Monday, 25 June 2012

Water Soluble Wax Crayons - ideal for letting one's Inner Child out to play!

If you thought I didn't post on my blog last week was because I was taking a summer holiday, you couldn’t have been more mistaken!

Firstly because our ‘summer’ weather has been more like November, not only disappointingly wet but cold and windy as well! At one point I looked out at the frenetically waving bushes and trees and it could have been the autumn, except that, instead of leaves, it was rose petals swirling in the wind!

And I’ve been tremendously busy!

When I sold a relatively huge amount of Father’s Day Cards through CardGnome, I made a start on doodling some ideas on scrap paper for the next upcoming holidays . . .

For Grandparents Day

 For Halloween

But the very next day, CardGnome announced that they will be cutting our artists’ commission from 15% to 5% from July 1st. 

Not good news!

And that decided me to spend less of my time working on greeting cards and more on creating products, which earn a better return. I’ve been moving in this direction ever since Greeting Card Universe announced that they would withhold 30% tax from non-US artists who don’t have an ITIN, followed by their ‘cull’ of cards that they deem ‘un-marketable’, in spite of the fact that they sell well!

I shall still design greeting cards but they won’t be my priority once I can get my head around this shift in emphasis. I’m not finding that easy, in spite of the fact that I very much enjoy creating tea pots and phonecases, coffee mugs and necklaces! 

So I’ve been devising a work schedule that reflects this rejigging of my priorities – and I rather overestimated the number of ‘products’ I could create in a week!

I took last week’s Vintage Roses design and made a new, slightly 'Laura Ashley', design from the little rosebuds -

- and made more than 60 'Rosebud' products!

are some of them!

Then I came across a treasure trove of screenprints I had made more than 20 years ago. I had printed them in almost 50 different colour-ways so I'll never be short of a design for my week's new products!

is a selection of them!

As creating nearly 60 products from this one design didn’t leave any time for a new painting last weekend, I uploaded a design from the backlog of cards waiting in the queue. 

Another one of the Cool Cats Collection -

This weekend I was determined to set aside at least a little time for painting and finally tried out my Water Soluble Wax Crayons that I bought months ago with a Christmas Artifolk Voucher. 

I absolutely loved using them – it’s true what they say about them releasing one’s Inner Child! - and I’m sure they will play a big part in my art and design from now on!

This week I'll be working on creating 'products' from this design - and maybe some more of the screenprints if there's time. But I couldn't resist trying out this rather 'loud' design on a Messenger bag straight away:

Quite a contrast in style to this week's greeting card upload - 

- but then that's me all over; I'd get bored if I stuck to one style!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Roses, a Squirrel and Confidence!

My little back garden is overflowing with climbing roses – Alchemist, Albertine, Metanoia and two Dreaming Spires!

Those, together with  the Honeysuckle, Lavender and Mock Orange, make just nipping outside to my dustbin a hazardous experience for me with my sensitivity to perfumed flowers!

But that doesn’t stop me enjoying this time of year when all my favourite flowers are valiantly blooming in spite of weather that would be more typical of November! The view of the Albertine from my dining room where I work is magnificent at the moment, even through the tightly closed French Doors!

So here’s a ‘Rose’ repeating pattern I created for a June Birthday Card:

And it fits quite well on these newly launched ‘Accessory Bags’ –

But I think I like this little ‘pitcher’ best of all.

I’ve taken nearly a week off for my birthday! My son came down from York and spent a lot of time 'spring cleaning' my computers and setting up my new A3 scanner for me so this is as far as my next design has progressed – the tracing paper stage:

I’m tempted to try this out in soft pastels to get a furry effect for the squirrel's coat; though I might have to wear a mask to stop the pastel dust getting up my nose!

The squirrels in our local park are the grey variety but in the course of googling 'squirrels', I discovered that there are still some of the red, native variety left in Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Wight (where I was born). There are also some in a kind of 'reserve' in the North of England but sadly the virus carried by the grey squirrels has managed to deplete their numbers.

While I was writing this, my daughter, Louise, sent me a some photos of a family visit to their local Art Museum (in Sweden).

Here’s Hafsah, my only granddaughter (six grandsons!) ‘having a go’!

Apparently the visitors’ artistic endeavours will be displayed in a local hall at Christmas and Hafsah added the price she expects to sell hers for!

I’m really, REALLY hoping that she somehow manages to hang on to that precious confidence!