Art Inc.

Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an ArtistArt, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think a good sign as to how useful a book like this is, is how often it’s highlighted and my copy is highlighted a lot! Lisa Congdon is a big hero of mine, I love her work and I love her classes on Creativebug, so it was fascinating getting an insight into how she manages her work. This book is very comprehensive but if you’re not US based, be warned that some sections are less relevant.

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The WIP report -September 2016

September 2016 WIP

Diamond Hex Quilt – getting even more tricky to remotely photograph well

Ugh, September was not a good craft month, I’m still having to sort out the consequences of our bedroom swap, so it feels like it’s been 24/7 housework all month and there’s still boxes in the living room (my sewing machine space), so a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to do, I couldn’t.

I’ve continued to work on my diamond hex quilt and I’ve been doing a bit more work on the Farrah Top and it now looks more like a potential item of clothing.

September 2016 WIP

And I’m still working on my secret project cross stitch.

September 2016 WIP

And I’ve been doing some art too, drawing every day in Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ Draw Every Day Draw Every Way book (which is a brilliant book). Here’s my latest completed spread.

September 2016 WIP

As for October, I have to get my sewing space back, as there is a lot of stuff I need to do and I’m up to here with bloody housework, my official 16 week post op recovery period doesn’t end until next Friday but with the amount of stuff I’ve been moving around, if my medical team had seen I’d have got a thorough telling off, I think they (and my sore stomach) would much more approve of some nice gentle sewing….



5 things I liked this week – 16.9.16


S's islamic geometry in progress

Girl Lacer’s work in progress

My finished islamic geometry piece

My finished piece

Girl Lacer and I went to an Islamic Geometry workshop on Saturday run by Samira Mian, I’ve been to one of her classes before but this was Girl Lacer’s first time. The workshop is principally for adults but a few kids go along, it can be quite challenging but Girl Lacer is a bit of a whizz at maths and it turned out that she absolutely loved it. She’s been doing more Islamic Geometry at home too and has been telling her maths teachers at school all about it.


V&A lion

Getting out to the V&A on Monday, I hadn’t planned on going but I was in the area and the two things I had thought about doing were closed, so I popped in and as usual had a great time.


Home Park

Home Park

River Thames in Kingston

River Thames in Kingston

Thanks to the recent lovely weather, I got lots of walks in this week, which was brilliant.


First completed spread in Jennifer Orkin Lewis' Draw Everyday Draw Everyway

Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ new book, Draw Every Day Draw Every Way is fantastic, it has a year’s worth of prompts to draw, each in 30 day sections of different techniques. So far I’ve been doing a drawing a day, the first section is ‘colourful markers and a black pen’ and has nature prompts and I’m loving it.

5. Sew Over It has a new ebook out, a five pattern capsule wardrobe for a city break and all the patterns are absolutely lovely, I can so see me making all of them, multiple times, that’s if I ever can ever finish sorting out our living room, which is the only space I can sew now and unfortunately right now I can’t sew because it’s still full of boxes. But I can drool over those patterns.

The WIP report – August 2016


It’s been a bit of a strange month, I’ve still been recovering from my surgery, which has limited me in some things, I also had a long weekend away (where I got more craft done, probably, than I had for the rest of the month) and we’ve been swapping bedrooms around, which means that most of my stuff has been in boxes this month (and still is).

I’ve made a bit of progress though with my diamond hex quilt, although I’ve realised with my ongoing bedroom cum ‘craft room’ organisation, that this project is literally taking up an entire shelf of some very limited craft storage. I’ve never really had a deadline for this project, happy to always have such a pleasant, calming craft to go to and I plan that the finished quilt will be BIG, so I knew it was going to take a while but still, craft storage is craft storage.


I’ve also made some way more interesting progress than just blue sea (which it has been for the last few months) on my Mario cross stitch.


But Mario has had to be on hold for a while, whilst I work on a currently secret special project (excuse the bad photo). I had hoped to have got this done by 1st September but nope, it will get done this month though (it has to be), so watch this space!


I did actually, sort of manage to finish something this month but with the move around, I couldn’t find my iron to iron off the Frix-iron pen, we’ve since found the iron, realised that we desperately needed to buy a new one, have bought a new one but just the thought of trying to manhandle the ironing board up in our messy flat at the moment is just too depressing, so it has yet to be ironed. (Also manhandling ironing boards is probably still really against doctors orders, it’d count as too heavy). I will iron it this month though and will blog about it properly then but until then, it’ll just be a glimpse. (The pattern is by LiliPopo.)

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I’ve also been doing this August’s #cbdrawaday, which was art journaling with  Dawn DeVries Sokol, I liked this one, as it encouraged you to go with your own ideas and to use lots of different media. I’m feeling a little disenfranchised though with #cbdrawaday as a whole, as part of the initial fun was seeing everyone else’s work on Instagram but the #cbdrawaday hashtag has totally been taken over now, particularly with spam for bloody vaping. I’m not saying I’m never going to do #cbdrawaday again but I think I will have to really like the look of the prompts.

In September I want to do so much craft! The kids will be back in school, I’ll be more on the mend and I might just have cleared some boxes, so a) I’d know where all my stuff is and b) possibly have some space! I did start this month (not mentioned above, as I only got as far as washing the fabric and sticking together the pdf pattern pieces), the skirt version of Sew Over It’s Rosie Dress, as Girl Lacer was going to a ’50s party (she’s been now, she ended up wearing a pair of ridiculously cute on her (but she wasn’t keen on) denim culottes I got in the M&S sale for £7 – which was considerably cheaper than the fabric I bought for the skirt, which was late being posted out to me, which delayed me even further) and I will make it this month, as Girl Lacer would still like a swirly skirt. I also want / need to do so much sewing to help with storage for mine and Mr. Lacer’s new bedroom, I need to make a bed pocket, as there’s no room for a bedside table on my side of the bed and I want to make some fabric boxes to store some of my fabric scraps. I also, finally, want to start updating my own wardrobe, I have so many plans!

I’ll also continue working on my daily drawing practice, without a #cbdrawaday this month (there actually isn’t one, they’re having a competition instead – which is open only to US residents – boo), I’m probably going to work my way through some more of Creativebug’s art classes, I quite like the look of this one.

I also would quite like to do some more knitting, although I’m currently being so slow with my current knitting project – a Wool and The Gang summer top (some rows were knitted in August) which at this rate will be ready by next summer, I am trying to control myself not to start any new projects.

5 things I liked this week – 5.8.16

1. Pokemon Go, even if I feel a bit embarrassed being seen out in public playing it.
2. Long, gossipy phone calls with my dad.
3. Anyone who follows me on Pinterest, may have noticed this week that I’ve got a major thing for Oliver Jeffers. When my kids were little, Oliver Jeffers picture books were some of our favourites. Back then, I don’t know, I think I always imagined Jeffers to be some little balding old man but (sorry Mr. Lacer), Jeffers actually turns out to be kind of hot, with a sexy accent to boot.

I’ve only pinned one Jeffers video though (in my defence) but I have pinned an awful lot of his sketchbook pages because they’re wonderful.

4. This checked dress I bought from Gap a few weeks ago, as the weather is beginning to cool a little now, so I can wear it. As the old adage goes, one of the quickest ways to get dressed is to wear a dress, yet still look put together and smart. And what is particularly good about this dress is that although it feels smart to wear (particularly if with long black boots), the soft flannel material makes it feel like you’re walking around in your nightie, so win, win!

5. Pizza when you’re absolutely too shattered to even make a sandwich.

The WIP report – July 2016


As well as finishing my embroidered pillows and the As If embroidery this month, I’ve done a little bit of the diamond hex quilt. It was just two big diamonds, the green diamond that has somehow got folded under itself in the photo and a blue diamond, two along from the aforementioned green diamond. Both of those were done in the last week, I wasn’t really up for anything fiddly before that.


My lack of up for fiddly-ness can also be seen in my Mario cross stitch, with just about only another row done, although at least now I’m temporarily off the blue! Although to be honest, that’s what made me stop, it’s a lot harder to make a brain dead mistake when you’re just constantly filling in a single colour, than when you have to go and stitch another boulder.

I’ve mainly been doing quite a lot of drawing and all for trying something a bit different, I’ve made a little vlog about what I’ve been doing in my sketchbook this month, excuse the video quality, I made a total rookie mistake with my phone orientation and therefore I had to fiddle with it and now it’s just a square and the resolution isn’t great and a few bits are chopped off, think of it as a podcast with bad pictures! It was my first time using Adobe Premiere and boy do I have a steep learning curve.

Mentioned in the video:
Urban Watercolour Sketching by Felix Scheinberger
The Three Colour Drawing Book by Sarah Skeate
More Sketchbook Explorations, Intuitive Painting and Sketchbook Doodling from Creativebug
Gelly roll pens!

Plans for August, umm, I’m still not up to that much, so more drawing, hopefully more diamond hex quilt, I’d like to start another embroidery and well, anything else is a bonus. I’d love to do some machine sewing but it’s not going to happen.

5 things I liked- 29.7.16

1. I grew up in a bygone era where there were only 4 channels and no internet, let alone internet streaming, so I was much less discerning about what I watched (eek, even Antiques Roadshow if I was really bored). Back then TV channels weren’t afraid to show really old repeats either but there was nothing wrong with that because I grew up watching some classics, The Flintstones (yes, that’s a classic) Mash, Porridge and The Adams Family. I’d somehow forgotten about The Adams Family, until I saw that some genius has hand coloured some of it and oh it brought all the feels back.

2. Comic Con has meant lots of good trailers being released, although so much of it is for 2017 stuff, how can I wait!

3. Sesame Street have started doing some really cool collaborations, I love this one.

4. Politics is pretty awful at the moment but I do love the one ‘fun’ long running politics story in the news at the moment, the ongoing battle between Larry the Cat (resident of 10 Downing Street) and Palmerston (feline resident of the Foreign Office). The latest installment of the saga involved Palmerston invading number 10, Larry was not impressed.

5. Clothes are really exciting me at the moment, I’m still a little limited about what I can wear, no way do I want anything but the softest of fabrics on my stomach scar but a girl can dream and dreaming is just about what I’m limited to at the moment, as I’m still on medical leave and I only get statutory sick pay and when I go back to work my hours will be reduced. But let me get myself off that economic downer and show you what I’m drooling over on Boden.


The Supersoft Ballet Top, except in black, not the colour shown in the photo. As well as the low neckline at the back, it also has a higher neckline at the front. Heck, if I were loaded I’d also buy one in navy blue and maybe the navy / ivory stripe too. I think this top would also look good on Girl Lacer (she’s getting to the age where she’s starting to be able to fit into adult clothes) and she is an actual ballerina. (And double heck, the model even has her hair in the same style I’m currently trying to grow my hair out into).


Featherweight Polo Neck, except in black (spot a theme developing?). I am so glad polo necks / turtle necks are coming back into fashion this autumn, I am still heavily influenced by an interviewee I once saw, at a tender age, on Wogan, looking stunning in a black polo neck, black jeans and a black leather jacket.


Lightweight baseball tee (actually in the colour shown), I have a fondness for baseball tees and they’re not always easy to find.


And finally the Sally Coat; I need a new coat this winter, my faithful, signature, woollen, purple coat has seen too many winters and is now also too big for me (in a way that is not flattering). I know exactly what sort of coat I want, I’ve been thinking about this for months and weirdly, duster coats are now apparently ‘the shape of the season’. The Sally Coat seems to be a pretty good match to this dream coat I’ve been carrying round in my head, the right shape, woollen and navy blue (I would also go for dark grey but they don’t do dark grey for this coat). Whereas the other three dream items could well not end up in my wardrobe (*sob*), I can’t escape that I need a new coat and it could well be this one; I won’t need a winter coat for a few months yet, so I’m going to continue looking (which is more than half the fun).

(All photos under 5. from Boden).