Thursday, 21 July 2011

Storybook Brooch Pins

With the kids breaking up from School today for the Summer Holidays, I thought it best to get some creating out the way before the mayhem of Summer!! These little ditties are made from vintage storybook images that I have mounted onto old games cards, I have added a pin to the back of each card so they can be worn as brooches.All of these will be available at both the Kitsch and Stitch Show in September, which is being held in Cranbrook and also Artwave at the end of August, details on this to follow in a week or so.
Well I am now signing off for a few days (possibly a week) to unwind and spend some quality time with my two boys at the start of their Summer holidays. I'll be back at the beginning of August with tales of my Summer Adventures so far.... Ta, ta! x

Monday, 18 July 2011

Charleston - An Artists Home

I had to share my visit to Charleston with you, I had such a lovely time at this wonderful open house and garden. Unfortunately you are unable to photograph inside the house, due to the damage that could be caused to the painted furniture and walls over time, but if you are ever in the area it is a must, the tour of the house is wonderful, the guides are so knowledgable about the history of the house and it's occupants, and the rooms and their painted furniture, art and pottery are stunning. My favourite room is the Art Studio, it is such an amazing space littered with so much history from the period, I was overwhelmed when I entered this room.Once you step outside the house, the garden too is stunning, and this I am able to show you!! It is abundant with glorious colour, there are whimsical cottage plants and flowers at every turn, it is a glorious explosion of colour and fragrance to tantilise all your senses.
The history of the house and it's occupants is so interesting, Charleston was the home and country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. In October 1916, Charleston House was occupied by Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia Wolf), she was accompanied by her sons Quentin and Julian, a maid, cook and nurse plus Duncan Grant and his lover at the time, David Garnett.
As both Vanessa and Duncan were Artists, the inside of the house was transformed with their paintings, not just on the walls but painted furniture, doors, baths and fireplaces and if you visit the house these wonderful creations are still there in all their glory to be admired today.
Duncan and Vanessa entertained many friends at Charleston from the art, literary and political worlds, and as such Charleston House became a base for the famous Bloomsbury Group.
To find out more about the house and details on visiting times etc.. please go to
On site there is also a wonderful shop packed with fantastic books, and pottery depicting the Bloomsbury style. There are also pieces from local Artists and Makers.
Charleston also has Exhibitions running on occassion and when we visited there were works on display from the wonderful Kaffe Fassett.
I found the whole day so inspiring, I loved the nostalgia of the place, it had a wonderful feel to it.
Just look how glorious these blooms are!
I am so lucky that this beautiful house and garden is just up the road from my home, so I can visit as often as I want to. It would be lovely to see it in the different seasons, so I think I'll pop along again in October to see it in all it's Autumn glory!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Where Bloggers Create 2011

I can't believe we are into year three with this blog event!! How time flies..... Well, once you've browsed around my studio space you can go on to visit many others via the events host; Karen of My Desert Cottage Thank you Karen for hosting this again in 2011 and you do fantastic job!
During the previous two events my creative space was in my Conservatory, but earlier this year we moved our twin boys into a larger bedroom so what was the downstairs playroom is now a family room with space for me to create and the kids to read, do their homework and watch DVDs and play their Wii Games. The decor of this room is very much still a work in progress, but I am able to show you areas I have tackled which are predominantly for me.... Above is our front door from which you turn right into the Family Room.
My workspace overlooks our garden so it has plenty of natural light for me to work with, and it is also a lovely space to look out on to when creating. At the same time if the kids are in the garden I can keep an eye on them. My desk and chair were an Ebay purchase, and I recently covered the chair in a pretty rose fabric. I adore the curtains at the window, they are a Mulberry Fabric with a wonderful vintage Lido design depicting 1920s ladies swimming in the sunshine. On each side of my desk are old apple crates one of which houses my PC which is covered with a vintage linen tablecloth and topped of with old books and my current magazines. The other holds my beloved vintage Underwood Typewriter and more old books and music scores.
My computer screen I find a bit of an eyesore so I created this pretty cover for it when I am not using it, the cover also protects the screen from the sun, as this window has the sun streaming through it from about 11am until around 7pm in the height of the summer.
I must say my workspace has never looked so tidy, it is usually full of my current projects, but this photoshoot gave me a good excuse to have a little tidy.
The pretty seat below is actually a Lloyd Loom chest that a friend gave to me, I use it to store fabric and vintage linen and lace, and when it is not being used it serves as an extra seating area.
When we first moved into the house the family room was originally a kitchen and during our remodelling we moved the kitchen to the other side of the house, however, one feature from the kitchen remained; The Larder, it is tucked away in a corner behind a door, and it now serves as a craft storage space and mini library for my array of art books and craft magazines, it is one of the areas that I haven't tidied for you so what you see (below) is exactly how it is most of the time.
This is just the shelving area or the old Larder, if you turn to the left it actually goes under the stairs and here is where I house all my props for craft fairs and shows as well as my stock. Unfortunately it didn't make a very exciting photo so it's not here to show you I'm afraid. Below is the inside of a set of cupboards that used to house all the boys toys when it was a playroom, but it now holds my craft items such as glue, papers, cardstock, glitter, stamps, feathers etc... as well as the printer. It's great because it can all be shut away when I'm not using it. Again, as you can probably tell, this has not been tidied for the benefit of this post.... oopps, sorry folks!
The plastic containers in the cupboard above hold old music sheet papers, book pages, vintage postcards, bingo cards and cardstock , a sample of the type of things they hold are below....
I also collect lots of bits for props or for future projects, one such thing are ballet shoes, I like to alter these for my art, but I also sell them at Shows I attend as people seem to love using them as decoration in their homes.
As I said earlier, I share this space with my twin boys, and Ethan is lounging on the sofa below, reading as I photograph for this post. The pretty quilt on the back of the sofa was made by my good friend Sarah and the cushion is one I had sourced from overseas.
I have little collections of books and vintage photo albums dotted all over the downstairs of our home, this particular selection is in my Garden Room, it is displayed with my vintage crown, a favourite prop of mine.
One thing I have always disliked in a home are radiators on show (unless of course they are the beautiful old radiators from the Victorian eras)... so I cover all radiators in our home with wooden radiator covers, as seen below, they then make great places to display ornaments and photos. The ART sign below is a charity shop find of mine and I am going to eventually get round to covering it in vintage papers. Another favourite prop I adore is my Santos Doll (below), I move her about the house often and dress her differently.
On the door to my Larder (art supply) space is a primitive style dolly dress, when I first purchased this it's creator had baked the fabric in a concoction of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee and it smelt wonderful, but over time the scent has faded, but it still looks fab!
My dress form, modelled on an old Victorian style bust (hence the tiny waist), houses my handmade necklaces, but this form too gets moved around the house depending on how I feel; sometimes it can be found in the family room but occasionally it is in my dressing room.
Below is a close up of my Santos Doll, I have positioned a Venetian Mask on her head, we purchased this Mask a few years ago on a weekend trip to Venice, I love to have reminders around the studio of things we've done or places we've visited, I find it all very stimulating and good fun!
Well, this is where I create folks!! I hope you've enjoyed my little tour, I'm now going to take a well earned rest from writing this post and settle down with my latest Magazine and a lovely cup of Lady Grey..... Mmmmmm! Be sure to continue visiting other wonderful studios by clicking on the link in the top paragraph to be taken to the hosts website where you will find a list of all artists participating in Where Bloggers Create!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

"Fairies with an Attitude" Pendants

I am currently in the process of creating a new Jewellery Line for Maygreen Fairies, and the first part of this line is now finished, so may I present the "Fairies with an Attitude" Pendants!! Each Pendant holds a different Fairy ie: "Bossy Fairy", "Menopausal Fairy", "Sneaky Fairy" and so on, I currently have six Fairies in the range, although there will be more to come.The first six designs are available NOW at the Maygreen Fairies Shop However, new designs will be coming out in time for the Kitsch and Stitch Fair in Cranbrook in September (see left side bar for details on this Fair), the new designs will include more Fairies with Attitudes as well as some Spooktacular Halloween Pendants.
The full Jewellery Line will be available within the next few weeks and will include "Alice In Wonderland" Antique Pins, Button Earrings and more Fairy Pendants. So please check back regularly. Have a super weekend!!