Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cake Art

Let me tell you about my Wednesday group.......

Yesterday they bought me these for Easter, how great are they!  But my Wednesday group are also special for another reason 


I hold art groups 4 Days a week usually in the afternoons but also one on a Saturday morning.  My Wednesday and Saturday group have been running the longest and they are both great groups with regular students who all gel as a group and are both Fun, and are very supportive of me and each other.

But the Wednesday group has become a cake and Art group.  Look at what we got this week as an afternoon treat!

and the week before.....
and the week before.......

in fact they have a rota going as to who's turn it is to bake.  I am not complaining,  and my husband is pleased as usually he gets a cake to.  They even joke that if anyone new starts they want to interview them to check they can Bake!!!

Its all started with Sandy, one of my original students who along with a lady on my Saturday group came along to my 1st ever beginners workshop.  She is  a cake maker and runs her own Cake decorating business and teaches people sugar craft,  in fact I have just been invited to help her celebrate 31 years in business.  

On my original workshops I used to get Dot from the Centre tea shop, to bring a cake in half way through,  but as she closes for the winter it stopped and so sandy took over,  then other people joined in and now we have the cake and Art group.

She has been great with me as well, as recently I decided to decorate a cake for my daughters 30th birthday and Sandy talked me through it.  She even gave me some cake colouring to save me buying loads just for one cake.

But in fact a week later it was my sons birthday and he also got made a cake which I also use the colourings Sandy had given me

So if you ever want to join my Wednesday group,  make sure you loosen your belt and learn to bake Hehe!!

Janice x

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick blog

Look at my fab new brush pot.  I LOVE it!! so much so I bought some more to sell on, When I saw them at the wholesaler I just had to own them, so bought one in each colour.  There is a red one to. 

I finished my driftwood painting,  so that is now varnished and up on the wall

 and just for  fun,  I was playing with the Acrylic inks and had to paint a little boat  I am now imagining who may be sailing in her.....any ideas for a poem or short story??

I also thought I would let you see my work his new bed.  Its a tough life isn't it.

Just a quick blog this week as things are manic here but fill you in soon on all the news

janice x

Monday, March 18, 2013



I am coming to the end of my 50th Year, and I have not achieved as much as I had hoped by this time,  but family circumstances have meant my free time has been swallowed up and our planned visit to Scotland had to be cancelled.  I am not overly disappointed as the whole project has made me think  about those little things that make life so special.  Like this week when I made a celebration cake for my beautiful daughters 30th Birthday, it was so lovely to do something special for her and it may not have gone according to plan but it was fun and interesting to learn a new skill. 

I have gone through the list and have highlighted in red those things that will just have to wait but the ones in blue I am still planning and they may not come in right on time but it shouldn't be to long.

So off I go to try and finish those in blue x

  1. Have a meal with Steve and all the kids
2. Try and see a whale
3. See the Angel of the north
4. Photograph wild flowers
5. Paint outside ( not the fence)
6. Search for sea glass
7. Find 50 Art Deco buildings and photograph them - started
8. Swim a mile
9. Walk on a beach at sunset in the UK
10. Sing in public ( not on my own)
11. Make  a sculpture out of found or natural items
12. Pooh sticks
13. Walk up to Glastonbury Tor
14. Paddle in a stream

15.  Go on a picnic
16  Climb something 
17. Tea and cake with all the family
18.  Spend a day with Gemma           
19.  Spend a day with Heather
20.  Spend a Day with Chris

21.  Walk a dog
22. Find treasure
23. See wonderful stained glass
24. See a David Hockney painting
25.  Visit Scotland
26. Try and see the Northern lights

27. Stargaze
28. Dance in the tower Ballroom Blackpool
29. Road trip

30. Decorate a special cake

31. Do a mosaic
32. Make 50 origami birds and hang them in trees
33.  Throw a pot
34. Have a girly night
35. Make a flower arrangement
36. Sparkle
37. Have my engagement and eternity rings repaired
38. Decorate the bedroom
39. Make a daisy chain
40. Get a tattoo
41. Have a photo us all.  Not professional
42. Make an album or photo book of the year
43. Do something to raise money for charity
44. Candle lit relaxing  bath
45. Kiss in the rain
46. See a film in the directors lounge
47. Have a butterfly land on my hand
48. Crochet or knit myself a jumper
49. Paint a good picture on an Ipad
50.  Surprise me!!!

22 to go  Over Half way now!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring has arrived...nearly!

This week we had a bit of excitement as a young man called Jack came to film us at the centre.  He is doing some sort of media studies degree and asked if he could film the centre for a project.  If the promo video is ok then we can use it on our website,  so that will be good.

And Spring Finally arrived with a lovely bright sunny day where we could work outside and keep our doors open.

It then promptly left and we are hoping it will come back soon as its freezing again..  Brr is that snow I see this morning?

I also thought I had better do a recce for my Weekend course.

In July and September I am running courses where we will spend a day on the beach and a day in  the studio working from the sketches we did on the beach.

I wanted to see where we would park and how we would organise getting lunch.  Dottie is doing me a quote for lunches, but also wanted to compare it with local little cafes.  I also needed to find sheltered spots for when it rains ( coz its bound to).

I am started to get enquiries so I can no longer ignore organising it   :-)

Anyway its a bit hectic at the moment with 2 beginners courses and the regular sessions as well as trying to get a body of work up for Arts weeks,  especially as I sold the only piece I had done for it so far!!  It was an offer I couldn't refuse!

So I will love you and leave you and catch up next week

Janice x

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You were right!

Having lived with my signs for a week or so I have to admit to being wrong!!  yes you heard right!  ..........The green text on the Grey background on my signs just wasn't standing out enough.  
I had decided to change it when I painted my palette sign,  but only got round to re-painting the text on the existing signs yesterday.  Its not as Nice ( I don't think) but certainly stands out more and so that is more important than my own personal taste.  I have obviously been listening to Alex Polizzi on the fixer,  about it being a business not my own house!!

The palette sign made its way up to the studio yesterday for its final spray varnish.  I was going to hang it on the fence,  but my skills in such things are not good and I worried that the fence wouldn't support it. So Mr WD will have to come down to check it out.  But I am quite liking it just propped up.  What do you think?

I am not sure its working as intended though as five minutes after I put it out a lady came by,  I watched her take time to read it, and then she walked away!!  haha not a good start!

My mount cutter arrived at the end of last week and its blooming brilliant!  I have been busy with it and so far a perfect mount each time and thats even allowing for my terrible maths in working out the border size.  I am getting more work up on the walls,  through the winter I have been a bit lazy and not rearranged things as regularly as I should. 

I am also very very pleased with my new camera,  the pictures are bright and clear. but the zoom is amazing.

Check out these I took, the details are great, I was quite a way away from the duck so even more impressive!

I have also been thinking about my teaching advertising and have with the help of Mr Wellydog realised there is a bit of a gap in my marketing.  When people visit my website,  they can check out a few bits of students work and occasional quotes that I sometime put on,  but they can also see a student gallery with my students most recent work on. 

 But if they come in the studio,  unless they come during a class,  then there is no student work for them to see.  I don't really want to drag out part finished work out the back, as unless you are a painter you sometimes can't see the potential of a piece.  So we have decided to make a photo book that I can leave in the studio for people to browse through.  I have asked some students if they will talk a bit about the studio, my teaching or about what a particular painting meant to them.  I hope this will show case some of their work but also give me a valuable tool to use to promote lessons.  The aim is to get it done by arts week in May.  I have started to try and take some photos so hopefully I get get it under way very soon.

Have a good week and catch up soon

Janice x

Monday, March 4, 2013

New paintings and Toys

This painting is progressing quite well,  I will probably finish it this week.

I was also playing again with the acrylic inks this week.  I am really starting to like them,  and how they can be mixed on the page. I also love how they cover and flow.  I don't think they will replace my beloved watercolours but they are definitely fun!

My new toys arrived,  the camera is fab-ul-ous.  The pictures below were taken on it but not the pictures above.  The photos are so much brighter and although I haven't really used it properly yet I am really excited about the zoom.

My mount cutter also arrived and I have been like a kid with a new toy.  I know it makes me a very sad person,  but its the little pleasures in life that make it so much fun.  
I felt my paintings were not being done justice by with my awful second hand frames and terrible cut mounts,  so now I can get great results with the mounts every time,  I have been and splurged on some new frames.  I am going for a clean,  black frame and white mount on all of my pictures from now on.

I started by framing my angel painting,  which has been waiting in the back of my studio for probably 6 months now to be finished and I also framed my waves painting, this one was in a nice wooden frame but a terrible double mount that did it no justice.
My prices will now reflect the better framing.  I know I have been under pricing as I felt I couldn't ask the real price because of the framing,  but it was definitely counter productive.  Not only by framing badly but also by under valuing my work.  If I had my time again and I couldn't afford the good frames I think I would just mount them and string them up in a creative way rather than use the bad frames.  Slowly everything will get reframed.  I can't do it all at once, but hopefully I should have enough soon to make a much cleaner and better display.

Its amazing that even after 18 months there is so much to learn about how to present the work and how to make the most of my space.  I am starting to suspect that it is a on going thing and that I will never be satisfied and always striving to make things look better/different all the time