Tuesday, 29 November 2011

shortbread buttons

And while we're on the subject of recipes... such a beautiful blog this. And amazing shortbread buttons, with a full tutorial and this beautiful illustration, courtesy of the super-talented Eva Juliet. Yours free to download!

Monday, 28 November 2011

store your recipes here

This seriously has to be the most beautiful recipe box I've seen! Each box is unique and is made by local craftsmen from locally salvaged hardwoods. The lids are then screen printed with two different designs, a gorgeous 'floral' option (my choice) or a simpler 'type' option. From the Rifle Paper Co.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

sweet stars

Ooo... how nice! I've just started making Leo cinnamon french toast in the mornings, which he devours. But what could be nicer than star-shaped french toast as seen in Sweet Paul's latest magazine! Cookie cutters at the ready!!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

kareem rizk

A few years ago I came across the work of Melbourne-based artist Kareem Rizk. I used to have one of these lovely bird images sitting on my desktop for simply ages, I loved it so much.

Bird No.1

Bird No.2

Bird No.3

Bird No.4

Bird No.5

Bird No.6

Today something accidentally made me find him again and I'm so happy I did. Amongst his many achievements he's collaborated with another favourite artist of mine, Eduardo Recife. Why not pop on over to Kareem's website to have a closer look at his amazing work!

Friday, 25 November 2011

it's a black friday, cyber monday offer

For the whole of the weekend up to midnight PST (Pacific Standard Time) I will be offering all customers to my shop this exclusive free 8x10 festive 'JOY' print with their order. I have created the print especially for this weekend only... it will never be repeated or for sale!

To bag your free high-quality giclee print, first would you kindly follow my blog and like me on Facebook. This is a mere 2-click movement. Then hop on over to Etsy and purchase one or more prints and leave me this message in the 'note to seller' box when you checkout: (you can copy and paste this bit ;)

I saw your lovely JOY print on your blog/Facebook page and had to have one. Please include it with my purchase!

Three prints and over will qualify you for a second free JOY print, plus a 10% discount on the total sale. If you buy three prints and over, please also add the coupon code OLB10 when you checkout. I look forward to seeing you in the store!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

a big thank you

Today is a special day for all our friends over the pond... a day to give thanks and think about others. So I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very special day and to say thank you for all your support over the last couple of years. It means a great deal to me, it really does! (And a special thank you to this lovely lady, who has been particularly good to me over the past months!)

So after you've stuffed yourself silly with turkey, tomorrow marks the start of the frantic shopping period for Christmas. Why not pop over to my little shop to see if there is anything there you think would make the perfect gift.

I will be giving away an exclusive print on all orders over the weekend - a little snippet of which you can see here - so please check back tomorrow for the big reveal and more details!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

work in progress

Way back when... when I started this blog, I promised to share with you a little of my working progress, which I realise to my shame I have never done! So I shall hopefully remedy that a bit by sharing with you a little something that I am currently working on.

I have always loved vintage wallpaper, infact I have a bit of a 'thing' for it. I take a lot of inspiration colourwise from glorious 70s wallpaper, and my recent Home Sweet Home print was based entirely upon this beautiful print. I discovered it had come from this amazing shop, Retro Villa, in Copenhagen. The story behind the shop is great and you must read about it and its wonderful owner, Mette Helena Rasmussen! There I found several more amazing floral prints and they have inspired a whole host of ideas in my head. Following on from my Ampersand print, I am now exploring how to form letters from the elements that make up the wallpaper pattern... this is what I'm doing!

Image: Retro Villa

[Step 1] I find a print I like. I really like the shapes and different sizes of this particular pattern... I know it will work well for what I have in mind!
[Step 2] I then start re-drawing each separate element of the pattern in Illustrator.
[Step 3] I lay out the elements to see what I have and give them a hierarchy in my layers palette. The very smallest flowers I arrange into groups. Then I set about re-colouring the artwork until I find a colourway I like. Sometimes this will just work by accident, other times I will turn to images I've saved on my computer or Pinterest for a bit of inspiration.
[Step 4] I choose a font... for this kind of detailed work, simple bold fonts are best. My favourite is Franklin Gothic Heavy.
[Step 5] I outline the font and make guides.
[Step 6] Then comes the fun bit! I start filling the guides in with the flower shapes. I add a few of the large flowers first to each letter... I'll show you an 'S' as an example.
[Step 7] Then I add some of the second layer flowers...
[Step 8] I continue adding the second and third layer of flowers and finish filling in the gaps with the small filler flower groups. Voila!

I'm going to continue working on the entire alphabet... and then I shall have a good old tweak of each letter! Let's see what I do with it!

Friday, 18 November 2011

desktop friday

It's a little chilly here in Athens today, so I'm thinking thick warm woolly Welsh blankets and hot cocoa in front of a log fire. Wish I had at least one of those things, but a cup of tea will have to do in front of a warm monitor screen wrapped in Welsh blankety goodness. Oh, and two colourways this week so just pop over to my Flickr stream and choose the one you want.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

leafy ampersand

My eyes are red and sore because of this little thing I've been working on today... but I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Monday, 14 November 2011

a joyful thing

There are some truly wonderful and talented folks out there in Blogland! One such folk is Tif Fussell (aka Dottie Angel) who I must mention today as she is having her Joyful Shop Update over on Etsy. This means throughout the day today, 14 November, she will be posting lots of new beautiful handcrafted lovelies including good old favourites like apron wraps and wall hangings alongside new wares like 'lappity lap blankets' and 'perfectly peachy pinnies'... So grab your purses and give one of her wonderful items a forever home!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

sunday morning

Grmphh... haven't slept for two nights! Nothing to do with the little one... he's been sleeping, well, like a baby. But it's getting wintry here and very windy and the sweet lady upstairs (and she is sweet really) torments us constantly by leaving something out on the balcony that makes a noise when the weather's bad... a really irritating 'chinese water torture' type noise. For two years it was her chairs - metal legs without any rubber feet - that made a rhythmic tapping noise that just could not be blocked out with earplugs and pillow over your head. It took us a year to establish just what the noise was and then when we discovered it she didn't believe us, so just kept leaving the chairs out. In the end we had to go and buy rubber feet and put them on all her chairs. Bliss... the noise stopped. And then suddenly a new noise - a metallic clanking noise. I swear she does it on purpose! Anyway, that's my little moan over... here's a nice cheery quilt mosaic from one of my lovely contacts on Flickr. Thank you Melissa!

Friday, 11 November 2011

what happened when...

It seems so long ago that I can hardly believe it's only 5 months since our (second) wedding. The first three months of the year were taken up with preparations and completing paperwork. We had to do a low-budget affair, so it was down to me to design our wedding invite (in Greek and English of course), make all the wedding favours and arrange the flowers. Not that I didn't love every minute of it, and with a little help from my friends, here's a taster of what I did...
Our church was right in the middle of a big park. Infact it was one of two churches in the park, so there was no choice but to add a map to the back of the invite.
I printed and folded 200 paper boats for Leonidas... it was his christening too... and we filled them with cashew nuts!
George has a small olive grove in Crete, so we filled 200 little bottles with his olive oil round which we tied a label to match the invite with green ribbons.
I also made little matchbook seed packs filled with sunflower seeds!
Here's me arranging flowers... I was a florist way back in the 90s and it was lovely to work with flowers again!
The bouquet...
... and even a few blooms left to go next to the bed.

desktop friday

It's Friday... which means a little something for your desktop to download. This week it's keys for some reason. Just follow this link to my Flickr page and download the size you need.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

2012 calendar

I've been busy working on a new calendar today. I had an idea to do a Spice Rack print, which originally had 10 jars, but then quickly occurred to me I could add two more and make a calendar. What do you think? I'd love your thoughts before I make this available for sale :)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

budget art display

There are hundreds of great art prints out there all looking for a home. Not only can collecting them be a costly business, but framing can certainly put an extra strain on our pockets. Here are some nifty and stylish ideas for hanging art on a shoestring.
on clipboards
brightly taped or with a simple bulldog clip
from wooden clothes hangers
or trouser hangers
or buy them cheap from a thrift store and give them a lick of paint!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

hello world

Well, it's been some time. I have to apologise for my long blog absence, which has been mainly due to a 500 Internal Server Error message which cropped up in my browser window about 2 months ago. This disabled all my Google access including the ability to log into my blog, so I've just left it gathering dust. We tried just about everything to get rid of it and nearly gave up until I posted a screengrab of the pesky error message on Facebook a couple of days ago in a last ditch attempt to see if anyone had the answer. And luckily, one of my lovely friends knew the trick! So here I am, back up and running. It's been a tumultuous few months here in Greece as I'm sure many of you have heard on the news and we are seriously considering jumping ship back to the UK. George is busy job-hunting and I have largely been lacking in motivation and inspiration due to the whole situation. But the last couple of weeks has seen a small reawakening in my creativity and I've been busy producing some new work which I shall share with you over the next few days. But first of all, here is a small gift for you all... a little something for your desktop. And I shall endeavor to create a new one each week on a Friday to which I will assign the title 'Desktop Friday Giveaway' (if you require a different size just leave me a comment). So in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll be back again very soon!