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MEMENTO MORI – REMEMBER DEATH

Hello and welcome to my cheery little post about death.

No don’t run away! I promise it will be ok.

Halloween may be over for another year (boooooooo…) but thanks to the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead to you and I) we can eek out the spooky shenanigans for a couple more days!

La Calavera Catrina – José Guadalupe Posada

Celebrated over November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day) Day of the Dead festivities honour the dead and celebrate their reunion with family and friends.  The celebration ensures that the dead are kept alive in memory and spirit, still members of the community.

Growing up in a Catholic Irish family, the subject of death never felt taboo. The dead and living openly share the same world for a few days after passing away bound together by the traditional Irish wake.

Both my maternal grandparents lived and died with us.

‘Laid out’ in bed, they were surrounded by visiting friends and family in the days leading up to the funeral. My Mother recalls on one occasion worrying that nobody was in the room with our Grandmother. She ran upstairs to find my brother and I, children at the time, sat on the bed either side of her chatting away.

Wakes are an opportunity to pay respects, say goodbye and support loved ones at a sad time. Celebrating the lives of those we have lost, reminiscing over cups of tea or often something a bit stronger.  Continue reading MEMENTO MORI – REMEMBER DEATH

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EASY HALLOWEEN CRAFT WITH BIC KIDS *GIVEAWAY*

skull details

It feels like we started the new school year about 5 minutes ago and already we’re getting excited about Halloween in our house. With two weeks until half term I’m not quite sure where September went.

I do get a bit giddy as Halloween approaches and I’ll happily use my children as an excuse to enjoy it to the full. A photo of my son dressed as a pumpkin aged 1 month is proof of this and we’ve already planned this year’s costumes. He’s 10 now and my daughter is 7 so not keen on being human pumpkins anymore sadly. Obviously my Pinterest Halloween board is well under way too (we’re going Creepy-Cute Pastel this year if you’re wondering).

During any school holiday the dreaded words “I’m Bored” are uttered around lunchtime on day one. According to research bods commissioned by BIC Kids, boredom strikes on average of 122 times a month (it definitely feels like more) but should be seen as a positive way to encourage kids to use their imagination!  I’m pretty mean with screen time (it’s my most powerful bargaining tool after all) and much as I love my children I am not their entertainer. It’s amazing how quickly you can become un-bored though when asked to tidy your bedroom. They soon pootle off to play a game or build a den using everything they can get their mitts on.

Luckily, since half term is the week before Halloween we’ll be busy pumpkin carving, spider dangling and creepy crafting. Printing is obviously a big favourite with us and I’ve written in a previous post about how to make it a kid-friendly activity . This time I have an even simpler and much less messy method using washable markers instead of printing ink. It’s an easy, fun Halloween activity for kids of any age and a perfect way to keep your creative little monsters entertained.

HALLOWEEN PRINTING FOR KIDS

Continue reading EASY HALLOWEEN CRAFT WITH BIC KIDS *GIVEAWAY*

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GROW YOUR OWN WAY

grow your brand

After a long hot Summer I am pretty much giddy with excitement at the prospect of Autumn, by far my most favourite time of year. Roll me in leaves and feed me pumpkin spice everything, it’s time to get on with the serious business of fattening up for the festive season!

Now the school holidays are a distant memory in our house and normal service has resumed I’m back in the print zone, ready to crack on with lots of exciting new ideas.

I took a total break from lino printing while the kids were off school, for everyone’s sake. I need peace to concentrate and nobody wants a screaming banshee of a mother for six weeks. The enforced break was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year so far and think about what’s in store for Ink & Folly going into the last few months of 2018.

I also gave myself a good talking to about practising a more healthy mindset and as a result I’ve adopted a shiny new approach: behold The Holy Trinity of Positivity!

Firstly, I promised myself that I’m going to stop comparing my work to others – it’s such a buzzkill. The number of times I’ve finished a piece of work and within two minutes on social media I’m convinced its terrible and should be burnt immediately!  (My inner critic has a field day feeding off those pretty little squares). Theodore Roosevelt summed it up in six words: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Well things are gonna change from now on, d’ya hear? Continue reading GROW YOUR OWN WAY

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PRINTING WITH KIDS

If like me you have little people to entertain all summer long then this one’s for you. Although my kids would be more than happy to spend every waking minute watching YouTube videos (believe me, some days the temptation to let them do it is real), their second favourite activity is creating mess – YAY!

Anything that involves paint or beads or slime or glitter tends to be a winner.

In collaboration with 46 Days of Summer I’m delighted to be able to share this activity with you and your little mess-makers too!

PRINTING WITH KIDS

Printing With Kids

With its razor-sharp gouges and unforgiving (and let’s be honest, expensive) lino sheets, my usual style of printing isn’t exactly kid-friendly. Never fear- with the help of my own little creatives we’re going to show you an alternative, but just as fun way to make some fab prints of your own.

You will need:

  • Polystyrene sheets. I got mine from Etsy. (You know those disks that come with your frozen pizza? They work just as well!)
  • Selection of paper or blank cards
  • Marker Pens
  • Pencils plus any other mark making tools you can find. Cookie cutters are great for very little artists.

Printing with kids

  • Poster paints or water based printing inks
  • Paint tray. I used foil trays which can be washed and reused for other crafts
  • Paint Roller (If you don’t have one you can use a sponge or paintbrush for a similar effect)

Printing with KidsPrinting with Kids

 

Ready? OK let the fun begin!

  • Start by drawing your image lightly onto your polystyrene sheet, this will be your guide. Go over your image with a pencil pressing gently into the polystyrene. Don’t worry if you make a few holes along the way, it won’t matter when you are printing. Add patterns or whatever extra details you like with your tools.Printing with Kids
  • Roll out a little paint on your tray, coating your roller and apply to your image. You can get the best results by building up a few thin layers.
  • Choose your paper and carefully lay it onto your image (or vice-versa as demonstrated below by my helpers!). Use the heel of your hand to apply pressure and transfer the ink onto the paper making sure that the paper doesn’t slip.
  • Now for the exciting part- slowly peel back your paper to reveal your artwork- ta dah!

Don’t stop there! You can repeat the process over and over ( I’m gonna say it – homemade CHRISTMAS CARDS!!) or keep creating new prints to fill your art gallery.

Have fun! x

Thank you to to Faye and Helen from 46 Days of Summer for featuring this activity on their blog. If you would like to join in the fun and find lots more activities to keep your little ones busy (one for everyday of the school holidays!) head over to their website or Facebook page for more inspiration. 

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THAT DIFFICULT SECOND POST- WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT?

Blog , blog , blog …..aghhh it’s been on my To-Do list now for months; I need to stop faffing about and just get on with it.

Mostly I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about that people might actually be interested in reading. Let’s be honest, it’s very early days for Ink & Folly so I won’t be offering any words of wisdom just yet; but if you fancy having a nosy at what I’ve been up to then stick around, I’ll be keeping a little journal on here.

Since we’re well into July now I thought it would be a good time to have ourselves a half-year update.

Really it’s only a 3 month update for I&F as a business seeing as I officially launched the website in April but we won’t worry about that. It would be weird to do half yearly updates in October.

Anyway, it feels like waaaaaay longer than a few months since I decided to turn my love for lino printing into an actual business. Even in that short time I’ve learnt a lot. My style has developed, I’ve built my website, taught myself a little bit of digital wizardry and discovered that the indie biz community (both online and IRL) are fan-blimmin-tastic!

I’m so lucky to have discovered a bunch of such supportive and helpful fellow indie-bods this early on in my venture.  If you’re a creative independent business owner then I highly recommend joining The Indie Rollercoaster  Facebook group run by the awesome Leona- it’s a great source of information and support from fellow indies and professionals. I’m finally writing this post after re-watching one of the videos on there featuring Kat Molesworth (who describes herself as a social media busybody but really she’s way more than that, running multiple businesses including the Blogtacular conference). Kat shared some of her pearls of blogging wisdom which gave me the kick up the bum to stop procrastinating just do the thing!

Offline, the business has given me a reason to push myself outside my comfort zone. I’ve met some fantastic, inspirational people, forged new friendships and made connections through local creative events, talks and exhibitions.

In my head I’d set myself the goal of being ‘officially up and running’ as a business by the end of the year but since I’m already selling products here on my website, my Etsy shop and in a beautiful local gift shop  I can now stretch that to something a bit more ambitious – hooray!

I’m really conscious of how much time I now need to be able to build a community around Ink & Folly and to start to grow it as a business. At the same time I want to get a balance between that and actually just enjoying a bit of lino printing! I have so many ideas for new prints but never the time to sit down and get started on any of them.

The kids break up from school soon so I’m going to make the most of my last few days of working in peace before the chaos of the Summer holidays. Right, on that note I’m off to find a nice quiet spot to do some sketching and planning without distractions.

Cheerio for now,

Charlie x

 

 

 

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AND WE’RE OFF! INK & FOLLY PRINTS ARE GO…

Woo hoo! I’m delighted and excited (and very relieved) to finally be able to share my prints with you.

All the prints you see on here started life in my little sketchbook which goes with me everywhere, it’s my portable mini mind dump. My favourite doodles get carved onto lino then inked up and printed, usually in black but I love to play around with colours digitally, resulting in the prints you see on here! Being able to produce digital prints also means I can offer customers a more affordable option to original linocut prints*.

If you’d like to see more of what I’m up to you’ll find me on Instagram (where I’m most active online) or you can keep up to date with Facebook if that’s your thing. I’ll post back here soon but just wanted to pop on briefly to say hello before I check the website over for the bazillionth time and go live – EEK. Wish me luck!

Charlie X

*Original lino prints and cards will be added to the shop soon.