Friday, 26 September 2014

Inky Fingers...

It's been another busy week here in the Studio with lots of visits to the press and much messy mixing of inks. Before we reveal what has been taking up so much of our time let's get on with this week's...

 .. Fabulous Folksy Friday Finds!

'T' has been the letter of inspiration and offered up a very eclectic mix of lovely wares. All shops are well worth a browse around, their url's are under their photo's.

  'T' is for...

Ssh...Don't let the hounds know where he's hiding...

T is for Tea cosy - and what a jolly character perches aloft the teapot, his tail is one of the bushiest fox tails ever! Linda has an assortment of woodland chums adorning her fun tea cosies. Find them all back in her Folksy shop:

Nearly time to get the lights and baubles out

T is for Trees -  This dainty ceramic brooch decorated with a mini forest of pine trees puts us in mind of Christmas. Would add a hint of seasonal cheer to any lapel. Julia's Folksy shop is bursting at the seams with all things ceramic including some very handsome plates decorated with bicycles, well worth a visit:

Perfect pocket Pal

T is for Teddy Bear - This tiny Teddy stands just 9cm high. His purpose in life is to fit neatly into someone's life and be there as a bear friend when they need a little companionship. Think we could all find room for him or one of his colourful friends. Mandy does request that guardians of her pocket teddies do send updates to her Facebook page of the many travels each teddy takes. Fill the void in your life back at Mandy's Folksy shop:

A bag for the all the wordsmiths

T is for Typewriter - This satchel style shoulder bag decorated with rows of pink retro typewriters is beautifully made and certainly one of a kind. Lots more original bags and purses back at Jenny's Folksy shop so if you want to stand out from the crowd a trip over there is advised:

The garden hasn't cottoned on that it's meant to be Autumn. Think the pleasurable pastime of deadheading and the most welcome September sunshine is extending the flower season in our floral garden beyond any expectations. The Cosmos have now been flowering for four months.

Bees still busy among the White Purity Cosmos

In the Studio the inks and press have been seeing lots of action. It's taken a great deal of time, a gouged digit and 11 colours but, at last, Gary's latest reduction linocut print can now be revealed as finished!

11th colour just pressed - a rich chocolate brown

Peeling the print away from the plate slowly...

..Nearly there... is that a hint of red on the tail?

And finally the completed print

Feel there should really be a fanfare of trumpets - here it is, in all it's glory - a very handsome wading bird titled 'The Secretive Snipe'. It is a limited edition linocut reduction of just 30 prints. Signed, titled and numbered in pencil by Gary and supplied in a cream mount.

Secretive Snipe hidden in the reed bed

While researching this shy bird we found the collective noun is a 'wisp of Snipes', lovely. And one of the many folklore names for the bird is a Heather Bleat, seems appropriate here.
It will be available in our online shops this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend.

'If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done'.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Better late than never...

This Friday blog was very nearly put on hold. Unfortunately while eating lunch on Wednesday I cracked a back molar and exposed the nerve. I've managed to get an emergency appointment this afternoon with the Dentist, so for once I can't wait to get there! It's not much fun and I have had to resort to heavy duty painkillers, but hopefully I will come out of the Dentist without pain and regardless of the novocaine will be attempting a lop sided smile.

Time to introduce...

 .. Fabulous Folksy Friday Finds!

The letter 'S' has allowed us to follow a theme this week, there's definitely a scent of the salty sea about our finds. All shops are well worth a browse around, their url's are under their photo's.

  'S' is for...

Pretty in Pewter
S is for Seahorse - Such a charming picture delicately worked in Pewter. There is a nod to the Art Nouveau period in Judith's Pewter work pictures, her Folksy shop is well worth a browse around:

Memories of the beach
S is for Seashell - An unusual necklace with a sunny holiday feel to it. Elizabeth lives in a beautiful spot on the Scottish coastline so the inspiration for her work is close at hand. Lots of pretty sea inspired jewellery back in Elizabeth's Folksy Shop:

Stormy night at sea
S is for Sail Boat - This tough little boat is heading into the eye of the storm. (Know it hasn't any sails but just had to sneak it in here).We love Helen's selection of boats, they each have their own personality and would make a great gift for both sailors and land lubbers alike. See the rest of the flotilla back at Helen's Folksy Shop:

These Seagulls will keep an eye on your bag

S is for Seagull - Such a humorous, original bag. These cheeky seagulls would brighten any day! Irene only makes one of a kind bags so if you are looking for something different bob along to her Folksy shop:

Back here we've been enjoying the September sunshine. The garden is still a rich artist's palette of colours with the butterflies adding their bright wing patterns to the mix.

Hanging on to summer...

The postman delivered the first spring bulb order this week. They are always received with great excitement and thoughts are turned to next years floral display.  

Anticipation in a box - lots of Alliums

In the Studio the press has been busy printing lots of dog prints. We've been adding new colours to some of our dog breeds, they are all now available in our online shops.

We've also taken advantage of the sunshine to start the long process of taking new product shots of all our prints. It's a big job but we are ploughing our way through the list, hoping to have them all completed in the next week.

'Caged' hounds drying off

Enjoy your Weekend.

'Your life is your garden,
Your thoughts are the seeds.
If your life isn't awesome,
You've been watering the weeds'.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Feeling under the weather...

This week's Friday blog nearly didn't make it, we are both suffering with colds at present and seem to be spending our days either coughing, sneezing or sniffing. The only thing keeping the spirit willing is the odd hot toddy! 

So without further ado here we go with...

 .. Fabulous Folksy Friday Finds!

The letter 'R' has unearthed some gems this week, have to say this is one of my personal favourite finds collection, could happily find space here at home for all of these items. All shops are well worth a browse around, their url's are under their photo's.

  'R' is for...

Get packing...
R is for Retro - as in Retro, Vintage style Carpet Bags. I am desperate to book a trip away just so that I can have an excuse to purchase these fabulous bags from Tracey's Folksy shop. From the choice of fabric to the styling and finish I just love these bags, talk about travelling in style!

Understated elegance
R is for Ring - This silver and 9ct gold ring has an almost organic quality to it. Especially like the random pattern made from hammering process and it's lovely sheen. Jane's Folksy shop is a must see for jewellery addicts.

For your country home
R is for Rug - I've always had a soft spot for rag rugs, they look beautiful when completed and I like the idea that they are putting to good use all those scraps of fabric left over from other crafting. The colour palette Teresa has chosen for this piece would add a hint of warmth to any room.

For your smallest room

R is for Roll Holder - As in loo roll holder! I do love ornamental ironwork and am in admiration for those people who have the skills to produce such elegant pieces from hard metal. Hayley talks about her passion for blacksmithing and it truly shows in her wonderful iron workings, her Folksy shop shows her skills for this art form, I love every single item in it!

Back here things have moved on at a snail's pace. The barrel of windfall apples sat in the kitchen from our foraging exploits needed attention over the weekend so I set to and put on a large pan of chutney. 

Apple harvest

Settled on a recipe for Bengal Chutney, a hot little number that went down well last year with everyone who tried it. The unexpected benefit of having chutney bubbling away on the stove when you have a cold is that the vinegar fumes go a long way to clearing the head!

Approach with caution

In the Studio we managed to get another limited edition landscape print photographed and uploaded to our online shops. Pleased to say it was immediately picked up for the front page on Folksy, it's always great to get some extra exposure. 

It is an atmospheric snow scene of the Yorkshire dales in winter and is limited to just 25 prints. It looks a great hillside for a spot of sledging, just remember to aim for the gate at the bottom!

Winter Dales - a limited edition of just 25 prints

Gary is still working on his next wildlife print. It has to date visited the printing press 4 times and there is talk of at least another 3 colours to be added to the print. That information translates into a registration nightmare for the hand printmaker, with every pressing being reliant on placing the paper in exactly the same position as the previous pressing... looking forward to seeing the finished print.

Hopefully this weekend we will feel up to tackling the garden, the grass seems to be growing at an alarming rate and the weeds are competing with the winter salad leaves. We also need to start thinking about spring bulbs so will make time to spend a pleasurable half hour perusing the bulb brochures and imaging our spring garden extravaganza.

Enjoy your weekend.

'A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition'.
William Arthur Ward.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Indian Summer perhaps...

Hip hip hooray, the sunshine has returned and according to the weather bods we can look forward to a mild autumn. We might just get a squash out of the veg patch yet!

It's that time yet again, time for...

 .. Fabulous Folksy Friday Finds!

The letter 'Q' proved to be a challenge and some of the finds might be stretching the pretext of our Alphabet challenge. Just wait until we get to X and Z.... All the brilliant Folksy shops featured are well worth a stop over, their url's are under their photo's.

  'Q' is for...

The many shades of Autumn

Q is for Quilling - This is such a fascinating craft and these pretty leaves show what wonderful structures can be achieved. These delicate Maple leaves are made from Eco friendly paper and come in a fluttering pack of three types of leaves, Oak and Sweet Chestnut are also included. Victoria's Folksy shop also has some fabulous Christmas decorations too, (yes, I mentioned the Christmas word again!)

Simply Beautiful

Q is for Quilting - It's official I just love this quilt! Made up from Harris Tweed and sumptuous deep velvet it's just the sort of blanket to snuggle under as the evenings get chillier. Also love that Lisa uses her sweet little Westie dog to help model her quilts! Check out these quilts and Rosa the dog back in Lisa's Folksy shop:

Organic Elegance

Q is for Quartz - This pretty necklace captures the raw beauty of the two types of Quartz stones used. Corrina's Folksy shop is full of original jewellery pieces and is worth a visit to get your wish list started!

Country Cottage Chic

Q is for Queen - Queen Bee that is. Hand printed onto soft grey linen this busy bee cushion would add a hint of regal splendor to any room. If you are on the hunt for stylish cushions look no further than Helen's Folksy Shop:

Back here the floral garden is moving into it's Autumn colour palette, with the bright yellow of the Rudbekias lighting up the borders.

Rudbeckia trooping the Autumn colours in the garden

In the Veg garden we are still enjoying the many fruits of our labour. It's all been a waiting game this year as we had to hold back until quite late in the season to be able to plant up everything we had lovingly nurtured from seeds. We have at last picked our first outdoor cucumber, there are lots more to come, so that's 'posh' sandwiches all round - although we do like to keep our crusts on!

First Cucumber of the year

We are not going to get caught out this year with our wood supply and have been taking time out to split logs and burn carbs all in one action. The patterns in the log store are worthy of a photo.

Installation Artwork for the garden perhaps?

In the Studio the press has had a rest while we both are busy cutting lino plates. Gary is working on an intricate request piece which is taking up all of his time, it looks like it will be stunning once completed. I'm working in autumn tones so I don't have to look too far for inspiration.

Our Black Labrador is proving popular at present, he is a handsome chap and very faithful too. Gary is always adding to our 'kennel' of dog prints and is happy to take requests for breeds not already available.

Man's Best Friend

Enjoy your weekend.

'Wag more, bark less'.

Monday, 1 September 2014

September Harvest

September already, this year has flown by. 

We have just celebrated our first year anniversary in this property and have to admit that we still have packing boxes gracing most of the rooms here. As there is still lots to do in the interior we saw no reason in unpacking everything only to have to pack them away again once we get around to starting all the building works. Not that our two cats mind, they love nothing better than finding a comfy box in a patch of sunshine and curling up for a snooze.

Our little tabby enjoying a cat nap

We spent a lovely couple of hours last Friday immersed in the simple pleasure of harvesting juicy ripe blackberries, the first windfall apples and greenhouse tomatoes ready for eating. All free produce from our friend's couple of acres exchanged for our time spent watering their plants whilst they are away. 

We have sufficient quantities to be able to make assorted fruit crumbles, muffins, chutneys and I think that a large pot of homemade tomato soup might be on tonight's supper menu.

Destined for the kitchen

This second photo made us smile. Gary photo bombed his own shot with his work boots!

Spot the photographer!

The garden is having to look after itself for a few days, all is looking verdant even though it's not getting our full attention. I'm happy to report the Japanese Anemone we lifted from my Mum's front garden earlier in the year is happy in it's new home. The pretty pink perennial was first discovered growing in a property we were renovating in 2006 and when we moved we divided it and took some to our next home. This was further divided and we took some over to my Mum's tiny cottage garden. So now it has found it's way back to us and we are happy to make it's acquaintance once again.

A 'dolly mixture' palette of colours

We spent the entire weekend hard at work here in the Studio. The amount of printing we have been doing of late is akin to a gym workout! Gary mixes the ink, rollers it onto the lino plate and then positions the plate onto the press. I then carefully place the paper onto the plate, Gary operates the hand press and once the image is pressed I peel off the print and carefully transport it to the drying rack which is housed in our dining room, (the amount of time it is used for dining as opposed to holding drying prints it really should be re-titled the drying room). We have set ourselves a target amount of prints to be completed and added to our Etsy shop before the end of Autumn. It should be achievable, with the wind behind us all the way!

One of my landscape prints had it's final colour added yesterday and is waiting to be photographed before listing for sale. Still working on the title for it, it is a view of the Yorkshire Dales in Winter. Hopefully once I've settled on a title it should be appearing in both our Etsy and Folksy shops sometime this week. But here's a little peek of what it looks like hanging up to dry.

Brrrr... there's a nip in the air

We are still getting to grips with Twitter, it's good to come across our online friends there. If you do find yourself tweeting do pop over to say hello, you can find us @littleramstudio, obviously!

Enjoy your week.

'You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea'.
Pablo Picasso.