Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Anonymous Travelling Market

I have been to the ATM (what it's called for short)  twice, twice is definitely not enough! It's such a lovely happy place. It is, as the name suggests a travelling market, that tours Dorset. When you enter, it's just like being at a little festival for the day, there's music, art, delicious food, great things for the kids to do and lots of other lovely delights which pop up around the place.

We have been when the market has pitched up at Dean's Court in Wimborne and at the Larmer Tree gardens, both beautiful sites. And the ATM has made the already stunning locations even better. There's loads of space for the kids to run about (my two loved it). You can lounge in the sun, listen to some local music, meet some great people, eat some yummy food, and treat yourself to somethig lovely for your home, or a present for a friend, which they are bound to love as you won't find things like you find there on your usual high street.

Last time, we picked up a vintage scooter, which has featured in my scooter ribbon adverts, and is super cool. My little boy loves being pushed around on it.

And, very excitingly, I'm going to have a pitch at the next one (at the Larmer Tree Gardens on the 23rd March). Really, really looking forward to it. Why don't you come too?

Ribbons, Any Place, Any Time.

Today the bike riding was in the living room! Check out these two little video clips, 'Ribbons' even work indoors!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas and a Box of Stock

A while ago I hadn't really ever thought of designing cards. Yes, I always love to draw and paint, I would do a bit for fun, paintings for friends and family, but most evenings I would just relax, watch some tv, have a chat and so on.

Nowadays, it's a different story. I have started the cards, and seem to have opened the idea flood gates! Every day I have new ideas, what ever I'm doing I am constantly thinking of what design might work well on a card, what different people are into, what hobbies they do, what cards people find it hard to find, and how I could maybe think of some ideas to fill those gaps. Some times a random image just pops into my head, and I just have to get it down on paper. I really like it, it's fun.

And now I have a box of stock! All full of my cards, all that I designed! Very exciting, I have 29 designs, and lots more where they came from.

Inspired by 'Campfire' and a comment my sister in law made about the fox, rabbit and hedgehog needing a tv show, we (my husband and I) have set about writing a children's story featuring the characters on the card. Judging by my daughter's reaction of 'keeping going Daddy, what happened next?' as Pete made up the story as we drove to a friend's house the other day, it may be a goer, so watch this space!

It seems that one thing leads to another, and another and another, and so far, it's working out very nicely.

Monday, 25 February 2013

I Believe in Unicorns

New idea for card and print.

Art Club Launch getting Closer.

I picked up my after school art club flyers from the printers today. Am really pleased with them, so will be posting them this week round the neighbourhood. Fingers crossed there are some budding artists around  who want to attend.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Art with my children (and husband who really enjoyed it too!)

This morning was Sunday morning, and as we were all at home and free for the morning, we decided to do some sponge printing. Pete was on hand to help out too, which was great- an extra pair of hands to make sure most of the paint ends up on the paper is always helpful.

When painting is mentioned in our house, our children are always very enthusiastic, so out came the paint, sponges, paper, aprons....and we were off!

Like Collage, sponges are brilliant, you can get great effects with them, and they come and can be made into all sorts of different shapes, so my two love using them, and make some lovely pictures with them.

Pete joined in too, and he doesn't get to do much painting, so it was really more like having three children doing art togeher instead of just 2!

We all had lots of fun with the sponges and later on, brushes, rollers.fingers and what ever else they found to paint with! Most of the paint ended up on the paper, some of it on Henry too!

The finished masterpieces!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

What's The Worst That Could Happen?

Well we've had a busy half term week, and inbetween play dates, some shopping and lots of playing I had a day to myself yesterday. My two lovely children were having a great time at my Aunty's for the day (which my daughter was incredibly excited about, and from reports back, it lived up to expectations!). And I went on the road with my cards.

First stop, Dorchester. It is quite scary going into shops and asking if they would like to stock your products, but I thought, well they are already in some shops, so those people like them, and if they like them, surely some others will too! What's the worst that could happen? They say no, right? So I went for it with my little wicker box of cards. It was freezing, but I met some lovely shop owners, and got lots of good feedback, gave out lots of business cards, got some good interest and a really good order for 78 cards woohoo!

And for the ones who didn't order (yet!) at least they know I exist now. As the day went on I got less worried about approaching shop owners, as all of them were lovely, we are living under a 'sky full of kindness' after all. I got to see some beautiful little Dorset towns, Sherborne and Shaftesbury are definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, and I did well resisiting buying toys for my children from some amazing little toy shops (this was very hard!).

So all in all a good day. And I came out of it happy, braver and with a good order for my cards.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

New Ideas

Well it's quite late, but I'm on a roll. It is very unusual that I'm the last one up in the house, but tonight is one of those rare nights. Thought I'd write a little blog to end the day.

I have finished a few designs for some new cards,




any comments welcomed! Night night x

Art with Children- collage!

We do lots of art at home, my children and I that is. They always really enjoy it and so do I, the tidying up, not so much, but the art is great! 

This morning we decided to do some sticking, so I thought I'd share it with you. If you have seen the paintings and collage on my website, you will know that I love a bit of sticking! So do my kids, and most other kids from my experience of teaching nursery and reception.

 So we got out the tissue paper and pritt stick and got to it. 

I got the tissue paper shapes from 'Yellow Moon' but any paper will do, we also used cut up card and doilies, and we used pritt stick this time, a lot less messy than pva (although that's fun too sometimes). The thing  about collage with these bright shapes is it's really effective, and the children can make a large piece of art very quickly and easily.

I helped my little boy with putting the glue on and then adding the shapes, he is learning colours at the moment, although most things are usually blue, so it was good to practise that too. He loved it. 

My daughter is older and very into cutting with her new scissors, so she cut out tiny little bits and sandwiched them between other pieces of card, then made some fish with the tissue paper shapes.

This is my son's finished masterpiece!

And this is my daughter's.

We had a lovely time!

Monday, 18 February 2013

I just can't seem to stop drawing...

I think drawing has become a bit of obsession lately! It doesn't feel right these days, spending an evening without a pencil, paintbrush or pen in my hand.

The other evening, I thought to myself, I'm just going to have a sit on the sofa, whatch some tv and chill out, and I think I lasted until about 8.30 before I had to go and get some paper and a pen and draw something! It worked out well though, I did a picture for my cousin's new baby girl which I have now given them, and they are very pleased with.

Not that I'm complaining, I love it!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Sky Full of Kindness

When you're just getting on with everyday things and rushing about seeing people, doing jobs, having a cup of tea, playing, drawing and so on, you forget there's a whole, great big world out there, with people doing similar things, getting on with life.

Well I had an email from Australia which reminded me there are some lovely people out there. It made me think of a beautiful book I got given for my birthday last year by Rob Ryan (whose art work is stunning) called 'A Sky Full of Kindness'.

Well, one of my card orders had ended up at the wrong place as the recipient had typed their address slightly wrong. So the parcel may well have just been put to one side, or got rid of, but instead the lovely lady got in touch with me, and I was able to sort it out and the cards ended up in the right place after all!

Just made me happy there are some really brilliant people out there.

And if you need a present for anyone, go for 'A Sky Full of Kindness', it's a lovely story!

Finished Fish

Had a lovely arty morning at Claudia's pre-school, making lots of rainbow fish, the kids loved it. Here's a pic of how they looked...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Art Club coming soon...

I am planning on opening an after school art club at home soon for children 4 years and over, so this evening I have been working on a flyer to let people know about it round here, here it is...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Blue for Boys

Finished the design for this one this evening, what a busy day. Cards coming soon, off to printers tomorrow!

What a Lovely Day!

Today has been a very happy day, and I liked it so much!

Firstly, Claudia, Henry and I went to our local music class which they always enjoy. So a good start. After lunch we made our way to Boscombe to meet my friends and have a look around the new premises for 'Loft and Print'. We were shown around by Neil and Jill, who have some awesome ideas for the place and it's really exciting. I got a good feel for some great creative stuff happening down in Boscombe. Once it is up and running I will definitely be going down to give printmaking a go, so look out for more cards, print style!
Next we checked out the scrap project next door, my son and daughter thought it was heaven! So much to look at, including lots of sparkly things, right up our street, and will come in very handy when I start my after school art club (still at planning stages at the mo.) A must visit for anyone who likes doing anything arty, it will inspire you no end.
I had also promised Claudia a hot chocolate, so we headed to 'Bosconova', a really cool cafe round the corner from the above 2 places. And we weren't disappointed, as soon as we walked in,vthere was a relaxed friendly vibe, the place had a lovely relaxed style about it. Needless to say we all really liked it. We spent a good few hours in there drinking fresh mint tea, hot chocolate and playing with toy cars, which doubled up as raisin delivery vans (its a long story). I recommend this place to anyone looking for a friendly chilled out cup of something yummy, we will definitely be going back!

Next was Ballet for Claudia, very pink and very sweet, she loves it!

And the reason I am blogging so late, is that I have spent the last hour or so cutting out fish, as I am heading 'back to school' tomorrow to help at Claudia's pre school make rainbow fish with her class, should be a good morning. Will blog some photos of the finished fish tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I got a nice surprise this morning, when I checked my email and found an order for the card 'Thankyou for looking after my...' all the way from Australia! This is my 2nd recent order from down under and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they really catch on out there and then we will need to book a business trip in!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Cupcakes and Art (and Salty Dog)

Today has been a good day! Firstly it was Saturady, and I love the weekend, when we can all be together (Pete, Claudia, Henry and I) and have a lovely time.

I dropped my ribbons off at Lulubelles in Canford Cliffs. It is such a beautiful shop, and looks like the cafe next door, which is opening on Monday is going to be great too. And that's where my ribbons will be for sale, very exciting. I think my daughter and I will have to head down there next week for a cup of tea and piece of cake.

This evening we had to watch a new show on c beebies called 'Old Jack's Boat', I don't mind watching this at all, as I am quite in love with the dog in it 'Salty Dog' and I hope one day we will have a dog just like her!

Thirdly, I have finished a design for a new birthday card. My little boy loves all things boyish! Tractors, trucks, diggers, trains, you name it. If it's got wheels, you can bet he'll like it. So this card design is inspired by him, and will hopefully be popular with other boys too.

Keep an eye on to see it as a card very soon.

Friday, 8 February 2013

How One Thing Can Lead To Another

As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to the 'Design Your Career' conference last weekend, and left fully inspired. One of the reasons for this was listening to people tell their stories of how they have made a real success of their small business, which has gone from strength to strength with a lot of hard work and usually a bit of luck. It made it all seem so much more achievable, if they can do it, so can I!

One of the speeches was by Luisa of Lulubelles cupcakes, it was really inspiring to hear her story. One of the things she talked about was her new cafe opening next week, and that she would have some space for some gifts to sell  in the cafe. When she said this, my scooter ribbons came to mind. Then her talk finished and the next one was about to start, which I really wanted to listen to. I was torn, sitting in the dark lecture theatre, do I stay and listen or get up and show Luisa my ribbons. I think I waited a few more minutes, then got up and just caught Luisa before she left. She seemed to like the ribbons and I was so pleased I got up from my seat, I still made it back to hear most of the talk.

So today I sent an email with pictures and details of the ribbons, typed one handed as my little boy would not let me put him down, to Lulubelles. And I heard back pretty quickly that she liked them and there was one more space on her new shelves, hooray! Just got in in time again. So I'm taking them down to the cafe tomorrow, fingers crossed they like them in 'the flesh'. So if you need a pair of ribbons for your bike or scooter, fancy a cupcake and are in Canford Cliffs, head to Lulubelles new cafe.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Secretly Buying Wicker Baskets

Since I have been creating my cards, I have been out and about, going to various different shops that I think may be interested in stocking them. I have been heading mostly to shops that I really enjoy shopping in, and been pleasantly surprised and very pleased that some of them have decided to add some of my designs to their lovely collections.

I have been drawing away, and I now have quite a big range of cards (well from when I first started anyway), and wondering round towns in Dorset, with a portfolio folder with all my stock in was getting to be quite a work out.....So recently I have started taking just one example of each card along with me and taking orders from there.

So, I thought, it would be very nice to have a lovely box to take my cards along in. So this is where the wicker comes in. I am quite a fan  of wicker, and my children's toys are stored in a range of wicker baskets in our front room. Following this, I have had quite a few conversations with my husband about the increasing amount of wicker in our house (he is not such a fan), which my 3 year old daughter has over heard. It has now come to be that whenever we see any wicker baskets, before I have even expressed an interest in buying them, I get sternly told by my daughter 'NO MORE WICKER BASKETS MUMMY!'. So when I decided a lovely box for my cards was what I needed, I also had to pick a time when I could go out by myself to buy this box, which of course was a wicker basket, so I would not get told off by my daughter!

So my cards are now in my lovely new wicker basket, which I'm afraid to say, did get seen by my daughter, and yes, I did get very told off for breaking the rules. But then again, what are rules for?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Pink for Girls

Here it is. a very pink card! stage 2 and 3. Will get it printed soon, so keep a look out on my website next week. A blue one for boys coming up too.....

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

New Card Idea

Today, after such a productive day, and evening yesterday (i was up till late making labels for my new ribbons) I have been thinking about some new little people arriving in the world at the moment, there seem to be quite a few. My cousin has had a beautiful baby girl, our neighbour has also had a beautiful baby girl and some friends are due to have their beautiful babies pretty soon too.

All these babies has set me thinking that I do not have a 'New Baby' card. Since I have been designing my own cards, I have stopped buying cards, as I prefer to make them myself. Not that I don't like other people's designs, in fact some other designs I find are just so lovely. It's just that I like drawing and designing them myself so very much. So this is a sketch for a 'New Baby' card I am going to complete later on this evening I think. I find it quite difficult to spend an evening not drawing or making something these days, it may be becoming a little bit of an obsession, but I'm fine with that. Time passes so nicely when I'm making things.

Monday, 4 February 2013

See how Pretty Ride Ons can be

We set up, she rode, she scooted, the ribbons blew in the wind.....Henry decided to just take it all in, take a look!
You can make your bike or scooter look this good too.

A Ribbons Kind of a Day

Today, following my inspiring weekend, I plan to get started photgraphing and videoing my scooter and bike ribbons! I have enlisted the help of my daughter, her bike and scooter. She has a good selection of ribbons, needless to say, but she will be helping me make a little video clip of them in action.
Scooter and bike ribbons to be updated on my new website later, watch this space

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Totally Inspired

Hi, this is my first blog post, and I am writing to tell you about my art. It's thanks to a drawing I entered into a competition at a lovely shop called 'Number 83' in Westbourne which stocks some of my bike cards, that I have just experienced a truly inspiring weekend.  From entering the competion, my illustration of how art makes me happy, I won a ticket to the 'Design Your Career' conference in Bournemouth.
It has been an awesome 2 days. I missed my 2 children, I think it's the longest I have been away from them since my son was born 18 months ago, but they were Iin good hands with their Daddy and Grandad. So off I went and listened to some fantastic talks from the likes of Patricia van den Akker, Nicholas John Frith, Kresse Wesling and Wayne Hemingway to name a few (these were my favourites). Most of the people who spoke to us had a great story to tell, and more often than not had started from where i am now, with some art, some ideas and ambition.
Now, to me it all seems possible. With my cards, collages, prints, cushions, unicorns and other animals and insects and lots more to come. I know I can make a real go of it, get out there, find some more admirers for my creations and make a bit of money along the way.
So thank you Number 83 for having a competition, I'm so glad I entered. And thanks craft coffee cake for sorting out such a great, inspiring weekend.
Bring on the art, I'm ready!
competition entry