Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Creative friends

I have a very dear friend, called Marike, who I don't see often enough but is very much part of my life. We used to write letters to each other, from all over the world, in airmail envelopes with beautiful stamps. But then kids, work, life took over. She writes a great blog that is well worth reading/seeing and you can follow her on facebook as well. Today she posted a little illustration about a traffic jam (you can find it here...) and it made me think of the illustration above. I worked it out quickly this evening whilst cleaning the kitchen (not quite finished that job) and bathing the kids (they like me not being in the bathroom for too long, so they can splash around properly...)

Why? I hear you say... I asked Adam the same thing yesterday. Why am I doing all this? And his answer was: Because you love it. It's true. I do. I try to stay away sometimes. I kept myself away from the computer for two nights this week, but found myself on the sofa doodling page after page in my sketchbook. It's not about making money (though I am so glad that it does, and I am very grateful for that) it's about being creative. I am starting to believe that it's not so much a skill, it's more a practice. We are all creative, we can all draw, make things. But you have to do it, you have to stick with it. You have to show up every day, even when it's a bad one.

So this is what I did today. In between working and looking after the kids, I made traffic jam. For my friend Marike.

And now I will turn the computer off...

...and open my sketchbook again.

Summer time

It feels like I have been running a marathon and I can now finally see the finish line. (Really good feeling, I should try a real marathon...) Summer holiday is only a few weeks away. I will keep the shop open for most of the summer but I won't do anything else except get orders out (and unlike normal I will only do a post office run twice a week, instead of every day...) Summer holiday is the time when I sketch, stitch, bake, play. When I hang out with my children from the early morning until late in the evening when they nearly fall over with tiredness. It's when we cycle to the beach, have another picnic, a barbeque, eat cherries from the tree in our back garden, pick greengages, go camping. I am longing for those lazy summer days. Just a few more weeks of getting organised for Christmas, packing up cross stitch kits and finishing some other projects.

The poster is for the kids school summer fair. We won't be around this year as my brother is getting married and we are going to Holland for the weekend to celebrate. But if you are local, pop over... it's where summer really begins.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

MAKE IT! Your own castle...

I thought I should try and do a regular post on my blog about Kids Craft. There are two statements in our house that we live by. The first one is 'we are the sharers' and the second one is 'we are the makers'. Over the years we have made a lot of toys, mostly out of bits from the recycling. They don't last forever, eventually they find their way back into the recycling box, but we all love the whole process. It always starts with a 'need'. I neeeeeed it, Jasper will say and then we will work out a way to make it. Sometimes it's a postbox that he needs, or a till for a shop. A while back he really needed a castle... We were in a beautiful shop in Lewes, called Wickle, where they have amazing toys. Jasper was eying up a wooden castle and said: I really need that mum, I need it for all my knights. So I said: let's make one...


Here is what we did. We went to the local brewery, where they also sell wine and asked for a wine box. The kind man in the shop found us one and gave us all the little wooden bits as well that were inside to keep the bottles in the right position. Brilliant!

Back home I cut out a bit for the door and I got all the staples out. Then the kids sanded the box and all the little pieces that were inside. We painted it with blackboard paint and then I glued the little wooden bits to the top to make it look like a castle (I used copydex). When it was dry we used chalk to draw the windows on and some decorations and then the kids played with it... for hours.

And here is what Olive made today, a beautiful fox mask on a little stick. She coloured it in and was ever so proud. Happy making!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Going around in ovals...

Oh the poor old blog, it has been seriously neglected. And it has always been one of my favorite things, to write on my blog, to think about what I am going to write next, to make the pictures etc etc. Life has been busy and maybe that's no excuse, but life has been really really busy. Adam has been away for the last 13 and a half weeks. He is retraining to become a commercial diver, my brave and rather extreme man. I have been left to hold the ford and earn the keep... And I did (patting my own shoulder as I type...)

A couple of weeks ago, I read a quote on pinterest that made me smile, it said: You are a magnet of money! It had an awful letter and nasty colours so I didn't repin it (imagine it!) but the phrase stuck with me. I turned it into I Am A Great Money Magnet. And I repeated it over and over. With a smile. And my smile grew as new orders pinged in that week, one after the other. It didn't stop. It was one of my busiest weeks ever! My positive confirmation had worked! (Well, it was fathers day as well but let's forget about that minor detail for now...)

So I turned my Money Magnet into a little print for the girls in my design group to download (a brilliant bunch with never ending support and advice) I will add it to the printables as soon as I have got a moment!

I have also been working on a flower border print that is for sale on Not On The High Street now. You can add names, dates or some text of your own. The print comes in the loveliest oval shaped picture mount.

And then I thought I could add this one as well: You Are Beauty Full. Growing up in Holland and learning English as a second language, I always thought that the word really was BEAUTYFULL, because that makes sense doesn't it? It's full of beauty. I remember feeling very embarrassed when I found out it was spelled differently. But today it came back to me with a smile and I thought it would make a nice print for a girls room. Check out the shop lovely people, to find all these new goodies. There are some brilliant new cross stitch kits coming up as well in some gorgeous new bags.

I'll be back on the blog soon, I promise...