Sunday, September 30, 2007

Home Treasures

Your grandmother's wedding ring? Darts trophies? A special photograph? If you had to grab one item what would it be?

I love this photo of my Grandma with my sister and I taken a year ago. My grandma died this February and this photo is very important to me.

These paintings are also special to me. The pink camel was painted by my friend Marie and she gave it to me for my birthday and few years ago. I painted the painting of my Grandma when I was doing GCSE art, so about 12 years ago!

Your Sanctuary

It's on Friday that home becomes your sacred space. Do you chill out, re-boot or get away? Is the TV your saviour or a nice Pinot Noir? Share your friday with us. this photo project goes on I feel I'm desperately trying to scrape together 3 half decent photos. It doesn't help that James has been away since Friday so I can't ask him to take any photos of me so all you have here are a few photos summing up me getting ready to go to my friend Sarah's.

I start my new job tomorrow and am nervous!

Friday, September 28, 2007

I love vintage!

Does anyone remember this shop that I blogged about months ago? Well, if not it's a gorgeous shop on Hyde Park corner in Leeds and it is well worth a visit. Retro Boutique sells vintage furniture, clothes, bedspreads, bags, jewellery, mirrors, artwork and lots more. It's great to go there and just have a nosey round. I went yesterday as I was actually looking for some furniture and got these beautiful art deco drawers. They're from the 1930s and I'm in love with them! I bought them because I liked them so much so their period is irrelevant really- I would've bought them anyway- but it's lovely to get something with a bit of history and character and to wonder about who owned them before. My original plan was to get some Ikea drawers which would've cost more and had no character at all. I'm glad I got these.

Look at the handles!

Then I went next door to this shop which sells very high quality vintage clothing and a few bits and pieces:

The first time I went here I was scared to go down the stairs. The entrance is painted black and it's very dimly lit...I was worried I was entering some sort of dodgy 'parlour'! This display is on the wall as you go in:

I found this lovely painted japanese table which I must've seen about 4 months ago. I couldn't believe it was still there and scooped it up straight away. I love it!

It has a music box in the back so when you open the drawer it plays a little tune. I thought it was so cute and very me and no way could I have left it in the shop. It wasn't even for sale, it was part of the display but the owner let me have it for just £10. What a nice guy.

Dinner Time

Show us what's for supper! Who's on a diet? Who's not?! And who's that eating on their lap in front of the television? The plate says it all. Come on, let's have a look!

Well, this really isn't typical of my evening meals- I often cook something nice from scratch. Last night there wasn't much in so I had this ready prepared stir fry. I was eating alone as James was working late, as you can from empty chair in the last photo.
Speaking of James, perhaps I over estimated his levels of easy-going-ness. He was shocked and upset that I hadn't consulted him over the photos of him getting dressed before I plastered them all over my blog. Ha ha! He'll get over it but I'll have to be more considerate in future!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Midday Madness?

Who's at home? Children? Friends? Just you having a peaceful lunch? Whether it's a calm moment or a crazy toddler-fuelled one, we'd like a peep.

Not very hectic at mine but anyway here's a photo of my lunch. For those of you who have stumbled across my blog for perhaps the first time, don't worry, I'm not mad (debatable), I'm just doing the Uk At Home photo project this week. Toasted bagels with cream cheese and 2 very lovely congratulations cards which arrived this morning (I didn't eat them!) I saved them until lunchtime to open so I had something to look forward to with my lunch (how sad!) I especially love the card on the left which my auntie sent me- she lives in the US. It's so cute with the pigs' snouts made of a tiny pink button. Very me!

Morning Rush

Cereal, toast, lunch boxes, showers, feed the dog, off to school, off to work. Quick, quick! Snap, snap!

Oops! I was meant to take these yesterday morning but James got up at 6.30am and I just couldn't get up at that I took this set this morning at a more reasonable 7am. I took some of these shots using the 'burst' program on my camera. This setting doesn't allow flash but you can take several photos in a row. I think the blur adds to the sense of haste. Incidently, all the excitement and distraction of being photographed whilst getting ready for work led James to take both sets of keys to work. So I'm locked in until lunch time!

Now, which three shall I submit?

Monday, September 24, 2007

The big tour

Show us what makes the place where you live your home. Capture the essence and emotions- the nooks and crannies, the cat curled up in its favourite place, the piles of laundry after the weekend, whatever says it all about your home.

Not sure how well I've answered this brief, but here are a few of my photos from today. I must say that doing this project today has made me really look at my home and see things that I ignore every day in a new light. I have to face up to the fact that we are messy (even though I like to think I'm not!) I've had good fun taking these photos and trying to get nice shots from what is a fairly small, basic rented flat. We've lived here for 3 years though, so it is home.
I can submit up to 3 shots for today's project and am finding it hard to decide which ones to use. What do you think?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Take a snapshot of home

I don't know if any of you get The Guardian on a Saturday but this week I found this in the Family section (which for some reason is my favourite bit even though I have no kids):

What does "home" mean to you? The table covered in spilt cereal? Curling up for a bedtime story? Everything just so? Or total chaos? The creators of a new book and exhibition, UK at Home, would like to find out, so they are asking the public to take photos of their homes- and what goes on in them- from Monday to Sunday this week.
The organisers are looking for pictures of a specific time or space each day (listed on the website), as well as general shots that show the character or our homes and how we use them. A book and exhibition is planned for February.

I don't start my new job until 1st October so I'm up for a creative challenge this week. I will post the results on my blog- no idea if they will get into the book but I'm doing it for fun really. If anyone else is interested (Penny, your kitchen is ace so you could take some great shots!) then let me know- I would love to see them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Breaking news!

Please excuse this crazy photo of me because...I'VE GOT A JOB!
**Woo hoo! Yippee!**
Yes, I'm very happy! I'm not one to boast but in this case I feel I must tell you about my amazing good fortune. I applied for two different
greetings card designer jobs in the hope that I might get an interview for one of them and then, hopefully, I might get one of the jobs. I kept this all hush-hush so that I didn't have loads of people asking me how it had gone in case I didn't get interviews for either.
Well, I got an interview for the first company and was told that about 100 people had applied and they were only interviewing 3 (including me!) This interview went really well and I went back for a second. This also went well. While I was waiting to hear the outcome of these interviews, the second company asked me to go for an interview too! I wasn't expecting that. I went along and had a good interview where I was told they'd had 70 applicants and were interviewing 15. So, though I thought I'd done ok I knew there was a less than 10% chance of getting the job.
The next day they rang me to offer me the job! I was flabbergasted. I really did not expect it. The two women who interviewed me said the minute I left the building they said to eachother "she's the one"! I was stunned.
Then the first company rang and also offered me the job!
After a few days of serious contemplation I decided to accept the position as junior studio designer at the second company, which is Carlton Cards. I will be designing Christmas cards and will still be illustrating sometimes! I feel very happy and lucky but, as James keeps reminding me, they are lucky to have me and it's because of my talent and years of illustration experience that I've been hired, not just luck. I hope this doesn't sound arrogant!
I was totally prepared to give up illustrating and thought I would just be doing the design side of things, so to hear that I'll be still be able to create illustrations is brilliant news. I'll even have my own wacom tablet!
Boast now over. Thanks for all your lovely comments on my previous post.x

Friday, September 07, 2007

The return of Pea

I know. It's unbelievable. I've written a new post after nearly 2 months!
As you can see, here I am smiling at you for having patience and checking in on me now and again. This time you have been rewarded!
Not that I'm going to write anything mind-blowingly interesting but I am going to explain myself. I apologise now in case I go on a bit. Now, settle down, get a cuppa and I will tell you my story.

Since I was very young drawing and illustrating has been my passion. After university I decided I really wanted to be a children's book illustrator and put years into developing my work and promoting myself. It was a struggle at times and I had to do many (sometimes awful) part time jobs to pay my rent but I kept at it and began to get some illustration work. I was represented by an agency which was fairly rubbish and barely got me any commissions but I managed to get by with work I found myself. Friends and family suggested that I get an 'art-related' job which always annoyed me because it was like they didn't believe in me and thought I should give up on illustrating.
I found illustration forums and started my blog. Last year I left a horrible call-centre job to concentrate on illustrating full-time and my agency was taken over by a new agent. Things were looking up and there was a big increase in the amount of work I got. I was working flat out and so pleased to be doing well as an illustrator. Finally I could show friends and family and, most importantly, myself that I could do it!
Sadly this wasn't to last and no more work came. I remained positive, doing all I could to promote myself, generating new illustrations and postcards to send out to publishers. In the back of my mind I also knew I had my agent working hard too, so I was bound to get something.
But I didn't. Instead, I began to lose faith but with a very supportive boyfriend I kept going and decided to tailor my postcards to the greetings card market to get new clients. I did many designs and sent them out.
A frank email from my agent, seven months without work and lots of rejections letters left me very depressed and I had a long, hard think about my future. Illustration had been my passion but now it felt like my enemy. I couldn't bear the uncertainty any longer and slowly came to terms with having to try something else, whether permanently or temporarily. I researched many possible alternatives and began to apply for jobs- but only jobs that I viewed as interesting, art-related and with the potential to be good careers.

For those of you who are a tad bored, here's a nice photo I took of a bumble bee:

Feel refreshed? Right. So now I am awaiting the outcome of a couple of interviews, though I don't want to say more than that at this stage! (I'm always telling anyone who'll listen about my up and coming work only for it to fall through, so I'm trying to be a bit more cautious.)
I know I've not been doing my own blog but I have been reading yours. They've cheered me up and made me feel connected to creative people. The same with the forums- I've been lurking in the distance and hope to be ready to come back soon, even if I'm not an illustrator anymore. I've accepted now that I can find happiness in a different creative career, I may or may not go back to illustrating, whatever I decide is OK as long as I'm happy and well. And finally I am NOT a failure! Woo hoo!