It is business as usual here in my little workshop at the back of my house in Nottingham – since last March I have been limited to walking the dog as my only outing, as my husband is fairly vulnerable to the dreaded virus. I have nevertheless managed to retain a degree of sanity by keeping up with my handmade products which I love to create, and which I sell on the Etsy platform. Making my handmade forges close relationships with some customers as I collaborate on work for commissions and have the pleasure of creating some wonderful unique gifts from customers poems.
If you don’t have that impulse, then there are always the books that I make as tributes to the things in life that have made my life meaningful – there are books celebrating the companionship of our canine companions, a book delighting in trees, the joy of parenthood, the curiosities of ancient manuscripts and a number of books which are literary tributes. I am including some pictures as tasters to provoke your interest! Why not pop along to my corner at Etsy for an in depth view!
and then of course I don’t want anyone to forget that I print bespoke greeting cards too, and art prints. I want you to come and bookmark me so that when you need a special gift or card, I am there to fulfil your need! Why not order your Mother’s Day card right now! I print inside the card too if you would like a special message.
In the meantime I would love you to have a browse over in the shop – all that clicking helps my algorithm! And thank you for all those supporting me in my creative endeavours – it has been a blessing to have something fun to do in these days of lockdown! Stay safe – we are surely on the way to finding some sort of normality again, just a few more short weeks and Spring to look forward to again!
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!
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).
..and I added a lovely fold out to my book at Etsy which is a tribute to an ancient manuscript The Voynich.
..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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
My dog walking is a joy these Autumn days – I took some photos a couple of days ago and turned them into digital paintings – just because I can! My artwork has had the feeling of fall for the past few weeks, but then it is probably my favourite season. I love the smells, and the colour – there is nothing to compare with a sun infused Autumn day. What I see informs what I create – here are a few Autumn creations in my sites at Society6 and Redbubble and at Etsy. I love finding the beauty in ordinary – very Zen!
Greetings card at Etsy
River Impressions Art print at all sites
Fall favour – acorn style Art Print at Society6
And a highlight for me this Autumn was being featured in a beautiful digital magazine Nurture, where I got to share how I love my creative work. You can find the link here Volume 5 Nurture & Bloom
I have long loved the poems by the Irish poet W.B.Yeats and had been chewing over the possibility of making one of my hand made books illustrating a portion of his magical output. I remember my first reading of one of his poems when I was a schoolgirl, and was captivated by the musicality , drawn by the melancholic undertones which so mirror my own natural character. He makes the act of yearning beautiful. I do not want to analyse or dissect, I simply want to stand and hear the beauty of the words. I do not know really, much about the man – it will make him too real when his legacy is one of magic and dreamtime. There is so much reality, and as Eliot said, we really cannot stand too much.
I made this for myself, hoping it would delight others too – if it does then I will make one for you too.