Our first home, one month in

One month inA little update from where I last left off… Our offer had been accepted on the new house and as the above title suggests we moved into our first home just a month ago. What a huge learning curve and whirlwind being a first time home-owner is! We’ve started to slowly settle into the new house. When we first moved in it was overwhelming. As someone who wants everything to be done immediately I learnt rather quickly that’s not physically possible and to slow down a bit, breathe it in and try to enjoy the process. The house itself doesn’t need a lot of work per say but there’s a lot of things we would like to do to it cosmetically to make it feel our own.

In this first month we…

– Cooked our first meal in our new kitchen (Hemsley & Hemsley Feta and black bean burgers,yum!)

– Took weekly trips to the dump after clearing,cutting, weeding and mowing the garden. In the first day of gardening we ended up with 12 bin bags of rubbish plus two huge garden sacks full.

– Painted our bedroom and repainted our wardrobes, all hail Annie Sloan chalk paint! Our wardrobes are painted in Paris grey with grey rose knobs and we love them.

– Ripped off the wooden mantel to our fireplace to discover lots of broken bricks, slightly heartbroken but making plans for a fireplace makeover. I’m hoping we can keep some of the original brickwork.

– Added plants to our space. Even if everything is slightly chaotic having flowers or plants around makes my heart happy.

– Made proper plans for the new studio (eee!) It’s the thing I’m most excited about. It needs the electric re-wiring, insulating, plasterboard put up, the walls plastered and painted. We are also adding wooden slats to the front and painting the outside. There’s a lot to do! The work starts Friday and I can’t wait to see it transform into a little creative haven…

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Illustrated wedding invitation details

Wedding detailsI’m always flattered to be asked to work on any wedding related illustrations. It’s such an honour to play a small part in a couples special day and help make it unique to them. It’s even better when they have a clear vision of what they would like but I get to add my own creative spin to the idea. I was really excited to work with Rachael and Alex on their invites. I haven’t shared the full design as it contains their personal details so these are just some snippets. I hope you like them.Illustrated map copy

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Romania travel sketchbook

Sketchbook2The last few weeks have been busy: travelling to Romania for my brothers wedding, moving to our first home and chasing deadlines surrounded by unpacked boxes (and accompanied by endless cups of coffee whilst listening to rediscovered old mix-tapes!)

Whilst in Romania I managed to sneak away lots of time to fill my favourite sketchbook (a moleskin) with some travel drawings.Sketchbook3

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New illustration: English country garden

An english gardenIn between commissions I’ve been working on some new self initiated work. This is a little garden scene I’ve just finished, wouldn’t it be nice to have a garden that looked like this? We visited our new house last week and discovered we have cherry, apple and fig trees in the garden. I’m excited to have a garden and outside space and hopefully a place to sketch when the sunshines out :)

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New illustration: Cherry Floral

Cherry FloralI think flowers are set to be my new favourite thing to draw this month. They don’t feature heavily in my work yet they’re something that inspire me on a daily basis. Truth be told I find them quite tricky, not to draw (I love the details and layers of petals) but to colour. I always start my illustrations with a pencil line that I scan into Photoshop and I usually keep this line black (which doesn’t work overly well with a floral subject.) So for this illustration I removed the black line! I made sure there was still a lot of line work visible as it’s really important for me to retain the handmade feel in my work. I think it’s worked and I’m pretty excited to start building up a new body of work with this in mind.

Sometimes I feel my tools hinder me, do you ever feel that? I only really use a pencil (with photoshop and occasional collage) which feels very boring but I can’t seem to escape that combo and maybe that’s ok? As long as I try to push out of my working comfort zone I think it is. Do you ever get stuck in a rut with materials and only stick to certain tried and trusted things?

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Life lately, old studios, new studios & buying a house!

Lif latelyHello to my little space on the internet, it’s been a while. I thought I’d post an update as theres been lots going on lately and it’s nice to throw a random life post into the mix now and again. May was a busy month: we moved out of the chalet and into my parents house, which meant leaving my cosy home studio and changing my work routine up a bit. I’m currently working in a lovely garden studio down the road, the interior colours are grey, petrol blue, turquoise and pink, a dreamy colour palette (and my current favourite!) It’s been nice to have a place to go to work that isn’t an extension of my home, something of a luxury for some of us freelancers.

Talking about studios and workspaces… in the top right photo (in black & white) you can see a sneaky peek of a very exciting new space. We have had an offer accepted on a house and fingers crossed we should be home owners in the next month or two! The process has definitely had its ups and downs as I’m sure most home buyers experience but so far the last stretch of things seems to be going smoothly. I hope I’m not jinxing things by speaking too soon… The best bit is that our new house has a studio in the garden (yay!) The studio (in the black and white pic) has power and lighting and double glazing. It is essentially a big shed but I am oh so excited to transform the space! It needs a bit of work and I’m building a list of things we need to do that we can work on over summer. I’m planning to take lots of before and after photo’s (of the whole house too!) and share the progress here as I think it will be a fun project to look back on and hope that it might be inspiring too.

I’m soaking up ALL the inspiration at the moment (falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole…) scrapbooking interior spaces, discovering beautiful new home-ware shops, planning artwork for the new house and making lots of to do lists. It’s very exciting and a little overwhelming! I’m trying to bear in mind the famous William Morris quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” but to me that feels limitless, or is that the point, what do you think?

Work wise quite a few of my projects are still under wraps but I hope to share some new pieces soon. I’m working on broadening my portfolio with new personal work focused around nature and animals and I’ve embarked on a creative course so I hope to share more about that soon too. Until then, bye for now.

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Food & Pattern Vol.4

April food & patternI’m playing catch up a little with this project as I missed last months. Here is the illustration for April. Beautiful red jewelled pomegranate, peppery rocket and earthy new potatoes. Delicious!

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New work for Management Today

Marriott VeniceI recently finished this lovely job for Management Today. I was commissioned to create a map of Venice alongside a few spot illustrations. The map was long and thin to fit the space they had in their layout so instead of sharing a small version of the map here is a look at some of the details that made up the map. Spot illosI stuck to a palette of muted tones with bright colour pops. This is my fave colour combination to use at the moment: I LOVE the mix of pink, blue and turquoise.Spag bolThank you to Management Today for working on me with this one. Venice is on my list of places to visit, have you ever been?

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New work for Feel Agency

Village_Bakery_ad_WaitroseI was recently asked to work with Feel Agency, an advertising agency who works on projects for natural organic or free from FMCG brands. I love the work they do and as a strange coincidence discovered they work in the same studio building as another agency I was working with at the exact same time without any of us realising.

I was asked to create some illustrated flourishes to be used as an overlay for an advert published in Waitrose Kitchen for Village Bakery’s rye bread. The illustration was to be whimsical and contain a sprinkling of butterflies and frippery around the word tummy love. It was a fun illustration to play around with and after creating a variety of options with varying amounts of illustration and details this is the final one they went with. I’d love to work on some more ‘doodle type,’ illustration projects as I love how the combination of photography with illustrated elements has turned out. It’s really simple but adds a bit of charm. I hope you like it too!

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