A new one-of-a-kind egg cup listed in my Etsy shop!
This egg cup has a hand drawn face and red heart cheeks, with ‘I love you’ handwritten on the back.
I’ll be adding more egg cups to my shop very soon!
See my daily updates on Instagram here.
My new greeting card illustration features a parent beaver with their beaver kit, created with ink and watercolour. I purposely made this Mother’s Day card also suitable for Father’s Day, friendship, any family member (grandparent? Aunt? Uncle? Niece? Nephew?), and for children too!
This is part of an illustrated wildlife series, currently incorporating one of my favourite animals; the beaver. You can read more about this in my previous post.
The text is hand-drawn using a drawing nib and sepia ink, then finished with watercolour. This card is currently available via my Thortful shop, and you can also get 30% off your first order with this link!
I’m experiencing a creative surge at the moment, and trying to be as productive as possible incase it disappears! (Remember my 7 year creative block? No thanks!) Here’s a bit of background into the two new greeting card designs available in my Thortful shop.
Beaver birthday card
I’m a huge wildlife nerd and am working on a secret wildlife-related illustration project that I can’t mention at the moment. The world has gone crazy for sloths, and while I’ve always been a huge sloth devotee (trekked Central America in search of them years ago), there’s something about everyone jumping on the bandwagon that makes me move on to lesser-idolised creatures of the wild. I realise this makes me sound like a massive hipster, but it bothers me that there are people following animal trends for the sake of popularity and sales, while also knowing this is what you’re supposed to do. /snark over.
I have a creature obsession for beloved beavers. I spent 3 months in Fernie, BC, Canada – you know, that ski town that people all over the world visit to ski and snowboard? But did I hurl myself down mountain-sides? No. I was foraging around by lakes in search of beaver lodges in the hope of observing them in the wild, in their own environment, taking pictures (attempting to – tail slap!) and freezing beyond my British blood (ok, there’s some Finnish blood in there too, so I survived) on a fold-out chair in the snow with a long-lens on ‘beaver patrol’, repeating my mantra ‘beav before I leave’ until I finally saw a family of beavers doing their biz!
I’ve continued learning about these extremely intelligent mechanical engineers via webcams inside and outside of beaver lodges (no idea why I’m single), and watching documentaries because I think it’s important to study a subject and closely observe its habits/lifestyle in order to depict it appropriately. I say ‘appropriately’ rather than ‘accurately’, as a conjured character may look/behave very differently or subversively than in reality, yet at the root of their creation lies the knowledge and observation.
Wonderland new baby card
My watercolour card for welcoming wee folk into the world wasn’t planned as a card to sell. The original watercolour painting was a card to welcome a teeny cherub, Tallis Wolf; daughter to a couple of awesome friends embarking on their journey into parenthood. The original text said ‘Tallis in Wonderland” and the name Tallis means Woodland.
Occasionally I’ll pour my little heart into personal cards and create images that I realise as an afterthought may be something other people would send or like to receive too. Perhaps there are other Earth mamas, forest fathers, and woodland wonder-babies in the world. As I had a couple of requests to sell this as a card, I duly complied, and this ‘welcome little one’ version is available via my Thortful profile.
I’m also thinking of creating personalised prints with a name/message of choice in the ribbon banner to sell in my Etsy shop. I recently took a calligraphy course, and while I’m in need of a lot of practice, I feel happy that I can at least write neatly with ink and a nib at this stage…
Thortful.com is a greeting card platform where you can buy a card to have it sent directly to your recipient and include your own message. You can even pick a font. Or have it sent to you, blank inside ready for your handwritten message. They also offer a variety of gift options such as sending chocolate, notebooks, cake, or socks with the card!
I’ve purchased cards from Thortful before and was very impressed with both the print and card quality, and the cards are A5 – larger than the average cards you’ll find in shops. Best of all, they are supporting independent designers as we receive commission for each card sold.
Do you think I’m a hipster? Should I have snowboarded instead of going on wildlife watch? Do you like my new watercolour illustrations? I’d love to hear from you!
It turns out that when I have a deadline due, I absolutely adore drawing my hands instead. This is great as it’s been years since I did any life drawing and welcome the practice. It’s also not great as the procrastination means leaving deadline stuff ’til the last minute. Anyway, here are lots of pencil line drawings of my hands:
I’ve added some Christmas cards to my Etsy shop, featuring a Nordic Christmas elf with her pet plant.
I’ve been revisiting the poem Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti after a number of years – I first studied the poem at art college over a decade ago, as part of a self-initiated degree project, and my fascination with the dark children’s tale continues.
This illustration wasn’t planned. I knew I wanted to illustrate Laura and Lizzie, so began sketching the sisters, and subconsciously the hair grew into trees and menacing little goblin men started appearing in the woods.
“Evening by evening
I’d love to hear what you think?
One of my sketches is featured in a showcase of life drawings in the book Drawn from Life by Helen Birch. This is a lovely little book for those interested in drawing the figure from life, and provides inspiration from a variety of artists and traditional (yet contemporary) techniques.
My drawing comes under the heading ‘informal practice’ as it’s a sketch drawn while lounging on my parents sofa a few years ago (hence the Marimekko Unikko design blanket – Finnish mother!) This sketch came at a time when I was trying to rebel against my natural desire to perfect what I was seeing, to draw what I see without improving on the truth. Society inflicts images of perfection upon us with Photoshop, make-up, filters, and fakery. Life drawing should be about what is real. I love the truth and all its imperfections!
If you’d like a copy of the book, you can buy one here.
I’ve listed egg cups with happy faces that come ready for your Easter display with a chick and alfalfa sprout seeds that you can grow for hair. Fun for the kids (and big kids like me!) I can personalise the egg cups with a name on the back as a custom order too – just contact me via Etsy!
Here’s a custom bat egg cup order (with names on the back), that I decided needed chicks and seeds too:
You can also find my egg cups in UK Handmade’s Spring Showcase at the moment:
I post on Instagram more regularly than on my blog, so if you’d like to see what I’m up to, feel free to find/follow my account @makingstrangers.
2017 brings a new creative urge to make use of ideas that have been hibernating in sketchbooks and journals throughout 2016! I’m not going to lie, some of them have probably been waiting since 2012 to be born. Half of my time now is dedicated to Digibloom, my one-woman-business that champions and supports creative small businesses.
The other half is spent working on illustrations and fulfilling my need for creative expression. 2017 is about sustaining a work/life balance for me, so there is also yoga and t’ai chi, family time, and long nature walks to keep the inspiration and wellbeing tuned up.
So what have I been working on?
Want to send this card to your favourite bogey? You can order one here on Etsy.
My new sloth Valentine’s card is currently only available via Thortful.com. You can find it here.
Valentine’s Day gifts
Personalised couple egg cups with names on the back.
The names on the back are handwritten in ribbon banners. They come as a pair so make a thoughtful and personal gift idea for a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day, their wedding, or an anniversary! The egg cups have multiple uses, such as little succulent planters, ring holders, and candle holders.
Currently in stock is a cat face egg cup, and I’m about to list a sloth and a bat. Keep checking back as more are added to my Etsy shop!
Happy new year! x
New items in my Etsy shop, ideal for Christmas gift giving.
This little elf has been busy in the elf workshop painting on ceramics and personalising journals. My hand-painted porcelain egg cups can also be used as tea light candle holders, tiny succulent pots, or little ring bowls. These are indeed a great size for stocking fillers or token gifts for friends, colleagues, and family.
You can pick an egg cup to adopt from my Etsy shop. They are hand-painted, so no two are the same, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
My shop wouldn’t be complete without ‘little peekers’ aka Finnish tonttu (Christmas elves) sneaking peeks out of Moleskine journal windows! I’m currently working on new journals that people can have personalised with a name or word as well. So keep ’em peeled in my Etsy shop.
See all my latest bits and pieces on my Instagram: MakingStrangers.