Sunday 29 June 2014

Paper People

Hello chums! Back again. As per usual I can't think of anything terribly clever or witty to start off today's post with, so i'm just going prattle on for a few lines then crack on with posting some photos instead.

So I haven't done much art lately. That sounds like the best way to sum up my total lack of creativity since the tail end of last year. I barely draw, I barely edit stuff on my macbook, other than the occasional bit of graphic design, I don't really do anything remotely creative.

But over the past few weeks i've been trying to shuffle-clamber out of my creativity-less malaise so i've been working on something new. It's been a bit of an agonisingly slow process but bit by minsucle bit the designs have begun to grow and develop into something actually printable.

So I thought, why don't I actually get some printed?!

And well, I did, and this is the result.

So without any further ado please allow me to introduce you to my newest creations, Aalish and Illiam...

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Aalish and Illiam are 'paper dolls' or to be more neutral 'paper people' (since Illiam has nothing against playing with dolls, he just isn't sure that he wants to be one. Aalish doesn't really mind either way, as long as there's chocolate cake available afterwards. There is cake isn't there?).

Those of you that have kept up with my work for a while might remember the Pinup Paper Doll I designed 2 years ago for local craft heaven and haberdashery treasure trove Sweet Ginger Emporium.

Well in many ways Aalish and Illiam are a small continuation of where 'Sweet Ginger' left off (who knows, maybe they're her children?!) and unsurprisingly they've been designed and created with the Sweet Ginger shop in mind.

They're a nice size for little hands, each 'doll' (sorry Illiam!) comes printed on a neat A4 sheet with a teeny tiny little matching button badge with their face on!

And they already have lots of nice clothes to choose from + some fun dressing up costumes! At the moment there are 2 sheets available for each doll (but I have so many more outfit sheets planned and in development!)

First up there's a Dressing Up sheet for Aalish + a Fancy Dress sheet for Illiam

And also a more casual Summer sheet for Aalish and a general Everyday sheet for Illiam, with LOTS of nice outfits to pick from each sheet.

I've wanted to design a paper doll aimed at both girls and boys, and although all of Aalish's clothes might be a tad too girly for Illiam (he doesn't much like it when I make him try on a dress, but Aalish thinks it's hilarious) ALL of Illiam's clothes will fit Aalish perfectly, they're completely swappable, so that she can have a go at being an astronaut or a dinosaur as well, should she want to (which she definitely does) but sometimes Aalish just borrows some of Illiam's normal clothes.

That's why there's a Pirate costume on each dress-up sheet. Most of Aalish's costumes are on the girly side, (because who wouldn't want to dress up as a mermaid or a princess?!) but that certainly doesn't mean that she doesn't like to dress up as a swashbuckling Pirate captain and run around with a sword every once in a while. Or all the time. Sometimes they both dress up as Pirates and go off in search of buried treasure! But so far all they've succeeded in doing is making a mess of my desk...

Sometimes when Illiam puts on the Dino costume, he pretends he's a fire-breathing dragon instead, but Aalish doesn't mind, she just acts like a fearsome Princess ready to defend her kingdom from any and all perils!

Other times they just put on their Superhero costumes and fly off to save the world, you know, just a typical day really. But they're always home in time for tea, especially if there are fizzy sweets for pudding (those are Illiam's favourites!)

 Ahem. You can probably tell that I had a LOT of fun designing the clothes and costumes! Aalish's were kind of a doddle but Illiam's were particularly challenging since I never ever really seem to draw anything for boys, so coming up with nifty little outfits for him was tonnes of fun.

Probably one of the most fun parts of the entire process was coming up with all the colours and fiddly little details for each outfit, like the pirate medallion on Illiam's costume + the treasure map. I got a bit carried away sometimes but it was worth it when I opened the box of prints and saw how fun they looked!

Although they're maybe a bit fiddly for very little hands to snip out (looks like mummy and daddy are the lucky ones to get to wield the scissors) once they've been freed from their paper confines, Aalish and Illiam are a perfect treat for little kids and big kids alike. (I for one am most definitely a big kid and i've had heaps of fun dressing them up on my desk!)

And at the end of the day they can peg up their lovely clothes and pick something new to wear on their next big adventure! 

So there you have it, Aalish and Illiam, two brilliant little people, i've no doubt that you'll be seeing an awful lot of them in the future (keep an eye out around Halloween and Christmas in particular!) since they're definitely the coolest kids around!

Hopefully the Doll and Clothing sheets will soon be available from Sweet Ginger in Ramsey here in the Isle of Man. I don't have any immediate plans to try and sell the sheets via my Etsy shop (although it's full of lots of other nice things you CAN buy) but if anyone was particularly interested in getting their hands on a set I could probably be persuaded.

And on that note i'll draw this post to a close. I'll no doubt be back at some point next week to tell you about the other little creative things i've been working on (spoiler alert: I may or may not have attempted a small painting) and whatever else, if anything, happens between now and then.

So it's goodbye from me, and goodbye from Aalish and Illiam!

Until next time, cheerio folks!

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Brilliant or Crafty?

Hello there dearhearts, it's taken me a bit longer to wrangle a post together this time but here I am, better later than never right?! It's been a bit of a funny old week, a few ups and downs, good times and bad.

Anyway enough nonsensical allusions to the current state of my life, let's go ahead and crack on with the post shall we!

Once again my online shopping addiction has struck with, I have to admit, frankly astounding force this week actually! I seem to have been ordering piles of things lately: stacks of printed things (more about those soon hopefully) lots of nice new books to read + various other bits and bobs.

Including these rather wonderful little brooches...

I know what you're thinking, Jade you don't need them, and it's (probably) true, but look at how lovely they are! How could I not get them! I simply had to have them.

They're from an absolutely marvellously talented duo known collectively as 'Vivid Please', also known as Vicky and David. Based in Edinburgh, the super duper pair produce all manner of lovely things, lots of pretty cards, pocket mirrors, phone cases, tote bags, notebooks, prints, brooches and various bunches of other nice things that you definitely need in your life!

Everything in their online shop is cute and sweet, things that will make you smile, really ideal as gifts for friends and family, fresh designs infused with twinkles of light humour and fun.

I've followed Vivid Please on Pinterest for quite a while now and I always enjoy seeing the colourful and quirky stuff they post.

 I actually ordered one of their adorable Pug pocket mirrors for my niece last Christmas (she's Pug mad!) and was delighted by the quality and design of it, plus my niece definitely liked it. So I think maybe i've been hankering for a little something for myself from their treasure trove of tantalising treats.

So when I found out they were having a little Summer Sale, selling some of their brooch designs with almost 50% off, I couldn't resist treating myself! Not that I really tried to resist come to think of it, not that I ever seem to. Oh well.

Anyway, they arrived a few days later and were wrapped so nicely that I almost didn't want to spoil the tissue paper! Almost...

Beneath the cute stickers, paper and washi tape, the brooches were nestled in pretty little matchboxes, kept snug and safe for their trip from Scotland to the Isle of Man.

The brooches themselves are absolutely lovely, really sturdy quality with neat little brooch backs glued firmly in place, a nice handpainted finish and just the right size for pinning comfortably to a shirt or jacket.

I'm really impressed with the brooches. I Haven't had chance to wear them yet so for the time being they're perched on my desk with the solar flower + Arale

They're super lovely, in fact only problem was deciding on which one to pick when I ordered them! I mean i'm definitely crafty but i'm not sure if I'm at all brilliant?
So eventually after much umming and ahing I decided, why not be both!

Craftily Brilliant or Brilliantly Crafty?! You decide...

To order your own sweet treat from Vivid Please, or to see more snaps of the lovely stuff they create, click one of the links below!

Blog  -  Twitter  -  Facebook  -  Pinterest  -  Instagram

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In other news, I found my tin of Posca markers the other night so i've been considering having a go at some new little painting type things.

This Zombie Pinup piece is about 2 years old now so I touched her up with the Posca pens (that sounds wrong but you know what I mean. I hope) and thought it could be nice to do some other designs, maybe my Matryoshka or one of the Candy Dolls. I'm not really sure yet.

I think i've been a bit inspired by my other recent purchase. I know, I know, I have a problem. But look at how PRETTY it is!!!

I've been a big fan of Moschino for years, particularly their colourfully funky diffusion line Love Moschino, every year when i visit Brown Thomas in Cork and Dublin I drool over the pretty patterned bags decorated with cute illustrations, so I kind of sort of maybe couldn't resist a little spending splurge when I spotted this beauty in the Harrod's Summer Sale.

ugh there is something definitely wrong with me but it's SO PRETTY!

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Okay i'll shut up now, and hopefully won't order too many frivolous items online between now and the next time I post a blog. I mean i'm not making any promises, but you know, I can at least fool myself into thinking that I might just be able to summon up some semblance of self control one day soon.

I mean I could try to fill the post a bit more you know, sit here and start rambling on about some of the books i've read lately (the current count for 2014 stands at 48 books) but we could be here some time so it's probably best if I just draw this post to a close.

So until next time, cheerio folks!

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Merry Little Moomins ❤

Hello chums, back again. I was going to run a brand new post t'other day but I got shaken up by some not-so-good news (I lost my job, if you must know...) and it knocked me off kilter a smidge. But i'm here now so lets get on with it shall we!

Today i'll be wittering on about the eternally brilliant and (in my opinion) hilariously adorable creatures that are... Moomins!

Those of you that have followed the blog for a while might recall me having mentioned Moomins before (namely HERE) but today I need cheering up so I just felt like posting nice pictures of something I like.

And since i'm pretty sure you'll all stop following me if I just post a stream of photos of Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston (although I think we can all agree that they truly are quite lovely) I figured Moomins were less likely to drive you all away from here, also making me less likely to turn this blog into a Fangirl one (like I accidentally did to my Tumblr. You were warned, click at your peril).

Don't worry i'm not about to embark on a gargantuan explanation or a detailed history of Moomins, maybe some other time, today i'll just be posting nice pictures and rambling on a bit. That's all.

As i've also mentioned before, I have a terrible habit of ordering piles of junk (or treasure) on the interweb, well a recent purchase (was it a week ago, or two... or three! I forget) included some brilliant little goodies that came winging all the way to me from the HOME of the Moomins aka Finland...

That's right... I bought myself some little Moomins! Here they are all lined up on my desk ready to say hello to you.

And I also got some v pretty postcards and super cute badges to go with them. Because if there's one thing better than a Moomin... it's a Moomin reading a book! Yay MOOMINS!

The teeny tiny little Moomin figurines that I got from Finland are far too adorable! They all have movable arms and come with little accessories, just like the characters in the books and animations.

So now Moomintroll, Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Snorkmaiden all live on my desk. Oh I do hope they'll all be happy there, I don't know maybe they can go hang out with Loki or the Ghostbusters sometimes if they get bored!

I'm not too sure precisely what it is about Moomins but i've always liked them since I first saw them on the telly box. I remember avidly watching the (admittedly rather creepy and at times a bit spooky) cartoon when I was little, and Ialways enjoyed it even when the slightly scarier characters made an appearance on screen (i'm looking at you Groke, you creepy bugger).

Maybe it's because their Moominhouse is so sweet, or because Moominvalley looks like such a nice place to live and they always have such fun adventures with their friends! Whatever it is about them, they're kind of twee and I like them. 

There's something so charming about their simple design and cute little faces. They never seem to let the world get them down, even at times when things are going a bit wrong.

I think it helps that the books by Tove Jansson are so brilliant as well, there are a full set at the Library where I work (or where I used to work) and I have spent many a happy lunch hour flicking through them reading the stories and comic strips chuckling at stories about Sniff and Snufkin, Little My and the Moomins and of course the peculiar little Hattifatteners.

I think perhaps the appeal lies in the fact that Moomins live a simple but fulfilling life, finding enjoyment in even the most mundane tasks and pastimes.

But then I mean it must be impossible to be unhappy when you look like this, right?! 

Okay that's enough wittering for today. I seem to be all about the sudden stops lately, it's almost as if the tap in my mind just switches off and the flow of sentences and words immediately ceases.

I have a thrilling flotilla of post ideas meandering around inside my mind so hopefully i'll be able to type some of them out over the weekend or next week.

so until next time, that's all folks and thanks for visiting! 

don't forget to leave a comment if you feel like it, I always reply, it's not like I have anything else to do!

bye for now

Wednesday 11 June 2014

I ain't afraid of no Ghosts!

Hello dearhearts, can it be, am I really back again so soon with another blog? 
Oh you betcha!

I'll get right to the point. Regular readers might recall me having mentioned one or two (or perhaps several) times in the past how I happen to be quite a fan of a certain film called Ghostbusters...

Actually, I'm a flipping MASSIVE Ghostbusters fan! I've seen the movie so many times I can practically quote the ruddy thing (yes i love GB2 as well, but GB1 is my fave), add to that my heap of Ghostbusters t-shirts + uniquely customised Converse (see those here) and various other bustin' related merch, well yeah, I guess you could call me a bit of a fangirl (well that's an understatement).

Anyway, those of you with a love of all things geeky might be aware that this year is the 30th anniversary since Ghostbusters was first released at cinemas, and that part of the celebrations this year include the release of a very special limited edition Lego playset

now I know what you're thinking, 'Jade you weren't even born when Ghostbusters came out, why should you care about some daft Lego?' and i'm going to stop you there because although it's true that in 1984 I was a good seven years away from even existing, that is entirely beside the point.

Growing up in the early nineties most of the music, films and TV shows I watched were all from the 80's, so it's no surprise that my favourite movie is from that decade (my second favourite film is the Blues Brothers, which came out in 1980). 

And if you're now thinking 'yes but Jade you are twenty-three years old, you are a grown-up, why would you waste your money on a toy?!' and i'll stop you there again because I will literally never grow up.

And furthermore... I got the Lego. So there.

It arrived yesterday morning from Denmark and although all I wanted to do was tear the box open and crack on with the build, I had to spend the day packing up books and things (i'm moving home soonish, hopefully) and then in the evening I had a cinema trip (to see Maleficent, which was brilliant!) so alas, I haven't had chance to carefully assemble (aka play with) the Lego kit until today.

First of all, the box is actually brilliant! I'm keeping it. Forever. Inside the box everything was bagged up alongside the instruction book, which is also brilliant! There's a whole bunch of quotes from the movie scattered throughout the assembly guide, it was great to glance down to see which parts were next only to spot a funny quote sitting in the corner. I would have taken some photos of it but I was too busy BUILDING!

In the general flurry of excitement that was opening the bags of bricks I didn't really find the time to keep snapping progress shots, but here's one of the carnage before the build. Literally the FIRST thing I did as soon as I opened the box was build the characters. Before I even thought of assembling the car, I built the guys, so that they could watch Ecto-1 appear next! 

And appear it did. In truly magnificent style! What a beauty...

When I found out that the set was being brought out in time for the anniversary I was determined to get myself one regardless, but I was so so SO pleased to see just how much attention to detail the kit has. The car is brilliant inside and out (it even has space for the proton packs in the boot/trunk) and it was SO MUCH FUN to build!

The guys though right? Lets talk about them! BRILLIANT attention to detail on the fellas, they each have their initials on the front of their uniforms and their names on the back (hidden beneath the proton packs) the uniforms on the front are all ever so slightly different as well, with little quirks for each figure in keeping with their movie counterpart.

They also all have two expressions, happy and scared, so I suppose a pre Ghostbustin' face and one for when they're trying to wrangle a ghostie down in to the darn ghost trap!

I'm not gonna lie, this is probably one of THE best things i've ever bought in my life! In a way i'm kind of glad i'm an adult (I couldn't even type that with a straight face) because I wouldn't have been able to afford something as awesome as this when I was a kid, and i'm pretty sure no-one, not even Santa, would have got me this as a present.

Once the kit was assembled and finished, it was kind of a sad moment because I didn't have anything else to build. But I DID have a lot of fun  posing and playing with everything.
I might have put three of the guys inside the car and trundled it all over my desk for a while, while singing along (loudly) to the Ghostbusters theme tune. But nobody witnessed it so it might not have actually happened.
(spoiler: it did).

After that I also might have plucked my little Lego Loki off the shelf and introduced him to the Ghostbusters. He didn't seem to pleased about new Lego folk invading the neighbourhood (of my desk) but they've managed to beat a God before so I think they'll be okay.

All I could think when I took this shot was 'Ray, when someone asks you if you're a God, you say Yes!'

Anyway as if you couldn't already tell I'm really happy with the set and it's brilliant and I LOVE it and i'll be quiet now. 

For the time being Ecto-1 + the busters have taken up residence on my desk, along with all the other fun junk I keep piled up on it (for inspiration).

And on that sickeningly colourful and rather merry note i'll draw this post to a close. I have a few others lined up in my mind shed (some people have mind palaces, at the moment I can just about manage a barely cobbled together wooden hut) so look out for those over the next week or so.

And as always, until next time, that's all folks...

ps - Watch this. You're welcome!