eye candy for a jammy friday

February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

A quick heads-up to let you all know that my dear friend Aimee has a sparkly new blog right here, and it’s delicious, and you should head over there for quirky pretty stitchy things that will make you smile (and, possibly, get very excited about the versatile nature of the humble sock.).

See? Adorable. (Ideas, crafting and photography by Aimee Shellard).

illustration friday: layers

February 23, 2011 § 8 Comments

Bit of a speedy one this week as I’ve been busy with other things – I enjoy how obscenely loud her legwarmers are (and would secretly quite like some the same).

One of the things I’ve been busy with is an entry to the doodlers anonymous calendar competition. It looks like this……and I’d love you to vote for it here by finding my image and clicking on the wee asterisk that says ‘faves’. I’ll be eternally grateful (and might even be persuaded to bake you some of these!*).

She is holding a vase of snowdrops because, according to Brewer’s Dictionary, they used to be called ‘fair maids of February’.

*Yes, I know it’s unethical to bribe people with sweet things. Sorry.

just to say…

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Go here, download, close your door on the world, get out big bits of paper and sploshy inks, turn the speakers up LOUD and travel somewhere weird and marvellous without even leaving the room. Really.

Yum yum! x

a flurry of floral frocks

February 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

I am fond of weekends. I am especially fond of weekends that involve fabric and creativity and too much red lipstick and pissing about with a nice camera, and recently I had one exactly like that.

I spent it with the lovely Gina Brookes, and a collection of her beautiful handmade dresses. You will be able to snaffle one of these delectable bits of tailoring very soon (keep eyes peeled; I’ll post a link as soon as they go online), but in the meantime, here is a sneak preview:-

Dresses, photography, and making-Amy-look-like-a-proper-girl are all the work of Gina Brookes.

The featured piece of knitting is the front of my very first jumper. I am engaged in a tempestuous relationship with it due to repeated mistakes in the armpit region, but am enjoying the learning curve. Some of the time.

Keep tabs on Gina’s blog for more loveliness, and check back here for an update on where and when you can get your hands on (or your body in) one of the frocks.

Also, if you like these dresses, you might also love Bread and Jam, who do a similar thing for small people (their ‘swimming sisters’ runaway dress makes me wish I was four, just so I could fit in it!).

Ayrshire, Arran, and a handmade book

February 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve just come back from five days up in Scotland, where I got wet with rain, failed to climb Goat Fell on Arran (it was too too too misty), ate too much for breakfast, and generally had a lovely time. Here are some bits from my sketchbook…

…and here is the book itself, which I made from a pattern by Sarah Edmonds (if you fancy doing something similar, find out more here. It’s amazingly satisfying working in a book that is so completely your own thing.) When I wasn’t stomping about enjoying emptiness and mountains and ocean and sky, I went into Glasgow and then got a bus out to see the Burrell Collection. Anybody who is interested in anything and happens to be near Glasgow should definitely do the same. It is a joyous mixture of Gorgeous Things (pottery so old it made my head spin and original Degas drawings and Ming vases and Suzani embroideries from Central Asia and big awe-inspiring tapestries and tiny delicate teapots and more and more and more…) housed in a gorgeous building in the middle of a country park.

At the moment, they are also exhibiting China Through The Lens of John Thompson. I don’t know when I was last so excited by a collection of photographs – go and put them into your eyes!

Just to let you know…

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am off on a small Scottish adventure tomorrow , so won’t be posting here for a wee while. There will be sketches aplenty on my return.

Meanwhile, here is a blackberry-cosy I made yesterday in kid-leather and scraps of felt. (Apologies for awful photo)

If you think your technology might like one, get in touch – commissions are always welcome.

illustration friday: reverse

February 8, 2011 § 3 Comments

I’ve been reading plenty of poetry this week, which creeps into my drawing. In particular this one’s inspired by Esta Spalding’s description of a character rowing out, in love with the ocean “To find the sea she had to turn her back to it, / stroke” (I like this idea of having to reverse blindly into vastness, trusting that your destination exists, unseen, over your shoulder.), and by Deryn Rees-Jones’ What It’s Like To Be Alive , which begins with the night sky and ends with the line “A boat rowed off the edge of the world.”

The Esta Spalding quote, by the way, is from her long poem August. As well as rowing women, it contains a trio of lovely stanzas that reference Chris McCandless’ journal from the months of his life that have now become Into the Wild. I’d recommend reading John Krakauer’s book if you’re interested – it’s engaging and well-researched, and doesn’t have the moments of mawkish sentimentality that mar the film.

Because Valentine’s day approaches, and because I love them shamelessly, here they are. (And yes. I know. Hopelessly sentimental. Poems are allowed to be.)

from August by Esta Spalding

I read the journal of the boy who starved

to death on the other side of a river

under trees grown so old he would not feed them

to a signal fire. His last entry:

August 12 Beautiful Blueberries!

 

Everything I say about desire or

hunger is only lip service

in the face of it.

 

Still there were days I know

your mouth gave that last taste of blue.

 

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