Thursday, 19 April 2012

An Afternoon on the River...

click to enlarge.

Attic Treasures No.2: Embroidered Picture

Time for another Attic Treasure I think!

When my brother and I were little, we spent an awful lot of time playing with two girls who were friends of the family. They were Gemma, who is few years older than me, and Rebecca, who is just a couple of months older than me, and we were constantly at each other's houses playing elaborate games in the gardens.
One of my best early memories is of going to a soft play centre with both families and Rebecca and I (aged about 4?) bravely scaling a long rope ladder to a pirate ship's crows nest suspended above a thick foam mat. We were very excited to do this and felt a wonderful sense of achievement at reaching the top. Looking back, it probably wasn't all that high, but to use then being small, it felt like we'd scaled Everest!

Once we'd finished congratulating ourselves we peered nervously over the edge of the crow's nest and immediately were terrified beyond belief at the dizzy-making gulf between us and the floor. Needless to say there was much yelling and panic until Rebecca's dad climbed up to fetch us...

Not very pirate-like I think you'll agree...


This attic treasure is really special. I still think it's one of the sweetest gifts I've ever been given. My family had spent a day with Gemma and Rebecca's family and at some point I had been doodling as I nearly always was. I drew a little picture of me, my parents and my big brother Matt. Once it was finished I promptly forgot about it and left it probably on the floor of one of the girl's bedrooms. I think this would be around the time of the Incident with the Crow's Nest, so again, I was about 4 maybe?

Imagine my surprise then when, a couple of weeks later when we were all together again, Gemma and Rebecca's mum, Angela, presented me this:

Angela had found my drawing and had made a little embroidered picture from my original line work.
I remember not really being able to get my head around how she had done it, but was really touched by it as I still am now. I had it hung on my bedroom wall right up until around the time I went to university, when it was taken down when my old bedroom at my parent's house was redecorated.

I'm so happy to have found it again and will be putting it on my studio wall with all my other special treasures.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Attic Treasures No.1: My sketchbook, aged 5/6

My parents are having a bit of building work done on their house which involved clearing out and tidying their attic. My brother, my nephews and I were enlisted to help out and we spent a day last week sorting through boxes and basically reliving our childhoods. 
My nephews were goggle-eyed at some of the things we found. I eagerly showed them a Walkman and they looked at it (and me) in the way I would look at an object from Ancient Egypt. 

I suddenly felt very, very old...

But amongst the boxes (and boxes and boxes) of books and toys, we managed to turn up some real treasures. I'm going to put a few of them up on here this week. 

I thought we might start with a sketchbook of mine that I produced when I was very little indeed. Initially I thought I had drawn these when I was about 6/7, but I've looked at another drawing I know I created when I was five, and the images below are very similar in style to that, so I think this sketchbook was created when I was in Year 1 at primary school, so I was five years old.

Quite an eclectic mix of thing I think you will agree!

Cat and Bird in the Woods.

A Bald Person Wearing Lipstick.

Horse and Carriage. 

Dormice in their Nest.

Portrait of my friend Sarah 
(whom I've been friends with now for almost 23 years!)

Things That Are On My Desk.

A Boy.
(I have a sneaky idea that this not very flattering portrait may well be of someone from my class!)

A Still Life of a Brick.

A Scary Vampire.

A Fork.

Come back here later this week for pages from my 1992/93 diary ( when I was aged 7) as well as some pages from various summer holiday journals that I wrote and illustrated from the age of 4 to about 9!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter !

Here's the chocolate cake I've made for the occasion. 
I see a chocolate sugar high on the horizon!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

There goes the Bride...

click to enlarge

I realised the other day that I've been so busy with picture books recently, I haven't kept my adult work up to date. So whilst waiting for things to save etc on other jobs this week, I did this for my editorial/ book cover portfolio.

This isn't a real book, I made it up. And Alice Stapleton was my lovely Irish grandmother. She never wrote any books, by my word could she tell a tale!

Sunday, 1 April 2012