Monday, August 26, 2013

Escape into Roald Dahl's Garden

Running your own business is like spinning plates and trying to keep them all up in the air!    I'm drawing a commission of mischievous kittens, starting Module 2 of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design Course, printing & making orders, working on new Story Book Ideas & trying to get Christmas Designs drawn and stitched!  I've also just finished printing & trimming 250 Cards & Art Prints and packed them up for a wonderful new Stockist in America (they will be opening their online doors in around a month so I'll tell you all about them then - think traditional & european toys)!

So whilst I keep spinning those plates would you like to have a cup of tea and visit Roald Dahl's garden with me?  Nestled in the Buckinghamshire landscape, the gardens at Gipsy House, are opened just a few times a year under the National Gardens Scheme.  Just imagine my excitement when I was able to visit on my recent UK trip! 


Such a beautiful white house with bright happy yellow doors and my favourite part of course was his Writer's Hut looking out over a wildflower meadow!  Maybe, just maybe, one day I too will build my own mini house with roses round the door where I can go and write & paint!  I'll let the photos do the rest...  you can click on all the photos to see larger images.

 Can you spot his white Writer's Hut?

Where those magical books were written!

  I guess I can understand closing the curtains, although I don't think I could.
 I would probably sit gazing at the view too much as well!  


The row of Pleached Limes planted in 1985 leading to his Hut

Standing under the same trees!

He planted a Maze with fabulous messages carved in the stone, for his children

I hope you enjoyed this magical trip to Gipsy House.  I love to hear your comments.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Print & Pattern Kids is here!

Today is a good day, a very good day!  Look what arrived in the post, yes after a patient wait the Print & Pattern Kids Book is out in the world!

You may remember this post when I shared the exciting news that I had been approached by the lovely Marie Perkins to have my designs included.  The very first Book I've ever been featured in!  I still can't quite believe it, it's kind of a surreal seeing my work in print alongside such huge names as Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley and so many others.  There are in fact just over 100 designers and 750 colour illustrations, what a treat for the eyes!

All these are available in my Etsy Shop as Prints, Stationery & Embroidery Patterns

" .. Print & Pattern: Kids celebrates beautiful surface design created with little people in mind.  This book documents the work of the best designers in the field, featuring both successful commerical designs and previously unseen work."  This book is now available from Amazon UK right now and any day in America.

So let's dive straight into this magical world with a big splash and enjoy some of the many many  inspiring designs!

In CELEBRATION from today until Wed 7th August midnight (GMT) you can Buy 1 Art Print in my Shop & choose another Print FREE!  Just let me know at check out which Free Print you would love!

Behind the scenes I'm drawing lots of new Illustrations, including Kittens, Badgers, Foxes and maybe even Polar Bears!  Now I'm even more inspired and so will you be with this Book!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Winnie The Pooh's Expotition!

I couldn't believe my luck when my trip to the UK coincided with the most amazingly exciting exhibition of original ink and watercolors from Winnie The Pooh by E.H. Shepard!

To be able to stand up close and see all his paint strokes and ink lines was thrilling.  There were even rough sketches with page numbers scribbled on them to see how they work together in a story.  Something I have been doing for my own adventure into the picture book world.

We were not allowed to take photographs ourselves but this was one of the pieces I saw, copyright E.H. Shepard Trust.

This original was actually for sale, but I would have had to win the Lottery first!
I just love the looseness of his pencil strokes, so inspiring.

I grew up with the Winnie The Pooh Stories, enjoying the wonderful illustrations from old books belonging to my Granny.  As you can imagine, with my love of Bear Making and Illustration Bears appear with fun regularity in my work, how many Bears can you spot in my Shop?  You can even search for Bear in my Etsy Shop to make friends with them all!

Personalised Friendship is Sharing Cake Art Print, available from my Etsy Shop

Favourite Moments Art Prints & Cards from my Etsy Shop

The Exhibition was held in the magnificent Mottisfont Abbey, a Medieval Priory gradually changed into a Country House, and now owned by The National Trust.  Set in beautiful grounds, with clear rivers and ancient trees.  

We've had scorching hot weather as you can see by the lawns!

Maud Russel lived there from 1934-1972 and was a great patron of the arts.  
Just imagine the Parties they had here!

Winnie The Pooh & Friends having a picnic in a very grand setting!

 An amazing wire sculpture in the old stable block!

The perfect home for Winnie The Pooh!

The Exhibition is running until 15th September,  so for any of you in the UK I would highly recommend it!

To just make it all even more perfect for me there is also the National Collection of Old Fashioned Roses, set in a stunning walled Garden!  So fly on by again soon to walk through the gardens with me.