Friday 31 October 2014

Trick or Treat?

Hello my lovelies, how are you all today? I hope you're having a brilliant day! Once again i've been the most neglectful blogger I know, I haven't posted anything on here in weeks, but it's been a busy time and i'm also incredibly lazy!

SO SORRY! But i'm here now so let's crack on with it shall we?!

So it's that time of year again, whether or not you celebrate it in any way shape or form you'll no doubt still be aware that today is Hop-Tu-Naa (or Halloween if you're not from the Isle of Man) which means trick or treating, turnips (or pumpkins), dressing up in fun costumes and gathering ginormous heaps of SWEETIES!

I mean just ask Aalish and Illiam, they know all about trick or treating and they just LOVE Hop-Tu-Naa!

I'm well into the Hop-Tu-Naa festivities this year, or at least my desk is! I might have gotten just a little bit carried away decorating it for Halloween...

 you might be thinking, 'Jade what do you mean you decorated your desk for Halloween, are you insane?!' in which case the answer is a most definite and resounding YES!

Yeah so I was (attempting to do some) tidying up and I found a bag full of Halloween decorations that I didn't even realise I had! So I kind of HAD to put them all up. I mean I have mini spooky fairy lights and pumpkin garlands and ghost gingerbread!!!


SORRY NOT SORRY! (although I do promise to take it all down tomorrow on November 1st... and i'll try to leave at least a bit of time before I break out the Christmas decorations!!!)

oh but that's not all, you see I also dressed up this year!

I couldn't decide what to be so I put together a sort of spooky eyeball witch type thing (any excuse to wear my beloved Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop eyeball dress!) with homemade eyeball headband + matching brooches

And then naturally I dressed up as a Ghostbuster, because come on it's ME and really what did you expect?!

WHO YA GONNA CALL?! well not me, obviously!

I'm not actually leaving the house tonight as it is utterly vile weather outside, but that doesn't mean I can't still dress up right?! I'm going to stay in and watch 3 or 4 different versions of Frankenstein and consume my body weight in butter popcorn!

you might have spotted Aalish and Illiam as part of the decorations on my desk, both in their fave spooktacular costumes. Ah but they aren't the only ones up to spooky Halloween shenanigans this year!

As has become tradition over the past few years, this October I decided to have a go at a special Halloween themed illustration and this year I thought it might be fun to design a Candy Doll.

Only this time I came up with two instead of one! I started out by drawing a girly candy doll but as I gave her the angel wings I thought 'hhm maybe I should draw a Devil girl as well!' so... I did.

So meet Trick and Treat, they both love Halloween and dressing up but it's up to you to figure out which is which...

oh alright i'll make it easy for you, technically this is Trick... hence the Devil horns and tail + killer red lipstick!

so I suppose this is Treat... but don't let the halo and wings fool you, that doesn't necessarily mean she's that much of an angel!

I guess they're kind of twins, or at least sisters?! I'm not sure, but they were fun to draw + colour and add in all the colourful brooches and badges on their outfits.

I also decided to have a go at painting Trick and I actually finished the painting late Wednesday night, so here's the result...

What do you think? you can't really tell it from the photo but it's a pretty sizeable board! It felt good to work on a larger board again, although this time it was 2x4 foot instead of the 2x6 foot boards I worked on in quadruplicate for my Degree show last Summer.

It was fun to paint but I'd totally forgotten how tricky it is to manoeuvre a board this size when trying to carefully draw in details and patterns! I had to lug it on and off my desk and twist it around all the time as I added in the lineart. And as you can imagine, the polka dots were 'fun' to do! (spoiler: they were so fiddly and time consuming I probably won't do any like this ever again!)

In case you're wondering, I haven't decided whether or not to paint 'Treat' as well. I suppose it makes sense painting them both (and I do have another board this size, primed and waiting to be painted on!) but i'm not sure if i'll paint her or something else instead.

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so I think that's it for today, I can't really think of anything else to tell you. Despite the massive gap i've left between blog posts since last time, nothing has really happened worth mentioning.

+ I think i've blathered on for long enough, see you next time (hopefully!) byeeeee

Thursday 9 October 2014

Pretty as a Picture

Hello dearhearts, back again with a brand new illustration and yes, you guessed it, it's another addition to the Candy Doll Club!

so instead of wittering on about it (like I usually do) i'll just go ahead and show you...

Now you might have noticed over recent months that lately i've been heavily inspired by a few of the many lovely ladies I follow via Instagram and Pinterest, in fact this new piece is an illustration inspired by a very lovely British blogger named Megan aka Briar Rose and she is basically a real life Disney Princess!

Look at that amazing hair! WOW! I always enjoy seeing Megan's gorgeous OOTD blog posts and snaps on Instagram, she has the most incredible wardrobe, so she seemed like an ideal 'real life' candy doll to inspire a new piece.

I was actually inspired by the photos from this blog post, and although usually I cover my drawings with candy coloured tattoos and pops of neon colour, this one felt better suited to pretty paler pastels similar to those found in Megan's outfit post.

Although obviously in my version that 'Princess' hair has a few pastel shades thrown in for good measure! But then how could I EVER draw a Candy Doll without giving her Pastel hair?! Also, i'm dreadful at drawing hats, they never seem to translate well when I add them so this one gets a flower crown instead!

I also wanted to have a go at drawing a girl holding a camera, following on from my 'time for a selfie' illustration, so when I spotted the pictures of Megan with her nifty little Praktica camera it seemed like time to get out my pencils and pens!

I had a lot of fun drawing this one as you can probably tell, it's been nice just working on aimless projects these past few months while I take some time off from work, I can't wait to see what I conjure up next (maybe something special just in time for Halloween... wait and see!)  

anyway the design is now available via my Society6 Shop on various items + there's Free Worldwide Shipping on stuff in the shop until October 12th so if you feel like getting some early Xmas presents, go have a skeet!

alrighty then i'll stop babbling now. Hope you liked the new illustration, i'm pretty sure that the Candy Doll Club will forever be gaining new members! So thanks for the inspiration Megan!

YOU can keep up with all of her fashionable snaps by following her on Pinterest or Instagram + here she is on Facebook and Twitter and of course, here's her brilliant Blog

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in other news, I FINALLY finished my two latest paintings!

here they are perched on my desk (along with a recent diddy posca piece) waiting to see what i'm going to do with them next, I haven't a clue where to put them!

I suppose I ought to try and sell them but i've gotten kind of used to having them around now, unless someone else were to grow particularly partial to one of them of course...

 i'll do a proper Blog post about them soon + show you the process snaps of how I got from blank wooden board to finished piece!

AND i'm starting two more BIGGER paintings v soon, I haven't decided 100% what to paint yet but who am I kidding, we all know it'll be members of the Candy Doll Club.

so until next time, that's all folks!

Friday 3 October 2014

Paper Dress-Up

Hello there, yes back again, not blathering on about the Glen again this time, although i DID visit it last Sunday with three of my friends, we picked a few blackberries and had far too much fun spinning around on the rope swing in the middle of the Glen and hurling conkers and sticks at one-another. But that's a tale for another time, maybe.

Anyway, you might have noticed that we're already into October now! That means a few things, 1) I can now wear boots, hats, gloves, scarves and coats in public WITHOUT getting weird looks from people, 2) the nights are getting darker, it's colder and leaves are all turning orange and falling off the trees and most importantly 3) it's Halloween this month!!!


oh they look a bit familiar right?! Well you remember those paper people cuties Little Aalish and Little Illiam, well what better way to celebrate Halloween (or Hop-Tu-Naa as it's known here on the Isle of Man) than with a super special spooktacular dress-up sheet!

So, that's just what i did, and I'm rather happy because the clothes sheets got delivered today which means I spent the past half-hour snipping out the costumes and playing dress-up with the little paper people.

i had a lot of fun designing this sheet and even more fun actually testing it out on the dolls. What makes this sheet so fun is that every single costume on it is interchangeable for both paper dolls, so that means you don't have to get a sheet for each doll, they can share!

Don't get me wrong, I had a whole brain full of wondrous outfits specifically suited to each character, including a fancy Witch and a Sailor costume for Aalish

but then I thought it would be more fun to make the costumes suitable for both Aalish AND Illiam, saving on paper and snipping costs!

I also didn't want to make gender specific sheets of clothes. I know there's nothing wrong with being girly and feminine but I don't like the way most costumes for little girls and women nowadays are overtly sexualized in comparison with the nice normal sensible boys ones. Case in point, here's a Ghostbusters costume for boys vs the one for girls.
 and yeah, ok so it's not as terrible as some out there but still, it's hardly as practical as the boys one is it! You might be thinking, 'it's just for kids, it doesn't matter' but what about when they grow up, look at the Adult versions for men and women! er... I don't think so. WHERE am I supposed to keep my PKE meter and hook my ghost trap while i'm chasing after spooks in a getup like that!

i'll shut up ranting. So yeah, gender neutral costumes were the main agenda for this sheet! And that way there's none of this 'is it for boys or girls?' nonsense, because it's for EVERYONE! yay!

I love Halloween and i'm sure most of you do as well, but I remember when I was a kid (who am I kidding, I basically still AM a kid!) every Halloween I would dress up in generic creepy witch costumes, or a bin-bag monster (thanks mum) with a cheap plastic frankenstein/devil/ghost/werewolf mask and some glow in the dark vampire teeth from the local newsagents. My point is that it wasn't about being girly or pretty, it was about being scary or at least a little bit spooky! BOO!

so that's what this sheet is all about. And in case you're wondering what that thing in Aalish's hand is, it's a TURNIP lantern instead of a pumpkin, because for Hop-Tu-Naa Manx children carry little carved turnip lanterns around as they go trick or treating and singing Hop-Tu-Naa songs to collect their sweeties and treats.

Once again these lovely dress-up sheets are available to buy exclusively via Sweet Ginger Emporium in Ramsey, hence why the sheet is titled 'Hop-Tu-Naa' and not 'Halloween'

so if you want to get your hands on a set, you'd better head to Ramsey or Laxey!

and on that pumpkin themed note, i'll head off. Expect more Halloween stuff later in the month, but for now that's all folks!