Saturday 27 September 2008

Autumn Mists and Saturday Shopping List

Yesterday, 7am I walk the dogs, just a quick little walk, let's call it a comfort walk/break......had to run back in quickly and fetch the camera. I'm a Spring girl myself, not a fan of Autumn, I suppose because of the nights pulling in, but when you see the trees in all their Autumn splendour and spider's webs hang with jewels, I can appreciate that it is a beautiful time of year.

Onto Saturday Shopping List. By now you all know what this is about, but for those that do not....well, I am a member of a group that highlight Etsy Sellers each Saturday. For all of the other members, please see charlotte's fancypicnic blog. I hope you enjoy my choices, on the theme of illustration.

1. jenskelley ~ Mugs Screen Print -limited edition screen print

2. seasprayblue ~ the log lady
3. vusova ~ Morning green tea for the little mice (print) 4.
Roadside ~ PRINT- Windy on the Coast 5. corid ~ she would ALWAYS have her tools AN ARCHIVAL PRINT 6. SRHarris ~ Poor Grandpa
7. missbrigette ~ pink trees and indie kids print set

HidenSeek ~ My Captain... We've reached the end of the world -- Print 16 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches --
Thanks for stopping by. x

Thursday 25 September 2008


First of all, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments that have been left particularly on my last post. Every comment means so much to me. I am a very lucky person to have gained such warmth and friendship from so many people who take the time and trouble to read my posts and as an added bonus leave a comment. Which leads me onto tell you about the lovely items that have come my way.
Today my Mom and I met for my lunch break and she brought along with her items of beauty, she had managed to buy for me, on her travels. All of this for £7.50.

Plastic buttons but just look at the silk fabric they are attached to, pity there is only this snippet, but I am not complaining! The cotton underneath is a great big pillow, just lovely for all sorts of projects.
Buttons....I think you know how I feel about these. So glad you understand, some folks would think me a little strange ;-) Seven of the most beautiful doilies ~ I not sure but I think they are Belgium Lace, there are birds all around each one. How do you type the Homer Simpson Doughnut awrghhh?

Then this little treasure box...... This is the contents..............awwwwrghhhhh again.

A Cindy/Barbie dress making pattern, is'nt it just lovely?....thrilled to bits with this.
Yesterday I met my friend Theresa for a quick lunch break coffee and she gave me these.......shells picked up at (I think) Fuerteventura beach. They are mother of pearly inside. And these
and these...the brooch was a found piece in a woodland, horn and mother of pearl belt buttons. And a great big ancient white bedspread!
And today...because, at work, I had given a student some fabric, she bought me these lovely envelopes...all from the 50's. They were taken from a life time's correspondence of a Miss Brockwell, all sold to my student friend in a box, at a car boot sale for a £ sad.
My Mom also gave me a hand written note saying ...."If you love something so much that you can't bear to ignore it, that's a pretty good sign that it's what you should be doing".
I have found myself a little overwhelmed tonight. I have been in receipt of such wonderful things and I just feel total frustration at not having the time to spend on my craft. I work virtually full time but term time only. Having to go to work like so many other millions of women is what I have to do and I am lucky to have a good job but I feel as though my hands are tied behind my back. My poor husband copped for it this evening when I got home and I poured (or should I say moaned, ranted, cried, pathetic) it all out to him. He understands my frustration but needs must. We have two teenage girls and with the ever increasing cost of living, there is no way I can afford to jack the job in and become self employed again. I know that I am a very fortunate woman to have all I possess and I am sorry for the self absorbed woe is me tale ..... but I just felt the need to express my frustration at having lots of ideas, inspirations and a strong desire to make but very little time to fulfill these dreams. Still there is always half term to look forward to.
Dear me, I've just read this through......what a misery, so sorry :-)
Thanks for stopping by.x

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Hen's Teeth

I wanted to tell you about my business that I ran, self employed, for nearly five years, named Hen's Teeth Handmade Greetings Cards.
(Please excuse quality of photos, all the pictures are of greetings cards, in my portfolio and they are all in cello bags, which reflect the light, sorry)!
My business started when I finished my HND in Illustration. My final major project was self directed and basically I came up with some simple drawings worked in mono print. I thought they made good greetings cards, so I took them to my local Gallery and they sold quite well.
Monoprints are enjoyable to do but not for every card. So I came up with a brain wave....... mono print the original and then photocopy onto coloured paper, then cut to size, then hand colour, then glitter, then mount onto blank greetings cards, then bag up. Yes, I know, I can see it now but not then, (far too labour intensive) but I was too carried away with the buzz of it all!
Simple illustrations, all hand coloured, every bloody one of them.

I was lucky enough to be contacted by a sales Agent for the north west, who got lots of orders for me, who in turn put me in touch with another Agent, more orders. I eventually ended with seven Agents, covering the whole of the UK
The long legged chicken was my logo.. The one year I produced over 50,000 handmade greetings cards!
The following design is one taken from my range that sold incredibly well. This range had many designs, all under the name of 'Happy to have 100 of ........'. Such as 'Happy to have 100 pairs of knickers', 'Happy to have 100 handbags', 'Happy to have 100 pairs of shoes'. (Hens Teeth(c)2008) We all have a weak spot and I had a card for it!

Everyone was roped into hand colouring, even my husband, who 'colours in' beautifully, not going over of the lines at all!

Unfortunately, a line of designs have a limited period of time, a shop will order maybe once, twice but not three times lady! Whilst you are fulfilling orders you should be working on the next range, which I found very difficult, as I worked every hour god sent to fulfill orders which, naturally, saped by creativity.

The next range was called 'Fairy Fun'. I had moved away from monoprinting by now :-)

I think this range was my favourite.

Although I say it myself, I do love this snail's face.

Wibbly wobbly owl's eyes.
I am very proud to say that I had sales with Liberty and Selfridges.
With a various ranges in between, I went back to the 'Happy to have 100 of...' range because that was what I was best known for and I reworked the designs, as you can see below.

It all ended sadly, just under three years flow!!! My costs were all up front and immediate i.e. materials, labour, carriage and you would hope for a quick payment but no, the length of time that I received my payment started to get longer and longer. Retailers hanging onto their money for as long as possible, nine months in some cases. Not being able to receive payment quickly enough and being permantly exhausted, meant that I finally had to admit defeat and I closed it all down.
I am so glad that I had that business though, it was a steep learning curve and I made lots of stupid mistakes, which make me cringe now but it's all in life's rich pattern! I'm on a different path now and creatively speaking, I have never been happier!
Thanks for stopping by.x

Friday 19 September 2008

Shopping List Saturday

I am so pleased to be a member of the Shopping List Saturday. I thoroughly enjoy searching for my list and looking at the other member's chosen items. Goodness me ....... so much to choose from.
Here is my list for this Saturday, my theme being stationery..........

1. kellydesigns4u ~ PRIMARY COLORED CALENDAR TAGS scrapbooking embellishments

2. KootiesCloset ~ September Sale - 6 Sheets of Address Labels for 25.00

3. pellmellpress ~ SPIROGRAPH letterpress notecards (set of six)


5. DingbatPress ~ Winter Solstice, Letterpressed Cards 4Bar, Set of 8

6. roundrobinpress ~ 8 Pack Holly Bird- Letterpress Plantable Cards Embedded with Basil and Chives Seeds

7. mulberrymuse ~ Bel Oiseau Note Cards

8. saratams ~ 8 Postcards with Envelopes - Brothers

9. pistachiopress ~ Eyelet lace, letterpress card set

10. lovekiki ~ Not feeling up to scratch - Get well soon - letterpress card Vintage illustration.
I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful works of art, as much as me.
Please take a look at the other lists on charlottes fancypicnic blog.
Thanks for stopping by.x