Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Bunny


I was extremely excited last week when I heard that I had won a Tweed Bunny purse in a giveaway over at the linen cat blog. The said bunny arrived very swiftly despite the snow and I must say it was a real joy to receive. These bunnies are quality items with amazing attention to detail-beautifully packaged as well. I had wanted one for a while, so it was an early Christmas prezzie.It also coincides with a bit of a tweed craze currently going on in this household. 'Im indoors has recently purchased a couple of tweed jackets on ebay. The jackets are made of Harris tweed and the history of Harris tweed is quite interesting - we watched a TV documentary about it a year or so ago. It also goes back to Rick's ancestral roots as his one half of his family originates from there.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Spamtastic Day


I must admit I do like a bit of kitsch now and again and at one time owned a collection of snow domes, which I have a bit of a penchant for. I inadvertently stumbled across this one which made me smile. When I first saw it I thought it was a joke but it seems like its a real item that you can actually buy here. Its what I think of as a classic snowdome in terms of shape and format. Looking through the rest of the website which is strangely captivating, it seems that spam consumption is alive and well. It has a fan club as well as a museum. You can even listen to a charming country and western ditty called "Pam don't take my Spam" So, if you're ever at a loose end in Austin, Minnesota you'll know where to go. Personally, I can't believe people still eat it and I certainly haven't touched it since the dreaded spam fritters (yes - deep fried spam in batter) were force fed to me at school . Just as well Jamie Oliver didn't exist then.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Nice Type


Here are a few more matchbox labels from eastern Europe.These always make me want to rush out and do some screen printing! I seem to be having trouble with focusing on things for longer than about 5 seconds though at the moment. I keep having more and more ideas and as a result I'm probably spreading myself a bit too thinly. And with the Christmas headless chicken factor thrown in its all getting a bit frenzied. When I look at some people's blogs they seem mega-organised and focused. However, out of the chaos things will emerge. (I hope).

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Seasalt Bag Competition




Here is my entry for the "Design a Jute " competition run by local clothing company Seasalt. I do like their clothes and had high hopes of winning. However, my plans were foiled by none other than my six year old son who has gone on to snaffle the top prize! Doohhh, I knew should never have let him enter...Here also is his winning design which will appear on their jute bags sometime in the new year. Exciting stuff! By the way, mine is the seagull one, Dan's is the boat.Read all about it here

Egg Cup Army on the March!



The egg cup army are on the march and hoping to invade your home sometime soon....
This is a self initiated project which just happened after an overwhelming urge to paint some egg cups overtook me. Not entirely sure why. Possibly a distant childhood memory - I think I may have had a soldier one. They were quite satisfying to paint, but getting them ready to list in the shop has taken me an age as the packaging,labels,photographs, and id cards, etc all had to be thought about.
They are now, however, finally ready for re-homing, so check out my shops if you think you'd like one.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!





I forgot about these pictures taken at promenade park in Maldon long long ago during the summer holidays until downloading some other photos onto the computer. There's some ice cream related signage which always seems to have a certain charm. I've always wanted to own an ice cream van complete with lightey-up cones on the front. The image of the man in the gates of the bowling club is quite a gem too.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Some Nice Drawings





You can't beat a bit of children's art can you? These are from a book I picked up a while ago from a charity shop. The book seems to be aimed at art teachers in schools and there's lots of nice examples.The book itself was printed in the 60s and I think it was probably published in Germany originally. As you can see there's a fine example of some boys on swings wearing leiderhosen!
The trees drawings remind me a lot of Bryan Pearce's work. (He was one of those Cornish outsider art types from St.Ives).

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Quirky Ice Cream


I do like this sign which is displayed at Swanpool Beach cafe. The quirky ice creams consist of large scoops of cornish ice cream which are then covered in suicidal amounts of clotted cream and then they are topped with sweeties of various kinds. I'm sure I have some more photos of handpainted signs here in Falmouth. I will try and dig them out.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Trevarno Vintage Soap Collection






Are you a soap fan? If so maybe you should visit the soap museum at Trevarno near Helston in Cornwall. However, I don't mean Corrie or Eastenders, rather the stuff you wash with. - Its quite small (not much bigger than a garage in fact) but has a good array of vintage packaging and other soap related items.



Some of my favorites are the soaps in the shapes of animals, T.V. and cartoon characters. Who can resist Pobble with the big toes, even though he looks like he is straining to deposit something rather unsavory on his box.

Beware the red -eyed poodle!

A doll a having a bath.


I can only assume that these are some kind of sock and shirt shaping devices.



Trevarno is a good place to visit even if you're not so keen on soap. Actually, the soap museum is really a kind of side-line thing. The Trevarno estate mainly consists of the gardens with peacocks and good children's play area. Its one of the lesser known Cornish gardens so usually relatively tranquil except when there's a special event on.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Herve Morvan Book





My Herve Morvan Book has arrived from amazon and I am very excited about it. If you like his work, then this is essential. Its always a bit of a gamble buying art books when you can't look inside them, so I was a bit worried that it wouldn't have much of the stuff that I like, but I am really pleased as it has loads of really strong work in it and lots that I hadn't seen before. Great ideas , lots to like . Very inspiring. There hasn't been much published about him really, the only other book that I've come across has always been nigh-on impossible to get hold of as its out of print and nowhere seems to have it. I had the idea to compile a book of his work myself and if I hadn't been beaten to it, it would probably have looked very similar to this. He's obviously got a bit of a following in Japan as this is published by a Japanese company. My only criticism is that it doesn't give you much background information and what there is isn't brilliantly translated Perhaps a case of Japanese whispers. Visually a treat though.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

My Five Senses by Aliki





This not a new acquisition - I think I got it from a jumble sale many years ago . I keep coming back to it. The limited palette of the screen printing works really well. Sometimes its good to be restricted by something then you just work with what you've got rather than having endless permutations and making lots decisions about the way things should look. I looked to see if you can get it on amazon and its been re-vamped. Not nearly so nice now.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

More Lovely Matchbox Labels




So fantastic... I can't get enough of these at the moment. There are several others in this series and I think they date from the early 1970s. Its a pity matchboxes aren't this exciting any more.I remember going on holiday to Spain when I was a kid and spending half the time hanging around bins and litter trying to collect interesting matchboxes. Some things never change...although I have to admit I didn't have to hang around bins in Eastern Europe to get these. If you like this sort of thing - matchbox labels, not foraging in bins, I mean - you might find yourself wanting to buy this book on the subject. (A shameless plug as I used to share a studio with Jane Smith, the author of the book ).Worth a look.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Origami Revisited





My enthusiasm for the much mocked 70s pastime has been re discovered. These are some which I have made recently. My son loves them which is great - beats power rangers any day. They really are strangely satisfying to make until of course they go wrong and they can be equally frustrating.
I do remember struggling with that frog when I was a kid for what seemed like months and I attempted a horse the other day which ended up as a wierd mutant headless being.(picture not shown) I am a bit of a purist when it comes to origami - it has to be made from a square sheet with no cutting sticking or gluing involved. Go on, have a go you know you want to - there's loads of sites on the internet.

New Arrival


A matchbox label from Poland. I just love these tiny screenprints. I've no idea who the artists who designed them were, but the simple graphics are great.Would look good as posters. I think they date from the 50s and 60s. I have some others which I will post as and when.

Nice Paper Bag


This came as an unexpected free gift with the purchase of some ice-creams on a recent visit to
Coverack. It came from Brenda's which is about the only shop there. It is relatively tidy these days,but when we used to go there when we were kids on holiday it was absolutely chocca with STUFF of all descriptions. You could hardly get into the place. The challenge was to find something she didn't sell. I don't think we ever succeeded. Anyway the bag is a rather nice folksy affair which depicts traditional Cornwall.
It reminds me of a piece of embriodery. I wonder whether you can get them with different counties on them.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Things that come out of sketchbooks


This started off as one of the many doodlings in my sketchbook which I scanned in and played with a bit. Could it be Robert Peston?....

Nature Trail


Did this one a few weeks ago. Its the cover of a booklet for a nature trail.

A Topical One...


Following along from the Sunsafe poster another one along similar lines. Might work this up later to show the whole pitch .

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunsafe campaign


I was asked to design an image which will be used as a hoopla game for Sunsafe in Cornwall. The contestants have to guess which of the characters is best protected from the sun and then hoopla the appropriate one. Its going to be shown at the Royal Cornwall show next month. I enjoyed doing this. Its inspired a bit by those old french advertising posters I keep harping on about - Herve Morvan in particular.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Here's an idea I've been working on this morning. The event is an imaginary one -so don't go down to fox rosehill gardens on the 14th july as its just a mock-up for the portfolio.Hopefully I'll be adding more new images later.