Friday, November 21, 2008


I've really wanted to blog lately, but I've just been so, so, so, so busy. I'm really enjoying the projects I'm working on at the moment, seriously, they are lovely. I will show some little bits when I can, but obviously i need to wait until they're published :0)

In other news, guess who's crawling!? Aaaaaaagh! My life is changed forever! Sienna has four fabulous teeth and is very fond of Italian cuisine :0)

I must go, as I have some special people to write to.
In the mean time....enjoy Autumnal Perigord!
Oh, and check out the 'Sorciere Gentille' photo, that was a very exciting discovery, which lead to an amazing drive through twisty lanes and forests....

Back soon,

I promise


Monday, October 13, 2008

We're "home"


Just a quick post to say we're home, despite some French fishermen at Calais! I have alot to catch up on, so will post some beautiful photos of Perigord when I get a moment to myself and tell all about our wonderful holiday.
Above is 'Madame Grotte', or Nadine as we discovered her name was. I've mentioned her, and her shop before, and it was exactly as it was last year, and the year before...and the year before.

Anyway, I'm nearly at the end of a triple bill of 'Tess of the Durbervilles', and can't see for tears!! Good grief, imagine if I were watching 'Jude the Obscure'!!!

Bye for now,



Saturday, September 6, 2008

September Salutations!

Well, it's been a bit busy here of late! Busy in a really good way, but naturally I'm feeling it.
Sienna, (I'm not sure if I've already mentioned?), has two teeth! She's also moved onto solid foods and quite literally weighs a tonne!!
I'm typing this on the laptop so don't have any recent photos on file, but will post some up soon :0)
We're off on our jollies, (holidays), in just under two weeks, and I have a lot of work to do before I go. The projects I'm working on at the moment are just gorgeous. I sometimes just cannot believe how lucky I am to be earning a living doing what I do. I'm not saying it's easy, it's alot of hard work and it took me a long time to be in the position I am now. I just hope it continues! And obviously looking after a small baby and keeping a house straight is a job in itself. Above is a very proud me, having found a book I illustrated in Waterstones!
So, I'm putting Erica's Attic on the back burner until after our holiday. This is incredibly frustrating, but I need to give myself a little bit of a breather. I'm going to spend my evenings sewing and scribbling, and when I have a good body of work I will re-stock the shop. If I were to try and do it now, I would be rushing it and I simply don't have the time to put my all into it at this time. I'm finally coming to realise that I just can't 'do it all'. Something people have been telling me for aaaaages, but being the stubborn Madame that I am, I only wanted to prove them wrong! So, I'm going to store all my stitching ideas into little jars, next to all my buttons. I will archive all my sketches and patterns in the manner of a bonkers old librarian. And there they will stay. Not for long...they'll find a way of being made...into something!
The Ottaline dolly givaway is still on, so leave a comment to be in with the chance of re-homing one of these strange little girls. I picked up a piece of winter tweed in the habedashery (spelling?!?) at John Lewis today, and am already planning some 'English Country' Ottalines.
So, I'll leave you for a little while...

a bientot!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There is going to be a bit of a delay in the shop re-stock....
Things have gone a little crazy here!
Will be back with more info soon,



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ottoline Dolly Give-away!


Well, as promised, here is a selection of some of the things I have finished for the shop.
There will be four dollies, prints, post cards and some other curiosities....
To celebrate, I'm giving one of my dollies away, one of the Ottoline's you can see in the picture above :0)
All you need to do to enter the draw, is leave a comment telling me what your favourite fairy tale, poem, book or song is, and why! I'll put all the names in a hat and first one out wins a dolly! This competition is open to anyone and everyone, so give it a go!

Good luck!



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Batten down the Hatches!!

I'm locking the doors...
I may even light the fire!
It has been raining here for weeks...and weeks...and weeks...
Now, please don't misunderstand, I am a fan of rain...up to a point!
Everything is so much more difficult in the really is.
Trying to get a heavy car seat, with a heavy baby in it, out of the back seat of a three door car, whilst trying to keep her dry and an A1 sized package, containing precious artwork from falling in a puddle....
Then trying to assemble a buggy, which always fits together perfectly when the sun is shining, but will not GO TOGETHER IN THE RAIN! Aaaagh!
So, as I have only drawing and making to do for the next few days, there is absolutely no need for me to leave the I'm not going to!

I've got so, so many brilliant projects on at the moment. The first of the colour artwork has been posted to London for my 'Doll's House' project, and the first roughs for my black and white drawings have been given the go ahead :0)
I'm also doing some character development for a really sweet, but funny picture book.

In sewing news - I'm getting on very well (ish) with my Ottoline dollies and will be stocking the shop with lots of goodies very soon. I will be celebrating the re-stock with a MASSIVE sale, I mean C-R-A-Z-Y prices! So watch this space for the poster ;0)
I've got some snoozie Soozies to finish, with a custom order going to London!

And last but not least, Miss Sienna-Rose has begun to mutter her first words...

and they are....


She is still amazingly contented and happy! Totally luck of the draw with babies as to what sort you get! I don't know how I would have coped with a crier, still, there's time yet.....eek!
We went for a girls day out to the Cotswolds on Saturday just gone, (in the rain), to visit a friend. Much cake, pizza and lemonade was scoffed!

So, I'm off to organize a few things in preperation for my lock in, I'll be back to show you my efforts in a few days!



Friday, July 25, 2008

The Pixie Hunt Pic-Nic

Well, after writing out my list of favourite things, I realised it had been a loooong time since we had visited any 'proper', we all piled in the car and drove to Herefordshire. It's a fair way, 2 hours drive, but Mr Nick and I love it so much there. We met in Hereford whilst at college there together, over one hundred years ago now. Mr Nick was studying blacksmithing and me, illustration.
Anyway! we ended up at Symmonds Yat, and unlike the wild and woody pixie hunt/pic nic I had been expecting, it was heaving with people. There were people whizzing around on bikes you could hardly move! Any pixies in the vicinity would have been scared away long ago. I think next time we'll go 'off the beaten track'.

In other news, I'm currently working on some patterns and ideas for 'Ottaline' dollies. I have big ideas for this girl...


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thank-you and meet Ottaline

Thanks so much for all the great music suggestions folks! I'm really enjoying discovering all this new stuff!
I will put a list of the songs up soon, so you can all check them out :0)

I've been doing some little doodles, filling up one of the hundreds of little note books and sketchbooks I keep buying, (hopelessly addicted to little books and journals).
I'm doing a little story called 'Ottaline and Hotrod boy', and this is the first page...
If it turns out to be any good, I might bind a few up and put them in the shop, but at the moment it's just a fun, although terrifyingly dark, little project.

I also decided to start writing lists of things that I like, things to inspire...

if you click on the page, it will become if by magic...

funny the things we like, isn't it!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Slotting into place!

Sometimes, when you're imagine wonderful invent magical stories in your mind.
And sometimes...there are so many little characters running about in your mind, it's hard to 'focus'. can't even go to sleep!
Everytime you're about to drop off, a little mouse will say, "Erica, Erica! what are we to do with all this thread...and all these buttons!??"
There are reels of ribbon in my house, stacks of vintage fabric, rolls and rolls of water colour paper....wool...lace...hankerchiefs...oh the list goes on!
Anyway, Mr Nick bought me the most wonderful gift - an ipod!
I plug it in, I sleep.
So, does anyone have any good songs they can reccomend to me? I have downloaded loads of artists like -

imogen heap
alexi murdoch
mazzy star
shout out louds

anyone got any other suggestions???
I'd love to know what you folks listen to...

Also, my lovely friend Jacinta bought me this

Ah! another time...this film...pressed so many buttons! I cried all the way through, like a loon!
Have anyone of you seen it?

Night night all,


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Could the dream come true?

My heart is telling me to put the house on the market, move to France and become a river gypsy. However...that simply can't be.
How many river gypies do you know with broadband? And where would the publishers send my book layouts...and where would I grow my veggies! hee hee!
No, if we're going to do it, it needs to be a methodical, well planned, well researched and a fail safe endeavour....

My earnings would not be enough to live on in France...full stop. I either need to tri-fold my income or do something else alongside it. Also the French tax system is crippling, and I need to understand it inside and out, as I don't want taxes to be the reason we have to come home after a year or two...
I have had an idea, and any comments or advise regarding this would be appreciated!!
I thought, if we bought a house with a big barn, we could convert the barn into -
upstairs - luxury rooms, twins or singles...whatever, all ensuite.

then downstairs...

here's the intersting part...

a huge room with a long table, where I would hold 4 or 5 day courses on writing and illustrating for children.
One end of the room would have floor to ceiling bookshelves, stuffed with picture books and story books...
the other end would have more shelves full of brushes, paints etc...

I could teach aspiring writers and illustrators the tricks of the trade, how to layout a story to keep momentum going, how important it is to have a hook in your tale, how to get your mailshots opened, looked at and filed, rather than ending up on the slush pile. How to prepare your idea for presentation to a publisher.
I could help them adapt their drawing and painting style to suit the children's market...little secrets I've learned along the way...
Nick would prepare breakfast, lunch, and the evening meal, all prepared from our kitchen garden of course!
The party of say, six or eight would then have a day or so to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside or perfect their new skills.
So what do you folks think to this idea? If I did one or two a month, that would certainly help bump up our income...

Oh, and look who can hold herself up all on her own!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The witch's house

Nick and I have a-l-w-a-y-s had a dream. To move to Perigord Vert in south west France, buy a tumble down house and live the life we've always wanted. The above house, although in the Perigord Noir, is exactly the kind of place we'd love :0) It's for sale at 82'000 euros, 65'000 pounds or about 126'000 us dollars.
Every night, I imagine myself waking up the next morning with the warm sunshine pouring in through the window. I would get up, feed the chickens and geese, make sure Frances and Porky (my pigs) had enough water in thier wallow and tend to my veggie patch. I would collect a few eggs for breakfast and Mr Nick would make us a feast while I got Sienna ready for school. All three of us would pile into our beat up old car and drive down to Brantome. We'd park in the square and walk over the bridge where we would drop munchkin off for her busy day a l'ecole. Then, Mr Nick and me would go to the little cafe in the market square where we would have coffee and chat about our plans for the day. On returning to our tumble down cottage, I would settle down in my converted barn and paint princesses and hedgehogs, and write strange and mysterious stories. Perhaps after a lunch of homegrown tomato and basil salad, mopping up the vinagrette with some yummy bread, Mr Nick and I would take a walk in the nearby woods, where we would gather blackberries to make jams and pies. I'd get back to work in the afternoon, and mr Nick would collect Sienna (and various little friends no doubt), and dinner would be served late in the evening in the garden, under the tree bedecked with jam jar lanterns. When all the little people where either returned home or tucked up in bed, Mr Nick and I would enjoy some wine in the warm evening air. I saw the milky way for the first time in my life whilst in Perigord. I never knew you could actually see it for real. This September, i'm going to show it to Sienna, as we are going back to the same gite as we have done for the past three years, the very gite where we found out last June that we were to become three. I can't wait. It is simply my favourite place on always feels like I'm going home. It is a place covered in thick, dense forest, the kind of forests that you read about in fairy tales when you were a little girl. The kind of forests that you might, just might come across a witch's house...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hot Rods, Pink sheds and a cosy night in bed


Just look at these cute cars! I'd love a hotrod, but I'm not sure how I'd fit a baby seat in the back, or where I'd put my shopping...
Sunday morning was spent in a muddy field, in the rain looking at 50's cadillacs and all sorts of hot rods. I then spent the afternoon working on a piece for Mother & Baby magazine.

I spent yesterday In London, where I had a meeting with the girls about my doll's house project, (some sneaky peeky sketches below). We then all piled in a black cab and went to a veeeery swanky department store called Heal's. We had a look at the furniture and housey things to get some inspiration for the doll's house, and then had a gorgeous lunch in the restaurant.
After the girls had gone back to the office, I wandered (curtesy of Emily's amazing hand drawn map, including such important landmarks as Topshop), up to Oxford Street before getting the train home. It was a long day, as I was woken up at 4.30 am by a certain ginger trouble maker, banging on the kitchen door with his paw. I didn't get back to the cottage until gone six pm, and all the train/tube/excitment/hustle and bustle really tires me out!! I LOVE it though, and wish I could go more often. I'm not doing too badly though, as this is my third trip to London since having Sienna. I had such an amazing day and am sooo thankful I get to do such fun things with my job!

This morning I had an appointment at the dentist, where I was drilled, prodded and pulled about! It was fine really ;0)
So by the time I carried Sienna down the shed for an afternoon's painting, I was too tired to do anything! (she was woken up at 6am this morning by some noise from next door, which woke mummy up too!!). So I carried her back up the house, put her in her moses basket and prayed she would fall asleep so I could get some shut eye! Fat chance!

I can't quite believe how big she is, especially when you see a little new born :0) I don't think Sienna-Rose was ever 'small' though!!
So, on finishing this post, I am changing into my jimjams, and curling up in bed with my sketchbook, filofax and a book. I am fully kitted out with pretty post-it notes, glitter gel pens and sparkly heart stickers, so as I can decorate the pages of my filofax as I plan my work schedule...does anyone else have a serious stationery fetish???!!!

So I'll close now, and turn in for the night.
Have a fantastic rest of your Tuesdays, whatever your doing!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bit brighter :0)

This evening I went down and tidied my shed.
I moved some of the lamps about, to make it a bit brighter in there.
Before long, the old gang had come for a visit...Tommy sat in his favourite spot, and Mr ArtyPants did some spinning on my spinney chair.

I've got some cool jobs to do in my shed tomorrow, a rough for Mother & Baby magazine, some little witchy style characters for a front cover of a young fiction series, and I'm designing some furniture to go inside the dolls house I'm illustrating.
I'm also going into town to buy my friend Dennie a birthday pressie, and buy some dinners. Today was a total washout, I spent most of the day nursing a migraine, no doubt brought on by my sad mood yesterday! (note to self, stop being sad!!)
Thank-you for your words, they helped me alot!! I'm alot brighter :0)

Monday, May 26, 2008

May's musings...


I've got so many things I'm doing at the mo, so much positive stuff. I'm finding it hard at the moment though. I'm feeling all kinds of sad things :0(
It will pass, I hope, but right now I just don't feel like blogging.
Here's some photos I copied at mum and dad's at the that really me!!?? My goodness, is that really my mum and dad!!??
I'm looking forward to putting up a happy, creative post soon :0) and I always, always look forward to reading comments from folks from all over!


Friday, May 2, 2008

Hoo hoo!

Jeeeez, I thought it would be easier to blog from the laptop, infront of the fire. So, I went upstairs and emailed (to my hotmail account) some images....
Oh the palavar!
But here we are...
I can't believe how things change from one post to the next. Last post I was flailing about (spelling??), and now I have the most amazing project to get my teeth into. I shalln't divulge too much yet.
And also, I have reason to remember my beloved allotment. I'm working on a special 'secret' project, involving all the things I hold dear....

Here's me and some meeces....

Here's my 'substitute allotment'...from rubbish dump...

to lovely veggie patch...

and here is munchkin, the very knowing Sienna-Rose...

Thanks folks, for keeping looking, even though I've not been posting that much lately!!
We've been having so much fun, ( munchkin and me), she's even started giggling.

Night night all,


Monday, April 7, 2008

The Midnight Tea Party

Early this morning, I was awoken by the clattering of china, and the chattering of tiny, squeaky voices from downstairs.
Alarmed, I asked Beatrice (my bedside confident and bookend), if she too had heard the commotion...she had.

I quietly crept down the stairs, and peeked through the kitchen door.

In the early morning light I could just make out a little movement...a little scurrying...and then all was quiet.
The kitchen was littered with cupcake crumbs, and empty tea cups were strewn everywhere.
I asked Sienna, if she knew anything of the strange goings on, of course she denied any knowledge....

But then, there on the dresser, I spied the culprits...all fast asleep, their tiny, mousy tummies filled with tea and cake.
Sleeping Suzette had invited her friends, the Snoozy Soozies over for a midnight tea party.

Thank-you to you for your lovely comments about my last post. I'm sorry if I came across a little miserable, I'm so lucky to have Sienna :0)
It helps so much to receive advice and support from people who know what I'm on about!!!