Monday 25 October 2010

German inspiration and sneak peek

I was recently given this German book by a good illustrator friend. She bought it on her travels in Berlin and it's full of illustrations of German 'types' of people - very up my street as I've always been fascinated with stereotypes which formed the basis of a lot of my work as a student.
I just think the combination of type, colours and illustrations are really different and interesting and the colour combinations are really unusual but work really well. It reminds me to look at all my other books on the book shelf which sit there gathering dust when they should be being looked at and inspiring me.
Also here's a little sneak peek of the new card designs I've been working on. They're Mother's and Father's day cards - very early I know (that's the result of working with bigger retailers - more on that to come). I'm really pleased with the results and it just goes to show I'm working and designing quicker and quicker these days - designing 5 cards and printing samples took less time than ever. I'm getting speedier! I'll post the full designs in all their glory soon.

Saturday 23 October 2010

I know this isn't strictly work-related but the lovely cold sunny autumn weather has inspired me to bake and make lots of home-made things. In the last week or two I've made sloe gin, spiced apple chutney and the other day I made Yorkshire Parkin. This treacly gingery lovely cake/loaf is simple to make and Yorkshire in origin - what more could you want. It so perfectly suits the weather and season right now. I snapped this picture when it was not long out the oven - I know it has a large crater in the middle - think I opened the oven at a crucial point - it still tasted good though!
It didn't last long once my daughter, twin nephews etc....... had all sampled a piece. I'll have to get baking again. What shall I do this time I wonder....?
The recipe I used was the following:

Ingredients -
225g/4oz self raising flour
110g/40z caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
200ml/7fl oz milk
55g/2oz butter
110g/4oz golden syrup

Preparation -
1. Preheat the oven to 150c/300f/gas 2. Line a tin.
2. Sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
3. In a small pan gently heat the butter and syrup until melted.
4. Beat the egg into the milk
5. Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir. The mixture will be thick
6. Pour in the egg and milk and stir until smooth and pour into a lined tin
7. Bake for 1 hour (mine needed 5-10 mins extra)

Enjoy with a cup of tea of course.

Thursday 14 October 2010

coffee + cake + elle dec

I get very few moments to sit down and look at a magazine these days so when Elle Decoration plops through the letter box every month it's always quite a treat for me. It's a bit of a ritual to save it until I have a minute to look at it properly (preferably with a cup of coffee in my favourite mug and a piece of cake!) I always have a look through the whole thing and then keep re-visiting it to look at different parts. It arrived last week but I'm still looking at it. I love looking at the lovely pics of peoples homes and always find inspiring colours and patterns in there. Having worked in homes/interiors shops for the best part of 6 years before becoming fully self-employed I developed a huge interest in interiors and find it connects with the work I do today. I often see a colour palette, photo of something in someone's home or see a new product which focuses me and keeps me motivated and inspired. And I like to stack them all away for future perusal on an uninspired day.

Monday 4 October 2010

Sunshine = print shoot

After waiting all last week for a bit of sunshine it finally came out long enough on Saturday morning for me to photograph prints for my website. Nothing too fancy - I just wanted some decent shots. Unfortunately I still don't have the worlds best camera (something I think I need to invest in) and therefore I think the results could have been better but they do the job I hope.

The two 30 x 40cm prints ('The Best Is Yet To Come' and 'Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid') are both hand screen printed in a signed edition of 100. They're packaged in tissue and a sturdy cardboard tube. They are now available to buy in my shop along with the Mini prints (shown at the bottom). Mini Prints is a set of three 13x18cm hand pulled screen prints. They come packaged in a lovely brown kraft folder bound in red and white twine. Dare I say they would make a lovely gift or even Christmas present!

I will be adding more new products to my shop in the coming weeks in readiness for the festive season. Due to Christmas card orders I start thinking about Christmas back in June but I don't really mention it much to those around me for fear of annoying them greatly. I always think that come October it's a bit more acceptable to mention it. Or perhaps not?!

On another note - anyone who may be wondering about my new website (is there anyone doing that? - I somehow doubt it very much!) it's still very much under construction but we are working on it and it will be a very exciting day in the (hopefully very) near future when I can actually announce it is done.