My new website and blog is finally up and running! You can still view archives of old blog posts here but from now on all new posts can be viewed here! Looking forward to sharing new work with you all.
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Friday, 1 January 2016
Just a quick thank you to everyone who made 2015 a good year for me - here's looking ahead to a 2016 which will hopefully bring lots of new and exciting adventures. I have lots of plans and ideas, one of which will be a complete overhaul of my blog and website, to better document and showcase my work new and old.
I hope 2016 is a healthy and happy New Year for everyone!
Monday, 7 December 2015
Monday, 28 September 2015
Did you see the blood moon last night? Ralph and I watched it from my garden at 3am. Living in a city I wasn't expecting there to be much to see due to light pollution but the sky was so clear and I could see all the stars and constellations as well as a beautiful rust coloured moon. So magical!
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
This weekend my family and I are off to Dartmouth which is hosting it's annual regatta. My parents have a flat in Dartmouth so we try and go there whenever we have a spare weekend - especially if the sun is shining! Devon is a beautiful place and something about being by the sea is so calming. The view from the balcony of the flat just never gets old - even when it is raining there will be boats going in and out, fishermen looking for lobsters and crabs. As it happens Dartmouth is an excellent place for crabbing - I once spent the day sitting on the sea front and managed to catch 60 crabs just with a simple crabbing line and some raw bacon!
I have so many happy memories of days spent in Dartmouth and hopefully the weather will improve for this weekend so that all the scheduled regatta events go ahead and we can sit out in the sun and sea air!
I made and sent the card below to my grandparents who are rather unwell at the moment. I'm sure they would love nothing more than to be able to join us as they also love Dartmouth. Hopefully the card will help them to remember the times we spent there and they can imagine they are sat on the balcony overlooking the river watching all the activities and goings on.
The photographs below were taken by my Mom who could probably fill many albums with her shots of the river and coastline!
Sunday, 19 July 2015
Isn't it funny how we come to associate certain smells, colours or sounds with a particular person or moment in our lives? This week I passed by a fruit stall and the display of pink and yellow grapefruits instantly reminded me of my Grandparents. Every morning without fail they would both share a grapefruit for breakfast and I can clearly remember as a young child sitting in my Grandma's bedroom as Grandpa bought her breakfast in bed and watching as they ate their grapefruits out of matching bowls. I can also remember when staying with them being offered a grapefruit of my own for breakfast and finding it far too sour in spite of sprinkling sugar all over it! When my Grandparents came to stay at our house, my sister and I would watch them unload all their bags and every time without fail my Grandpa would have packed some grapefruits - so intent as they were to keep to their morning routine!
Now my Grandma and Grandpa are both in their 90's and live in a care home, so I am not sure if they eat a breakfast that is provided or whether they are able to choose. However seeing and smelling those grapefruits the other day desperately made me want to visit them so I could take some grapefruits and we could all sit and share them together.
Sunday, 12 July 2015
When many people see the word 'achievement' they will automatically associate it with some sort of monumental accomplishment - running a marathon, completing a qualification, climbing a mountain. As someone who suffers from low self esteem it has taken me a long time to appreciate and celebrate the smaller everyday achievements that are so easy to overlook or dismiss. Maybe I'm generalizing a bit here but it feels in Western society we are constantly being pushed to succeed - to reach that next goal or target (whatever it may be) and we are so quick to forget or dismiss the hard work and effort we put in to everyday achievements, as well as recognizing how hard they can sometimes be to complete.
I have struggled with mental health problems for a long time and there have been days where it has been a massive effort to get myself out of bed and get dressed - let alone go to work, socialise or do something remotely productive! A therapist I once worked with once instructed me to make a daily list of my achievements. I scoffed at the idea and thought it was ridiculous - at that time I had no job, wasn't in education, and very few interests or hobbies that I felt motivated enough to participate in. In my eyes wasn't achieving anything day to day! My therapist asked me if I had cleaned my teeth yesterday, if I had showered and brushed my hair. I replied that I had. I was told that for someone suffering with severe depression these were significant achievements and I should feel proud of myself for those instead of constantly beating myself up for all the things I wasn't doing.
It took me a long time to accept this way of thinking and I appreciate that the things I mentioned may seem so basic and routine for some people that it would seem strange to feel a sense of pride for doing them. However it is so important to remember that for some people these things take a huge amount of effort and that they deserve to be recognised as a positive accomplishment.
Now that I am doing a bit better I have new things on my list of daily achievements - things that I'm sure will still seem ridiculously simple or mundane to others but would have once been impossible for me to consider doing. I feel proud of the things I can now do without too much effort but I never forget how difficult they once were and when I'm having a bad day I think about how far I have come and try and pat myself on the pack for those 'little things'
So onto the point of this post and some more info of how this relates to my mountain project...
I am interested in hearing about everyday achievements. Big or small it doesn't matter - it can be something like managing to overcome a fear of using public transport, getting back in touch with an old friend, leaving the safety of your home to take a quick walk, making eye contact with or smiling at a stranger, completing your degree, getting a promotion etc etc. I would like to know specific difficulties and feats that for you have been personally challenging and you have worked hard to accomplish. What are the 'mountains' that you have climbed?
My plan is to create a series of drawings and embroideries (possibly in the form of an artists book) that illustrates these achievements alongside more abstract mountain landscape studies.
If you would like to help out and be involved in my project please visit my other blog www.iwillmovemountainsblog.tumblr.com or drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your story. All stories will remain anonymous and please note that you do not have to suffer from a mental health condition to participate - I reckon everyone needs to be a little kinder to themselves and take some time to reflect on their personal achievements!
Thursday, 9 July 2015
Today I have been busy writing an application for an Artist residency in Wales I am interested in. As I was thinking about the kind of work I would make for the residency, I was inspired to start a new personal project that I am really excited about. All I will say for now is that it will involve mountains and share a preview of a quick sketch I did this afternoon.
Expect more information and progress soon!
Saturday, 12 July 2014
Some of the cocktails I see popping up on Pinterest lately look almost too pretty to drink! My friend is the absolute queen of cocktails so the birthday card I made sure her birthday card was a reminder of that!
Unfortunately I applied a filter to the photo of the card that I now can't remove and I don't have the original photo so the colours aren't very nice. Lesson learnt : instagram doesn't always transform your photos for the better...
Sunday, 15 June 2014
My Dad has always been one for adventures... not always intentionally I should add - the majority of his mad escapades resemble episodes of Fawlty Towers or Mr Bean! However this summer he really has undertaken a big adventure by embarking on a voyage around the United Kingdom with friends. I think it was my Mom's idea originally although I don't think she thought the trip would be planned and followed through so quickly! Nonetheless all the crew have had fun so far and no doubt my Dad's determination and energy has spurred everyone on! You can follow his adventures on the Yacht Raven at his own blog here:
Dad, I have missed you whilst you have been away and look forward to seeing you next weekend and hearing all about your travels! Here is a sneak peek of your Father's Day card!
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
In preparation for the coming Sunday - I have made a card for my Daddio! Not great photo's at the moment but will try and get some better ones and update them. Also I now realise that I need to add some apostrophes here and there!
I could write many a blog post on stories about the man who is my Father but this weekend I'm going to show my appreciation for everything he does for me. My Dad is one of the most determined, ambitious and hard working people I know and he has always fought for me and been there to make me smile! Love you Dad xxx
Sunday, 2 June 2013
I happened to go to a literature festival on Friday where one of the authors was discussing the merits of a Kindle over a traditional paper back or hardback book. For me personally there is absolutely no contest. I hate the idea of Kindles. There is nothing more beautiful or precious than a book and I would hate to see them die out. I have many happy memories of reading in bed, on a beach, curled up in a chair. I love keeping copies of my favourite books that have been re read so many times they are dog eared and fat, to share a favourite novel with family and friends.
And what about all the wonderful art and design books that are still available in our book stores? Beautifully illustrated children's stories with colours so bright that they stick in your memory more than the words themselves.
Photographic books showing nature and all the wonders of the world. I am no cook but even I linger over the huge section of cookery books which always look so appealing with hand drawn illustrations or tempting photographs.
And don't even get me started on the smell of books! Not just old ones either... one of the best parts of re starting school in September was the anticipation of getting your brand new books with crisp white pages and that new book smell.
Books are for collecting, sharing, loving and passing on.
Some images and wise words of wisdom from other bibliophiles:
"Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar." - Cornelia Funk, Inkspell
"Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." - Carl Sagan
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Sunshine makes everyone happier! The bank holiday weekend was a lovely one and I felt lucky to be able to spend most of it outside with friends. Since I have nothing too creative of my own to show at the moment - here is an illustrator who I have followed and loved for a while. I first spotted Mandy Sutcliffe's work in Paperchase where they still sell Belle and Boo greetings cards, however there is also a great website which stocks a huge range of products - from stationery to clothing and homewares and wall decoration. Check it all out here: www.belleandboo.com
Friday, 22 March 2013
Although it's hard to believe when there is snow and cold weather across the UK, but yesterday was actually the first day of Spring! My housemate planted some bulbs in the garden a long time ago but we had completely forgotten about them so it was lovely to see some Crocus flowers emerge and open up in spite of the cold. Fingers crossed the weather will improve soon so we can start enjoying some sunshine!
Here is a quick study I did of the flowers in our garden which I made into a card for my Grandparents.
Monday, 11 March 2013
Found another blog to add to the many I now follow: Positive Inking
Beautiful hand lettering and positive thoughts combined! I need to look at this particular one every day...