Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A little notoriety!

Whilst doing a little 'social networking' and browsing the web, I came across this interesting website all about different people who work from their sheds....guess who I found among the several people featured, yes, yours truly!
Here's a link, go take a look.

The shed is coming into it's own now that winter has truly descended upon us, it was well worth the effort of insulating the walls, roof and floor. Just a couple of sticks burning in the woodburning stove is all you need to make the space toasty warm...in fact, some days when I go upto the mezzanine, I have to resist the temptation to open a window!

Here are a couple of pictures of the frozen waste, it all looks so beautiful with a touch of frost.

 Here's the cat, not wanting to brave the elements and who can blame him?
 and here's the charolet cow from over the road in his winter attire

 Today, the thermometer fixed to the outside wall of the shed has frozen at -1 degrees, although I know it's lots colder than that in reality.

 Couldn't resist taking photos of my new pendants resting in the snow
Finally, here's the new workbench....I think Mr Lemur is planning on joining me in my shed!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Crunchy Underfoot

 Before I moved to this perfect part of the world, winter for me was always something awful to be endured. Something that lasted a terribly long time.  I used to feel so cold as I rushed outside wearing not enough clothing...but not realising that winter needed it's own special clothing.
 Yesterday came the first sprinkling of snow, barely covering the ground, looking like a light dusting oficing sugar. Mother Nature's own makeover,  now even the most mundane of articles appears to be a thing of beauty.

Here's my little girl with her first solo attempt at cake making, this one is a gateau au citron with a sugary crust on top, hopefully the first of many!!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Karen Fields; an artist in the naive style

Whilst browsing through Etsy's vast and varied shelves, Karen Fields's work caught my eye, she's a painter from the US who paints in a very bold and confident manner, the canvasses are alive with attitude and colour.  The result is very striking, I think 'Autumn Garden 'is my fave.
I wanted to feature her work here on my blog and share her fantastic pieces with you.

Karen says:
All of my original style contemporary artwork is created with a unique color palette on gallery wrapped stretched canvas. My colorful, bold flowers, landscapes, and abstract paintings are collected internationally.

My background is in graphic design and fine art. Graduate of Ringling College of Art.

As a little girl I would watch my dad at his drafting table in the semi-finished attic where his little studio was. Later, when he wasn't looking, I would play with his shape templates at the drafting table and create drawings of my own. I have always loved art and am blessed with the talent that I have been given.
Go and visit Karen's shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/karenfieldsgallery and see her striking collection.

Blog: www.karenfieldsgallery.blogspot.com
Portfolio: www.ebsqart.com/Artists/cmd_9445_profile.htm
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kfieldsdesign

Friday, 12 November 2010

Getting out there

 I've reached a point in my jewellery creating 'career' where I need to raise the game. I've been focusing on the making and listing of many pieces in my internet shop, this is what I love to do and it feels like I'm working towards my aim of creating my brand and supporting my family doing work I enjoy. What I've really been doing is a very good job of avoiding doing the one thing I detest....getting up of my butt and selling my work to shops.
 I am not a person who finds it easy to extol my own virtues, I've always admired the people who can stand up and tell the world that their workmanship and creativity are second to none. I smile to myself when I remember people from my past who have sold me the idea that what they do is far superior, each time I believe what I'm told and assume their work must be so much better than mine, each time it turns out that it's their skill at self promotion that excels, not their work.
 I know the theory, I have a great range of work , finished to a high standard, and I know where I would like my work to be selling...so what is standing in the way?

I need a plan.  I need to decide on my strategy and learn my strong points as if I was learning a poem for my school homework
I need to be prepared for rejection. How do I meet it?  Do I redefine my stronger points or turn on my heel in agreement? I know what I would prefer to do....
 ....oh yes, all this will be taking place in French, which I can do but which doesn;t give me the warm fluffy feeling that I would like to have, that would help me to be charming and dynamic, peppy and confident.

I will spend the next few days in a planning frenzy, until my new French business cards arrive, by that time I hope to be prepared enough to breeze into a few shops, offer my card and flyer, and hope someone is impressed enough to call me for a meeting.
 While I've been worrying about making a business out of my hobby, Marcus has been busy with his own pursuits, he has been working long hours in making an oak table for our kitchen. At around 2 metres long, it will quite literally be the centre of the household where we will prepare food, eat, chat and drink enough tea to sink a ship.
This is turning out to be not your ordinary table, and anyone who knows Marcus would be more surprised if it had no fancy features.
This table is being hand scraped instead of sanded, the way that it was done for hundreds of years, which gives a very smooth but not ultra flat finish. Then there is the hand scraped reeding on the side rails, for which Marcus has made his own scraping tool,  the lovingly chiselled chamfers on the legs, and the cherry on the cake is the secret feature, of which I'm sure I would be sworn to secrecy, it has it's own mechanism which had to be thought out carefully before the pieces could be made....I'm sure that you would love to be let into the secret.
 Not today.