Friday 31 May 2013

Illuminate is doing good

I've just found out that Illuminate has sold over 1700 copies since it's launch in November. Surprisingly less than 50 of those copies sold through Amazon! Not what I would have thought at all!

I have just made an Illuminate board as part of my Radiance Pinterest account so I can collect and share images of makers featured in the book. They all look so pretty when they are together. If you're a pinner come on over. It's more fun with followers :)

Happiness is...

When you know you're going to be inside the shop all day on a beautiful blue sky sunny day you have to get out early to soak it up.

So I wandered up through Nutclough Woods because I knew the meadows above it would be in flower.

 Today is Matthews (who works for me at Radiance) birthday and years ago we had a birthday picnic in this meadow surrounded by buttercups so I thought I'd head for the same spot. It was glorious.

I'm totally happy in a meadow with my camera. I see shapes. I imagine how I can put them on wallpaper and lamps!

This little fella did some posing for me,

Then I headed down through the beech woods

and it was still only 9 o'clock.

The perfect way to start the day.

My visit to the wallpaper factory in MOYO magazine

The new issue of the beautiful Moyo (it means pattern in Japanese) magazine is out today and I'm so happy that on page 40 is an article I have written them  all about my trip to the wallpaper factory.

This is the first spread. They have styled it so beautifully. If you haven't seen this magazine before it is all about surface pattern - creating it, selling it and enjoying it. Issue 4 is 'The Paper Issue' and there's lots of inspiring things to read about!

Click here to have a read.

Thankyou MOYO magazine :)

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Saltaire Arts Trail

We went on the Saltaire Arts Trail on Sunday. It was lovely wandering the streets of this pretty place looking for the open houses.

If the bunting was flying you could go in and see the work of loads of artists and makers....

and sneak a peep at the houses of Saltaire.

Radiance sponsored a house on Dove Street this year so we had to go and say hello. Laura Slater was there with her lampshades and prints. I wrote about Laura in Illuminate.

It was also lovely to meet Hannah Lamb at her open studio. 

We know each other only through our blogs so it was nice to meet in real life.

Her studio is high up and has a marvellous view across the chimney pots of Saltaire.

Hannah has been making cyanotypes of weeds on old postcards. Soooo pretty.

 It's nice that I understand how it's done after doing the workshop.

It really was a lovely day out.

Monday 20 May 2013

Sea air and wild woods

Last week I visited my lovely friends in Hastings

This little chap was only a baby last time I saw him so we had a lot of catching up to do.

It's one of my favourite escapes. Wide views, bright light, sea air and the best company.

 I love this lot! Me and Wendy realised that we have known each other for TEN years. We met when we were newcomers at bctf and it was friends at first sight :)

We took a walk in the woods, through the Wild Garlic

and a sea of Bluebells

and there were a few cuddles along the way.

The Wild Garlic made our breakfast pretty. As Ffion put it, it looks like a Pinterest breakfast!

Such a lovely lovely time.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Cyanotypes in the woods

Yesterday eleven people gathered together deep in the woods at Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags for a day of foraging and creating to create these marvelous cyanotypes. The workshop was led by lovely Moira who has a business called Hunt & Gather and makes beautiful  products with this fascinating process.

So what is a cyanotype you may ask (as did the man with his dogs that I met in the woods did while I was gathering foliage). It's an early form of photography where light sensitive chemicals are painted onto paper and then exposed to the sun. If you lay shapes on top before exposing, it captures their silhouettes beautifully, sometimes creating ghostly effects. 

The chemicals start out green and when they are in the sun they change colour getting darker and darker until after about half an hour (depending on the appearance of sun and cloud) they are cooked and ready to be rinsed...

..and hung up to dry.

It was wonderful to play all day, walking in the woods and looking for great shapes.

This larch caught my eye. Beautiful shapes but they didn't make a very good print as the light got in under the twigs.

Sarah went for delicate plant life.

Sophie experimented with circles

and David with ferns and feathers.

It wasn't all nature though. Caroline experimented with forks and they looked great. Shame I didn't get a photo. The forks came in handy as weights. I wanted to move the ferns around at different stages of exposure to create different intensity so I didn't put glass over the top.

It came out nicely.

We made some cards to take home.

My favourite print of the day was this one. A mixture of my laser cut fritillary and some real plants and grass.

I'm framing that one :)

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with lovely people, a brilliant tutor, great sandwiches put on from Gibson Mill cafe and loads of fresh air and creativity.

Moira is running another workshop here on the 19th of July and there are some places left if you fancy it. Get in touch. It's so much fun.

Thursday 2 May 2013

In the studio...

It's all go in the studio at the moment. BCTF brought in lots of orders and among them are twelve new stockists AND a huge order from The National Trust Scotland who have asked for candle covers for eleven of their properties.

Among them is Hill House, one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's creations and they have ordered my Fritillary design to sell in the shop. Have you seen Mackintosh's fritillary drawings? They are exquisite. They make me go all funny and make me inspired to get my pens out immediately and draw...

Today I've sent out work to The Congregational in Northumberland and a gorgeous looking florists called The Olive Tree on the Wirral.

 And this lot below are going off to The Bath House in Cumbia, Made Just So in Bristol and Allium Interiors in Barnard Castle. BCTF is just fab and all these orders are helping me to fund my wallpaper empire ;)

I'm nearly ready to send my wallpaper designs to designs are coming together nicely.

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