Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ludlow's Vintage Fair

I managed to get away last Saturday to Ludlow (fortunately, not too far away) to the Vintage Fair, I specifically wanted to see Viv Sliwka's work (, which i must say was even more beautiful up close than the photo's she has on her gorgeous blog. This was her stall, i really hope she doesn't mind me showing this, she allowed me to take photo's but i haven't actually asked her permission to put any on this blog!!!!! The stall was delightful, i didn't know where to look first and i wanted to pick up everything and touch it. I managed to have a quick chat with Viv, she was so lovely and such a clever talented lady.

I bought this, he he! my first piece of original art, which i've decided i'm going to collect, it's adorable, i can't stop looking at it.

p.s. we bought one of these...

These are not my photos, but we've had to put the one we've bought in my hallway and it's too dark and cramped to take a decent photo, but the one we have is like this, it will look perfect in the shop, we got it at a bargain price too!!!

Not enough hours....

Now that the weather has warmed up a little and i don't feel so cold (Ha!), i can venture back into my new art studio. Yesterday I created all day and the results were fab, so watch out for some new paintings in my next blog later today!!!! I say later because there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to do all the things i want to do. I have so many projects ongoing and i'm finding it really hard to concentrate fully on them. I've taken the photos and will do a huge blog later when i've photoshopped them, but right now i want to make some jewellery, i have some ideas that i just have to get out of my head before they disappear!

On top of all this there's preparation for the shop to think about, Gav has had to fire proofed the shop wall (putting up extra layers of plasterboard), it had to be done, but what a mess, everything is covered in dust. We're just waiting to see whether he has to do the other side or whether he can just put up another layer on the wall he's done, if he has to do the other side it will mean having to remove kitchen units. It's a phenomenal amount of work to contemplate. The upside is that the electrician has been here today and will be coming back next week to fit all our lovely spotlights in the shop and some other works, it'll take him a day and a half to complete. We're going to move out all the furniture and paint the whole shop area including the floor. We have so many gorgeous shop fittings that we'll need to spend some time re-organising it all, we've bought some extra pieces as we had some more space to fill once we realised the stairs weren't going in just yet.

It was so exciting today as i received another delivery of items for the shop, i'm keeping things a secret now, but i was in my element unpacking, checking etc. We are due to receive two very large orders over the next week or so and still have some orders to place yet. All these items have to be entered onto our stock register which will be such a massive job, Gav's already started it. We have the till(s) which will be connected up to the computer and we found the most adorable vintage wooden one at the auction a few weeks ago, now we have to decide which one to use, the vintage one that gives a loud ding when the drawer is opened, it's so cute, all in working order, we just have to decide whether to use it or sell it!!!!!

In addition to all this I'm doing a talk at the local ladies club in the next few weeks, i've already chosen my topic so will have to make some notes and printouts soon, i'm also going to run some craft workshops - i've thought of a few things to do, but will need some input from those involved. Ideally i would like to do some workshops with children, there's something really refreshing and innocent about a childs artistic abilities don't you think?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


I loved creating this three dimensional piece, i wanted the pink and blue a little darker... or more antiquey...but it didn't work out that way. It's so pretty.

And, inspired by Nicci's cat, Nurmel (who just gave birth to five kittens) i did this:
Well, i've got my lovely sister, Karen, and her lovely family visiting tomorrow, can't wait. It's Megs (my niece) birthday, so we're having a party.

Indigo Moon

One of the most difficult things we've had to do recently regarding the shop was choose a name! We'd wanted "Montgomery Gallery", but having had to scale things back we didn't think the word "gallery" would suit anymore. Gav came up with Montgomery Emporium, but we thought it sounded too grand. My sister came up with a fab name of "civil occasions", but we'd decided we couldn't sell the ceramic tableware we'd originally planned, so that didn't suit either. We ended up with having just a day to pick one and design a logo, as those "lovely" people from planning needed a design of the sign! So here it is. I think the name suits.
This is the shop area at the moment. Gav's demolished the dividing wall between what was the living room and the old shop entrance. You can see Diana Forrester's old steps down into the shop, which we'll be keeping.
He he!!! that monstrous black thing on the chair in the middle of the room is a solid cast iron safe...weighs a ton. The previous owners left it in one of the upstairs rooms and we had to get a neighbour to help us move it downstairs. We wondered what we were going to do with it, but found out that scrap metal is quite valuable at the moment and got £120 for it, plus the guy collected it and took it away. £120 for nothing....yaaaaaay!!!!!!!!
It looks a mess, but it's sort of organised. It looks much better without the wall there, much bigger, can't wait to get started on decorating in here. Gav's got some fabulous spotlights to put up and we're just placing our stock orders...can't wait.

Art Room

I started to put completed artwork on the wall in my art room, I still have more to put up, but it's looking more like a studio each day.
Unfinished Alice ... done with my new aquabrush and Caran d'ache water colour crayons
Alice Cat enjoying the sun

My Reading Room

This is the top floor and our reading room (nicci laughs when i call it a room!!!! but i think it's big enough to be a room). I've put a cushion on the windowsill for Alice, she seems to have taken to sitting there these days. We found these lovely low chairs at the auction, i'm looking for a cover/throw for the brown one (we like the green one as it is), they're very comfy for reading in.
We're still looking for some nice rugs for here and saw a nice one at auction a few weeks ago, but didn't get it - these will have to do for now though, it gives it warmth for the moment.
Little owl nice...

The gorgeous book Gav bought for me off EBay...

It's got loads of blank pages too for adding more images.

My Dressing Table...

Photos of my dressing table, it looks so stunning. I had a large black jewellery box with all my necklaces and earrings and things in, but, but everything got so tangled and was constantly hidden away, so I got rid of it and picked up these lovely vintage dishes from the auctions to hang and put things in. I also found this lovely old covered coat hanger (I think it was my mothers) to hang some things from, it's so much easier to choose things to wear now.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Topsy Turvey

Hmmm....having a funny few days, i feel like a character out of Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree (OMG...i love that book), i used to read it to nicci when she was young, remember Toffee Shocks and Pop Biscuits, silky the fairy, dame washalot, moonface and saucepan man...ha, everyone should read that book!!!! Anyway...yesterday whilst cooking tea, i prepared the veg and as i went to rinse them in a colander under the tap, for some odd reason i squirted washing up liquid on them..... took me an hour (instead of five minutes) to get the soap bubbles off them!! even when i served them up i was sure i could still taste remnants of soap. Also as i was going out, i'd decided in my mind that i would first clean my teeth and then put some make-up on, but my brain was topsy turvy (one of the lands in the magic faraway tree) and i ended up putting toothpaste on my make up brush!!!!
I feel back to normal today, Gav and i are going for our daily walk up to the castle and then we're coming back to bagels, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and coffee......weekend treat.
"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast"
- John Gunther
Well.....not always, but for today anyway

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Art Journals i'm currently working on...

Moleskine Page Spiral Bound Art Journal

Altered hand made Art Journal

Just Gorgeous

Some of the gorgeous pendants we got for the shop - they're fab, it's like christmas here, the postman's delivering goodies every day!!!

Some Photos of my new Art far

Still have loads of work to do in here, but have at least set things out so it's usable.
This is the seating area (looking for a nice rug/carpet to put in this area and a nice table cloths to cover the tables. The back behind the sofa wall will make a nice display area for completed art...(currently on the floor), in fact all the walls can be used for that, there's enough space for me to have a design wall too, so i'm currently thinking about avery large fabric covered board where i can pin notes on ideas and inspiration. We fouund a lovely big sturdy table for the printer, we wanted something really good so we could do art prints of my work, Gav's having a great time with it, he's falso ound some vintage posters that he can print on there in order to sell in the shop, they've come out fab so far, (although he says he needs to play about with the colours a bit more...such a perfectionist) i think they look fab. The little table to the right is my embellishing table and the one on the left is my sewing table. The floor boards in here are fab, they're so old and uneven, the light coloured square on the floor is where we think the post hatch may have been used for the post office back in the day... Sewing Table
Painting Table
This is the opposite end of the room to the sofa
Completed Art
Vintage ephemera for collage

I now need to find some pretty lace netting to go over the windows, some pretty curtains and some decent lighting. I think once all that is sorted and the rest of my supplies are sorted out, it'll be perfect. If/when we get permission to open the shop, i can work in there and also work in here creating art to go in the shop.

"When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life" - Greg Anderson

Montgomery War Memorial

We went for a lovely walk the other day up to the Montgomery War Memorial, fantastic, the views at the top are out of this world, well worth a visit.