Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Abracadabra!




I made a poster and tickets for the upcoming Magic Show at my boy's school :)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Paper Bling!





It's that time of the year again...when we manically start preparing for The BedPop Christmas Shop at The Higgins Museum! 

Each year we think we have lots of time and get excited about the possibility of new projects and products, then suddenly realise the date has crept up on us and we have a potentially sparse looking stall...cue panic!

This year saw the end of nap time from our littlest one too, which meant loss of free time for me. You might have noticed this by the amount of illustration work I've done lately, ie VERY LITTLE! It's taken me a long time to get over the loss of nap time (I'm not over it) - I end up staying ridiculously late to try and do things for me, and spend the following day fuzzy, grumpy, impatient and clumsy. I feel like I've aged about 10 years!

Anyway, getting back to BedPop, I've been making these Origami diamonds using some of my lovely Japanese papers. I thought they might make good Christmas tree decorations :)

I'd love to try and do something more illustration-y but time is short and there's lots going on in the next few weeks so I will have to see...

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Vampire and the Cat



We went on our first Trick or Treat this Halloween - lots of lovely carved pumpkins and friendly neighbours and fun costumes and sugar!! 
All that walking up and down our neighbourhood just before bedtime proved too much for the 3 year old though, as he declared "Trick or treat is tired-ing" and I had to carry him all the way home. 
Both boys slept beautifully that night, which made every arm-numbing back-breaking step carrying the boy worth it! 



Monday, 16 October 2017

Paper, scissors, glue!

I've been enjoying making very simple images with paper, scissors and glue - they started off as ideas for brooches, but now I'm thinking maybe an ABC poster or greeting cards. I'll keep playing around and see where it takes me :)

Below are our 6 year old's creations with paper, scissors and glue, which I love! I also got inspiration for my butterflies from his lovely drawing.



Sunday, 15 October 2017

pop-up peeps







It's been a loooong time since my last post. This is due to loss of nap time by our littlest one, and I think it is affecting both me and him immensely. I am much more disorganised, frustrated, impatient and exhausted than usual, and I think he is too (apart from the "disorganised" bit - I don't know what a toddler needs to organise other than maybe his gem collection or toy cars). 
It's become a bit of a mission to do anything other than the basics of looking after family and home.

I have been playing around with some pop-up card ideas though, and have managed to put together a rather silly video voiced by our very own non-sleeping but lovely huggy boys! This is partly in preparation for an art and craft workshop I will be giving as part of a "Wellbeing Day" for staff at a local school next week. I'm looking forward to it :)



Thursday, 14 September 2017

Good Luck Jam!





My bezzie mate of over 30 years is moving to Edinburgh. 
We lived opposite each other all throughout our school years and shared a house in Brighton for a couple of years. We've laughed and cried and partied and danced and talked so much over the years - admittedly less and less since our boys came along but we've always had such a giggle!

I decided to send her a handmade silly fun pop-up card, as I'd been experimenting with pop-up card ideas lately. She's holding up a map of Scotland and a list of essential Edinburgh slang words - a very entertaining and educational bit of research! The card was cobbled together whilst wrangling 2 boys so there are plenty of mistakes and room for improvement, but it was really good fun putting it together and I felt like I learned a few things :)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

BookFest 2017 poster!!




A little over a month to go until the fantastic children's book festival BookFest in Bedford! Last year I took my boys to see Julia Jarmanwhich they loved, and I ran a drop-in arty crafty workshop "Make your own poster book", which produced brilliant results, yay!

For this year's BookFest, I was asked alongside the Circus of Illustration by David Litchfield to illustrate a favourite children's book character for the poster. Ooooh decisions decisions! So many to choose from but I soon realised that some characters were really hard to re-imagine as their original image was so strong. 

In the end I decided to go with Cat in the Hat and Moonface from The Magic Faraway Tree. Although inimitable, I thought there was quite a bit of room for interpretation when reading Cat in the Hat and so I created a completely different version of him. Moonface, on the other hand was a fairly recent discovery for me so I had a blank slate, which made it a little bit easier.


The characters (from left to right) are:

Mr Toad by Andrew Foster
Moonface by me
Peter Pan by Kristina Bullen
Aslan by Katie Allen
Cat in the Hat by me
Gangsta Granny by Marisa Straccia
Alice by Emily Ross

The poster was put together by the wonderful David Litchfield, the type by super talented Katie Allen!




Thursday, 17 August 2017

!



Explaining to the toddler what an "!" (Exclamation mark) is in a game of "Dobble", and he came back with the excellent "Extra-bacon mark"!



I turn my back for 1 second...


...and find him playing with a bit of chewing gum he's peeled off the pavement. 



(This is what happened the last time.)

At Bromham Mill






You can now find some of my hand sewn toys for sale at Bromham Mill in Bedford.



Here they are in fine company :)



Dragons






We held a dragon-themed party for our No 1 dragon! It involved weeks of planning (well, just talking about it casually whilst watching telly) and about a crazy week of making! Here's what we did:

CAKE TOPPERS - it's surprisingly hard to find a cheap dragon toy last minute (because no matter how organised I think I am, the reality is I am and always will be last minute) but there are lots of dinosaur toys, so I made some silly wings and flames out of cardboard and stuck them on. I made the trees by gluing sushi grass onto skewers. It all looked pretty bad and hilarious. This is the look I was going for. 

HEADDRESSES - we made about 30 dragon headdress, with different coloured wings and tail tips. Despite the heavy rain the kids donned their dragon headdresses and ran wild, YAY!

PINATA - my partner Sam spent days paper mache-ing and glue-gunning and painting. By the end of it all his fingers were covered in blisters, all for the kids to bash the hell out of it and grab the loot!

And for afterwards...we made Thank You cards using the dragon print made during Daisy Hirst's printmaking workshop we attended a week earlier.

It chucked it down all afternoon on the day of the party, which goes to show that you can't plan everything but we had fun all the same :)






Monday, 17 July 2017

The most excellent fantastic Daisy Hirst!






On Saturday we went to a most excellent fantastic printmaking workshop run by author illustrator Daisy Hirst. It was my first visit to the House of Illustration where the workshop took place, and I felt excited and inspired the moment I stepped in, with it's shop full of beautiful cards and books as well as the gallery filled with beautiful original artwork.

I was a little worried about the length of the workshop (3 hours for a 5/6 year old could go either way!) but he loved it and we made it through without any tears or tantrums, phew! He got stuck in right away and created some lovely prints and we both came away inspired, wanting to carry on doing more at home :)

I loved how we were able to have a real printmaking experience using simple, familiar and safe materials. Daisy was brilliant at planting a seed for an idea which set off the children's imaginations! I loved the village scene she had drawn on huge black sheets of paper, which she then invited the children to print on. Soon the buildings were filled with a whole array of intriguing characters and narratives. 

She shared her sketchbook with us, which was absolutely fascinating! Crammed full of teeny tiny lovely drawings, with each character only measuring about 1-2cm!! 
Below is an A3 sheet of paper which our boy crammed full of dragon and alien sketches today. I imagine they were inspired after seeing Daisy's sketchbook.


We've been reading our (tinily) signed copy of "Alphonse, that is not ok to do!" throughout the day and it's been top pick for their bedtime story 2 nights in a row - the boys LOVE it as do I :)







Thursday, 13 July 2017

Carwash


SLEEP seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to illustrating motherhood, especially when you have 2 terrible sleepers :'(
These days we often end up with both of them in our bed, rotating and wriggling non-stop (with Daddy getting booted out) and so I name this new position "The Carwash".
You can find previous sleep positions here and here.

What are you doing H?


I found him casually leaning against the wall with his legs arranged like a no 4, so I asked him,

"What are you doing?" and he replied,
"Being a flamingo". 
Obviously.

I turn my back for 1 second...


...and find him drinking a puddle through a straw.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wild Bats


I asked my boys what musical instrument they would play if they were in a band. Eldest answered electric guitar, youngest said electric rattle, haha :D

I asked who else was in the band and what's the band's name?

So here are WILD BATS, with Oki and Leon on guitar, Hoshi on electric rattle, Emma on drums and Tom on electric piano. With a name like that I feel like they should appear on stage like this:



Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Big Lunch






We are having a street party in our neighbourhood, as part of The Great Get-Together in honour of Jo Cox. It's all about celebrating "community, commonality and connections", and we are lucky to be part of a lovely, friendly neighbourhood with a strong sense of community.

A small group of us have been getting together regularly to plan The Big Lunch and it's been so much fun! I've loved having something to think about outside of motherhood (maybe a bit too much) and have been enjoying getting a little creative after a long absence. I've put together some placemats and have got a little carried away making some foody props for our Insta-wall. I'm looking forward to seeing all the photos after the event, but most of all I'm looking forward to sharing food and time with friends old and new :)  



"We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us" 
Jo Cox (1974-2016)


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Dragons dragons!










Our 5 year old is all about dragons at the moment, so my partner asked him to draw some dragon parts to turn into stickers. He's been having lots of fun putting together a whole variety of spiky winged creatures. Dragon No 4 is by his friend Tom :)

We might put together a new Make Your Own Poster Book pack soon, on the theme of - you guessed it - DRAGONS!