Filling the (not so) new house with art… (Part II)

I seem to have not blogged in over a month (oops). I got a new job and then struggled a bit to readjust my routine around it but now I’m feeling positive and excited about blogging and illustration again so you’ll hopefully be reading/seeing a lot more of me!

Continuing on with my last post about filling our new house with art, I’m now going to show you around the porch and upstairs rooms – starting with the bedroom:

This is a print I got from Dick Vincent years ago which I absolutely love! We had it in the bedroom in the flat but I think it fits so much nicer in the new house with all the exposed timbers.

That’s actually the only artwork we have in the bedroom – the room is a bit of an odd shape because it slopes on two sides and then opposite the wall in the photo is a shower and a cupboard with a toilet and sink in it…

The Studio

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One of my favourite things about the studio is having this magnetic noticeboard by my desk. I like that I can change it around if I want to but I can also have lots of art in one place without having a poke a billion nails into the wall.

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First up is this print I got recently from Annie Dornan Smith, (well Max got it for me when I told him about it, because I can’t be my own(?)). Isn’t he a sweetie.

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Another recent print is the storm in a teacup one by Stephy Draws who just set up an etsy shop – check it out! The postcards above were from her too, aren’t they beautiful!

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I’ve got this postcard on there from Lush Spa Poole that my friend Ceire got me when she went there – the first Lush shop in the world! Not sure who it’s by, sorry!

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Underneath that noticeboard is my little zine zone. I used to keep my zines in a box somewhere but the good thing about having a house is having more space and being able to keep cool things out in the open.

There is a selection including: The Printed Peanut, Tuesday Bassen (from Rope Press), Kristyna Baczynski, Thomas Colligan & Memohelen.

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Then we have the bookshelf! I love love love that we got a built in bookshelf in the studio (although we may need to invest in an extra one at some point!)

It needs a bit of reorganising as books just got a bit chucked on there when we were unpacking, but it makes me really happy.

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This print is a postcard I got from Andsmile studio quite a few years ago now, needs reframing, I think.

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This is one of Max’s zines from his fave, Mogu Takahashi.

There are some more prints on the shelves that I got Max for his birthday but there’ll be another post about what I got him for his birthday soon.

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When we moved in I snuck one of Max’s old paintings that I love on this little nook, he hates it now but I don’t think he can be bothered to move it, haha.

The Porch

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This print I got especially for the new house when I was getting a bit fed up of looking for houses, so it makes me feel happy when I see it – not only did we manage to get a house, but a really nice one! All the effort was worth it! It’s another one by Annie Dornan Smith.

Thanks for reading, and I promise it won’t be another month before I write another post.

Amy x

 

Wandering around the Welsh countryside (We’ve moved house!)

Hello!

Apologies for not posting for over a week, Max and I finally moved house on Monday! We’ve been so busy unpacking boxes and spending too much money in Ikea for the last six days, but everything is coming together so nicely now. (I hope to do a “house tour” blog post soon, so keep eyes peeled for that!)

This morning we went out for a walk near our new house, exploring the landscape, saying hello to the sheep, etc. I thought I’d take some photos and bring you guys along!

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Map and tea in hand, we wandered around, scampered up hills and got barked and ran at by the cutest spaniels ever.

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The views looking back were pretty incredible! (Yes, that’s a castle.)

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There were loads of interesting looking plants and flowers, definitely want to paint them!

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And I braved a walk through two sheep fields (turns out they tend to walk away from you).

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Then we reached a cow field and they’re a bit bigger and scarier, plus Max pointed out it was lunchtime (he’s on the ball, that one) so we headed back.

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And then we came home and had some lunch! I forgot to take pictures of that (-10 blogger points) but we had fried avocado, pepper vegan cheese and pesto wraps – do they have a name?

Hope you enjoyed having a look at those photos, like I said I promise lots more house-related posts really soon because we’re pretty much settled in now and it’s GREAT. Let me know if there’s anything specific you want me to talk about.

Laterz,

Amy x

The Jacket of Glory – Part III: Ohh Deer & uStudio

Part three is here! (Check out parts one (Pin Club) and two (AdamJK & Veronica Dearly) here)

Every Thursday I share with you a little bit more of my pin collection and this week is time for all the pins and patches I got from illustrated gift stores Ohh Deer and uStudio.

Starting with Ohh Deer, all of these were designed by illustrator and pug lady Gemma Correll, I got the white pug back in early 2016 not long after I decided to start the jacket, and the black one around valentines day this year. Love them so much.

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I also got these, the first patches I got for my jacket, from Ohh Deer and I was so chuffed I managed to find the perfect coloured threads to sew them onto my jacket with! (It’s the little things…)

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Earlier this year, uStudio released a load of pins and patches (and the patches are shiny) so I had to get some! They are actually the first ones I got to start off the back of the jacket and they are looking swish.

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If you’re around Bristol, you should definitely pop into their shop because it’s full of amazing stationery and homeware, as well as pins and patches – it’s just great!

You can check out Ohh Deer and u Studio on Instagram if you want to fill your feed with cool illustrated stuff.

The next instalment will be coming next Thursday (by which time we will be in our new house – eeeeeeep!) – see you then!

Amy x

Punky Pins had a seconds sale and I couldn’t resist.

So yeah, I was recently browsing Punky Pins’ website and they had a huuuuuuuuge seconds sale on so who am I to deny myself some beautiful additions to my collection? (Also – supporting independent businesses is a good thing to do, yo).

Firstly, I’ll explain what a seconds sale is – it’s when a seller has surplus slightly flawed products, in this case pins and patches. So, for example the colours might be slightly off, the enamel might be slightly scratched or it might just be slightly flawed in some other way. I will be honest, whenever I’ve bought seconds pins I have almost never noticed they’re flawed. It’s up to the seller to decide what qualifies as a “seconds” pin and usually I think they’re pretty generous.

The first thing to fall into my basket was this banana patch which I thought was very apt since I legit ate 2.5 bananas yesterday morning without even meaning to.

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Then these sewing machine and rad pins jumped into my basket and I will be honest, it was very difficult choosing between the purple rad pin and the one I got. But I’m so happy with them!

I did notice with the sewing machine pin that the purple looked slightly off compared to the pink and I think that’s probably why it was seconds, but honestly I love it so much.

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Then I got this gold anchor pin (was also available in silver) and it looks so detailed and delicate (in design, not construction) that I might put it on something else where it’ll hold its own a bit more.

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I also got my first enamel necklace! I’ve seen these floating about, along with keyrings, but this is the first I’ve owned one, and it’s so cool!

 

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So that was my haul, hope you enjoyed it! Last time I checked, the seconds sale was still on over at Punky Pins and what I got is only a fraction of the amazing things on there so do go and check them out!

Amy x

Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache vs. Turner Acryl Japanesque Colour Gouache

I started my gouache journey three years ago when it appeared on a list of recommended supplies when I started art school – I went for Daler Rowney’s Simply Gouache because it was the cheapest I could find.

Throughout the course of art school I, like everyone else, struggled with finding a medium that excited and inspired me.

I dabbled in gouache a few times throughout those three years but really started falling in love with it a couple of months into third year. I just thought it was great because you could use it like watercolour or use less water and have it be pigmented without the plastickiness (yes, that’s a word now) of acrylic. It’s also so much better for doing fine details than acrylic. It’s just great.

Once I knew I wanted to try out more colours and things I came across a set of Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache on Cass Art for £11.95 for a set of 10 (RRP £47.99) and asked Santa for them very nicely. (They are currently at £19.95 and I haven’t seen them cheaper than that since – I think I was very lucky!)

I haven’t looked back since.

So much more pigmented, smoother and just vibrant and beautiful.

However, as a poor student, I couldn’t afford more in different colours or anything and the Turner Acryl Japanesque Colours were recommended to me as a cheap alternative (I got a set of 12 for £8).

Something I didn’t realise at the time but may be worth bearing in mind is that they are acrylic gouache, which dry to a matt finish and aren’t re-wettable, unlike traditional gouache which is re-wettable once it dries in your palette (life saver) and dries to more of a velvet matt finish on paper.

I tried them a couple of times and found them really gritty and strange so they ended up going in a drawer for about six months until recently when I was packing all our things ready to move house and decided to try them out again – and I don’t think I gave them enough credit before.

So I thought I’d do a bit of a comparison/review type post, starting with how they look with varying amounts of water added:

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I noticed that the Japanesque paint kind of reached a perfect level of dilution and then became very even in coverage, which you can see in the fourth square along on the bottom row. As the W&N paint requires less diluting to get even coverage, I can see a tube of the Turner Japanesque lasting sightly longer.

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I don’t know if you can really see it in this image but the Turner Japanesque Colours (top row) look slightly gritty, and I’m not sure if that’s the case with all acrylic gouaches or just these ones. Also, the colours are less vibrant than the W&N ones, but that may just be the set of colours I bought.

The W&N paints are also a lot thicker straight out the tube, but I find that they really don’t require much water added to make them the perfect consistency to paint with so they don’t lose much, if any, pigmentation.

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I definitely prefer the W&N Designers Gouache personally, just because they’re re-wettable which means less waste and less clean-up and the colours are so vibrant and smooth.

However, if you’re on a budget or you want a matter finish, I would definitely recommend the Turner Acryl Japanesque Colour gouaches. Considering they’re the same price, they also make a much better starter set than the Daler Rowney Simply gouaches, in my opinion.

I think with any art materials it’s going to be a case of trying out different things and seeing what suits your work and your budget. If you just start off with one colour from a couple of different ranges and see what works well for you, you can decide what you prefer as they all have their own pro’s and cons. But I’d definitely say give Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache a go!

 

A quick disclaimer: I didn’t realise until after I bought them but the Ivory Black and Primary Blue in the W&N set I bought aren’t vegan. Winsor and Newton have published a list of their products that contain animal-derived ingredients here.

 

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any favourites or suggestions for me to try,

Amy x

The Jacket of Glory – Part II: AdamJK & Veronica Dearly

Following on from last week’s Jacket of Glory post, I thought this week I’d share my collection of AdamJK and Veronica Dearly pins and patches.

First up, AdamJK. I ordered some bits off his website when his book Pick Me Up came out for preorder and I think it might have been the first time I’d ever ordered anything from the US – I was so hoping they would turn up and not be broken and not cost me loads of money to receive etc etc.

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I love his work so much, totally relatable and I think it does a great job of bringing out my inner emo.

I got this awesome pin of the book, I think it was a limited edition preorder thing?

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I also got a cool pencil (which I can’t find) and I’ve packed up the book ready for moving house so I can’t show you that either (lol, I’m doing well at this blogging lark, aren’t I!)

Here’s a picture of the book from his website:

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While I was on there looking for that picture I found a load more pins and patches I think I need. Well that wasn’t a very good idea was it, I have no money. Don’t let me click back onto it…..

If you haven’t seen the book, it’s an interactive one – its full of prompts and really nicely illustrated pages that encourage you to write things down and draw things and then come back and reflect. Essentially, an amazing self-care tool! It is available on Amazon in the UK but I’m sure your local bookshop would appreciate you asking them to order it in for you to buy from them. 🙂

I also managed to pick up one of his ‘feelings’ pins in U Studio, Bristol, which was amazing! (They recently stocked his new spinner pin and then sold out like instantly – cry).

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Next up is pun-queen Veronica Dearly! I got the Sleep Appreciation Society patch from her website (after drooling over it for quite a while) and then signed up for Pin Commandments, which is a monthly pin subscription like Pin Club but with just their artwork. It’s £6 a month and every month I get so excited to open that envelope!

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Now, I think Pin Commandments is a great option if you love VD’s work, because you know you’re going to enjoy the pin, whereas Pin Club is good if you want to be introduced to more of a variety of illustrators but it’s not guaranteed you’ll love the pins (although if you look at their back catalogue you can see they are all pretty cool)!

I love all of my AdamJK and Veronica Dearly pins and patches and I hope you do too! Please go and have a nosey at their websites and social media because their work is amazing and you’ll love it.

Tune in next Thursday for another instalment of  THE JACKET. OF. GLORRRYYYYYYY

Laterz

Amy

 

 

Visiting the Art Chapel, Abergavenny

The other day I visited the Art Chapel in Abergavenny for the first time, after hearing so many good things. I’ve been to the associated Art Shop in the town many, many times but the owners recently opened up the Art Chapel as more of an events space with a cafe, keen on showcasing local, fresh  food produce as well as local artists and makers. (It also has the most beautiful stream running in front of it!)

We stopped for a bite to eat and I had the tastiest lentil and chard soup with sourdough (and apple juice – my favourite drink to have out). We sat in the garden area and it was so nice being surrounded by ALL the greenery.

They also had some plants for sale, I think Max and I will be returning once we’ve moved because, don’t know if I’ve told you yet, we’ll have a garden! 😉

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Inside, there were lots of books and art supplies for sale, as well as handmade ceramics, jewellery and artwork.

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I’d definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area! And then go and visit the Art Shop on Cross St, it’s so old and narrow, with really wonky stairs going up to the gallery space – just such a lovely building!

As always, thanks for reading and let me know of any inspiring places you’ve been to recently!

Amy x