Friday, 26 February 2016

The sun will come out tomorrow

Super quick post today because I wanted to share my latest makes with you, I am in love!!

A  customer asked me to make some gifts for her daughter and her daughters friend who is starring in a production of Annie, I have had so much fun!, the boxes have lines out of the film which the characters the girls are playing say around the edges of the box, there are individually hand printed lyrics from 'tomorrow' on a textured paper, made into a little book and the last page says 'We love you Miss Hannigan' on it. There are diorama's of girls from Santoro's gorjuss collection, customised to fit in the theme and some little extras like roses and a musical key note.The boxes are decorated all the way round with tissue paper, butterflies and ephemera papers.

I haven't ever made anything like this before so am really pleased with the result, I think I would like to make some fairytale ones next, everyday my mind races with new makes and ideas! there are not enough hours in the day.

I remember I went to see Annie at the pictures with my mum, I think I was 8 at the time and it was so good, we sang the songs all the way home and I wanted to live with daddy Warbucks!
What is your favourite childhood film or fairy story?

Hope you are having a lovely week.

Love Dotty xx

Sunday, 21 February 2016

How to succeed on Etsy

I have been making some new art prints and trying out a new technique this week.

Its pretty cool process, I paint the background and draw some of the boho and floral patterns on them, then take them to the printers to get copies and then draw onto the copies with the quotes and extra drawings.

I'm thinking of holding an exhibition soon, how awesome would that be! I will have to learn what to do and how to go about it first though!

New art prints now available on my Etsy shop, I have been learning how to build up your Etsy shop this week and found a great blog post with tips and ideas on from Twelve Skip

I am always learning and reading about how to improve my art biz, I take loads of notes to but then forget to follow through!

I have been lucky enough to get some one to one business counselling as part of Communities Can funding, I have been paired with a fabulous boho lady called Melanie from Why not change 
to get my business moving and actually earning me a decent wage, I had homework which I love haha and did follow through with them.

Hope you have had a fabulous weekend and if you have any Etsy tips to share, please do, that would be awesome!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Showzam 2016 Blackpool's annual festival of Circus and Outdoor Street Arts


Blackpool's annual festival of Circus and Outdoor Street Arts

I had an amazing time volunteering at Showzam 2016 in Blackpool's beautiful Winter Gardens. So many great acts this year and the carnival ball on Saturday night was the best one yet, it really was fabulous.

 Barada street 

  We was charmed by the masters of the multitask as Richard (UK) and Juri (Kyrgyzstan) bring a playful blend of music, acrobatics, humour and the highest level of poetic elegance. We laughed, cried and cheered for these beautiful idiots in an intimate, impressive and uniquely hilarious award winning show.

 Illusions Delusions Delight and Glory by Barnard, Hicks & Jones

A conflagration of wonderment & other worldliness. Performances of the fantastic, acts of the awesome and feats of fearless ferocity. Brought to you by a super group of sideshow sensations and myserious marvels, presented within the faded grandeur of The Pavilion Theatre. Freaks, geeks, curiosities, charlatans, magicins, physicians, acrobats and musicians

Cock-Tales by PasParTouT

 A magnificently feathered and musical poultry trio play animal/human scenes throughout the audience. The puffed up, vain quarrelsom cock, the nagging mother hen and to top it all the rickety stewing chicken- this comical feathered gathering holds up a mirror to the audience in a odd-natured and humorous way.

STX by Close Act

An impetuous platoon of black characters move through the streets in a curious combination of strict discipline and frantic behaviour. Whispering drums or loud beats, they give a collective call of expressive freedom, a paradoxical paradise, the ultimate aim of these daring rebels.


The Horsemen by Les Goulus

Three elegant horse riders inspired by the 'French Attitude' demonstrate their training to prepar for the next Olympic Games. Representing a caricatured imag of the French people as seen by others they are arrgant, self-assured and almost unpleasant. At the end of the show they ask the question 'don't you know that we now live in Europe?'

There were many more acts on but it was super busy and I had public to help so didn't get everyones photo.

Another hilarious day as a volunteer at Showzam, that's my son Adam on the right and the bearded lady was chasing my youngest son hence my laughing! Thanks to Claire Walmsley for another brilliant capture, check out her photography page.

Highlight of my february so far. We are off to the circus on Friday as part of Showzam, so I am very excited about that because ever since I was tiny I wanted to be a clown in the circus!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Being an artist and how to suvive on a small budget

Hope you are having a wonderful Monday, its been a slow start today after much furniture moving and arguing teenagers yesterday, I have started reading overcoming under earning book and it's really eye opening stuff, I would recommend you get it if you have 'money baggage' from childhood or have self doubting beliefs. Walking dogs, post office run, sewing sofa throws and making art is on my list for today, lets hope the rain stays away and the lovely sunshine comes out to play

Overcoming Underearning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life

Catch up on last week

Last week it was lovely to have friends over and not be squashed, I pinch myself each day and am so grateful we have a bigger kitchen and dining room now that can easily accommodate guests. We have carried on doing jobs in the new house, yesterday was curtain making and putting furniture together, if I think about everything that needs doing, it gets overwhelming so trying to take each day as it comes.

I also did a new piece of art which has astounded me, it was inspired by my friend Laura's gorgeous photo of her with an elephant in Thailand (at a rescue sanctuary). Each piece of art I do I fall a little more in love.

I also learnt something new last week, which to a lot of you will seem like nothing, but it's been a big step for me, forgive me that I am so behind the times haha, but I went to the art shop and had a lovely chat with the man there about printing straight from canvas and mixed media paintings. He showed me what can be done, and wow! I was impressed, the printing machines they have are awesome, so I can now offer these as prints, brilliant quality, just like the real thing. If you are interested get in touch.

That means I can share so much more of my work without having to part with the original each time.

The teens have been getting on each others nerves a lot, they have had a week off college and have cabin fever, I try to remember what I was like with my sister as a teen, but only remember being wonderful haha. I am sure if my mum was alive she would tell a different story.

Money wobbles and 9p burgers

We have also been having a wobble around money (hence reading that ^ book), being self employed is sometimes hard, especially when you move into a bigger home (yeah I'm daft I didn't think bigger home = bigger bills) I posted an update about what I was doing on fb and a lady commented she wished she had my life, I smiled to myself because as I typed that update I was sat in gloves, freezing my ass off because we couldn't afford to put the heating on. Don't get me wrong, I am very blessed and love that I have the freedom to choose how to spend my time, but until I make it into the big time, there is a pay off. I think things like money and sex are not really talked about enough, it's OK
 to talk about these things, it's actually good because then you can connect with others who also may feel they can't speak of it.

I was actually worried, if I told the truth about the behind the scenes (freezing etc) of Dotty Delightful, somehow it would ruin my image and then people wouldn't want to buy my art because I have shattered the dream of who they think I am, but I feel I want to share the truth of my life because a lot of people are going through the same things. I read earlier in the week a cook book I borrowed from the library by Jack Monroe, I got it because I had heard about her before and her budget ( I mean real budget, not Jamie Olivers £22 leg of lamb budget) recipes, it's a great book, I carried on then reading her blog ( I tend to obsess and read everything when I find something good), that led me to other blogs about this grey area of people who are not on their arses completely, like homeless people or the daily mails image of someone of benefits, they have jobs, they are doing something passionately and working a lot but still struggling to pay the electric bill, or have dropped down from their normal luxury range of food to the basics range, it was pretty eye opening really.

Find the cook book here:
A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes

We tried the 9p - yes you read it right, 9p veggie burgers, I added some chilli flakes to mine and we loved them, although the younger one wouldn't even try them because they had kidney beans in! Always been a fussy eater - in fact a fussy everything haha.

A little tip which I have taken for granted before, is to bulk cook to save gas and time and I put the washing machine on an eco wash for the first time ever, apparently that saves water.

Asda have come up with a good idea to trail, unfortunately they are not available in the top 3 poorest places in UK, including my very own town Blackpool. The exclusive wonky veg boxes are packed with peculiar potatoes, crooked carrots and curved cucumbers which are all in season, as well as knobbly peppers, cabbages, onions, leeks and parsnips. They’re just £3.50 each.

I think it's a good idea to tackle the waste caused by the supermarkets being too picky and guessing that customers want perfect veg all the time, it will help farmers too, did you see Hugh's war on waste programme, that was heartbreaking for the farmers. I actually went to the veg stall in the market (it's just round the corner now) I haven't been in there for years, I was so surprised how cheap it was compared to Sainsburys where I normally shop. Of course it isn't organic and I wouldn't buy the garlic as it was from China but the occasional veg that's not part of the dirty dozen has saved me money. Plus I realised (der me) that I am supporting a small family business.

I could waffle on all day about this kind of thing, but I have art to create and the sun has come out so I am off to the post office to post a print before the rain comes back.

Love Dotty xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

LOVEly cards - first studio make

First makes from the new studio are so cute, teeny, tiny valentines cards, perfect for popping into your wallet or purse!. I painted on textured handmade paper, which I love and then folded and decorated them, I love them loads.  Each one measures 15cm x 5.5cm when laid flat.

                                                                         The front

                                                                      The middle

                                                                         The back

                         This one is my favorite, the purple paint has tiny flecks of glitter in it.

                                                            Lovely for friends too

I really enjoyed creating something new in my studio and kept looking round thinking, wow, this is actually real, this is where I get to work! so blessed. What have you been making lately?

Love Dotty xx