Every Pin You Pin, I’ll Be Watching You!……

Cue sinister good morning, mwah hah, hah! Seriously, do you use Pinterest? I love it, access to all the pretty things in the world at the touch of a button, what not to like? But for me it has a more serious purpose because I analyse what people are pinning of mine and therefore gain an insight into what kinds of things  I should concentrate my design efforts on. Let me demonstrate by showing you my top performing pins.

Number 1 by a long chalk is …….


A very simple design but beautifully executed.

Then we have ……..


Everything Alice in Wonderland does really well to be fair but this outperforms the lot, I think the cuteness ( we will come back to that!) and the pastel colour scheme make it extra special.

Coming in third is this……..


A Blythe doll, I love them and the colour scheme of this photo really appealed to me… And lots of others!

That minty colour comes back in the next pin….


This is a great aspirational image, we want our tables to look like this, we want that crockery and dear lord we want that cake!!!!

The next image is exquisite……


I pin a lot of fairy images ( shocker! ) but this extraordinary doll in its breathtaking surroundings is a hands down winner.

Sometimes a pin is as much about the skill of the photographer as the subject….


The flowers are beautiful but the choice of light background and the exposure used elevate a Ho hum picture to a Wow!

Let’s not forget the huge number of tutorials available……..


I love super talented artists that are generous enough to share a how to with me!

Lastly……..


There is nothing cuter than a deer in a jar!

So, what does this tell us? The person who pins from my boards loves cute, with a bit of an edge and is likely a creative person themselves.

I am unashamedly using this info for some super cute Christmas cards and decorations!

Happy pinning!

Kisses 

Karen

Ps  there will be no blog next week as its my birthday and we are off to London, the following week will be all about what we got up to and what I bought! See you then xx

This Week I’ve Mainly Been …….

Good morning my little cupcakes! If I wrote a piece that fitted the above title it would contain one word….Painting! I’m in my usual mad panic before Lindfield Arts Festival, here’s what I’ve done recently….

This last picture still has some work to do and ideally I would like to do another one, probably a horse but ideally a unicorn!

So what do you do in your spare time when you craft for a living? You do more craft obviously! Here’s a couple of projects I have on the boil currently. Let’s start by talking about one of my heroines -Twinkie Chan……


This is the first book I had by Twinkie and I love it! Full of food related items, I’m sure  I will need this cupcake scarf for dog walking!

It was a no brainier to get her second book….


I will be starting this taco pencil case when the painting frenzy slows.

This next project is what I’m doing this week when I’m not painting…….


Needlepoint is so relaxing and requires very little mental input, don’t ask me where I got this or what it’s called, it’s been sitting unloved in a bag for at least a couple of years!

What do you do in your downtime? I know there’s a lot of creative people that follow this blog!

Have a a superb week,

Kisses 

Karen xx

My Little Piece Of Heaven!

Morning  (cough) dear (cough) reader (cough)! I have the worst chest infection in the world….ever, if you have had a bad chest infection this is it’s daddy! I was going to do a post on the comic con last week but thats going to have to wait as I haven’t edited the pics!

Anyhow shall we press on?  I am sure by now that you have realised I LURVE what I do! In fact I love it so much that it still doesn’t feel quite real, so in an effort to be more grown up and grounded in my profession I’ve got a workspace! Who wants to see? Of course you do, but that would be one heck of a short post so here’s your tour……


I have a lot of Harley Quinn and super hero stuff, I’m gradually been brought to the dark side by my husband.

And there’s ……


Lots of Alice stuff, the whole room will be all Alice eventually, this card is a promo for a musical and I like the slightly sinister feel of this rabbit, and will be using this for inspiration.

To try and ground me and help me focus ……..


The Rose Quartz and amethyst is meant to clear my energies, I don’t know if it works but they are so pretty.

For when I feel scared or lacking confidence…….


This quote from the Divergent books and film makes me feel kick ass!

There is combined cakes and Batgirl……..


Those felt macarons enable me to use the beautiful dish my mother in law gave me.

There is this inherited from my darling daughter………


I think I might start taking a few instant pictures when I’m out and about hunting for inspiration.

Finally, there are these………


Because this is my business and here are the cards to prove it!

And Finally!


There it is in all its glory, including a mannequin for when I can’t remember which way the elbow bends! And a twiggy tree full of bluebirds, my folder of to do lists. When I go to back to work on Monday this little slice of heaven will be my blogging space ( I didn’t put the laptop in, it’s Apple but it still ain’t pretty) and two years in I will say with confidence  I am a blogger and an artist and this is where I work.

Kisses

Karen

Practically Imperfect!

Morning loves! those that know me will tell you I am an all or nothing kind of gal, never reads the instructions, still hasn’t read the manual to her car, and if I can’t do it perfectly the first time, chances are there won’t be a second time! But lately I have been gripped by the need to learn something… I really want to be able to draw Manga which is a Japanese form of comic illustration, and more specifically the kawaii form which is the cutest, so my lovely hubby bought me this book…..

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It is a great book that details the actually quite complex rules to making cute drawings, so I had my first go………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Hmmmm, drawing was very close to the tutorial but my usual felt tips were no good for the pastel palette used by manga artists.

Second attempt…………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Ok, now we are talking, these were done with my Inktense pencils, and it was a much better result, although my daughter says the sushi looks like Hitler!

Now carried away with my success, I decided to apply the Kawaii technique to Milo and Darcey……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

This is a mixed result, I love the Darcey but the placement of ears and eyes have made poor Milo look like a cat/dog hybrid!

I shall keep practicing as I can see that this might be a business oppurtunity for me, as my hands are so bad at the moment, big pictures are proving very tricky but these little folk only take a few minutes.

I would also like to try out Moe, the more detailed, very feminine pictures that most people associate with manga.

In other news I have started my Dolce and Gabbana inspired bag plans, remember this?….

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I have decide to not make a top handled one like this but a backpack which will be more useful for me and I have ordered this yarn……..

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I will then make some flowers and hopefully source some sparkles for it!

Is there anything that you feel the need to learn? have you acquired a new skill recently? id love to hear of your successes, have a super week whatever you are up to.

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

 

Success!!

MORNING!!  sorry for shouting but you find me in good cheer, I have actually achieved stuff this week! I’m not feeling much better but have managed to shift my mood enough to get stuff done.

The biggest achievement for me was doing some sewing, sitting at the sewing machine for some reason really aggravates my neck and shoulders so I was really grateful for this super easy foldover clutch……..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I picked up the faux leather in Berwick Street and I love its squishiness, for the lining I just couldnt resist this bonkers print……..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Next time I make this I will use a more glamerous zip, this was very much a practice run but I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I also have managed to do a bit of painting……..

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This will be one of the pictures I take to Lindfield Art Fair, I finally think I might be able to capture our bluebell wood, I could’nt resist using a picture with Darcey in!

Now for a design that has actually changed since this picture was done, I’ve also gathered all the supplies……

The new design is way more kawaii and will be a little felt project.

Also in the planning stage is my first project from my handbag designer book, I am first going to tackle a purse……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I love that macaron fabric and can you see the pink wallet underneath? projects are now going into these as I gather materials, hopefully it will result in work being done and time not being wasted looking for stuff!

Finally a project that is just inspiration at the moment……..

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See that Dolce bag? I love it! but at over £1000 it is just not a reality, but look closely…its crocheted in a shell pattern, could we crochet the pieces, add some leather handles and then decorate with some shiny bits and bobs? well i’m the little blogger that thinks she can, this is going to take a while so I may start posting progress pictures.

I’m hoping for another productive week but next week will be a different sort of post, hope I see you here to show you!

Have a great week kittens,

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

The Bare Necessities Of ……This Week

Morning! today I have another bunch of products that are rocking my world at the moment, and it needs rocking as I have a chest infection (caused by immune suppressing drugs) and my liver function is up the wazoo (caused by the aforementioned drugs!) so I’m feeling a little less than better!

First, and I am as late as I can be to this party, I have upgraded to an iPhone ….

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I guessed you wouldn’t enjoy a picture of a phone you guys have probably had for the last decade so here is my Harley Quinn cover!

So, I took said phone and took these pictures, first of another daily essential – scented candles….

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This candle is from a brilliant mens shop, Eustace and Arthur in the lovely Somerset town of Langport which is handily where my husbands family live! every time he visits he brings me another “town”, this candle named after the village Curry Rivel (yes really), smells delightful and has an unmistakeable note of curry about it! Inexplicably they don’t have these on the website but they do have brilliant gifts for men, head over to http://www.eustaceandarthur.co.uk and take a peek.

Next up, another product that I should have brought a long time ago …

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This gel top coat by Nail Apothecary is phenomenal! it extends wear on my flakey, chippy nails past the  one day that I usually manage. It was a snip at less than a fiver, I got mine at http://www.asos.com.

There comes a time in your life when you need more than a good moisturiser before you put make up on, step forward primer…..

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This is the cutely named Spackle ( the American word for Polyfilla) by Laura Geller, she has a different version for every concern- redness, hydration, sun protection and this one which is slightly tinted for the vampirish like me, it smooths evens and provides a great base for foundation. This tinted version would be all you need for a weekend face. Available from lots of online beauty retailers.

Finally, the pot of Dianthus that I used for these pictures……..

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If you are not familiar with this plant please pop along to a garden centre, apart from their gorgeous and prolific flowers, their perfume is insane- floral and with a heady note of clove. This tiny pot scents my whole patio.

I hope to finally be well enough to head to the sewing machine next week, so expect a sewing themed post next week including the pattern company that will be making me bankrupt!

Have a great week

Kisses

karen

PS After my darling hubby bought me a table easel, I was finally able to finish this portrait of my dear departed Millie, not bad for my first foray into oils for yonks. Don’t worry, she really did look as fed up as this most days!

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Quit The Kvetching!

Its a fact that some languages convey a meaning better than english, one of my favourites is kvetch, it a yiddish word meaning to complain persistently. The last year has proved a tricky one with my various illnesses taking a definite turn for the worse.

So why not have a good kvetch! well, its great for a little while but then I needed to move on and find ways round my increasing disability. This meant practical solutions not just my usual meditate and eat more avocado approach.

First up……….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I’ve chopped my hair off! my shoulder arthritis means that lengthy blow dries are not possible. Thanks to the super talented Sammy Thomas for this easy to do..’do.

Next, trainers as “normal shoes” just don’t cut it….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

These were a proper bargain, Stella Sport for £39.99 from the Next sale. Their high tops stabilise my hyper mobile, arthritic ankles and they make me feel sassy!

My beloved car has the single most important change I made way back when I was first diagnosed….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

An automatic gear box, I just change gear to drive and I’m done until we stop, very good for the aforementioned shoulders. The other thing it has is a very small turning circle, this information is available online for all cars and really does make a difference for parking etc.

Handbags are a passion for me, here is one of my faves…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The Modalu Pippa, named after Pippa Middleton it is beautifully made and quality touches everywhere…..but man alive its heavy, so I am currently on the lookout for something lighter, I think this might be it….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Currently 30% off in the Radley sale, and in one of the key colours of the season, Coral.

The most difficult adjustment has been my decreased ability to work, this painting has taken forever and is still not done……..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

But the fact is I am still painting and I will be sewing in the coming week, so all is not lost! And I’m still writing this blog even if my right index finger is partially dislocated and it has rendered my typing speed to that of a continent drifting, but I will always write this blog I would miss you lot too much to quit!

Kisses

 

Karen

 

 

The Terror Of The Blank Space!!

Morning!! As you know I made a plan to spend at least a couple of weeks of January trying to perfect my fur painting (awfully specific I know), if you are a keen follower of this page  you will know that last week was a bit of a ‘mare for me so work didn’t start until this week.

I grabbed my lovely large canvas and…….OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS IT IS SO BLANK!!!

blank-canvas-2I was suffering a complete crisis of confidence, I hadn’t really picked up an oil brush for about 25 years!! Time for a bit of music therapy, I started blasting Gwen Stefani’s  What Are You Waiting For  on my return trip from dropping husband at the station, the lyrics are just perfect, dealing with Gwen’s own crisis of confidence on setting out one her own. So with “take a chance ‘cos you might grow” ringing in my ears, I sketched the Millie cat………….

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So far so good, with arthritis making its presence felt that was that for day one. I then picked up this marvellous book, and…I could not believe how hard it was!

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By the second day I had something approaching fur……..

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I started to relax a bit and made a bit more progress……

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I then tackled the eyes……….

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It was at this point that i could see that oil is a very different medium and that it produces a very realistic look. The picture is still a long way from finished but I’m loving it, and I hope that this will be an option I can offer clients in the future.

Have a great week.

kisses

karen xx

 

The Proper Task Of Life!

Before we get going, I just wanted to say something serious, I belong to a Facebook crafting community and I have just learnt that one of its members was murdered, Nikki was young, beautiful and talented. As we face this day together, whatever today brings let us all be grateful that we are alive and able to contact friends and family. I intend to be truly grateful today that I am alive.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said ” art is the proper task of life”, it’s a shame he went on to say a lot of other not quite so nice things because that’s a great quote! So I have been pursuing the proper task of life like a demented person for the last 6 weeks to get ready for my first show. I will be exhibiting the following six pieces at the Lindfield Arts Festival , I thought you might like to see them nd get some of the story behind them.

First up, Dora the dormouse fairy….

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Our woods are home to dormice ( we even have dormice bridges! ), this picture was the beginning of my fairies of Ashenground Wood pictures, I loved the idea of the dormice being snuggled up and cheeky fairies sneaking in for cuddles. If you look really closely, you can see that Dora isn’t even asleep.

The next fairy was inspired by Darcey and her obsession with bluebells….

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I loved the idea of her and Beau the bluebell fairy joining forces to protect the flowers. I think Darcey looks really on her guard and protective in this picture.

Again Darcey was responsible for the inspiration for Riley the rabbit fairy

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Yes, you guessed it, she was chasing the rabbits across the field and I could almost see a fairy leaping along with them, is it just me that sees fairies?

Before you ring the authorities, I changed direction and did a picture of The Joker……..

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This character has undergone many incarnations but I really like this one, this Joker will appear in the new film Suicide Squad, scheduled for release next year.

Years ago when I was horse mad, I was able to recite the names of the three horses that are the fathers of the modern day thoroughbred, this picture represents……..

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The Godolphin Arabian, Arab horses are so elegant, so graceful they remind me of ballet dancers.

Finally, it has to be Darcey…….

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My clever, loving, brave, mad as a bag of badgers Cavapoo, it is she that has accompanied me on numerous walks in the woods, it is she that finds where the fairies live, it is she that snores while I paint, because I only work While Darcey Sleeps!

Next week sees a return to normal service and the promised tutorial, get yourself to the charity shop and buy a short sparkly mini if you can, all will become clear….

Kisses

Karen