Snap!

I appear to becoming obsessed.

With capturing images – I can’t go anywhere without a camera! From flowers by the side of the road, to rooftops  – through to stunning views (and I’ve seen a lot of them lately!), I am constantly snapping away.

I think I am afraid to miss something – if I see something that catches my eye it sparks my imagination. So many ideas and so little time means I feel the need to collect them – albeit in digital form, to use later.

And it’s not just what I take pictures of that is inspiring for me – it also how I take them.

Capturing Work in ProgressMy husband always moans when we upload pictures after a day out or a few days away, as nearly every one of mine will be sideways so need rotating. Worse than that (in his view) they will be at a “jaunty” angle – so that no amount of rotating will see that picture straight. I guess I am a nightmare for those with an obsession for straight lines!

I love getting close up to the subject – especially flowers, to really capture the detail – which I guess is similar to my artwork, in which I love to add the extra details – the toadstool, the snail – or the patch on a teddies behind (cheeky!).

Hand drawn and painted pretty wedding cake

And now, I am thinking about how I can combine this new found love of snapping images with me art work. I’m starting to think how I can use my ideas to improve the images I take of my art, of my products so that you all really see the best of them. It’s like I want the photo of my artwork to almost be art in itself.

And that is where I am today – snapping away in the studio, all my recent pieces of art strewn (well delicately placed) all over the place – props lined up – ready for their close up. Expect to see some experiments – some I am sure will work well – some no doubt not so much. But, I will share lots and I hope you will all let me know what you think. I’ll use the best ones here on my website – and if you want to see more, do join me over on my Facebook page – I’d love to see you there!

Till next time.

Jac x

 

 

 

 

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.

Busy, Busy!

 

People often say to me – you are so busy all the time – don’t you ever stop?

Well – the answer is yes – sometimes. But then I get bored (or fall asleep). I much prefer to be be busy – whether that’s doing things at home – being out and about – or working in the studio.

Recently it’s been all about the studio. I’ve had a little flurry of commissions come through – all so individual and such fun to work on. Over the last week or so I’ve worked on wedding pieces, new baby creations and a number of very special birthdays. I just love getting these orders – learning about other people’s interest and what is important to them. We are all so different!

Last week saw me drawing bagpipes, bears, yoga, cats, tea, jewellery, scuba divers…. and it goes on. You really can’t get more diverse!

And then of course, there is my ongoing work for my online Etsy store and Facebook customers – and I’m currently preparing for a few craft fairs.  It’s been a mad mixture of birthdays, Halloween and Christmas – a doodler could be easily confused. Merry Birthday everyone 😉

Very special birthday card
Very special birthday card

And just to bring the week to a brilliant close, I had my first firm Christmas order at the weekend and a very exciting large commission piece confirmed – happy days. If you need me, I’ll be in my studio….

Hand Drawn Christmas Gift Tags
Hand Drawn Christmas Gift Tags

(But you can also find me on 28th September at the Made it Market in Neath, and on the 5th of October I’ll be at the Llanelli Craft and Gift Fair ).

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!

Oodles of Doodles

Fans of Jac’s Little Welsh Studio will know that Jac just loves to doodle – from alphabet letters to Halloween themes, from the farmyard to the circus I do at least one doodle every day. Just for fun.

Why? To make people smile – and why not?

My doodles are different from my “normal” illustrations. They are simpler, quicker and done with little or no preparation! I think them, I draw them, I colour them. Simples! Each one is unique (no matter how hard I work, I’d never get two the same) and normally done in watercolour – with occasional detail in pencil. Every one is published on my Facebook page, so do check that out too!www.facebook.com/jacsstudio

Windswept Sheep
A refreshing breeze!