Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Gorgeous new stock...

We've had in some lovely new door and cupboard knobs/handles at Indigo Moon, it's taken ages to open all the boxes up and check each item for damage, and that everything has been delivered but we've done it.  Now all that remains is to find room in the shop!!!
...Easier said than done methinks!


...and these lovely rustic spice boxes

We've been a bit busier in the shop today, quite a few people in and all seem to be buying, which is good for January/february.  Gav is on the last day of tax returns and should be finished later this afternoon, poor love has been holed up in his little room glued to online tax returns, and up to his eyes in receipts and invoices but, hopefully it should calm down for him after today.

We'll be getting the middle floor corridor cleaned up later now that all the painting has been done, the floorboards need a good clean and the carpet/runner should be arriving this week - i'm so excited.  That corridor is a major part of the house and it's always looked like a store room, it's exciting to see it, at last, looking part of a proper cosy home.

I decorated some moleskine notebooks yesterday for my etsy shop and real shop!  I didn't have time to put the photos on but i did get one on Flickr... http://www.flickr.com/photos/18810514@N05/6790547697/in/photostream 

have a look!  I did ten altogether, all with different pictures on them, they also have part of the story on the back.  I got them from an old 1940's/50's bedtime annual, the book was of no value in that most of the pages were missing, scribbled on etc, but they look great like this.  I'll photo the rest in my next post.
Have a nice Tuesday everyone

Sunday, 29 January 2012

I predict a riot...

A riot of colour...
I've had a brilliant weekend (and even managed to do some more work on my collage painting through the week)
 The highlight was seeing the Kaiser Chiefs play in Llandudno on Friday night...they were amazing.  We booked into a hotel next door to the venue and as Nicci was looking after the shop for us and gave us strict instructions not to rush back we did a detour on the way home to pick up some Ebay bargains in Stafford and spent the rest of the day in Leek looking around their gorgeous antique shops and having a nice lunch....very relaxing.
...and the market

Pencilling in the flowers
 Painted flowers

it's not finished yet, i have a few more layers to do, but have some other works in progress.

...like house painting.  This is what the middle floor corridor now looks like, bright white and looking lovely with the faux panelling removed, gav fixed the architraving around the doors and we did the painting between us through the week.  The carpet, or narrow runner (it would be a shame to hide these gorgeous wooden floorboards, which are very old) will arrive later this week and we'll try and find time to put up the curtains (Gav's busy doing the tax returns/accounting at the moment so he's flat out).
 A glimpse of the bathroom, i painted the "red" bath a lovely "Steel Symphony" grey and the feet silver.  The wood panelling is only on half of two walls and matches the bath, the rest is bright white - can't find the curtains i want though.
 I also finished my stock of hand made business cards through the week, it's great to get all these things done, customers pick my business cards up all the time in the shop so it's nice to have a huge stock of them ready to put out.
 and I recieved this gorgeous piece of artwork from Micki Wilde, in a mail art swap, i love it.  Thanks Micki xx
Hope you've all had a good weekend.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Creative fun...

Here are some of the felt brooches i've been making in my kitchen and at the shop counter during these quiet(ish) times.  They're all for sale in the shop and look stunning together.

 and...i'm still unpacking art supply boxes that have been sealed up for nigh on three years, it's like christmas.  I've found some fab supplies that i'd forgotten i had, like these lovely pastel chalks.  I love using these in my paintings, i lay the colours down and brush over with water, the colour is so intense, although you do have to seal with fixative, but it's well worth it and they go a long way, best results are on watercolour paper.  I invested in some really good ones and chose the colours carefully (most of the yellow one is over my carpet, which is a no no, as it makes a right mess and is difficult to get out, goes well with the pencil sharpenings though.
 ...and my bird stamps i bought from Waterstones, in another life.
 ...my Caran D'ache colouring pencils which i used on all my collages before i packed them up, the colour blending on these are superb.
 ...Dr Martins concentrated water colours - i got these at "Inkspot" in Cardiff, i have a yellow one somewhere...no doubt it'll turn up in one of the boxes soon.
 ...Stuart Gill paints, these are wonderful and can be used on fabric too, they can also be heated for different textures.  I've used the silver one to paint the legs on my bath (i'll show you soon when it's all done, silver, bright white and steel symphony, it looks great).
...more boxes to unpack soon, can only manage a few at a time.

The new shelving in the shop, i think it looks great with all gav's treasures on them, especially the phones.
view through the shop, it's full to the brim 

Just look at this!!!!

I'm famous
Someone named their cafe after me!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


...I had so many nice plans for the start of the new year but alas the much needed house renovations are still getting in the way of the nice relaxing things i'd like to do.  However, it's not all doom and gloom, the house organisation and decorating is coming along nicely and even though we're exhausted and still in a mess here, at least we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
I did manage to do a tiny bit of artwork over the weekend, experimenting with some of my long lost pastels i found when i emptied all my "packed up boxes of 3 years".  It's just a small piece and not finished, but it was nice to have some peace and quiet to do it.

"Outstretched Hand"

Also i managed to download a few more books onto my Kindle, I went in search of some of my favourite classics and managed to get included two favourites "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and many others that i haven't yet read. 

I also bought these books by two of my favourite artists:
I can't wait to get stuck into these, i think i'll keep them for when i get a whole day for just creating and relaxing, but it's probably not going to be much before the Spring time unfortunately...

...anyway we've just completed another room on the middle floor, it used to be my old art room, remember this?

well it now looks like this and is Nicci's new bedroom.
Since taking this photo the corridor has been stripped of panelling, re-plastered and skimmed and is ready for painting and the room next door to this (which will be the guest room) has been started on too.

The biggest job of yesterday was moving a load of shelving into the shop from the middle floor room.  We only decided the day before when we knew it needed to be dismantled that it would work in the shop, so Gav cut it into three parts and i nearly killed myself trying to pass these huge lengths of shelving through the window to him down onto the street (at 7.30am), not to mention the car that was in the way, which we very nearly dented in the process!!  But thanks to Brian, our very kind neighbour, who was on his way to get the paper, who not only helped gav manouevre them around the car to get them out, but also stayed until 11.00am helping us re-assemble them in the shop, he's very kind and it was much appreciated.

They look brilliant in the shop and i'll try and take some photos later when it's a bit more organised!

so...over the next few weeks I will be painting but it will be walls rather than canvas, it's a nice feeling even if it is hard work.  Putting the house in order has been a huge project for us especially as it was straight on from setting up and organising the shop (which is always an on-going project) but we're at the stage now where we can think about the soft furnishings and all the lovely old vintage/antique furniture we've purchased from auctions and put it all into place.  It'll beat living in a warehouse any day!

and i've been managing my time contructively whilst in the shop (as promised) it has been quiet (well, i say quiet there are a lot of people coming through the door but not many spending, which is what we expect at this time of year), so i made twenty felt brooches whilst sat at the counter over the last week or so and today i'm doing my business cards, along with a little bit of shop tidying and organising along the way.

Finally It was lovely to have a flying visit from my friend Jo yesterday, she always takes the time to pop in for a chat and a bit of moral support .  I couldn't even make her a coffee the kitchen was full of shop stock and the electricians were also in there fixing smoke alarms.  But i'm sure she'll forgive me, my aim is to treat her to a nice lunch one day here in my lovely tidy, newly decorated kitchen (when i've done it that is), she's very patient and i'm sure she doesn't mind waiting.

So....on with things again now, have a lovely day everyone!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Creating again.....

I can't tell you how i feel having a permanent new work room back in my life, it's heavenly and very healing.  The only downfall at the moment is that i'm so busy in the shop ordering and checking new stock and house organising and decorating that i haven't had as much time as i'd like to spend in there.  However, i did manage a few hours over the weekend and i started a new piece. 
I've had a few customers in the shop asking for my "vases of flowers" art, and as i'd sold the previous three i'd done, i thought i'd do some more. This is a quite a large piece and i've only photographed the bottom half of it. I'm really enjoying building up the layers of paint and collage at the moment, i've no idea when it will be finished or what it will eventually look like!

 and i have company whilst working.  Lizzie sits in the room with me, she loves the windowsil, people watching, every now and then she'll start wagging her tail as someone walks by down on the street.  But her favourite thing is bird watching, because we're on the top floor we're almost level with the tops of the houses opposite and she watches the birds flying about, it's quite comical.
I love these papers.  On my recent trip to Chester i popped into Hobbycraft for some brushes and decided to give them a try on my collages.  I usually get my patterned papers from my stash of wallpaper samples i've collected over the years, but these looked so pretty and they were in a sale!

 the much needed paintbrushes and some stamps i found for background decoration (which were also in a sale)
Well it's back to work tomorrow after a very lazy day off today, but i don't mind a bit.  I'll lie in until about nine(ish), i can shower, get dressed, have coffee, breakfast and walk the dog before i have to stroll into the shop, which is just through the door from the kitchen.  Ahhhh!

Tomorrow (in a quest to do constructive things through the day) i'm making lots of lovely new felt brooches for the shop (ready for Spring) and i have some new business cards to paint. 

Have a good week everyone.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

In search of calm in 2012

Welcome to my first blog of 2012

(I know it's a little late, but i've been so busy with house organising)

As you can see i've changed my blog slightly...I wanted something fresh for the coming new year, there will be a picture at the top soon i'm just waiting to scan it!

I'm so excited, one of the major things I did over the Christmas holidays was getting my art studio set up, it's taken me ages and all my energy, but what better way to start the New Year? For the first time in three years i now, once again, have a cosy little art studio/room all to myself, with all my art, art supplies, lap top, books, magazines, kindle, ipod around me, a place where I can shut myself off to the world (when i want to) and get back to creating to my hearts content! Bliss.
The first task was to move this lot to the upstairs new art room, and it was all undertaken after first emptying the art room to be, which was also full to bursting point.
however, I did it as you can see
This is the new art room up on the top floor, it's quite small, but big enough for me

My new, "old" work table. 
I found this at an auction a while ago, it's perfect (my other table was much too big for this room.

My darling husband very kindly fixed in some shelves for me
(please note it's dark by this time and i'd shut the curtains.  You can just see the montgomery christmas lights twinkling through)
and this was the end result,
it's still a work in progress, but i'm trying to keep it as comfy as possible.

It's so nice to finally get to this stage in my life, I've had some major physical and emotional upheavals over the last three years (nearly all my own choice), including three major house moves, leaving my job, becoming a full time artist and starting my own successful business, and getting married...to name a few ...and finally, the start of 2012 sees things settling down for me (us), not only with moving and working here in beautiful Montgomery, but getting our lovely home organised, decorated and livable. We still have a way to go, but at least we seem to be moving in strides now.  Building work has resumed and that's caused some upheaval but it should all be sorted by end of feb.

2011 was a huge learning curve for me and i leave it behind with mixed emotions.  The highlight of the year was, of course, getting married.  My art was published in Cloth Paper Scissors and i held my first solo art exhibition here in Montgomery, which I approached with huge trepidation and very little confidence but was totally amazed at the response i got.  I met loads of interesting people, made new friends, received many requests to set up workshops and got invited to meet and exhibit with other artists at Andrew Logan's Big Buzz Festival in Berriew.  In May we'd accomplished our first year of trading as Indigo Moon and the accounts were good.  We approached both the summer and Christmas extremely organised, Indigo Moon was stocked to the hilt, we'd shoe-horned in as much as we could and our customers loved it.  Some of the lows were having a disastrous holiday in September with a "Beautiful Wales" cottage we booked, getting our car broken into in Manchester when we went to see "The Wall", our plumber letting us down with the new bathroom he fitted resulting in us having to threaten court action to get it righted and although he did pay up, we had to find someone else to do the work. Gavin lost an uncle to cancer and our friend George (who played with his band at our wedding) was diagnosed with MS. The most annoying was having to deal with (from the most unexpected quarter) the most hateful, vindictive, spiteful, narcississtic, personality disordered person i've ever come across (and as a former medical secretary to a consultant psychiatrist in a psychiatric hospital, i feel qualified to recognise/diagnose it).

So...my plans for the new year are to first and foremost rid myself of all the negative things of last year (which is already done), continue to build on my artistic success and Indigo Moon success.  To update both my Etsy shop (it's very pitiful at the moment) with work i've been too busy to photograph and upload and with some new work that i can now start creating . Also i'll be updating my Flickr photos.   I'll be doing some different things with my blog too, i'd like to organise some art swaps or mail art, i'm impressed with Micki Wilde and Mindy Lacefield's swap, but that will take a bit more organising.  I'd like to do a few giveaways too and am even thinking of doing some interviews with other artists, but first i need to do develop my blog a bit more. 

I've been so inspired by Cathy Cullis and her "one hundred portraits on brown paper" i thought i'd do my own version of "three hundred and sixty five angels", but like Cathy i won't put myself under any pressure to do them quickly, the idea was to do one for every day of 2012, and i will, but i'll do them a my own pace and then put them on Flickr.   I'm also going to do some other features for certain days, but haven't decided exactly what yet - It will give me the incentive to blog regularly.

I'll also, at some point, be making use of the wonderful Giclee printer we have to do some prints of my collage paintings for my etsy shop and Indigo Moon and to look further into printing options for my collage paintings

So...i enter 2012 fighting fit (except for chronic back and shoulder pain from constantly moving heavy furniture around the house) and ready to take on the world.

One of my new year resolutions was to use my quiet/less busy times whilst in the shop constructively by creating things i could sell, so here are a few brooches i made today at the kitchen table (at least i think it's a kitchen table, it has so much stuff on it it's difficult to tell these days!!)

I wish you all a brilliant and very prosperous new year for whatever you decide to do in 2012 ...
"March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path"
- Gibran, Kahlil