1960's chairs....before and after

About 6 - 8 months ago I picked up two fabulous 1960's chairs in our local second-hand / antiques shop. I loved the shape and size of them, but they were old, a bit fusty and whilst I loved the original green woven fabric, they were in much need of new foam cushions and re-upholstering.
The first thing we did was to set about stripping back the old dark varnish.  Mr B tackled this job over winter, at night and in the garage - I don't think it was much fun, whilst I trawled through fabric books and ordered a heap of fabric swatches to chose from.        

Removing the dark varnish transformed the chairs, revealing a lovely pale Scandinavian looking wood (which apparently is Myrtle) and we then simply finished this by rubbing over a wax to protect and seal the wood.  I decided to cover the chairs in different fabrics, rather than having them as a matching pair, and I settled on 'Baxter' in Wasabi from Warwick, and 'Bubble' in Yellow Chrome from Zepel Fabrics.    We used a Stephen Read, a great local upholsterer in Woodend to re-cover the chairs, as I fear my average sewing skills and very old sewing machine might not have been up to the job!

'It's Time to Talk', tea illustrations for Aware mental health campaign

I was approached towards the end of last year by the charity Aware, a non-profit organisation in Ireland, which offers support and information for people who suffer from depression.  They wanted to use some of my tea illustrations to launch their latest campaign 'It's Time to Talk'.....about mental health, for their website and facebook sites.
The illustrations chosen by Aware were from a blog post sometime ago, where I did a series of sketches experimenting with ink pen and collage techniques.  I was delighted to donate the illustrations to such a worthy cause, and help support their campaign to get people in Ireland to host coffee mornings and chat about mental health.         

The sketches were originally done for personal experimentation and enjoyment, so it was great they ended up being useful and serving a much greater purpose.  For more information about the 'It's Time to Talk' campaign just visit Aware.     

Kyneton Cookbook Illustrations

Sometime ago I blogged about some kitchen and food illustrations I'd been working on, and here is the finished result.  The illustrations were to accompany recipes for the Kyneton Kitchen Cookbook, put together by the hard-working mums of the Kyneton Playgroup (myself included!)    

It was a great project to work on as I really just created my own brief.  I'd been wanting to work on some more food-based illustrations for a while, and also to experiment with working in a linear style with pen and ink. 
The majority of the illustrations were based on things in my kitchen such as condiments, bowls, saucepans and utensils, and of course I tried to ensure that the illustrations matched the recipes.  As well as creating the illustrations, I managed the overall layout and design of the book, so it was great to play at being a graphic designer for a while! 


I loved working on all the illustrations and creating the foody artwork, and it made a really nice change to be in charge of my own brief and not to be restricted by the usual commercial constraints.  The freedom of working with a dip pen instead of my usual watercolour technique, and creating a more 'simplistic' range of artwork in a limited colour palette was really refreshing and I hope to get the chance to work on similar food-based illustrations in the future.