Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Down on the Allotment - May

It's May on the allotment already. I'm annoyed that I missed the opportunity to take a picture of the crab apple and quince blossom last month. One minute it was there the next it was gone. Now, however, there are roses in abundance to make up for it.

This was very nearly a great shot of a bee on collecting pollen from the blackberry bush. Instead I have caught the backside of said bee as it exits right of frame. The blackberry blossom looks lovely though.

When I took my allotment on in July 2005 it was like a patch of wasteland. It hadn't been worked for six years, was full of building debris, it was completely overgrown and the ground was as solid as a rock. On the plus side I inherited a lovely big blackberry bush and an established jostaberry bush. This is a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry and tastes delicious. We're looking forward to jostaberry crumble (that's if the birds don't steal them first).

Clockwise from top left Jostaberries, Crab Apples, Quince and Blackcurrants
I bought my Portugal Quince after coming across a charming little book called Brickfields by the extraordinary painter/potter/foodie/gardener Mary Wondraush. It is a pretty, compact tree which fruits every other year and makes lovely quince jelly.

It's looking a wee bit parched at the moment so it's all hands to the pump to water the seedlings. I'm hoping for a really good downpour (sorry), before I develop muscles that a brickie would be proud of.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sketchbook Peeks - Two Prints

After a lot of scribbling and splashing about in the old sketchbook, I eventually managed to get around to actually printing. I thought that I would make two small prints for a change (35.5cm x 25cm) as I tend to work on a large scale, so maybe I'm learning to constrain myself a little bit. As you can see, cats feature quite a lot in my sketchbook and one in particular leaves paw prints!

For more limited edition prints and information please click this link beyondthefridge

Merlin approves the preliminary sketches

Creating the artwork for 'Siesta'

The Screen for the grey in 'Siesta'

'Siesta' Edition size 83

'Morning Coffee' Edition size 79

Monday, 9 May 2011

Grand Designs Live 2011

We've just landed back to our studio on Swan Island after a very enjoyable nine days at Grand Design Live. It's always great to meet lots of lovely people and get some feedback about our products. This year we had a lot to talk about as we were launching wallpapers, fabrics, mats, blinds and cushions.

We were very pleased to get the 'thumbs up' from Kevin McCloud when he stopped in his tracks at our stand on the first day of the show! Here are some of the highlights.

Our stand E57 in the Design Arcade

The Grand Designs Product of the Year Awards were announced on Thursday. Congratulations to Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez for I-Radium for the Senso Collection and to John Green designs for Embrace for their highly commended awards. The winners were Flux Furniture for their incredible folding chair.

Kevin McCloud present the Grand Designs Product of the Year Award

The clever and colourful Flux Chair

We were fortunate to be situated close to the talented interior designer and TV personality Jo Hamilton, Alison with her beautiful Vintage Wonderland Chandeliers and stunning fine art photography by Eliot Siegel.