Sunday, 28 December 2014

Monday Musings... Mouse House

We were out for a walk in our local park on Christmas day and came across a huge tree with a small door attached to the bottom. It was definitely the type of thing that someone must have done for their kids- such a lovely little mouse house! 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Daily Drawings

A Christmassy themed sketchbook drawing to wish you all a Merry Christmas! 
Despite some disastrous events that took place in Glasgow yesterday we're still hoping to enjoy the festive season. 

Hope you all have a wonderful time and i'll be back with some blogging in the new year!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Kari Breitigam

You may have already heard of Kari Breitigam but i've just come across her work over the past couple of days. I love the illustrations themselves, especially the ones from her All the Pretty Boys collection, but i also can't quite take my eyes off of the stitching. There's nothing i love more than a good satin stitch! When done correctly, its smooth and begging to be touched. 

Kari is from Houston and makes embroidered jewellery as well as artworks. You can find more on her website.

Daily Drawings

A quick drawing for a potential new character...

Monday, 8 December 2014

Paperfolk New Collection

Here's a little sneak peek at some of my new collection, now available in my Etsy shop! Every brooch is hand illustrated and inspired by some of my sketch book drawings. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Monday Musings

What's better than knitting? Oversized knitting I say! This image is from Little Dandelion and is the amazing work of textile artist, Jacqueline Fink. Jacqueline has a shop that sells oversized knitting goods for your body and your home so have a look for some shopping or even just for inspiration. You can also pick up kits to give it a go yourself. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Daily Drawings

More experiments with clean drawings and thickly applied acrylic paint

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Monday Musings

I came across some embroidered book covers by Chloe Giordano. I love their simplicity... Check out more on her website

Daily Drawings

Experiments with stark drawings and thickly applied acrylic.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Paperfolk makes... Stocking Garland

Okay this is a very simple project because the main maker is only 21 months old! I've been looking for lots of arty projects for Christmas that my little girl can take part in so the criteria is that it's got to be fast and can't be too fiddly. 
We made this cute garland in around 20 mins. All that's needed is some colourful felt that can be used to cut out simple Christmas shapes (we opted for stockings but trees or star shapes will do), ric rac ribbon or twine, colourful embellishments and glue. I used sticks of glitter glue because my little girl likes them and she can control a glue pen better than a glue spreader. We covered all of the stockings in embellishments then put them to the side to dry. I decided to stitch the stockings to the ribbon but you can always use glue to make it easier. 

The great thing with this is that the more colour and sparkles the better because it's supposed to look kitsch not classy! So the kids can go wild ...

Monday, 17 November 2014

Books I've Read: Rabbit Back Literature Society

The Rabbit Back Literature Society is the first novel by Finnish author Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen to be translated into English. This novel has been thoroughly discussed in the press and seems to be a current favourite of book clubs up and down the country. 

What's the plot?

The town of Rabbit Back has the feel of a quaint village where the inhabitants are hiding a dark secret. Ella Milana is a school teacher whose life takes a new direction after discovering an unusual copy of the classic novel, Crime and Punishment, in the local library. Infectious books, ghost stories and secret societies are all part of the Rabbit Back way of life. The disappearance of local author, Laura White, creates panic in the town and gives Ella a research project for her literature course. What do you do when the research and reality becomes blurred and there's some paranormal beings at work?

What did I think?

I came across the Rabbit Back Literature Society during a lunch time trip to Waterstones book store. I liked the synopsis and thought i would give it a shot. For me, the novel wasn't everything i wanted it to be. This doesn't mean it wasn't good but it felt like it was more of a youth fiction novel. The 'Game' is something that all members of the society play where they 'spill' all of their innermost thoughts and desires. Although the Game is discussed as being something that drains the player to the point of exhaustion for days i never got the feeling from the author's description of the game that it would have had this effect. The game always seemed fairly ridiculous than something to be feared. The mythological undertones were brilliantly weaved throughout the novel and it was for these sections that were most enjoyable.  

Is it worth a read?

Rabbit Back is definitely worth reading. Any flaws I felt in the book were only a result of the fact i had built up expectations for the novel. Hopefully we'll see some more works from this author in the near future. 

If you want to give it a try check out Pushkin Press for more info

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Daily Drawings...

This rabbit came out looking a lot more serious than I had intended but i'm growing to like him.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Monday Musings... Yurts!

Our holidays have become a bit less 'exotic' since our little girl came into our lives. So i'm trying to find as many fun places to go in Scotland as I can. This yurt caught my eye and is definitely on my list for our next relaxing break!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Mister Finch

Mister Finch is a man who sews and sews very well indeed. I was first introduced to his works when I did an online search for vintage plant illustrations- after scrolling through dozens of images I came across an image of a large mushroom. On closer inspection, the mushroom was made entirely from fabric and had such a beautiful, delicate touch that I had to find out more.
I ended up on the Mister Finch website and found even more images to get lost in! Mister Finch is from the Yorkshire area of England and unbelievably has no formal training. His skills have been learnt through trial and error but he definitely has natural talent thrown into the mix. Most of his works have a fairytale quality to them but it's the combination of fabric choice and sewing skill that really gives life to the sculptures. The artist works using recycled fabrics so each piece is truly unique.

I would love to see more of Mister Finch's works in the flesh as I definitely think there would be a lot to learn and love in the detail.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Daily Drawings...

It's completely ridiculous but I have always really liked the idea of animals dressing up as humans. I remember seeing some bad Victorian taxidermy where all of the animals were set out in tableaux's like playing poker or doing chores. When I say I like animals in clothing I don't mean the dressing your dog up as an elf at Christmas variety... just to be clear.

Monday Musings... Art from Elsewhere

Art from Elsewhere is a touring exhibition currently in Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art. The show changes format in every city but the aim is showcase the diversity and talent of artists working across the globe. Featured artists in the Goma show are Ana Mendieta, Kara Walker and Eugenio Dittborn.

Dittborn's works are amazing and definitely worth a visit to see those pieces alone. His Airmail Paintings are created on lightweight fabric and sent through International post. This was the only way the artist could get his works to exhibition spaces because he was currently living under military dictatorship in Chile.

More info about the shows can be found here...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Daily Drawings...

My little girl had raided the ironing basket and was dancing around with my black n white striped skirt over her head. She looked like a dancing ghost!

Monday Musings... Colouring in

For a long time colouring in was always something enjoyed by children at a young age, lost during teen years and then a guilty pleasure when you have your own kids. I fall into the latter category and spent a good hour on the train colouring in with my toddler this weekend.
One thing I have noticed is how much cooler colouring in books are! They're full of beautiful patterns and some even offer the opportunity for you to add to the existing designs as well- great for a creative block me thinks. This is a far cry from giant ordinary images (ball, car, tree etc etc) in big thick black outlines.

Here's a selection of my current favourites...

Buy it here

Buy it here

Buy it here

Friday, 24 October 2014

Daily Drawings...

This little guy looks snug as a bug! I used black ink on cartridge paper.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Monday Musings: Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele (1890-1918) is one of the first artists that I can remember being truly inspired by. I was in second year of high school and flicking through books in my art classroom. I came across a small book of Schiele's drawings and was completely mesmerised. The black outlines, the use of mixed media and the awkwardness of the drawings really appealed to me- he was doing all of the things we were told not to do in fine art!
The Courtauld Gallery in London will be hosting an exhibition of Schiele's nudes from October until January 2015. If you're in and around London during the next few months I would recommend checking it out.
Here are some of Schiele's works in the meantime to wet your appetite...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin is an artist i'm very fond of. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work she is an English artist who uses a variety of medium in work including neon signs, embroideries, screenprints and sculpture. She was part of a group of artists known as the YBAs (Young British Artists), a group that included Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. In 1997 she became famous for a work titled Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (1963-1995) . The work was a tent, appliqued with names of anyone she had ever shared a bed with.

Despite having embroidered since I was a child it wasn't until I discovered the work of Tracey Emin that I was truly inspired to use embroidery in my artwork. Before this, I looked at embroidery as a hobby that I enjoyed doing but it was often quite traditional motifs and there wasn't a lot of contemporary artists that I knew of doing this type of work. Bearing in mind that the internet wasn't something that everyone had access to, it was much more difficult to come across truly inspiring works. Emin was in the newspaper and in everyone's face- I was hooked!

Emin's work came back into mind because of a new show that opened in the White Cube, London. The show titled, The Last Great Adventure is You, looks to be an amazing body of work and I can't wait to see it.

Here are some past works of Emin's that were a great inspiration to me as a young 19 year old art student...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Monday Musings: Streetcar

I've always been a bit funny about watching theatre on the big screen. For me, its always felt the same as watching a concert on television (doesn't match up to the real thing). I decided to put all of my reservations aside and go to a screening of A Streetcar Named Desire at The Grosvenor Cinema in Glasgow.
I'm now gonna eat my words- it was A-mazing! The performances by all actors were fantastic. They must be so physically fit to do this type of theatre every night. The revolving set and limitations of all scenes taking place over two rooms was so engaging. I also loved the location in the Young Vic, London. There was a short film during the intermission about the ethos of the theatre and it just looks like such a creative environment to work in as a director. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Books I've read: MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam (2013) is the third book in the trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake (2013), followed by The Year of the Flood (2009). At the most basic level the novels tell the story of a dystopian world and the people that inhabit it.

What's the plot?

MaddAddam focuses on the story of Zeb and Toby, characters introduced in the second book. The world they currently live in is described as an apocalyptic wasteland where resources are scarce. They reunite with other survivors and set up camp with the Crakers in an attempt to rebuild civilisation. Initially Toby and Ren rescue a fellow survivor from the horrific game called Painball. The Painballers are described as a subhuman species who seek pleasure in through torture and rape. Many do not survive an altercation with the Painballers and those that do are severely traumatised.

The character of Zeb is introduced as a continuing love interest for Toby and is also the brother of Adam One. Throughout the novel we learn of the brothers upbringing which includes fleeing their Reverend father who is the head of the church of Petroleum.  

What did I think?

I haven't read a great deal of dystopian literature but Atwood's novel was gripping and ultimately very realistic. References to religion (through the church of Petroleum) in some respects are not very unlike the issues we have with religion today. This realism ensures the novel doesn't get to a point of being unable to follow the details of the individual communities or the overall story.
The characters have a great deal of depth and we root for their survival and relationships which, for me, turns a complex story into a page turner.

Is it worth a read?

I would definitely recommend this novel if you would like to dip your toe into this genre of literature. Each novel can be read in isolation because Atwood is very good at ensuring details of tribes are reinforced throughout the novel. However I would say that it is more beneficial to read the first two books in the trilogy to really invest in the story.

You can get a copy of the book here

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Daily Drawings: The Illustrator

I've been doing a few gouache sketches for a new line of prints and embroideries. Here is one I sketched out this week...

DIY Patterns: Geometric Motif 4

It's been a while since I shared a free DIY cross stitch pattern with you all. This pattern would make a great design for a tote/clutch bag or it could be done on a smaller count of aida to give you a nice fresh wall hanging.

You can download the full colour pattern here.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Amazing Illustrators: Stefan Zsaitsits

Austrian born artist, Stefan Zsaitsits, is a real talent. His works are mainly drawings simply using graphite to create detailed portraits which border on the surreal. Facial characteristics are obscured with creatures and, on occasion, fantasy scenes. The techniques used by the artist are labour intensive but result in beautiful works of depth.

If you would like to see more please check out the website