More from anipani – lockdown update

Art, craft, daily living, design, etsy, illustration, Life, print on demand sites, society6

I haven’t been resting on my laurels – now there’s an interesting phrase – this lockdown has put me in a creating frenzy and I have been adding new artworks to my handmade creations at Etsy and to my print on demand stores , Society6, Redbubble et al. And of course now we are all wearing face coverings it has to be derigeur to make them as creative as possible. The new fashion accessory of the decade was the result of a global pandemic – we live in interesting times. My partner and I are, like many, shielding from the possiblity of catching this deadly virus. The daily round looks a little different – click and collect shopping and socially distanced dog walking, but much of my routine is still the same. The worst aspect of the whole lockdown is not being able to mix with my sons and stepsons, and extended family – so as long as they remain safe I content myself with that thought. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to have family affected.

But somewhere along the line, we will be accommodating living with this new peril – there really will be no alternative, so daily living will be changed forever to some degree. The more at risk will necessarily be more restricted until a vaccine comes along – let’s hope at least for a vaccine.

But to more cheery considerations, the reason I commit my time to creating art is really down to its therapeutic value. It helps me to distance myself from all the real world anxieties – global warming, social injustice, the growing disturbances in the world. And turning to making something real is truly liberating – the necessity to focus on practical considerations of making something as well as is possible results in losing a sense of self – I am lost in that feeling of ‘flow’.

So here are some pics from the last few lockdown weeks – some of the new work I am offering and some showing the processes of getting there!

https://society6.com/product/blooming-june_print

Blooming June is on lots of products – and there is a detail version in my handmade cards at Etsy too! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/812269890

https://etsy.me/3hFJfan

I had a lovely bulk order from America of my card  ‘In the Library’ – an illustration based on detail taken from a wonderful painting by Barthélémy d’ Eyck 1442 – 1445 Still life with books. I popped a little slip around them to help protect each card , (I don’t use cello).

https://etsy.me/2YNp1mr

..and I added a lovely fold out to my book at Etsy which is a tribute to an ancient manuscript The Voynich.

https://etsy.me/2UWirZO

..and my illustrated Prufrock got some bespoke wrapping paper and a postcard sent with it!

..and this is where the magic happens! My easel is an aide- memoir – it carries messages and reminders of what I need to do next!

Creative happy life…

Art, craft, daily living, etsy, illustration, Stationery

O.K. then…not always happy exactly, but that’s what you get when you have the temperament of Eeyore – the melancholic donkey in A.A Milnes Christopher Robin. One way to lift my spirits is to turn to my handmade endeavours – the cards, the prints and the handmade books. I have been doing this for a few years now, and the pace is probably just about right for me, I have enough orders to keep my interest, but not too many to make me anxious. The books are very time consuming as you can imagine, so if I get a spurt of orders on those then I have to extend my lead times. But so far it has worked for me. Recently my contact at a local gallery has taken my prints to display, and just before lockdown had asked me to do some cards to sell there. I generally do as I am asked, but before I could get them to him, the world had to shut down.

So I am sharing them here, in the hope that they may excite you enough to visit my store at Etsy, or if you like any of the artwork here and would like it as a print on A4 rather than printed as a card, which I have shown here, please message me!  All my cards at Etsy are available here   etsy.me/1PgIKTD  and can also include a printed greeting inside.anneannecardUntitled-1annecard3annecard4annecard5annecard6annecard7annecard8annecard9annecard10annecard11annecard12annecard13annecard14annecard15

Tribute to Joseph Cornell

Art, Life

 

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My handmade book tribute to Joseph Cornell

My work in progress today  is a further version of my tribute to a most extraordinary artist, who continues to keep me curious  – and spurs me to add further pages!

Joseph Cornell 1903, Nyack, New York – 1972Flushing, New York

 

Joseph Cornell, the New Yorker, was a genius at bringing together ephemera, and producing assemblage art in a time when the genre wasn’t really considered as art.He was a collector and a presenter of dreamworlds.  Self taught and caring for a poorly brother,  he never left New York. He was born into a well to do family but spiralled down into more frugal living conditions when his father died, remaining with his mother and his sick brother until they died. He had a working life as a textile sample salesman which he hated – suffering consequent migraines and eventually left his day job to concentrate on design work. He trawled Lower Manhatten for ephemera to use in his artworks, initially collaging and moving onto his famous shadow boxes. Somewhat reclusive, he retreated into his inner worlds – and kept making his art drawing on   fairy tales and mythology,- also making reference to astronomy and the natural sciences, ballet, opera, and film.

“Somewhere in the city of New York there are four or five still-unknown objects that belong together. Once together they’ll make a work of art. That’s Cornell’s premise, his metaphysics, and his religion….- Charles Simic.

His work inhabits the hinterland between the reality we live in, and the dreams we have, the inner realities that can sustain and sometimes seem more meaningful than the exterior lives we lead.  And that is why I love him. And that is why that love propelled me to produce my own small tribute to him.  A mixture of images from some of his work mixed with my own journeys into unreality. How wonderful for me that this man drew inspiration too from Emily Dickinson – another favourite of mine!

It might be easier

To fail — with Land in Sight —

Than gain — My Blue Peninsula —

To perish — of Delight

Emily Dickinson

 

 

toward the blue peninsula

Toward the Blue Peninsula: for Emily Dickinson, c. 1953. Box construction. 36.8 x 26 x 14 cm. The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman Photo The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman Photography: Quicksilver Photographers, LLC © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015.

link to etsy listing

For more information on him please find a wonderful article here  https://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/13/arts/design/13corn.html

New Year, New range!

Art, decor, illustration, Life

I have been in contemplation regarding my Etsy shop – it is getting much harder to get visibility on there right now and I continually ask myself whether the platform is still where I need to pursue my creativity. For now I have decided to give it another go and to help it out I have dreamed up a new product range to spike interest!  My card designs have been popular, so I have chosen some to translate into mounted mini art prints which can be complemented with a personalised greetings card, so you can make someone feel extra special ! Brilliant or what!!!! There are two formats available – some designs work better 5 ” x 7 ” and some better at 4″ x 6 ” – and then I have pooled a collection of botanicals to make a set of 3 available.

You can find the listings in my shop at Etsy here, Mounted prints at Etsy  isn’t technology wonderful!

So now I just want to go viral and find myself overloaded with orders! That would be good. It just might drive people to see my other work there too of handmade books.

Here are a few more pics of some of the designs I chose to sell as mounted prints. If there are any you would like me to put up as mounted prints, please let me know!

I hope your New Year, and New decade bring peace and creative endeavour. Making things is how I manage my stress dealing with the perplexities of being human in a discombobulating world. My peace in under attack at the moment , so I need that creative side to dive into.

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Booking now!

Art, books, craft, etsy, Life

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This is a shout out to all my existing customers of my hand made books – thank you for your continued support over the year, and a gentle reminder to put your orders in for any you want me to make for Christmas as my order book gets a little busy and there’s only so many hours in a day and days in a week! I make all my handmade books myself so that’s why I am shouting out now!

For a reminder of the books available  – and remember I collaborate too, and can personalise any of the existing titles with a dedication – please go to my book section at Etsy   – My Handmade books at Etsy    

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If a book doesn’t appeal, how about one of my watercolour paper prints from Etsy, which are printed on a heavy watercolour paper to retain the character of the original artwork.

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Janeites unite!

books, craft, etsy, illustration, writers

etsy promo1

Slip cover to Jane – a tribute to Jane Austen

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Just a few pictures of the work I have been doing this week – I loved designing and making this handmade tribute to the well loved novelist Jane Austen – quite rightly she continues to be enjoyed across the globe – Pride and Prejudice has sold more than 20 million copies world wide!  I like her because of her wit – and her recognition that self worth is more valuable than external validation albeit knowing that money also makes life far more comfortable!  If you like what you see, head across to my pages at Etsy – you may find something you want me to make for you!

My shop at Etsy of handmade books, cards, and prints

A reintroduction to Modestly

Art, blogging, craft, etsy, illustration, Life, play

 

22I thought I would share some thoughts I articulated when asked a couple of years ago to contribute to an art blog – just in case you haven’t yet met me or know what I do! It seems like yesterday that I sold my first hand made book on Etsy – and every sale is just as exciting to me as that first one. It is an opportunity to put a little bit of myself into the world, albeit in a very humble sense. I hope you feel curious enough to browse my links at the end and discover the work I produce!

The quest of living our lives well is the inevitable journey each individual must take. It is the perpetual drive to retain the mystery and magic in a world that is sometimes inhumane, hostile. Sometimes life becomes almost unbearable in the moment. I have struggled to maintain my equilibrium in different phases of mine – my early twenties working in a pressurised commercial environment, my early thirties becoming a parent, my early forties learning to live with the loss of a marriage and forging a new future.
Since I was a child I have had a curiosity about how to live well. To me this is the question that philosophy tries to answer. And philosophers are interesting, but so are poets and gurus, and business leaders. Curiosity is the spring board to doing something, whatever it may be, it is about the opportunity to dig deeper, to investigate. The process of making my books chose me really. I have loved mining the minds of past thinkers – and current ones too – I think in an attempt to understand more about how to be human. That seems strange, since being human should surely be the most natural of processes. I don’t find that, I find it discombobulating, I look at behaviour to learn from it. I know now I am not alone in that feeling of alienation from my own species, and writers and artists taught me that. I learnt from my early life that being a career girl disassociated me from what is most important to me. So I stopped.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is creating. To find yourself living that flow of easy ‘being’ when the mind and the body are occupied has to be the up there with the best things. I don’t care who you are, or what you have – this is the experience that tops status, recognition, fan appeal. It is really playing – and we in the Western hemisphere have somehow forgotten that play is how we began, and how children learn best. Learn to play, and you learn how to live well. Creating anything, from a cupcake to a spreadsheet, from a poem to an engine, is about that engagement of you with something else. And alchemy happens.

Since I started at Etsy, I have diversified into card design and that spurred me onto a new product range of published notebooks , which are beautifully manufactured and offer another way of enjoying my design work complemented with the wisdom of writers and artists that have inspired me .

The design work on cards suggested to me that I could diversify into other product ranges, and print on demand sites now offer my work on a multi platform , all of which can be found via my website, or here All my sites   

Hoping to share more with you!

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Finished!

blogging, books, literature, poetry, poets

A Tribute to W.B.Yeats

yeats

Every now and again I manage to complete one of my ongoing projects!  This one has been on the back burner for some time – I already have a title that includes three of this poet’s work , but I wanted to investigate the poet a little further.

I was an early fan of his poetry – the musicality within it is magical – and I really do know how much my life has been influenced by listening to the power of the written word by a genius.  I count my poet influencers amongst my friends – they have informed my thinking and feeling for the majority of my life.  I truly believe they are life savers.

What I really find out when I dig deeper about any of my literary heroes, is how human they are – how full of paradox and confusion – and that endears me more. They above all others have shown me how truly miraculous it is to be human and alive and suffering as well as exalting. I lead a secular existence – and I am no apologist about that – but the spiritual exists within and poets help me to embrace that side of my nature.

 

A deep gratitude to artists everywhere, for the attempt to connect.  And to Mr W. B Yeats – the everlasting love of the listener and the reader.

 

‘Like along-legged fly upon the stream

His mind moves upon the silence’

 

If you are interested in seeing more of my finished tribute, it is going to be available here    Tribute hand made book at Etsy

 

‘Only connect -live in fragments no longer

Art, craft, daily living, Life, wellbeing

‘Only connect! … Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.’  E.M.Forster

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One of my greatest pleasures in life is creating. To find yourself living that flow of easy ‘being’ when the mind and the body are occupied has to be the up there with the best things. I don’t care who you are, or what you have – this is the experience that tops status, recognition , fan appeal.

This weekend I dedicated my time and my attention to two orders I had received both of which were important to the customers and were wanted quickly – one for a wedding and one for a birthday. I normally give myself a little more time but I decided to shelve all my other commitments and concentrate my efforts. ( Saying that, there is a minimum of effort I have to put in domestically to keep the wheels on !)

As a result I have made myself a new product line for my handmade goods within the Etsy environs. And I am chuffed!! It is a robust book slip cover which fits my handmade books so they can be kept safe and lovely.  I shall be experimenting some more with different finishes and papers, and hopefully list them as an add-on item to the books.

This one I have paired with the journal I made which includes blank sketching/writing pages as well as quotation and illustration. You can see the journal here  http://etsy.me/29M0msh.

Every time I send something out into the world because a customer has ordered it, I get a frisson of excitement. Will they love it?  Often I am lucky enough to get amazing comments and always feel incredibly grateful that someone has bothered to do that. I create in a very humble and small way – but it means something somewhere to someone that their order has been completed with attention and love. And it has.

Recently I sent an order that was followed up with a response that astonished me. This is the message she sent to me

‘Anne, I have just opened your parcel. I saved it until I was quite alone. I looked at carols book first and it was so beautiful it made me cry. It was so exquisitely done, with the breathtaking poetry and lovely tiny drawings of animals. You truly have a wonderful gift. Thank you so much. Then I opened the Elizabeth 1st one, which is also very lovely. THEN I carefully opened the prb one and my goodness, I was absolutely entranced. I know he will be truly amazed. It is really breathtaking. How am I ever going to be able to part with any of them? Thank you so much.
Sue’

Isn’t it wonderful that we can connect through making?

 

 

 

Help – I need somebody!

craft, etsy, Life

blog

Righto – I am going to just come right out and say it as it is – I really need some help.  My small attempt to make an impact in the world of hand crafted loveliness is running up against a big, bad wall.  Etsy has changed. It has. It isn’t where I started, but it isn’t going to change so somehow I need to man up and get my head around all this promotion business.  I have done some homework – oh yes – I don’t expect the world to fall into my  lap, adn I am well acquainted with the hows and wheretofores of S.E.O. – Three most dreaded capitals when they are together that I know.  This is the hub of it.  I need back links, and not just ANY back links , back links that matter. Back links with attitude. To quote a master on the subject, backlinks ‘are considered external because the appear on pages not found on etsy.com. Providing the site owner has not added a “nofollow” tag to your links, they will pass equity, or the SEO goodness that tell Google to trust your site.’

 

So there we are. I need you give me a backlink on your blog. Wow! I said it. I am happy  to sing it, and will write anyone a guest blog about how and what I do. Let me know if anyone is interested.