SPRING is here, the days are getting longer and I’m several weeks into putting the paperwork in order and working on new designs for the year. After the madness of Christmas, January and February come as a relief, giving me a chance to quite literally get my house in order and also think about the new colours, themes and ideas I’ll be using in the months ahead.
This year has got off to a slow start. It seems like everyone I know has had misfortunes of one kind or another which have thrown their plans into chaos. Thankfully those days are behind us now and I’ve enjoyed the chance to get in the studio and play around with new ideas. So I’ve been photographing tree silhouettes, sketching out animals, playing about with colours and looking closely at the new shoots, buds and flowers that are starting to come out. Snowdrops, like those in the picture, aren’t a flower I use much in my designs but their distinctive shape should make them quite a good choice for a foliage border. Hellebores are harder to cut but a year or two ago I designed a beautiful hellebore cut for a customer’s 90th birthday. I must take another look at it – its all too easy to fall into the trap of using the same motifs over and over. Post-Christmas I like to force myself outside my comfort zone and its good to have the time to experiment with ideas which you can just chuck in the bin if they don’t work out.
This week some of those new designs are being framed up for the fabulous Harpers Maidstone, a new stockist in Kent, run by a friend of a friend. I’m also updating my stock at Norwich’s Giggly Goat and the Handmade Shop in Bury St Edmunds after a bumper Christmas meant lots of designs, especially lanterns, sold out.
Its also been good to work on some commissions – recent work included a deco-inspired papercut with a flamingo theme and a hinged letter papercut for a local business. Soon it will be wedding season which will hopefully mean commissions for personalised hearts.
As for colours, after last year’s neutrals I’m enjoying the colour pop of bright yellows and reds and lime greens as backdrops for cuts. At home most of my walls and furniture are subtler greys and greens but I still can’t resist a splash of colour and pattern here and there.
I’ll be updating the blog weekly from this month but it won’t all be about work. Those of you who follow my Instagram account will know that often includes all kinds of things about my life, including things I’ve made, places I’ve been, garden projects – I do love a garden project – and books I’ve read. I’m a bit of a magpie really and restricting myself to one subject just isn’t my style at all.
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