Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mystery Moth

Still no luck identifying my mystery visitor from the other morning so I decided to do a sketch to see if anyone has any ideas.... it's probably something very common that I just haven't taken any notice of before! Hee hee... but to me he seemed strange and exotic (and I'd seen a whole of cloud of Burnett Moths just a few days before!). His real size was maybe a 3rd the size of the sketch (if you use my fingers as a guide) and he was a kind of beige/oatmeal colour with quite intricate patterns of many shades of tan and brown and those metallic gold splodges in the centre of both upper wings and some evidence of metallic scales in the centre of the lower wings too. He didn't have big fluffy antenna but there were definitely visible hairs on them and his overall shape was wide at the top tapering toward his bum....and he may well have been a girly of course! :o)

Anyhow, in trying to identify him I have decided that moths are excellent subjects to paint and am now knee deep in sketches and the paints are out ;o)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dead Heading

I was just out in the yard, dead heading the pot plants and reflecting on the faux pas of Petunias, to have shrivelled and done flowers that look rather similar to soon to open blooms. They are giving a good show despite some of my mistakes, though, probably enjoying the extraordinary run of heat we have been having. It's now rainy and cooler - is this just a brief respite... or has Wales returned to it's Default Setting, I wonder?

Anyway, as it's one of my favourite ways to start the day, I'm enthusiastically dead-heading a new plant, that I don't even know the name of (scarlet trumpets with white edging, structured like small Foxglove towers?) when I disturbed a resting moth... it flew off erratically in through the open kitchen door and proceeded to batter itself dementedly between the ceramic soap dish and the window above the sink. Here lurks a MONSTER of the eight-legged variety (one I keep deciding to tackle before losing my nerve!). I found a little cleaned out desert pot (funny how they are often to hand, on the draining board) and managed to get the moth in residence after a little gentle coaxing. A beautiful little chap, smaller and more "racer" shaped than the usual, with a furry body and feathery antennae. All brown and cream intricate patterned wings with some gold leafing in the centres that caught the light wonderfully. I've not seen his kind before and would happily have taken his pic if I hadn't needed both hands to keep him safe. I wonder if he was some foreign visitor blown over from the continent on the hot breezes (he will need a Visa for that next Summer, unfortunately!) or maybe a stowaway in a shipment of exotic plants? Whatever he was, he happily flittered away into the bushes when I set him free up the steps into the garden proper.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ooopppss, thanks for the comments! ;o)

Tee heee! It's so long ago since I blogged regularly and I guess a few things have changed. Back when I last was at this every few days (dinosaurs roamed the earth... well, the Isle of Wight, it was only 2016!) there used to always be an orange "Comments Awaiting Approval" flag on the page you go to compose a new post. As the layout generally looks the same, I didn't realise that they had done away with that feature and now you have to go in search of your comments... DOH!!!!!

So thanks to all of you for leaving comments all along, I promise I will answer quicker now I know where they live.... I'm coming to check out all of your blogs later too! ;o)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Visual overload?

I am stalled... I feel like a castaway in a tiny sailing boat floating on still, still water with no breeze right now. Instagram, Pinterest and all the rest, are wonderful for inspiring me when freelance work takes up all my time, My head fills up with all these ideas that I do not have time to work on then and there.... so I file them away in my head for later.... now, today, LATER has arrived but another quick stroll through those same online sources of inspiration has left me marooned, full of self doubt and unable to start anything.... does anyone else ever feel this way?

Don't know why I am asking as no-one seems to comment on blogs any more, but I used the time wisely and finished tidying and rearranging my work space. Now I have the doll hats I started the other day (before the big move around) back on my desk and tomorrow (or later this evening) I will get on with them.... hopefully just doing SOMETHING will lead to me finding my mojo again, tee hee ;o)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Interesting facts...

As usual, I was all gung-ho about finishing some almost there prints for the shop and then going back to working on dolls, but having to move the studio round (a small leak) got in the way, and in the meantime Etsy dropped their latest bombshell. They are hiking their final value fees to 5% (fair enough really) but now will also charge that 5% on Postage as well!!!! Seriously? That is SO not on. I will continue to slowly (as ever) list things in my newly reopened etsy shop for now but look for alternative, less greedy, sales platforms at the same time.

I also have a very neglected Folksy shop that I have never really concentrated on, so it's interesting to compare it with etsy right now. Obviously Folksy is just for UK artists and Crafters, but anyone in the world can buy from it without having to register. I have had my one and only ready print listed in both shops so here are the stats for both for the last 7 days:

Folksy is at the top. As it is a much smaller site with less listings to wade through (and hardly any Art Dolls, hint, hint..) it is much easier to get seen so I have had a similar number of people actually come into my shop from that. Obviously I've had the etsy shop for years, so people can look through my past sales - not surprisingly perhaps, I have had 3 'Hearts' in that time, but non on Folksy.... but I guess people just have that one print to go on there.

Back to the studio move around, I bought a new piece of furniture (something idiotically expensive from NEXT) but it will house so much art stuff - storage is a huge problem in my small cottage. Why does nothing ever go smoothly in my life though? The delivery guys assembled it, they worked really hard, stayed way beyond their given time slot, but there is a problem with one of the doors which doesn't fit and swings open continuously.... not great in a small room! So now I have to wait 2 weeks for someone to come and fix it :o(

Hopefully a studio pic and wips of dolls in the next week though, I am sure I can blue-tak the door for a quick photo :o)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Folksy Shop update

I'd actually forgotten about my Folksy Shop!!! So just added the link to my blog page and listed "Left Girl" there too. I am currently moving my studio around and have moved 'the sewing room' into the dining room so that I have more space to work on dolls. The big old dining table will enjoy the extra attention, I am sure.

I have always tried to keep everything in one room, as I tend to enjoy creating in the one environment but I think this new set up will work out well. Next week I will start to share WIP pics of new dolls... and once I have finished rearranging the furniture and tidied up, I will maybe even post one of those "Where women create" type pics for posterity - because as soon as I start working it will be a mess again! :o)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Shop updates begin this coming week

Over the coming week I will begin to list items for sale in my etsy shop again! Yay... it's been a long time.... nothing has really changed - but EVERYTHING has at the same time ;o) I've been rooting through my old sketch books for ideas and creating new dolls, prints, paper dolls, brooches and even a few bags.

As always, I tend to jump from one project to the next as the muse strikes (whenever I get a bit of free time in between freelance design jobs) which means predicting when I will have things finished is always a bit hit and miss - it used to embarrass me that I was so inconsistent but I have decided to start embracing it. Who wants to be predictable anyway ;o) I aim to be reliable though, as in the quality of what I create will always be up to my own high standards.

So watch this space - and my Flickr account - for when new items will be listed, I'm also hoping to start Instagram-ing soon too (when I can figure out how to download to the app to my phone, that is). Obviously I will also post on Facebook from time to time, but as Facebook now greedily demands payment if any artist wants to reach more than a very tiny handful of followers, it won't be my main communication outlet. So, I hope you enjoy the new look shop as things slowly begin to appear.

Yve x