Dragonfly Dress Mark 2

To accommodate my physical expansion since last year I recently made myself another summer dress from my grey dragonfly fabric.

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

My finishing skills are improving! This time I followed my mum´s advice about French seams so the interior of the dress is much neater. dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

The arm holes are edged with grey bias binding with contrasting white and yellow top stitching while the neckline is finished with yellow bias binding with contrasting white and grey top stitches.

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

It’s a comfy one and stylish too! 

Corredera 55 – Business Cards

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I had a lovely surprise during my recent visit to Vejer (after an absence of several months) – the fabulous people at the delightful Corredera 55 restaurant had updated their business card to include the pen and watercolour sketch I made of the restaurant facade back in 2016 (below).

corredera 55, restaurant, califa vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, pen and watercolour, pen and wash, pen and watercolor, sketch, drawing, painting, facade, comer amar vivir, life without cake, vitamins abc

I knew they were planning to change their business card, in fact I prepared the file for the printer some time ago, but seeing the dinky little versions of the original painting sitting there in the restaurant made me smile.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Corredera 55 this summer I can highly recommend the baked sardines with sumac, damascan lemon, black olives and cherry tomatoes; a luscious oily concoction which melts in the mouth and goes down particularly well after the green gazpacho; a pea, mint, avocado and cucumber variation of the traditional Spanish cold summer soup.

Yum.

Cockerel Dress

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress
cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

For my latest foray into textile design and home sewing I  made myself a cotton dress to wear to my dear friends’ June wedding in London.

As usual I had the fabric digitally printed by Woven Monkey in the UK having made a white, red and pale green version of one of my cockerel variations; as my dad once said I’ve certainly got a lot of mileage out of that cockerel! 

Click here to see how the original cockerel came to be…

cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

I decided to finish the hems with red bias binding to match the cockscombs….

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…and luckily enough found a pair of my favourite Fly London sandals in the exact same shade…

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…and finished the ‘look’ with white nails and sunglasses…cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

 

The dress stood up well to the festivities – just a couple of armhole stitches popped during the disco phase!

 

And the wedding was absolutley wonderful.

Springtime – Window Painting

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycleTo herald the arrival of springtime the good folk at Mary’s Living & Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street (where I work as a volunteer for a few hours each week) invited me to design and execute an illustration for their window.

What a lovely project – and right up my street!

I decided on a flowers, birds and bees theme in a loose art nouveau style and made a sketch to scale.bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, sketch, design

Before embarking on the window I had a little practise with the chalk pens on a small sheet of glass and assigned colours to the different elements of the drawing….

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, sketch, design

…while Kerry kindly cleaned the window in preparation for the obligatory ‘before’ photo.

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

(You can just see my  two remaining  ‘Pre-Loved Fashion’ drawings hanging up there behind the manequins.)artist at work, kathryn hockey, artist, illustrator, bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

artist at work, kathryn hockey, artist, illustrator, bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london

 

 

                 Artist at work!

 

 

 

Here are a few photos of the completed drawing, which took a couple of sessions to finish…bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycle…needless to say the ‘here comes the sun’ caption is more of a wish than an observation during springtime in Britain! 

I really had so much fun with this project and am so grateful to the Mary’s Living & Giving team for trusting me with it – thank you!

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, volunteer, window, design, springtime, birds, swallows, bluebirds, bees, flowers, here comes the sun, illustration, glass, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recyclePost script

As well as being right up my street this project is also a trip down memory lane (pun central…sorry!). About 20 years ago I did some window painting at The Honest Cabbage Restaurant, 99-101 Bermondsey Street (below left)

honest goose, restaurant, window painting, bermondsey street, london, illustration, decoration

honest cabbage, restaurant, window painting, bermondsey street, london, illustration, decoration

and her sister restaurant The Honest Goose on The Cut in Waterloo (above).

 

The Cabbage has since been converted to The Garrison Public House – my artwork didn’t survive but that tends to be the way with mural art unless you’re Banksy.

Fab…Fab…Fabrics!

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Huge thanks to all those lovely people who have responded so enthusiastically to my designs for fabrics.

My exhibitionist side has enjoyed swanning about in exclusive patterns but since spring is coming it’s time to share them…with the world!

 

 

I’ve spent many, many happy hours developing my designs for fabrics and have tested them all to make sure that the patterns repeat seamlessly, that the colours are reproduced beautifully and that the material itself is comfy in terms of weight, drape and care.

All my fabrics are digitally printed to order in the UK.

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So! Here’s how it works: 

  1. Select your favourite design for summer clothes or upholstery (scroll down for details)
  2. Work out how many metres you need
  3. Contact me!
  4. I’ll calculate the postage cost, add that to the fabric cost and email you my PayPal details
  5. You pay securely online
  6. Your fabric is printed to order 
  7. Your fabric will reach you 2 to 3 weeks later depending on your location

Immediately below are the designs that I’ve selected for light cotton fabric; ideal for making summer weight clothes, pillow cases, appliqué and quilting.

cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dress making, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, horse, carousel, skeleton, prints, season, spring, summer, clothes, woven monkey

And below are the designs that I’ve selected for (dry clean only) cotton drill fabric; ideal for making cushions, curtains and for other upholstery projects.

cotton, fabric, textile, design, digital printing, surface pattern, surface design, cotton, home sewing, dragonfly, cockerel, rooster, 2cv, car, prints, upholstery, woven monkey

…since I’m not a professional seamstress I’ve decided against making and selling finished garments but if you’re in the Vejer area I can put you in touch with a highly skilled dressmaking friend of mine if you need help with the sewing part – that way you’ll be one step closer to getting the made to measure garment of your dreams!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

 

Pre-Loved Fashion Drawings

fashion, high heels, handbag, leather, gloves, head over heels, bags of style, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteerI recently moved back to London – a rather unexpected and initially unwanted development – but it’s actually turned out to be quite wonderful…

I was having a wander around my district the other day and saw a sign outside the Mary’s Living & Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street asking for volunteers. The Mary in the title is Mary Portas, ‘Queen of Shops’, and the 23 Living and Giving shops in London all sell donated new and pre-loved fashion in aid of Save The Children. So I signed up…what better way to contribute to a worthy cause, meet new people and hang out in a gorgeous place? Not to mention the beautiful pre-loved designer gear (no staff discounts!).

During my first shop shift I felt inspired to draw some of the delightful items on display so I signed them out in the ‘borrow book’ and took them home.

I started by making some sketches to test colours and layout, taking elements from the shop decoration (by Elno Art) to use as the border.

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sketch, sketchbook, fashion, handbag, leather, bags of style, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was pleased with the sketches but I wanted to develop them into more polished pieces which I could donate to the shop. I got the sketches enlarged by photocopy so that I could trace the layout onto lovely heavy watercolour paper without having to start the whole design process again from scratch.

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Once the pencil line work was complete I went over it with water resistant pens of various nib sizes

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Then with the pen outline finished I rubbed out the pencil marks and started adding layers of watercolour paint

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Obviously the shoe drawing is my favourite…the actual shoes are my size but those heels are really high and my knees are middle aged!

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Finally I got the completed pictures scanned…

fashion, handbag, leather, bags of style, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

fashion, leather, gloves, silky inside, mary's living and giving, save the children, charity, shop, designer, sketch, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, painting, illustration, charity, bermondsey, london, ethical, sustainable, reuse, recycle, donate, volunteer

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I will be so proud to have my drawings displayed in the shop and maybe even sell them – all proceeds to Save the Children.

Pre-loved fashion – sustainable, ethical and beautiful; reuse, recycle, donate!

Update: On 21st March 2018 my lovely friend Wendy came by the shop to buy ‘Head over Heels’! Thank you!

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Annie B’s Food Map

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The delightful Annie B of Spanish Kitchen fame recently asked me to paint her a map showing the eating and drinking delights of the area around Vejer de la Frontera, where we are both based.

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Annie runs sherry tasting classes and cookery courses as well as tapas and wine tasting tours in Andalusia and Morocco. I made a food and drink themed sketch style painting for her a couple of years ago which she used as a Christmas card (right) and she had the idea to turn the food map into her Christmas card this year.

sketch, layout, illustration, food, map, andalucia, andalusia, annie b, spanish kitchen, vejer, cadiz, jerez, sherry, cerdo iberico, queso de cabra, goats cheese, iberian pork, retinto, beef, tuna, atun, octopus, pulpo, flamenco, squid, calamari, lemon, limon, anchovies, anchoas, prawns, gambas, atlantic ocean, oceano atlantico, mediterranean sea, mar mediterraneo, solera, spices, vineyard, bodega, chorizo, olive oil, acete de oliva

So the first stage of the map design was to work out the extent of the area which could be comfortably accommodated in the same card format.

I roughly sketched the map in coloured pencil (above) and then cropped it until Annie was happy with the layout; then we decided which food and drink elements would be represented and Annie gave me specific tips on how they should be shown. For instance the tuna fish needed yellow spines on their backs, the Retinto cow should be sitting on the beach and the Osborne sherry bull needed well defined ‘cojones’ (I’ll leave you to google that if you’re unsure of the meaning!).

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At this stage I got the posh paper out (Arches 300g cold pressed watercolour), tore it to the correct size and taped it to a board before drawing the finalised map carefully in pencil (above).

Once I was happy with the outline I drew over it in water resistant pen (above) and added colour in layers of watercolour paint (below).

The final stage was to add a bit of multicoloured ‘magic splatter’ by tapping my loaded paintbrush all over the map which I find makes the texture more interesting as well as unifying the image (below and top).

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The cards should be delivered next week, I’m really looking forward to popping in to Annie’s to collect mine with a nice drop of sherry on the side! 

Cover Design – ‘Green Tea’

My lovely and very talented friend, the actor, playwright, voice over artist and photographer Marcel Snyders recently asked me to design the cover for his play ‘Té Verde’ (‘Green Tea’ in English) which will soon be published in Spain.

green tea, té verde, book cover, portada, play, comedy, tragicomedy, marcel snyders, playwrite, hospice, mother, daughter, illustration, cover design, art, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, acuarela, painting, pintura, ilustración, tea bag, cup, saucer

Té Verde is a funny and chilling tale dealing with strained family relationships as a mother waits impatiently to die while being attended by her two daughters and two volunteer carers in a hospice.

Having read the play I laughed out loud and immediately agreed to take the project on.

green tea, té verde, book cover, portada, play, comedy, tragicomedy, marcel snyders, playwrite, hospice, mother, daughter, illustration, cover design, art, drawing, watercolour, watercolor, acuarela, painting, pintura, ilustración, tea bag, cup, saucer, sketches

I roughly sketched out my initial idea of an aerial view of two tea cups a number of times (above) until I’d found the version which ‘clicked’.

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The rough full size layout of the chosen design is shown above.

The closeness of the cups represents the relationship between the two green tea drinking characters in the play; also, the angle between the cup handles and the intersection of the saucers at the edge of the image is intended to create a sense of tension. 

Marcel approved the layout at this stage and I drew the design out more carefully on watercolour paper, first in pencil, then in waterproof pen before adding layers of watercolour paint (below).

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Marcel was keen on an eye catching combination of green and red for the cover; they’re complementary colours which makes them ‘pop’ dramatically when they appear next to each other; an effect that further raises the tension of the composition.

Finally I scanned the painting into Photoshop, added the text and some ‘splatter’ effects to reinforce the violence suggested by the ‘bloody’ background  (below and top).

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Bar Día – A Love Story

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I was asked by José to make this pen and watercolour drawing as a wedding present for Blaise and Letitia, to celebrate their first ever meeting.

José wrote this poem to go with the drawing

Se dice que fue como un relámpago,
en cosa de un segundo,
segundo y medio a lo sumo,
un estallido de rosas cayendo de su pecho
al albur de unos ojos,
un traqueteo de piernas,
el suspiro de un miedo
y un miedo vencido con solo una palabra.
 
Se dice que alguien se enamoró aquel día
como tantas otras veces otras gentes
pero yo que he visto conozco esta historia
puedo dejarla escrita en estos versos
puedo decir seguro 
que mereció la pena.
 
Which translates as
 
It is said that it was like a lightning bolt, 
a matter of a second, 
a second and a half at most, 
an explosion of roses falling from his chest 
to the fate of eyes, 
a quiver of legs, 
the sigh of fear
and fear overcome with only one word. 
 

It is said that someone fell in love that day 
like so many other people at other times 
but I’ve seen, I know this story 
I can leave it written in these verses 
I can say for sure 
that it was worth it.

 

It’s a beautifully romantic project for a very lovely couple, I wish them all the best for their wedding today (11th August 2017) in Taiwan and their long and happy future together. 
 
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Obviously it was impractical for me to travel to Mallorca to draw the bar so I worked from a photo that José found on the internet, rendering the outline first in pencil then in pen (above left and right) before applying the watercolour (top).

Dragonfly Tunic Dress

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So this little number is the result of my third dress making adventure; using a black on beige version of my dragonfly fabric design which I had digitally printed in the UK by Woven Monkey.

I find the boat neck / empire line combination really comfortable and flattering so I’ve continued it here but by cutting the hem straight and splitting the sides I’ve converted the dress into more of a tunic which allows for much more movement below the waist…I can run in this one but long undergarments are essential for the preservation of modesty!

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I wanted to make the bodice of this dress more closely fitting which meant putting in more darts and a zip. I opted to put an ‘invisible’ zip in the side seam (right) and thanks to guidance from several YouTube tutorials my first ever attempt worked pretty well.

 

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I also decided to sew on a long black ribbon to accentuate the empire line and add a bit of flounce round the back.

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dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides

 

While making my first two dresses – from my Dragonfly (white on grey version) and Horse fabrics – I’d come to love bias binding so I decided to use it to make a contrasting trim around the neck, arm holes and hem on this dress. I was also inspired (by a pair of black, beige and orange shorts I own) to add an orange top stitch to jazz up the black and beige combination.

Feels jolly nice on and washes well! Yay!

 

dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure, invisible zip, empire line, tied back, tunic, split sides