I’m Still Here!

Can anyone explain why it is so hard to write a blog? Honestly – each time I write I say “I must do that more often”, and then I can’t think what to write about. So today, I just opened up the computer and here I am typing.

It has been so busy here at Jac’s – I am exciting to say my Little Welsh Studio is really starting to grow. Lots of orders on the go at the moment for custom cards and pictures – weddings, birthday’s, new babies – people still love that personal touch.

I’ve also done a lot of extra work bringing my online shop up to date, so there will always be items in stock that you can buy – from a special card to a keyring, I hope I can help you find that perfect item for that very special person.

One things i have noticed is how much sunshine affects me – all this extra daylight has seen me being more creative and lots of new designs are in the pipeline – so do keep an eye out on my various social media channels.

Not much more news – but coming up on the drawing board this week are lots of animals, teddy bears and a wedding… (card, not an actual wedding – although that would be fun :)). Jac is going to be a busy bee over the next few weeks.

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

As always, you can track progress on Instagram and Facebook. I really look forward to seeing you there!

Till next time – Love Jac xx

Hello February!

Well hello February! It seems only yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year….

It’s been a great start to the year – I think I mentioned last time that January was going to be busy with orders, and it looks like February is starting off the same way. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

So what is the plan this month?

Well – I’m working a number of card orders, for lots of different occasions. And I have stock to build up for a craft fair later this month at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. (Their St David’s Day event is on the 28th February, it would be amazing to see some of you there).

So far, I have orders for bunny rabbits, hedgehogs and frogs, and have an idea for some fruit and vegetable characters. You can, as always follow my progress on my Facebook page – and I’ll try to get some pictures on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. (there really is no escaping me now!).

Example of introductory bundle
Example of introductory bundle

Today I’m e-mailing the February colour sheet to the members of Jac’s Colouring Club – you can sign up to that any time, do contact me for further information.

Everyone has to grow old…

This week I realised I must getting old… and not just because my hubby had another birthday. No, the clues were in my decision making…

  • I chose shoes for comfort
  • Clothes as they were warm
  • and started to look for a car that is……

 

 

  • ….practical (eek!). There, I said it.

Yep – a smidge of sensible is trying to sneak in. Just a smidge mind you…

 

I am keeping the heels and pretty shoes, and today I wore a dress because it was pretty (even though my legs were freezing).

And I haven’t swapped my little car (yet – that may be inevitable…) I will miss that little car 🙁

Mind you – I’ve also found that I am caring much less about what others think about those decisions.

My shoes may not be glamorous – but I can walk around for hours pain free.

 

My coat may not be as pretty as that little dress – but I probably look slightly prettier when not shivering and turning blue 😀

See - no shivering
See – no shivering

And the car. Well, mm, I’m still pondering that one. I do love my car – but it is very small, and it’s had a tough life for a little car, done a lot of miles.

Maybe it needs a break…. And, if I want to get Jac’s Studio out to the masses, I do need to fit quite a lot of stuff in, which can be a stuggle…. Let’s see what happens there I think.

BUT – no matter how old and grumpy I get (o yes, I am getting to be quite the grump), I refuse to grow up. I will still dance in the rain, jump in puddles and eat cake 🙂

 

Dancing in the Rain
Dance in the Rain & Jump in puddles

So – until next time – act your shoe size, not your age 🙂

 

(Mine are a size 4 by the way, just so you know what to expect).

Love from Jac xx

Run – Me? O Yes!

Well – today I did something I haven’t done in quite a long time. Over a year in fact (possibly more..).

For followers of Jac it may surprise some that I used to run. A lot. In fact, I’ve even completed Snowdonia Marathon (2009 that was – seems a long time ago now). And I used to love it.

Anyway – for various reasons there was a period when I wasn’t able to run – then I started up the studio and I didn’t seem to have enough hours in the day (or any motivation for that matter). Trouble is – I still have a love of cakes and chocolate, which, without any will power, plays havoc with the waist line!

So – either I give up the chocolate (never gonna happen!) or I need to up my activity levels. As you know Mr E and I do a lot of walking – and to be honest I’ve been itching to burst into a jog for a while now. Today was that day.

I donned the Lycra (thank goodness for that fabulous stretchy stuff!) and my trainers and off I went.

OK – so it was slow – but it was a jog. It was fresh air. It was fab.

What I had forgotten though is how hilly it is here (well it is Wales) and also the wind. The wind here has the spooky ability to be against you on the way out AND on the way back and it was a tad breezy.

The other good thing about running is that it’s inspiring – you see so many sights on the way – from the nice lady with the huge St Bernard dog – to the poor terrified cat at the side of the pavement who cowered as this strange Lycra clad, 40 something, heavy breathing lady hurtled down a hill towards it (the benefit of living in a hilly place – what goes up – must come down!).

Of course – you also get the odd “Run Forrest Run” comment and the odd beep of a car horn – but you do get the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something positive 🙂

I must though give credit to some old friends. If it wasn’t for my local running club – Sospan Road Runners – I would never even have started running all those years ago – let alone managed 26 miles. And that’s the other big thing I’ve missed about running is that camaraderie – not everyone understands the desire to pull on your trainers and go out in all weathers for a run, but other runners always do – and will always encourage others.

Well – I’m not quite ready to get back to that level of running yet. It’s my first day back. Who knows where it will lead. All I know is that I still have that bug somewhere deep inside.

(Mind you – it may be a different story tomorrow when my legs tell me how it really went).

Tell next time – Jac xx

PS – sorry – no pics this time, but you never know what this run may have inspired! 🙂

Ted’s Austrian Adventure – Part Two

Well – Jac’s allowed me to publish another page from my journal from when we went to Austria, so I guess you enjoyed the last one?

So – as you might remember from my last entry, it was a bit wet in the Austrian Tyrol and on this particular day we’d all had enough of walking in the rain. Jac and Mr E decided to go swimming (yes – swimming – can you get any wetter!?)

I didn’t really want to go – as I was worried about getting my fur wet again, but Jac promised there would be fur dryers at the pool, so, we packed up our bathing suits and towels and off we went.

The pool was amazing. It was a big pool, with lots of loungers around it so you could relax – and you could swim to the outside. That outside pool was really warm, but you could feel the rain on your head and face – it felt funny 🙂

It also had lots of squirty bits and bubbly bits that went off randomly – it made a few people jump which made me laugh.

After a bit – Jac said she wanted to go to the other pool that we could see – a huge big one – properly outside. Mr E and I stayed in the nice warm pool and giggled as we watched Jac run in the rain in her swim suit – and then as she pulled some funny faces getting into the big pool (apparently that one wasn’t heated :D).

Mr E and I were still laughing after she came back to the warm pool – Jac didn’t see what was so funny!

That was the first time I’d been swimming – and I really liked it. Even better, we got to have coffee and cake afterwards – I hope it’s always like that! (O and there was a fur dryer, so I was warm and fluffy afterwards).

Anyway – that’s all from me for today. Until next time…

 

Ted in bathers

Ta Ta from Ted xx

Bring on the Brights

Colour. Why should there be rules? I really believe there aren’t any. I know, I know – convention says other wise. “Blue and green should never be seen..” – you can’t wear pink with red because the clash. But you take a look at nature – the wild or your own garden. Colour everywhere. Blue flowers with green stems. Reds right next to pink. And do they clash.

No. They Don’t.

Natures Paint Palate
Natures Paint Palate

So – I for one and saying PFFFT (is that a word? – well it is now) to convention and bringing out the full colour palate.

You already see it in my artwork (I hope!) – no amount of colour is out of bounds there. But what about away from the studio? Well, I don’t know if it’s the effects of the summer sun, but my wardrobe has recently had a major injection of colour. And you know what – it makes me happy.

Colour really can affect your mood – make a dull day bright. Energise you. Calm you. Just try a pretty colourful dress, or a bright t-shirt – even just a scarf or a necklace in a colour you wouldn’t normally wear. It will make a difference, I’m sure.

And the more colour I add, the more colour I want to add. In fact – I am building a rather fabulous colour wheel of shoes! (any excuse!)

Who says shoes have to be boring?
Who says shoes have to be boring?

Shoes are a great mood enhancer. When I wear fun shoes and find myself feeling a bit low, I just look down 🙂

So – go on, who’s with me? Say Pfffft (honestly it is a word) to colour convention and Bring on the Brights 🙂

Till next time – Jac x

 

Just Because….

Jac’s Easter Sunday  Adventure- 20th April 2014

Location- Llanelli stretch of the Wales Coastal Path.

Miles Covered – 4.

Weather – Bloomin’ Cold!

Coffees consumed – just the one (yes, honest, just the one!). Supplied by the lovely ladies at the Pavilion Café in Pwll.

Interesting sights – Several swans, an egret, one dragon and a mysterious staircase…

 

I am so lucky to live just a mile or so from the sea front and a magical coastal path. (The Wales Coastal Path). I love to take a walk there, whatever the weather (although nice weather is always preferred – you take what you can get here in Wales!).

One of the best things about walking there is what you can see if you just slow down and look.

All manner of people (and dogs) can be found…. swans…. robins…. gulls of various types…. cyclists wrapped up against the cold (wish I’d thought of that!)…..

and a dragon.

Ok - so it's not a real dragon.....Well Ok – so it’s not a real dragon….. but you never know what lives in the nearby woods 😉

And another fabulous thing about the seaside is that you get be be childish – you can skip along the promenade and balance on benches and nobody minds, because no one is grumpy at the seaside!

Do one silly thing every day

But it really doesn’t matter if you don’t live  sea, just take a walk anywhere (the park, a busy street, beside a river) and take the time to look around – slow down and just look – you’ll be amazed at what you can see. And what you can imagine!

Creating the start of an idea...
Creating the start of an idea…

So what do I really think lives in the woods…. and what lies beyond the mysterious staircase…. well I have some ideas – but that’s for another day!

So until next time – do one silly thing every day – just because – and keep smiling 🙂

 

Christmas in October

I know, I know – it’s October. I have no right to be blogging about Christmas. I’m sorry (truly I am), but I love it – and anyway, I have to start planning now so that my Christmas range is ready when people need them!

And this year, I have had a little extra inspiration, in the form of a book – Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan.

Candy Canes
Christmas Candy Canes

I first came across Jenny Colgan’s work when I was looking for some light summer reading. I was browsing the book shelves in my local bookshop (one of the few remaining ones sadly), and I found The Cupcake Cafe.

Regular followers of Jac will know that I love both coffee and cake – so this book just called to me. And it was fab – but that’s not what I am here to write about today.

So, where was I…  oh yes, Christmas.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I just really fancied some quiet time curled up on the sofa, and everyone knows you need a good book for that. So, off I went in search of a good read. And then I found Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe (the sequel to my summer read).

Coffee, cake and Christmas – what more is there!!

As I am sure you can imagine this is not a heavy read (it’s not going to help in my quest to score more than 12 on University Challenge), but it’s a nice easy, can’t put it down till you’ve finished it kind of book.

It’s a story of love, conflict and cake. It features Issy (who owns the café) and

Festive cupcake
Christmas Cupcakes

her boyfriend Austin – and this book is set in both London and New York (I’m not saying any more than that, you’ll have to read it yourself)

And this book has a real atmosphere, I swear I could literally smell the coffee and cinnamon – see the steamed up windows of the café and feel the snow falling around me… and, for those bakers amongst you, this book also includes recipes for the featured cakes (not that I have attempted any of those yet).

If you are looking for a feel good cosy book this Christmas, it’s just perfect….

Christmas Pudding
Good Old Christmas Pud
The illustrations featured in this blog are Jac originals – available to order as cards. See Jac’s Facebook page for more information.

The Best Season…

I saw my first orange leaf today. I love autumn – I find it such an inspiring time of year. All those wonderful colours – yellow, oranges and red all around. And people get wrapped up – I love looking at people in their hats and scarves – so many colours and textures.

Jac all wrapped up
Jac all wrapped up

It’s also a good excuse for comfort food – steaming hot bowls of soup, great crusty bread, hot chocolate by the fire. (well, if I had a real fire!).

Since I started the studio, I find inspiration everywhere – from a falling leaf, to a poor unfortunate soul whose umbrella has blown inside out (quite often me!)

Poor Old Ted!
Poor Old Ted!

The only draw back is the shorter days – it limits the time I can do colour work, so evenings are spent on sketches and preparation work. I have be much more organised at this time of year (not easy for me). And of course, there is the drop in temperature! It can get cold sitting by the desk all day – so you’ll often find me with two pairs of socks, big fluffy slippers, several layers and a scarf! (just wait till winter arrives). I must be quite a picture to anyone who glanced through the window. (I think the post man is used to me by now at least).

But one of the best things about autumn is that I’m working on Christmas items. I love Christmas – I really am still a big kid at heart. But Christmas is for another blog……. I’m off for a warming hot chocolate …… 🙂

What can be more fun that kicking around Autumn leaves
What can be more fun that kicking around Autumn leaves

Of books and bull dogs…

Hi There – and welcome to another edition of Jac’s blog – written in Jac’s Little Welsh Studio.

 As part of “Doggy Doodle Week” I was privileged to meet Henry Percival (HP) – a bulldog with a passion for books, who kindly agreed to be interviewed. Most of the questions were posed by Jac’s Facebook fans – a very inquisitive lot!

Henry - the Bull Dog Librarian
Henry – the Bull Dog Librarian

 Jac – Hi Mr Percival – pleased to meet you.

 HP – Likewise. But please, call me Henry.

Jac – Thanks Henry. So – you work in the local library – what do you enjoy most about that?

HP – Everything! It’s an amazing place to work. I’ve met some great characters through my work here. Dotty the Sheep, Horace the Hedgehog, Daisy the Cow – just some of the customers that have become my friends. And of course, I do love to read. Working here means I get to see all the new books as the arrive and get the pick of the crop!

 Jac – so what are you reading at the moment?

HP – I’ve just started the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon – it’s a fascinating read.

 Jac – and what would you say is your favourite book?

HP – Mmm – I would have to say the Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But – as a pup I did love 101 Dalmations.  These days I love reading it to the children who visit the library. And I always love watching the Disney animation whenever it’s on TV!

Jac – I notice you have your glasses on at the moment. Do you wear those all the time, or are they just for reading.

HP – All the time (must be my age!). I have lots of different pairs though – I love changing the colour to match my mood!

 Jac – Finally – what do you think of e-readers – and do you have one?

HP – I do have one. I do actually prefer a real book – you can’t beat the smell of a book, or the feel of flicking through the pages. But the e-book is a little bit more practical when I go travelling – it really reduces the weight of my luggage!

 Jac – thank you Henry for a giving us a little insight into you and your work – perhaps you’d come back to see us again in future?

 HP – That would be a pleasure. I look forward to reading your future blogs and seeing which of my friends will be featured next!