And The Angels Descended...

Well, they grew from a sheet of flat paper, actually*
Exclusive to our stall on the Bungay Christmas Street Market - NEXT SUNDAY - these cleverly crafted angel kits are a contemporary update on those fun paper decorations we made as children.
Here are some photos showing how the kit makes two sweet angelic table hosts - perfect for welcoming family and friends to your homemade festive table...

There's a sophisticated simplicity to these little characters with my decorative designs following the pretty shapes.
The bonus is: each angel is easily cut and constructed from the A5 sheet of card - in less than five minutes - magic!

 * Ideal gift to send to family and friends in far flung places - they come in packs of two or four - you can pop them into the envelope provided - a cheerful reminder of you at their festive feast!
Traditionally we toast 'absent friends' before eating our Chrimbo dinner- as our cousins live in Canada.

Aren't they just the cutest?! 
Tying in with our simple 'scandi-chic' theme for the Christmas Market, I have drawn them using red, white and tones of 'string'. 
Son number one will be helping me to record a little video, showing how to make them, very this space, as they say...!

Ooooh! It's Getting Exciting...!!

I've been working on a table angel kit - nearly got it sorted - just over a week to go, so it better had be sorted eh?!
We met up this morning to go over some facts and figures pertaining to this 'ere upcoming Bungay Christmas Street Market (have I mentioned we're having a stall there...?!)
Helen had set the things she's been working on for me to have a look at - well I positively DROOLED!! -
Look! It's SO exciting to see things coming together!

That is a VERY snazzy sewing machine - but obviously only as good as the person driving it!

There are baby pillows, bags, present sacks and sweet calico prezzie bags

Off they go - heading towards Christmas - fast as their little snowy toes can take them!

These will be just right for a few treats and stocking fillers - for pooch loving people!

The deer motif on this fun present sack is a pocket, ideal for sweeties and a note for/from Santa...

More bags - for kitty-lovers too!

These tiny circular poppets with dotty piping are going to have a cute button in the centre - like a dimple on a rosy cheek -

And dear little square pillows - the perfect size for a child's bed or to nestle in among other cushions and pillows on the sofa.
I shall post some photos of the place name angels tomorrow...

Maggi Hambling Steals The Show!

Last Friday I went to 'an illustrated discussion' involving some dear old chaps and the indomitable Maggi Hambling - all artists who had spent time studying with Arthur Lett-Haines (known as Lett, not Arthur) and Cedric Morris at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing.
The discussion was led/chaired by the writer and art historian Ian Collins with Frank Pond, Peter Baldwin and Robert Short making up the panel alongside Maggi Hambling. Hambling is best known for Scallop - the shell on the beach at Aldeborough. Here's one of her robust wave paintings:

I hadn't really ever seen any of Lett Haines' work before but the slides they showed were really interesting. The work shows a vitality in Haines' willingness to explore, trying new things - not restricted by needing to be liked or being successful. He must have had a really creative mind. The imagery and the mixing of media makes them feel very contemporary.


I was enticed to attend the panel discussion in the first place through the work of Cedric Morris. I went to the retrospective at the Tate (when it was just the Tate!) in 1984 - but you know, Lett Haines' work is free from the chalky stodginess that some of Morris' paintings can be heavy with. 
One of the panel noted "Cedric was the painter, Lett was the artist"
Another of the speakers at the discussion said that, at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, there was "little formal instruction but much education going on". The experience of studying there was also described as "revealing yourself within a sense of place".
Maggi Hambling was a witty speaker - provocative - with erudite, well observed comments, a cheeky sense of fun and a rather beautiful hip flask she swigged from regularly!

There's an exhibition at the Castle Museum in Norwich on at the moment called Cedric Morris and Christopher Wood - A Forgotten Friendship, which runs alongside the Norwich Castle Open Art Show, until 31st and 9th December respectively. Can't wait to see it.

Just A Few Snaps...

Unfortunately the quality is not great - but here are a few pics I snapped last night round at the in-laws - of the work in progress on the fabrics and stitchery side of our collaborative venture:

These are going to be the sweetest little children's aprons - you would cook the best Christmas gingerbread if your little helper was wearing one of these! My designs are the motifs that make up the most charming little wonky pockets!

And here are the beginnings of wee calico bags, for holding all those important things a busy little child needs to carry around! They will have fun spotty fabric lining and are adorned by a range of cute pet pals - pups and puss-cats:

I am starting to look forward to seeing all our delightful designs and marvelous makes on our stall - but the panic's not over yet... Candles, Burning and Both Ends are all words that go together to describe me right now!

Really Pleased With This...

This fabric came from the printers a couple of weeks ago.  This is the first time I have ever had my own designs printed - the wonders of digital allowing just a small run to be a realistic option.  
I am really happy with how the repeat works - I have been teaching myself the delights of conquering pattern and how those cheeky naughty motifs behave when I try to create a non-directional all over repeat...and breathed a big sigh of relief when the repeat matched up well!

I got this woodland creatures design printed onto lovely creamy off-white organic cotton jersey. It is so soft and drapes beautifully. 
I am going to treat my little boy to a pair of snazzy Mum's-made pj's!

It is a fab feeling to have and to hold a lovely fabric knowing that you drew out the first sketches on paper, scanned them in, worked on the ideas in Photoshop, developed a background, carefully chose and combined the colours and spent ages experimenting with layout - the cycle is complete!