Thursday, 18 August 2022

Celebrating Pink Lilies and More...

Square greeting card design featuring bright pink  watercolour pink lilies and alyered card, paper and pattern effects behind the main graphic.
Pink Lilies, by Clare Walker. Available on Craftsuprint.Com


Hello there, and hope all is well and thriving in your world, despite these crazy times.

In these parts, the week saw plenty to celebrate. I'd like to say that the biggest celebration was getting the card kit completed for the yummy pink lilies you see in the picture above. And, to be fair, I am a little bit in love with the kit, the watercolouring of pink flowers being one of my favourite things in life. 

Am also happy that have  managed to jam in verses, a background, loads of layers and a gift tag, as well as the main card, into the kit and still keep it a manageable size for you to download.

The kit has its origins in a private ecard, which am relieved to know the recipient loved. So it felt only right to offer it on a bigger basis to you as well.


But, there was *rain*

Yeah, I'd *like* to say that all of that was the biggest thing we celebrated this week, but that wouldn't strictly be true. Because, (drum roll) we had *rain* here, people. After seven weeks without any meaningful rain (which normally just doesn't happen in the UK) we've had three days of proper rain here.

I would include a picture here of my face as I stuck my head  out into the rain to enjoy it, honestly I would. It just felt like pure joy...a primal moment, when the force of the heat giving way to the rain. I wish the same for you with all speed, if that's what you're needing in your part of the world too.

I *would* include such a picture, but luckily, none were taken ;-). However, I can include a picture of our resident snail, who hadn' t budged from his post on our window frame for two months...until stretching out luxuriantly yesterday...


Photo of a snail stretched out on a window pane.
Snail photo by Jim Fernbank



And for anyone not into snails, can I report that they may have been given a bad press? Despite having not eaten or budged for eight weeks, the snail in this picture had a first meal of *dead* leaves, not green ones...And continues to prefer dead leaves to green ones, as far as we can tell. 


But...

But I grant you, it *is* a long way from snails to luscious pink lilies. So I'll leave you with a picture of the full, "Pink Lilies" downloadable  kit (which you can read more about and buy by clicking or tapping on this link).

Picture of the contents of the Pink lilies downloadable mini kit (5 sheets in total)
Pink Lilies Downloadable card making Kit. Click here to find out more.



And of course, am wishing  you a very lovely weekend indeed.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Well, The Sunflowers Are Enjoying It...


Hello there

Hope you're doing well and thriving in your part of the world, whether you have the heat that we do (yes, still...I know, it's crazy, isn't it?) or something else.

The sunflowers, of course, *are* absolutely loving this weather. And as ever, when they poke they're heads up into the sky ('cos they really live in next door's garden) I can never resist doing my best to capture them in some way. They just exude such happiness and joy...

Pen and wash sketch of sunflowers against a summer sky.
Sketch of Next Door's Sunflowers...



This year's effort is a quick-very quick-pen and wash sketch on new Bockingford hot-pressed (ie absolutely smooth) watercolour paper. And with the equally new-to-me Derwent water brushes. (They could soon become my new favourites, as being able to control how much water is on the brush with a button, is soooo good. Watch this space).


In other news...

In other news, despite the heat, the wonderful Marion Kimberley-Scott has still-somehow-been busy making cards with some of my new summer floral backgrounds over at Craftsuprint. 

Please do head on over there to see them in action. But here are just a couple of her pics of her makes to whet your appetite. (So many thanks to Marion for allowing me to use those pics, too).

Nasturtiums came first...



Photo of a Nasturtium greeting card
Nasturtium design by Clare Walker,
made and photographed by Marion Kimberley-Scott.



And am also loving what she made using both the new butterfly bush background and its main matching card sheet from some time ago...

Nasturtium design by Clare Walker, made and photographed by Marion Kimberley-Scott.
Butterfly Bush design by Clare Walker,
made and photographed by Marion Kimberley-Scott.



Sooo many thanks to Marion for making these look so amazing, and please do also check out everything she makes too.

Soooo

That's about all for now-am feeling a need to settle down with a glass of something very long and very cold.

But thanks so much for reading down this far, and I hope you have a lovely week with whatever you most need at hand to feel comfortable, too.

More soon.

Friday, 5 August 2022

A Happy Beach Hut Design...

Hello there, and hope you've been having a good week.

Happy line and wash beach huts, in red, white and sea blue, complete with sand and a happy crab and seagull.



Whether or not you're actually beside the seaside as you're reading this, today's post is all about these pretty summer beach huts, and the lovely things that are now carrying this design.

The inspiration for this design was actually British seaside beach huts. But am sure the beach vibe can travel just as far as it needs to and to beaches and lakeshores everywhere.

It turns out that although I came up with idea as a set of three downloadable craft sheets...

The design (and the pattern that came from it) loves to be on lots of fun beachy items too...

Whether you want to use it at the beach, on a tote or drawstring bag, or blanket...


Beach Hut Patterned Tote Bag
Beach-Hut Patterned Tote Bag



Beach Hut Patterned Draw String Bag (photo of)
Beach Hut Patterned Drawstring Bag


Beach Hut Patterned Throw Blanket (folded)
Happy Beach Hut Throw Blanket



Or just put a bit of beachy vibe into your life every day, whether in a really watery way (like this shower curtain)...

Happy Beach Hut Shower Curtain Photo next to a bath.
Happy Beach Hut Shower Curtain




Or a completely different one... This look suits everything it seems, from a desk mat to a mug...

Photo of a beach-hut patterned desk mat.
Happy Beach Huts Desk Mat


Photo of a mug with a happy beach huts pattern print design on it.
Happy Beach Huts Mug



Whatever your preference, thanks for reading down this far, and may some seaside happiness be with you, one way or another.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Free Poppy Watercolour August Illustration

Hello there

Hope all is well with you.

Over in these parts, the spirit of summer is alive and kicking...Not least in the free illustration for August, which is these watercolour (watercolor in the US, I know!) poppies. Which I have (again!) finally remembered to post just before August, so that you can use it (if you'd like)  ahead of time in your projects, blog posts, newsletters or pretty much whatever you fancy.


Red Poppies against green stalks and a blue sky with fluffy white clouds, in loose watercolour/watercolour, with splashes. August is handlettered in white against the sky, like a wispy cloud.
Loose Watercolour Poppies August Illustration by Clare Walker
Click, right-click or tap here to download.



Terms of use are here. And as ever, just right-click on the image and save, or tap and save, depending on your device.

These poppies are (still reasonably unusually for me) done in traditional line and wash watercolour, using Inktense paints. They are (even more unusually for me) done "wet-in-wet" (ie the paper and the paint are both soaking wet and the whole thing is a deliberately sploshy and runny experience...Hmmm, it looks like our hot summer is having more of an impact on me than I realised).

They hail from (yet again) that birthday which I can't stop harping on about. Jim and I, and our friends on the wild and windy day out took loads of photos of the poppies...Which were stunning, and a testament to the amount of wildflowers being put back into the landscape (yay!).

When I was a small child having birthdays in a similar part of the country, the reverse was happening. So it's great to know that some things really have got better with time, and that very often, the wheel turns in ways that are beautiful, and beneficial, too.

(By the way, if you've read this blog for a while, and you're thinking that I have a bit of a, "thing" about poppies, you're right. The evidence is here, and here amongst other places).


Plus...

You'll never believe this, but I was actually going to to put info about a new release into this post too . (How did I ever think that would fit or work? Slaps forehead.) 

Think will save that for next week, as this is turning into a long post itself (as ever, thank you for reading down this far). However, if you're the kind of person who likes hints and sneak peeks, an old friend that I know a lot of my customers like (thanks so much for your support) the Happy Crab makes a re-appearance in the new sheets too...

A happy red crab in digital line and wash...
"Happy Crab" illustration, by Clare Walker, BoundingSquirrel.Com

Finally, should also just let you know that there's a previous August illustration if you prefer sunflowers to poppies (Or want both. Why choose? Go on, go wild...).

And on that note, will wish you a lovely week.

More soon.



Friday, 22 July 2022

New "Snowy Cottage" Design, and a A *Christmas in July* Sale

Snow Cottage Christmas Card in line and wash watercolour
Click or tap here for details about this design


Hello there

Hope you're doing well (and beating the heat, if that is affecting you too).
Though things are fresher now, but this week's post came from a big need to cool off around these parts.

"What better way to do that," I thought, "than to offer some more Christmas designs..."

So, the "Snowy Cottage," you see above  was a welcome refuge from the heat (as was the insert sheet that goes with it). It's based on a line-and-wash traditional watercolour of mine, with added digital glitter effects in the background.

Christmas in July, for 30% off...

But to bring in even more that's cool  (in all senses) I hope, **** from July 22nd-29th 2022*** I'm running a 30% discount on 12 of my best-selling Christmas designs

Perfect if you want to make cards for sale at autumn fairs, grab a bargain...or just fancy cooling off with some more snowy fun. You can see and buy everything on sale by clicking or tapping here.

Happy Christmas-in-July!

More soon.


Monday, 18 July 2022

Cute and Sleepy Dog Animated Gif

Animation showing a sleeping yellow dog who sometimes snores, going zzzzz
Tap or right-click to download and share if you wish

Hello there

If you're feeling in need of a "sleeping dog" animation, (and who wouldn't be, really?) this is for you. Whether (like me today) you're feeling hot and sleepy, or a need to be cosy, or just love dozing pups and pooches...You're welcome to download and share this image.

More soon (and if you're in a heat-affected area, stay cool, too)
___________________________


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Thursday, 14 July 2022

And All Because I Promised to Send a Postcard...

Hello again, and hope you're well and feeling good.

So, last week's post was ultra-short, and I promised to tell you why.

Basically, I had a birthday (one of the ones that people more numerically-minded than me appear to get more stressed about than I did).

And so much unexpected loveliness got thrown at me (thanks everyone, you know who you are!) that I was (and still am, really) totally out of kilter. (Not complaining in any way, mind you, just saying :-) ).

Just one of the pieces of loveliness was this nifty-looking "paint your own postcards" set.


Photo of a Paint your own postcards set




I would link to it, but can't find it anywhere on the web. Though its makers, Flying Tiger, do seem to make do lots of other and nifty eco-minded products. 

How does it work?

The basic premise is that it's a pack containing, *25* postcards. Each postcard sheet is detachable, but-and this is the clever bit-each sheet also comes with a detachable palette of six colours, the paint in the palette being fused to the paper, but easily water-soluble.

Obviously, I was hooked...

Obviously, I was hooked, just on seeing the set (it comes complete with a small flat brush as well). So hooked in fact that (knowing how much fun it was  going to be to play with this) I blithely promised the donors that *of course,* I would send them a thank you postcard very shortly.

In fact, I was planning several thank-you postcards, including for these beauties...(They are so beautiful, and still going strong, well into their second week of crazy-high temperatures...it's amazing).


Photo of a beautiful bunch of purple, pink and white flowers in a vase





After all, in the joy of using fresh supplies, what can *possibly* go wrong? :-)


And so, I sat down to use the paints...

Having learned an absolute ton from the wonderful Lindsay Weirich's art lessons on YouTube, I know that it's really important to "swatch out" the colours in any new art supply or set. This is so that you can see what they actually look like when not in a palette form, and when blended together, using various brushes. And, thanks to Lindsay, that's what I always do.

I soon discovered that, whilst I had a personal preference for using them with  my trusty Pentel Water Brushes (yes, that *is* an affiliate link, they're amazing) the paints themselves were lovely, mixing and granulating to beautiful natural colours, as the swatch card made on the back of the pack cover, shows...

Photo of paints swatched out




Then, came the postcards themselves...

I had already noticed that the surface of the cards was somewhat shiny. "Maybe that's because they have to resist the watercolours enough to survive transit and arrive in one piece, " I reasoned.

The "grams per square metre," measurement ( I think it's  a weight measurement...the upshot is that it lets you know how thick a particular piece of paper is) had already had me wondering too...

At 180 gsm, I wondered if it would withstand the amount of water you need to use to get watercolours to, well, look like watercolour. (Standard watercolour paper, by the way, is usually 300 grams per square metre, or approximately 110 lbs per square inch, I believe, in the USA).

But even that didn't ring too many alarm. Depending on the paper, with an old envelope or silicone mat behind the paper, and gentle water usage, I've  easily got away with180 gsm before...

Except that...

This time, I couldn't get away with it. The colours were lovely, and *such* fun to use... I wanted to see them blend and granulate. Which somehow, they couldn't seem to do without my having to soak the postcards 'til they buckled.

I was always brought up to believe that, " a bad workman always blames his tools,". So am more than happy to admit I was probably doing something wrong, and would be happy to be corrected by anyone with more knowledge of these postcards than I have. I will update this post immediately if that happens.

But the net result was that I ceased to aim for the beautiful and complex vase of flowers...and just about pulled off some roses before the paper buckled completely...

Photo of a pink watercolour rose painting



Which, with a trip through the scanner and some digital cossetting, became the design in "last" week's post (which may or may not get added to again, in its digital form).

But...

I still had that promise to keep, remember. If the watercolours didn't seem to work on these cards (for whatever reason-maybe even the extreme heat here this week) what else might? And, what else might that could itself withstand transit in the post?

I tried pretty much every art supply I own, (heck, that was fun...) and ended up using...the chunky magnetic whiteboard markers we use to add things to the shopping list board each week.

Yes, they are very good for our whiteboard, and hence this is an affiliate link too, but not necessarily a first-choice for postcards...:-) :-) :-). 

Finally...

Finally, I was able to send  sent the promised card anyway...

A thank you postcard



And to the people receiving this card, please know that a) I still love the gift, b) it was massive fun to use, c) I now have supplies I know I can wreck (which is true freedom).

And so...

If you're still reading down this far, thank you, and you're amazing. You're now also pretty much up-to-date with everything arty around here (which is more than I am ;-) ).

But some things never change, and so, as ever, have a happy weekend, and...

More soon.

___________________________




Friday, 8 July 2022

New Design: Cottage Roses



Hope you're doing well, whatever the latest in your corner of the world. This week's post is ultra-short, but there is a happy, happy reason why, I promise.

 Just wanted to pop on here and share this pic with you as a quick peek, in preparation for the full story behind it which I'll post in a few days' time.

In the meantime-happy weekend!



___________________________


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Thursday, 30 June 2022

Free July Clip Art Illustration, and New Strawberry Card Sheets


Digital Watercolour illustraiton of golden July Lettering, with a strawberry on top, and surrounded by daisies and grass. Free to download and use.
Free "July Strawberry," Illustration. Right-click
and save here to download.
Hello there

Hoping you're well and thriving today. And as you can see above, it's time again for a "month illustration" freebie (in this case, the warmth and strawberries of July). Southern hemisphere people, I hear you, and know it isn't summer everywhere. I'm British, and it often isn't summer in July here either :-) . But seriously, if you have a different perception of months and their symbols, please let me know what they are, and I'll see if I can illustrate them for you.

Anyway, how about grabbing this freebie graphic?

So if you'd like to use the "July Strawberry," graphic above  in a project, video or newsletter, go ahead and right-click and save (or click, or tap, depending upon your device) the image above. Links back and credit are always appreciated, but never required.

And if you'd like to let me know how you use it, please do, 'cos 1) I'm curious, and 2) I might be able to feature *your* project in a future blog post.

Even more strawberry-ishness


Photo of a Card featuring a drawing of ripe strawberries, and a mouse who has just stolen one of them.
Strawberry Mouse Card,
made by Mario-Kimberley-Scott from a design by
Clare Walker at Craftsuprint

And on that cute and fragrant note, will leave you for this week. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great weekend.

More soon.
___________________________


Friday, 24 June 2022

Watch This Space (And Something I Said I'd "Never Do"...)

How've you been? 

Around these parts, it's been a strange and bitty week. With lots I'll be able to tell you about soon, I promise. But not yet, as it just isn't ready.

Which left me deciding to come clean, and admit that I was going to turn up here (pretty much empty-handed).

And then I made a hand-lettering discovery...

Now, if you've been round these parts a while, you'll already know I have/had, historically, a love/hate relationship with it. I *love* looking at it when other people do it, (and on the all-too-rare) occasions when it works out for me.

But I hate it when it doesn't...Too many memories of being told just how bad my handwriting is/was over the years.

And yet, all things must change eventually, or so it seems. Enter the wonderful online presence of Hayley Barry. Who I encountered during one of those wonderful online art workshop weeks (and am horrified to realise, I can't remember now exactly which one it was).

But no matter for now, because you can also get a taste of Hayley's a-m-a-z-i-n-g teaching style and awesome hand-lettering skills in this YouTube video lesson (in which she guest stars on the HappyEver Crafter YouTube channel) and/or at Hayley's website, Type Affiliated.

I can't remember a time when a feeling of struggling with an area gave way to one of, "I *love* doing this," as when I encountered Hayley's teaching.

So, the obvious phrase to illustrate to practice everything from that lesson was, of course, "Watch this Space..." 
Watch this space in black hand-lettering on a white background.
The initial stage...



And then I did the thing I said I never would...

For reasons best known to myself (and which I don't understand very well) I have shied away from writing on dark backgrounds for the longest time. Something around feeling that they are depressing, not very uplifting or whimsical, I guess.

But something made me decide to invert the black and white of the original lettering. With results that I just thought I'd try out on Redbubble, for fun.

And then I ended up *loving* how it looked...

On the more usual items, like cushions and pillows...

Hand-lettered "Watch this Space" in white writing on a black cushion or pillow.
Click or tap here for more info...




But also on products that have appeared on Redbubble since I last did many uploads there...Pet blankets and bandanas...

Which of course, give me an excuse to post for your Friday pleasure (or whatever-day-it-happens-to-be when you read this) slightly gratuitous-but-totally-cute pictures of both a cat,

Photo of a cat on a watch this space pet blanket, with white hand-lettering on a black background.
Click or tap here for more info...


 and a dog...

Photo of a ,"Watch this Space," pet bandana on a cute cross-breed dog.
Click or tap here to find out more...



Hope that this floats your boat as well, and here's to changing self-imposed, but senseless, rules.

Thanks so much for reading down this far, and have a lovely weekend.