Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Great Cantini!

Here's something I've been working on as a bit of light relief during the holidays. Watching a biopic of Tommy Cooper last night I thought I'd create my own magician! No fez though, that's Tommy's  thing. I wanted it in an art-deco poster style, so I might add a few faux details about a show he'll be in, could be quite fun!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

'Sink' - Illustration Friday

A bit of a tangent from this weeks topic, but I really like the colours and wintery feel, fits in perfectly with the weather we're having in England!
Hope everyone is all set for Christmas :D

Thursday, 15 December 2011

'Separated' - Illustration Friday

One of the bonuses of Christmas, everyone coming together. People usually separated managing to spend some time together over the holidays :)

My first post for a looong time due to working on some really exciting projects! I can't disclose any details but boy it's exciting!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Free Delivery!

Over at my Etsy shop you can get free delivery within the UK if you use the code XMAS2011 at the checkout! To make the run-up to Christmas even easier :D

Monday, 28 November 2011

'Round' - Illustration Friday

My entry for this week's Illustration Friday, the topic being 'round'.

This is the second drawing I did for this week and definitely the better one :) time to get those Christmas decorations out folks!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...


Here are some Christmas card designs I've been working on since last year (I know!) based on the 12 days of Christmas. So far I have Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Not sure I could fit 12 Lords A'Leaping onto an A6 card, so I might leave it at these, I think they make a cute series :)

Also, I've started work on this weeks Illustration Friday topic 'Round'. I've done one drawing but I'm not very happy with it, plus I've come up with a better idea. Hopefully I'll finish that tonight! I thought I'd be able to relax after the craft fair but turns out I was wrong!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

first craft fair = success!

A huge thank you to everyone involved in the Delapre Abbey Craft Fair, it was so much fun! Here's what my stall set-up was like, I was pretty pleased as I hadn't done it before I thought I'd get it wrong but I think it was ok! So now I'm off to bed because I'm SHATTERED! Will definitely be doing more fairs soon though :D

Delapre Abbey Craft Fair is tomorrow!

It's come round awfully quickly but tomorrow it's Craft Fair time! So if you're in the Northampton area come and have a look, it opens at 10 and closes at 4. Hope to see you there!

My Etsy shop will be closed tomorrow, but I'll be re-opened on the 28th :D

Monday, 21 November 2011

'vanity' - illustration friday

I love faux fur; it looks nice, it feels nice, and it's perfect for winter.

But why can't all fur be faux?

Killing and maiming for vanity is never right, and I myself will never own anything made of real fur thank you very much!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

'silent' - illustration friday

Christmas is on my mind 24-7 at the moment, so it's only fitting this weeks entry to Illustration Friday is festive!
I remember being a kid at 2am on Christmas morning, silently sneaking down the stairs with my stocking to open my presents whilst trying not to wake my parents up... they'd make us go back to bed if they caught us! So this is what this lad is doing too. Is it bad that I STILL can't wait 'til Christmas morning, even though I'm 23?

Friday, 11 November 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas! And this year I'm in a good mood because I've actually got myself sorted out, the first year this has ever happened. My Etsy shop has been updated, and even includes a festive banner specially for my seasonal shoppers. Also, here's one of my card designs for this year (which is also available in pink, red and gold and is sold as a pack of 4, for £10) and my cute little felt hearts (2 for £6)

Not long now until my stall will be appearing at the Delapre Abbey Christmas Fair in Northampton, on the 27th of November, come visit! I've prepared tons more cards and all my Etsy stuff will be there too.

I do love Christmas :D

Monday, 7 November 2011

'stripes' - illustration friday

Another quick one this week, I've been frantically crafting to get ready for a Christmas market! But here is my stag/cow (I reckon it has a very cow like face, which isn't what I wanted but hey!) ready for winter with his striped scarf :)
Incidentally, I've started crocheting a snood for myself, why buy when you can make aye?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

'scary' - illustration friday

This weeks Illustration Friday prompt got me thinking whether there are any tales of ghostly happenings around where I live, and it turns out there are a few!
I found this story on the Luton Paranormal website, and thought it was a tad odd...

"Burials have not been permitted at the Priory Church in Dunstable for some time over concerns of releasing an evil that is buried there. A long time ago a witch called Sally was burnt at the stake along with her cat and broomstick but she returned to haunt the priory which stood on the site where the Priory church now stands. Ghostly hands would box the monks around their ears and the altar candles would burn with an evil green light. If Sally's ghostly fingers touched the prayer books the covers would be singed. 

Things got so bad that a Palmer (a wandering medieval European pilgrim who carried a palm branch as a token of having visited the Holy Land) was called in to remove the spirit. As the Palmer began the service Sally struck him so hard about the head that he fell to the floor of the Chancel. Eventually the Palmer outwitted Sally by luring her into a bottle. This bottle was then buried in the grounds of the Priory church but no one knows where. No more burials were allowed which might break the bottle and release the witch."

Thursday, 27 October 2011

'fuel' - illustration friday

My entry for this weeks Illustration Friday prompt 'fuel'.
I used pen and pencil for this and then tidied it up digitally. Out of my comfort zone a bit but I'm pleased with it :)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Yes a little change always makes me feel better, my blog needed a spring cleaning (or, as it turns out, an autumn cleaning!) Still in progress but hopefully it'll be finished in a couple of weeks, please bear with me! :D

Monday, 24 October 2011


I'm not sure whether it's a big milestone for the internet in general, but for me it's like wow! So as a thank you and hooray there'll be 20% off at my Etsy shop when you use the code 10KBLOG at the checkout :D you can find my Etsy shop here.
Happy shopping!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

lesser mouse lemur

I've been going back to basics the past few weeks, actually using pencils and paintbrushes instead of relying on the digital stuff, and it's so bloomin' satisfying!

Here's yet another sketch from the NHM, I've become a tad obsessed with all things furry and cute since my visit. This is a Lesser Mouse Lemur, a bit like a Bush-baby really. I used watercolour, pencil and pen on paper, but messed up the tree trunk. Instead of throwing an artistic tantrum I simply cut out the lemur, cut out a trunk shape from black paper, and collaged the two together. Problem solved!

Friday, 14 October 2011

oh deer...

Another sketch from the photos I took at the Natural History Museum.
Watercolour, pen and pencil on paper. Will be on sale at my Etsy shop soon!

Thursday, 13 October 2011 i can be organised!

Yes, I have started my Christmas cards in October. Which means that this year I've actually got myself organised! Time for a celebration!
Here are my top end price cards, complete with crocheted snowflake and little cut-out snowflakes (I cheated with the cut-outs, it's a punch cutter from Hobbycraft! Can you blame me?)
LOTS more designs to come :D
My cat decided to help me put them into their cellophane, hmmm...

Monday, 10 October 2011

'contraption' - illustration friday

 A quick doodle for this weeks Illustration Friday topic 'contraption'

I always loved Wallace and Gromit as a kid (and I still do!) so took a little inspiration from them to create my kettle boiling contraption! I need one of these I can operate from my bed so when I get downstairs there's hot water ready for tea making.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

natural history museum

It's amazing that you can live on the doorstep of some amazing places and never actually go isn't it?

I finally visited the Natural History Museum at Tring over the weekend and it is FULL of amazing taxidermy and animal-info. I took a million photo's and couldn't resist a bit of sketching, so here is a moonfish that I've just finished. It's watercolour, pencil and graphite on paper :)

More sketches to come (and visits no doubt!)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

'hibernate' - illustration friday

Here's my entry for this weeks Illustration Friday topic 'hibernate'.

Originally I wanted to do a badger, but apparently English badgers don't actually hibernate? I never knew that! So here is a tiny little dormouse curled up snug ready for winter.

Bit of a different style for me this week, going back to traditional and actually painting! I'm quite happy with it, although the mouse was tricky to colour.

This piece is gouache on 250gsm paper, and is window mounted using black paper.

monday musings

I heard Peter Sarstedt's 'Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)' on the radio the other day and I cannot get it out of my head. It's so beautiful and makes me want to go to Paris instantly, literally jump on the Eurostar and go right now. I'm so in love with the lyrics I may do some drawings inspired by them, if you haven't heard the song please please please give it a listen, it'll make your day I guarantee it.

Also, I have FINALLY started my Christmas loot, cards have begun as have crocheted goods. I'm going to be at the Delapre Abbey Christmas Craft Fair in Northampton at the end of November, and want to have a good stock of all things Chritmassy ready for it :) plus I'll need cards for friends and family, so I'm glad I've started now!

As my leg is really on the mend now I can finally start re-photoing my Etsy stock too, and have a few pieces mid-completion so will update with those soon!

So much to do so little time... particularly at this time of year aye?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

caldecotte arms, finally done!

Phew! Finished at last. Had alot of difficulty colouring this one for some reason, just couldn't pick them and stay happy with them, and some of the lines I'm not totally pleased with but overall I think it looks good. Time to go to sleep now...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

new mkpulse piece progress

This drawing of the Caldecotte Arms in Milton Keynes is hopefully going to turn into a lovely finished piece in the next couple of days, and will be published in November's MKPulse magazine :) needs so much more work yet... going to take a while!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

half a century calls for a special card

My dad turns 50 this week, 50! So here is the card I've been working on for him finally finished. As you can probably tell he's into all things nautical hence the theme!

Monday, 19 September 2011

'mesmerizing' - illustration friday

As I was truly mesmerized by Malta when I visited, I thought it would fit perfectly with this weeks IF topic!

This is the first of what I hope will be a series based on photographs I took whilst out there. In an ideal world I'd go tomorrow and live there for a month and do nothing but draw... sadly life doesn't quite work like that.

Such a beautiful place!

malta drawing... at last!

I visited Malta for the second time at Easter and made sure I took TONS of photos, because I was stunned the first time I went. Visiting for the second time I was just as stunned, it's such a beautiful place.

Waking round the walled city of Mdina was so inspiring, and this is a sketch of a street there (yes, the streets are that narrow!)

I don't know why it's taken me so long to do anything with the photos I took, I guess life just gets in the way sometimes aye?

Once this one's finished I'll be doing more for sure :)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

this weeks IF progress?

This weeks Illustration Friday topic 'mesmerizing' has got me a bit stuck. As I've been housebound due to a knee operation I haven't seen many things lately that have mesmerised me. And just as I was thinking about this sitting in my garden, a dandelion seed flew past me, and I ended up staring at it until it blew away. 

I took it as a sign.

So, more tablet messing and many 'undo' hits later I've come up with this sketch. It's nowhere near a finished piece yet I don't think, more work can and will be done. Who knows I may be mesmerised by something else this week, it's only Friday after all!

Friday, 16 September 2011

getting to grips with the graphics tablet!

So my lovely boyfriend bought me a Wacom Bamboo Graphics Tablet for my birthday, and I'm finally getting a bit more confident in using it! Here are a few little bits I did tonight. I love the fact I can sketch literally straight on to my computer, it's like magic! So more tablet creations in the coming weeks I feel :D

Monday, 12 September 2011

old contour drawings re-vamped!

I found some old contour studies from December-time sitting in a folder somewhere in the depths of my Mac, and thought they made quite cute little images. They would probably have been 30 second studies (or about that) drawn at work on my lunch break due to the squiggly lines.

Here they are after a little TLC, complete with ruddy noses thanks to the winter weather we had back in December! Not long 'til winter this year either... crikey.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

some crochet happenings

Extreme apologies for no updates, no scanner and immobility means my work is suffering somewhat at the moment. However, I shall share with you my recent crochet creations that are adorning my bedroom at the moment!

This is probably the most complicated one so far, but also the cutest! The pattern is available from and it's very well written and easy to follow. Although with all the colour changes it's not for the faint hearted crochet-er, but it's oh so worth it!

Then there's this guy! The pattern is from Pink Tree Creature's Etsy shop and was really good fun to make. Very easy to follow and again great instructions, it'll take you a while but I reckon it's achievable for beginners/intermediates.

Although he's been trying to buy all sorts of lovely things through Etsy, tsk! 

There are tons and tons of fantastically written patterns out there, I wish I had the patience to create my own. So thank you to all the dedicated crochet people for these lovely patterns! 

Sunday, 4 September 2011

something i've been meaning to finish...

The scanned file of this has been sitting on my laptop for about a month now, it was high time I did something with it!

I wanted to try and illustrate the front covers for some of my all time favourite books, and these books happen to be nearly all by Haruki Murakami. If you haven't read any of his work please please do, it's sublime.

'Kafka on the Shore' is by far my favourite book in the entire Universe, and illustrating the front cover scared the living daylights out of me. I won't divulge into the story so you'll have to go and read it, you shan't be disappointed.

This is what I have so far, I want to change the title around, but the bottom half I'm really pleased with. I've also started a cover for 'After Dark', also by Murakami, so we shall see what happens with that in the coming days...

... what book cover would you illustrate?

Friday, 2 September 2011

'disguise' - illustration friday

So my scanner was not fixed in time :( so I couldn't add any more detail, but here's the simpler version finished for this weeks IF 'disguise'!

Where there's a determined illustrator - there's a way.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

finally some drawing... getting back to normality!

So they released me from the hospital and all is a-OK, thank you for all the well wishes! Leg is on the mend and I'm no longer experiencing painkiller induced narcolepsy so here is my progress this week for Illustration Friday's prompt 'disguise'.

Every cat has an air of mystery to them, where do they go at night? And what do they get up to?

I imagine my cat Milly prowls the neighbourhood in disguise to cause maximum mischief... until she is caught. Then she becomes cute and cuddly and gives the 'butter-wouldn't-melt' look (see the attached photo!)

I want to add a lot more detail to this yet, particularly to the mask and cat. My scanner is on the fritz but hopefully this will be sorted in time for me to submit :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

'swell' - illustration friday

A quick entry for this weeks Illustration Friday. The prompt was 'swell', so what better than a puffer fish?! Poor things get startled and swell up like a huge balloon... still, very cute even for a fish!

This'll be my last post for a while as I'm back into hospital from tomorrow, more knee work! All the recovery time will give me loads of time to draw, crochet and embroider though so it's not all bad :)

My Etsy shop will also be down for a while, but as soon as I'm back feeling a bit better it'll be back in business!

Monday, 15 August 2011

birthday discount today at my Etsy shop!

So today is my birthday! And to celebrate I've decided to say a big thank you to all my followers for lovely comments and feedback!

Head on over to Crem-bru-laa at Etsy and enter 23BDAY at the checkout to get 23% off! I know, madness but everything is 23% off until midnight (GMT) tonight.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

apologies for the grainy photo...

... I'm hoping for a new camera very soon!

Another A3 drawing and working at this size still seems huge! However working bigger means you can get loads of detail in which is a bonus :) this bit of the drawing is only taking up a quarter of the page, so still A LOT to do!

I want this to be almost a pattern of townhouses, filling the paper. I may then experiment with a bit of colour and perhaps make it into an actual pattern that can be repeated (would look pretty funky printed on to fabric I reckon?)

We shall see how it ends up, I've been in an experimental mood of late so who knows what'll happen to it!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

100 illustration's book opportunity

Listen up fellow Illustrators! The lovely Diana Evans at 100 Illustrations blog is wanting submissions for a new book based on 'Favourite Foods'. Illustrators from all across the globe are welcome to enter and it's free to do so! All the info can be found here, such a good opportunity it'd be silly not to give it a go!

Here's my entry, depicting my undying love for all things cereal. I may get a bowl now... mmm!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

'imperfect' - illustration friday

This weeks entry for Illustration Friday. Going through my make-up bag I was a bit shocked at the amount of stuff I have to mask the fact that, like everyone, I'm imperfect...

... and I'm a sucker for buying the next wonder cream or super-extending-volume-boosting-ultra mascara, but what girl isn't?!

No-ones perfect :)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

illustration friday progress

A sneaky peek at my drawing for this weeks IF contest - 'imperfect'. Nowhere near finished, however the drawing is A3 which is huuuge by my standards. One thing I can tick off my list of things to do, work bigger! It'll be finished Wednesday evening (pub time depending, it is my birthday week after all!)

That reminds me, there may be a wee birthday discount code coming up in my Etsy shop... you heard it here first!

Monday, 8 August 2011

ideas ideas ideas!

I have far too many ideas swimming around my head, and if I try and do all of them I'll end up forgetting where I've got to or what I still want to do. So... it's list time!

  1. Reading the wonderful Sissy Sparrows blog I saw they're creating adorable calender desktop backgrounds for their readers to download, this is SUCH a cool idea! I've wanted to do a calender for ages but printing costs scare me, this would be a fab way to do it (and my lovely blog readers would benefit too!)

  2. Tee-designs, there are so many sites where you can upload your images to and they'll be sold on t-shirts, totes... all-sorts! Should give this a go as you never know until you try!

  3. I need a proper online portfolio or website, should really get on this a.s.a.p. No excuses.

  4. DRAW BIGGER! Just bought some lovely A3 paper and need to make my images bigger, better and louder!

  5. Use more materials, I seem to have fallen into a comfort zone of drawing-scanning-tidying-colouring. Although this is fine, I need to push out of it occasionally.

  6. Re-photograph my Etsy items - The lovely Rebekah Leigh Marshall did this not too long ago and the results were stunning. Hopefully I'll be getting a new camera shortly so this is the first job it'll have!

  7. I've been reading Max Scratchmann's Illustration 101, and it's so damn useful you wouldn't believe. Such a good book if, like me, you're starting out on the scary Freelance Illustration road. Anyway, in it he talks about Portfolio Investment, doing mock-ups and voluntary work to build up your portfolio. This is one of millions of helpful hints in the book, and is something I really need to do (have already done a voluntary piece for MKPulse magazine which is being published in September, which I'm super excited about. Thanks for the tips Max!)

  8. Start actual PROJECTS, like an idea I have for a book aimed at children having to spend time in hospital. Or a series of images for an exhibition I'm hoping to plan with MK Arts for Health in the future. Stop thinking about it and do it woman!

I think that's it, any suggestions are always welcomed. Hopefully I'll have ticked these off by October. Ready... set... go!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

a sewing machine sunday

For some reason I really fancied doing some sewing this afternoon, but also wanted to do a bit of drawing... after a bit of combining the two this is what came out!

It's freehand sewing machine embroidered onto paper, which didn't rip as I was half expecting it to do thank goodness.

Rather pleased with this little experiment, I'll have to do bigger and better in the coming weeks :)

we draw dogs, aka the cutest blog EVER!

If you're like me and love anything canine then head on over to We Draw Dogs. Lots of submissions from Illustrators all over the globe sending in adorable and funky images of all kinds of dogs! I fell in love instantly.
I submitted a few pieces to the fabulous creator of We Draw Dogs - Jo Cheung, and she kindly put them up! :) You can find the post here.
Thanks Jo!

Friday, 5 August 2011

sketchbooks and new art stuff

You know those drawings you do in a sketchbook that you never get round to doing anything with? Well here are two that I DID get round to doing.


I've also just splurged on some lovely new pens and silly priced paper, so I am happy (if not a little guilty for spending more money...)