Friday, 2 September 2011

Digital Art

My first digitally couloured art print
I'm not of the age where computers were a common place thing in schools. I learned how to use a computer years later in work and stock-taking and menu-costing wouldn't be the most creative things to do with your laptop. So when I installed Adobe photoshop and illustrator, I was very excited at the possibilities which lay ahead....way way way ahead.

That was about 2 years ago now. Every time I attempted the most simple action, I was frustrating into hitting the close button and leaving it for another day. I once commented to my husband that you needed a degree to use the damn thing when he informed me that actually there were courses to teach you how to use it, I didn't feel quite so inept.

I turned to my favourite place for help (as I had done while teaching myself to screen print). Youtube. Between it and tutorials found and created by much smarter people than me, I have slowly started to learn just a fraction of the tool functions. As you get older and the brain cells slow, you do of course have to remember exactly how you did everything a few days before.

This week I finally felt confident enough to order a new accessory that I hope might help me further and yesterday my new "Bamboo" graphics tablet and pen arrived. The possiblities I know will be endless. I just hope my patience is......

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy 1st Birthday boys!

Today was our wee boy's 1st birthday party. Where has the year gone. As there is only 6 days between Fergus and our friend's son, we had a joint party.

For our daughter's birthday I dipped lovely Bonne Mama cookies in icing then sprinkles and this year carried on the theme with marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. I'm not fond of marshmallows, but everytime I passed the plate, my hand automatically reached out for one. They remind me of little fantasy toadstools.

Okay so I cheated with this cake and used my new favourite thing, ready to roll icing. The effect was a bit more professional than my effort with butter icing and a warm palette knife and the 'Janod' toy cars and food colouring felt pens helped me out too. I used the the cupcake recipe from Nigella Lawson for the sponge, filled with strawberry jam and vanilla butter cream, glazed with apricot jam to give the icing something to grip and Voila!

Joyeux anniversaires aux petits princes........

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Stocking for winter (in more ways than one).

Every year we say we're going to do the French thing and stockpile our wood for winter at the beginning of the summer letting it weather for a few months and getting the best from it come the freezing cold nights ahead. Six years and a lot of excuses later and we find ourselves cramming it all in again in October. This year though we had the best helper. While Fergus watched on happily in his pram, Leila went for an ever larger log each time. (I wonder where she gets it from).

We took advantage of the beautiful autumn weather, the pile of props and Leila's great mood to do a little photo shoot for my latest Etsy product. A crisp white Christmas stocking made from a vintage table cloth I found at a 'vide grenier' last year. Using an elf embroidery pattern from my new favourite etsy store and trimmed with a beautiful quality deep red gingham, I just can't wait to hang two above the blazing fire on Christmas eve. (that's if the wood lasts that long).

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tour de France Dress

My very first attempt at clothing...A very simple dress pattern from manimina ( but absolutely foolproof and very cute though I say so proud! I added an applique of a bike and of course a contrasting "king of the mountains" spot fabric on canary yellow.

Aller aller aller!

Yesterday we had the most wondeful day watching the Tour de France passing through our village in the Pyrenees. We started with lunch at a friends while the children played in the garden before setting ourselves up outside the gates with chairs and sun shades. I thought Leila might loose her voice...she didn't miss one shout of "aller, aller, aller, go. go, go" as the caravans, motorbikes, police, advertisment vehicles etc to passed by. The bikes themselves came by so quickly. First a pack of 10 or so who had broke loose followed not so long later by the rest. The wee man slept through most of it and woke unmoved by it all. Maybe next year wee fella.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Chateau Chic

I've been working on some personalized items for my friend's Bed and Breakfast. It's a beautiful 17th century chateau here in the pyrenees. Lovingly restored by her and her husband. I started with some cushion covers and with the same logo, I've just finished some market totes in hessian with a stunning black on white 'Toile de Jouy'.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sieze The Day

I've gone stencil mad this month. First up was my coffee cosy and now I've started on a new line of pillows with latin quotes in a beautiful Old English font on 100% Irish Linen with a black & natural striped linen on the reverse. This one is for my brother for his birthday. I think they would appeal to men and women. Care to offer your favourite latin quote in the comments section? I'm always on the look out for a good one.