Wednesday, 21 January 2015

GORGEOUS GIFTS from my Folk Heart Collection

GORGEOUS GIFTS from my Folk Heart Collection
on my other

It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day to give our loved ones a gift that makes them feel extra-special! (but woe betide anyone who forgets 14 February!)

Here are some gorgeous gifts from my Folk Heart Collection, with something to suit all budgets - and a matching Valentine's card and Giftwrap as well! 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Snowy Colour Palette for January

Even a light dusting of snow was enough to make the Smiley
face that overlooks Bailey Park, perfectly clear to see!

Some people insist that snow is white.

I suppose that's true - technically! But when an artist paints a snow-scape, all sorts of colours other than white somehow seem to appear, almost as if by magic!

For example, here is one of my pastel paintings of snow from quite a few years ago. I always try to put down exactly what I see and here I must have seen pinks, blues and purples in the shadows and warm, 'creamy' whites where the low winter sunshine streams through the trees. 

Snowy track at Whitecastle - soft pastel painting from a photograph

(Click here  for a blog post from way back, that includes some snow paintings by famous painters, such as Monet.)

We've had very little of 'the white stuff' down here in Abergavenny, so far this winter; though at times the peak of Sugarloaf has been gleaming brightly in the sunshine, aspiring to outshine the Matterhorn, no doubt.

But a few winters ago, we did have a significant snowfall, enough to make venturing forth with a camera worthwhile. And this photo is still one of my favourites, because of all the different colours the low winter sun revealed as it did its best to penetrate the trees in the park.

And, interestingly, I think there are as many 'warm' colours in this snowy palette as 'cool' ones!

I've sometimes heard people say that the first thing an artist must do is 'learn how to see'. 

I'm not sure about that. I can't ever remember 'learning to see' or anything like that. But I do think it makes life more interesting, not just for artists, if we can sometimes take the time to notice the shapes and the colours all around us, even in things we see so often that we take them for granted. 

Taking photos is easy nowadays: most of us have a digital camera or a smartphone. So why not make a point of noticing the surprising colours  - and shapes  - in your everyday surroundings. And if you can, take a photo and post it on the social media with the hashtag: 


(you may even discover, as I have, that your everyday surroundings are so fascinating, that expensive holidays/vacations lose some of their attraction!)

Monday, 19 January 2015


Coordinated Valentine's Cards, Gifts, Giftwraps and Gift Tags! 

What could be more impressive than a Valentine's Day gift that coordinates perfectly with your Valentine's Card and Wrapping Paper? 

To save you the hassle of trying to match things up, here are samples of Valentine's Day greeting card and gift ranges, together with links to the full ranges. 

It's all designed to make your Valentine's day shopping simple - so enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

December/January W.I.P. and Thoughts on Friendship

Just before Christmas I spent a night in the Clinical Decisions Unit of our local hospital - nothing too serious but initially a bit of a mystery. 

And someone commented that the CDU is where they put people they don't know what to do with.

Which is exactly where, in my mind, I have consigned Finnegan the Fish for the time being, I'm afraid! I could, perhaps, make him into a Pisces birthday card for a start but I think he might benefit from some friends, when I find time - and that could result in a new repeating pattern.

It's not that I've been totally lacking in creativity since my last Work in Progress post. When I took down the Christmas decorations, I realised that I don't have a 'Winter' door decoration so I hastily used the Honeysuckle from my garden to make a little wreath and decorated it with Ivy (also from the garden), some artificial berries and fir cones, a burlap bow I happened to have found in a sale before Christmas and a robin that I've had for years. It's a bit 'rustic' (aka 'rough and ready') but I feel that's somehow appropriate for a Winter wreath to distinguish it from the more festive Christmas door decorations.

I've also been planning birthday cards for three of my family who have birthdays in the next few weeks, starting with one of my grandsons who will turn 15 at the end of January. Always hard to think of something appropriate for teenage boys and I'm wondering whether something with fifteen elephants might work. 

With that in mind, I've been using photos from Google Images as models for drawing as I don't know any real-life elephants, let alone any who are prepared to pose for a portrait.

I'm very fond of all elephants and made 'Heffalump' birthday cards for my family when I was in my teens.
But I particularly love the expression of the one in the bottom left corner !

In between times I've been busy using existing designs to create more gifts for Valentine's Day and St David's Day, for sale in my Zazzle stores.

Zazzle introduce new products most weeks and it's hard to keep up with them all. So it's time to do some catching up to fill the gaps -

Nesting Mugs from my Hearts and Roses Collection
Daisy Chain Hearts Pouf from my Daisy Chains Collection
Welsh Emblems iPhone 6 Plus Case from Posh & Painterly Cymru
Blue Faux Welsh Tapestry Hip Flask to Personalize from my Posh & Painterly Cymru store

During 2014, I noticed that by far the most frequently re-pinned 'pin' from all of my Pinterest boards is a quote about friendship

And that's made me think a lot about the concept of friendship for a while; how do we define friendship, especially since facebook widened the definition of 'friends'? What do we expect of a good friend? 

And so on . . .

So I've decided to try to fit in making some illustrated quotes about Friendship of my own. I've begun working on one that has been floating around at the back of my mind for a while. I hope to have it finished to post on the social media later in the week.

There are plenty of 'Friendship' quotes to be found on the internet. But it would be good to have some new, more personalised ones. So I'd also love to hear how you would finish the sentence:

"A good friend is someone who . . . "

(Answers in the Comments of this blog or on facebook/G+/Linkedin/twitter, if you prefer - thank you)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Winter Colour Palette

We haven't had any snow yet, here in Abergavenny.

But we've had some very cold days, brightened by lovely blue skies and a heavy dusting of frost that sparkled in the winter sunshine.

Unfortunately, I haven't been too well over Christmas so I haven't been out and about with my camera. But here's a wintry scene for a cool and sophisticated colour palette -

It's a photo I took of the lake in Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, on an ice-cold December afternoon, before the days of the digital camera! And in spite of the freezing temperature, the hint of pink in the reflections of the setting sun, as well as the sun-shiny blue of the sky, give the touch of warmth needed to use this as a colour scheme for all sorts of design projects, even for home decor.

Here are some patterns I've created using this scheme - 

Dunorlan Park Quirky Polkas

Dunorlan Park Chevrons

Dunorlan Park Stripes

I think they have a distinctly Mid-Century feel and they are high-resolution .png files (20" x 20", 300 dpi). 

So please feel free to download them if you have a use for them - enjoy!