Monday, 12 September 2016

Children's Book in Progress

So I have been working on a children's book for quite some time now, years in fact (before I had the children, so as you can imagine it has been forgotten about time and time again). I am determined to keep this one going and try to get it finished, it has had a couple of reinventions and my fav collaborator Bex jumped on board to help me a bit with the writing (because she is amazing). Every time I go back to it I have different ideas etc, my style seems to constantly be evolving illustration wise. This is great but it also makes it difficult as every time I revisit it, I want to redo it all again!

I love 'The Emperor of Absurdia' by Chris Riddell and this inspired the style for the below illustration. This is one part of the first page of the book, the cheese tower is much taller on the page than in the sneak peek below. The cheese tower may look a bit plain and blocky in comparison to the detailed style on the mouse but this is because the text will be going on the cheese.

'Tangled' cake toppers

How my daughter Annabelle is 3 years old already, I will never know! We have a Disney Tangled fan on our hands who asked me very politely for a Rapunzel cake so I obviously had to oblige. I didn't have time to make toppers out of icing so I made them out of a polymer oven bake clay, which was great because it meant Annie could keep them after. I really wanted to make the tower (but obviously had to model Rapunzel too!) so I decided to really go for it and make it super detailed. Spent quite a while doing it but here and there in between the children napping. The result was worth it. I didn't have time to make the cake (having spent all my time making the toppers haha) so I merely decorated it.

Eloise's mobile

I made Eloise a mobile to fit in with the name canvas I was planning and the colour scheme of her room (light turquoise and pink). I had decided I wanted strawberries and hot air balloons in there somewhere. Below is my little 'sketch' of my plan for the mobile. And below that is the finished thing- wish I had taken better pictures of it- it's really hard to take down once you have moved a cot underneath it! Maybe one day when I am less busy I will attempt to take a better picture, please ignore the bunting behind it!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Tilley Family Height Chart

Before Eloise, I wanted a height chart for Annabelle. I looked around and couldn't find anything I wanted that was cheap enough for us to justify buying! I particularly liked the wooden ruler height charts but liked the carved/etched ones rather than the painted ones. 
So, being me, I decided to make my own. I bought a cheap pyrography set and a plank of wood. I measured and stencilled my numbers and letters on and set about burning it all into the wood. It was great fun, more difficult to control across the grain of the wood but the effect was great. My husband had to finish the job though (he did the last couple of numbers at the top) as this was when I found out we were expecting Eloise and I didn't want to inhale all the smoke (eventhough I would do it outside). Annie loves it, although I have caught her trying to cheat by standing on a stool against it!

Eloise and the 2 year hiatus!

So one of the reasons I am posting so much today is because I have been busy and neglected to update my blog for quite some time now (2 years to be precise...)

There is a big reason for this and her name is Eloise! I became a mum for the second time to a beautiful, bouncy baby girl. She is lovely and brings out an EVEN more kind and gentle side to big sister Annabelle. They love each other so much. So Eloise came along and so did the opportunity to make even more creative stuff :)

So as with Annie, I did a name canvas for Eloise to match her light turquoise and pink room. It also matches the mobile I made her.

'The Kiss' Papercut

Possibly everyone has heard from Gustav Klimt's painting 'The Kiss'. It was always one of my favourites as a child, because of the complexity and structure of the patterns used. It is one of my Dad's favourite paintings too- it was for my beloved Dad's 60th birthday that I finally finished this papercut and framed it floating above an embossed gold background in a white frame.

My process included drawing it on the computer and adapting it so it could be cut from one piece of paper. This was a very lengthy process as I had to plan which patterns would be cut out or left as the white pieces of paper with parts cut away from it. This is pretty difficult considering all parts of the painting were different colours so working out what worked tonally was a challenge. I also had to make sure when cutting, no major parts would come out, so making sure all the necessary parts were joined together was also very important! I really enjoyed this papercut as it was so challenging that the end result is pretty epic!

Fairytale House

This was an ongoing project from around 2 years ago. As a child, I used to have a book called 'This Old House' by Leo Hartas, which basically had many stories all occurring at once but in different apartments/floors of a big house. I loved the idea of seeing inside a house like a doll's house. I was also inspired by papercutting artist Paper Panda's series of 'Doll's House' papercuts. I wanted to take it one step further and have all the characters from loved fairytales/stories contained within my house. It is now on the wall in my hallway! See if you can spot the following characters!

Snow White
Three Pigs
Billy Goat's Gruff
Wolf from Red Riding Hood
Rose from Beauty and the Beast
Little Mermaid
Three bears
Gingerbread man

Children's name papercuts

Did these quite a while ago now but again, like the wedding papercuts, I enjoy doing these. I try to include things that the child likes (i.e. cats and picnics!)

Wedding table numbers

My sister in law got married last year and she wanted to have papercut table numbers to frame. Pretty happy with the result. Will have to excuse the rubbish photo, should have taken a better picture-these were done in my lunch worktime at my desk! The result was pretty good, with white shabby chic frames and gold glittery backgrounds to match the wedding theme.

Art Deco wedding papercut

A wedding papercut for a couple who love dogs and art deco. Quite pleased with the result, especially with a black frame and floating above a gold glitter background. Quite different to the ones I usually do.

Wedding papercuts

Have been doing a couple of these over the past couple of years, thought I would share. They all slightly vary from eachother in design so are all different. Love doing these, make great wedding gifts, especially if tied into the couple's wedding colour scheme.

Animal handprint papercuts

Just found these in my drawer from when my daughter was smaller and wanted to share them. I like to be creative with children's painted handprints, for example; turning them into animals. Couldn't see why that couldn't translate with papercuts, so I took a couple of Annie's handprints and adapted it so it could be cut as an animal and from one piece of paper whilst still looking like a handprint and an animal (just did this by drawing on the handprint with a pencil) I then cut it out using my scalpel and then flipped it round, results are below. Was happy with the fish one, but not so happy with the elephant. 

For Annie

So just found this in my drawer- it was a papercut I did for my daughter Annie in 2014 when she was a baby. Totally forgot I had done this. It is done using 3 pieces of paper, the top layer is cream, the second layer is blue (with a darker blue printed for behind the tree) which has stars cut out, showing the third cream layer. It uses part of  my favourite verse from Edgar Allen Poe's poem 'For Annie'

'But my heart it is brighter 
Than all of the many 
Stars in the sky, 
For it sparkles with Annie— 
It glows with the light 
Of the love of my Annie— 
With the thought of the light 
Of the eyes of my Annie. ' - Edgar Allen Poe