had gone crazy to you?

I spent a chunk of it trying to nurse a bad back and by the time that was semi normal, battling the total lack of motivation that seems to have settled deep into my bones. While I did manage to create a stunning Jamaican Hummingbird and a few robins, nothing much was really achieved.

hummingbird, 3d textile bird

 

I’m not making any resolutions this year except to be kinder to and less critical of myself and my work. I was given some beautiful watercolours by the husband and I’ve signed up to a few months of tutorials from Anna Mason‘s wonderful online school. I’m hoping to be able to kickstart my motivation and creativity. Yes, I’ll be using it mainly for birds 🙂

I have space for some commissions from mid January, so if you are interested in any of my birds, please let me know, you can send me a message via my facebook page, link is on the right of the page.

I hope you all have a fantastic 2017 and that it is kind to you. Be everything that you can be and whatever you choose to be……be a good one.

x