Sunday, 19 November 2017

party party

My BirthdayMonthOfFun continued yesterday. I went out for tapas and drinks with the girls. A lot of drinks. And a fair amount of tapas. Found some old mates in the pub afterwards. Much fun was had by all. 
I'm a little bit tired today...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

men at work

British Gas are changing all the pipes in our area from copper to plastic. This involves digging all the roads up, leaving them in a right bloody state for 4 weeks then getting someone else to come and patch them up. They have now reached the bottom of our street. I have to do a lot of face to face interaction with the workmen and a few nifty driving manoeuvres just to get my car out. I am practically a prisoner in my own cul de sac. But it's my turn to do girls night tonight. And the girls will be hungry. So I'm gonna have to turn on the charm with the high viz brigade...

Friday, 10 November 2017

MAKE ART THAT SELLS illustrating children's books

Last week I finished the 5 week long Illustrating Children's Books course with Lilla Rogers and Zoe Tucker. 
I signed up because I felt like I was drifting a bit and needed a kick up the arse and an injection of fresh ideas (and enthusiasm)
And I got it.
It was a struggle to fit it in with my normal work but I loved it so much I just worked stupid hours. And abandoned my children. And the cleaning. 
So here I am, just beginning to recover...and writing this in order to put the cleaning off a while longer...

Week 1 We got to choose from 3 texts that Zoe wrote. (I'll be honest... I only read one. It was perfect for me so I didn't bother with the other two. I'm soo profesh. 😬) It was called Pet Problems ... about a kid who lives in a tiny high rise flat but really wants a pet. I drew a zillion character ideas. I even did some real life cutting-and-sticking-collage and painted some bits too. With an actual paintbrush! I enjoyed the old school methods for about a day before having to admit to myself that I'm a computer sorta chick. I can't do with the length of time the real life methods take... and the total lack of an undo button stressed me out.
So I used some of the real life bits but put them together in illustrator.
Week 2 was all about expressions...
and Week 3 was about poses...
with a BobbyBonus if we wanted to submit secondary characters...which of course I did. Why make things easy for yourself...
In Week 4 we looked at environments. By this point I was feeling a bit like my usual flat style was just not cutting it. Everyone else's work was so full of depth and texture. I do like the flat and simple look but I started to feel a little inferior next to all the photoshop brushes and actual real life painting going on. So I scanned in a few textures I created with pastels and I had a go at photoshop brushes. 
Then I moved them all into illustrator cos my total rubbishness in photoshop was making me want to kick my screen.
We had to illustrate a double page spread. I'm not kidding, the hardest part was deciding which one to do. It took a few days of total faffery before I settled on this one.
In real life you get to illustrate every page so it doesn't really matter where you start. And in real life when I work on books I keep going back and forth on all the spreads and kind of do them all together. Obvs I couldn't do that with this 15 one week.
Finally we got to week 5 ...this was the cover design week... I had to finish it super early cos I went to London for the weekend with my Dotty Wren design besties.
I have to admit I've been a bit sad this week with no new brief and no classroom posts. Back to the normal jobs where people want everything like yesterday and there's no money in the budget for pastel pencil faffery.
I loved the course and would recommend it to anyone. It's made me  determined to go get myself the proper picture book deal I've always this space people x

polar bear week

Apparently it's #polarbearweek. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Under no circumstances should this be viewed as a Christmas post. Just saying.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

hi de hi

I'm gonna stop going near shops. Nipped out with the eldest cos she needed MAC foundation and came home with a cushion, a top, an enormous tupperware box, 4 pairs of white ankle socks, 4 yellow bags, a daisy trimmed headband, chocolate and 5 rolls of Christmas wrap (cos Lizzie designed it)
The socks and bags are for Saturday night. We are dressing up as hi de hi yellowcoats for a charity 80's bash. (young people and non UK residents should google) Yellow polyester all the way...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

october 17

This was october.....well..some of it....

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

happy halloween

Not sure how many more years of trick or treating I'll get. The eldest has already dumped us. So have two of my sister's kids. Might be just me and the dog next year....

Sunday, 29 October 2017

naked spider

It's been a busy old week. I'm doing the Lilla Rogers 'Illustrating Children's Books' course (To give myself a kick up the arse.) (And life would be boring without piling on more stuff to do wouldn't it?) So on top of normal work and half term I've had to fit in a double page spread for a book that doesn't even exist. (I'll do a post at the end to show and time now...)
Anyway. One of the proper jobs I had to do in the real world was to draw a spider in a pumpkin suit. As you do. Not this one though. This one is naked. As nature intended. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

half term happiness

I'm far too busy-busy-busy to have the week off for half term. (So what's new, I bore myself sometimes 🙄)
But I did manage a full day off yesterday. The kiddos and I jetted off to the East Coast to meet my sis and her boys, who are holidaying in a rather special caravan for the week. We had a brill day. Particularly notable was the hour we hired a 2-seater and a 4-seater bike and raced around the caravan site. We used up a full week's laughs in just 60 minutes.
Also rather exciting is the fact that next time we see the sea it will be considerably warmer and viewed from the decks of a fancy cruise ship. 8 weeks + 6 days and counting......

Monday, 23 October 2017

all is well in the hood....

....Of course it's all very well having new tops and new boots to wear....but I work from home and don't see anyone apart from the kids and the other half all day. And frankly they wouldn't notice if I wore a carrier bag. So this morning when it was a choice of new clothes or the grey hoodie and yoga pants guess which won?
As it happened the other half obviously clocks more than I realised cos he got home and said, "I thought yoga was cancelled tonight?"

Hmm. Maybe I'll wear a frock tomorrow...

Sunday, 22 October 2017


I went for my annual eye test on Friday. The optician's is in a shopping centre. There are other shops there. Nice shops. Selling clothes and stuff. 
I went for an eye test and came home with some new boots, two new tops, loads of fab halloween merch from Sainsers (designed by my design bestie Lizzie,) and a new coat. A YELLOW coat! A yellow puffa to be exact. I look like Little Miss Sunshine. Or a member of the RNLI.....

Thursday, 19 October 2017

hello love

Two giraffes. 
In love. 
Just because.

I needed to draw something that didn't matter.
This was it.

Good night.

Monday, 16 October 2017

bedtime stress

Why do kids always leave it till the very last minute to sort stuff out? The youngest has had this homework report thing to do since last Tuesday. To be handed in on Monday morning. He finally did it on Sunday afternoon. It needed printing out. He decided that bedtime Sunday night would be the ideal time to do this. Just as Louis Theroux was coming on the telly. But the printer had other ideas. The printer decided to throw a diva strop. No amount of swearing, kicking, re-installing printer drivers, rebooting the wifi or plugging the damned thing in with an actual real life wire would convince the sodding thing that it was indeed connected. We had tears. We had book throwing. We had total googling meltdown. But it wouldn't print. And I missed most of Louis Theroux. 
He'll probably get expelled today 😐.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

autumn grumpiness

It's now dark on a morning when my alarm goes off. So that's me moaning all the way through to April. Apologies in advance. Roll on half term for a lie in....

Monday, 9 October 2017


Our dog NEVER gets bored of fetching a ball. Sometimes I get a bit bored of chucking it though. Just saying.