Monthly Archives: July 2012

Operation-Dolls House


My mum knows that I am  a lover of all things creative so when she seen a run down dolls house in a charity shop, she bought it straight away. It cost £5 and I fell in love straight away!!

As it stands, the house is made from some thin wood, covered with old wall paper in some areas and some of the floors have some felt material glued down. Its going to be a while before I get to furnish and decorate as there are no doors inside and the outer ‘shell’ needs some attention.

My first plan of action is to strip the whole house, fix the roof and then jot down sketches and design ideas for the rooms. I need to determine how I want the house to be and decide whether rooms need walls inserted or doors cut out and so on. I also need to decide what to do with the attic. I think I need to spend some time on research of other doll houses and how they have been constructed and also plan how I could add gardens.


Project-Bearded Dragon


My latest project is renovating a Bearded Dragon enclosure. The owners have combined a tank and unit for a complete look, and they do look great together, but they would like the design that is already on the unit onto the tank enclosure aswell. I went to see what I will be working with to make an assessment and to see if this is something I could actually do.

The unit and tank together.

Taking a closer look


ok, so the unit has a glossy black finish which looks good but will need a few touch ups. I think the glossy finish can stay as it gives a clean and crisp look. The front of the tank has a black matt finish but I think that will have to go as I feel it is too much contrast and also think it will look good to give it a gloss look to match the unit. The owner discussed keeping the gold pattern and repeating it to the sides of the tank and would also like a bearded dragon design on the top. The gold floral design is actually what looks like a mixture of clear varnish or possibly glue, and gold glitter. This train of thought leads me to stencil work.

I have begun a study of Bearded dragon’s, to get to know them and learn their shape and so have made a few sketches.

 Creating a replica stencil to repeat the original floral pattern should be easy enough, and for the Bearded Dragon, I think I will try scanning some illustrations, then scan them for Photoshop and possibly find a way of inverting the illustration or use photo shop filters so that when printed, it should work as a stencil by cutting selected areas out.

Logo Creation


I had recently been asked to create a logo for a new gardening business and was kind of excited about the opportunity. while I waited for preferences and ideas I decided to do a little research for possibilities and put a few simple designs together. I sent these ideas to the business owner for feedback and opinions and he actually liked the first basic design and sent it to the embroiders straight away to be stitched to a work shirt!! I was so pleased with myself, although it felt too easy. I know the business owner and as we are both starting out in the world on new work adventures it was exciting for us both.

I made a few quick sketches and scanned them to work on in Photoshop for a more digital finish, and then tried different filters within Photoshop for further effects. I would have liked to try a Lino print for this project but im sure as the business progresses I may get the chance to update the logo.

One of the original sketches.


The first design from Photoshop.

So, we went with the first design, adding just the name and number and off it went to the embroider.

This was the final product. The business owner and I both agreed that the embroidery could have been better but both still pleased with the accomplishment.

although it was a small and fairly quick project I did enjoy working with it for the sake of experience, and working with a customer.

The gardening service: 



Uncle Bill’s version- Gabrilelle with a rose by Renoir


Ever since I was a child I remember paintings hanging from my nan’s walls. They never ment much to me at that time, but i have always known that they were the work of my mothers great-uncle, Bill. I don’t know anything about Bill but feel very curious to find out more about him. One of the paintings which has always caught my eye was an impression of ‘Gabrielle with a rose by Renoir. I didn’t actually know who the original was by untill recently and i remember giggling at it as a child due to the revealed part of the beast. Obviously as I have grown up and learned to appreciate art, that is no longer an amusement to me.

Who is Gabrielle?

Gabrielle With a Rose was painted at a period of stability and domestic bliss.  From 1890 Renoir, now in his fifties, set enthusiastically about becoming a grand old man of art. He spent increasing amounts of time in the south, where he had first been lured by Cézanne, and the warmth and bright clear sunlight (not to mention the considerable prosperity Durand-Ruel was bringing him at this period) helped him out of a depressive period in his life and what he subsequently recognised had been an impasse in his art. He relaxed, expanded, and took again to painting full-bosomed nudes in the fields and rivers, this time with ever richer, lusher brush strokes, so that his paintings seem almost edible. He also painted many flower-pieces and still-lifes, as well as tender and intimate portraits of his wife and children. Gabrielle was a country girl who came to work as a maid in the Renoir household in 1894; being very much Renoir’s ideal type of womanhood, she soon became his favourite model as well. Gabrielle With a Rose is typical of his later manner, with its preponderance of warm flesh tints and very liquid handling of the paint, using diluted oils almost like water-colors.

 Great Uncle Bill’s impression of ‘Gabrielle’.

 Gabrielle by Renoir. Photo from

Looking at differences and similarities between the two paintings, my first opinion is that Uncle Bill’s has possibly discoloured over time. I am not certain on this but there is a lot of yellow tones, he may have done this deliberately. I personally do not find the two paintings identical but I like that from Bill, and again has he done that deliberately or is that how he himself perceived the original painting? Uncle Bill isn’t alive today which is a shame as I would have a lot to ask of him about his work. similarities I find within both paintings are the smooth strokes used to structure the arms and then a change of deep and wide strokes that layer the background and clothing. What is this clothing? I get the feel of a feather shawl.

On a whole, I am quite proud of my family member for such a beautiful piece of work and think that there is some serious research to be made regarding Great Uncle Bill.

Angie Stevens ‘Doodle Mum’


My mum told me that she had seen a section in The Sun Newspaper about a mother who makes daily illustrations of her children. Knowing that I would be interested in this, she kept the paper for me to look at, and it seems that my mum knows me better than I thought as I was really excited about the Doodle Mum’s work.

Image scanned from The Sun Newspaper

The first thing I tend to do when I find myself excited by some found work is research, or as my fellow tutorPauline Amphlett would say ‘spy’, which is amusing as I do actually feel like I am a spy when researching.

As well as creating her own blog, here at WordPress, Doodle Mum has made it to the news on the BBC. In an earlier post of mine, I have mentioned how interesting I find illustrating my own son’s funny characteristics and so it invigorating for me to see that it is a worthwhile subject.

Overall, I wish to congratulate Angie Stevens on her work as a mother and creative of her beautiful, inventive illustrations.

Alf Prøysen


Mrs Pepperpot to the Rescue

Image from

Title: Mrs Pepperpot to the Rescue and Other Stories Author: Alf Prøysen, Marianne Helweg Illustrator: Björn Berg Year: 1979 Publisher: Puffin Books (Penguin Books Ltd.) Binding: Paperback Condition: Good Jacket Condition: N/A
Description: “Mrs Pepperpot woke one morning to find herself no bigger than her kitchen pepperpot. After that, she never knew when it would happen again. All of a sudden she would shrink, and some time later – snap! – she was her right size again. This was often a nuisance for her, but it also meant she had some marvellous adventures, as you will see from these stories.”

Illustrated throughout with amusing b&w line drawings.

Covers negligibly creased. Light scuffing along extremities. Spine creased and lightly worn along edges. Pages tanned and sporadically foxed, but are otherwise unmarked and tightly bound. First few pages lightly creased from handling.

Measures 19.5 cm × 13 cm (7.8″ × 5.2″). Small 8vo. 122 pp.

This book was a favourite of mine when I was a child. My mum gave it to me, a book that she had kept from when she was younger. simultaneously, to that of Matilda, I was mostly fascinated with the illustration although I did thoroughly enjoy the story itself. As I write this post, I am starting to see a style pattern form within my own style interests. Alf Prøysen’s illustrations in this book share a similar sketchy style to posts ive made describing Quentin Blake and Tony Ross.  The book I have of ‘Mrs Pepperpot to the Rescue’ has had a tough’s been torn and between my mum and I it has endured lots of scribble and writing inside the covers.

Poor Book

The pages are not as worn as the cover apart from the discolouration. I find the shaded illustration on the left very interesting as it shows me here that illustrations do not always have to show features. On the right one of my favourite illustrations from the book. The tiny Mrs Pepperpot peeking into the tea-cup I think is fun and creative imagination and I also like the comprehensive layout.