Weekend print workshop

Over the weekend I took part in a Dry Point Etching workshop in Daylesford with Bridget Farmer.  Bridget specialises in various forms of printmaking, but it was the Dry Point Etching I was most interested in learning.  Myself and fellow local designer Fran Pidgeon headed to Bridgets fabulous studio armed with rubber gloves, aprons and itchy fingers ready to print!             
Bridget has dedicated 2013 to 'The Year of the Finch' and has been drawing and creating prints specifically on this little bird.  Above is one of her very cute dry point etchings of said Finch. 
The etching workshop took place on Saturday and Sunday, and it was so lovely to have a creative weekend for completely personal enjoyment - no brief to work to, no commercial limitations, (no toddler around) just me, Fran, Bridget, some 1930's music, choc-chip cookies, cups of tea, and lots of chatting.  Fabulous! 
I love being in other peoples studios and workspaces, seeing how creative people work, what inspires them, are they neat, messy, organised etc.  Most studio's house a lovely mix of random bits and pieces (I like to think of it as studio flotsam and jetsam) that have been found and gathered to serve as useful equipment or inspiration.      

I decided to take some of 'my girls' (vintage teacups) to use as a basis for my etching prints. I started off roughly sketching the teacups, before engraving my illustration onto the plate.  We were using acetate as a plate, which makes it a really easy substance to engrave and allowed us to work very quickly as no acid is necessary to eat into the more traditional copper plate.   
We started off printing our etchings with single colour prints, before progressing to applying several colours to the plate.  This is called 'a la poupee' (multiple colours applied directly to the plate) and Bridget has a tutorial about this technique on her website.    Above you can see Fran's very intricate and detailed beautiful bird print (left) and my sketchy-style teacup print and inked acetate plate (right). 
A big thanks to Bridget and Fran for a wonderful weekend! 

New house bits and pieces

Five weeks ago we picked up the keys to our new house and began the upheaval of shifting all of our belongings into a new space. On the one hand it's exciting to be moving, but it's always an exhausting and overwhelming process.  We were lucky with a sunny day for the move, and with our things piling up in the garage Mr J checked out the new pad, whilst Jolly cat was a bit bewildered with it all!

Slowly we have been unpacking, cleaning, dusting and trying to locate things buried in forgotten boxes.  The empty new house we moved into is gradually turning into our new home.  Books are finding their way onto shelves, clothes are in wardrobes, pots and pans are in cupboards, and I'm trying to find new 'safe' homes for teacups, coffee pots and all my ceramic bits and pieces - having them all out on display was fine before having a two year old running around!

My studio space is a lovely light filled room overlooking the garden, and I've got all my favourite pieces of reference material / inspiration images pinned on a big wall in front of me to gawp at.  I'm trying to be organised, de-clutter and have a big clear out - but I'm such a hoarder that I struggle to let go of a lot of things!  Consequently my studio is packed full of things I love - which makes it a great personal workspace for me :)         

The kitchen is relatively new, so I'm doing my best to 'de-newify' it by getting all my favourite second-hand tins, retro cups and general vintage kitchenalia out to break up some of the plain white cupboards and laminated work surfaces.  I'd like to put up some more shelving to display kitchen stuff I use on a regular basis......but I'll have to persuade Mr B to get his tool kit out for that!     

Cute vintage children's memory game

How adorable is this children's memory game!  I picked this up recently at the Daylesford Mill Markets, it was only a few dollars as the cardboard box housing the cards was a bit old and battered.  The sweet little cards (measuring 5 x 5cm) are in great condition and I just love all the different pictures and illustrations.  There are 54 pairs of cards in total, with the idea being to spread the cards out picture side down, gradually turning the cards over to reveral the pictures, and to try and remember where all the matching pairs are. 

The game was manufacturerd by John Sands in Australia, 1966, and some of the pictures in the game are taken from 'House of Cards' by Charles Eames - which explains why I love the images so much.