Wednesday, 19 December 2012
At last! I've come to the end of the pile of orders had to be posted before tomorrow and I finished a day earlier than I'd expected! I secretly hoped I would as I wanted to be able to fully relax tonight as I am off out to the Gunton Arms to meet up with three girlfriends to talk business. Sort of. It's our Christmas party :)
We've set up a bijou business group to give each other support. So far we have two analytical types and two creative types so there's a good balance.
I love this time of year because it although I am so very tired from all the late nights and early mornings working in the last 6 weeks I have a huge sense of achievement and every year feel ready for a change. Out with the old in with the new. Plans are afoot and it will involve a massive amount of work on my part and a clear head but I am determined. Somehow I have to find time to tackle the garden too, so it resembles less of a wasteland.
I left Instagram and Facebook today. I'm going to see how life is without Facebook for at least 6 months to a year, I know I will miss a lot of people but many of them are on Twitter or I could actually see or phone in 2013! This was prompted by their now retracted 'new' terms in which they seemed to claim that unless you deleted your Instagram account by Jan 16th then you were granting them rights to all your photos. I really dislike this high-handed careless way "they" (they being Facebook who now own Instagram) go about things. So although this is retracted now I feel disgruntled and don't feel inclined to let them store anymore of my messages, interactions and photos. When you die what happens to all that? It stays in their archives. I think that might change in their future, what a minefield storing people's virtual lives forever! I want to be involved in real life this year.
I used to feel slightly incredulous at friends who weren't on Facebook and now I think they are the clever ones ;).
Wishing you all a wonderful relaxing Christmas with a sprinkling of friends and a huge dose of love, Gabs
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Hello! waves from the shed! Moobaacluck commissions are taking up all my time..so I'm afraid I haven't any exciting trips to London to report just some hair-raising trips to and from the summer house in the dark and rain! I only worked until 5 today..with a break this morning for a big shop and post office dash (it has to be done). I've been dashing in and out of watching Strictly Come Dancing to write this.
I'm happy to say that orders are coming in very steadily just slightly faster than I can get them out so I always seem to have 70 -80 outstanding but have 3 or 4 weeks to get on top of them and am determined to do it. I found out that the horse door plaques are not in the second catalogue drop by Notonthehighstreet next week which I am so relieved about! Today I had a single order from Switzerland for three of them, several singles and a few others. When a single customer orders more than one I have to paint them all side by side to ensure they all look roughly the same!
[caption id="attachment_1495" align="aligncenter" width="560"] A days orders before trip to the post office...[/caption]
I have been pleased that other items throughout my range have been ordered - for sanity's sake! I love way this cat plaque order turned out, I like the colour combinations: I didn't have a sample available to view but the customer bravely ordered a ginger cat. Do hope she likes it.
Cards have been selling well and I'll be introducing more next year.
Finally put my "Baby's first Christmas" card out there and orders have started coming in; I sent one off in the post this morning with the optional printed instructions and ribbon to turn it into a decoration:
Naturally my bestsellers have been the horse plaques as they featured in the Notonthehighstreet.com brochure but these Christmas stars have been a close second in the last few weeks:
I will probably have to stop taking orders for hand painted items at the end of the first week of December but so much depends on how well I get through all the orders outstanding - that's the unnerving bit about this time of year! I hope if you're making to order that it is busy enough, but not overwhelming. You can see and buy much of my Christmas range here until November 30th or see even more in my notonthehighstreet shop.
So I'll be mostly in the studio whatever the weather until the third week of December! If I'm quiet you'll understand why.
Last weekend I had a Saturday off and spent it swapping rooms with my ten-year old son back to the room my husband and I had when my daughter was born at home just over 8 years ago. He now has the biggest room but it's also the only one with fitted carpet and he now has a space to play with his friends that's brighter and bigger. It feels like coming full circle and new chapter of life is about to start.
When you work on your own it's so easy to get carried away with what you think should be doing, pushing yourself constantly and comparing yourself to others. I'm so grateful to be busy now; it hasn't been the easiest year but the demand I've had across my range has really boosted my confidence that I am on the right path. I know what I enjoy doing most now and I shall build on what has worked next year and experiment more with my painting and stationery ranges.
I took this picture from our back doorstep this morning. It doesn't quite do the soft ashen, peachy, gauzy view justice but to me it looked like a painting. We have big skies in Norfolk.
Happy Weekends to you all.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
November 6th Part 2. To London to meet the very lovely Holly Becker aka @Decor8 and fellow #bywbootcamp bloggers
Arriving at Anthropologie at 4.50ish I realised that I needn't have worried about showing my invitation which I'd left unprinted in my email. The shop was open - naturally.
I wandered about enjoying brightly coloured confections everywhere I looked, working my way around the floors. Finally at the top I saw stacks of Holly's beautifully designed books.
This was the British press launch of Decorate Workshop: A Creative 8 Step Process For Transforming Your Home by Holly Becker with photography by Debi Treloar.
Quickly I bought one only to have the shop assistant take it away and give me a receipt instead to furnish Holly with ( so she would sign a copy later and save my arms). That was a great idea. Only I knew I'd have to leave to catch my train at 7.45.
Later when I introduced myself to Holly I had grabbed another copy and foisted it on her to sign which she very graciously did.
[caption id="attachment_1482" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Bottom right: Holly with James Leland Day - a stylist from New York whose home appears in Decorate Workshop[/caption]
I am so pleased to have made the effort to go. Like many bloggers I'd gone alone but I did know there would be at least a couple of familiar faces there. I met Fiona Humberstone for the second time, who runs a fabulous brand styling business and on line course which I highly recommend. There were oodles of blogging boot campers and other professional bloggers, a handful of whom I did manage to chat to or at least say hello to. Lady in red Tiff, Adri, Yvonne, Kirsty, Geraldine, Rona, Anna and wonderful photographer Ingrid. Let me know if I missed you out , I know I spoke to others!
Champagne and cake were served. I managed to ignore the cake, which was difficult believe me. Holly spoke about her 8 step process to guide people through decorating projects while being interviewed by the very popular Will from Bright Bazaar
James Leland Day then spoke about his approach to styling before the book signing. Sadly I then had to dash off to catch my train home to Norfolk.
On the way home I looked through Holly's wonderful book. I definitely found it inspiring. Daunting in some ways because Holly encourages you to really examine your own taste and why you like what you do. It is suggested that you write on the pages of the book and explore your own loves and translate these for your home or project. Subsequently though I found myself reassured that my own home may be messy but there are certainly many very personal quirks and beautiful things to make more of. I will enjoy working my way through and playing in earnest early next year.
Thank you for a memorable day Holly; I wouldn't have been in London had it not been for your invitation and Blogging Your Way Bootcamp.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
November the 6th - part 1. A visit to the big smoke to encounter @Decor8 and fellow #bywbootcamp ers
My purse was not in my bag.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="560"] a stationery shot I took at Liberty later that day - seems appropriate[/caption]
I'll try to keep this brief.
Tumbled home as fast as possible on heels, tore about trying to remember where purse was, found in other coat, dragged bike out of garage, cycled as fast as possible to station in my semi finery. Arrived panting, locked up bike and train arrived. Had to regale fellow travellers with exploit! SO happy to be on the train.
Once in London I jumped as I was ferreting for my Oyster card when someone touched me on the shoulder - it was my best friend from college Karen ( now a director of interior design company Brinkworth no less) ! We had intended to meet but at the Spanish Tapas bar Brindisa which her husband Howard designed the interior of. So we happily trotted off there. The food was incredible and the Spanish waiters very authentic judging by their accents :) It was so lovely to catch up with Karen - we only manage to see each other about once every 1.5 years.
About 3 hours later we parted and I pushed my way through the double doors of Liberty's stationery department , where I whiled away half an hour staring, fiddling and trying not to talk to myself before going on to my next adventure. Coming up in part 2!
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
I designed these today and really like them.Wonder if anyone else will...?
I have printed some or tonight's sale at Colby School so we shall see. I'll be making them available in my Etsy shop tonight and on Notonthehighstreet.com in my Moobaacluck shop so anyone can order them tomorrow.
Hope you are all having a good week! I've lost my voice - almost - tonight should be interesting!!!
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Looking at my work over the past few years... (not that I've been sitting leafing through it all as it likes to hide from me ;)) I do notice a few threads. One is old china.
I love, love, love these colours and the delicate little details too. I've had this plate for years and I use it. It either belonged to my great grandmother or I found it at a boot sale. I can't remember which, rather awful of me - do you see what I did there? Talking like those gels in Downton Abbey (early 20th century British drama).
This is part of my developing card range for ink.paint.paper. This is definitely modelled on one of the cups from great granny's tea set. Looking at this I see how much the patterns of the 192o's ( or 1910's?) clash with the 1970's curtains and teapot that I also love!
So - in conclusion - I'd have to say that crockery is a huge influence!!:)) What about you? Do you have a key influence?
Saturday, 20 October 2012
At the end of the week I gathered some of my favourite things, some of my own work and pictures by artists I admire. Arranged on my table in my studio they form my homework for #bywbootcamp with Holly Becker from the Decor8 blog. I've got to be honest I prefer doing a 'live' collection and photographing it rather than a digital collection which doesn't come naturally to me!!
I am musing on what my blog will be.. in the meantime I will continue to post about my work and questions that arise; wonderful painters and illustrators I admire and the voyage to creating beautiful things...whether that's some transformation at home or work related. I'm enjoying fantasising about the future ;) in blog terms and real life. Looking at my 'board' I think I know what I am aiming at more than I thought I did. Enough!
If you're a BYWbootcamp student and want to post a link to your mood board in the comments section please do :) Did you find the task helpful?
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Ribbons to be added! And these too:
Now, the question I have is what do you do about watermarks or protecting your photos? I quite like the white logo but wonder if it's too OTT (over the top) ... perhaps a simple tag line in white as in the top photo is best. What do you think? and what do you do yourself?
Friday, 12 October 2012
I kept adding to the drawings and ended up with three large B3 ( wider and longer than A3) sheets of card decorated with a tree angel...
[caption id="attachment_1432" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
and a Happy Christmas mini bunting - I cut this one out with sharp scissors but the perfectionists among you could use a scalpel.
[caption id="attachment_1434" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
You'll need a hole-punch, some string and glue if you want to add the little holly pieces I drew as well. The photo below is dodgy - almost impressionistic ;/ - I still have to get used to my new camera and if I'd had time I would have added more holly pieces. It's been a LONG day and the light was about to go!! You could just draw patterns onto the bunting or leave it plain.
There are about 20 plus potential gift tags or you could use them to make your own greeting cards, just cut out and stick on to a card blank.
For the Christmas lunch table I designed some holly leaf shapes that you can tie to wine glass stems to use as place-name cards too.
There's a reindeer to colour in and a large oval for the children to draw their own Christmassy picture in - or they could colour in the frame, an adult could cut out the centre and then you could stick a family photo behind the frame and display it or send it to a far-flung friend or relative! I print these to order and you can buy the kit here.
What do you think? Would you or your children like something like this?
I find colouring in quite therapeutic.. or I would have had I not just managed to do the bare minimum in order to take some pictures before the light went!!
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
This is my first post on inkpaintpaper about who inspires me. I discovered Mary Newcomb shortly before we left our London flat to live in Norfolk when I came across this book in a rambling book shop in Charing Cross road.
[caption id="attachment_1415" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "Mary Newcomb" by Christopher Andreae published by Lund Humphries in association with Crane Kalman Gallery, London 1996[/caption]
I loved her work immediately. There are over 160 full colour images of Mary's work - including sketch book images and notes. This is one of my favourites. She has a wonderful way of juxtaposing scale in her paintings making them magical, illustrative and, with her use of strong lights and darks, graphic at the same time.
[caption id="attachment_1416" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Sweet corn wedding 1976 by Mary Newcomb[/caption]
I was lucky enough to see a large collection of her paintings in real life at a retrospective a couple of years ago at Norwich Castle where her daughter Tessa gave a talk about some of the work. Tessa is also an accomplished artist whose style is not dissimilar to her mother's in subject matter, but from what little I have seen they are more illustrative and detailed. I love some of the deceptive naivety of Mary's work mixed with the dreamlike; some images remind me of the work of Odilon Redon. They have a gauzy transparency - a fleeting glimpse of something beneath a veils of colour.
[caption id="attachment_1417" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The girl with the dalmation 1988[/caption]
Mary has a knack of distilling subject matter to its essence. There is humour in her work, you see quirkyness and fun in her paintings. Look at the pattern like white flowers here on a slab of hedge busy with bees and it's impossible to tell what the tiny man in green is up to on the road as another approaches over the hill... but I would bet that this is what Mary sketched from life.
[caption id="attachment_1418" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Half men, bees and bell flowers 1975[/caption]
This is part of her appeal for me; I think she simply painted what she saw but allowed herself to play around with composition, texture and colour and importantly scale.
[caption id="attachment_1419" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A Hedge in November- Spindle_Sloe_Oldman's Beard- Blackthorn- Blackberry (with trailing Goosegrass) 1984[/caption]
I never use black in any painting I do but the way Mary uses it is beautiful to me.
Another inspiring thing about her is that she was self taught and not 'discovered' until she was in her early fifties. Mary lived in Suffolk and Norfolk so the images in the book resonate with me as I lived in the Suffolk countryside as a child. On my way home to Norfolk from a trip to Lincolnshire I saw this view and painted it a week later from memory which was a joy:
[caption id="attachment_1420" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Journey home via Melton Constable 2010 © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
I return to the book I have every now and then and each time I see something new. Seeing Mary's work in real life shortly after she died moved me to tears, it's very special and when I look at her paintings it spurs me on to look around me and paint.
Which artist/s inspires you? I'd love to know..
Sunday, 7 October 2012
[caption id="attachment_1409" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
The course officially starts tomorrow but there might be a few spaces left...
[caption id="attachment_1410" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
Just click on the course badge in the margin to find out all about it. Get ready to sparkle... see you in class!
Saturday, 6 October 2012
once I'd taken the back and seat apart and tried some experimental stapling onto plastic and used masking tape where the staples just would not penetrate!
My assistant enjoyed a spin.
[caption id="attachment_1403" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
Thursday, 4 October 2012
As some of you who follow me on Twitter know I have two accounts Moobaacluck and Inkpaintpaper. This is one of my introspective get it all out there posts. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
[caption id="attachment_1392" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
I view Moobaacluck as one aspect of what I'm capable of. I am very fond of what I have created since late 2008 and some special people like it to ;)! While I work very hard on commissions over the next few months I'll be thinking about what I want to do more of. Which is reflected in what I get up to or talk about @inkpaintpaper
What is it?! and how I can earn a living from it in combination with Moobaacluck? Currently this earns only just enough to survive with judicious use of a credit card from Feb - August. It's fabulous in the run up to Christmas, but exhausting (I seem to earn almost half my annual income Oct-Jan) . So there has to be a solution.
A few months ago I designed some cards that feature my hand writing and some others based on drawings and pattern. I love them. For some reason I haven't managed to get them on line to sell... I've made moves in the right direction setting up my Etsy shop where they will appear soon. I have a new camera and I'm ready to shoot. Once I've tidied up a bit ;)
[caption id="attachment_1388" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
My highest value is Freedom. Sometimes when I can't join friends or even take two consecutive days off because of commissions I think I went a little wrong somewhere!! Then again, when I can simply walk across the garden to work, be at home when the children are and never have to get on public transport (unless for a fun trip out) I know I have lifestyle I want. Earning more than the minimum wage would be good though. I have a very, very strong work ethic and am driven to 'do' but the hardest thing for me is stepping back to take time to plan for the future.
[caption id="attachment_1393" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham - one of my old 'Contact' pages from the late 1990's[/caption]
Before I started Moobaacluck I was an illustrator. Most of what I painted were greeting cards, some gift wrap designs and latterly children's books. I started out with editorial illustration - a handful of decorative water colour style acrylic, food and floral images. Next came the soft semi realistic romantic fiction for weekly magazines. My highest paid job for a single day was painting a still life of oranges on lace, in a studio, in water-colour, in front of a camera and having my hand and work photographed throughout for a "How to Paint Watercolour" by Dorling Kindersley. I was fresh out of art college and I earned in a day what I earn in an average month with Moobaacluck over 20 years later.
[caption id="attachment_1391" align="aligncenter" width="640"] An oil sketch/ painting I did in 1993 in my bedsit - still one of my favourite pieces. Bit of a faded pic! ©Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
I've had a solo exhibition of paintings in this gallery and sold several paintings through it:
(weird face but you can't have everything, eh))....I designed a map for it the gallery too, (see below) but I stopped there because I couldn't run Moobaacluck and paint regularly. I've done Open Studios once... so far. I almost set up a website called 'Help-a-creative' which was a great idea (not just in my opinion) that I still think about, but to keep Moobaacluck and generate some income, I finally realised that I had neither the time to get it going myself, nor money to pay someone else to get it going. I spent a month designing the site and illustrating for it but the legalities and infrastructure were beyond me.
[caption id="attachment_1389" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]
I've got a lot in me.
People want and need you to be one thing don't they?
Is that your experience? How do you deal with streamlining what you do and becoming single-minded? Or do you?
Should I just relax..!? Can you see something glaringly obvious that I can't?
Trouble is this line of work - hand painting - eats hours, so it is one case where "not having enough time" to do it all is a genuine problem. Still I think there may be ways to carve things up. Ever the optimist deep down. You've got one life, it's so important to find what gives you most joy don't you think?
I will "enjoy the meantime " Monica, exploring, having fun and discovering what really floats my boat! Starting a Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way boot camp tomorrow so more changes are afoot!
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
When we get this Award, we are also under certain obligations:
Thank the person who nominated us, link back to his/her blog and put the award logo on our blog.
Done - thank you. I know it has taken me a while but I've had a death in the family and health issues - I know you'll understand.
Share 7 things about ourselves:
The first album I ever bought was Abba 'Voulez-vous' the last one... oh a long time ago..Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
I grew up watching double bill black and white movies on Saturday afternoon s when there were only 3 channels on tv.
I loved reading Georgette Heyer romances between the ages of 14 - 17. Not convinced this was a good idea.
I broke my leg the first time I went skiing and never recaptured the love of it.
I adore food..apart from melon, and I suspect I wouldn't fancy sheep's eyes....
I watched the northern lights dance in the sky from above the arctic circle, on holiday in the Lofoten islands.
Nominate up to 15 other blogs for this honour and notify them.
Eleven interesting and varied blogs :)
Now I have to let them all know! I know that at this time of year many of these bloggers will be working really hard so I will completely understand if they are unable or don't want to 'fulfill the obligations' Sometimes these things smack of chain letters which I am not keen on....
Happy weeks to all.
I am currently in bed recovering from an operation but hope to be up and back to it soon. X
Copyright Gabriella Buckingham - the view next door a few summers ago. Sold
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
A glimpse of all four.
What do you think?
I deliberately used only one colour for each gift wrap design because as well as being ideal for wrapping small gifts, I think they would make great scrap booking or crafting papers. Very meticulous children or adults might enjoy colouring elements in!
These will be available shortly on moobaacluck.com and notonthehighstreet.com/moobaacluck - as soon as I've worked out the best scenario! I will sleep on it.
Joy - if you are reading this I will send you your set - I haven't forgotten!!
Monday, 10 September 2012
This is the sketch I will be developing this week into a surface pattern; the end use of which I don't know yet! I was very encouraged and inspired by the comments on this one in the Flickr group #ippdailydraw.
This is a busy week for me as I only have 4 days to work as its my grandfather's funeral on Friday and there are Moobaacluck commissions to do of course; and my husband is away today and tomorrow so I won't have him around to take over the school run etc! I like a challenge but I won't be hard on myself if I only manage something simple.
Have a good week x
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Today's Photoshop background collage of the single sketch made in #ippdailydraw - this is a 45cm repeat but just the first stage. I used Illustrator to Live Trace and imported the sketch to Photoshop.
So far I see this as a potential fabric design, it looks quite Chintzy!!
I carried on... and this is what I ended up with last night.
[caption id="attachment_1359" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham 2012[/caption]
I can see mistakes in lining up in this close up and the whole thing looks rather confusing but believe it or not I feel I've learned something and considering this whole design is made up of just one sketch I don't think it's a bad result. For a professional job I'd do it very differently!
[caption id="attachment_1360" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham - this shows the 45cm repeat[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1361" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham - this shows how it might look as a fabric design but the actual print would be quite large not as ditsy ..[/caption]
So there you have it. I might now go right back to the beginning and do something with a coloured background. Then again I may find I have to leave this experiment here.
What do you think so far?
This was the original sketch for those that didn't see it:
[caption id="attachment_1215" align="aligncenter" width="640"] © Gabriella Buckingham[/caption]