Saturday, 21 December 2013

51/52


both - enjoying lollipop guild lollies in the photo booth in snoopers paradise. here they are in the same spot last year. 
thanks to everyone who has supported my cottage industry over the last year, i really do appreciate it. 
happiest of christmases to you all. X
i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Saturday, 14 December 2013

sticking with it...

i've almost finished the second mitten (here's the first). taking care not to poke my eye out with five DPNs on the go at once.

50/52

wee baby j - during a failed attempt to get some christmas-card-worthy photos
o-o - a lovely sheep in his first school play, the reception nativity
i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

49/52


wee baby j - conversation with grampy m
o-o - fairy jungle created in preparation for a visit by his friend miss w
i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

mini mittens

i'm knitting mini-mittens-on-a-string christmas tree decorations*. they're knitted on DPNs and the work-in-progress looks like a wool explosion in a kerplunk factory (or a kerplunk explosion in a wool factory). i'm hoping to give some as gifts, if i get enough finished...
* can't actually find the source of the pattern now but will have a proper look later

Sunday, 1 December 2013

48/52

oh dearie me, i've hardly taken any photos this week, i blame the distraction of christmas preparations. 
wee baby j - enjoying a sofa wrestle/cuddle with daddy and big bro
o-o - tucking into a cream cake during a trip to the theatre. the puppetry production of 'we're going on a bear hunt' was brilliant. o was worried that the bear would be huge and scary but he turned out to be quite sweet. o's favourite bit was the darting underwater fishes in the river. i liked the puppet dog.
i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Saturday, 23 November 2013

47/52

wee baby j - angel with a woolly halo on a chilly trip to the level.
o-o - he's finding school exhausting and a bit overwhelming at the moment so i've decided to keep him at home two afternoons a week. his class has started doing numbers and he's been writing out lots of sums, he's especially proud of his 4s. i'm especially proud that he doesn't seem to have inherited my innumeracy.
last week i liked windows to the soul and and bobble hat. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

two | behind the scenes at airing cupboard industries


two | tinker and tweak
once i've got a rough version of the imagery and text sketched out in my sketchbook i start working on loose paper (usually the cheap, thin stuff as it's makes tracing easier). i tweak and tinker with the everything using the lightbox (which, pleasingly, because of its handle, looks like a huge white suitcase full of light) and my favourite muji fine line pens, i end up with a lot of sheets with sometimes just a few cryptic shapes and letters drawn on them. i then scan them in and use photoshop to neaten, refine and develop the imagery, gradually dividing everything up so that each separation (colour layer) is on a different photoshop layer. sometimes i illegally use the screen of the mac as a lightbox, which isn't a very good idea, i'm not very good at 'drawing' with the mouse and much prefer to do stuff by hand and then scan in so i go back-and-forth-back-and-forth between lightbox, kitchen table and mac many times. i use photoshop in a completely ridiculous, luddite way (much to the amusement of my swish graphic designer / illustrator pals), without any keyboard shortcuts and spending ages drawing things and creating textures by hand and then scanning them in when i could probably do it in seconds with photoshop wizardry. at this stage of the process i consult the o-o (ah, the honest opinions of a child), the lovely m, other family members and friends and ask their thoughts and preferences which helps lots (thanks guys, you know who you are!), i get quite annoying i think, asking people 'which windows do you prefer' when the only person who can really see any difference between the alternatives is me. eventually, i end up with a photoshop document that is ready to print (as individual layers) and turn into a screen for printing. i'd also like to point out that, as you can see in the second photo i completely neglect my housewifery while i'm working, those are the breakfast porridge bowls on the kitchen table in the background, still not washed-up late in the day. other mamas often ask how i do my art when i've got kiddos, i always say the same thing; something's got to give and i'd rather be making than cleaning any day, i squeeze all my airing cupboard industries stuff into wee baby j's nap times (he's asleep on the sofa as i type). the housework gets done (kinda) in a mad rush before m gets home from work.

this is the second in a series of posts about the different stages of my creative process, from first ideas to screen printing in my home studio to selling the finished prints online. you can see the other posts here.

Monday, 18 November 2013

sock knitting

i'm knitting socks (or should that be sock) on four needles. i've knitted in the round before but never attempted socks but i thought i'd give it a go after buying this rather lovely wool from the ever fab tiger. i'm following jenny gordy's instructions in lena corwin's made by hand book. as you can see, progress is rather slow. it's satisfying though, to get away from the screens and sit down to something like knitting which, in my case at least, requires complete concentration (and when knitting rib, for me to repeat 'knit, knit, purl, purl' silently to myself). it makes me appreciate my fore-mothers who knitted and sewed and made so many beautiful things in the days when such craftiness was done out of necessity not a need for creativity. both my grans were so quick with the sticks, the rhythmic clickity-clickity was the soothing soundtrack of my childhood visits to their homes. thank goodness that we have the option of less labour intensive hosiery or my menfolk would be chilly of toe!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

46/52

this week i seem to have a bit of a reflection theme going on...
wee baby j (and mini self-portrait in window)- peeping in through the patio doors
o-o (and mini self portrait in cracked bauble)- riding his (hastily) blinged scooter round to miss o's for a play.  last week i liked the rule of thirds. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here


one | behind the scenes at airing cupboard industries

i'm going to do a series of posts about the different stages of my creative process, from first ideas to screen printing in my home studio to selling the finished prints online. most of the images are taken while i was making my most recent 'home is wherever i'm with you' print.

one | first ideas
ideas, inspired by things childhood memories, vintage design, snippets of overheard conversation, nice things seen around and about, usually rattle around in my head for a while. eventually they fall out of my ears (or something, often when i've dropping off to sleep at night) and i jot them down in my sketchbook. i've talked about my love of keeping a sketchbook before. if i don't record my ideas they get forgotten, so for me it's really important to record thoughts and ideas on paper, in one place, before this happens. you can see a few pages from my sketchbooks here. sometimes the same ideas might pop up over several years/months before they become anything more than a quick doodle in my sketchbook. once i've decided to focus on one idea i do lots of drawing in my sketchbook, refining and tinkering with the basic imagery and text, honing it until its a (very rough) version of the final print. that's the process that you can see in the animated gif above (the first spread is the one with o-o in the top left corner).



Thursday, 14 November 2013

home is wherever i'm with you...


wowzer, after plenty of sweat, tears and one terrible printing session during which i was assisted by wee baby j (never again) they're finally finished. my new print 'home is wherever i'm with you'. is available with either sunny yellow or blue sky in my etsy and folksy shops. i was really inspired by these vintage czech postage stamps, the illustrators dick bruna, alain gree and roger hargreaves and by some excellent wooden house blocks we had when i was a kiddo. and by love of course!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

be still my mis-registered heart

this morning o-o received a last minute invite to play at l-man's house and the lovely m took wee baby j to the fishmongers to buy some brill, brill. finding myself with a kiddo-free couple of hours and overcome by making-fever (truly, i'm obsessive when i'm mid-project) i took the opportunity to crack on with the the third separation of the new print. quite a few went a bit wonky and mis-registered. i quite like these little glitches and imperfections. what do you think?

45/52

wee baby j - so happy in daddy's arms
o-o - first ever sparkler!
last week i liked leaf. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Thursday, 7 November 2013

yellow skies


today i printed yellow skies. i'm making the new print in two colourways. i was really inspired by these vintage czech postage stamps, before seeing these i would never have thought of using yellow for a sky but i'm really pleased with how the prints turned out. i have three more separations (or colour layers, non-printmakers) to print, i've printed loads of the first separations as i'm bound to make LOTS of mistakes lining up all those layers, just call me miss misregistration! it's so good to get some stuff done, i love being in the teeny tiny home studio, squeegee in hand with the baby asnooze in the next room. i must admit, however, that while i am smitten with my bijou workspace, i am tad jealous of this amazing shed.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

44/52

wee baby j - so in love with his tiny cousin. 
o-o - cheeky and giggling in that rare thing, mancunian sunshine.
last week i liked fishy and gymnastics. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Saturday, 26 October 2013

43/52


wee baby j - cross. he's had a horrible bug this week and has been sad, cross, sad, cross, sad. here he is, begging me to allow him to besmirch my camera lens with carrot-stick-y fingers. now that it's colder, the woollens are out again (did they ever go away? not according to this photo taken in the same spot in the summer sunshine!)
o-o - rainbow spotting with daddy last weekend. he loves looking out of his bedroom window, across the chimney pots and lichen covered roofs towards distant rolling hills (and into the neighbours' houses, it's like 'rear window', though thankfully we have not witnessed anything sinister thus far). i cannot believe he's been at school a whole (oxymoron!) half-term already. he's such a hero. 
last week i liked cheek rest, scribe, four and yet always five and toddle. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Monday, 21 October 2013

sketchbook monday

in an old sketchbook, the seeds of the idea that became this print? here are some more sketchbook monday posts, if you'd like to look.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

42/52


wee baby j - pensive moment with crumbs on cheeks. 
o-o - a quiet sit down with his old pal l-man (look how much they've grown since this and this and even this) after a busy day at school.
last week i liked yellow spade. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

little houses

i've been drawing little houses, playing around with ideas for a new print. which one do you like? 
the one in the bottom right is based on these house blocks which we had when i was a kiddo. they're still in the toy cupboard at my folks' house, they are the housiest houses ever, like a kid's drawing. they make me happy, 

Monday, 14 October 2013

sketchbook monday

portuguese (the spelling, who knew? not i as you can see) man o' war, cornish pasty o' war.  here are some more sketchbook monday posts.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

41/52



wee baby j - 'i want to bite you mum, and i want to bite o-o, why will you not let me bite? i want your glasses, i want that thing, no not that, THAT, i want to climb up where i should not, i want to stand up on the rocking horse, i want to go on the trampoline, i want to slam the back door, i want you to carry me about, i want you to put me down, why do you people not understand what i'm on about? you make me so cross!" seconds later he was all smiles again.
o-o - disaster struck during the porridge preparation that morning. saint paul's cathedral was destroyed by a terrible fire. several lego people were crushed in the rubble...
last week i liked so red. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here
**don't forget to enter my facebook giveaway to win a limited edition shipping forecast and cuppa screen print, i'll be picking a winner tomorrow.**

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

shipping forecast and cuppa and giveaway

i've finished the fourth edition of the 'shipping forecast and cuppa' print and i'm hosting a facebook giveaway to celebrate. visit my facebook page and leave a comment revealing what YOU like to do while you listen to the shipping forecast to be in with a chance of winning a print. the prints are available in my etsy and folksy shops now.  i just stumbled across this post on apartment therapy that featured the print, ages old but exciting none the less!
**update - the facebook giveaway has now closed, thanks to all who entered, i really enjoyed reading your comments. please like sianuska on facebook to hear about future giveaways and news**

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Saturday, 5 October 2013

40/52


wee baby j - crashed out on the sofa after a too early start and a grizzly morning. 
o-o - the days whizz by now that o-o is a school boy but today it's the weekend and so we eat a leisurely breakfast. this is the aftermath of his croissant, oh crumbs!
last week i liked daisy toes and smile. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

paint pots

this morning, while the school-boy collected acorns, wee baby j and i took some photos of paint. it's nice to look at the colours and remember the prints that they featured in. 
i've used the paint photos to make a new banner for my folksy shop. folksy are rolling out a shop redesign. they asked me and some other sellers to try out the new shops before they are introduced across the site. i really like the icon buttons for social media, so much neater and easier to navigate. the option to rearrange your shop items and the large 'featured item' images help to showcase the work. i've used my nordic knitwear selfie as my profile image. what do you think, does a photo of the maker makes an online shop feel more personal?
then, while wee baby j had a nap continued printing the first separation of the shipping forecast and cuppa print. it's quite strenuous work, i will have abs of steel by the time the fourth edition is finished. i wanted to get the exact shade of blue-grey that i used before so i took a misprint from a previous edition down to the dulux centre, turns out they can scan the colour in order to get a precise match, who knew?

Saturday, 28 September 2013

39/52


wee baby j - spied a magpie on the roof of the hanover centre. a pixie toddler in his nordic knitwear!
o-o - 'repairing' the balance bike. few things gladden my heart like the sight of these two playing together in the early autumn afternoon sunshine. this photo was taken in the same spot at the start of the summer.
last week i liked blue moon. i'm taking part in the 52 project, you can see all my 52 posts here and my three/52 selection here
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