Monday, 22 October 2012

Backpacker Post 10 : Portland, Oregon part 1

Oregon is going to be split into a few posts because we stayed there for just over three weeks. Portland was everything I have imagined and wanted it to be! I've wanted to visit this place for the past few years and it didn't dissapoint. Amazing shopping, great people watching,so much incredible food it was unbelievable, some of the nicest looking streets and surrounded by some wonderful landscapes.
   These photos here chronicle the first week or so when we were kindly invited on a trip to the gorge with Brady and his friends to go swimming and blackberry picking, we also made a trip to Mount Hood (you may recognise the Lodge from The Shining), and even an outdoor showing of Ed Wood's hilarious Plan 9 from Outer Space (accompanied by a live orchestra and electronic music!) To top it off we had the pleasure of staying with a young man named Brady who Rob had known by email for years and his wonderful wife Leah who took us in their really beautiful little home and generally showed us a fantastic time. So this blog post also acts as a big thank you to them

(that sign says it's 2 miles to Boring by the way...)




Just a couple of little things here while I'm editing photos. This first one is a quick scan of the thank you card I made for Alica our host (ex) nun. If you're thinking of coming to Costa Rica I highly reccomend staying with her out in the countryside for a few nights (drop me an email and I'll give you contact details). She's got more energy than anyone I've ever known as well as being funny and so kind. It was tearful leaving after spending six weeks with her!

An this has been bumbling around my hard drive for a while. I bought so much in America...and I may have just hit ebay too..oops. Oh well the dress here is from RUCA who Im definately going to look up online and hope they've opened a store in the UK and the boots are from TBA. That big ol' plaster on my knee is what happens when you cross a road wearing a big backpack and miss the curb..I ruined my jeans and now I have two big scars....ahh memories..

Monday, 15 October 2012

This is Halloween

I scare easily, so Halloween has not always been my favourite celebration, however I've always had a bit of a thing for characters that err to the creepier side of life. I reckon I have my mother to blame for that, she had me watching Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas when I was about five. So in the spirit of embracing this bizarre old tradition I have made my enigmatic Apprentice avaliable as a print over on society6.

He/she is also avaliable on a tshirt, y'know, in case you don't feel like dressing up but still want to get into the spirit.(hurr hurr...)

And how about collecting your haul of goodies up in a tote bag this year! It's more eco friendly as you can use this all year round and not just on Halloween (ok i'll stop now...)
If you like me over on facebook you will have seen that I recently rehauled my shaman piece. He's not as spooky but he'll keep you safe! He also looks pretty neat on an ipod skin.

Guise Magazine

Recently I managed to wangle my first proper commision with up and coming costume magazine Guise (I suggest you take a look at their website, it's pretty swanky.) I had to digitally collage these as I didn't come backpacking equipped with all my papers but it was a nice change of pace from the watercolours. I'm not quite sure whether I'm allowed to show you guys much until it's printed but rest assured when it is I'll be buying a copy (and so should you!) and sharing it with you! So here's just a couple of sneaky detail pictures to keep you guessing...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Christmas Knits

Well I thought  I'd managed to bombard all my blogging platforms with my knit covered christmas girls but apparently I left out the proper one (clever...). So here is my second christmas card all ready for you to snap up from my society6.

why not pick up some Christmas presents while you're over there? People love a good framed print or maybe even a tote bag (sorry..I'm obsessed with tote bags...)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tribe In Progress

A few wips for you here,(taken in the dark studio, sorry guys, I was out looking for petrogliphs today!) the Tribe project is back on, I have so many ideas and I am excited to kick this project into high gear because I love it! Read more about its premise here

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Christmas Girls

christmas girl number 5
If you've been following me over on facebook or twitter you may have noticed I've been working on some knit covered ladies for a christmas card. This one didn't make the cut but I'm still fond of her and her pointy brogues...also I need to ask for some nice ribbed red socks for Christmas...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Question on Creativity and Backpacker Post 8: San Francisco, California

  I want to start this post in a somewhat different way to my others due to an interesting encounter. When we first arrived in San Francisco we intended to spend our first night with a guy that was a friend of someone Rob had met in a hostel over on the Appalachian Trail. His name was Rumple Stiltskin. He legally changed his name to this but now really only goes by Rumple. Rumple is a hippie who lives on a boat. Even though technically Rumple lives in Sausalito and not San Francisco he is a part of a large generation of followers of the rich hippie culture that San Francisco is well known for.
  Rumple liked to "jam". This is not a new concept to me, I've lived with many musicians and music enthusiasts (and count myself amongst them!) but I'm not the most spontaneous of people so it takes me a while to get into "jams". Rumple played many instruments on his boat and sang in a tribal way and painted in a way that he described as "I just want to be free man." (When asked free from what he couldn't really say...) Rob is a musician and when they jammed Rumple attempted to get me to join in by telling me that the constraints I put on myself were "crippling my creativity", I tried but it just wasn't my thing! I'm simply not the kind of person to come up with a beat and start singing random lyrics in the space of a few seconds. 

Rumple then told me I am "crippled creatively".
Needless to say this rather upset me!  I'm sure there are many creative people that work in a spontaneous way, but to say to an artist that the way they work is creatively flawed I think is a big problem indeed. Incredibly beautiful works of art and design come from structure, planning, working with constraints and roughs as well as from spontaneous putting pen to paper or stone or whatever medium and working in an immediate unstructured way. In my opinion an artist/designer's way of "being creative" is a very personal thing indeed.

But am I wrong? do you think that one is indeed better than the other? I'd like to hear what you think and how you work in the comments or if you'd like send me an email (

Anyway, San Francisco. It's a hell of a place and 5 days simply wasn't long enough. We had an incredible host for the rest of our stay. A Grateful Deadhead, ex political science teacher from Berkeley. An incredibly nice interesting guy called Mike. He took us out to Santa Cruz to see the old beach town and little hidden hydrangea covered villages on the way, to Oakland to see an amazing collection of 1960s protest posters and a wonderful couple of exhibitions, one on Dan Clowes and one on a seminal year in the 1960s. He had a real passion for San Francisco and its history, and I totally fell for its beautiful quirky buildings, hidden views of the Golden Gate bridge and the laid back California vibe I'd been waiting to feel!