Wednesday, 18 November 2020

It's all behind the scenes at the moment

 Good evening folks.

I have been having to chain myself to the production lines at the moment which is always a difficult thing in one sense. When your days are filled to the brim with the business and preparation side of things it can get a tad frenetic.

So in amongst the busyness I took the opportunity to cut up one of my designs to experiment.....


It was fun and it actually didn't turn out too bad in the end though.






I also have finally managed to make proper progress on my new range of "engravability" journals. I have been working on the designs for a while now and I will be showcasing them properly for the first time on Saturday... 



Where ? I hear you ask..... here I reply lol because 

So, if you want to see them and a bunch of other new work do take a look on Saturday when it all goes live and perhaps you will find that perfect Christmas gift too. 

And finally, next week I'll be back on screen on Thursday 26th 2pm on Honchanda..... New kits and stencils too. Along with (hopefully) some fun demos......
Until then, I had better get back to listing, describing and "setting up my stall" for Saturday
Take care everyone


Monday, 2 November 2020

Back we go

 Hi there

Well, as most will no doubt be aware, the UK is heading back into full lockdown this week.  So lets just leave it at that shall we? Can't change the situation so we will just have to carry on carrying on....

In the meantime, there are palettes to fill with paint and books that need to be finished and filled..... Creative therapy will see us through. I will look at this phase at my "starving artist in a garret" stage. Better that than lamenting this months lost plans and opportunities


I made these palettes for fun really, they are just perfectly sized for my hand and these ones are beginning to look like proper palettes. I was thinking off adding them to Etsy as they do okay at markets.... what do you think?
Then, this is one of the newer additions to my A6 books. I've called it Growth and though the photos aren't brilliant, the book has a pleasing feel to it in my opinion. 



 There's a few more that need to be finalised. I should hopefully get on top of things this month....
What are you all up to. I hope that your plans have not been too badly affected.

Take care
Neil


Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Random things....





Good afternoon all.  Thought I would just pop in to catch up a little. 
 It's been a time for me to quickly try and catch my breath slightly. Pause a moment if you like and just try to gain a little focus agan. I think it is important sometimes to deliberately stand and take a look at what you hope to do and how you could do that without getting lost in the busyness.

Though I sometimes feel like I could stand and howl at the moon like this little wolf, I press on.


I confess to have enjoyed making these a little while ago, just for the pleasure of creating something a little different


 The wolf got a little lonely so he made friends with a fox....


I make these, then don't get time to really enjoy creating with them but fox cub managed to wander off into the woods lol

And I at least had a moment to put mama fox together too. Now I just need to  steal a few more minutes to work on the others. I popped some into my Etsy and they've been doing okay so that's nice.

Over the last couple of days I have been working on some new ideas, and also beginning the process of getting ready for next months "Craft Market Kendal" online virtual market.  Though I am going to miss being able to physically set up shop I am grateful that they have organised a very well managed online event. 
I guess I had better get back to the workshop.... take care everyone. 
Neil

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Hochanda debut...

 Well good morning

As ususal, it's been a crazy period. Last week I was frantically prepping for my "big moment" on the telly lol! Like every new adventure I didn't know what to expect as you can watch as many episodes as you like but it is not the same as actually being on the other side of the camera....

I am so grateful for the opportunity though. Hochanda have been brilliant and I believe I wasn't too embarrassing on the day so we're all good


I couldn't resist a few sneaky shots. It is such a cool space and setting up was pretty amazing too.

The cameras are staring at you all the time and it is a tad disconcerting but  I guess over time you get used to them.

It was brill seeing everything laid out though.

My daughter nabbed a screen shot lol......

All too soon it was over. Then I had a moment to relax as begin to take it in. After a pack up and a chat it was back to the hotel for breakfast with Susan before making the long trip home.

I do want to say a massive thank you to EVERYONE who contacted me both before, during and after the show with such lovely messages of support and encouragement. It meant a lot and of course for everyone who has placd an order I am beyond grateful. I have been picking sorting and packing away like a little Christmas elf....... the postman just looked at me when I walked in yesterday, so who knows what he will say today lol

Excitingly, they have offered me the opportunity to return which is fab news. Not sure if it will be this year or next but you'll be the first to know.......


Moving forward I thought that over the few weeks I would begin to show some of the samples in more detail as I know that there was a lot to see. 

I'll see you then, then. Enjoy your day, I'm off to the post office.....

Neil






Saturday, 10 October 2020

Finding opportunities

 Good afternoon everyone.

Time to pop round again and begin to fill you in a bit more about our creative life......

As I said in the last post, this pandemic and the response to it managed to put a bit of a spanner in the works regarding our planned way forward. 

Back in March we had just lined up a couple of places that were going to stock our products, investigations were going ahead to source suitable workshop venues and we had literally just had our first stall in the popular Orton Farmers Market; then everything was shut down. It was a bit of a body blow, but we are grateful that we managed to muddle our way through that intitial period.  Unfortunately, a large number of our planned larger events/markets have also fallen by the wayside which is a pity. 

It's not all doom and gloom though. Slowly the galleries and markets are re opening and we are all getting familiar with a different way.

So, at the moment, if you are in Orton on the second Saturday of the month, You will find us there.

Third Saturday sees us in Brough at the morning Market which is also a lovely time.



Further afield. If you are near Appleby the Hub (The Appleby Hub, Chapel St, Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6QR)

The Chapel Gallery in Hawes is another beautiful space that carries our products. Well worth popping in if you are in the area and they are also onlinehttps://chapelgalleryhawes.com/)



By far though, one of the new and exciting opportunities centres around my Bookmaking Kits and Stencil range. A little whileago I was contacted by Hochanda who were interested in chatting about the possibility of working with them .... long story short is that I will be making my craft telly debut at 7am next Friday morning! It's all very exciting and nervewracking at the same time!

So, never a dull moment round here at the moment.....

And, last but by no means least.... I am really excited to be able to have my first worksop planned with the guys at Lakes and Fells. All the details are on their site if you are interested.

https://www.lakesandfells.co.uk/collections/2020-workshop-retreats/products/mix-media-journal-making-with-neil-wed-december-10th-2020

I'll leave you with a random pic of one of my little palettes, fun little project and very handy lol

Enjoy the weekend, I'm off to make samples and plan demoes..........

Monday, 28 September 2020

Pulling the dust sheets off yet again

Good evening folks.
Assuming that someone is still going to see this post of course. It's funny how blogging seems to have taken a back seat to the likes of Instagram and Facebook. However, I have been feeling the need to pick up the reigns again. 
2020 began with such promise, it then took an unexpected turn didn't it? I'll be honest, it has not been the easiest of times. Having to re think plans and change direction when everything we had been working towards in our new business was suddenly closed, cancelled or on hold was challenging to say the least.
But adept we did, and opportunities are beginning to unfurl slowly.......
But first, I'd like to give you a glimpse into my new creative space, The barn conversion took a while I have to confess to still be filled with gratitude to be able to call this space my studio.

I have surrounded myself with inspiration and different areas to work in and no doubt I will share more over time.




Happily doing what I love....
Making books!
This corner is my painting corner....
Anyway, I'm keeping this short and simple, it will be interesting to see if anyone is out there lol.
But I'll be back later to share a bit more about our new creative life.......


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

It's been crazy

Hi there folks.

Brushing the dust off this blog yet again. It has been over a year since we bought our house in Cumbria and began the journey to transform it into our forever home and I'll be honest, it is swallowing up an awful amount of my time as you can appreciate I am sure.
I am feeling rather lost, rootless and in a weird creative limbo land without a studio space and my life is in boxes..... Hence the lack of posts.
Though I have been creative, it has been mainly centred around making books for my Etsy store and for the gallery that stocks some of my work with very little personal creativity.
This is probably one of the few simple things I did, doodle on some slate pieces....


I did not want this blog to turn into a space that just promoted my Etsy so I have been very reluctant to post but I thought I would just pop on and update you a bit.

If you are interested in our house renovation and life journey you can pop on over to our blog HERE to be kept in the loop, especially now as it is getting a little bit closer to the exciting bits....

I have my Etsy store obviously which I would love it if you popped on over for a look and perhaps find something that takes your fancy LOL You can find my shop HERE



I have a head full of plans, dreams and hopes and there is a lot of exciting things in the pipeline for the new year so I do hope you will stick around for that. This blog should get more exciting again I promise.



And if you are local to Brough, Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. I am at the Brough Farmer's market on the third Saturday of the month (19th October,16th November and 21st December) and would love to see you there and the Taint Modern gallery in Kirkby Stephen has a selection of my work there too.

Thanks a bunch for still being around here, things will get interesting again . I am hoping to be able to start work on my studio space soon.......thing can only get better when I have a creative space again.
Take care.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Back to changes.

Hi there friends.
I hope you are well.
This afternoon I am sharing more art than craft in some ways. Though I think that the lines between the two are so blurred that it is difficult to discern. In my opinion Creativity is what you are and creative expression encompasses all genres.
This is me going back to where it all began for me. As a child I picked up a pen and was entranced. Growing up I was never far from pen and paper and slowly as the decades passed, time became filled with other things and pens gathered dust.

Recently I have, as part of our new creative and slower living dream, picked up my pens again. Not to design stamps, sketch up new book designs but rather, for the sheer joy and exuberance of drawing for drawing's sake.
These are the results. Three A3 sea creatures, Octopus, Sea Turtle and Humpback Whale.


 I enjoyed the process of re discovering the way to use the pens more creatively than just drawing lines, crosshatching, scratching etc.



 Next up was the Turtle. I last did one of these in pencil when I was still at school.








 Last up is the whale.


Progress

 


It is interesting looking at all three to see how much the style of drawing has changed over the course of it. Though I look at them and see plenty of flaws and areas to improve, overall I am happy with them. One of the challenges of working in pen is of course, that you can't just erase parts and start again!
I think they may end up as a limited print run and perhaps cards too, what do you think?

Hope you have a good afternoon