Friday, 26 December 2008

Boris and Barrowman

The good people at Etsy's Dark Side have featured my wire-wrapped spider pendant 'Boris' on their MySpace blog!


Boris is 'Item of the Day' today, which is fab, and has lifted me out of my post-Christmas moop somewhat. I have no reason to be in a moop really - I have things to look forward to, such as seeing family over the coming days. My man and I are also going to see the fabulous John Barrowman in panto next Tuesday. We saw him in Aladdin last year, which was great, and can't wait to see him in Robin Hood :D

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Paper Snowflakes

Inspired by this blog entry by the fabulous Lupin, I've created some paper snowflake garlands:


Ever the reuser of things, I've cut them from old envelopes, and the result is quite pleasing. I've deliberately not used completely blank pieces of paper, allowing there to be a little pattern on some of the snowflakes. For example, many envelopes have a blue pattern on the inside, which gives a lovely icy effect. Things such as postmarks give interesting detail too. I've woven white thread through the holes in the snowflakes, making them into a garland and allowing them to be hung. You could make lots of them so they form a curtain like Lupin's. I may well do just that too :)

Monday, 15 December 2008

Fuzzy Bats

My Pink Fuzzy Bat has been reduced! No, it hasn’t shrunk (noes!) – its price is just smaller. Hurrah! This gothic yet contemporary pendant is made from silver-plated wire, a pink felt bead, and pink leather-like cord. I’ve reduced it from $30 to $20. Click below for the listing:

Pink Fuzzy Bat - a necklace with a felt bead

My other Fuzzy Bats have not been reduced, but they are still just as fabulous. Each one has been made from silver wire, leather cord and a felt bead. Click the individual images for each listing:

Turquoise Fuzzy Bat - a necklace with silver wings and a felt bead

Red Fuzzy Bat - a necklace with silver wings and a felt bead

Purple Fuzzy Bat - a necklace with silver wings and a felt bead

All Fuzzy Bats come shipped in a little recycled box, as do all my necklaces.

Black Fuzzy Bat in box

Your item can also be gift-wrapped and shipped straight to your intended recipient, if it is a present. Just let me know. :)

In other news, my parents very kindly took some of my work to a little charity table-top sale (my Dad is the Treasurer for a charity called Ebrook, which helps people who have learning difficulties) for me, and sold £35 worth of necklaces. Thanks folks :D

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Hanley Park

There was a park I used to walk home through as a student in Stoke-on-Trent. It was a longer walk than just going up the road, but it was a lot more peaceful. I would sketch, collect twigs and take photos there, it was a great source of inspiration. A few weeks ago, I was looking through some of those old photos and did some work in my art journal about them:



I've recently painted an artwork based on the second of those sketchbook pieces. It's called Hanley Park and depicts trees, and the dark ground from which they grow, silhouetted against a pale sky:

Hanley Park - acrylic painting on linen canvas

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Chaos - the clear-up continues

Yes, I know I wrote the original 'Chaos' post in June (see it here), but the tidying of the studio is still a work in progress. I have been worryingly tidy/clean around the house this weekend though, prompting my long-suffering boyfriend to say "Who are you and what have you done with Jen?". Various surfaces (including tops of wardrobes and such) have been tidied and dusted to make room for copious amounts of storage and festive paraphernalia. I have also rearranged my studio storage, putting my paintings in a space rather more accessible than the previous stacked boxes on top of shelves arrangement. (I am yet to have a sale in my shop of paintings, so this need for organisation of paintings is purely theoretical. It's good to be prepared, nonetheless.) There's also a lot more floor space in which to manoeuvre now, which is good, as I am rather clumsy.

No, you can't see photos of the relative tidiness, it's not quite that nice yet. So here is a photo of our Christmas tree instead:

Christmas Tree

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Mushroom mushroom

I've been struck with a desire to paint toadstools today. It's all DW's fault. Yes, the fabulous Devil's Wallpaper is having a closing down sale, which led to me lusting after this piece, of which I already have a badge version:


I love the fact that the inspiration came from actual conjoined mushrooms. As DW says: "I found some Siamese mushrooms at the supermarket, so I naturally took them home to draw them. Then I realised that they made a heart shape... and what would be even better would be fly agaric mushrooms, because then they would make a love heart. So that's what I did." Aww!

I've loved toadstools since I was a kid - they always reminded me of fairies and such. I have a little collection of toadstool things dotted around the house:


This collection includes the Toadstool Footstool, as previously blogged about here. It sits under my chair in my studio, which is very handy as, being short, my feet don't touch the floor.


That footstool was created by EsmeArt for the UK Etsy Challenge, as was this wee thing:

Toadstool - a beaded suncatcher

I loved what everyone made for that mushroom challenge, and that has kicked off my recent love for shrooms. And seeing DW's Mushrooms of Love today has inspired a little sprinkling of shrooms in my art journal:


And, in case you wondered where the name of this post came from, watch this:

Friday, 7 November 2008

An unlikely source of inspiration

A few days ago I took inspiration from an unlikely source - a Wallace & Gromit poster on my wall.

Wallace & Gromit Poster 1

Much as I love them, they've never inspired me to paint before, but looking at the background of that image I had an idea.

Wallace & Gromit Poster - detail

I'd been looking for something different to paint, something other than the trees and sunsets. So this simple landscape was a solution to that.

W. G. Moon

It's not a huge departure from my usual style, but it's something a little different. And it's inspired quite a few works in progress.


As has this sketchbook piece, painted a few days before, which was also an attempt to do something different (this attempt to do something different still ended up in painting trees though, lol).



I'm now newly inspired to paint, after a bit of a dry spell. Which is no bad thing.

Magenta Trees

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A very skully Christmas

You may have read my previous post about this piece, Skully Tree:

Skully Tree - a red beaded Christmas decoration

Well, the skully goodness doesn't stop there. I have more skully decorations to adorn your home at Christmas, Halloween or all year round:

Green Skully Heart - a suncatcher in beads and wire

Red Skully Heart - a suncatcher in beads and steel wire

Purple Skully Heart - a suncatcher in beads and steel wire

Green skully beaded window dangle

Why not decorate your tree, and indeed your whole home in a more Gothic style at Christmas? Search "skull" in my shop for more. Plus, look out for other skully things coming very soon, including skully stars.

Post inspired by a fellow Deviant's comments on this piece.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

New Christmas decoration - Skully Tree

Christmas is getting ever closer, and over the past few weeks I've been listing a few festive goodies. The latest to arrive in my Etsy shop is a piece called Skully Tree:

Skully Tree - a red beaded Christmas decoration

If you're a Gothic type, you might want a darker look to your home at Christmas, or if you like rich colours and quirky details, this piece would also fit in well. It's made of steel wire, red glass beads and plastic skull beads, and it has a hanging loop of red ribbon. It could be hung by a window to catch the sunlight, on a wall or perhaps on a door, or of course on your Christmas tree.

Take a look at my Etsy shop for more Christmas goodies:

Christmas at Etsy

And, if you live in the UK, you can also buy my Christmas goodies at Folksy:

Christmas at Folksy

Plus, take a look at all three of my shops for unique handmade Christmas gifts:

Monday, 22 September 2008

Recycled Packaging

As I have mentioned here in a previous post, reclaimed materials are an important part of what I do. I not only reuse old jewellery in my work, but I also try to use old packaging wherever possible. So I keep all the bubble wrap, boxes, jiffy bags, tissue paper and other packaging that I receive through the post, and reuse it when I mail out my work.

I store the tissue paper in this little table:

Storage Table

My work gets wrapped up in reused paper and packaging to be posted:

Secret Swap - Packaging 2

Secret Swap - Packaging 1

I have recently been advised to start using gift boxes to give my jewellery a more professional edge and, while this is of course a good idea, I was unsure about it because that would involve buying new boxes rather than reusing old ones. The solution came when I was watching Dragons' Den one evening and saw the Tiny Box Company's pitch. I'd heard of them before, and, while watching the pitch, admired their commitment to using purely recycled materials in the manufacture of their boxes. I placed an order with them, and received some lovely purple boxes that I was very happy with. A couple of days ago I put my Black Fuzzy Bat in the post in one of them:

Black Fuzzy Bat in box

Now that little bat is all wrapped up and off to America!

Black Fuzzy Bat in box 3

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Size Does Matter - ACEOs vs huge paintings

Excuse the slightly clich├ęd title, but this post is about size, in part at least :) Lately, it has occurred to me that I'm painting smaller and smaller paintings now. What's made me think about it is the fact that some of my ACEOs have migrated from my DaWanda shop to my Etsy shop (as will the entire contents of my DaWanda shop over time).


Looking at them has inspired me to create more of these miniature works of art. There seems to be something very appealing about making something so small.

Gothic ACEOs

The fact that they're cute is I suppose the simple, rather girlie, answer to what I find appealing about them. Another reason is that it's a challenge to paint something so small, and therefore detailed. Don't get me wrong - I love large works of art too, but not all art has to be huge.

It's occurred to me lately that, while I now paint tiny things, my art teacher actually spent a lot of time trying to make me paint larger, which is funny in a way. At school I was told to paint on larger paper, for what reason I don't remember. She need not have spent so long trying to make me paint larger anyway - with all the life-drawing classes, Visual Studies and other art classes I went on to do at college, working on larger paper was a natural progression. She also said I should work more in 3D, and she was actually right there. Back in school it was all about trying to work to a brief set by an exam paper, which was what made me afraid to experiment (with sculpture) back then. Leaving school and coming to a rather different environment like college triggered more experimentation in my work, not least because there was so much more to try there. I specialised in three-dimensional pieces towards the end of college, working in ceramics and then metalwork, finally going on to uni to study Crafts. Again I specialised in metalwork there, also dabbling in ceramics and other media.

The main theme running through my work there was organic shapes, including metal sculpture such as copper trees. After uni I continued with these, finding my way back to painting via the trees.

Arboreal Coppery Tree - acrylic painting on canvas

Now it was on my terms - I didn't have to paint some incredibly detailed thing to try and pass an exam. It was liberating really. And now, I can paint tiny little things if I want. Now that I've come back to painting, outside of an educational context, I have developed my own style, which is a lot simpler than anything I ever painted at school. In the past few years, through both education and experimentation, I've developed my own style in all of my work. I don't doubt that my work will change in as yet unforeseen ways in the next few years too.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Front Page Glory!

Brierley Sunset made it to Etsy's front page! Sneddoniart's first FP, awww :)

Sneddoniart on FP!

Many thanks to PennyDog, Hippy and PaisleyChainsaw for letting me know. And thanks of course to TickledPinkKnits for creating this Treasury list!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The great $7 sale

There's a sale in my shop! Check it out here.

Most of the items would make great Christmas decorations, so you could stock up for Christmas. Or you could maybe brighten up your house with the suncatchers, bringing a little summer sun indoors.

Turquoise Beaded Egg

Or add a little humour to your outfit with my Spidey pendant.

Spidey Pendant

7 is a lucky number, so why not get lucky at my $7 sale!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Toadstool Footstool and Fuzzy Bats

A couple of weeks ago I got this gorgeous item from the lovely Esme of PaisleyChainsaw, EsmeArt and StyleMissile:


It's a Toadstool Footstool, made for the UK Etsy Challenge, and Esme kindly gave it to me for FREE! Yays :)

I have bought many things from her supplies store:


esmeart100th - Goodies

and recently I was her 100th customer there, so I got fabulous freebies:

Bowl O' Kitsch from Esme

Bless her, it's a wonder she makes any money giving away all this free stuff :D

I also wish to pimp a couple of other UK Etsians I've bought things from lately. First up is, from whom I bought these gorgeous jewel-coloured glass beads:


Also check out her other shop, from which I bought one of my favourite pairs of earrings:

Look what I got from GUGAW!

I love silver, and I love roses, so these are perfect :)

I've been wanting to use felt beads in my work for a while, and finally took the plunge with a 25 bead taster pack from


I also got free beads and buttons, yay! BigFish is the colourful, ethical supplies shop of the lovely Kirsty Fish (probably not her real name), and she also runs PaperFish (more colourful goodness) and SnowFish (Christmas goodness).

The new material deserved a new design, and I've created something a little more minimal than my usual work. Here's what I've made with the felt beads so far:

Pink Fuzzy Bat - a necklace with a felt bead

Black Fuzzy Bat - a batty necklace with a felt bead

These little winged furballs are called Fuzzy Bats, and are for sale here.

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!