Valentine’s

We are fast approaching that time of the year where we feel compelled to rush out and buy a plethora of gifts to bestow upon our beloveds to show them just how much we adore them. Our love measured by the amount we are prepared to spend or the grand gestures we are prepared to lavish. In case you’re wondering I  don’t really go in for all that nonsense. I would rather my husband didn’t buy red roses when they are at their most overpriced, and lavish gestures have never really been his thing. 

At FHAF I have come to realise, as I give the ‘romance’ section of my shop the once over, that I am a champion of the romantic underdog. Here are some of my romantic heroes. These are the kind of gifts to show you love someone. 

I LOVE Napoleon Dynamite and this is my favourite awkward compliment.

Napoleon Dynamite compliment card available here

There are more gems to be had from that incredible film. This is my most popular card of all, even outside of the romance section. If you have watched past the credits of the movie you know how beautiful this scene is…….my eyes are leaking at little at the mere thought of it. If you happened to meet your beloved online and they also love this film this is romantic gold!!

Kip’s wedding song to LaFawduh is a truly beautiful thing.

 You can purchase the card here.

This is my favourite first date ever. These two lovebirds are just too cool. I love them. Brick and Chani. My romantic heroes!!!!

You can buy a print of this beautiful scene my clicking on this magical link. Cards are available too.

Now what about that forbidden love. We can’t forget that now.

The beautifully broken Margo Tenenbaum helps us out with that scenario.

Get your Margo fix right here
As I write this blog I realise I have made way more Valentine’s related goodies than I’d thought. Perhaps I’m a hopeless romantic at heart after all. I do wonder though what message I have inadvertently sent out to my kids in this department. Is their view of love a little off kilter because we made them watch Napoleon Dynamite and Wes Anderson films too often. I’ll let you make up your own mind. Here are a couple of cards by my son. He was about 10 when he made these drawings. I loved them instantly and stole them away pushing aside the ever so slightly worried parental voice in my head. These cards are perfect for that unrequited love in your life….I’m not going to use the word stalker but…..Or perhaps it’s your cat who gets all your adoration and …..smothering.

Please note that my son has negotiated an above average commision on the sale of all his cards. I only exploit my children for domestic chores.

Your secret admirer will ADORE this ever so slightly creepy card. Get it here

A card for your cat on Valentine’s day
Whatever you’re thing may be, be sure to celebrate the romantic underdogs this Valentine’s day. That is where love is most brutal!

This is just some of the stuff available so head on over to my shop for a nosey around.

Buy awesome romantic gifts here!!!!
Happy Valentine’s folks.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year folks. I hope that the festive season was all that you hoped it would be. For me it was all about sleeping in late, walking the dog and reading. I closed the online shop and completely switched off for a fortnight. I didn’t even scribble in my notebooks or read ‘work’ related creative books. This is unheard of. But I needed it. A total break. So now I am diving into this year refreshed and recharged.

Last week we started back at Art Club. These kids are the best. They will lift me out of the most miserable of January moods and inspire me with their enthusiasm.

We started the first week back with a Post It note art quilt. It’s always good to move about as we create, especially in the chilly January studio.

There were a couple of stand out points last week, particularly in the first group. This is currrently a small group of 5 to 7 year olds. We were working on Post It notes. The kids had a list of prompts to choose from or for me to choose for them and an assortment of materials including collage, paint and pens. The average time spent on a piece was maybe 5 minutes, unless I sent them back to work some more on their image. Caitlin, top left photo, is 6. She made just one piece of art working on this for just over an hour and a half!!! This is a tiny canvas. Her focus and concentration is something we could all learn from. I know I could. She collaged then drew, then painted then collaged some more. So she continued, blocking out the running commentary of chatter that the boys in the group fill the room with. She asked if she could take her finished piece home after it had been stuck to the wall with the others. How could I refuse. We mounted it onto watercolour paper and she proudly took her artwork home. A quiet confident creative soul.

The kids were asked to stick their pieces to the wall as they wished in order to create the quilt. Sam and Thomas rose to the challenge when I gave them prompts and materials that they wouldn’t normally choose. These guys will draw the most fantastic detailed robots and Star Wars craft all day long. In the photo on the bottom right they are discussing their work together. Sam is explaining how he added Post Its together to create a long artwork and Thomas said how adding collage over his drawing and having to work on it longer (I set a 10 minute timer) made his work better. Even at this age they are so capable of explaining their work and inspiring each other. They each have a voice and something valid to say.

Group 2 turn up later and we continue with this project, except I push these guys harder. I make them work for longer. I choose materials they shy away from and prompts for things they don’t usually draw. We always talk about pushing into the difficult space because that is where you grow the most. And these guys deliver too!

They created some beautiful collaged pieces, my photos don’t do them justice. Plus some very profound text pieces were composed. These guys are deep!!!!!

Sabina, 8, wrote “Rose might not ever be a proper rose”

Amy, also 8, told me how she wanted to make strong marks in her art. She said she paused and thought about whether it would make the piece better or worse then told me what she had decided and how it made her art better.

I could go on with more examples but I’m pretty sure I’ve rambled on enough.

My aim in Art Club is to encourage kids to find their creative voice, their style and become confident artists. To be brave and try new things. To stay curious.

Last week was one of those classes when I felt so deeply that these guys are doing and being all those things.

That’s why I love Saturday mornings.

Until I wander in here again to share my thoughts here are some pretty pictures of things I drew and painted a while ago. Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Buy nice things here

 

 

I vow to blog more

Almost every time I blog I say I’ll do it more. Why is it that we so often push aside the things we enjoy the most to procrastinate about the boring stuff? Well today I’m cracking through the boring stuff and doing the stuff I love!

Just under a month ago we moved house. I’ve been enjoying unpacking and settling into our new home but yesterday a wonderful thing happened. I created my nest. My nest has for so long been baskets and boxes filled with books, stationery and writing material that gathered around my chair in the living room. It was lovely yet some how not conducive to productivity.

In our new home my nest has its own space. I brought one of my desks from the studio and picked up a used bookcase. My nest is no longer stuffed in boxes….well, a few bits still are until I unpack those later. My nest sits in the bay window of our bedroom. The light is beautiful and the view is not distracting. This is a place I want to be. This is a place where some of my writing projects may finally come to life.

For today I am tackling a long list of boring but essential jobs. That list is written ready to be ticked off. I am fueled by porridge. I’ve already had coffee and chats with some lovely friends. I’ve stocked up on 29p aubergines at Lidl. I’ve blogged, or will have by the time you are reading this. At the end of my list for today is another lovely treat I so often put off. Snail mail!!! When my boring list is done I will feel accomlished and free to indulge in some letter writing. 

For now I need to tackle this. For now I feel like I’ve got this. The control freak in me is feeling organised. The dog is snoring behind me on the bed. There is no sound but the ticking clocking and distant traffic. I love my new nest. This is my very own space within the home. A space of one’s own. Yes, this will do nicely. 

My current favourite card for snail mail is this illustration from Brick and Chani’s first date in the laundromat from Anchorman 2. Pure romance. Although the one flying off the virtual shelves right now is Prince. Click on the images below to take you to my Etsy shop. 

Corbynmania

Back in September this thing happened. It felt quite significant politically. I don’t do politics in my work and I certainly don’t do current – ideas generally linger in my notebooks for a looong time.

But I felt compelled to make a new kit. I drew a man named Jeremy. Made a screen and did a small run of 20 – one or two people might buy this I thought.

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Roll on three months and hundreds of orders later! The Corbyn love is strong.

There had to be one final thing.

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Corbyn goodies available in my shop here

52 weeks of drawing my stuff. Week 24…..but who’s counting!

fhaf 52 blog suitcase web

This battered old brown suitcase came from my Mum’s house.

The faint monogram are not initials I recognise.

My Grandad was a dustman. He died before I was born.

My Mum was often the drop off point for the PTA jumble sale.

It is likely this case came into my family after being cast out elsewhere.

I wonder about the owner of the monogrammed case.

Who they were and where they journeyed with this tiny case.

It now lives in my studio filled with books and pens.

My portable nest of creative comfort.

 

Prints available here

And just like that, weeks have zoomed by

I never really said that my 52 weeks of drawing my stuff had to be 52 consecutive weeks, as in a year did I. I get distracted! It’ll happen but it may take a while. Meanwhile, I’ve drawn up a couple of new characters. I don’t usually get political in my work but I felt compelled to make a kit of the marvellous Jeremy Corbyn….don’t know who JC is? He’s the new leader of the Labour Party and brings a real possibility of change.

Meet Jeremy. He’s rather lovely. He’s screen printed in my studio.
You can get your mitts on your very own JC kit here.

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You know it makes sense.

52 weeks of drawing my stuff. Week 23

fhaf knife web

 

A beautiful bone handled knife.

It mostly sits in the drawer beneath my sewing machine.

A multi purpose studio tool.

Screwdriver, opener, scraper.

Judging by the slight gunkiness of the end

I suspect a glue spreader at some point too.

My kitchen drawer is full of these at home.

There they are used daily.

As knives.

 

Prints available here