We aren't having a family holiday as such this summer (due to various work deadlines) however, I am making sure we have the odd family day out so a few days ago we had a spontaneous day trip to Cornwall. We got up early and drove all the way to Marazion. It felt like a true holiday and although we were back by 10 o'clock, it had felt like we'd been away for a few days and was just the real break we all needed. Here are some snap shots. We managed to spend some time at Marazion on the beach overlooking St Mounts's Bay. We wandered around the various little art galleries and streets with beautiful painted white cottages and had a cream tea overlooking the sea. We also went to one of my favourite all time places for lunch - Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Gulval which has the most beautiful views, lovely contemporary building, superb tropical gardens and happens to be next to my favourite garden nursery specialising in succulents.
Am so excited to be able to announce that my adult colouring book that I've been working on for the past few months is going to be published next April by Pavilion books. This is going to be my third book published by Pavilion, the first one being Fun With Fabric and the second Creative Craft With Kids. It's been hard to keep this new book a secret the past 6 months - I've been drawing every day in my garden studio and various cafes around South Devon - here are a few snap shots of illustrations in progress from over the past few months.
One of the best things about living in Kingsbridge, Devon is that we're only ten minutes drive to one of my favourite ever beaches - South Milton Sands. The area is owned by the National trust and is stunningly beautiful. There is a tiny but superb wooden beach cafe offering award winning food with spectacular views. Here are a few snap shots from my walk this evening.
I bought a cellophane bag of wooden puzzle pieces the other day in Oxfam for 49p and have been wondering what to do with them! I remember them as a child and still love the primary bold colours. I suddenly had the idea that I wanted to make a bracelet with the vintage pieces. This is how I did it!
I added small pen dots to the corners of each piece and then used a very small drill to drill the holes.
I then took two pieces of elastic and started threading them through the holes - initially just as two lines until I discovered crossing over looked quite good!
As I've got quite wide wrists, I figured I needed 4 square pieces to fit. I kept a pair of scissors handy as whenever the ends of the elastic frayed, I trimmed them a bit.
I got my partner Jim to tie the bracelet around my wrist and knot the ends before trimming.
I couldn't not let our eight year old daughter have a play too - she decided on a whole new style and without any help, did the following. All I need to do is find some more of the puzzle pieces to make more! Does anyone know the name of these?
I was thrilled when Mollie Makes asked me if I would like to be a takeover guest on Pinterest and Instagram for a few days. I've been a huge Mollie Makes fan right from the very first issue. Here's a snap shot of just some of my back issues that I have on my studio shelf! They've followed me during three house moves!
Before Mollie Makes was launched, I always felt there was a gap in the market for a cool trendy magazine and it seemed to coincide with the increased popularity of blogs, Facebook and Pinterest. I've been lucky enough to have had my work featured in at least 7 Mollie Makes issues to date and my favourite one was when I designed the free cover gift of a small red sausage dog to sew. I still have a spare copy with the gift stuck to the magazine front!
Here's a photo of me from years ago when I was featured in my Brighton home - this was the upstairs room my creative career started in! If you look closely, I was putting together some screen prints along with retro and vintage fabrics to sell in a local shop in the lanes called Appendage. I still have the Orla Kiely wallpaper covered cupboard with sliding doors (originally from Ikea) and my favourite green and white striped Orla Kiely dress. Oh, and I still have the white Mac Lamp that I bought from Brighton Boot Sale!
The photo below shows some of the Mid Century Modern fabric cushions I used to make and sell in my early days. This was how I first started out - I was obsessed with collecting as many different patterns from the 50s and 60s that I could find and would get a real buzz if I was lucky enough to find some original Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler or Terence Conran. (I was such a fabric geek!)
I've really enjoyed adding more purses to my existing range this week. All of these are hand screen printed and made by me in my Devon studio - each one has originated from my illustrations. They can be found on my Etsy shop here.http://etsy.me/1W0RfQu
Those of you that have followed me over the past 10 years or so will know that I have loved collecting fabric. I used to make and sell vintage fabric cushions before I started to take my new career more seriously. Gradually, my time has gone over to illustrating and screen printing and I no longer spend hours (and often days!) searching over the internet trying to source the fabrics I like, staying up to some ridiculous hour to win eBay bids buying fabric from countries with a different time zone etc.. I still love fabric but have a new rule with myself - unless I'm going to use it or enjoy it in some way on a daily basis, I cannot keep hoarding it! We moved got our current 60s home nearly 2 years ago now and have only limited wall space for pictures and framed pieces of fabric. (Our previous home a 4 storey town house that was more spacious for displaying more items).It seems a shame that I have a few suit cases full of fabric that I don't get out and enjoy so my life now moves on and I'm going to part with some of them. I've decided to open 'Vintage' shop section in my Etsy shop this coming May 5th at 8pm. I shall be listing very special fabrics from my collection that although hard to part with, I know will go to good homes for others to enjoy. Much of the fabric will be rare Mid Century pieces - all originals (I know some of these have been re-produced in the past few years but mine are all from the 50s and 60s). Here are some snap shots of examples of what I shall be listing - some yellow Marian Mahler, some Swedish Pythagorus fabric by Sven Markelius
( an original 18 colour screen print!) and some Conran children's fabric. I shall also over the next few weeks be adding some more affordable pieces too for those of you that cannot afford the rarer pieces.
I'm thrilled to be featured in Simply Sewing Magazine this month - (Issue 16). There's a 4 page feature on me and my work and also a lampshade tutorial from my First Craft Book Fun With Fabric.
Here are some snap shots - it's a great magazine brimming with ideas and projects and is available to buy in WH Smiths and other stores.