Friday, 26 November 2010

Crafty Christmas Markets in London

Just in case you are thinking of giving a few special hand-made pressies this year, here are some Christmas markets where you should definitely find some good stuff:

1) Probably the biggest and best crafty Christmas market in London:

This Sunday NOVEMBER 28, from 12pm to 6pm
York Hall, 5-15 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ
1 minute from Bethnal Green tube station

A few words from the organiser:
Shop at over 70 stalls of the hottest in handmade - the perfect place for unique gifts.       
Craft a Christmas bauble with The Make Lounge*, crochet a moustache with Prick Your Finger (1pm-3pm)**– plus pom-poms to Make and Do with Perri (4pm-6pm), a DIY Couture demonstration (3pm-4pm) and Fabrications Stitch and Tell.
Dance to DJs El Nino, My Ex-Boyfriend’s Records, She Runs With Wolves and Ci-Ci.   
Make merry! Tatty Devine bring a seasonal spectacle, Buttercupcakes host a tearoom  
serving soup and cake – plus enter to win a £100 Etsy shopping spree.
Goodie bags for the first 100, drinks all day, raffle and more…
Admission: £2 on the door.

2) On the first weekend in December I will share a stand with my friend Rebecca selling goods at the Art & Design Fair in Abney Hall in Stoke Newington:

We will be there on Saturday the 4th only (10 am to 5 pm), but the fair continues on Sunday the 5th (11am to 5pm). Busses stop outside Abney Hall (476, 73, 393) or take the London Overground to Stoke Newington station.

Entrance is free and over 25 Stalls will be selling unique jewellery, ceramic, prints and more. So come and join us!

3) And if you are still looking for the perfect gift:

Try the Christmas market organised by 'of cabbages & kings'. 
Saturday and Sunday: 18th and 19th of December between 11 am and 5 pm.
Also at the Abney Hall in Stoke Newington. 
Entrance is free and again there will be several stands selling hand-made goods. 
The talented Hanna Melin and her friends will be there too. Hanna sells super fun cassette tape brooches and her banana man is pretty famous. So also worth a look.

So you know where you will find me on the next few weekends. Have a lovely time yourself!

Friday, 5 November 2010

A hint of Christmas with the Yellow Bird Project

Just working on a fun job for the Yellow Bird Project
This is a not-for-profit organisation based in Montreal that sells T-Shirts designed by indie rock musicians. The idea is really great: each musician chooses a charitable organisation which they would like to support. Part of the profits from their t-shirt sales then go towards this organisation. 
I'm currently creating an illustration for their Christmas card. I have worked out the colour layout and am now looking forward to plunginginto making the components for the illustration. And as I really enjoyed creating the Fimo sausages (see below) and was surprised by how fast this was, I decided to try working with salt dough this time around. I've never done this before, so I'm really excited to see if it will work. I'll take some photos and let you know how things went.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Splendid Free Ebook on Time Management for Creative People

If you are – like me – always happy to receive good business advice, than I can only strongly recommend this free ebook by Mark McGuiness. 
Too busy to read long books? Then this one is perfect for you! In 30 short pages Mark will make you think again about how you organise your creative life.
You can download it from his website Wishful Thinking. (And no I'm not sponsored by him – I'm just an enthusiast.)

In his ebook Mark shares tips and suggestions on how to find time to be creative while staying on top of all the mundane tasks. 
This is a compendium of the author's own experiences and highlights from various famous business books. All sources are named, which is great if you want to read up about things in more detail. Mark then explains how some of those suggestions have worked for him, and how to overcome the difficulties which you may encounter when using those strategies.
It's written in an easy-to-follow and entertaining voice and will definitely make you think.

I took away a few excellent suggestions from this book, but the one thing which really made a difference for me, was the discussion of how to deal with the seemingly never-ending flood of emails – and how to make sure things don't get forgotten in your email inbox. 
The chapter 'Get things done by putting them off till tomorrow' really sorted me out.

Friday, 22 October 2010

ContainerPLUS Excitement

I'm so delighted! Yesterday morning I met with Luise from the extremely talented and very lovely art and design collective ContainerPLUS. Their fascinating work is extremely diverse ranging from illustration (see below), to animation and performances. 
In the past I have had the pleasure of working with them as a set-maker and we have a little online venture together called ContainerPLUS Jacky.

Image © ContainerPLUS

Luise generously agreed to be my first interview partner, providing an insight into ContainerPLUS' business and how they started working together. And I have to say it was utterly fascinating! 
I'm busy transcribing our discussion now and look forward to sharing the interview with you. So watch this space!

I also learnt about a new model shop in London this week. It's called Blueprint Model Shop. I haven't been there yet, but check out the amazing fake cakes on their website. … One never knows when this may come in handy.

I was also very excited to get a big order from a shop in Brighton which sells my jewellery. So I've been enjoyably busy making earrings, necklaces and brooches.

I hope things are going well for you too and that you also enjoying some of this gorgeous autumn sunshine. 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Traditional German sausage crafted here

Things have been busy with the creation of an illustration for the German monthly Emotion. I really enjoyed working with them in the past and had lots of fun with my image for the upcoming December issue.
No sneak preview can be given, but above are some sausages I made. I really loved getting the Fimo out and yes it was every bit as fun as it looks!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Retro Jewellery now available at The Maisonette in Glasgow

My apologies to all those of you who missed my regular Friday post. Unfortunately I was overcome by a sudden spell of unpleasantness, which forced me to leave the office instantly and have a good lie down and a soothing cup of tea.
Fortunately I'm fit as a trainer again and am very excited that my jewellery is now also being sold at The Maisonette, a wonderful shop selling arty goods in Glasgow. Carrie and Clare created a super lovely identity for their shop and I'm delighted that my little brooches will be sold alongside the products of so many talented people.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Exciting Changes Ahead

Things have been busy in the studio with the re-design of my website and blog. Now that the html and CSS pain is slowly subsidingI'm very excited about the site's forthcoming facelift and the prospect of integrating my blog into the website.
This means my blog address will change, but to make the move worth your while, I'm planning a few exciting additions to the blog.
The main change will be that I intend to start featuring the work of a variety of talented paper artists. I have been in touch with some skilful illustrators who create hand-made 3D designs, and they have agreed to provide an insight into their world of crafty illustrations and 3D creations. So I'm looking forward to some fun interviews with great people. 

Finally I would also like to add a support section to assist new and emerging paper artists, providing links to helpful websites and in the long run - reviews of business books which I found helpful when setting up my own business.
So there's lots to look forward to and I hope to welcome you to my new website soon. I hope everything will be ready to reveal around the beginning of October.

Above my new updated twitter site, which offers a little sneak preview of my new design.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday, 10 September 2010

Holiday Hottie

You may have noticed that my weekly blog post was missing last Friday. It wasn't pure laziness that kept me away, but a lovely camping holiday in the beautiful south of England. 
And as so much spare time screams for a leisurely craft activity I dug out some wool which I had left over from something I had knitted for my niece. So while marvelling at the wonderful green hills in front of me and sipping milky tea in truest Miss Marple fashion I got my knitting needles going. Below are a few pictures of the result. 

Friday, 27 August 2010

How To Make Storage Boxes That Protect Your Props And Save Space

Some of you may have the same problem I had with my props and sets: you create something you may want to re-use, but when the time comes around, it is damaged, bent or broken.
Well, not any longer. Here is a quick way to store things neatly, in limited space.

To create these practical boxes, start by measuring the available space your items will need to fit into (width, height and depth). This could be a shelf or, as shown here, a bigger storage box. Decide how best to break the space down, keeping in mind the size of the objects you would like to store. 

I decided to make a separate box to store the items from each project. I planned to fill the available space with, first, several boxes of the same size (large enough to work well for most projects). I then moved on to planning smaller boxes, which would fill out the rest of my bigger storage box, and would work better for projects with smaller or fewer items. If you have more shelving space and don't need to use every tiny corner, you may want to buy some ready-made boxes and just insert some partitions to divide up the space inside each box.

Now you need to make your boxes. Get plenty of foam board and steel sewing needles (sewing pins with big heads aren't suitable for this) and start cutting and assembling. When joining the box sides together, push the needles into the foam board at a c. 40 degree angle. This will make the boxes more durable and also prevent the needles from coming out again. You can secure the corners with tape as well as needles (but my boxes were so small that I didn't think this was necessary).

Add some partitions to divide up the space inside each box if desired. This stops items bumping up against each other, and also keeps them separate and organised, so that the box contents can be seen in one glance. If you use ready-made boxes you may want to stick the partitions into place with double-sided tape instead of using needles.
I didn't add partitions into the box containing the dolls house furniture as these objects are equally heavy and snuggle neatly into the box. This means they can't move around and damage each other.
The boxes with more fragile props are divided into smaller compartments. 

Use tape to add a lid to your box, and elastic or ribbon to keep it closed.

OPTION: Use the same technique to make a gift box!
Make a box, as described above and cover the finished box into coloured paper or gift wrap.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Build your own bike!

I'm currently working on an illustration about cycling and thought I would share some images of the creative process with you.
I'll be off today moving boxes, as my boyfriend and I are moving into our new flat! Needless to say I'm very excited.
I hope you all have a lovely Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Good luck!

Yesterday afternoon I allowed myself to be briefly diverted from my current long-term project. I really felt like doing something quick and couldn't wait to get my scalpel going.

I had made this little pattern earlier and used it in my map illustration (see previous blog entry). I really liked the way the pattern turned out on the green paper and was burning to do something else with it.

And as I also like little things, I decided to make a small box with some good wishes inside. I couldn't make up my mind which contrasting colour I liked best, so I made one with a dark green and one with a dark purple. Both are now for sale in my etzy shop, so feel free to take a look.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Making Of: "A Map of the Middle Ages"

The Making Of:  "A Map of the Middle Ages"

I felt very honoured when the talented Mr. Adam Hayes invited me to create an illustration for his map project. He asked various accomplished illustrators to create 'a map of where you belong'. All images can be seen on his map blog.

The inspiration for my image was the fact that my boyfriend and I recently bought a flat together.
When I was little I thought that all people over 30 were middle-aged and had massive sideboards full of crystal vases in their living rooms. 
Instead I find myself discussing floor plans and happily planning 'the autumn of my life'.

Below are a few pictures showing how I made the house for my image.

Making the structure of the house out of foam board.

Adding shingles to the roof.

Adding details to the awning...

... and the chimney.

Friday, 6 August 2010

ContainerPLUS Jacky now live!

teamed up with my friends at ContainerPLUS and together we have created an online shop. 
We are currently selling small items of jewellery, badges and bags.

I just shipped the first item sold in our opening special which was a purse (I wrote about these before - see "Pocket or Purse?"together with a free hand-printed tote bag.
ContainerPLUS have created some adorable fabric badges. Dorothy the deer and Hector the horse are looking for companions - and not just for the summer.

So if you are interested, make sure you don't lose time as things are selling fast.