Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Late Nights

I stayed up very, very late last night and made these

my first belle & boo magnets.

I love how the little 'lost' girls head fits perfectly on to an old photo of my cousin that I keep on my fridge!

I have been pondering about how to package the magnets for a while now. The printed cards that my buttons are pinned to have had such positive feedback, it was tempting to just repeat the same packaging. How ever last night I messed around with different design ideas and came up with these

It will keep the production costs down a little bit, which is good as magnet's are slightly more expensive to make than buttons & it enables the customer to see the backs, so they know they are definitely buying magnets.

Whilst I was at it, I had drunk a lot of coffee by this stage! I made a header for my new belle & boo stickers
I am & always have been obsessed by stickers, I used to spend all my pocket money on stickers for my numerous sticker albums. They were the sort with shiny pages so you could re arrange your stickers & I did constantly & obsessively! Glittery with sparkly, tiny ones together, bunnies with other bunnies, but wait now I have just bought a glittery, tiny, bunny sticker I'll have to re arrange all my albums from scratch get the idea!
Anyway I have been pushing my obsession on to my unsuspecting customers for months now, sneaking free stickers in with their orders and decorating their envelopes. Yet alas they were mere matte paper stickers so you can imagine my utter joy when I sourced some glossy sticker paper that I could put through my printer. I spent literally hours lining up my tiny designs on to the 70 1" circles (I'm sure there most be an easier way of doing it?) and voila I now have my very own range of stickers to sell, the little 7 year old me is very, very proud in deed :)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

What a nice surprise

I had to spend an hour at the dentists this morning, which is a huge deal for me, as I experienced many torturous years of ortho dentistry, as a child in a scary house on a hill, with a dirty fish tank with one frightening cat fish! So you can imagine my joy when I returned home (feeling like the elephant man and with a seriously lighter purse) to find a small, sweet smelling unexpected package. One of my most loyal & lovely customers Catherine sent me these soapsicles

I especially like the one with the bite out of it & the other smells of water melon. Catherine runs a beautiful online store selling wooden & eco friendly toys and lots more adorable stuff, my favourite products at the moment are the fairy house and the teapot cafe .
As I had my camera out and was feeling lots happier I thought I'd photograph a few other lovelies that have arrived by post in the past few months.
This doll that I've called Lola, made by the super talented projectgrabbag she is so pretty and well made & makes me smile every time I look at her.

and these three adorable bears made by the incredible anapaulaoli the little one is called Sergio & he sits by my desk in his smart red scarf looking cheeky.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The things we do for love!

I've just spent the morning in a grotty Tesco's car park photographing Russ and a shopping trolley, for a coffee advert he's making. It's going to be an animation along the lines of that funny music video Ok Go, so although things started off quite sedately

it was followed by lots of head strutting, dodgy dance moves and stunt type tricks!
It was a very funny morning.

I also wanted to share with you Melissa's photos of my art work in her daughter Mia's beautiful bedroom room in Brazil. I love that elephant & I love the fact that my work is in Brazil!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Monday Mornings

Since opening my first Etsy shop, back in December 06, getting up in the morning has been a whole lot easier. How ever tired or lazy I'm feeling there is always that little enticing voice whispering 'maybe you made some sales, whilst you were sleeping' So for the last half year my morning ritual is as follows. Switch on my laptop & LBC, a London talk show radio station, make a frothy soya latte, in my current favourite Tracey Porter mug, and check my emails.

Then shower & dress and a hot bowl of porridge, whilst listening to the previous nights episode of The Archers

For those of you that don't know The Archers is Britain's longest running radio soap opera. My mums special treat as a little girl was to stay up late & listen to the omnibus. It's about a rural farming community....gripping stuff!
Then it's on with the rest of the day, today is a post office day, I better run to catch a break in the rain....

Friday, 15 June 2007

Simply Gorgeous

I order two of these gorgeous tea towels from The Black Apple Store & they arrived today, which is perfect timing as I'm giving one to a friend tonight for her birthday. They are even nicer than I expected and each came with a free postcard, it was a little bit like my birthday too!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Look what the postman delivered

Today was a good day, look what arrived in the post

my new button machine, with lots and lots of button & magnet parts. As I was trying to decipher the instructions, which were incredibly detailed, Russ made 2 was a bit like that feeling when you buy a new glossy magazine and then someone reads it first! Anyway after I got over my little strop he showed me how it worked & I made my first button.

I first started selling buttons whilst staying in LA at the beginning of this year. I was having them made by the wonderful Christine, who always did an impeccable job but unfortunately now I'm back in the UK they work out a little too pricey with postage. So I decided to invest in my own machine, I'm looking forward to finding a spare moment to design and make some magnets to add to my shop.

I also wanted to show you a photo of another new venture for me 'Little Madam' dolls. I made 7 in this first batch after discovering the joys of ink jet fabric sheets in America.

There are so many huge craft stores in California, I was in my element. I feel a bit lost now I'm back in London. I haven't lived here properly for a few years, I need to hunt out some similar stores, to fix my cravings!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

I thought I'd share these photos with you. They were sent to me by the very lovely Kat, my prints in her pretty pink room

& look at this one a dove next to my 'Release' illustration, thanks so much Kat, it's lovely seeing my art works in their new home.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

phew! what a weekend I spent it running between opening my new Etsy shop

and sanding, priming and painting my flats large bay window

2 huge jobs that I have been putting off for forever, so obviously I decided to do them both on the same weekend! (If I'm honest I had a lot of help with the window) Anyway it's Sunday evening, I'm drinking a well deserved glass of wine and I have a big satisfied grin on my face.

Friday, 8 June 2007

My first blog, wish me luck!
I guess I should start by introducing the namesakes of my blog, Belle and her little bunny Boo. Belle is loosely based on a much younger me and my all time favourite children's book character millymollymandy, who I think I looked alot like, except the stripey dresses!

Boo is an amalgamation of alot of bunnies out there. He is constantly changing colour and fluffiness, he is a new breed, a chamelibunny! They first arrived in my sketch book last Christmas in response to a greeting card brief, the cards are still pending but these two wont be held back. They are very excited to be appearing on BOTH sides of my new Tote bags, beautifully screen printed by the fabulous maryink.

Now a little about me Mandy, I thought I'd share with you a photo of my temporary studio space.

I always find it fascinating seeing peoples creative spaces, more so sometimes than seeing the creatives themselves. I say 'temporary'as we (we being me and my lovely boyfriend Russ) are in the process of having this...
turned into this...

ahem! or something similar ie cheaper, smaller & a lot less Elle decoration! So until we get our lovely new studio space, it's a case of Russ working in the Kitchen and me in the lounge, I expect alot of you are in similar situations.