Posts Tagged ‘Folksy’

I love Junky Chicken!

July 2, 2010

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post today to tell ask you all to go and check out my wife’s newly relaunched shop on Folksy.

Upcycling maps amazing

She’s got a new banner, some new products and it’s still all as awesome as it ever was. She needs some favourites and some sales (she had 31 sales in the old shop!) – so feel free to fall in love with something and snap it up.

She totally deserves as much love as you can spare as she is just brilliant. This is why I married her you see.

You can also look at some of the great presents she’s made me over the years in my series ‘Jenny’s Amazing Gifts‘, right here on this blog!

Anyway, more proper posts coming soon.

Lovely to see you all!

Joe Hurry Creations Interesting Conversations

June 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

wizard of oz cats polymer clay

A little while ago I asked the wonderful Kirsten of Quernus Crafts whether she’d be willing to do an interview so we could all get a bit of an insight into her awesome brain. Thankfully she agreed and this is the result!

So Kirsten, what led you to start doing your craft?

Until June 2009, I was a lawyer by trade and had been for nearly 15 years. Oh, I’d always dabbled in making things my whole life, but it was only ever as a hobby. And then when I stopped soliciting, I had the space, time and energy to really focus on being creative.

I have always thought in three dimensions (I can’t draw for toffee and have much admiration for those who can), and having worked on and off with polymer clay for years, I decided to turn my full attention to that medium and see what happened. To say that I was rather surprised by the outpouring of wee creatures which happened as a result is something of an understatement. Now I am completely hooked on polymer clay – it is the most versatile material, and there is no limit to what you can achieve with it. It’s like painting with clay.

rainbow cat canvass

Polymer clay is awesome so I’m not surprised your hooked.

So how long has it been now?

Pigling the First appeared on 23 July 2009, so it’s not even been a year since I started doing this for real.  I’ve lost count of how many wee creatures have emerged since then – must be pushing 1,000 by now. Crikey!

Woah, that’s crap-loads! That is so cool!

organised chaos craft workspace

This is the Kirsten's workspace

My workspace can best be described as organized chaos. I have taken over most of the kitchen table, and I can’t remember the last time we had a sit-down meal. I am gradually taking over the rest of the house by populating it with lovely purchases from my favourite artists and crafters!  I have everything I need within easy reach, and the windows look out onto our patio garden – lots of natural daylight, and I have a natural daylight lamp which is indispensable both for night-time working and taking photos. Radio 4 is my constant companion (I never realised before just how often they repeat their programmes through the day) and I’m getting to be quite a fan of the World Service. However, I have an abiding dislike of Sailing By…

luke, laya, darth vadar cats

These are so much cooler than Radio 4...

What’s the most challenging art-related thing you’ve done so far in your life?

Over Christmas I decided to make up a series of 23 abstract panels based around tree themes. These were special gifts for some wonderful people I’d met on a leadership programme in May 2009. These panels were a big departure from my usual creature creations, and I completely immersed myself in the task over the course of 5 days or so. In total, it took me about 50 hours to make up all 23 panels (each panel measures 4cm square).

amazing polymer fimo artpieces

Click to see closer. (Please!)

I used a wide variety of polymer clay techniques to create each panel, eg millefiori, Skinner blenders, etc – the concept of painting with clay really came into its own. I learned so much during the process, and I’m looking forward to doing more larger scale works in the future.

They look amazing, you are clearly some kind of freaky polymer genius.

fimo unicorn tiny cute

It's so cute! (and magical too)

So what’s the most exciting art-related thing that’s ever happened to you?

OK, this will sound a little strange, but I almost choked up the first time someone used Quernus as a verb, as in, “Can you Quernus my beagle?”!  So I’ve now started a campaign to add “quernus” to the dictionary to mean making something small (esp. cute) even smaller and cuter. Then I’ll know I’ve truly made it. Also I found out last night that I’m a Featured Seller on Folksy! I squealed quite loudly when I found out.

That’s great news, and very much deserved, that’s for sure.

tiny cute zebras polymer clay

Is there anyone that inspires you especially (artists or otherwise)?

I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe’s work – it’s so fluid and organic, and her use of colours is stunning.  And on the literary side, Bill Bryson’s drollness and sense of childlike wonder and curiosity always reminds me to look at the world with fresh eyes, and not assume that I know what’s going on.

Silly question (although sort of fitting) but if you were an animal, what animal what you be (and why)?

I’d definitely be a cat.  They have an inscrutable and ineffable knowing about them. I’d love to know what they know!

polymer geometric cat tiny

And what do you get up to when you’re not making your pieces?

Since February 2010, I have been doing a lot of work with UK Handmade. I am deputy editor of the magazine, and also do a lot of business development and PR work. UK Handmade promotes and supports artists and crafters within the UK. We are working on a number of projects just now, including producing e-books with advice and tips for running your own craft business, setting up local groups across the country, and a host of other initiatives. So when I’m not at the kitchen table, I’m usually to be found on the computer, on the phone, or out and about networking! And sometimes I even get to see my partner, Greg J (not a serious link)

cute fimo horses

Any blogs you’d recommend people check out?

It Belongs To Turtle is one of my absolute favourites – the creator is the very talented Elki Shaw, and she has created the most marvellous character in Turtle – you can read all about the adventures of Turtle and friends at http://itbelongstoturtle.blogspot.com/. I also have to say that UK Handmade has a great blog (http://ukhandmade.blogspot.com/) which is updated daily with lots of helpful articles and interviews. And for lots of lovely pictures of dogs and heart-warming stories, check out Poochie Freak – http://poochiefreak.wordpress.com/. Angela Chapman’s beautiful photography complements her love of dogs in a wonderful way.

fimo turtles

This piece was comissioned by 'It Belongs To Turtle' - so cute.

I’ve had a look and they are all great blogs, you all must go see.

Ok final question now. What’s your favourite sight, sound, smell and feeling?

I love rainbows. They make my heart smile – the combination of colours is just so perfect, and it reminds me that nature’s pretty much got it all sussed, and we’re the ones with lots of catching up to do. I also love the sound of a lazy summer afternoon, with bumble bees and the distant drone of a lawnmower – that ties in with my favourite smell of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle from my childhood and.  And the feeling I love is when you see a beautiful sunset, or a beautiful view (I am particularly fond of trees), and I am overcome by a feeling that all is well with the world. It’s a wonderfully grounded feeling, like burrowing your toes into warm sand.

fimo detailed horses

They like grass too.

Great answers. Thanks so much for letting me interview you. I hope it keeps going so well. =)

And that’s it for today kids! I must say looking through Kirsten’s Flickr sets for photos to feature in this post, my mind was absolutely blown. She is an absolute genius. There are all so fantastically cute and hilarious. Please all go and take a good look.

Thanks so much for coming along and reading. Watch this space for another blog post about something else at somepoint! Yay!

Good day.

Polymer clay is awesome so I’m not surprised your hooked.

Christmas Banners!

December 6, 2009

Hello there everyone!

Just thought I’d see quickly whether you’d noticed my special christmas banners for my Folksy shop and this blog. Aren’t they cool?

He didn’t want to wear the hat, but with a bit of convincing he folded and is now feeling rather cheery because of it. He’s got a bit of smile on his face if I’m not mistaken.

That’s it for now but more blogging to come tomorrow or the next day. In fact, I’m going to go and prepare more posts now. =)

Speak to you all soon,

Joe x

Christmas Cards!

November 23, 2009

Hello everyone!

I’ve been a busy bee recently so you may have noticed that I’ve been a bit crap in terms of blogging the last few weeks. It was all going so well before. So I’d like to apologise for that oversight, and I will now try and get back into the blogging flow’ I was in before.

Something simple to start:

One of my favourites

I’ve just added my range of Christmas cards to my Folksy shop and I thought it warranted a short post to let you all know.

There’s 9 main designs up and below you have the chance to press buttons, share your opinion and let me know which your favourite design is. You won’t win anything unfortunately as I’m far too busy to be sending free stuff to you greedy lot, but it’s all very exciting anyway!

So go and take a look.

And then vote!!

That’s all for now.

Good day to you all and lovely to be back blogging,

See you again soon,

Joe

Handmade Totoro Figures (don’t sue me)

November 2, 2009

Hey everyone,

On October 15th it was my big sister’s birthday, and while I want to give her something she’d love – I’m not buying stuff made in china.

Really nowadays I try my best to make every present I need to give and if I really can’t think of anything fitting that I could actually pull off then I buy something handmade from someone on Folksy.

But this time I had a good idea of what to make.

She is a huge fan of anime (japanese animation) and one of the things that she and I both absolutely love are the Studio Ghibli series of films. A few weeks ago we were in St.Ives, Cornwall visiting my mum (who does brilliant tours of the town) and there was a shop full of all kinds of awesome Japanese stuff. In particular there was all sorts of products based on my absolute favourite (and I think my sister’s favourite) Ghibli movie: My Neighbour Totoro.

I thought at the time that some of them would be great presents for my sister but the problem was that they were all cheaply made in china. So I’d noted it in my head and while I was wondering what to make her months later, like a leaf floating down onto the forest floor of my mind – I remembered that note. I could make little Totoro figures out of salt dough!

So first thing’s first: I needed to make salt dough.

Done and done

Done and done

Salt dough is really easy to make. It’s just white flour, cooking salt and water. I’ve got the ‘recipe’ somewhere, but not to hand so just message me or do a quick google search and you’ll find one. It seemed to go very well, but was very loose when it got warm and it was seeming like I’d never be able to make these figures. I just couldn’t get the right shapes, and even when I did they’d droop down and end up all wrong within a minute (I got very upset). So I went back to the kitchen and kneeded in more flour (I did this 4 times over two days) and eventually I had good, firm, non-drooping salt dough. So really, I wouldn’t bother contacting me for the recipe. Find your own. =)

So then I just searched on google images for some pictures of totoro and his friends. My plan was to make Tororo himself, the little blue forest spirit and the even smaller white forest spirit. So I set about with my recently firmed-up dough to make their bodies.

They all started basically like this.

They all started off looking something like this.

I then began getting them painted, which at first seemed very easy but little did I know just how scary and difficult it was going to get. The only difficulty at this stage was getting the colour of Totoro’s fur right. But with a bit of experimenting, I managed to get it looking pretty good.

totorocreatures-halfway

They don't look great just yet, but they're getting closer.

So as my sister’s birthday edged ever closer, I got onto the hardest part of all – the details. The faces and markings on their bellies had to be reproduced accurately otherwise they’d just look wrong. I took a few evenings of trying, letting it dry, painting over it, letting that dry and then trying again. Thank god I started when I did! It was taking a long time to get these finished to a standard I was happy with. Thankfully though, with a lot of effort and studying of images from the movie and images of the figures you can buy online – eventually I had succeeded:

totoro figures finished

The damn things are so shiny the photo isn't great, but you can see I succeeded. What's difficult to see is Totoro's slight smile.

totorofigurefinished

Here's Totoro on his own. (still being all shiny...grr.)

blue totoro figure

This was the best photo of him I've got. But isn't he cool?

tiny totoro figure

I touched up his eyes in this photo a bit as they were barely visible from the shiny-ness. Isn't he cute?

Thanks to Dan Jackson (who is a genius) for taking photos of them for me (as while rushing I somehow forgot to take my own photos of the finished creations.) Also thanks to Studio Ghibli for conceiving such a wonderful film with such great characters. Everyone go and see this film! (and all the others!)

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed getting to see the process, I enjoyed sharing it. (any chance to share the wonderfulness that is Totoro really!)

Thanks for reading, see you again soon I hope,

Happy Vibes,

 

Joe

Designing my own buttons

October 24, 2009

Hello everyone!

I’ve decided I should design my own buttons for my side bar, so that my blog can be even more personalised. =D So I got to work drawing some ideas a few days ago and I came up with some good ones I think. You might have already noticed, but if you haven’t then take a look over to the right hand side of this text and you will see my wonderful new buttons or whatever it is people call them.

I personally think they look great and I’m so pleased with how they’ve turned out. I was going to do a poll (me and my polls =P) to help pick which ones I should use from the ideas I had. Instead of that though, I just went ahead and chose them myself (I couldn’t wait for you all to vote before I put them up!) and got them onto my side bar the first chance I got.

I started off drawing lots by hand on an A4 sheet of paper.

They started off quite rough...

They started off quite rough...

I then scanned that in and got it into photoshop to cut them out and size them correctly. I downloaded one of the Folksy buttons (that they offer on their site) to get an idea of size, made it a bit bigger (as the drawings could barely be seen so small) and then got to work tidying them up.

I already had favourites and Jenny helped me make the final decisions. You can see what I chose at the side (note that the computer in the folksy button actually has a screenshot of the folksy front page on the screen).

Here are the others that didn’t make the cut, and feel free to let me know if you disagree with my final choices.

This was my second favourite Twitter button

This was my second favourite Twitter button

I didn't want to suggest that I'd be afraid of you if you followed me so this was out of the question.

I didn't want to suggest that I'd be afraid of you if you followed me so this was out of the question.

This was my original idea for this button, but the other seemed funnier.

This was my original idea for this button, but the other seemed funnier.

The way that I got my own pictures to work as buttons is by firstly uploading the images (as .png files) to my webspace. Then I just changed the image links in the html for the buttons I already had on my sidebar, and otherwise kept it mostly the same. It was really much easier than I was expecting! (if that was all jibberish, get in touch and I’ll try and explain more clearly)

Anyway, that’s all for today kids. Thanks very much for reading and I do hope you are all well.

Love to you all,

Joe

Autumn has indeed arrived!

October 21, 2009

Good day everyone!

To celebrate the beauty of autumn I thought I should share this drawing I did last year:

Yes, do.

Mmm...Autumn.

This wonderfully genius idea was actually my amazing wife Jenny’s, so some credit should go in her general direction please. But of course I drew it, so credit this way too. =P

Anyway, other than that, today I thought I should look on Folksy for some Autumny things that I like and that I could share with you. Let me see what I can find. *goes and searches ‘leaves‘*

Ok firstly this beautiful bracelet by MysticDNA (who’s name I’ve always liked) which features 4 beautiful handcarved leaves. They are each made of a different type of wood and are made from offcuts of walking sticks. So that makes them especially cool as they are recycled.

Amazing leaves

The next artist I’d never come across before and I love what she makes. I’ve just been on her blog and it’s full of all kinds of genius so it’s all very exciting. This piece is called ‘Orange Leaves’ and it’s by Gemma Austen at Gemma Austen Art.

So clever, go and buy her work! But save me some!

So clever. Go and buy her work! But save me some!

And finally, these very cool decals by Sally Boyle Applied Graphics which you can put on your walls and they’ll come off without leaving any marks or anything. The designs are great and anything to make a room more interesting and colourful I’m a fan of. This is her ‘Birdhouse’ decal set:

Very cool indeed.

Very cool indeed.

So there you go, I do hope you’ve enjoyed my finds. I had a good time finding them so thank you all for giving me a good excuse to spend the time doing so.

I’ve got all sorts of ideas for blog posts I’m very excited! We just did a wood furniture building course so I’ll show you some photos from that soon. But for now, that is all.

Thanks for coming, speak to you all again soon.

Happy pies,

Joe

A new background for my photos…

October 3, 2009

Jenny had a wondeful idea. I’ve always been a bit disappointed that my shop and products on Folksy always seem so boring compared to everyone elses bright, colourful stuff. That is the drawback of making things that are just black and white.

I could be lying for all you know. It could be grey or even pink!

I could be lying for all you know. It could be grey or even pink!

So the beautiful brain that is now my wife, came up with a very cool idea indeed. She said to me (and I’m paraphrasing here completely) “Perhaps you should make an interesting background for your photos. Then your shop would have a lot more colour like you want and it might make your cards look even cooler.”

We discussed it and it was decided that it didn’t want to be too colourful, but something interesting and something along the recycled theme that runs through all our work. Magazines were mentioned, but we decided they’d be too busy and too colourful to be a good background.

Then we rememebered the magnet display board I’d made in order to (you guessed it) display magnets at craft fairs.

It's very good isn't it?

It's very good isn't it?

This was done with old book pages from a copy of the ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’, which is part of the astoundingly brilliant Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy series of books. It’s missing chapter 3 or something you see (which is quite strange and ridiculous I know) and so I was able to use it without any guilt of wasting a perfectly good book.

It’s such an old book that the pages are browning so it’s got a really beautiful quality to it. It’s got a bit of colour but it’s also quite subdued and most importantly, it’s totally recycled!

So I got to work making the background sheet. I had a pva paste, pritt stick and a sheet of A3 paper. This process was not documented, so I’ve mocked these up to aid your imagination:backgroundmockup5backgroundmockup6backgroundmockup1backgroundmockup3

And so after an hour or so of efforts, eventually I had created a wonderful new background!

Isn't it just beautiful!?

Isn't it just beautiful!?

Now my shop looks just that little more interesting and inviting (at least I think it does, do you?). =D

Come and see it now! (And bring your piggy banks!)

See you again soon,

Joe

And the winner is!

September 25, 2009

Hello there everyone!

So today is the day! That’s right, the competition that I should really have announced the results of days ago is going to be announced today. Not just today but right this very moment.

But it's ok, today is the day!

But it's ok, today is the day!

There was a good few entries I must say, which was wonderful to see. Thanks so much for everyone who entered! I loved all the ideas but in the end it came down to just two of you.

The winner of the ‘My First Competition Ever’ Competition is…

<drumroll>

Shaz from The Sock Garden! <trumpets play something fanciful>

I’m very pleased it’s Shaz as I love the work she does and it’s cool to have a reason to randomly promote her awesome creations. Her folksy shop is here if you like her work and want to buy something. =)

Her idea was ‘Sir Kit LaMarr’ and I think it’s very cool indeed and totally suited to him. Also it’s very clever and makes perfect sense. So it’s exactly what I wanted. Sir Kit is rather pleased with it too:

Look at his little smile. So happy with his new name!

Look at his little smile. So happy with his new name!

So anyway, if you can get in touch Shaz we can discuss which magnet you want. I’m in the course of re-stocking my Folksy shop so we’ll have to figure out a way of giving you a bit more choice. Soon enough though your prize will be on it’s way to you!

More competitions will follow I’m sure, keep an ear to the ground and your eyes on this blog. Perhaps put it on your RSS thingy?

Love to you all,

Joe

Featured on the folksy blog!

September 2, 2009

Hello there dear reader!

Woohoo!!

Woohoo!!

Just a quick post to point out (in case you hadn’t noticed) that a photo of my sculpture ‘Springsteen‘ is the main picture on the Folksy blog today. I feel quite honoured and I’m very pleased. Thankfully Jenny went on their and noticed, otherwise I might never have known. Check it out at:

http://blog.folksy.com/

I’ll finish this post here, as you’ve all got my previous post to look at still. I’ve got many more posts planned for over the next few days. I need help naming a circuit sculpture cos’ I just can’t think of a name. I’ll show you a few new drawings that I’ve done over the past month or so that I realised are just sitting on my computer. I’d love to know what you think so watch this space! All sorts of other stuff too but I won’t ruin the surprise. =)

I hope you’re all well,

Good day,

Joe