Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No need to search for the perfect journal anymore

I've written a few posts over the years about my search for the 'perfect' journal. From the stats of this blog, I frequently see people have 'found' me by searching for that very thing on Google. I have found a few solutions to the issue in the past. I still LOVE my rebound sketchbooks and my Firenze one, ....but... well, I'm sure you understand... the search goes ever on...

And here is my latest solution! I've been printing the covers of Moleskine Cahiers with my new Print Gocco!
I love this cow cover. "This is a diary. The dairy is across the other side of town." This one came about from my (and I don't think it is just me) confusion over the two words. In fact, I have a friend who insists on calling her diary a dairy!
I've put my "Clown Skeleton Wallpaper" on moleskines with the natural covers.
I've put my "Glamour Girl" on the covers too. In fact, she wraps around onto the back cover too. I drew her with my drawing tablet and printed her with 2 screens.
I love pattern! I just had to have patterned covers.
Yep, they're all Moleskine pocket Cahiers (3.5 x 5.5 inches/9 x 14 cm).
Swirly patterns that grace the side of a cover are just enough fabulousness to quickly tell me which is the front when I'm in a rush to jot down some idea or do a quick sketch.
Dots! How can there ever be enough dots in the world?
If you are searching for that perfect journal, these are for sale in my etsy shop The Little Shop of Horus, well the ones I'm not using myself, that is.

Friday, January 25, 2008

How to do just about anything

I've been gocco printing again - I love it! This time I finally got around to using all those crazy books I collect as inspiration. I seem to be going through a bit of a "when I was a little girl..." phase, but once you start down that road it is so much fun! So here I go again. When I was a little girl I was ALWAYS making something. I had a stash of 'How to' craft books (Santa knew what I loved) and I would pour over them for hours deciding what to make next. It was frequently a disappointment when the job was done. I mean clogs to keep your feet dry in wet weather - made out of cotton reels and fruit crate sides???
A fashionable modern flatlet for my paper dolls - well, I just might have been tempted to try this one. I loved my paper dolls and played with them for hours on end. I never actually made them a flatlet like this one. I used the markings on the persian rugs to delineate the rooms and houses in my games. I would have loved this if I had it!
Now, a 'yarn dog'? Yes, I would definitely have made this one. She is so cute! It seems Perry thinks so too. He is hoping his wool doggy might just be the thing to finally seal the approval of Gigi, my glamour girl I drew from yet another weird book, this time on 1950's movie stars. Will he? Won't he? Will she? Won't she?
And about Gocco printing - I'm learning a lot. This last print (Perry and Gigi) I actually used 3 B5 screens for. I also used Photoshop first to both make the dot screen colour areas, and to register the images BEFORE I flashed the screens. It made it a lot easier when the time came for actual printing.

But back to those 'How to' books, I can't leave them alone! So you will be seeing more weird (and probably NOT wonderful!) images inspired by them here from time to time. Anyone else obsessed with these old gems of craft wisdom?

p.s. These prints are all available in my Etsy shop The Little Shop of Horus.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The skeletons are out of my closet

I remember as a child I could see faces, people and things hidden in the patterns that surrounded me on the walls, the curtains, the rugs and the furnishings. I grew to have my favorites. When I would be sitting on my favorite patterned rug, or wherever, I would look for my 'friends' who lived in the pattern invisible to others.

'Clown Skeleton Wallpaper' * is a triptych I painted recently. It is of my 'friends' Bozo and Pete. Based on a traditional damask pattern, I turned a pleasant floral design into a work that shows the two clowns intricate skeletal patterns - or at least what I imagine the clowns skeletons to look like.

I've been having fun with Bozo and Pete again, now that I have my Print Gocco. This is a limited edition print I did of them, a kind of reverse x-ray that has them stark black on bright white. They look gorgeously wallpaperish.

I just had to keep printing them, they are so much fun, so I had a go at customising the covers of some Moleskine Cahiers. Bozo and Pete are even surprised at how good they look... all their x-ray glory in ghostly greyish-white on black to make cards.

...and getting ready to spread themselves around on panels of joined gift tags.

All available for purchase in my new Etsy shop The Little Shop of Horus. I'm loving having my little shop and want to thank everyone who has clicked on over already. If you haven't, check it out.

I'm thinking of trying out other skeletons in a wallpaper mix... I have a rather evil bunny in mind...

*'Clown Skeleton Wallpaper' painting is available for sale. They look great but are very difficult to capture in a photo as much of their detail is revealed in the texture of the paint and how it reflects the light; they are painted in ultra mat and semi gloss artist quality acrylic paints. If you are interested just email me. Original triptych, acrylic on canvas panels, each panel 20 x 20 inches/51 x 51 cm.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I've gone Gocco! (and Etsy!)

Yes, that is what has been keeping me busy and away from blogging - I got a Print Gocco for my birthday last year, and while I still had essays to write it had to sit quietly and wait. But free from all that for a while, I've been printing up a storm! And loving it!

Birthday Cake and Cup Converge is my first print working from a series of paintings I did previously, where the wonderful (and the weird) 'converged' with my coffee cups. I printed it in black ink and then hand coloured it with watercolour paint. The original painting is large, so working it down to a printable size was a challenge, and then realising I didn't need to be limited by the sides of the board to a square format, I let the cloth, saucer and candle smoke expand outwards.
This print, Cards and Cup Converge is of one of my personal favourites. I have the original painting in my private collection and use a snapshot of the Queen and Jack's faces for my avatar. I love the graphic nature of cards. (I'm still working on my series of hand drawn cards and will post again about them soon.) I printed this in black ink on my trusty Gocco and again hand coloured it with watercolours. The colours are actually more vibrant than I could capture in all the photos.

This gorgeous print Fabric and Cup Converge is printed in indigo and mauve inks and then gently hand coloured with watercolours. I love pattern and I particularly love visiting fabric shops mainly because I love being surrounded with pattern and colour. The great thing I realised about doing these prints from my original paintings, and using the Gocco to do it, is that I am not limited by the original colours of the works. I had great fun completely changing the colour palette for this print and when colouring them, I could do each print differently.

Mocha Kenya is another cup 'converging' with something strange, this time a herd of zebra! Don't ask me why! I'm not sure either. I think it came about because I love the graphic nature of the majestic animals, and am somewhat bemused by the way 'animal prints' can turn up on just about anything these days. Again this is a print worked from my original painting of the same name. It is printed in black ink on my Gocco.

There are so many strange words in the digital world. I'd never heard of a Gocco before I read others blogs about it. It took me a long time to find out how to pronounce it (Gocco rhymes with loco) let alone figure out what it did. The other strange word of the day is Etsy. I have loved browsing, and occasionally buying, on the Etsy website for a long time now. Getting my Gocco was the incentive I needed to go ahead and open my own Etsy shop.

The Little Shop of Horus is open for business right now! These four prints are up for sale in it now, and today I will be adding more of my creations to the virtual shelves. Why don't you click on over and have a look!?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Lots and lots of links...
Last updated 8 July 2009


Eric Maisel Creativity Central
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IT IN place
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

(Happy) New Year Me

Yes, I've been busy, but I'm still not ready to show my latest 'stuff' here, although it won't be long now until I am. So in the interest of keeping up your interest I'm heading off on a slight tangent and posting this drawing which is my first ever on my new drawing tablet. Now, there is a learning curve! In this drawing I've tried to simply draw. I'm saving the excitement - and challenges - of painting digitally for my next attempt (or the one after that...) And the subject of this is a gorgeous gargoyle who has recently joined our household, a gift from our daughter to her father. If I disclose that his name is 'Rowdy' will you guess what huge Scrubs fans we are?

And on the subject of the New Year, I am really looking forward to it.  I have several really exciting challenges ahead.  One is that I'll be working of illustrations for a children's book a friend of mine is writing.  I've tried illustrating before a couple of times, but didn't get far.  This time I'm pretty hopeful it will be something I can do.  And to help it along I'm taking a few months off my studies so I have some time to devote to it.  

Another exciting event on my blog calendar is happening in only 4 weeks time.  My favourite creativity guru Eric Maisel is visiting my blog again!!!  You may remember he actually called into my blog last year and privileged me with the opportunity to interview him about his fabulous book Ten Zen Seconds.  Well, the thrill is not over yet, because he is coming back to talk about his latest paperback to hit the shelves The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Guide Through Depression .  I'm very fond of this book, because it was the first of Eric's books that I read and it lead me to seek out his other fabulous titles.  In 'Van Gogh Blues', Eric talks about creative depression, it's manifestations, it's causes and, most importantly, how to deal with it and prevent it.  I'm particularly pleased that this is happening now, because one of the last lingering health problems from my spider bite incident was depression and anxiety.  I'm pleased to say I've managed to eradicate them from my life, along with almost all the other lingering and bizarre symptoms.  I let Eric's wisdom guide me back to happy creativity. 
The other exciting challenge for my year is the project I've alluded to in a previous post.  I'm REALLY excited about it, and it involves the 'stuff' that I'm just not quite ready to post yet.  I think my next post will be the unveiling.