Monday, 23 February 2009

A relaxing weekend

We have had a very relaxing weekend in the Fens, playing with dachshunds and whippets and eating yummy little cupcakes.

Since getting back we've realised that it isn't many weeks until we're at H@ndmade Cambridge - it's on Saturday April 4th. We've got plenty of printing and letterpressing to do before then, so we've drawn up a long to-do list and we're going to spend the next few weeks gradually crossing things off.

You can read a little interview with us on the H@ndmade blog, and find out about all the other lovely people who will be there too.

It's also not long before Open Studios - this will be the first year we've taken part, so we are very excited but quite nervous too! More details to follow soon...

We had a load of peppers lurking in the back of the fridge, so this morning I roasted them up and stuffed them in a jar along with plenty of olive oil, garlic, chilli and balsamic vinegar. I don't think they'll last very long though!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

All I want.... a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

I say this at least once a day, every day. So here is that immortal phrase as a lino cut, complete with a steaming cup of tea and a cosy chair to snuggle up in.

Here is it in various stages of production - cutting out the light blue teacup to leave a thin dark blue outline...

Inking the final layer of lettering with dark orange ink -

And about to lift the print off the block after a little burnishing.

Hopefully having a copy on the wall means that I'll just be able to point to it, and Jon will know to go and put the kettle on.

In our Etsy and Folksy shops now.

This weekend we did a little bit of tidying up in the garden and planted these primroses in the pots on our front windowsill. We also got this years batch of chilli seeds on the go - hopefully they'll do better this year than last year!

We've also signed up for Twitter, so if you want to go what we're getting up inbetween blog posts then come and follow us there! Here is our profile.

We're off to make some drop scones for afternoon tea now, and light the fire for a cosy Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


The ink has finally dried on Jon's new print - a small wood engraving of the landscape of the South Downs.

In the Etsy and Folksy shops now.

It's snowing quite heavily here this evening - the tyre tracks in the road from earlier on are almost completely filled in again. I hope its still there when we wake up!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

New prints

This weekend we both worked on new prints - a linocut for me, and a small engraving for Jon. It felt so nice to spend all weekend printing and cutting again after so many weekends being busy doing other things.

Here's a close up of my lino block - part of a much larger reduction print, I've printed three layers so far. There is one more layer to cut and print before it's finished.

Jon worked on a small wood engraving of the landscape near Charlton in Sussex (where we stayed on our honeymoon) with lots of fields and tiny hedgerows. Here is the block in various stages of completion...

Our new Emma Bridgewater Lapwing mug is in the background in the photo above. How could we resist?

The engraving is all printed, but the ink is drying very slowly so we'll upload a photo tomorrow.

Those tulips that I bought last week opened out into huge blowsy blooms!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


To celebrate our wedding anniversary a few weeks ago we went out and spent our pennies on some sheets of paper (paper being the traditional gift to give a couple on their first anniversary - see here) from our local art shop, Norwich Art Supplies.

As well as a thick wodge of Zerkall, we also picked up some other printmaking papers - BFK Rives, Hahnemuhle, Somerset (in white and in black) and some Fabriano sheets.

I treated myself to two lovely sheets of paper which I have been coveting for ages, but needed an excuse to splash out -

First, a beautiful sheet of hand marbled paper by Victoria Hall in the most lovely soft shades of green and yellow (difficult to capture in a photograph). It will have to be saved for a special project (perhaps after the bookbinding course we're going on in a few weeks...).

We also got the most fabulous sheet of walnut paper. It looks a bit like the surface of the moon, and is really thick and stiff. Absolutely no idea what to use it for as yet, but had to be added to the collection. Any ideas?

I love the colour of these tulips - a pale creamy yellow, and almost green in places. Today has been gloriously sunny, and full of the joys of spring, so I couldn't resist them at our local greengrocers.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Lee's Century Baking Powder

Here is that new print...

Here are the first two layers - first, a layer of beige brown bricks...
Followed by a thin, blotchy layer of a darker red-brown.
Then Jon cut out the lettering and printed a thin layer of white over the top for the final layer -

Lee's Century Baking Powder - it never fails! If only you could still buy a pound of baking powder for sixpence.You can see a photo of the real-life sign here.

There are loads of great examples of faded adverts painted on the sides of buildings on the Faded London blog and in the Ghost Signs group on Flickr.

Jon's print is now up in our Etsy and Folksy shops.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

A new print

Here's a peek at Jon's newest woodcut (he's firmly back in his printmaking groove now that the thesis is handed in). We'll upload some proper photos tomorrow - its a bit dark to photograph the the finished prints properly.

We've had a sprinkling of snow today, but yesterday was gloriously sunny so we went for a walk along the River Bure, near Oxnead and Buxton.

We've been sorting through the rest of our photos from our holiday - here are a couple from the top of Walsgrove Hill. The colours look rather muddier than they did in real life, but it was a spectacular view with plenty going on. We were up there for ages watching a shoot and a football match at Abberley School, as well as all the sheep (including a few lambs) roaming around the fields.

We had to move in the end because we were getting so cold, but the view definitely has some potential for a print in the future - perhaps an engraving?