Linocut experiments

For my birthday this year NM bought me a linocutting starter kit from Linocut boy on etsy. It was such a great gift and I love how it was all packaged and presented. Sadly it sat on my shelf for a few months before I found time to have a play around, but last week I finally got the chance. 

I have done screen printing before at art college and couple of years ago I did a letterpress course which I loved so I was really excited about learning a new printing technique. 

The box included everything I needed to get started. A roller, a beautiful set of carving tools, some small pieces of lino (which are easy to buy more of when you run out) black ink (am excited to experiment with other colour later on but black was all i needed to get started).

If you decide to give lino printing a go, my top tip to you would be make sure you have some plasters handy. Haha. It wasn't too bad but i did cut myself once - am hoping as my technique improves that will happen less often. 

So I started off pretty simple and inspired by autumn drew some simple leaf shapes. The smaller one on the left above worked much better for printing than the one on the right. I also had an old stamp handle so I stuck it onto that since it was so small and I found it easier to stamp it rather than lay the paper on top of it (which is what you do for larger prints). I really like how the pattern came out below. I actually used an ink stamp I had in a green colour rather than the black ink. It is pretty rough and basic but it was an encouraging start. I would really like to make some more patterns like this incorporating different shapes and colours. 

I then experimented with the black ink on different scraps of coloured paper I had lying around. For some reason the black ink didn't seem to stamp as well for me, but I think I just need to keep experimenting to see what works best and also making sure that I roll the ink on smoothly. I think often I want to see amazing and perfect results straight away and forget that I actually need to practise and take time to learn a new skill. Patience does not come naturally to me! Ha.

I started sketching out and carving a new design for a greeting card (below). I am not sure how it will turn out but I will keep experimenting and let you know how I get on. 

I don't think linocut boy is selling these started kits at the moment but if he ever does again I can't recommend them highly enough - such a good place to start. (Check out his shop anyway though because he obviously has skills when it comes to linocutting and it gives me inspiration for something to work towards).

You can buy linocutting kits all over the place so if you are keen to have a go just google and see what you can find. 

Underwater adventures

I have some pictures to share in the up coming weeks from our travels to Colombia in the summer but one of the highlights was snorkeling off the carribean coast while we were there. My little sister it seems was born to be in the water..she loves it. It was almost as fun watching her diving down to the sea bed as watching the beautiful fish. she had an underwater camera with her so we had lots of fun taking photos. I think she took most of these because she was just a total natural diving down and getting close up to the brightly coloured fish. 

My favourite thing about it all (apart from the amazing fish obvs) was the way the sun made patterns through the water. Nature is seriously inspiring and I want to let it inspire and influence my work more. I am going to see if I can recreate and incorporate this pattern in some way. 

Also see that coral in the second image. That maze sort of pattern is incredible!

Anyway I hope you enjoy some of these underwater photographs. 

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things I am loving on etsy

Since re-launching my etsy shop I guess I have been hanging out on there quite a bit more, and so I have been discovering lots of beautiful shops and things that I love. Etsy really is such a lovely and wonderful community and I just love exploring and finding creative and inspiring people – So I thought I would share some of the things I have found recently and that are on my wishlist! Expect more of these sort of posts in the future! 

Miplusedesign has become a firm favourite etsy shop of mine. I just love the beautifully simple designs > and I pretty much love everything in this shop. 

If I had a bottomless pit of money I would snap these beautiful dishes up in a heart beat. Can you imagine these on your chest of drawers holding rings and jewellry? Stunning. 

A beautiful simple triangle necklace that I would happily hand round my neck! 

sadly these beautiful cups with handlettering don't ship to the UK. 

These are quite possibly the most beautiful envelopes I have even seen. If i owned them though I don't think I would be able to send them to anyone.  The rest of Karolin's shop is lovely too.

Inspired by Jordan Sullivan

This week I stumbled across (on Fubiz) the work of Jordan Sullivan and I fell in love with this series called 'Death Valley' - seriously! imagine having a whole series of these on your wall. I love the subtle colours, the compositions of the photographs and the simplicity of them. There is something seriously striking and dream like about these images. Especially when you see them all as a set. Sullivan has a really dreamy style to his photography and you can see more of his work here. (Be warned if you are looking at this at work - there are quite a lot of images of naked ladies!) 

a little wandering in the Gower

Quite a few months ago now (yeah yeah I am way behind on posting loads of stuff!) we took a little a trip to the Gower in Wales with some wonderful friends and it was pretty awesome. The weather wasn't amazing but we still managed to get out, sit on the beach and get burnt. Here are a couple of pics. Not all of these pics were taken by me...some were taken by Steve.  The Gower area on the south coast of Wales is seriously beautiful and a place that I really want to explore more. I think in the past I have always had major wanderlust for exploring foreign climbs but I think I am coming around to the idea that holidays in the UK are pretty cool too, I have quite a long list of places that I would like to explore.

Talking of foreign adventures though - I am looking forward to sharing some pics from Colombia soon too over the coming weeks - and next month we head to Venice. Am feeling super blessed that we have got to do go on some awesome trips since we got married. I really do love adventures with that guy. 



Monday moodboard

So - I sort of fell off the blogging bandwagon this last month. I have not been very well..I went away and in the mix of life and just trying to get better the blog fell by the wayside. I have kind of missed it but at the same time it was kind of nice to have a break too. I thought to kick start myself back into it I would do a little mood board for some Monday inspiration. I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks so there is lots to cram in before we go...but hopefully I will be able to resume slightly more regular posting now! I decided to go black and white again for this mood board...because I don't know why but my b&w pinterest board has been inspiring me so much recently.

b&w
b&w

I tried to find all the credits, but you know what it's like with Pinterest...it's not always easy to find. Here's what I found. (clockwise from top left) 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

In other news I wish I was Audrey Tatou. also that Tree pattern is wall paper - that would look amazing.

Happy Monday all.

Little Loves // 14

There  has been a serious lack of posting this past week due to a bit of sickness and this post is late due to technical problems (ahem broken charger that just miraculously fixed itself!) but there were definitely little things I loved this week. Here are some of them... 1.   This print on my new shirt

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2.  Evening sunlight on the way to dinner.

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3.   A new hair cut

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4.   This mural on the side of a house in Brixton

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5.  This poppy that just popped out of nowhere in our garden!

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Little Loves // 13

This week I continued my birthday celebrations (NM teases me that my birthday always lasts for about a month). We spent time in the garden looking after our plants, we cooked lots of yummy food, had a bbq, chilled out with friends, drank mojitos and just generally had a lovely time. Here are some of the little things I loved this week: 1. I made a quinoa salad the other day for the first time (after having an amazing one in a restaurant) and I have to say I am totally addicted to the stuff. This is the recipe I used and it was sooo good. I have to admit that I have a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to food. Recently my addiction has been avocado's and now quinoa has top spot. I'm thankful that I am addicted to something pretty healthy for a change!

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2. This tote bag that the lovely Chloe bought me for my birthday. I had been looking out for a new one.

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3. This world cup wallchart design by the epic crispin finn that now adorns our walls. NM is a tricky person to buy gifts for, but as soon as I saw this I knew he would love it.

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4. The smell of this pomegranate and mint candle

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5. These birthday cards that I made with old scraps of paper I had collected. I love how it feels to make things and also use things up.

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Moodboard Monday // B&W

I am a little bit in love with my black and white pinterest board at the moment. I did a black and white mood board before but fancied doing another...and I can't even describe how much pleasure this collection of images brought me today. I feel like they represent little quiet captures of peace and beauty. The top quote totally sums up what my head and life is like most of the time and the 'Listen' type is reminding me to do just that. I have always been a talker and I love to talk and be listened to...but I am really trying to learn the value of being a listener and not a talker. b&w   These images can be found in these places....from top left going clockwise > 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / (couldn't find credit for number 2 so if anyone knows let me know and I will updated it) You can also these and more on my b&w pinterest board. I have also been working on some black and white prints recently so hopefully will be featuring some of my own work soon.

Little Loves // 12

I am currently enjoying another bank holiday weekend, and celebrating my birthday! 29! Can't believe I only have one year left of my twenties and then it is the big 30. I feel a little scared about it. Like does 30 mean I have to get really serious and grow up? I hope not. Here are some of the little things that I loved this past week (mainly this weekend). 1. The hot pink colour of these rhododenrons. photo8

2. This garden which is looking spectacular even in the rain. photo7

3. Giggles with these two while celebrating the birth of one of my all time best buddiesphoto6

4. These left over splatters after working on some ink things. photo1

5. These new leopard print shoesphoto3

Little Loves // 11

One of my goals with this Little Loves series was not only to appreciate the little everyday things going on around me but to also work on my photography. I have to confess I have been lazy...and up until now most of the images in this series have been taken on my iphone. Sometimes you can get really nice images with the iphone..and I love having a decent quality camera always in my pocket...but I know they could be better. This week I got out the DSLR and made a little more of an effort. I hope you can tell. Anyway here are the little things that I loved over this past week - I hope you all had a good week too. 1. We recently started getting a veg box from Riverford. Our second delivery arrived very early on Friday morning and I have never been this excited about veg in my life. We decided to get the veg box to encourage us to eat more veg...and since we don't like wasting food it seems to be working!

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2. In my big ongoing sort-out I found lots of old maps that I had collected. I went through them and decided which ones I want to keep and potentially hang on the wall and which ones I was happy to cut up. With those I made envelopes. This was one if my favourites. I think I might sell them on my etsy shop...or I might just use them myself to send letters.

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3. Sitting in the warm sun in my pyjamas one morning made me very happy.

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4. We should totally have picked these before they flowered but our chives have beautiful purple flowers on them at the moment.

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5. Had a very creative and productive weekend creating prints and also preparing packing tubes. Am working hard to get my etsy shop back up and running. Still a lot of work to do but I am more excited about it than ever.

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Courgettes/Zucchini

A little project I am working on at the moment is growing courgettes. My dad has given me a helping hand and lots of advice. I germinated my seeds, re-potted them into bigger pots and then the weekend before last  I finally put them in the ground. I am checking them every day to make sure the snails haven't got to them (our garden is FULL of snails) and hoping for the best! If all goes well in a couple of months I should have a lot of courgettes. In preparation of having more courgettes than I know what to do with I thought I would scour the internet for some good recipes and inspiration for using them up. (to be honest even with all these recipes I think there will be more than I know what to do with, so friends look out...some might be coming your way!) - I had to keep reminding myself that Zucchini is the same thing as courgette...anyway here are some of my favourites that I am particularly looking forward to trying out!

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courgettes

1. Courgette and Tomato Chutney. I reckon these would make cute gifts and also should last for a quite a while

2. Courgette and Tomato soup...a friend of mine is growing tomatoes so I am hoping we can do a bit of a veg exchange...seriously it is like the good life round here!

3. I love that courgettes are so good for including in cakes and this one looks delish. It is a courgette, lime and pecan cake.

4. A courgette carbonara. This looks like it would be a great quick evening meal option...and hopefully with leftovers for lunch the next day.

5. Courgette noodles. So I have heard of people using courgette instead of pasta/noodles as a healthy option. I will be honest I am a little sceptical but this recipe does look really good so I am going to give it ago.

6. NM loves lemon cakes and so a Courgette and lemon cake sounds right up his alley

7. These courgette chocolate cakes look incredible...so glad I am growing a veg that is good for chocolate cakes.

8. And then this one blew my mind...a courgette pizza base...again am not totally sure about this but I really really want to try it.