29.1.16

Textile design and my inspiration.

I'm often inspired by nature and what I see around me at the time. Flowers and birds seem to be the main ones, I'm always looking and marvelling at the blooms that come up and the swallows that sweep the sky. I like to study the texture, form and colour and where possible bring it home, but that's where my camera comes in handy! It's great these days to be able to instantly capture beauty, either on my phone or with my DSLR. Bellow are two of my favourites that inspired me to design the linen shown.   

   


My China Blue Roses linen is a slightly oriental chintz, extremely delicate and subtle with a pretty blue hue. It's an original watercolour of mine which I have digitaly printed. The reason for my watercolour designs being printed digitaly is because they are tonal. It is great what they can do today, and this probably has to be my favourite fabric, I've designed  eight for digital print, although I love them, I much prefer to handprint either by silk screens or blocks as I love how instant and unique the process is.
I still draw from the same inspirations whatever method I chose to print in, but I'd have decided in my head first which tool I will be creating with. The initial process starts by studying the object and taking photos, then I draw it and sometimes paint it before tweaking it to be made into screen or block.
This year I'm looking at producing some more structured stuff in blocks and screens, I'm taking inspiration from tall plants and will be visiting lots of gardens, I'm looking forward to it!
Emma
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28.1.16

Hand printing, Lino blocks.

                               
                   

I just love making my own blocks for fabric printing! In fact, I think it may be my new favourite way to print ever!

I made this feather yesterday which I am going to use later on some of my handmade cushions, can't wait to show you!



Have a great day

Emma x


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23.1.16

Having a go at lino cut.

                       

      

I'm addicted to this now, it's so much fun! Sorry, hello, hope you are all well!
As most of you know I love my art and fabric design, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about flowers and patterns!
Just lately it's been too cold for me to even consider going into the studio to screen print, theres been ice on the inside of the windows, brrrrrrr. So I've been looking at ways of getting my printing fix, in my living room in front of the fire.

I decided to have a go at carving my own stamps as I wanted to produce some handmade tea towels and totes for my spring fair.
I bought a block of mastercut and some basic tools from handprinted.net This is how I got on.

      

I had a practice at drawing hare's first then when I was happy I drew an outline onto my block. I was so nervous about making the first cut I can tell you. Very slowly I carved around my outline as I wanted the hare image to be solid, then snipped away the bits of mastercut I didn't need.
I then used fabric stamps to ink my design and print onto a tea towel.
I love how you can colour certain bits of the stamp, and I particularly love how instant the whole thing is, other than the time consuming bit at the start, but then you have a stamp for life, and it's easy to re-use and clean!
No standing in the shower rinsing out silk screens or blasting them with a hosepipe in the freezing cold.
I then went on to make some bee's, a rose bud and a crown.

Tadah.... 

      

    

    

I'm quite pleased with my first go, what do you think? I'm naming this one March Hare's.

Emma x





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22.1.16

5 Tips to a healthy blogging life

        

        

       


        

Writing a blog and keeping an instagram/twitter account can be both stressful and time consuming.
You're told to blog regularly, post daily blah-de-blah-de-blah if you want your blog/posts to hit any kind of success.
Well, I'm here to tell you to ignore the rules, as soon as you let go everything will just flow!
Most people starting out will be like- 'Oh I'm gonna start a blog and get loads of followers', then feel instantly deflated when this doesn't happen right away.
Building an audience through any social media takes time. Blogging three times a day will not get you more followers... you will simply burn out.

Here are some of my key tips to stay healthy and produce a great blog with content your proud of.

1: Aim to post just once or twice a week, as long as your content is good this is all a blog needs to gain an honest audience and grow organically.
Blogging anymore will just put you under pressure and your content will suffer, your readers would much rather look forward to your amazing post at the end of the week, then get bombarded with any old stuff on a daily basis.

2: Chill out and find some blogs to read. I have my own favourites that I have listed on my blog, they are all quite different and I enjoy them immensely, I find them inspiring therefor I am inspired.
Also, having the support of fellow bloggers is a lovely thing, they can encourage  and guide you, and be there when you just need a chat off the bloggasphere, so go and find some buddies, but remember, you are unique! You do not have to be like anyone else, which brings me to number three...

3: Don't compare.... I mean it, this is a real stumbling block. Sure be inspired by others, thats great! But remember you are you, and your readers want you, your voice, your images.
Comparing yourself to Ms Jones will only torment. Try and develop your own style... leading on to four...

4: If your passionate about something people will visit! If Ms Jones adores cats, and posts lots of cat stuff, and has a gazillion followers.... And you don't even like cats remember rule 3! Copying Ms Jones will not get you those readers.

If you are not digging you own content no one will read it.

Find your passion, think about what you love, is it photography? Then fill your blog with your images, people will find you, and they will like you because that is your true style!
If cooking is more your thing, write recipes, you get my point, stay true to your content and you will organically build a steady following.

5:Acceptance- Sometimes it just doesn't happen... It's been a manic week, I lost my mojo, I was sick.
Hey we are only human, nobody wants you to get ill, people understand you have a life that isn't just your blog. Sometimes we're way to hard on ourselves, thinking 'I've got to post... It's got to be great... I need content'. Relax, find a happy place, for me this means going techno free, I literally have to lock away iPhone, iPad, laptop... everything... I'm a nightmare. Sometimes I do this for one day, sometimes it's a week, during that time I'll meet friends for coffee and try and get out, hit the shops, walk over the fields, read a great book, anything to restore the mind.
You need a calm mind to write a good blog, accept that sometimes things get a bit fuzzy and take a break.

        

And if all else fails... drink tea!

Emma x


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20.1.16

January planning.

                    

It's that time of year again, Christmas feels like it was months away not weeks, and all is calm.
This is the time when I like to steal myself some moments to wrap my hands around a steaming hot cup of tea, look out at the garden, and think about the year ahead.
Last year after qualifying as an interior designer, I set out on a new venture, to change my path, and create something to be proud of!

I launched the first of my watercolour fabrics which I added to my vintage store, and then got extremely tired and spent the rest of the year just trying to find balance and ease up a bit.
Reflection is key to appreciate what has happened and evaluate the future.
I'm thinking of going back to college again this year, I love learning!
I'm actually thinking of going back full time to study art, the course includes print making, design and photography- all the areas I love.

As I said, I'm just pondering at the moment but, I've promised myself and my hubby that if we don't move this year, then I will go back to school in the September.
I'm nearly 40 and wish to continue my career in print and photography, and I hope to make this my final career (after spending the last 24yrs in the hair and beauty industry).

Has anyone else found a different path to the one they started, or have gone back to college/uni?
I'd love to hear your stories!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Emma X 

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19.1.16

Styling The Seasons, January.

       #StylingTheSeasons

January

Hello everyone!

I don't know where this month has gone.
As I sit and write this post it's beautiful and bright out there with a sharp frost, thank goodness the seasons have started to behave themselves at last.

Welcome to my home for Januarys Styling The Seasons. 
I always style with flowers to brighten up my space, and this month I am loving these candy stripe tulips!

       

       

                                     

So fresh with the promise of spring! They look very cheerful placed on the mantle above the log burner, and are a lovely soft contrast against the blackened painted walls and mizzle painted mirror (both +Farrow & Ball). 

       

                                         

The candle sticks were from one of my favourite vintage stores in Southwold, and the tulips are in an old jam jar which I love! I've just recently reclaimed one of our old mirrors and given it a fresh coat of paint. The pink, mint green and pale blue are still one of my favourite colour combos, and it's so lovely to freshen things up a bit after Christmas.

        

I love taking part in #stylingtheseasons, it's a wonderful community over on instagram, and is hosted by two fabulous ladies... Charlotte of Lotts and Lots  and Katy of Apartment Apothecary, both of which have lovely blogs for you to check out! 
Anyone can join in too!

Wishing you all a lovely week!

Emma x






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17.1.16

Still Sunday

       

       


       

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Emma x

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16.1.16

Saturday snap shots

      

     

     

     

     

Happy Saturday everyone!

I wish you all a lovely wkend, and leave you with a few of my hydrangea petal still life shots.

Emma x





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15.1.16

Leek and chickpea soup with chilli oil.

     

This leek and chickpea soup is so simple and satisfying, and the chilli oil takes it to another level!
Perfect for winter warming!

Serves two hungry people.
Ingredients
2 leeks
1 can of chickpeas
1 stick of celery 
1 bay leaf
A couple of sprigs of thyme
Good glug of olive oil
15g of butter
1 large garlic clove
600 ml vegetable stock

For the chilli oil
2 red chillies
Sprig of thyme
Clove of garlic
60ml olive oil

Method 
Start by making the chilli oil, add the oil, chopped chillies, garlic and thyme to a small pan, and heat very gently for 10 minutes, then set to one side and let it carry on infusing. (This will also keep in an air tight bottle for a few months). When your ready to use, strain through a sieve to remove the bits.

For the soup, finely chop the leeks and celery and add to a large pan with the oil and butter, bay leaf and thyme, sweat on a low heat for about 15 minutes until lovely and soft, then add the finely chopped garlic and stir through followed by the chickpeas, then add the vegetable stock.
Bring the soup to the boil then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes, season to taste.
Leave to cool slightly so the flavours are well married together.

Pour into bowls, drizzle with chilli oil and carve a chunk of really lovely bread.
Eats really well accompanied with a mug of tea!

Enjoy!

Emma X 

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#floralfriday

                                                         #floralfridaycompetition 

        

I just love the floral Friday comp hosted by +Emily Quinton  over on Instagram, so I thought I'd share my Friday's entry on my blog. Unless I buy fresh flowers the only blooms I can lay my hands on are pretty dried ones, and hydrangeas are my most favourite dried flower of all!
I've kept my little still life warm (as I really don't like cool light, unfortunate as that's all there is at the moment), tea lights and gold help to create the warmth here, along with an extremely low depth of field to smudge everything out nicely, leaving the focus on the petals.

If you'd like to join in follow Emily on Instagram and use the hashtag #floralfridaycompetiton 
Look on my blogs to follow page, here you can find a link to the make light blog and subscribe to get the fab news letter that comes with lots of handy tips on iphoneography and styling your photos.

Have a happy Friday everyone!

Emma x
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Friday Faff #stilllife

       

       

       

Happy Friday!

Just having a Friday faff with some things I've gathered from my garden to make a little still life with.
Very relaxing way to unwind and take five minutes out, I highly recommend it!
 Fancy joining in? #FridayFaff 

Emma 


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13.1.16

Cabbages and roses shades

                                         Pretty Cabbages and Roses lampshades.
       
                                    

                                    

                                    

                                    

I've just added these pretty little shades to my store (shop link above). Sorry it took so long, my camera is on its last legs and the cable doesn't work anymore so had to order a usb converter, anyhow, enough about my camera issues.
I'm just a little bit in love with this fabric! I made three of these, but have done what I usually do and have kept one (I just can't help myself). So there is only two available on the website, rest assured I will be making more!
Also getting very excited as my first handmade and vintage fair is looming *clapping hands*, and I'm off this wkend salvage shopping, love my work!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Emma X 










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11.1.16

Vintage Nikon lens

       

       

I was rummaging around at my dads the other day when I came across an old Nikon lens that belonged to his wet film camera, I'm forever pinching his, as I love a vintage lens with no auto focus! 
I actually turn auto focus off of my other ones as I love to control what I see down the view finder manually. 
Anyway, this is my new fave! 50mm f2 sweeeeet! Such a gorgeous focus! No editing, just say no to photoshop. 
I'm looking to upgrade my camera soon so have been doing lots of research, can safely say I'll be sticking with team Nikon!

Emma X 

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The day must start with tea!

                    

Happy Monday! 

My day always starts with a cup of tea, it's still the best thing to wake me up.
I'm off catching up with my mum today which will be the first time since Christmas so I'm really looking forward to a girly lunch and a good shop! My wardrobe so needs an update, and armed with my Christmas vouchers- I hope there are still some bargains to be had. Would really love a new pair of charcoal jeans to go with my lush biker jacket that my Mr treated me to (ooops, I mean Father Christmas).

Have a good day everyone.

Emma x

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10.1.16

Fireplace mini makeover.

                       

Just a quick share of my freshly painted fire surround and vintage mirror.
This fire surround has been so many colours, I love how a quick coat of paint and POW- instant room change.
I also found this old mirror on our landing (I really don't know what I have in my house), and gave it a quick coat of F & B mizzle, my new favourite colour for spring.
A few candles and voila... Bright and cheery, and perfect for a cosy night in. X
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Lovely lists.

       

I love to sit down with a good cup of tea and a beautiful clean new note book, and January is the month for making lists! There is so much I'd love to do and achieve this year, and it all starts from dreams and lists.

This year I'm making plans and getting ready to exhibit my (online) shop- Purple Pheasant at a large handmade and vintage fair, in the center of Milton Keynes. I'm making notes on which items to make to show off my watercolour fabric collection, and which vintage wares I think will sell well in March.
This is about to be a real learning curve I'm sure, and is hugely important for me to test the market for my designs and get feedback.
So much planning goes into running any business so I've always got a little note book ready either in my bag or next to the bed as sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, head buzzing with ideas that I just need to get down!

We're also back house hunting which I'm sooooo excited about! I absolutely adore Suffolk! And it's been a life dream to have a little cottage there! This year my hubby and I have decided to invest in a little holiday cottage, and we're just about to start looking which is the fun part. I'll keep you posted on how we get on.

I wish you all a good start to the week!

Emma x





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8.1.16

Pre-made blogger headers










My pre-made blogger headers are now available from my etsy store (link at top of the page).
It occurred to me whilst designing my fabric for print, I could also design some images for web use too!
My designs can be shrunk to fit and you can add your own text to them.
I can also custom make you a header for your blog/web page, just get in touch through my etsy store.

Later in the year I hope to release some full pre-made templates for blogger too!

Emma x


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6.1.16

Texture and form


It's always the simple things I find the most beauty in, especially true of flowers.
The hydrangea being one of my favourites!

Hope you are having a good week.

Emma x

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5.1.16

Dreaming of spring


Some spring dreaming to keep us all going!

Emma x

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4.1.16

The curated home.

                     

We went out to dinner with friends last week and somehow managed to get onto the topic of house work. I could not believe it, all my friends have cleaners, now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having a cleaner, but I was like 'what do you do with all your stuff?' 

It was then that I was reminded that their homes don't contain lots of stuff, just essential living things.
Thank the Lord we're all different.

They then said I should get one, 'but what about my stuff?' I cried, 'I don't want anyone touching my stuff' lol.
It dawned on me the reason I like housework, it's because it doesn't feel like housework.
My home is carefully curated every few days to match my mood. I'm a constant faffer, and revel in collecting beautiful nik naks (lucky, as that's also what I do for a living), and styling them into interesting vignettes around the home.
I imagine it's like playing with a huge dolls house, but it's my home.

I've always loved intricate detail, I prefer always to see snippets of a room then the whole thing, so my collection of things are always quite small.
I love vintage china and flowers, and use these a lot to dress my home, don't get me wrong, it's not a museum, hell no, it's a family home with a dog and the odd chicken sometimes wandering through lol.
Actually, I think it would probably be a cleaners nightmare ha.

Emma x
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