Thursday, 6 November 2008

A new print....

With a lot of orders coming in I am busy completing what feels like a hundered projects at the moment. As they are all half way through I realised today that I have no images of new work yet. Well not anymore! Here is an example of the new print I am applying to small recycled side tables. Menu numbers - a favourite of mine!

The drawers have been at a new venue since Tent London as I was picked for a competition entitled 'Young Guns' at the Heard Gallery. After a few weeks of exhibiting I won a place in the final 11 and so have been paying lots of visits to Clapham where the gallery is located.

The other locations of some of my pieces at the moment are Bury St. Edmunds Art Gallery as part of their 'Seasonal Splendour' exhibition, and also in a graduate showcase in 12 Degrees of Edinburgh. Next will be a new gallery in Margate which will have a whole load of work from me, more on that soon.......

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A guide to Margate - 1956

You know I was saying about coincidences? Well my dear friend Sarah Home was reaching for a 'Girls Own' annual in a Cambridge junk shop the other day when she found this gem of a book underneath it! The 1956 Margate tourist board guide to my hometown. Full of saturated and modestly posed loveliness, I can't think of anything more appropriate. And a TOURIST GUIDE as well! It is just perfect!! This will definately get me through Christmas when the Margate summer inspiration has dried up.

I live for moments like this.
Thankyou so much Sarah.

I have posted some pictures below but there is just too much of it to fit in. It came with a train timetable, a map and a brochure of events for the summer of 1956.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Hello cereal!

How nice is this!! It would HAVE to be a good day when your breakfast says good morning to you. I love it!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The nicest thing

Touch wood, a lot of happy coincidences have been happening to me recently. The studio move in has been delayed (not one of the aforementioned happy things) but outside of that, things seem to be slotting into place quite a lot. Still very busy from the shows, I have now got lots of 'Margate drawers' on the make and have had lots of wonderful interest from the press. A surprising amount of attention has come from blogs which I am really pleased about, its a great way to get feedback about the work etc (so thank you bloggers!).

It was only today I realised that I have only written one other time during the whole of September, a very poor effort on my behalf but hey - I am busy! At the moment I am working on 2 dressing tables, a cabinet, lots of drawers, two lampshades, four dining chairs and an arm chair. Now the arm chair is what I have come on to post about. This item in itself came to me through a lovely local guy who printed my business cards (a lesson in itself - always see what a guy up the road can do for you before you try anywhere else - you might be surprised with the results). This arm chair had floral cushions covering every inch of its frame, and these masked an original fake leather covering that had disintegrated in its 50 years of life on earth. Some others might have given up there, being in my possesion meant some others already had, but I (as usual) proceeded to strip the entire thing down to its wooden base and see what I could do with it.

I may be dragging this out quite a bit, but those who see the results on my site next week will agree that this is turning into a really gorgeous piece of furniture. I have tightened all of the original webbing on the base and only replaced what was needed. Now the seat of the chair has a brand new upholstery that I have made from patchworking tiny pieces of brown leather, a very lengthy process. In taking apart the base a little piece of paper fluttered out . . it was a G Plan label! Suddenly I was more in love with the armchair. Later a very dusty shilling rolled out too, dating back to 1956. It was all just TOO cute! A fifties G Plan wooden armchair that is getting the royal Margate treatment . . . I wonder if I'm going to be able to give this up . .

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Back from Tent London.

What a week! Or couple of weeks really. I have not been anywhere near my blog for quite some time as the run up to Tent London was every bit as busy as I thought it would be. I was lucky enough to be featured in The Evening Standard, The Observer, The Metro and Grazia all during design week - press can be seen on the website, and had a brilliant interest from visitors to the stand. Thank you to everyone who took time to visit the show and even more time to talk to me. As much as I love people watching, the days still became very long!

Now that I am back and preparing to get into the new studio, a lot of time is being spent replying to emails, filling in orders, updating the site...and making new work! I have several orders for upcycled 'Margate drawers' already and looking forward to applying the look onto other styles of retro furniture too (enter dressing tables and sideboards!). Keep an eye on the site for any updates and email me if you would like any information on how to get a set for yourself! :D

I have posted the last picture taken of me at Tent London with the TalentZone sign (huge thing). I look tired and pleased and that is exactly how I felt - A great week.

Over and out.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Bye bye donkeys

I read an article in the Metro recently that had me slightly inscenced. This would be the free tube newspaper that takes me hours to find one without another person attached to - or sitting on - it. It was a teeny tiny paragraph which I tore out but lost very quickly as it rivaled a postage stamp in square footage. It described (as best as a text that size could) the recent end to donkey rides on Margate sea front, and so of course I was instantly interested. I looked up the story online when I got home and was pretty surprised that I had not heard of it before. Not only are the donkeys leaving the shoreline this summer, but Margate was the first resort to ever introduce donkey rides as seaside entertainment back in the 1890's!!! And now they are leaving. Margate's donkey man has his own completely understandable reasons for ending the rides, but it seems so sad to lose another part of our heritage from the local shoreline. There is talk of the council taking over the franchise but I have a very unfounded feeling that perhaps not a lot of good would come from that move. After all, surely a job such as that is one done for enjoyment and not for extreme, target-busting profit. So goodbye to the donkeys, for now. They say the deck chairs are next, due to a terrible summer and increased council rates. People (local or otherwise) don't utilise or respect the fantastic things we have available to us enough. Hopefully they will be back soon, and fronted by another enthusiast like the previous one!

On a lighter note, the website has been updated again today!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

New cushions!

Recycled wedding dress silk 'Margate' cushions. My goodness, I have been working very hard on these but I am very pleased with them. Bright no? They will be available on the site soon and are an example of pieces I am looking to consistently produce and stock with recycled materials. I have VERY quickly taken a photo so the styling in these pictures leaves an incredible amount to be desired, ha ha, but soon I hope to take some better ones. I'm thinking of having them peeping out of the chest of drawers etc. The fronts are made from recycled silk and are all hand printed, and the backs are all different colours of reclaimed fabrics. A fourth and final design for the range is on the way but I have yet to print them, I thought I would get something on here first. A drawing a day has momentarily been put aside for this latest drive of ideas, but the results look great!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Up late Tuesday.

Todays drawing, just a doodle - not a very interesting one and poorly shot at that. I have been busy today. I have prepared more Formica pieces, organised silks for new cushions, sourced materials, tested the dyes (starting up a whole new dye recipe book), updated emails, stopped to have some nachos, dyed said silk pieces, designed the prints for the new cushions, doodled, blogged,... and its now a quarter to 2am! That is more LIKE it! I have that tired and zoned out feeling that you get when you can stop working because it is all going so well. Tomorrow will suffer for it, but I'm pleased with what I've done today and you just can't beat that.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Saturday, Sunday & Monday

My drawings for the weekend turned into Formica prints. I have lots more to do as I keep finding more Formica, never a bad thing really. The picture isn't great as they are a lot more 'juicy' in real life, but I thought I'd document what I've been doing for the last three days.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Busy day

Today I went to meet a lovely lady called Janet and viewed her oh-so-nearly-finished artist studios in Margate. They are in the old town part as she is renovating the old Pie Factory there. It's brilliant!!! They are going to be a hub of creative designers and artists upstairs and a bistro/gallery downstairs. So fingers crossed, the Margate girl will soon be truly that again! I then met up with Heather Sawney who is the Arts Development Officer for Thanet Council and we had a coffee and an insightful chat. I have not recently met someone so dedicated and enthusiastic about their job, she is a real inspiration to be around. (From the number of people that stopped to talk to her on our morning together - she seems an absolute essential to the local artists and designers too.) She is setting up a very important website that will showcase the work of designers, artists, and makers in our part of the South East called 'Isle Arts', it is looking really great so far.

Just another doodle as like the title reads, busy day. I have travelled down to Bournemouth for the weekend to visit my dear Nana, she is the young lady on the left, people often get us mixed up....

Thursday, 21 August 2008

TENT london 2008 &

News news news!! I have this week found out that I have won a place at 'talentzone' at this years Tent London - an uber cool contemporary design fair during September. I received the email this week but waited for confirmation before I believed I was one of the 15 selected...but it's true! here is a bit of blurb below:
''Talent Zone is the area where the next generation of designers whose ideas will shape our future world can be found. Tent London and Dezeen have co-curated an exhibition where 15 of the hottest graduates will be showcased during London Design Festival.''
Fantastic news, I am very excited. They have posted images of my work on the site in the section entitled 'Talentzone exhibitors'. My work has also been posted onto - an online magazine (and design bible) that is run by the guest curator of the show, Marcus Fairs. I am really pleased to have my work on there as I check the site constantly for design news, and now you can see the Margate drawers there with all the other interesting updates!! Brilliant stuff. So... all who are free between the 18-21 September must must must come and see me and say hello, I may even have some of the Margate rock again.... :D

Here is todays drawing. Tom and I were watching a telly programme the other night all about organic farming in England (I swear I'm not saying this to sound like we do this all the time - because we don't!) and a farm down the road from him got a 10 minute feature. Its a place he drives past every day, 'Roots of Rushwick' in Worcester, but see it on the television and oh MY that is a different story! I was thinking about how excited he was not-quite-but-nearly seeing his house on the telly and it cracked me up again so I drew this picture today.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Wednesday drawing

Drew a few things on my note pad today but I had no camera to get them onto the computer. I have wanted to do a design like this for a while....and now I have! Nice and bold, fun and hand rendered typeface, I can see this being a screen print.

Tuesday drawing

Boyfriend's birthday yesterday so was only allowed a quick bit of computer admin and no time for posting. Managed to do a bit of doodling though and put something together. Again, no reason for the subject, but looking at it now I must have been thinking about the idea of growing up. It could also reflect just how hard I've been working recently too!

Monday, 18 August 2008

A drawing a day

Hmmkay. I have taken it upon myself to start a mid year resolution. I am going to try and find the time to make more drawings, for as long as possible and for absolutely no other reason at all apart from I think it is a fun idea. They might be doodles, scribbles, oil painted masterpieces, or if I'm poorly - perhaps just a shape made in croutons in my soup. However, the commitment is there, lets see how this goes....

Day one. Monday 18th Aug 2007
No particular reason for the subject, as will be the case for most of the posts, but I thought I would scribble a Stag. As per usual things developed, and I decided to put it on a screen. Originally the idea was to make some prints on paper but I ended up printing it onto a tee shirt instead! I think I will give this to my lovely boy for his birthday (hence a song quote on the inside of the neck) but may pull a few more as it's still on the screen.

So, drawing number one got quite productive! I will NOT be doing this every time....I don't think.... :D

Monday, 4 August 2008

Seaside inspiration

On a trip to Sandwich the other (not-so-glorious) day, I found these postcards in a souvenir shop. You can always tell if a shop doesn't do a lot in tourist trade when the postcards are curling, faded and have a dusty sheen on them... these did. The shop owner optimistically said they had been selling really well when I got to the till, perhaps she meant to me - I was buying five in one go. They look a bit like the riske postcards you can get in all seaside towns but I thought these were a bit more modest and the art work was great.

New Furniture coming soon....

New furniture purchased to print onto and veneer, exciting!! I've got all sorts of veneer cylinder lampshades, footstools, small tables and chairs, but I thought I'd post the largest items to give a taste of what is in the pipeline. A trio of Uniflex pieces (a great retro design company who produced modular furniture) are earmarked for some big plans.

Also I managed to find a moulded 'Myer' 60's coffee table that needs a bit of attention with a wobbly leg, but is going to work really well with some new veneers and bright stripes perhaps. Great fun. Now you know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks. I have some new ideas for further Formica and Wood wall pieces too - watch this space!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bootfair finds

Now, I found these things on Sunday at my local bootfair. Altogether they cost me fourty pee. Wow. I must have been having a bit of a yellow day, but I really wanted to take a photo and thought I'd put them as my second post. As per usual the things I am most drawn too are things that feature in my work too, and the tea cosy is a great reflection of the teeny patchworking I've been tackling recently. I'm not really a tea cosy 'person', I do like this!
The handwriting book was so nice looking and I change my own so much I was really interested to see what it said about me. Lets see.... ''Letters disconnected, large upper and lower zones with full loops (?!), irregular writing = Imagination'' .... I'm happy with that!
The cardboard box is something that I didn't even pay for, nothing criminal, I simply found it outside the bootfair on the ground. Not really something that other people would find very interesting, but it looks like a real fifties type of package. The print is very crude and its completely sunbleached on one side - I absolutely love it! It reminds me so much of the 'wrongwoods' drawers by Richard Woods and Sebastian Wrong (second picture), a pair that I found while researching for my own print onto furniture. Little free box I love you.

Monday, 14 July 2008

My first post

Weeeeee! Well, its been a long time since I did anything that was new so believe it or not a first post is pretty exciting! I have just finished a Printed Textiles degree at Loughborough University and graduated with a first. A week spent exhibiting in Brick Lane and then at the New Designer showcase in Islington was a whole lot of fun for me and the girls....and as usual, a lot of hard work as well. Without a break I've been creating work and updating the website ever since, so I still can't remember what eight hours of sleep feels like! Still enjoying every minute of what I do, and trying to improve the world through good design as ever. Now I am about to try the 'upload a photo' feature for the first time too! What a great day :D .......