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

Saturday, 30 March 2019

I feel like a juggler with too many balls.....

Hi there folks.
My post title sums it up. This is how I feel at the moment but this afternoon I am trying to get myself caught up a bit and clear myself a little space. So much seems to be happening between trying to manage work on the house, getting some aspects of my new creative life going and planning new directions for our future that I don't know whether I'm coming or going sometimes.
Luckily last week I had the perfect opportunity to put the brakes on a bit which was just what I needed.
As it was my birthday my daughter and her partner came up for a few days and we climbed mountains and hills, just chilling.










It was just what the doctor ordered.I feel so much better now.
Creatively I have been busy creating both journals and getting back into some neglected art mediums. All in all I now feel that I have got myself re focused and a plan in place for the next couple of weeks.
Whatever you are up to this weekend I hope you have a good one.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

And so it begins.

Good evening friends.
If you saw my last post you know that on Friday I took the plunge and opened my Etsy shop for business. This was something I have wanted to do for a long time now but to be honest, was nervous about so kept putting it off.

I will also be honest here and confess that I wasn't expecting much to happen as Etsy is a massive place and I am a very small person lol.



So sitting here this Sunday evening I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be able to say that I have had three sales this weekend! How cool is that? In addition to that, 9 lovely people have added my little store to their favourite shops list which means that they must like what I do enough to want to keep up to date....



I feel blessed beyond measure that people have chosen to spend their cash and support me so first thing tomorrow i'll be at the post office sending two journals off across the water to the United States and another one to London. Happy happy days.
Last week I also sold two journals to someone local too, one even before I had finished it. I am so happy.




Of course, I would love it if you popped on over for a closer look. Just follow the link below
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Neelzexpressionz

Now after all this fun I am back to getting dusty over at the house again but I will be back with another post soon, this one is all about another change I am making too, I don't recognise myself some days with all these changes lol
Take care my friends and I'll see you soon.