Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pinch me please.

I've finally done it.  What started as a bit of fun has exploded way beyond what I was prepared for.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think someone would want to buy my drawings.  Not only that but I also have almost completed two commissions (one of which is enormous) with a third hopefully on the way.   I will post photos of those when the respective owners have seen them.

I'm also working on some originals to sell.  This chap here is one.  He is on A4 210g paper and coming on a treat.  I am trying to go a bit more sinister with the fella.  We will see how it goes.  There are also some more buildings in the sketch book too.

Some of my drawings are now available to buy in Etsy shop as post cards and in other sizes upon request.  Thanks to you all who are buying them, and get the word out.

Thanks for stopping by.  Oh and an FYI, Monkey is almost walking.  I seriously can not get over this.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Exciting things afoot.

Just a quicky today.  I have been busy this last week or so trying to get a few things finished.  I had some un-finished pictures that were mocking me and some vases and plant pots that needed some pimping.  In doing this, I inadvertently discovered a new style of drawing, folk art.  They are based on the drawings from a graphic artist called Caroline Johansson.  I am not about to take complete credit, but the designs are mine.

It's got me hooked.  What I was not prepared for was the enthusiastic feed back I got.  My cousins wife (thanks Emma) asked if I could draw a fox?  I have no idea, so I gave it a try.  Well gosh she is a pretty little thing.

One led to another, which led to another.  I printed a few off to see how they looked and had one made into post card size.  They look great.

I have now been asked to print off more and sell them.  Say what???  It is kind of wigging me out.

So with that in mind I am having them made into post cards first to be sold in my friends yarn shop Woool.  She is already selling my drawstring bags and will also be selling my Liberty fabric covered buttons too (as of this evening), and I hope to also have them in my Etsy shop this weekend.

I also hope to have this fella finished off by then.

So have a good weekend peeps, and I will let you know then they are ready.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Garden on a shoe string.

I am lucky enough to live in a city and have a garden.  It's a modest garden surrounded on all sides by buildings but a garden none the less.  It doesn't see much sun, as it faces NE but in the summer the back gets loads.  Over the last few years I have tried to make an oasis back there, but every winter it is a depressing place to look at.  So with that in mind I am on a bit of a mission.  The mission is to make a pretty, low maintenance and child friendly garden on, well, bugger all.  We don't have the money to put in new plants and sexy terrace furniture, so I am going to try to do it for as little money as I can.  I am also going to try to blog my progress as I go.  Failures and wins alike.  

Not pretty huh?
As you can see there is much to be done.  Last year we replaced the fence with our next door neighbours and that was about the extent of what was done.  There was loads of clean up from the extension with bits and bobs left over. But, big plans were afoot.  Dreams of what the garden was could be have haunted me since we bought the place.  I was going to implement big changes, grow veggies in pallets, compost, make an urban oasis (ha, who am I kidding).  I spent many a happy hour on Pinterest and other such blogs getting inspiration, dreaming up ways of to make wellies into planters and so on.  Sadly I under estimated the time vacuum that is our daughter, the fact that I know squat about gardening and a paralysing fear of getting it wrong.  So basically sweet F.A. was done.   I spent summer in denial, which as it turns out, is not just a river in Egypt.

Yes, that is a toilet that I mosaiced.  (Is that a word? well it is now)  
The garden became a bit of a dumping ground for stuff we don't know what to do with.  Old pipe, bed heads, broken step ladders, random miscellaneous lengths of wood,  you get the idea.  All kept with great plans in mind.  (I am awesome at planning, fairly good at starting, but bloody rubbish at finishing.)  So my mission this year is to use stuff I have and make it pretty. To only buy when it is absolutely necessary and scrounge what I can.

The rotten fence and the enormous car box roof thing.
When I say rotten I mean it.  The damn fence is falling apart.  As you can see random attempts have been made to make it less of an eye sore but it is what it is, a damn ugly fence.

The back terrace (and I use the word terrace loosely) is made up of cement slabs with gravel in them.  Who ever thought these things were a good idea to put in a garden?  But it's what we have and we can't afford to replace them so I have to make it work.  In the summer though, this ugly little patio is a fantastic little sun trap, but only for 3-4 months.  For the rest of the year we get no sun at all.  I love it though, but I need to make it less, well, ugly , hazardous, choose a word that fits.  I want a pleasant place to sit with a few plants, a place to set my G&T and watch my daughter play.

I also want to build a frame that spans the width of the garden so that we can put a swing in for Cleo and a hammock type affair for me.  Not sure how this will work but I have a few ideas.

The new room.  My haven, my sewing room.  Built by my lovely hubby.
Now that the crappy old shed has been replace with a sexy new sewing room, we have bugger all storage.  Seriously our bedroom and Monkeys are currently storing our wood supply and power tools.  So some kind of storage option has to be made.  Hmmmm.  

Lastly what you can't see is the mountains of shit in the gravel. Not metaphorical shit.  Actual shit.  The local cats (going by the size of some of the deposits I am sure they are tigers) seem to use our garden as a giant litter box.  I have tried every trick known to man to prevent them but the buggers keep coming back.  I would love to get rid of all the gravel and put in a brick court yard type affair, but again, that costs loads of money that we don't have so I am open to suggestions.  I go out every day and pick up the crap so the dog doesn't eat it (yes, he is that nasty) and the thought of my daughter playing out there and finding one I missed makes me go cold.  So, suggestions anyone?

So there it is, warts and all.  I want a cheerful, low maintenance, safe and pleasant place to spend my summer filled with pot plants and fun little knick knacks.  I am under no illusion about my gardening skills and I will take what help and advice I can get.  Cuttings, cast off's, and freebies are all welcome, but I guess I need to make a plan of action first.  Or I could just wing it.  Yup, wing it seems like the best way to go. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Monkey parties and an obsession with bunting.

Parties are always stressful, unless you are not the one throwing it, you are drunk, and/or you are super human.

This last weekend I was none of these.  As I previously mentioned I decided in my wisdom to have a party for the wee one.  How hard can it be? Waaaaa hahaha! Being the control freak I am, I had to do everything myself.  I had lists for my lists.  I was going to out source some tasks but generally I thought I could do it all.

I am known as Crafty McCrafterson, of the clan McCraft.  I had expectations of myself that were insane.  Then Pinterest and its bloody (insert expletive here) ideas and craft boards happened.  I have managed to avoid Pinterest for a while as, to my ADD brain, it is perception overload.  I can't take it all in.  You innocently browse with a few minutes to kill, next thing you know, you have lost two hours, are up to your ears in tissue paper, mason jars, a glue gun and your husbands old shirts with not a damn clue how you got there.  Oh hells, I'm calling it, it is a time sucking idea fest' for over achievers and people who have better time management than me.  I want to dive into some things right here and now.  I seriously don't have enough words to describe my love hate relationship with it.  It is crack for crafters.

Now with this in mind I had to make my own decorations (insert eye roll here).  Obviously.  The only problem is that I was having a bit of a sewing block.  So, three days before the party, working on 2 days without sleep and a whole lot of coffee, Ritalin and some quality Monkey naps, I got cracking.  Did I get a tad sucked in?  Maybe.  I was a one woman production line as I dived into my scrap box with wild abandon.  The results were tremendous though if I do say so myself.

After that it turned into a whirlwind of baking cakes, cupcakes, dinner for two nights, cleaning (thanks mum, you are a trooper) frosting and icing said cakes, more cleaning, hiding of stuff you don't want seen and generally waiting for the first guest to turn up.  Luckily a few people had to cancel so the numbers went down to a manageable proportions.  I dread to think what I would have done if everyone had turned up, but it all went off with out a hitch.  For future reference though, a word of advice, don't try to do it on your own.  Did she have fun?  Probably.  Did I?  Eventually.  Was it worth the micro-management and the "I must do it myself" attitude?  Hells no.  Next time, (and yes there probably will be a next time)  I will outsource the shit out of it and accept the offered help.

And on the plus side the bunting is already made.