27 February 2013


  • misty down the Lea Valley
  • a wonderful story found lurking in the charity shop
  • my perfect lunch
  • making a necklace ready for spring and mending another
  • a feast of cheese from an italian market
  • coloured gems hidden in the garden (see here)
  • crowded commuter trains
  • our neighbour's ducks 
  • oranges wrapped in glorious graphics

25 February 2013

garden moodboard - february 2013

I'm joining Karin again in her monthly moodboard series - a collection of seasonal flowers, and foliage from the garden. I thought this month would be a struggle, and wasn't sure it would differ much from last. Despite the fact I've been spending a fair bit of time in the garden these past weekends, I've been too busy pruning to really stop and look - unaware of the little splashes of colour that have been popping up out there. So when I took a little time today to walk slowly round, I had a lovely surprise - tiny splashes of zingy bright purples, yellows and limey greens, signaling spring is on it's way.

mahonia • violet • primula • hellebore • winter jasmine • snowdrop • I'm not sure of the others, the little white one may be scilla - perhaps you know?

23 February 2013

the creatives - joshua wiley

Welcome to 'the creatives' - a series I'll be running here on the blog, introducing you to some of my favourite artists. I'll be sharing a little of their work and asking them a few questions.

First up is Joshua Wiley. I first came across Josh's work when I fell in love with a print of his entitled 'I don't think you're ready (for this jelly)'. I love his sense of humour, vivid use of colour and graphic style.

So Joshua, please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I grew up in Somerset in the west of England but moved to London to study illustration at Kingston University when I left school. Since graduating I have been living in central London and working on all manner of creative things.

What's the first thing you remember creating and how old were you?

When we were growing up, a lot of our family lived in countryside so we'd always be playing around with power tools and making things out of wood. I remember being particularly proud of a tree house I built with my cousin but as I was probably five or six years old at the time, I don't think I can take much credit. I still love making 3D work but without a workshop it's a bit more tricky.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I think my favorite work has got to be my twitter portrait project. It's getting a fair bit of attention at the moment, which is nice, but it's really just been good to spread my work around and get a better idea of who I’m making it for.

Where do you look for inspiration? 

I listen to a lot of dance music so I think that brings something to my work. I'm also really interested in sociology and how people interact with one another. I've always felt that design is a way of exploring ideas and I really enjoy the process of learning. If something interests me it's more than likely that it will have some bearing on my work.

What are your favorite magazines, and blogs? 

'It's Nice That' have been on my radar for quite a while. They've got strong ties with Kingston and I like the work they're doing. I'm also following a publication called 'Nom De Strip' which writes about art in the south west.

If you could collaborate with anyone (living or dead who would that be)?

If I had the chance, it would have been great to talk with someone like Saul Bass, someone making simple compelling work. Alternatively Picasso has a pretty nice lifestyle, maybe I could have just gone and hung out on the Riviera with him.
Do you sell your work? If so where?

My work's sold in a few places in London, Lik + Neon and Beach gallery. The other option is just to talk to me.

Where can we find you? (blog, website, twitter, instagram, etc.)

Thank you Joshua, for taking part in this little series and for giving it a great start. It's been fun finding out a bit more about you and I look forward to seeing more of what you get up to in the future.

18 February 2013


  • had fun making a little stop animation on Vine (I'm nicekindofblue there too)
  • celebrated shrove tuesday with pancakes
  • followed by valentines with flowers and the best balloon-in-a-balloon too! 
  • discovered a lovely cafe with puffy clouds on the ceiling, a farm shop, award winning butchers and deli.

And hello to my followers, old and new, I noticed earlier I've now more than 50 of you! 

14 February 2013

happy valentine's

Hope you have a happy St Valentine's day and you get a pretty card or perhaps a special kiss! 

D - will you me mine x

13 February 2013

snowdrops (galanthus)

We spent a fair bit of time in the garden over the weekend. We've been pruning our apple trees, it takes time, we've so many. But it's fun we get to climb the trees a little and Mr Mouse climbs up to say hello every now and then! It's lovely being out there getting on with things, seeing the bulbs come up and the buds develop. We've lots of snowdrops in our little woodland area, some were there already and some we planted last year. 

12 February 2013


Life seems to revolve around food at the moment, we've started planning our meals a little better and doing the food shop together, it's much more fun and not such a chore. I think we're eating better and spending less. Tit's doing her bit too providing the eggs! We try and take evening walks together too, a way to relax, unwind, share our day and a little exercise too, Friday and Saturday we walked to the pub a different village each night and a small glass of wine and a beer! 

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen these I know, I hope you don't mind me repeating them here, I just think they work so well in a grid with a splash of colour. 

11 February 2013


I really like clowns, the make-up and expressions - so many ways to draw a funny face, sad clowns, happy clowns, those overly large shoes, funny walks, they come with umbrellas and flowers and handkerchiefs. I'm not sure what there isn't to like, but perhaps they are a little like Marmite - you either love them or hate them. If you love them like me, you should pop over to the Gentle Author's blog Spitalfields Life. He posted some utterly stunning shots today by John Claridge - portraits of clowns at this years Grimaldi Clown Service. 

10 February 2013

not ventured far

What have you been up to this weekend? We haven't ventured far. The car boot [of course], a little food shopping and evening walks to our neighbouring villages for drinks. Otherwise we've been home, working hard, cleaning the house, tidying the blog [hope you like the new look]. Afternoons in the garden pruning the apple trees. We're looking forward to good food later, D's sourdough bread, slow roast beef and delicious strawberries for pud [totally out of season, but 3 boxes for £1 at the boot I couldn't not]. 

Just want to thank you all for the lovely comments you've been leaving of late, I really appreciate them. 

This plant, stromanthe sanguinea, is such a beauty, the colours in the leaves astound me.

8 February 2013

sometimes I get a little precious

Work can sometimes get me down, don't get me wrong I love what I do [design books that is], but sometimes it's a battle. Designing for other people can be so frustrating, too many fingers in the pie, too many watered down ideas. Sometimes I wish I could be more like the people whose work I choose to surround myself with, whose pictures cover the walls around my desk at home.  Doing what I want, taking the lead, following my creative flow not trying to double guess someone else's. It's not all bad by any means, sometimes I just get a little precious and want to hold onto an idea, that's all. Do you know what I mean? 

I'd like to list all the artists featured on my walls, but there are so many. If you're interested just ask. 

7 February 2013

peeking in - the spare room

This is what it looks like most of the time, a bit of a mess. A place where the washing hangs to dry, a place where plants spend the winter months. Occasionally when people come to stay it all gets tidied and packed away and the mattress rolls out. Perhaps by posting these it will be an incentive to decorate this year to make a proper room where friends are always welcome. 

In the second picture there is a brief glimpse of Martin's work, a friend who is very clever with 35mm film.

5 February 2013

car boot bounty

We often start our Sunday with a visit to our local car boot sale. It's hit and miss, like they always are. I used to be disappointed when we didn't find something, now I feel a sense of relief when we come home empty handed. I don't want our home to become cluttered leaving us unable to see the treasures amongst the toot. I've become more picky over the years, and try to limit myself, sometimes I'll turn away from something that needs a bit of restoration knowing we don't really have the time for it, or if the colour or pattern doesn't make my heart skip a beat. Walking away can be hard especially when you know just a few hours work could make something really special. In those instances it's nice to think your leaving something good for someone else to find. 

A few recent treasures - that I couldn't resist:
  • Big battered tin with a slightly batty design
  • Quality Street tin
  • Pyrex ramekins in pretty shades
  • Nordic warrior [whose beard was in need of a good wash and blow dry]
You can see more tins here

3 February 2013


  • the snow melted away
  • we saw rainbows
  • we drank coffee out
  • snowdrops and aconites appeared in the garden
  • light shone in
  • the tape and stamp I ordered from bastisRIKE arrived
  • Tit laid her first ever egg!!
  • we ate well and listened to music
I also joined Vine, got over excited about making little stop-motion animations and then increasingly frustrated when they wouldn't upload! I'll try again next week. You'll find me there under the same name, nicekindofblue. Might I find you there too?

1 February 2013

Earlier this week I submitted my new year list to Xanthe and Fran's blog It's a list thing. You can read my list here. I've never been one for making new year resolutions (I don't like the disappointment when I fail) but this was different somehow, I wrote a list of things I felt would help me, and well it's just a list, I like lists (think I mentioned that back here). Only a few days have passed and already I noticed a change in myself. I was asked at work to participate in something, something that takes me completely out of my comfort zone! I immediately found myself suggesting they ask someone else, but then I remembered the list and 'be brave' So I've agreed to take part, I'm even a little excited, if you've read my list you'll have noticed the last entry 'make everything fun' - lets hope I can!