Sunday, 29 December 2013
About a month ago a friend and I went to a taxidermy class in Blackburn to learn how to taxidermy a mouse.
To start, our teacher (Nicola Jayne Hebson) did a demonstration of how to stuff a mouse and then we each chose a mouse of our choosing and then got stuck in. Nicola was to hand if any of us got stuck or confused...which is pretty easy to do when it's your first go...especially with such a dainty creature.
First off we had to massage the mouse's limbs and then lie it on it's tummy. You find the shoulder blades and then cut between them all the way down to about a cm above the tail. We then proceeded by peeling the skin away using our hands and a scalpel to cut the fine strands away. It wasn't as gruesome as I imagined and it didn't smell too bad either. Once the ankles had been snipped and the whole insides had been removed we covered our skin in table salt. Whilst the skin was tanning we made our fake insides for the mouse, which is made from woodwool and wrapping thread around it and some clay for the shape of the mouse head. Once the insides had been made (and we had a cup of coffee and a hobnob) we proceeded by rubbing the remaining fat off the insides of the mouse using the salt, then washing and drying the skin. Then came the really exciting part! Placing the skin on the fake insides! It was so nice to see it take shape and become a little character. I intended on making my mouse a smily character but once the skin was on I decided to make him (I mean she) a shy and worried chap. We added some wires for the arms and legs and a bit of cotton wool before stitiching him up and then we added the eyes which are just pins. We had to use pins to hold our mice in place while they dried.
It was a really nice day, which may sound strange considering I spent it skinning a mouse. But it was all ethical and all the other students were lovely and our teacher was very patient and funny which put us all at ease. I'm hoping to taxidermy more things in the future though i'll probably stick with mice for a bit so I can perfect my skills.
Friday, 6 December 2013
It's been quite a long while since I last blogged...mainly due to long hours at my new job at Waitrose. Not complaining though as I love my job! I can now drive three different types of trucks: llop, ppt and a Reach Truck (that's a big scary one). In the past few months I turned 24, had my 7 year anniversary with my lovely mister, been to the zoo and the sea life centre and also finished writing and illustrating The Tortoise and the Hare. I'm so happy to have completed it as I started it in February...I think! I wouldn't have been able to do it if it wasn't for my wonderful friend Viv. She puts up with my madness and puts me on the right path. I've shown it to a select few and so far people seem to love it which is fantastic. It feels like maybe I will get published one day. Who knows!? I'm going to keep trying until it happens though. I'm in the middle of contacting some publisher people and also putting a promo pack/hard copy of my portfolio together. I've recently had some christmas cards made...one starring the handomse Lionel (as you can see!).
Saturday, 26 October 2013
A short while ago I took part in the Templar Publishing's paper watch project to help raise money to help fight Breast Cancer. I did this by illustrating a paper watch which was sent to me by Templar Publishing. It took a while to decide what to illustrate the watch with, though I knew I wanted it to be character based. I eventually decided on a jungle theme with jungle animals. My watch is now up for bidding on ebay, so please share and or bid to help this wonderful cause.
I hope my watch can help!
If you would like to read more about the project then just click here.
I hope my watch can help!
If you would like to read more about the project then just click here.
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
I found out yesterday that I had won a signed book by the super An Vrombaut! The image above is my entry for the Giraffe competition! I'm so happy to have won as I have loved An's work since I was a youngster and her characters and colours continue to inspire me! I can't wait to get my book! It will be one of my prized posessions!
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Just a little catch up: I have started my new job at Waitrose and have begun my training. I've met lots of lovely people and i'm enjoying myself already. I also decided to become a blonde again as i'd been a red head for a few years! Change is good and fun and so i'm a blondie! I'm enjoying looking like an 80's Action villain (Die Hard/Bond/Universal Soldier). It's nearly my birthday and i'm looking forward to eating lots of cake, wearing a dress and being silly with my friends!wheeee!
Thank you Leigh for doing my hair!!!
Sunday, 18 August 2013
My birthday is in 7 days/one week! yey! I thought it would be fun to put together a birthday wish list...so here goes:
telescope! so I can perv on the stars and planets close up!
skull ring or hand necklace most!
this one to my collection.
print by MooseKleenex would look amazing on my wall!
roller boots. They're so much fun. I miss my pink pair from my childhood.
Bolt Editions shop!
ceramic toast made by the super talented Charlotte Mei. One day it will be mine!!!
this and wear it with pride!
owl brooch would go down nicely!
I should probably stop now as I could go on forever! So many nice things to buy!
I know that I probably won't get any of these things, and that's okay cause it's fun to show all the pretty things made be super talented people out there!
Thursday, 8 August 2013
It's been a while since I last posted... that's due to time going super fast (aka. working long hours or having my nose buried in a book)! SO I thought I would show you what i've been up to: a few Tortoise and the Hare illustrations and some personal pieces. Hope you like them.
Saturday, 13 July 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
When I was in London I made sure to do a little bit of sketching... I wish i'd done more but I was enjoying myself too much! I hope you enjoy what I have drawn. These are unaltered (apart from cropping) drawings. The last two images I drew at the Harry Potter studio tour.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
I have finally got round to painting my giraffe illustration for An Vrombaut's competition where I could win a set of her books signed!!! I would love to win as I have loved her work for a really long time and love her bright and colourful characters! Wish me luck!
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
I recently entered my illustration for the Illustrate It competition. The competition was to illustrate two pages from selected text from The Lucky Book.
The competition has now gone to the voting stage and I really hope you will vote for mine!
Saturday, 8 June 2013
After the Bowie exhibition I felt inspired to write a little poem in the same way he creates his lyrics: by writing stuff and chopping it up and mixing it about. My writing isn't the best but I did have a lot of fun writing it and chopping and mixing it up. Hope you enjoy it:
We walked in sunny London
We smiled and stood.
We jumped on many trains,
friendly dark theatre, people.
Musicals in grass,
our feet hurt
Love too much food.
We ate brilliant art,
and rolled in the terrifying art
and bounced till we got amazing sunburn.
We met and
On our last day in London we packed our bags and dumped them at Euston station while we enjoyed our last day.
We went to the V&A to get our tickets for the Bowie exhibition and then we went to the Borough Market and had a salted beef sandwich and sat in the sun for a while as we had achey feet and were feeling a bit grumpy from it (and we got a tad lost which didn't help!). After a yummy dinner we went to Brick Lane and got lost again as I was trying to find Atlantis... we were about to give up but eventually found the art shop and I got my favourite yellow ink and brown ink! Yey! I can do some painting now!
We then went to the Hummingbird Bakery and got some red velvet cupcakes before heading to the exhibition. When you head into the exhibition you are handed headphones attached to a little cassette thingy that would play different songs, or play people talking in the videos you passed throughout which was really cool. There were many outfits/costumes worn and designed by Bowie aswell as music sheets, hand written lyrics, videos and album artwork. I found it amazing that noone was dancing around! I was rocking side to side whilst listening to Starman. Then we stepped into a room with a video taking up all the walls of Bowie and lots of people were bobbing their heads to it which was lovely (it was also nice to have a little sit down in a dark room and listen to great music with people who love great music too!). If you live in London you should definitley go and see it! Especially since it's in such a lovely art gallery/museum with wonderful carved marble busts and statues!
PS. I got an awesome lightning bolt badge/brooch from the exhibition shop!
After the exhibition we sat outside and ate our yummy red velvet cakes and fed the crumbs to some cheeky pigeons. We then stocked up on water and other drinks (as it was boiling) and sat about in Soho. We nattered and people watched and talked to pigeons. It was really nice. We then got to the station and ate a cake from Patisserie Valerie. They do amazing cakes! I ate a lot of cake that day! We then got our train and listened to Queens of the Stone Age...
and that is the end of my amazing adventure in London... i'll be back soon! I PROMISE!
Thursday, 6 June 2013
On Monday we awoke early to make sure we got the train/bus on time to arrive at the Harry Potter Studio tour. The music from the films played through out and we got to see propers, costumers, creatures and set pieces. It was really magical ( I know, i'm lame!) and made me feel like a kid again. I must red the books again soon! We had some butter beer which was very sweet, and kinda like a coke float. I liked it! and it gave me a sugar boost, which is why i'm pulling such odd faces in some of the pictures! After the tour we headed to Honest Burger and had a yummy burger and cider.
We then wandered about Soho again and watched Les Miserables. The stage was amazing as the centre of it span round, so that when an actor was walking along it made it seem like they were actually going somewhere. Javert's suicide scene was fantastic aswell: a bridge lowered from the ceiling, as he sang he climbed over the edge and was stood on the ground/hanging on to the bridge and then the he let go and the bridge lifted back up to the ceiling and a light shone down and spun about looking like water. SO clever. I nearly cried a few times as the story and music is quite moving. We had very good seats with a great view and it was lovely and loud. I really recommend it!