Sunday, 29 July 2012

Spotlight Sunday - Mark Johnston - Photography we are, the first in a series of 'Spotlight Sundays'. profiling creators of all types and there's many more to come.... What’s your name? Mark Johnston
In what form does your creating take? Photography

Describe your business?

Wedding & Portrait photography with an emphasis on natural light. I am also going to expand into Fine Art and Macro photography within the next 6-12 months. This will combine with prints, mounted prints, framed prints and cards

What are you offering?

I offer a new vibrant and unique way of capturing those special moments in your life. My wedding photography starts from £399 which includes a free photobook & CD.

I believe that professional wedding photography should be available to everyone getting married.

I offer payment plans and I can usually accommodate all price ranges. My portrait photography can be done at your home or on location perhaps at the local park or a location that means great deal to you.

My fine art/macro photography is only in it’s infancy but I aim to offer framed prints, mounted prints and other gifts within the next few months

How did you get started on your present art/craft?

I started at a school club when I was 14, I then didn’t take it up again until 18 months ago, after attending my brother in laws wedding, then finding out the price for his photographer!

In a word, describe your creative process? Unique

What inspires you the most?

I have a real desire to become the best photographer/person I can. I am constantly learning from my peers, colleague’s family & friends. The more I learn, the more I’m inspired to improve. I

Who inspires you the most?

Professionally, I’m a member of SWPP (Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers). These people amaze me with their skills, techniques and quality.

A photographer called Joe Cornish (based in Northallerton) whom I would class as the world leader in landscape photography. His books, gallery and work constantly remind me of the standard that I strive to.

Personally, it’s my mum who passed away nearly 20 years ago. I hope that she’d approve on what I’m trying to do both professionally and personally

does the magic happen?

Currently, in my dining room at home. Northallerton, North Yorkshire

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you can give someone considering starting up a business as a creator?

To use a phrase from a certain sports company…Just Do It! There is nothing stopping anybody starting a business as a creator, my wife is also currently planning her card business. Please remember one of my favourite quotes…”Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Any other advice?

If you don’t know the answer…Ask! No matter how trivial it may seem. We can all help each other to make the world a nicer place.

Where else can you and or your work be found on-line?

Twitter: @markPhotograph

Thanks Mark, for being a part of this idea and sharing you valuable advice.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

HOW TO - Doodle Inspiration

 I seem to have somehow 
caught a bug!....

a flippin' great dose of 
DOODLE BUGS that is!

Oooooer! I forgot how therapeutic these were!
And with a little bit of colour here......

And a little bit there.....
they can look amazing!

Check out those quirky heart flowers!

Painting with colour 
makes all the difference....
and brings it all to life!

Doodles are easy, quick and
 a fun and funky way
to wind down and relax...

Plus you can use them for all sorts of other crafts,
from card making to scrap booking.

Try it.... once you start you can't stop,
and the ideas will flow and grow.

Happy creating.

Any questions?
please leave a comment :o) 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Spotlight Sunday - Caroline Armitt from Caroline’s Cool Jewels we are again....another Spotlight Sunday post and another wonderful Maker and Shaker has agreed to answer some on-line questions on herself and her business..... Already we have had over 600 visitors to this blog. In such a short period of time, this is truly amazing!
What’s your name?Caroline Armitt from Caroline’s Cool Jewels

Describe your business?
I make All kinds of things from Kids jewellery to men’s jewellery and everything in between, at the moment I am making a different range for my website with sterling silver and gemstones, I have also recently added a wedding range.
What are you offering?I offer a personal service to the customer creating a piece of jewellery they are completely satisfied with so they can either buy what I have made or use this as a guide and ask me to create exactly what they want.

How did you get started on your present art/craft?I got started making jewellery in September 2010, I needed to fill a void in my life since I lost my husband and had to give up work to look after my kids full time, I found myself bored in the evenings and discovered jewellery making.
I started and very quickly after I was doing jewellery parties for friends and relatives and it took off from there.I enjoy making and am very passionate about what I do and I think that comes across in my work.

In a word, describe your creative process?
I buy quality beads that I am drawn to, when I get the beads in front of me I get inspired by the shapes colours etc.

Who inspires you the most?I would have to say without shadow of doubt its my kids, they get very excited when they see the postman delivering my goodies my son especially hands me the parcel because he gets to the door first then he waits beside me till I open it, he wont let me leave it unopened, then he examines every strand/ pack and tells me how beautiful they are they are both very encouraging and love to see whet I make and they always want to try on “even my 4 yr old son”

Where does the magic happen?Initially I used the kitchen table till my stash started to grow then it got moved to my spare room which is now know as my jewellery room

Where else can you and or your work be found on-line?
caroline’s cool jewels
Twitter cacooljewels

Thanks Caroline for joining in the Makers and Shakers interview and sharing your experiences.

If you or anyone else would like to be interviewed and profiled in the Makers and Shakers Blog post....please read this post and get in touch. You have nothing to loose!

Also, come and 'Like' our page on Makers and Shakers Page on Facebook! Please spread the word around!

Monday, 16 July 2012

HOW TO - Draw Doodle Leaves!

Hi folks..... if you saw my last post
and even had a go at these 
Fabulous Doodle Flowers!
you're going to LOVE these.

Once again... a step-by-step guide to creating your own 
Doodles....this time it's leaves!

1 dine line pigment pen
Some water based brush felt pens
and a water brush

First draw an outline of a leaf...

Then draw around the outline.....

Fill the inner leaf with a dot and dash pattern... vary it a little

Between the leaf and the outside line.... draw a loop pattern...
the secret is not to go too slow 
and not to take as much care as you may think....

That's the drawing done!... you can of course 
add more lines around the veins if you want.

Now choose some colours....These are the 3 I picked.....

Roughly go around the edges with the darker colour.....

Then add the lighter shade to the inner part of the leaf

I've added the light green in the middle for light

Then with a water brush....squeeze a little water onto the felt pen edges

Keep going .....

Working towards the middle....

The secret is to work from dark to light...

Rather than leave the edges white I picked up a brown 
and went around the edge with colour....

Again.... pick up the water brush and flood with water.
Don't get it too wet..... you can always add more,
 but taking the water away leaves the colours all pastel and washed out

TA DAAAAA! Here we have it..... your finished leaf!
You can always add more colour if you wish.
Little gaps of white make your painting sparkle.... 

AND... I couldn't resist printing a load out and cutting them up

They will look great on cards, journals 
and a variety of other paper crafts!

I hope you have a go at these Doodles.
Don't get too hung up on perfection...
remember they are meant to be fun 
and they are only Doodles after all.

Try other leaf shapes....
and please, if you do have a go....
leave me a comment and share your link 
in the comments list below.

Facebookers.... remember..... not everyone is on Facebook.... YET! 
Have a wonderful weekend xxx
This post is brought to you by Sue Simpson
aka - Sue 'Pixie sue' Simpson :-)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Spotlight Sunday - Erin Allen

Ladies and Gentlemen.....or Spotlight Sunday this week...I introduce you to. the most wonderful work of....(fanfare please)....Erin Allen!

What’s your name?

Erin Allen

In what form does your creating take?
illustration, Portraiture and Leather Work

Describe your business?

Floundering! No seriously.......misguided! My primary focus is portraiture and illustration which is also applied to a collection of medieval style leather satchels and handbags.

What are you offering?

Custom illustration and portraiture and unique leather accessories

How did you get started on your present art/craft?

My mother bought me art supplies for my second birthday...

In a word, describe your creative process?


What inspires you the most?

Music, nature, and the soul behind the eyes.

Who inspires you the most?

Jeff Martin, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Justin Hayward, David Gilmour, Brom, Frank Frazetta, John Jude Palencar, Brian Froud, Roger Dean, and so many more...

Where does the magic happen?

In the strangest corner of my mind!

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you can give someone considering starting up a business as a creator?

I’ll let you know when I discover it for myself!

Any other advice?

Strike when the muse is hot!

Where else can you and or your work be found on-line? Website:

A big thanks to Erin for sharing her work and joining in the interview....your work is wonderfully inspiring :o)

If you would like to be profiled....go and see the post about Spotlight Sunday....and join in the fun and be a part of this group of Makers and will be glad you did.....more importantly WE will be glad you did!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Getting Started - Getting Creative!

I believe that everyone needs a hobby.
Where that hobby will take you is anyone’s business!

I understand that not everyone wants to sell their work… but for those of you who do, this blog post is for you!

I am often met with the same excuse as to why someone will not take their creative makes further and start selling it to others.

The main reason is….. Lack of space to create.

Would it surprise you to learn that,  first business was started on a tea tray…. Literally!
My son was only small and my creative muse came out to play only on an evening. The wooden tea tray with handles, meant I could easily transport it back into it’s resting place and out of tiny hands once I was finished.

The tray also meant I could also work off my knee at night, while watching the telly and having a well deserved rest from standing up and running around after a toddler.

You do not need a huge studio to get started!

If you are not blessed with a small spare room or studio to work in, think about investing in a drawer unit or small cupboard that you could perhaps tuck away into the corner of a room.

You really don’t need a lot of space to create.

What you DO NEED is the desire to do so.
The hardest part is getting started!

What working solutions have you found 
to working creatively in the home? 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Creative People Have Attitude? - You bet we do!

Creative People Have Attitude? - You bet we do!

There I was, minding my own business (as you do) when I came across this article by Pro Blogger.

The article takes a look at some attitudes to build into your approach if you want to be a more creative person. The article is definitely worth a look-see and I'm wondering what other attitudes are needed to build creativity?

And while we're on the subject, this blog post also caught my eye
The 100 most creative people in business 2012  I notice my name is missing off the list...but hey ho, I might make it for next year? 

Do you have attitude?

What attitude do you think is important to be a creator? 

Please engage with me and leave a comment and a link to your blog by clicking the box below :-)

Until next time.... happy creating! Sue x

HOW TO Make a hand made birthday card....

It's my sister-in-laws birthday today.... 

If you are a card maker, there's always 
an element of guilt if you actually BUY a card! 

I feel that it's a cop out and would only do it
 in extreme circumstances!
This time, I wanted a challenge,
something a little bit different
than I had done before. 

So for those of you who are interested,
here's how I made it.

First off, using a fine line permanent pen (o.8)
I drew some flower doodle, outlines... 

Then using water-based brush pens,
coloured them in and blended with water.

Then I scanned them and added
a few more......

Then I cut each one out....

Here's my collection.....

Then I printed out the card front....

And foiled it with a lovely HOT PINK!
(If you haven't got a foil machine, print in colour instead)

I decided it was too white...
so scraped on some pastel chalk....

And blended it in with some old towelling 

Then used fixative.... 
so Flora didn't get filthy when handling it!

The pastel colours suited the card much better!

With some of the flowers I added foam pads to the back
to give the card some dimension....

You may be able to see it better here...

Oh... then I added some little diamantes,
for a little bit of sparkle! 

Doesn't that look better?

Still.... it lacked a certain something....

Ahhhh.... a little bit of HOT PINK ribbon!

It's always nice to make cards for friends and family. Very often clients don't get to see your full repertoire
so your chance to go a little wild is stifled.
But if anyone is interested and would like one of these made for someone special... I have a few of these flowers left (I printed double.... just in case it went wrong!) I'd be happy to make them one. Email me at: