As crazy as that sounds. I love the bright clear cold skies. I can see plant structures and shapes more clearly. It's the perfect inspiration for mark making.
Most days I walk my dog Tilly through Ormeau Park. Every day I see something new. It might be an unusual plant or a plain 'ole branch. Either way, it all looks a little more dramatic in the winter. Don't you think?
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These walks inspired me to sketch my new Christmas card range 'Winter Flower By Day' and 'Winter Flower By Night'.
The next time you go for a walk, try and notice the beautiful structures all around us. It makes winter that little bit more special.
These cards will be on sale first at Kiln and Loom, Meet The Maker night Thursday 20th November 6-9pm. I would love to see you there if your in the area.
Alternatively you can buy from the website www.flaxfoxdesigns.com from Friday the 21st November.
2014 has started with a bang. We bought a new house at the end of this year which had just enough room at the bottom of the garden to build an outside studio. I'm not one for hanging around. A digger, dumper truck and 3 skips later we had foundations dug out and cement filled in. Next step is building the frame. I will keep you posted with pictures. I am so excited about this project even thou it began right in the middle of Flax Fox getting organised for Showcase Ireland!
I locked myself away in the Belfast Print Workshop for a few days to print new images for Showcase Ireland. My new welly boots have been christened my printing boots. I can happily blast the power hose on these screens without getting wet socks.
So below is some Georgian Doors prints. I have been messing around with backgrounds, colours and layout. I think I am going to make this image into a textile print.
I also did a little watercolour sketch of Powerscourt in Dublin. I have a retailer in here called Article. It is such a beautiful shop that stocks tasteful contemporary gift and home ware products. You have to pass this beautiful flower shop to get into the building which smells amazing.
I have also been very happy at the response to my new cushions. I have 12 designs which will be on display at Showcase Ireland. Product info will be updated on my website very soon.
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So I was invited to take part in a show house project called 'Hartley Hall' by Maureen Collins. As an Interior designer she was given the brief to decorate this house above with local crafters and designers products. She chose well and it was a great idea, I hope more show houses around the country start doing the same. I was pleased to see many artists from St George's Market there including Deborah Toner, Andrew Coombes, Chantalle Coombes and Deborah Campbell. Abigail*Ryan had their new beautiful fabric and wallpaper collection on display and Refound furniture complimented the master bedroom beautifully. We were also treated to an amazing spread by the Belfast artisan deli Sawers.
You have no idea how good this ham tasted with smoked apple chutney and cheese and mixed olives. There was a few super hot peppers thrown in there too (much to my tastebud delight). This is a man in the food industry I greatly admire. He is always offering new and exciting foods and has a great way of displaying it. Artisan food at it's best!
Mr Sawer holding up my (slightly crinkly) Trinity College tea towel below. It worked really well in the Kitchen made by Terry Designs. Another great design company based in Northern Ireland. You should click on the link above to see all the fabulous things they design.
So I was really impressed with Maureen Collins and her lovely seamstress. I gave her my tea towels and they transformed them into big fluffy pillows and cushions. This was the Belfast Public Library tea towel which was used in the Teenage Room. They also used The Cranes, Queen's University and The Merchant Hotel as pillows.
So you can guess what Flax Fox is going to have on their website very soon....? Yes, some lovely new cushions & pillows. Now, the tricky question is which ones will I make first?
This was the young/teenage room that showcased Flax Fox products. Refound was also featured in here alongside Flax Fox Original Screen Prints. The idea was that it was non-gender specific and that it could be used as a young persons bedroom or a chill out room. They also made a storage curtain over the bed so you can fit itty bitty things behind the Ulster Hall, which became almost like a pocket. A great idea for hiding clutter or storing bits and pieces.
This is the Merchant Hotel Pillow appliquéd onto a fab dotty fabric. It has given me lots of ideas of the fabrics I might use on my pillows.
and yes, I can confirm the pillow is ultra comfy! zzzzzzzz
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So I had filmsbyben in the studio today snapping some pictures of me printing 'Scrabo Tower' tea towels for Ards Craft Council in Newtonards, County Down. It was a glorious day in the studio as I made NO MISTAKES! I find this a cause for celebration as I did'nt waste any of my lovely linen union tea towels, yay...Go Foxy.
Every time I print 'Scrabo Tower' tea towel the tower becomes a different shade of blue as I am rubbish at keeping colour recipes, but hey thats the joy of hand printing gifts. Each one is unique and slightly different (some may even have a smudge or two).
This flat bed printing table is normally used for paper prints however very soon Flax Fox will have it's very own twirly whirly carousel which will make printing tea towels much much easier and quicker....bring it on.
Sometimes the tea towels can stick to my screen so it can be a bit hairy lifting the table and 'unpeeling' the cloth from the screen. Thankfully today the towels were not too stubborn and I managed to lift them with ease.
I printed 60 of these bad boys today and only two more layers to go, black and a yellowy gold. You can see the finished product on my website very soon.
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