Saturday, 24 November 2012

Painting for Christmas



a new design, available from January 2013
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

[caption id="attachment_1481" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Photos by Gabriella Buckingham. Top: Images from the book: right - Holly's own space. Bottom: article in The Simple Things magazine: book jacket converts to inspiring poster![/caption]

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

I had such a fabulous day last week when I flung myself on the train to travel to London. Ok, flung is a slight exaggeration but it wasn't far off!! I had left home tottering in my heels knowing I had plenty of time to walk to the station. About a fifth of the way there I realised I didn't have tissues. Disaster! Quick detour to the local shop.

My purse was not in my bag.

AAAAAAGH.

[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

Two new Christmas card designs

Just a quick post... I'd love to be blogging about last night in London (and my Frank Spencer day) plus taking pictures of Holly Becker's gorgeous book but will have to do that a little later in the week!

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

Inspiration

Often if you are interviewed one of the key questions is what inspires you. I don't know about you but I find answering this succinctly really quite difficult! So much is osmosis... but I'm making an effort now to try to be a little more analytical about what I am doing. You never know - a cohesive collection may emerge next year - ha!

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?