Waiting…., originally uploaded by gilfling.

… for some finishing touches….

I have been working the weekend away, making slow progress, or so it seems….

But things are really coming together now and I have a wee community of fellows just needing hands and a final putting together before they can join their friends.

Tomorrow I will be starting to make plans for my display for the art market and am off to buy boards which will need to be painted and also think about all the finishing touches for putting it all together on the day. So much to do still but as ever I will get there! I also want to get to writing the second chapter for my ‘Planning for craft fairs’ article so shall be sure to let you know when I am ready to add this to the blog!

WIP wednesday

WIP wednesday, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another little lad is taking shape and coming to life. Just a couple of coats of varnish and stringing together and he will soon be sitting on the shelf along with my other characters.

I have finally managed to edit the first part in my ‘How to prepare for craft fairs’ series and added photo’s. I have been playing around with my blog layout and added a new header but haven’t quite worked out the best place for this series to be easily found, so for now you can see it here – and also in the menu at the top of the page.

It has turned into quite the novel and it is only the first chapter! But I would be grateful for any feedback and I am of course open to making any changes should you think it needs it. I am also looking for images to use as examples of works in progress, preparations for craft fairs and actual craft fair stands so if you have any images that you would like me to consider for inclusion then please let me know – full credit will be given.

I hope you find it useful xxx

getting there …..

getting there ….., originally uploaded by gilfling.

I just thought I would show you this wee corner of my studio with some of the finished work for the upcoming Holmfirth Art Market. With more work having been returned from an exhibition this morning I have quite the gathering of characters and dwellings and of course there are more in various stages of progress. It is lovely to see it all coming together!

I am hoping to make good progress this week on finishing pieces so that next week I can focus more on getting prints and greetings cards printed and packaged and of course work on my display. Still so much to do!

I also hope to publish the first part of my ‘Preparing for craft fairs’ article tomorrow – just need to read over it and add some images and set up another page on wordpress. I think it may be around 4 or 5 chapters in total so I shall be adding those over the coming weeks. It is good to get it all down in one place, whilst evaluating all the steps that it takes to prepare for an event and of course reminding myself of all of these things whilst I am in preparation mode too!

Have a great day!


Mosaic Monday 23rd May 2011

Mosaic Monday 23rd May 2011, originally uploaded by gilfling.

1. interview with Mr X Stitch, 2. house on fire wearing slippers, 3. Untitled, 4. upon – a vintage fabric softie by Denise Litchfield grrl+dog , 5. 5 bottles, 6. Handmade embroidered cuff, 7. the fifth house, 8. sculpt- literature for dogs, 9. Storm1, 10. Untitled, 11. Doll Gang #2, 12. North End

Good morning! Well it was a gloomy, blustery weekend here in the heart of England so I spent my time working away on my character sculptures, updating my website with upcoming events (still so many more to add)  and catching up on some TV as well as cooking and a wee bit of baking. Lovely.

Another weekly mosaic made up of some of the images inspiring me on flickr this week. I love this ritual of looking through images to see what catches my eye and causes me to pause for a few seconds longer to appreciate the work and originality that has gone into a piece of art, craft or photography. I tend to look at flickr a couple of times a week, leafing through my current contacts pages and commenting and adding that gold star that means ‘favourite’. I also like to find ‘new-to-me’ artists and work though and so lately have developed the ritual of looking through the previous weeks favourites and finding the images that inspire them. I love that flickr gives you the opportunity to do this!

It is always interesting looking through these collections of images, some painters have mainly paintings as their favourites, those who work in fun, bright colours have curated collections of lively and brilliant pages of favourite images. With my equal love of painting, mixed media, sculpture, textiles, ceramics etc etc my pages of favourites only have the common aesthetic of muted colours and lots and lots of texture, but then I also love line, interesting concepts and quirky faces. So much to see!

Okay, exercise time now and then a day of varnishing and painting!

Wishing you a wonderful week.


how the garden grows….

I haven’t had much time to potter in the garden lately as I have been in the studio so much but I am delighted to see things are growing and blooming and my efforts are bringing rewards. We have fresh salad greens everyday, the pea pods are getting fatter and now we just need a sunny weekend to give everything a bit of a boost as it has been much more cloudy and gloomy these past couple of weeks.

I do wish I had more flowers though. I put our pennies and my time into getting the vegetables going and so whilst there is lots of green there is not much in the way of other colours. The aquilegia is starting to flower though and hopefully the honeysuckle will flower soon too.  Goodness knows if the sweet peas, poppies and cornflowers will come to anything as all of the seedlings have been thoroughly trampled by our raga-muffin bunnies who seem to prefer careering along the side of the fence where the flower beds are to lollpping on the grass. We shall see! Righto back off to the studio for me!!

PS thank you so much for all your recent comments – I have been most neglectful of blog reading and commenting and such like these last few weeks due to work but am hoping to take some time over the weekend to catch up. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! xxx

Introducing… Milo

Introducing… Milo, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Milo is a melancholy soul. He chases hedgehogs hoping to make new friends but they get scared by his erratic waving arms as he tries to catch up with them! He loves to make complex mazes through the wheat fields and tramples round and around clearing paths through the golden stalks that tower above him.

Hello! Well another studio day beckons and as a result of all these hours I have a collection of characters gradually appearing – Milo being the most recent to come to life.

I made a good old start on my ‘How to prepare for a craft fair document yesterday’ and there is so much to write than I first thought! I do have a tendency to be a bit wordy when writing and as a result I am going to divide it into chapters. The first one dealing with applications and finding the right show for you. I just need to read through it a couple of times, add in a few links and photo’s and should hopefully be able to publish it early next week. There is already so much information around the net on this subject so this is very much just based on my own experiences but I do hope some of you will find it useful to have it all in one place.

In other news Holmfirth Art Market have interviewed me on their blog – you can read it here! There seems to have been a bit of an issue with punctuation (as you will see) but hopefully it is another insight into my working practice.

Have a wonderful day!


work in progress

work in progress, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another Wednesday, another work in progress shot. I have been looking at story books from my childhood for colour inspirations and I just love the butter yellow of this new character’s jacket – although it is a little too bright for my aesthetic but a little antiquing stain will soon sort that out!

As you can also see by the note underneath him, I am a list-maker. I love the action of writing a list of ‘things-to-do’ and breaking each task into smaller tasks. I find that it helps me focus on what needs to be done and of course there is the reward of ticking each thing off once completed!

I am sure I intended on doing this before now, but as I am preparing for my upcoming art market in Holmfirth, I have been thinking of all the steps that need to be done when preparing for a show or an exhibition and that when you are first starting out how absolutely overwhelming it can be. I used to be terrible at it, leaving everything till the very last minute and ending up in a panic at 2 in the morning of the actual show, knowing that I would not get everything done. Anyway, over the last few years I have become much more organised and developed a routine that works for me. I was thinking it might be useful to write this all out for anyone who might find it useful so I have begun this wee project of putting it all on paper – soon to be on the blog! I might even include the mistakes I have made and the messes I have gotten myself into so that you know what not to do! Anyway I have made a start on this and will be sure to let you know when it is done.

I hope you have a productive and happy day!


Introducing… Wilfred

Introducing… Wilfred, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Wilfred lives in an eccentrically styled folly in the heart of the English Countryside. He spends hours and hours pouring over his large collection of antique maps and dreams of taking off in a hot air balloon and travelling far and wide across oceans and landscapes both familiar and obscure.

Hello! Well I am all painted out today – I have spent hours painting thin and wobbly stripes on rabbity pantaloons and delicate features on a pale wee lass. Tis 9pm and I have only just made it out of the studio – a long day only stopping for one coffee which is unheard of for me! I don’t know where the hours have disappeared to. Now it is time to relax with a cuppa, home-made soda bread and soup and think about having an early night.


mosaic monday 16th may 2011

mosaic monday 16th may 2011, originally uploaded by gilfling 

1. 3/4 profile, 2. Untitled, 3. Violet Imaginary Friend!, 4. Pulsive, 5. she always saw beauty, 6. Group, 7. Me termine!, 8. Milagros Obscuros, 9. “Piano Player House”, 10. hey, 11. Is not very critical., 12. loaded

Happy New Week to you! Another eclectic mix of inspiration from my flickr favourites – please click through to individual pages to see more.

As ever I am most disconcerted as to how time flies and this week I have much to do. So hopefully there will be lots of studio time, a wee bit of gardening and lots of ticking of off thing on my ‘to do list’.

My characters are progressing with 3 now finished and more well on the way. i now just need a brighter day to take some photographs.

Wishing you a wonderful creative and busy week! x

studio shapshots

studio shapshots, originally uploaded by gilfling.

With an upcoming art market and a local craft fair in June, and an exciting exhibition commencing in July, I am trying to get into the studio as much as possible at the moment. Yesterday I was working my part-time job and had applications for other events to send off, but today is a much-anticipated studio day – where in my working life I am never more content.
I am so torn between the desire to get on with some paintings and mixed media pieces and the enjoyment that I get from working on my current clay characters. But with so many little steps to creating the characters I have decided to put the paints and paper aside for now in order to get a wee community of folks underway and on my shelves as they take the longest to make. With waiting time in between layers of paint and stain and varnish it is always so much easier to work on a few at a time and currently there are….
a pensive little fellow completely finished awaiting a decent photograph…
a rabbity chap almost complete, awaiting his hands to be varnished and attached…
a ruff collared, doe eared being awaiting his limbs to be shaped and sanded before painting and varnishing ….
a rabbity chap in much the same state….
a little lass waiting for colour and finishing and some clothing….
a worrier of a boy almost complete but for his limbs to be joined…
and a elegantly shaped sweetheart with but a head and a torso and much still to be done….
Over the next few weeks the family will grow and hopefully some new types of characters will begin to show their faces – I have so many more ideas!! I am also thinking of some interesting ways of displaying them, but as ever time may run away with me… so I shall not make any promises….
When reaching the top of the stairs and through the door to the studio this morning I decided that I could not stand the state of it any longer. As ever when I am working on a project the mountains of ‘stuff’ just grow and grow, ever threatening to topple over – I have a large space but it never fails to surprise me how quickly the mess can get out of control. I had a wee mad hour of tidying – it is but a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done to make it organised but my still delicate back and the impatience to get on with some work eventually took over. I can at least now get my legs under the table when I am working and the piles and piles of recycled packaging supplies are now a little less precarious and in a new place under my main working table but there is still a long way to go. I would be too embarrassed to show you a photo of the whole room!! Jeeves the bunny is most put out by the change around and it is entertaining watching him trying to move things to where he thinks they should be.
So back to sanding and painting and varnishing for me – step by step whilst daydreaming and humming along to my playlist.
You can see more photos here of my messy work table and works in progress.