This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “art

The Drawing Bug

It seems like recently I have caught the drawing bug, probably largely helped by a sudden avalanche of sales for my Penguin Valentines Cards! It really has been rather exciting over here at Penguin HQ!

I’ve found that I really do love drawing cute little animals and it seems like i’m getting better and better every time i open up photoshop! I’ve even started recording my drawing process as i think it does help to watch back when i’m not concentrating on drawing, plus i think it could be quite a nice little addition to my youtube cannel that’s been lying dormant for so long! You can watch all my time-lapses here!

I drew these seahorses as another option for valentines day, but ended up not really liking them enough to put up in my shop. I do think they’re cute but, gosh, are seahorses hard to draw! Maybe i’ll revisit them once i’ve improved a bit more.

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I started to relax into my drawing a bit more and drew this adorable Hippo! This has to be one of my favourite drawings to date! He’s wearing a cute little party hat and singing ‘Hippo Birthday’, because Hippo’s are obviously amazing singers! 😉 I think my shading improved so much on this picture and I just love the hippos character!

You can buy my Hippo Birthday card here!

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Ashley then gave me the idea of drawing a shiny-object-loving magpie stealing a ring for a wedding or engagement card and I thought it was a great idea! I wanted to add a little simple background to this one and love how it turned out although i think i will tweak my shading tomorrow as it isn’t as good as on my Hippo.

You can find my Magpie Thief card here!

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What do you think I should draw next?

I also have some other exciting plans for my youtube so do keep an eye out for more learning, projects and other fun things!

But for now, it’s time to sew!

Claire

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Letting Out Our Inner Rebels

As I said in my last post, it was myself and Ashley’s 3 year anniversary!

On the day itself we didn’t do much although I had made plans for when we had more time. Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic, that and getting used to actually having a proper routine for the first time in 2 years had me very sleepy with my body being a little confused (hence the lack of updates i’m afraid). But eventually we had a day where we were free to actually celebrate!

As a surprise for him I took him to a graffiti workshop. He sometimes seems to think he’s a bit of a ‘bad boy’ with his love of drum and base and gangster movies, but he is really a big nerd so I thought it might be fun to embrace his inner rebel.

The workshop was near portobello road in the Westbank Gallery and was lots of fun. We learnt about different tags, styles and effects then created our own tag before being let lose with the paint.

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It looks so easy on paper...

We both somehow managed to create something that looked like our images, but wow is it difficult! I’ve always admired the more elaborate graffiti as I never assumed it was easy, and they really can be a work of art, but I never thought it would be quite that difficult! Our instructor made it seem so easy, moving the can in elegant arcs and making it do precisely what he wanted it to. When we tried the can seemed to have a mind of it’s own. As we practiced more we started to get the hang of it and Ash seemed to gain some fans in the two lovely middle aged ladies next to us who admired his, actually quite precise, can control.

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Eventually we both managed to create something that almost resembled what we’d had down on paper and we quite pleased with ourselves.

It was a great workshop and the instructor was very helpful, I would definitely recommend it. Ash said he really enjoyed it too so i’d say the present was a success!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around portobello road and trying to resist buying things before buying some cider and sitting in park soaking up the sun and meeting some friends for more drinks.

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My gift from Ashley was a tablet! I bought myself a case and keyboard for it as well so now it’s like a mini portable laptop. It’s going to be so useful for updating all my social media where ever I may be , and on the commute to work, which should hopefully mean a lot more updates!

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I still can’t believe we’ve been together for 3 years, it’s gone so quickly and we’re still as loved up as ever. As soppy as it sounds, I really couldn’t imagine life without him.

I’ve got lots of new posts on the way for you over the next week or so. Alphabet dating is finally coming back with date H, new youtube projects, more sewing and drawings. It’s going to be a lot of fun. 🙂

Claire x


An Unconventional Valentines – Etsy Treasury

I haven’t done one of these in AGES and I felt it was finally time to get back in the habit of making treasuries. It’s really enjoyable and gives a chance to look at all the weird and wonderful things Etsy sellers have to offer!

I decided to go for a valentines theme, as it is nearly that time of year again, but wanted to give it an unusual twist. Here are a collection of items that are either unusual in themselves or not very conventionally valentines. For all the items you can find them on Etsy by just clicking the image!

Hope you enjoy!

1) Heart Little Breath Pair

I don’t think I need to explain why these are included, they are very unsual. They remind me of something you might find in a Studio Ghibli film, maybe that’s why I like them. They certainly have a charm to them and would be a cute edition to a bookcase or sideboard.

2) Watercolour Love Red Umbrella

This one is included as I feel it has a very sombre feel to it, something not usually associated with valentines day. However I do think that this is a very beautiful print, I especially love the streams of red coming off the umbrella, gives a good sense of the downpour this couple could be caught in.

3) The Heart

This simple, but expressive piece would make a great statement piece in your home, or even a great card (if the seller were to sell cards).  I love the messy approach and think this is a very cool piece.

4) Circuit Board Cufflinks

These cool cufflinks would be great for any computer geek (just like my boyfriend!) or even just someone who likes gadgets (so most guys then). The whole shop is full of these awesome geeky items and is a personal favourite of mine.

5) Personalised Champers Kit

Drinking champagne might be something done quite often on Valentines day, but making your own isn’t! In all honesty i’d probably enjoy the making more than the drinking! It would definitely be a cute thing to do with your loved one, and even if it isn’t ready for the day itself it would give you a good excuse to have another romantic night in.

6) Anatomical Heart in a Jar

This hand blown glass item is the perfect gift for someone who hates the unrealistic heart usually associated with love and valentines. Not only does the bottle look gorgeous but the heart is captivatingly intricate. Definitely a cool piece to display in your home.

7) Valentines Bear

Teddy bears are a very common valentines day gift but they usually hold roses and hearts and other things that make me want to vomit (i’m not the most girly of girls when it comes to these things). This bear is a whole lot cooler, and cuter! Plus it could be the perfect gift for both men and women!

8) Love Letter Cookies

Love letters are very popular for all those lovey-dovey couples out there, but if you want something a little bit different why not make those letters edible! We all know girls love sweet things, and what better than to cover those sweet things with a poem that will probably make her cry! You’d be the best boyfriend ever, until they’re all eaten up at least.

9) ClockWork Heart Tie

This unusual tie is pretty cool and would be a great gift for the man in your life, especially if he likes unusual ties.

10) Little Sculpture holding Heart

This cute sculpture is part of a ‘star series’. These cute and quirky items are really fun to look at and would make a great, inexpensive gift for someone special.

11) Valentines Bike

I found some similar bike sculptures (although not heart themed and probably not by the same person) when I went to amsterdam and bought one each for my mum and her boyfriend. They are super cool and a great gift for any bike maniac.

12) Egg Valentines Card

Bored of the standard valentines greetings card? Well this shop makes ‘cards’ out of real chicken eggs! Your personalised message is put inside your chosen egg and you have to crack the egg open to read it which almost seems a shame as they’re so cute!

13) Longitude and Latitude bracelet

I love the rustic look of this bracelet and it can be personalised to have your own co-ordinates on! Maybe you could have it set to the place you both first met, your home, where you were proposed to, anywhere of real significance to the relationship.

14) Wooden Card

Another unusual card option. These look beautifully made and can double up as the actual gift as they can be kept on display with the mini easel the shop also sells. Just lovely!

15) Heart Shaped Chalkboard Stickers

Ok, bit of a strange choice I know, but i think these stickers could be really cute for creating your own valentines gift. Stick them on jars and fill with love heart sweets, or make a valentines day picnic labelled with them, there are so many possibilities! I think they would be great for a personal touch to your gift and look pretty cool, plus you can always wipe off your message and use them again.

16) Heart Nose Ring

Nothing says ‘Valentines Day’ quite like jewellery, but lets start steering away from the expensive diamond rings, they are far too special for a day where you’re practically forced to be romantic. Instead get something cute like this adorable little nose stud, i kinda wish I had my nose pierced just so I could buy this.

What unconventional things are you planning for this valentines? Or what sort of unusual things have you done in the past? I’d love to hear your stories!


Shades of Blue – Treasury

I made a treasury today for Craft Britannia’s Shop of the Week : Louise Mead Art 

I just love her abstract ‘Rain’ painting, especially as it features my favourite colours and just really looks stunning!

You can find the treasury here

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Katy Jade Dobson Art

I was 3 hours away from my home, my legs we’re aching after running up a steep hill and I was all dolled up in a pretty party dress and heels frantically trying to get in touch with a friend.

It all started weeks ago when my friend, and artist, mentioned an evening event at a gallery her art was being shown at. In passing Ash suggested that we surprise her and turn up to the gallery without her knowing. I looked at my Rota and I finished work early enough on the day to be able to get there just in time, plus I had the day after completely off!

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So then it was a waiting game. I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when we just randomly turned up, and I very nearly told her of our plans several times. I was just too excited!

On the day I finished work at 4, then I had to run some errands, post some packages, pack my bags. By the time we left it was 5:30 and we we’re definitely now in a rush. The drive was surprisingly easy, just the A1 for most of the way. We got there and it had seemed like the event had been cancelled, katy wasn’t replying to texts as she was other wise occupied so we decided to walk to the gallery anyway.

As expected it was closed, eventually I rang Katy and asked if she minded two people imposing themselves on her. She was very shocked but luckily seemed delighted that I had travelled to see her.

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The next day myself and Ash left Katy to go to and open up the gallery before joining her later in the day after a bit of breakfast and sightseeing.

Her gallery really looks amazing. I knew her paintings we’re gorgeous, but they look even better in person than in the photographs! The colours she uses range from natural earthy tones to bright dazzling rainbows. Every painting uses colour to great effect, really catching the eye. The subjects are superbly drawn in a messy but elegant way, really giving life and movement to the pieces. I know I may be biased, but I really do love her Art and I believe it speaks for itself.

Whilst I was there I decided to do a little interview with her:

CR : What did you want to be when you were younger?

KD : Well originally I wanted to be a horse, then a tooth fairy, and then an olympic gymnast, but I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Always, always.

 

Photo courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : That is adorable! So what was it about Art that interested you? 

KD : Well, I would say its whatever is suggested in art, the small things like a glance, or a certain positioning, or the way that not everything is recorded in a painting but it is suggested and you can fill in the blanks yourself in any way you want.

CR: What inspires you? 

KD : Sometimes, before I am inspired by the subject, I am more inspired by the want to paint something of a particular nature (powerful, strong or soft and calm) and then the decision the work on a particular subject and the research behind that is then the inspiration to actively get up and do the painting. I’m also inspired by artists like Odilon Redon who can work in dreamy and ethereal ways, thats why my work isnt always an accurate depiction of a scene, I like to add a dreamy quality to it.

 

Gorilla by Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : When you’re not painting, what do you like to do? 

KD : Painting is quite a solitary process so I like to be around friends a lot. I like to go out for walks when it’s sunny, walking a dog,  going out for food and drinks or getting inspired by other artists.

CR : What have you found to be the most challenging with your art? 

KD : The process, the development and the actual physical act of the work seems to be very fluid and not exactly easy, but without its challenges. On the other hand, the part i struggle with is the side that I cant control as much, such as the material i am working on, if it takes a knock it effects the final piece. I am learning to see what materials work best to keep the longevity of my work to a high standard, i dont want that to compromise the work that is on it

Stag by Katy Jade Dobson Art

CR: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

KD : Oh gosh! Well I have lots of ideas for collections, some conflicting ideas but all seem to relate back to my own style. As I experiment with other materials to work on I might see a shift in technique and therefore, maybe, some new styles. But for now I am still figuring that out, I will have to see what happens in the future and how my work translates into prints and merchandise.

You can see Katy’s Elegant Mess Exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln until the 14th of April. Or if you don’t live close enough you can follow her wordpress here, find her facebook page here and her official site here!

Photo Courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art


A Shopping Trip and Business Discussions

On Saturday I went to see my sister in London. We went to Old Spitalfields market to have a gander of all the different products. There were some really amazing products and some great, quirky inspiration! It was actually a very good eye-opener for me who is having trouble with which direction to take my business next. I know I need a more cohesive theme but i’m struggling to find my niche. I recommend anyone having the same trouble to go and have a gander around other handmade shops, businesses and market places. Look at what they do, how they present their products and gain inspiration from their products (baring in mind that copying and inspiration are two completely different things of course).

I actually ended up buying this adorable Penguin Print from Katie Viggers and can’t wait to get it framed and up on my wall (although knowing me it will probably stay in it’s protective envelope for far too long)

We then wen’t for a bit of retail therapy around the corner in a shopping centre. I ended up spending far too much money in H&M but definitely don’t regret any of my purchases. I got an adorable dress with a christmas light print and mesh layer on top, a snazzy jacket and two pretty t-shirts (one bought for me by my generous sister who saw me pining after it). I also spent my Next christmas voucher on a snazzy pair of sunglasses!

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A very successful shopping trip!

We then decided it was time for a bite to eat and had some business chat over a bowl of chips and a few drinks.

We brainstormed about my business and where i wanted it to go next. We talked about the items we had seen at the market and how I could make similar things with my own unique stamp on them. Most of all we talked about how I could make my shop cohesive and about how to market my products.

Dressed for different seasons, I promise it was sunny when I first put on my snazzy new glasses!

It was really useful to have a big chat about the shop and has really helped me to see what I want for it in the future.

I feel i have more direction with my business now. I just need to wait for a few more supplies to arrive for me to really get stuck in, but I promise there are exciting things for the future, i just need to make sure I stay motivated and don’t procrastinate too much.

‘Till next time!


Autumn Woodland – Treasury

The weather is getting colder now and Autumn is upon us! It’s time to wrap up warm by the fire and be glad you’re not one of those woodland creatures out in the cold. So here’s a few items to celebrate the autumn months and the cute little animals that are frolicking in the forests of england. You can find my treasury with all the items in it here there are also links to all of the items in their titles.

Little Bird Fused Glass Suncatcher

This cute little sun catcher by Lazy Daisy Glass will be perfect for bringing the autumn colours into your room and decorating your windows! A great decoration for this, or any, time of year!

acorn nature photograph

This gorgeous photograph by Shannonpix just shouts of autumn to me. Acorns, rustic wood, greens and browns. I think this would would look amazing above a log fire on a cold night.

Autumn leaf tile picture

Damson Tree Pottery makes some truly wonderful items, some of which I have my eye on for when I actually have some money (and a bigger home). This cute little tile is perfect for welcoming the autumn months into your house with those vibrant colours.

Silver birch trees Cushion covers

Another item for your home made by VeeDubz. I love the look of trees in winter and these cushion covers catch their intricacies perfectly! I can just picture my self snuggling up on the sofa with these.

Autumn Leaves Fox Glass Sculpture

This adorable glass sculpture would look amazing on any mantle piece or window sill. The autumn leaves and the running pose really gives the idea of movement to the piece and makes me imagine all the critters in the woods hurriedly foraging for food before winter sets in.

Autumn Leaf Cuff Bracelet

More leaves! And this time they are wearable. I think this cuff would look great with just a simple black dress and some matching accessories. I love the colours, all the detailing, and the fact that it just looks so delicate! Almost like real leaves! It’s the perfect statement piece this autumn.

Fall / Autumn Leaves hanging decorations

These bright and colourful decorations are bound to catch the eye of your guests who will just marvel at the details. These come in lots of other designs too so you could even buy a whole forest of them!

Custom Wedding Cake Topper

I’m sure they’ll be plenty of autumn weddings out there, so why not match the wedding to the season? This adorable cake topper is just perfect for an autumn cake. The bride and groom can be fully customised making this truly yours and then kept as a keepsake to remind you of your special day.

autumn leaves vintage Prova scarf

This vintage scarf is just gorgeous. I think it would look great with a nice thick coat. I think it’s something I could imagine both myself AND my grandma wearing! This is definitely a fashionable scarf for all ages.

Trees in Autumn original watercolour painting

This abstract print by Caroline Grigg is just gorgeous! The ‘splodgy’ (for lack of a better word) tree effect and then the details of the branches and birds really make this an interesting piece. The colours are just beautiful and make it seem really homely and warm. Again the log fire seems to compliment this item perfectly…

fox & friend brooches

These adorably, simple brooches are perfect for autumn lapels! Personally I think they would look great pinned on a fur (or faux-fur) collar. It’s a simple way to make any outfit just a little cuter.

BEAR Art Print

Who doesn’t love Bears? They look so big and cuddly, as long as you stay away from the claws!  This is another print that’s just perfect for a room with a log fire (or maybe I just really want a log fire…) I love the innocent, happy look on the bears face and it’s relaxed way of sitting. It just makes me want to relax myself and watch the world go by.

felt fox brooch

Another fox brooch for your lapels. Again this one is adorable and again I think It would go well with fur! It’s the perfect way to style up your coat (or what ever else you want to pin it to).

Knit fox hat

Apparently I can’t get enough of foxes, here’s another foxy item! Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE my novelty hats. In fact when I was younger I had a page on a website completely devoted to my collection of hats! I think the main reason I love autumn is because I get to wear my many many headwarmers. It’s taken everything I have (and my lack of money) to stop me buying this. I honestly don’t need any more hats with ears, but yet I still want them. Someone just please buy this before I do.

Hedgehog Ring

Another Item I’ve had my eye on for a while..This absolutely adorable ring. Not only is it a cute little hedgehog, but it has an adorable little crown! It just makes me ‘Squee’ every time I look at it.

Kid’s Coin Pouch

The last item is this adorable Coin purse. It’s covered in little critters and is perfect for the young animal lover to carry around their pocket money. It even has a handy ring tab to help keep it safe!

There will be more treasuries coming soon (They’re just so much fun to make!) The next one will be Halloween Themed!

So ’till next time!

Keep working hard!