Tag Archives: Fashion

The January not-so-blues

Every year, without fail, I forget how cold January is.

Once I’m passed new year, I’m thinking about Spring and Easter, baby lambs and bunnies, daffodils and hot crossed buns, and then I remember there is still the rest of winter to get through – the grey, misty and cold bit, not the festive bit.

So, I made an effort to focus on some wintery illustrations to start the year, and to celebrate the two hours of light snow that dusted the garden a week or so ago!

hooded winter girl

If I ever were to actually leave the house, I would definitely want to be wearing something warm and stylish, like a jade green coat or a purple bobble hat.

winter coffee girl

I know it’s not very cool to admit, but I don’t drink coffee, so I’m imagining that this is hot chocolate, with a swirl of whipped cream and marshmallows squished inside the lid.

winter walk

Trying to continue with my children’s illustrations, I saw an adorable winter walk photo pop up on my instagram feed, so I had to recreate it in my sketch book! I didn’t even realise that I’d given him the same coat as my windy day kite flyer!

Kite flying 2

January seems to have the rep of being a depressing month, so I wanted to fill it with cold weather adventures!

And finally, my crystal ball illustration to help me try to see what’s to come this year!

galaxy

One thing that will definitely happen this year, is I will finally start selling prints of my illustrations. I’m looking into the different options at the moment, so will share an update as soon as I know more! I hope you’re keeping warm in this chilly winter weather 🙂

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The little bits and pieces post

I’m now fully embracing the start of the festive season, so while I busy myself away with snowflakes, christmas trees and holly, here are some unrelated bits and pieces that have flowed from my paintbrush.

rosie

I decided I wanted to update my attempted self-portrait for my about page and Facebook, but every attempt looked the same… and none of them looked like me!

Before you worry I’ve gone a little bit crazy, this obviously isn’t a self-portrait, in fact, in my head, she’s called Rosie, I think it suits her. But I did want to try drawing in a slightly different style, and this was my first attempt at a more caricaturised approach and it really helped me to be more adventurous and create the new self-portrait you can now see on those pages! (Confession – I’ve given self-portrait me much more fabulous hair than real-life me)

paris

Admittedly, I painted this a few years ago, and it’s one I was planning on redoing before sharing, but after the recent events in Paris I wanted to share it to show my support.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have been an isolated incident, with further threats since and the bomb attacks the day earlier in Beirut, but in the face of this, it’s great to see so much unity shown across social media by so many.

dream big

Social media sometimes seems flooded with feel good sayings and quotes, and amongst this sea of inspirational buzz words this is the one that’s really stuck out for me.

I meant for it to be the start of a collection of nursery illustrations, but once it was finished, I couldn’t quite bring myself to give it away! My mum has always told me you can be anything you want to be, so it felt destined to stay with me as a little reminder.

gran

This was meant to be a quick sketch based on a photo of my Gran, but I couldn’t help but add some colour to bring it to life. However, my Gran is far more fashionable than I have ever been, so I doubt that the dress and jacket were actually a rosy pink!

There are endless, beautiful photos of my Gran in her late teens/early twenties in glamourous poses with her hair perfectly styled, a beautiful smile on her face and gorgeous fifties clothing. My Grandad was an avid photographer and it’s obvious my Gran loved having her photo taken, so I feel incredibly lucky to have so many photos of her.

grecian alphonse

This was inspired by the Alphonse Mucha art nouveau paintings, but as I started painting, it seemed to take on a life of it’s own, so it’s only really the halo that shows the original inspiration.

Despite not at all matching my expectations, the more I look at it, I think this might actually be one of my favourite paintings! I hope you like her too.

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Working from home – I could get used to this!

This month, I’ve had a lot of days working from home, which I absolutely love! No more 3 hour daily commute, no more 6am starts and no more worrying about bad hair days – what more could I want!

To help me to try to concentrate and get into work-mode while I’m at home, I’m trying to turn part of the spare room into a little office space with a cute little desk and some pretty art prints on the wall – I know, I’m a walking Pinterest cliche!

I’ve started my collection by treating myself to the most amazing Audrey Hepburn sketch by Ileana Hunter, its so gorgeous and Ileana’s based in Norwich, so I’m loving supporting a local artist! I’m looking forward to growing my collection, so let me know if you see any great illustrations, art or sketches I could add on my wall.

In the meantime, I’m trying a few different things in my sketchbook as I’d love to add a few of my own illustrations to the wall! Firstly, is Hoot my purpley little owl, isn’t he cute?!

hoot

I’ve also been doing some more ladies, such as the below, who’s based on a Ginger Rogers pose.

ginger

And the below, which I still need to finish!

leaning

I’ve also been trying to think of some more postcard ideas based on the broads, and I thought, what better to focus on than my favourite place on the broads.

I love this house, so I wanted to give it warm, bold colours and lots of life by trying a different style using ink outlines and painting wet on wet. It feels warm and sunny, but it’s not quite how I expected! I think it just needs a few more attempts, then I’ll get there.

rainbows end

So after nearly a month of working from home, I’m going to Geneva on Saturday for just over two weeks for work. I can’t remember the last time I went away for longer than a week, so I am not looking forward to packing… which I was meant to have started today…

Two weeks of smart client-safe clothes… eek! I’m going to have to empty the wardrobe and do a mega trying-on session this evening, and even worse, I’ve already heard that it’s super cold onsite from some of the crew already out there. Snuggly socks and a woolly hat are apparently a must have, which I’m sure will look great with my work dresses!

Then hopefully, when I’m back home with my puss cats and the boyf, Spring will finally be on its way here!

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spring bear

Back to the office

This week I’ve been back at my old office, which was my home from home for the last four years until I handed in my notice this summer.

It was such a daunting prospect handing in my notice and deciding to strike out on my own. I didn’t have any projects lined up and I had no real back up plan in place, but I knew that if I didn’t go for it now, I never would.

7 weeks on from my last day working with them and I’m back in the office working as a freelancer rather than a full time member of the team. It’s still early days yet, but it definitely feels like I did the right thing!

I spent the last 6 weeks working at a different agency, which was a huge learning curve. As quite a shy person, suddenly I was surrounded by people I didn’t know and in a sprawling office that I did not know my way around – in sum, it wasn’t the ideal situation for me, but if I was going to go freelance I knew I had to get used to starting out somewhere new.

The first few days were especially awkward, I’d gone from running the office to not knowing where the meeting rooms were or how to use the printer, which I ended up avoiding for all 6 weeks! Also, I am the worst at striking up conversation with people I don’t know, but luckily the people I was working with were so friendly, chatty and helpful, so I was let off the hook and I soon felt comfortable, if not quite at home there.

So this week, I’ve been back in familiar surroundings, but everything is ever so slightly different. Firstly, I’m at a new desk and there are new people in the team, but it’s more than that, the everyday discussions about the office don’t apply to me anymore, I don’t have a stake in any of the decisions or outcomes.

It took a little getting used to, but then I realised, this was exactly what I was looking for when I handed in my notice in back in summer. I’m now officially an events producer, not an events producer slash office manager, not an events producer slash IT help desk, not an events producer slash web manager. Just an events producer.

So now, when I’m not in the office, doing my events producing, I can focus all my energies on other things, such as building this blog, improving my illustrations one drawing at a time and spending more time at home with my family.

I think 2015 will be an exciting year 🙂

To celebrate not having to dream about my perfect job any longer, I decided to focus on what I have at the moment, so rather than my dream work wardrobe, here’s a quick illustration of what I actually wore on my first day back in the office – I told you I’m a jeans and jumper kind of girl!

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work outfit

Wrapping up for Autumn

Nothing is nicer on a brisk Autumn day than wrapping up in a thick, warm and snuggly scarf.

I’ve dug out all of my knitted jumpers from the back of the wardrobe, found my favourite duffle coat and started to live in boots, relegating my ballet pumps to the bottom of the shoe pile – no cold and wet feet for me, thank you!

snuggled

I love cold weather clothing with endless layers and thick fluffy socks, nothing makes me happier, except for maybe my new hot water bottle 🙂

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The perfect look for summer

This week I’ve already started to think about Christmas.

It might seem a little early, seeing as most of us are still hoping there is a little bit of summer still hiding behind the clouds, but what can I say, I like to plan ahead!

The best thing about colder weather is the clothing, I like layers and I love snuggly jumpers and thick wooly scarfs. I find dressing for summer really difficult, I hate being cold, so bring a jumper or cardigan everywhere and I very rarely pick a skirt over jeans!

One summer style I do love is a mid length skirt and boat neck top

french style

Admittedly, although I do now live back in the countryside, I don’t spend a lot of time collecting roses in wicker baskets, but this would definitely be the perfect outfit for it. It’s the kind of outfit that makes me wish I were going on a walk in the country, to picnic under a tree.

Now that it’s a little cooler, I’m going to have to find the perfect autumn outfit for berry picking down country lanes… I’m thinking boots with long socks, a patterned woollen dress, a duffel coat and a bulky knitted scarf snuggling around her neck… hmmm, I’m feeling inspired!

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Reliving back to school

Despite the fact I haven’t been to school in over 8 years, this time of year always gets me in the ‘back to school’ mode.

The first leaves are just leaving the trees, august is nearing its end and I’ve started to think more about pumpkins than beaches. (I blame the last one on the fact that I read far too many blogs based in America; the land of autumn pumpkin fans!)

When I think of going back to school, it’s high school that I remember most. Dragging my mum around every possible shop in Norwich to find the perfect back to school kit.

The big three on my list: shoes, bag and pencil case.

Endless hours spent looking for the perfect school shoe – had to be comfy, but more importantly had to look cool and have a heel slightly higher than allowed by the school. It must have bored mum to tears! Then imagine her disbelief when 3 weeks later I come home in someone else’s shoes becuase we’d swapped for the rest of term…

The bag was a whole other decision: satchel? rucksack? simple tote? tiny handbag so you had to carry everything separately? I think I was mainly a satchel girl, I still use them now, but I still have my red rucksack with the longest straps so it sat on my bum when I walked!

The pencil case was the best part – I am officially a stationary geek. Pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers, compasses, set squares – I had it all. I could spend hours dithering between the ink pen or the gel pen and I’m pretty much the same now with art supplies. Don’t even ask how many sketch books I’ve got in my cupboard, waiting for the perfect drawing to be worthy of filling the front page!

Then there is the excitement of starting a new school year. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had a summer holiday that was quite long enough, but I loved school! I loved that every year you were smarter than you were last year and you were going to be smarter again this year – progress!

I miss that now I’m out of education! You don’t get that sense of progress and moving on in quite the same way that you do in school. Knowing that even if this isn’t your best subject/topic, you just have to get through it then you get to try something else – it isn’t really an option at work, even if your job is project based like mine!

I like this time of year, it’s still my marker for a new year, probably more so than 1st Jan! So this is my back to school girl, looking exactly like I wish I’d looked each time I went back to school; organised, excited and super stylish.

back to school

And it’s probably a good time to say thanks mum for putting up with my back to school demands (the less said about the second year uni duvet tantrum the better – cringe!) and I hope that if any of you have children going to school, that they don’t drag you to every single shoe shop in town!

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Busy little worker bee

For the last couple of weeks I’ve struggled to find time to post; work has been busier, I’ve been spending more time with the family and of course, the kittens!

So, I definitely think I can be forgiven for my lack of posts – who wouldn’t want to spend their evenings snuggling, cuddling and playing with tiny little kittens?! They are two weeks old today, Happy Birthday Kittens, and they are more fun everyday!

They’ve all got their eyes open now and they are so close to being able to walk properly, although they still drag themselves along on their bellies, with their little legs kicking out behind them – its the most adorable thing ever and I’m having to hold myself back from posting every photo and video I take – this kind of cuteness needs to be shared!

kittens 2 wks copy

Who can resist this much adorable-ness?

So when I’m not following my kittens around with my camera phone, then I’m at work and every day seems to be getting busier and busier! This project is throwing up all kinds of curveballs!

So while I’m at work being super busy and efficient and important (of course), then I’d like you to imagine that I look the part too, so hopefully, something a bit like this:

work wardrobe 2

I would love an acid green bag and shiny blue shoes! However, if you read my previous post on my dream work wardrobe  then you’ll know you are far more likely to find me in jeans, boots and a jumper… One day I’ll have lots of lovely work clothes!

So that’s me set for this week – snuggling with wiggly kittens and dreaming of a classier work wardrobe… oh well, at least it meant I was wearing flats for my walk from the station seeing as I accidentally took the boyf’s keys with me to London today – oops!

I hope your week is also filled with kittens!

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That holiday feeling

To celebrate the glorious weather that we’re having, I’m posting one of the most gorgeous and classy of holiday looks I’ve ever seen.

Now that I’m back in the office after a week relaxing in the garden with my chubby kitten, basking in the sunshine in shorts and vest tops, I’m now back to battling with the air con in my jeans and jumpers!

So to stay in the holiday mood here is a girl obviously enjoying every second of her hols.

holiday girl

I can just imagine her, standing on the terrace, leaning back to soak up the evening sun as a light breeze rolls in off the sea. Enjoying a moment of calm while she waits for someone to come back from the bar with her cocktail that she’ll drink walking barefoot along the shore, with her feet sinking into the warm sand and sea lapping at her toes…

Oh, if only I were there too! I think I might just go and spend a few mins on the holiday sites, just in case!

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My first flower girl

Today I’m posting the first of a little 3 part series of paintings.

For most of the last two years, my paintings have centered around pretty girls and beautiful outfits. It’s only been the last six months or so that I feel I have started to branch out and away from this, and even now, I still find myself returning to fashion inspired illustrations.

I feel these three illustrations typify my painting style of the last few years and despite being painted at different points through that year, they share a springtime flowery theme.

I’d like to think each of my paintings has a little bit of fairytale for inspiration and as a fan of the countryside, I love to sneak in a few little flowers, so here is the first of my flower girls.

flower girl

Ok, so it wasn’t a little flower! I’ll share my second flower girl later this week.

Do you find similar themes and ideas sneaking their way into the things you create?

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