Saturday, 26 May 2012

Moon animation

Inspired by Soya's website and her animated gifs I tried making my own.

This is it...

Happy Sunshiny Saturday.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Soya Le Gato

Yeeeeeeyyyyyyy! Look what surprised me in the post this week.



Were you scared?

I did a swap with the ever-so-ever-so fabulous and brilliant Soya Le Gato. I sent her one of my moon brooches and she sent me this one-of-a-kind foxy brooch. I can't tell you how excited I was when it arrived, all beautifully packaged with a cat illustration drawn on the envelope, and she'd even popped in some amazing postcards too.

You really HAVE TO, HAVE TO check out her website – it's a neon rainbow of crazy critters and totally inspired illustrations. 

It's peppered with super bright and flashy new animated gifs like this painted elephant. I'd really love to make some of those, but I've got absolutely no idea where to start! 

I love the way her brain works and her incredible imagination. I wish I could do a screengrab to show you, but I don't know how to do that. So instead, follow this link and dive into her world ✱ 

And if you want your own one-of-a-kind-badge (of course you do) you'll have to be quick as there are only five left. You can pick your favourite on Soya's Facebook page

And her real name isn't even Soya. Or El Gato for that matter. But she does like chocolate soya milk apparently. And cats. 

Isn't she amazing?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Thrifty Gifty

Last weekend Middle was invited to another birthday party. I sensed her despair at having to give something handmade yet again, but I stubbornly refused to pay for any more plastic pieces of future landfill. So, in an attempt to be thrifty but still give her friend something special, I made a mini sewing kit using bits and pieces that I had collected.

I cut out fabric squares, ironed them and put them in a cello wrapper tied with a paper label.

Then I collected some nice bits of ribbons and trims...

...made her a mini needle and pin case...  

... and put some vintage buttons in a wooden box. 

 I also popped in a plain felt bag for her to decorate.

It was all parcelled up in a nice brown paper bag and tied with a ribbon. However, just as we gave it to her, she opened another present: a tin of gold Moshi Monsters. I fear our parcel of thrifty loveliness may have been lost in a sea of metallic Moshis. Still, I think it was nice.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I ♥ my sewing machine


Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Moon Caterpillar

Last week I finally finished a print I've been working on for ages. I wanted to do an illustration that told the story of the Butterscotch & Beesting Moon. She's very important to the circus, as it's the moon who announces its arrival to a town.

She's already appeared as a necklace in her caterpillar form, on pocket mirrors peeking out from paper clouds pockets, and on hand-painted clay brooches

To work alongside these, I wanted to make a print that told her story. Here is her tale: When the Butterscotch & Beesting trains pull into the station and the distinctive diamonds, triangle and stripes of its flags are raised, the moon celebrates by painting her face like a clown, letting the whole world know that the circus is in town. In the morning, when she is no longer needed in the night sky, the Moon transforms herself into a caterpillar and crawls under the Big Top canvas to watch the wonders of the Butterscotch & Beesting show.   

So I started by imagining her as a caterpillar, watching the acrobats, clowns and animals performing under the big top. I imagined her being so consumed by its wonders that she became the circus, with tiny zebra feet and the flags of the circus tents as spikes on her back. This is the original drawing I made using ink on paper...

After messing about with some different colouring options, I decided to colour her digitally to get a flat offset effect, which you can see here...

I also added blocks of colour for her legs, which I felt gave her a bit more motion, as if she was crawling over to the circus. 

I wanted to compose the print so she you would see her first high up in the sky as the moon, and then follow her down to the ground. So I added strobes of light and triangles pointing downwards to lead your eye down. 

I filled the sky with roughly drawn circles that also formed eyes and drew a bird on a trapeze, as a reference to her watching the aerialists in the tents. 

The part I struggled with most was how to add the story, and actually whether to include it at all or leave it as an illustration. I tried a few alternative fonts, but felt that using that kind of text made the whole print into more of a book cover or a poster, which would be great but wasn't what I wanted here. So instead I drew my own writing. That bit was lots of fun. 

I kept going backwards and forwards on colours too, so in the end I made two versions with different colourways. Indecision = solved. I'm not sure the colours look exactly the same as the prints in these photos. On the actual print, the pale blue is much more of a turquoise/jade (more like the large image below I think).

So here are the two versions of the final print.

Details from the print

You can buy both version from my Etsy Shop

And look out for a four-colour screenprint of the Moon shining over the Butterscotch & Beesting Circus, which will be coming very soon too. 

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Today I didn't do any work. Instead I went to my mum's allotment with the girls and my mum. We dug up forget-me-nots, mint, chives and daisies for our garden. Pia found a newt. A robin came to see us and perched perfectly on a rusty bean pole right next to my camera, but I was too slow. I fear he may be cross that I failed to capture his posing on film. I did get some photos of Pia before she ran off to poke to the newt with a stick though.

allotment, garden, secret garden

And tomorrow is another day off. It feels quite special.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Knife & Folk

Last Saturday was the opening night of the Knife & Folk exhibition at APG Works raising money and awareness for Amnesty International.

The exhibition showcases the work of 20 Sheffield artists and their response to the notion of freedom of speech and human rights.

I thought this poster for Amnesty by Lea Scott was particularly powerful and beautifully done. 

Lea had replicated the caged hands from her print on the gallery walls.

There was a live sketching by Jonny Onions and comedy writer, performer and old-school zine girl  Chella Quint

... and so too was Butterscotch & Butterscotch.

You can follow Knife & Folk on Tumblr.

Here's a link to many more photos from the Knife & Folk Exhibition by Chard Remains Photographical.