Posts tagged ‘red’

November 20, 2012

Lush Designs

If you are looking for colourful and quirkily designed home wares, I wholeheartedly recommend taking a browse through the delightful products by Lush Designs. Their screen printed lampshades are one of my favourite things to ogle at when I am in need of healthy dose of pretty things. Naturally I was drawn to the fox design, but after some thought I decided that I preferred it in the cream and pale grey to darker tones because of how the colours of a lampshade can affect the light in the room. The colours of all the designs are so beautiful and well combined that they seem to make my mouth water. The cotton napkins adorned with root vegetable screen prints are a prime example, with their exquisite array of purples, oranges and blues!

June 18, 2012

Woodland Animal Totes

It is no secret that I have a great fondness for foxes, and regular readers may remember several posts outlining or illustrating various reasons for this. Although it has been many months since I have mentioned them, do not assume that this is because I no longer think of them; it is merely because I cannot seem to find the time to make as many declarations of my love as I would like!

I have, however, been taking quite a few country walks recently, and these have given me some lovely quiet moments with a sketchbook. In true British summer style, the weather has been a little intermittent in the last few weeks, pouring with rain one moment and overflowing with warm sunshine the next, but on the dry occasions I have taken a few art essentials with me on my wanderings. There are some lovely worn footpaths which trace lines across fields of long grass and it is not uncommon to spot wild rabbits and deer in-between the occasional dog walker.

I quite often find a seat on a dry-stone wall or patch of mossy grass and fill a few pages with doodles and thoughts. The process verges on therapeutic, and these quiet moments are wonderful for planning new designs for my shop. Last week was perhaps a more obvious example of this, when I caught sight of a red fox along the edge of the wood across the field from me. Without my glasses on she looked like an orange smudge in the distance, but she slid into focus once I had retrieved them from my bag.

Perhaps she wasn’t used to humans, or perhaps she didn’t see or smell me sat upwind, or perhaps she simply did not care that I was there, but she came towards me in an unconcerned trot.

It was one of those instances when you daren’t move for fear or spoiling it, so I sat very still as she approached. She was a healthy fox, unlike the ones that has moved into my garden some years ago who had been covered in mange. She had a sleek coat, and a thick tail, although she was a little smaller than I had expected so I wondered if she were young, or if it were just because she was a vixen? I briefly wondered what she was doing out, being a nocturnal animal, but then decided it was relatively early in the morning and she may be on her way home for bed.

When she was about five meters away she caught sight of me and froze. We had one of those frozen and assessing moments, that seem to last longer when you’re involved in them than they do to those on the outside. Then she turned tail and melted into the shadows of the wood.

I had been thinking of heading back to my studio at that point, but instead I rummaged in my bag for my flask – for I sometimes bring a flask of tea with me on these occasions, never knowing if I will stay out longer. It is a lovely mustard coloured flask that came with a picnic set I got last winter in the sales, and I am very fond of it. Settling down with a cup of tea, I began another series of drawing of foxes. But once I had finished a few, I moved on to rabbits, who had been frolicking on the other side of the field during my drawing, and then an Eurasian Eagle Owl, which I had not seen, but had been on my mind a lot these days.

When the weather began to turn, I packed up my sketchbook and pencils and continued my walk home. Back at the studio, over another cuppa (raspberry and Echinacea herbal tea, this time, my favourite right now,) I coloured my drawings and scanned them in for preparation to transfer them onto tote bags for my etsy shop.

April 15, 2012

Gnomes Tote Bags

A few weeks ago I visited my grandmother for a lovely cup of tea and a catch up in her garden whilst the weather was sunny.

Ever since I was young my Grandmother has collected gnomes and her garden is like a shrine to the creatures.  When I was a child I used to love sitting on the lawn, playing with the gnomes and setting up adventures for them, mainly involving hiding the fact they were alive from humans and trying to escape from my Grandmothers two tabby cats. My favourite was a bearded fellow I had lovingly named Gnomey Dustberry who was the hero of all my childhood games.

Whilst sitting in the garden with my grandmother, I was reminded of Gnomey Dustberry, who had long since perished in a storm after a pot plant fell on him and smashed his ceramic body to smithereens, and began doodling a few sketches whilst chatting in the sunshine.

The end result was my new tote bag design, which is now for sale in my etsy shop. I decided to use the traditional blue, red and yellow that scattered the garden I remember, rather than only use the red shirt that my favourite gnome wore.

February 8, 2012

Valentine Heart and Fairytale Papercuts

It’s been such a wonderfully busy week in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, but I’ve finally found time to finish off some papercuts and upload them to this blog and to my etsy shop. The first follows along the Valentines theme, with a decorated heart and the delicately cut words ‘You Make My Heart Sing’. I am very fond of the two little birds in this, and the ornate decoration took such a long time to perfect! When designing papercuts, it’s really important to make sure the lines are all connected so that it doesn’t ‘fall apart’ once you begin cutting. I quickly found a good way to work this out is to draw the image in pencil, then go over it in pen, checking all the joins. It sometimes takes a little while for your eyes to adjust to which bit is being cut out, so I usually scribble a pencil shading on the cut out bits if I keep getting confused! The image is then scanned into my computer and printed out on thin printer paper, and attached to a piece of card so that printer paper acts as a guideline for where to cut the card. It’s really useful to masking tape it to a self healing cutting mat to stop them sliding around as you cut!

The second is inspired by all the fairytales I’ve been reading lately, and features a fairytale scene with an elegantly written ‘Believe’ across the page. I spent such a long time picking out coloured card for backing, and eventually decided on a lovely light blue shade which always reminds me of the painted illustrations in old fairy story books.

I really love the imperfections that come from hand cutting paper, but I wanted to be able to sell multiples of these at a reasonable price in my etsy shop. I decided to compromise, by hand cutting both of the designs and cutting electronically cut duplicates for my shop. I am hoping to have many more papercuts availible soon, as I enjoy the process of designing and making them so much!

January 6, 2012

Fox Dolls

There is something ridiculously charming about these little dolls that I can’t quite put my finger on. Obviously, I’m rather fond of the foxes, but there are plenty of other nostalgic animals with delightful clothing in the gallery too, so take a peek.


December 5, 2011

Photographing Cotton Tote Bags

Mystic Moose Bags

The weather was so perfectly autumnal this weekend I decided to take my bike out and conduct a photo shoot of my newly pressed cotton totes which are for sale on etsy. Even though it was the first weekend of December, the crunchy fallen leaves were more reminiscent of harvest time than approaching mid-winter.

We are lucky enough to have many lovely Cotswold stone buildings and walls built nearby and it would have been foolish to not take advantage of these. The one in the above photograph surrounds a charming little pet graveyard I discovered a few months ago, with small engraved stones dedicated to the beloved animals of past inhabitants. The words on most of the graves have eroded over the years, but on some it was possible to make out a few names, such as “Nipper, 1906-1914”, “Rascal, 1921”, and “Our Beloved Pippa, 1898-1910”.  Although some graveyards can have a morbid feel, the idea that these people had cared so deeply for their family pets that they had invested in headstones for their burial is somewhat beautiful. Nearby there is an old graveyard for humans, but whilst it was usually deserted, this weekend brightly clad people were conducting maintenance on overhanging trees and I didn’t want to disturb them with my photography, despite the beautiful stonework contained within.

Mystic Moose Bags

Mystic Moose Bags

November 7, 2011

Red Riding Hood

Ceridwen Hazelchild, Red Riding Hood, 2011I never held for sinister stories of grandmother-hungry wolves and woodcutters with a passion for dissecting animals. The Brothers Grimm are perhaps the most well-known for being sadistic or gory, but early versions varied in their nature. Sometimes Grandmother was hidden in the cupboard and Red was saved just in time, or Red removed her clothes, got into bed with the wolf and realised what he was. But in other versions Red was eaten once getting into bed and there was no happy ending, or Red unwittingly cooked and ate her own grandmothers flesh and blood, or both Red and Grandmother were eaten whole and once they were cut out by the Woodcutter, the wolfs empty stomach was filled with stones so that he fell into the river and drowned.

In some of the early stories, there is no Woodcutter who arrives in the nick of time and Red Riding Hood has to escape using her own cunning, drawing on the clear themes of the safety of the village and the dangers of the dark and unknown forest. Supposedly the original was a warning to young women about sexual advances from men – an obvious example being the version where a naked Red and gets into bed the Wolf only to be eaten and have no happy ending. In any case, I’ve always preferred to see Red Riding Hood and the wolf as a coming of age story, with the wolf becoming a guide of sorts through the forest, as Red Riding sets out into the unknown and has to rely upon her own choices. In those cases, the woodland never seemed that scary at all.

October 20, 2011

Another Foxy Drawing

Ceridwen Hazelchild

%d bloggers like this: