Archive for October, 2008

7th-8th September Autumn Fair 2008 NEC

Friday, October 31st, 2008

If you’re not familiar with this it’s a trade fair aimed at retail buyers

It was my first time at the Autumn fair though I have attended the Spring one before.  Because it was smaller than the Spring Fair it gave me more chance to approach stands.  Lots of positive feed back on my work – always a great confidence boost.

Like any other exhibition it was exhausting, especially being on your feet all day so comfortable shoes were very welcome.  

Stationery and Gifts – Interesting Products &Trends

Animal shaped doorstops

Personalised products –candles and mugs to write you own message

Dotty pattern on ceramics-Teapot shaped rugs

Party Bunting

Butterfly and Flower shaped paper garlands

Funny Sock puppets

Handmade characters-with stitching effect, Stripes and dotty

Recycled products-material shopping bags stands were extremely busy!

A lot of Birds, monkeys Cup cakes and Fairies.


Gift of the Year Winners

Kids: Portmeirion Potteries Ltd-The very Hungry caterpillar-2 piece set- (how exciting!)

Stationery: Blue Marmalade Envelope Angel-Label to stick on padded envelopes.

Card & Wrap: Highly commended- Noonoodesign-Greeting Card with Detachable Felt Snuggler

(a really sweet idea!).

26th September – Derby Feste 2008

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Derby Festé 2008 for the opening of the new QUAD centre took place from Friday 26th – Sunday 28th September. The £11 million pound centre for art and design has made a fantastic addition to Derby life.

It was a fantastic evening-which sent shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes and I really had that proud feeling to be an Artistic Derby lass! There was an spectacular display of 3 acts that evening, there were as follows:

The Giants of Derby awaken – when characters from Derby’s past, portrayed by local people mingled with the crowds on the Market Place. This event was funded as part of a Heritage Lottery project.

Quad Derby-Outside giantsGiants-Derby Quad

Sarruga – a Spanish street art company brought us ‘An invasion of Insects!’ an incredible show (like The Dragons they brought us in 2007)

insectgiant spiderInsect-QuadUnder giant insect

Heliosphere – Spiralling and spinning and seemingly weightless, an acrobat suspended beneath a helium balloon explored the Market Place, reaching out to hold hands with people in the crowd.


BalloonThe Icing on the Quad and to end the evening with style -A fantastic display of Fireworks

-BaNG, Pop, POP WhizzZz!

Quad fireworksQuad fireworks (more…)

14th September – Just Daisy!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

My Niece’s birthday so we had a very posh breakfast with scrambled egg and smoked salmon on muffins and croissants with strawberry jam -Yummy!

After singing Happy Birthday my niece and nephew helped me put together a video of me sketching ‘Just daisy!’ for U tube do hope you like it!  A big Thank you to them both!

3rd to 10th October Poole Holiday

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Poole – a holiday that gives me more inspiration

My husband & I went to Poole for a week; we had a really relaxing time eating and drinking too much.  We had rain, rain and more rain  then from Wednesday glorious sunshine –so we managed to get a little bit of a healthy glow!Poole HarbourPoole HarbourBoat-SandbanksLady K-boatBoat -Poole 

Brownsea Island Tour

Wednesday 8th- A day  to remember on Brownsea Island, We travelled on a boat to the island then enjoyed an hour’s Red Squirrels guided tour with a National Trust guide-which was most informative and enjoyable. Brownsea IslandBrownsea Island forest

 We managed to see about 9 magical sightings of the little furry creatures mainly on the ground, but a few were up in the trees. The colours amongst the forest were fantastic as the  sunshine bounced off the  Autumn changing leaves and a glimpse of a red shiny coat bobbing along the branches. 

 Our guide informed us that the island was getting prepared for Autumn Watch and showed us the building they were stopping in and there was also a lot of new bird boxes and feeders around the Island.

 After the walk we had just enough time to have tea and cake with the really friendly and cheeky peacocks which tried to pinch my cake and for a moment  one peacock had his head in a bag of crisps!


Thursday 9th 

Robin James Aveda Lifestyle Salon-Poole

I enjoyed a pamper morning - Three treatments; an Indian head massage with Jasmine oils, Hopi Ear Candles and a refreshing eye treatment all extremely relaxing and calming  especially when polished of with a lovely blend of Aveda comforting tea and a biscuit.

Talking of Tea-we stopped to have tea to escape the rain and my husband found a duck in his cup!!- (see photo-it will explain)

 Tea- Duck in a cup

18th October – Ilkeston Charter Fair

Friday, October 31st, 2008

We had a go on the dodgems and I noticed a fair stand with the ‘Me to You’ bear for prizes and my very best friend Winnie the Pooh!  I managed to take arty pictures of children’s rides for inspiration.

When I was a little girl I used to love going on the Hook a Duck Stand!Thomas -Ilkeston FairHook A Duckcar ride- Ilkeston Fair


30th October -Radio Two

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Radio Two 8.45am

I couldn’t believe itTwo Bare Feet’ was on the radio –There was no stopping me I turned the radio up, socks in my hands and took to the kitchen floor !! Booogie Time!

1st October Brand Licensing Show Europe Olympia London

Friday, October 31st, 2008

My very first visit to the Brand Licensing Show! Lots of suited and booted professionals walking around amongst big furry characters to say hello and to take pictures of.

Dora the ExplorerBlue Character

 All my favourite old and new characters and under one roof, created by my heroes of illustration.


Old Brand Favourites:

Winnie the Pooh

The Hungry Caterpillar

Holly Hobbie


Ivor the Engine

Noddy and the Mr Men, especially Mr Bump!


New Brand Characters:

Little Ewe

Little Ewe, a lovely sweet looking little sheep 

Goochi coo-a baby character

Stripy Horse-illustrator Karen Wall

Woof –illustrator Caroline Jayne Church


The main trend was that old characters were given the woolly knitted or fabric look.

For example ‘Bang on the door’ have a fabric looking range of animals.

There was also the dog Boofle which I have seen on the high street!

Foxwood Tales has been given a revamp –with a style very much like Lucy Cousins

Maisy the mouse!


The show was a true inspiration and has certainly given me a good dose of energy to move forward with the projects I have in the pipe line.

It would be so exciting if next year I have character which I have created  sitting proud in a cabinet, lets just see what happens……




29th October Katie Melua – Nottingham Trent Fm Arena

Friday, October 31st, 2008

After eating a hot dog we found our seats and watched the first act, an Australian singer Andrea McEwan. 

 A very lively act – One song she sang which made me chuckle was about losing socks in the wash. I’ve always thought that there is a sock monster in every washing machine!

Then the lights dimmed and the moment I’d had been waiting for all day…

Katie Melua took to the stage.  I had a shiver down my spine and a tear in my eye.  Her voice lit up the whole stadium – you could hear a pin drop as she sang a few solos with each note perfect!

 Then the whole stage transformed with a combination of incredible lighting, images and video projected on to a number of large screens-very clever.

Of course she sang the favourites-but introduced us to a new song called ‘Two Bare Feet’-a real boogie number-there no doubt I’ll be dancing to that one.

 All I can say – Fantastic! And Thank you Katie Melua for a most enjoyable evening!


Katie Melua-Tickets

3rd & 17th September – Creative Industry Network workshops (CIN)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

I attended 2 invaluable workshops ‘Back to the Future’  which was all about business planning and ‘Life’s a Pitch’! on Presentation skills.  Both only cost a fiver each which was worth every penny.

Tracy Pepper from Piu-a little more

She presented a really informative workshop about business planning. She also provides a service called walking coach where she takes clients out in the countryside – I really liked this idea -she was very impressed with my business card and mission statement.

Kate Lee presented the ‘Life’s’ a Pitch” workshop.  It was a laugh a minute. She gave me some really useful comments on my presentation skills. I’m one of the 90% of people who hate giving presentations.  I generally have to lower the pitch of my voice as it seems to get higher with nerves when I talk to an audience. Her advice was as follows:

“Meanwhile do those simple little exercises (the humming glide and the humm humm agreeing noise, then speaking on that note.  It’s very much about trying out new sounds and using them.  Read aloud lowering the pitch slightly - a little every day and gradually it won’t feel so strange.  It’s all about re-training muscles.  The breathing and ‘centring’ will be excellent for you too”. 

17th September-I’m Model at ‘Picture This’ Ilkeston

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008


Model for the morning – Mug shots of me!

Kate Smith Mug Shot 1Kate Smith Mug Shot 2

Kate Smith Mug Shot 4

Kate Smith Mug Shot 5

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