Friday, 6 November 2015

Seeing things

I see things - creatures and faces mostly - in every day items, and thought I'd start sharing them to see if you can see them too :)

To kick it off, here is the panda that I found hiding in my ciabatta roll back in September. As you do. Well, as I do...regularly it seems.

can you see him? his twin brother is on the other side but is covered in mayo, the poor fella 
my sketched interpretation of him
and finally...a side-by-side comparison - introducing Ciabi ("chabby") the panda ❤︎
Ha, so there you go...a bit of randomness to brighten your day (and possible make you question my sanity).

Cheerio for now!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A place for your cuppa - hand painted coasters

I love wandering around the homewares section of shops, to see if there is anything I can find, that would be suitable for the Ditsy treatment.

Recently, I spotted some natural cork coasters and placemats in Boyes, so took some home to play with. 

My idea worked so well, that after testing one coaster with my own cuppas over the course of a few weeks, I'm happy to say that I now have some very unique, hand painted coasters in my shop!

Here's a look at my process, and the finished items...

I painted straight onto the cork, using acrylic paint

adding the design

finished penguins and birds covered with a few coats of protective sealant

pucker up, it's nearly mistletoe time!
my test subject!

I'd love to know what you think, and if you fancy one, you can get them here and can get 20% off until midnight on Sunday 8th November, by using HOHOHO20 at checkout!

Why not have a go yourself - or maybe make some as teacher gifts with your children? The only limit is your imagination ❄︎


Recent Makes


I thought I'd share some of my recent makes with you to inject a little colour into this grey, damp Autumnal Wednesday.

There has been some inking, painting and stitching going on in these parts...and a lot of it with a very specific seasonal theme!

My mum has been recovering from a hip replacement, and has also been feeling the effects of her illness - so October was given over to visiting her in hospital, and having her stay with us for three weeks. Not a lot of time was free for Ditsying, but we've had some fab quality time with Mum! She's now having some excellent care and rehabilitation at our local Sue Ryder hospice, so I've been lucky enough to be able to spend the past two days painting...just for the fun of it. Oh what a much needed joy that has been!!! I'm feeling much less twitchy and twisty (I needed my fix) and something I wanted to try is working out just dandy. 

Eventually, Mum will come back here again to stay, until she is fully fit to go back home, so I'm cramming as much creative time as I can, into my days...though the late nights are already taking their toll zzzzzz ;)

This is just a quick little post, before I head back into My Room and get messy again, but I hope to be back soon. In the meantime, my Christmas shop is now open on the website (click here), and to celebrate I am offering 20% off all purchases until midnight 8th Nov, with the code HOHOHO20...just enter this when checking out!

Cheerio for now,

a little love filled commission
and the finished result
tiny Autumn leaf brooches
a pretty collection of hand drawn, jewel coloured rings
from sketch to reality - a gift for a friend
trying my hand at lino cutting again
cheery decorations in progress
a bit of upcycling fun
starting to take shape!
And now a selection of new Christmas products now in the shop, don't forget to use HOHOHO20 when you check out ❄︎

Monday, 3 August 2015

Summer time in London


Friday last, George and I were up bright and early, to catch the 10.15am train from Leeds to London.

During the week, Paul (my partner and super-semi-step* dad to George) works down in Farnborough. So when the holidays allow us, we occasionally travel down to meet him in the big smoke, to have a fun weekend exploring...and also to save him the arduous commute back home to North Yorkshire.

We try and stay in different areas each time, and this weekend we were based in the Waterloo district (at another Premiere Inn, because we do get the best night's sleep in their beds), as I had a real desire to visit the South Bank area.

It didn't disappoint!

We saw the hilarious Scotch and Soda show in the London Wonderground Festival Spiegeltent, next to the South Bank Centre - acrobats, bike tricks, strange men in wooden clogs, all to incredible music by the Crusty Suitcase Band.

We had another hilarious outing, quite by accident, thanks to a member of the boat crew giving us a free guided tour, on the river cruise we took down to Greenwich.

Over the course of the weekend, we walked miles; the sun shone; we laughed; we ate amazing steaks and watched George desperately try to climb the lions in Trafalgar Square; we wandered South Bank and took in all the sights, sounds and smells; stumbled on a cool little exhibition about youth culture throughout the ages and the world; and generally remembered how good it is, to be of our happy little trio.

Here are some photos of our visit...

oh how I would LOVE this funny little structure as a Ditsy den at the bottom of my garden - I'd also need a garden ;)

discussing external lifts - P explaining, and G equal halves horror and awe struck
this dress 
epic photo bombing
urban jungle
queuing for the Spiegeltent
welcome to the Wonderground

my lovely little family ♥︎
my photo taking compadre

 Gloriana, the royal barge
who doesn't want a column growing out of their head?
spectral being encountered at Central St. Martin's


*semi because we're not married and super because he is

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Product Photography

Hello from a seriously soggy North Yorkshire - perfect weather for making headway on To Do lists!

Taking priority on the list for me, was setting up a place where I can do my product photography, without having to take down all the equipment after every session.

my new product photography set up is as near to the roof window as possible

We recently had most of our loft boarded out for storage - oh my word, how much do I love that loft?!?! Complete tangent here - but knowing that we now have somewhere to store...Winter clothes and coats in Summer & vice versa; Ditsy Bird materials and supplies that I don't use regularly; bags; spare bedding; all the stuff that is currently under all the beds due lack of storage; sentimental keepsakes - what a difference this is going to make!

Okay, back to it - I decided that, as there won't be a lot of traffic up there (it will basically just be me, moving things from house to loft and back again), it is the perfect place to set up my lighting, tripod and backdrops.

With this setup, as and when I finish a product, I can whizz up the ladder and take the pics I need, and get straight on to editing and listing - rather than continuing with my current method, of waiting until I've got loads to photo, in order to justify the time spent setting up all the equipment.

Lots of trips up the ladder, lugging gear upstairs; lots of crawling on knees to get things into place (W trusses..ugh!); lots of getting hot and bothered (so warm up there!) later, and it's all set up. Hurrah!

I feel hugely satisfied for having actually got off my bum and done it - plus the exercise I've had climbing those ladders, and lifting kit up there - and for trimming down my current 'to photograph' pile.

Oh yes, very satisfying indeed.

Have you tackled something that's been nattering away at the back of your head for a while, or is there something that you could do, right now, to get a big fat tick on your to do list?

Right then, what's next on that there list...


Just in case anyone is interested, THIS is the lighting set I bought in 2014, after taking THIS course by Alisa Burke. I can highly recommend both the lights, and the course! Best of all, there is currently $10 off the course, in Alisa's Summer sale.