Saturday, 11 December 2010

Catch up!

Ok, I know I've been AWOL for a bit, not that it matters I guess cos I'm not sure if anyone actually reads my ramblings!?

So when I've not been uber busy with the full time job and battling the snow & ice, I've been concentrating on my folksy shop which has provided me with a few candle sales and excellent feedback!

I've also done a couple of craft fairs at the Metro Centre and the Mushroom Works.
I wanted to share with you 2 great shops that I found.

First up we have
Amy has a cardboard clock kit, complete with high quality clock mechanism, and the idea is that you build & design it yourself! Only 15 quid for the carriage clock- bargain! Ace pressie idea :)

Then we have This store makes me wanna go into product design! Something for everyone, and the furniture is divine!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Up and running...

coco_boho candles are alive and kicking on Folksy! :)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

coco_boho candles

now on my website :)

I've really got into my candle making of late. I LOVE scented candles, but found that shop bought and mass produced candles didn't smell that much, so I'm very generous with the fragrance oil I add. I walk into my room and I can smell my candles when they're not burning! I love sourcing and recycling interesting vessels for the soy wax container candles, mostly from charity shops which means that if you purchase a candle you're being charitable and environmentally friendly- everyone's a winner!

I only use soy wax. It is a natural, plant based wax processed from natural soya bean oil. It produces a clean flame that has less soot & co2 emissions than other waxes, making it an eco friendly choice for you home. Soy wax has a low melting point which is safer and also aids scent throw when burning. Soy wax is easily cleaned with warm soapy water.

Have I sold you on them yet?! I'm currently taking orders for christmas presents at the moment but hope to have a Folksy shop up and running soon :)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

I'm still standing...

...or that should read: painting!

Current work in progress.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Work in progress...

Skulls. Ok, maybe a little dark... but there's various reasons behind this exploration- mortality, avoidance, truth, spiritual contemplation, finality, wisdom.

I like skulls, colourful ones. I don't have a plan for this one- 8 sketched skulls, to be decorated as and when the notion takes me... it'll probably turn into a collage/mixed media piece knowing me :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

These are a few of my favourite things...

All members of have been asked to write a piece about their 5 favourite things for the blog... others have chosen 6, so i have too!

1) "Arting"
This is the collective name I give to all my artisitc endeavours! Although my first love is painting, I also like to dabble and experiment in other things such as jewellery, screenprinting t-shirts and my recent addiction of candle making (the experimentation is going well- I hope to be able to sell my efforts once I get sorted with a bit more practice and insurance, etc)
I have a stressful and hardworking shift job, and Arting is my way of unwinding, relaxing, de-stressing.
I view art as not only a passion and my own form of therapy, but also a way of life. I think it all started when I won a painting competition aged 5, then took a knock when my I was aged 9 and got a "C" in art from my teacher (I cried!) and then recovered aged 14 when I received praise from another teacher!
I love nothing better than cranking up my music and throwing paint about- much to the detriment of my dining room carpet! The dream is to one day have my own studio. A pipe dream perhaps!

2) The Internet

I know the internet is a relatively new phenomenon, and I certainly didn't have it as a child, but I can't imagine life without it. What did the world do before Google?! I love how the internet is so easily accessible and allows you access to things that you can't experience in real life. I love finding a new art or design blog or site. The internet is a great source of inspiration aswell. Although not a great subsitute for seeing products in real life, I love how it can diversify your market base and allow you to sell what you have created to anyone, anywhere in the world.

3) Irregular Choice
I was never a huge shoe fan until I discovered this brand! I love the kookiness & eccentricity of their products and their fantastic website. Although I only have 5 pairs of IC shoes, I always lovingly look at them in the shop and plan my next purchase. My favourite pair are the ones that my brother bought me just before he headed off to Afghanistan.

4) Food & Drink!
A necessity to survive, but also a total indulgence! A self-confessed but proud chocoholic, I have an incredibly sweet tooth!
My fave chocolates are Charbonnel et Walker Pink Champagne truffles :) I also love chocolate crepes, cake, rare steak and chips with pepper sauce or garlic butter, chicken fried rice with chips and curry sauce and chicken tikka masala with naan bread! Hmmm, I am a bit of a junk food junkie and worry that one day it'll catch up with me and I'll wake up the size of a house.
I also have a penchant for North American products Lucky Charms, Jolly Ranchers and Mountain Dew
I developed a coca-cola addiction when I quit smoking and usually have at least a can a day (not good on the old teeth!) but I also love M&S Brut Cava, Veuve Clicqout and my favourite cocktail is a Bellini. Food is something I never deny myself, and regularily treat myself to- this is where all my money goes!

5) Thinking time
Time out is always good, and my 2 favourite places for thinking are when enjoying a Lush creamy candy bar bath with a glass of vino, or when travelling. I always keep a notebook and pen with me to jot down ideas that pop into my head. I love when you have a new idea- there's a buzz about it and you just can't wait to get started. I hate it though when you think you have a great, unique idea... then pop it into google to check- and someone else is already doing it! Frustrating.

6) A good iTunes shuffle!
I love music. My iTunes album contains so much variation, from classical to cheesy pop, alternative, rock, R&B and loads more. I love putting the iTunes shuffle on and leaving it to chance! It throws up some classic songs, and some not so- it's all part of the fun! I don't really have a favourite band or song, and I never really go to gigs. It all depends on my mood- but I love lyrics, when a song speaks to you. It's almost poetic.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Not *quite* unrequited...

"I know you're scared, and I am too,
We've both had our hearts ripped apart in two.

I've managed to piece mine back together again,
And for you, I want to be the one to do the same.

And how can I know that you'll be careful with mine?
I don't want a promise, just try not to and that's fine.

And if it doesn't work out, then what have I got?
Another broken heart, but I think it's worth a shot."

Poetry, I used to love it at school. Words are powerful and they can be so many things- emotive, empty, healing... they need to be taken in context.
Words can mean different things to different people.
Words can mean one thing on their own but take on another life when matched with others.

I was driving back from visiting my sister in London today, the 5 hour drive from London to Newcastle gave me ample thinking time about a situation I find myself in, and from that these words started to form in my head, by mistake really- it certainly wasn't on purpose.
I understand their meaning, and I'm guessing another person would if I had the strength to send them... but for now I'll hide behind the same self-preservation mask I've been using :(

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

FOLKSY FRIDAY: illustration

Yep, got more than a bit slack with my FF in recent weeks, but this weeks theme is "illustration"
I've chosen this theme as I've noticed I've been relying on other techniques to get me out of drawing- which has never been a strong point of mine anyways!
I'd love to be able to sit down and freehand with an ink pen. But I can't- I have to draw pencil lines, improve them, then go over with ink, then rub out said pencil lines!

Greetings card

American foods by

Thoughtforms by

Bespoke textured illustration

pencil case

Shy A4 print

Resting Place

Shops and Balconies

Monday, 31 May 2010

The great candle making venture

Here's a photo of my second candle- and I love it! So pleased at how it's turned out :)

It's a gorgeous vanilla scented, fuschia dye, soy wax candle presented in a dessert dish that my mum used to serve us strawberry angel delight in- topped with sugar strands!

It does look and smell good enough to eat!

I still need to make some more test run candles, to ensure that these two weren't flukes- and get public liability/product insurance sorted before I "go live" especially with my "business twist" I have up my sleeve...!

But it's all in the pipeline :)

Might actually do a blog giveaway to win a candle... hmmm, watch this space :)

Win a "Stereo" cushion cover!

In order to win a gocco printed "Stereo" cushion cover (in your choice of lime green, grey or white) all you need to do is reply with the worst record you have in your collection-the cheesier the better... Go on, make me giggle!

All names of those who reply will be put into a hat & the winner drawn on the evening of Monday 7th June 2010

the cushions can be found at

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Oh Mojo, where art thou?

The absence of recent blog posts will probably indicate the current disenchantment that I'm experiencing with my artistic endeavours!

Maybe it's to do with what's generally going on in my life which could rival an Eastenders script for drama, the non contact from galleries that I contacted putting my art & soul on the line, the lack of sales- which I always put down to disinterest, knowing full well most people on the planet are skint!
I know that "art" is a tough market, it's personal taste, it's about matching your decor- and I've always produced works that I want to, on a subject matter that I like, instead of having a home decor/commercial head on.

It hit me at the Late Shows market last week that the people who do well are foodie, jewellery, etc types. So I thought "what if I could create something still artisticly minded but a little more commercial?" But it'd need a twist, I don't wanna be another craft person who drowns in a sea of sameness...

So I decided to take a break from the canvas, find inspiration, and still be creative. So what did I decide to dabble in?

Candle making! Everyone loves candles, don't they?!

Last night, after extensive reading, research and obtaining supplies I made my first candle! It started off as a plain white, non fragranced, container soy wax candle. I was overjoyed! So I melted more wax, added gold dye this time and made 6 tealights. Excellent! I knew this was getting addictive. Then I had a stroke of genius.

I had left over gold wax. My plain white candle was sitting there, it had largely set in its creme brulee dish. So I poured the gold wax on top of the white (largely cos I didn't wanna waste it & it's bad to pour down the drain!) So there it was, sitting there looking kinda like an actual creme brulee. To this end, I got brown wax and grated it over the top. Voila! Now it has to sit for 24hrs before I light it!

Candles will need extensive testing and product insurance in case I decide to go ahead selling them. But I've got to, I have big & exciting candle plans already! I've even thought of a candle business name, oh I do like to get terribly ahead of myself!!

But as they say, a change is as good as a rest. I got excited about this candle making malarkey. Maybe I can find a way to transfer that back into my artwork...

The Late Shows

It was the annual Newcastle/Gateshead Late Shows last weekend. On the Friday & Saturday nights a wide range of venues threw open their doors at a time when they would normally be closed, to offer a wide range of events, music, crafts for this free cultural crawl.

Last year I was at the now defunct Art Works Galleries, this year I spent the Saturday night at The Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead for their old school summer fete! There were gorgeous cupcakes and brownies by my fellow mafia members Pet Lamb Patisserie (totally yum!)

I was also highly amused by the Human Fruit Machine- this consisted of 3 people, a sack of fake fruit which they blindly rummaged round in until at the same time, they pulled out a piece of fruit! 3 of the same fruit won you erm, a piece of fruit! Loved the idea though! Would love to see this being played down the Bigg Market at the weekend!

There was music provided by "The Kentucky Cow Tippers" Check them out at
They are a 5 piece bluegrass, country, folk group from Gateshead. And I doubt any of them are over 20 years of age! It was amazing to see them play the non-mainstream instruments they do, where do you even go about learning around these parts?!
I loved them, was in awe of what they're achieving when most kids their age are out boozing & causing anti-social behaviour (oops, job hat on!)

Anyway, check out their myspace page for upcoming gigs and demo songs :)
(I came away singing "It's hard to love and not be loved"- ain't that the truth kids!)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

New Abstract Artworks

"Light Space" 16x16inches on deep edge canvas 2010

"You Tore Me Apart" 10x8inches on deep edge canvas 2010

"All That Glitters..." 16x12inches on heavyweight paper 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Studio Space!

I've really enjoyed looking at everyones studio/craft spaces on the Folksy forum, and thought I'd share mine.

I don't have a studio as such, just a corner of my dining room. I love my art desk though, it tilts to different angles or lies flat, and has a built in light box and storage on the tressle shelves :) I would try and rescue it if my house was on fire!

It would make me the happiest girl in the world to have my own studio space, but it's a luxury I can ill afford. It'd be awesome to have a room where I could just go in and throw paint around, instead of panicking every time I get paint on the dining room carpet! Somewhere not in my house, for me to escape to, my own little private art world!

I cling to the hope that this will happen someday :)

However, I did have a slightly crazy dream on Monday night that I bought a really crappy old touring caravan and gutted it, ripped everything out of it, and painted it up all crazy colours inside and out- and made it into a studio!

I am totally digging this idea, but do not have anywhere to put a caravan!

Monday, 12 April 2010

It's a dog's life!

I came across the artits MICHEL KECK's dog art work recently during a random google search and I love it!!

She does very reasonably priced giclee prints- if there was a Beagle on there then my bank account would now be overdrawn without a second thought!

In the meantime, this guy is my fave!

Check out to see the others- let me know who your favourite is!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Sick as a parrot!

Is that even a saying, or in my delerium (is that even a word?!) have I just made that up?

Anyway, so I'm just about recovered from a horrible throat infection that left me unable to talk (properly) and eat, am going back to work tomorrow (should be asleep really right now!) but still feeling like crap- deflated, demotivated and with a serious lack of energy :(

Any hints or tips to get me feeling vaguely alive again?!

(I have however still managed to keep up to date with my A Drawing A Day on flickr!)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

"Where Do Broken Hearts Go?"

Ah Whitney, thanks for the inspiration behind my "A Drawing A Day in April" ha!
This song came on my itunes shuffle just after I'd decided to challenge myself to draw every day in April. I thought it was a fair enough question, so today my little broken heart find he's been kicked out :(

Follow my flickr link to view each days drawing, which I'll try and upload on the day :)

If you have any suggestions on where broken hearts could go, then post below!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

New style abstract paintings

"Bad Romance" 10 x 8 inches on deep edge canvas 2010

"Inferno" 12 x 12 inches on deep edge canvas 2010

After watching "Basquiat" the film about the life of my favourite ever artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, I was inspired to sit down in front of a canvas and a whole heap of acrylic, emulsion & spray paint and freestyle!

I had a blast creating these works (along with "Superhighway" which I blooged about earlier)and really love using the palette knife instead of a brush- how hadn't I discovered it before?!

Let me know what you think! Both pieces are available for sale in my Folksy shop- click on the "find me on Folksy" tab to be taken straight to my shop.

Gee...How Quaint

Here I am on my modelling debut! It's for my friend Cassandra's website and I love this Tea Shirt (geddit? I think it's uber-smart!)

I wonder when the agencies are gonna come a-calling?! ;)

I also love Cassandra's knicker bags- so handy for holidays and a lot smarter than a see through plastic carrier bag! Added bonus- just stick it in with your smalls when you get back- the gocco printed fabric has been heat set and is fully washable! Also makes a great gift!

"Superhighway" 2010

Here's a photo of my latest work- just as it's finished :)

I'm very pleased with it. I was commissioned by my cousin to do a painting for her- and I hope she likes it.

If not, then I'll be more than happy to find "Superhighway" a place on my walls!

It's been created with a mixture of acrylic and emulsion paints on a large 40 x 32 inch stretched canvas.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Folksy Friday- latecomers!

Featuring 2 more fellow members of Newcastle Craft Mafia:

1) Leeanne Lowe/Heirloom style Cotton Cushion with contrasting white stitching

2) Brigid/Mens handknit grey tweed earflap hat

Saturday, 27 March 2010


I've been a busy bee this afternoon!

I've created a Facebook Fan Page- please join and make it look like some people out there like my work! ;)


I now have a new Flickr gallery:

This is where I'm going to showcase my "A Drawing A Day" for April 2010.

And on that note, and further to the last post, I have decided on a theme!
The idea is to create a comic book style-esque series based on a song.

What song, I hear you ask?
Well, I'm not going to tell you until April!
But it's cheese.
90's cheese.

How did I choose the song? I didn't. The song chose me.
Just after my previous post it came on my itunes shuffle. I do like a good itunes shuffle. Especially when it throws up such classics as Milli Vanilli, Scatman John and Rick Astley.

Scared yet?!

A Drawing A Day!

(hopefully won't keep the Doctor away ;) mwhahahaha!)

A seller on Folksy has decided that she is goin to list an item a day during April and wanted others to join her. I simply don't have enough stock to participate but think it's a great idea.

It reminds me of a guy I know who's taking 1 photograph a day during 2010 as a kinda photobook of his year.

So, in support, I am going to challenge myself to do "A Drawing A Day" during April. On rest days this will be fine. On early days, after a 10 hour shift I'm guessing I'm not gonna be so smart! I have no idea where this artistic experiment will take me! I have no pre-conceived ideas or notions about any subject or theme... I'm simply going to produce a drawing a day on a whim!

I'm going to make a photo dairy about it on Flickr- I'll keep you posted!

Fancy joining in?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Things making me irrate today...

number 1) Royal-bloody-Mail!
Grr. I purchased 2 things off Folksy recently. Neither has arrived. On Tuesday, whilst I was *in* my house, the postman put a letter through the door telling me to go to the sorting office in 24 hrs so I could collect whatever it was he hadn't bothered knocking the door to deliver. I dunno if it's one or both of the orders, so I trapsed down yesterday to collect it/them. Nothing was there for me. Was told man at sorting office would ring me when he'd spoken to the postman. No call.

Went back down today. They still don't know where my stuff is. Guess what? Different man at sorting office told me he'd speak to my postman to find out where he's stashed my stuff and ring me back. Guess what? NO CALL!!! Grr, again.

number 2) The Folksy Forums.
They pride themselves on being friendly and I was laughing recently as people got a bit bitchy. Was reading through them today, and it's full of stupid post by people asking whether someone likes their item. Yes, we all need feedback, that's not my issue. My issue is when they then start ANOTHER thread to ask do we all like a different item of theirs. Gawds sake, at least you could keep it on one thread!
And people having sales/closing down that feel the need to post a new thread every few hours offering increasing desperate discount. I want to yell at them that obviously no one wants to buy their stuff or they would have already, and that most people are skint. And to stop making new, pointless threads.

Sorry for that rant, real reason is cos I asked a genuine help required question on there today and it got ignored. I'm just in a huff really! ha.

Anyway, I'm gonna go for a few hours snooze before nightshift. Here's hoping I wake up in a better mood :)

Folksy Friday: Newcastle Craft Mafia

Today my Folksy Friday picks are from fellow "Newcastle Craft Mafia" members.
Check us out @

Aren't we an awesome bunch? It sure ain't grim up north!

1) Cassandra Harrison/Nicole knicker bag

2) Tara Scholes/Hummingbird Pendant

3) Yvette Hawkins/Love Lantern Small Book Sculpture

4) Victoria McDonald/Hey Birdie! t-shirt

5) Emma Louise/Charm necklace with glass marble

6) Louise Ditch/Poppy knitted bunny

7) Gemma Owens/Senor Picklesworth The Sailor!- mini cushion

8) Hannah Preece/Rainbow Button Necklace

9) Amanda Blacklock/Lumpy Bears

10) Christine White/Green and recycled woven panel

11) Joanna Sullivan/Thank you button card

12) Amy Frampton/Cake?