Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tote-ally great

I've been updating my online shops, so I now have 5 different designs of tote bags available to buy. Check 'em out here: http://nellsmith.bigcartel.com/category/tote-bags. They are organic cotton, hand screen printed by me, and at 10 pounds a pop, would make a lovely pressie for your Secret Santa! For the run up to Christmas, I'll be including some surprise gifts with each online order. I love Chrimbo!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

New Work! And Black Friday discount code.

Hello to you! I'll skip the usual lack-of-blog apology and move right along to the important stuff. I've worked all summer long on new things and I have FINALLY put new prints up on my website. Here are a few work in progress shots to prove that I have been working hard, and that I draw everything by hand before any printmaking commences.

I think one of my favourite prints is the Spectrum Goat Skull. I love the way the colours blend, so each one is completely unique. It's always a bit of risk, trying something new and changing direction, so I really hope I sell some of this work. I've loved making it. There are five new prints up, go have a look, http://nellsmith.bigcartel.com/ and if you like what you see, there is 25% off everything in the shop all weekend with the code NONEMOREBLACK. Have a good 'un! x

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Juneathon week 2 round up

Another busy week! I am so tired I can't really think about what I've done. Made a start on some new big drawings and made some time-lapse films, thank you very much to the ever lovely Paul Capewell for the app recommendation! Lots of fun to be had. I can't upload it here without a big faff about and frankly I want to go to bed for a bit, so that'll have to wait. Follow me on instagram if you're desperate for a peek.

'Hand' was the theme for this Weekly Word Drawing and as it was Friday the 13th I thought I'd embrace the beast within with some horns. Drew this watching the Mexico-Cameroon game. I am now dead into football after forgetting all about it for the past 4 years. Funny that.

I hadn't done any running since Sunday, but got up early this morning for parkrun and got a PB.

Pretty satisfying to see how much quicker I've got over the past year, also felt a lot easier than it used to! 26th female, happy with that.

I still haven't had a booze-drink, but this is all set to change later, BBQ, football and party times. What could possibly go wrong?

Miles run: 3
Miles cycled: absolutely loads
Yoga classes: 1
Alcohol consumed: 0
Magnums consumed: Let's not talk about that, ok?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Juneathon Week One round up

I've had a good and busy week, in which I have exercised everyday but had no time or inclination to blog, so here's a little round up instead.

 I made a start on bigger geometric drawings in my studio. Really pleased with how they're evolving. This is about a metre across. Tricky to get a good picture. I'm going to try and make a little time lapse film of me making one. This will involve me learning how to make a time lapse film, hmmm.

 On Friday I went to a meeting in Liverpool at Open Eye Gallery. Exciting things happening, which I'll talk about later once things are confirmed! It's a great space, enjoyed the Martin Parr photographs. I went over to the Tate Modern and checked out the Constellations exhibition too.

 The weather was beautiful, I had such a nice day pottering around and checking out some galleries and drinking lots of good coffee. Went to Bold Street Coffee and managed to find the Baltic Bakehouse, which was boss, la!

 Went to the Science Fiction exhibition at FACT, which really spun me out. There were loads of little doors to go through , it was like being on a space ship (I imagine). There was this weird film with a talking lychee (or durian, who can say?) in it which I enjoyed.

 On Saturday I got soaked for the umpteenth time cycling into town to teach a screen printing workshop at Fred Aldous. Lovely group, always love seeing how different everyones prints are. Next workshop dates are in September, you can book on the Ministry of Craft website.

 I was a little late with my Weekly Word Drawing. This week's theme was 'Head'. I had a few different ideas, but hastily knocked these smug moon heads out. Trilby versus fez, which will win? (Fez, obvs.)

 I am trying to be healthy and eat well and not drink, so made a radish and fennel salad with lemon and mint dressing, to accompany delish tea made by my pal. First Saturday night booze-free since time immemorial.

 This morning Nick and I drove out to Longdendale and ran up and down a big hill. It was mega!

 Nice day for it! And by 'it', I mean a very sweaty 10k run.

Ate a bacon butty, watched the tennis, then distressed some cats.

Miles cycled: approx 70
Miles ran: 6.8
Yoga classes completed: 1
Units of alcohol consumed: ZERO!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Not Running, but Risographing and getting great Reviews.

I have completely slipped behind with my training plan. Eek. The only exercise I've done this week is cycling into town and back. To be fair this is a bout a 10 mile round trip, so better than nothing, but not great. I slept terribly last night, hopefully I'll settle back into a routine soon.

I cycled to the Craft Centre to take some photos of my latest alphabet risograph prints, I spent this morning editing the photos, which always takes so much longer than predicted! Little Foxes are now available to buy from my website.

A lovely customer got in touch to say how happy she was with her order and has left a glowing review on Yelp! How nice.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Travelling, travelling, wandering

What an amazing, whirlwind week it's been! I didn't quite make it through Blog Every Day in May, as I was called away at the last minute on Very Important Business to New York! Who could say no?
My Dad came to stay last Friday, my washing machine broke and flooded water all over the kitchen floor, I sang with She Choir on Saturday in the pouring rain at Envirolution Festival in Platt Fields Park, went to my friend Jane's wedding on Sunday, flew out to New York on Monday, came back on Friday, stood in my room for half an hour nearly going under trying to pack for a trip to Derbyshire, celebrated my sister's 10th wedding anniversary, came home on Sunday and slept.

So, I've failed at Juneathon already, but I'm going to try to bring it back this week. I feel pretty done in, so I'm having some low-key times, have stocked up with fruit and veg and am staying off the booze!

 Me with the beautiful bride.

New York I love you.

Little Italy with a delicious beer.

Walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.

Back to Blighty.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Healthy Living

Healthy living feels much easier when the weather's good. I bought up all this good stuff when the sun was shining. I try to be pretty healthy, going running, eating lots of fruit and veg, cycling and all that jazz. Unfortunately I do love a little beer now and then, which is not so healthy. Just a little one though, honest.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Date Night

Ha ha, oh dear! Haven't been looking forward to this one. I'm saying NOWT and retaining my dignity.

Here's a lovely date-based smoothie I made this morning instead:

Almond milk, frozen banana, dried pitted dates, coconut oil and almond butter. PUCKER UP!

(All proposals of marriage will be considered, but not necessarily accepted)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Out of the Comfort Zone

I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how to push myself and to find new challenges. A good exercise from Philippa Perry's excellent book, 'How to Stay Sane' is based around this idea.

"The Comfort Zone Exercise is straightforward. Get a large piece of plain paper and draw a circle in the middle. Inside the circle write examples of activities that you feel completely comfortable doing. Around the edge of the circle write down examples of activities that you can do but that you have to push yourself a little bit to do - those activities that may make you nervous in some way, but not so much as to stop you doing them. In the next band write activities that you like to do but find it difficult to get up the courage to do. Draw another circle around this ring of activities. After that write down those things you are far too scared to try but would like to do. You can create as many circles as you like. The point of the Comfort Zone Exercise is for you to consider what you are comfortable with and what you are not, and then to experiment with expanding your area of comfort. "

Here's one of mine from November last year:

Check me out, I achieved a goal! I did a Pecha Kucha talk a couple of months ago. I was pretty nervous getting up to talk in front of a room full of people, but afterwards I felt great and I think it went well! There is a video here, if you want to see me being exuberant about support networks (and probably saying 'support networks' about 20 times). It's a great night and lots of fun whether you want to do a presentation or not. The next one is on Thursday 29th May at Manchester Art Gallery, book your free ticket here, the theme is Time, should be a good 'un!

This is my most recent comfort zone exercise:

I made a start on pushing my geometric drawings on by experimenting with scale on the wall in my back yard yesterday.

 Had to improvise a bit with circles and straight lines! Drew round my garden table, various pan lids and used my clothes dryer as a ruler.

 My toes are in shot here for sense of scale.

A decent start. The wall isn't in great shape, in fact I'm cleaning and painting it on Friday, hence why I decided to do this little experiment. The drawing needs more definition and is a bit wonky due to my makeshift measuring implements, but I know it works on a larger scale now. I'm off to Draw North West on Tuesday, so hopefully I can talk to someone about possibly being involved in Outhouse then. Onwards, upwards and outwards beyond the comfort zone!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


I am lucky/greedy enough to have 3 workspaces - my dining room/home office, pictured above in all its messy, colourful glory, my studio at Hot Bed Press and the shop at the Craft Centre.

This is the wall in front of my desk at Hot Bed. Not very inspiring is it?? Need to pop some posters of my favourite hunks up, should get the ideas egg grooving.

This is the print room downstairs from my studio. It's rad. I'm planning on getting stuck into some printing next week. The problem I am a little disorganised, so it's easy for me to get sidetracked. This morning, for instance, I am sitting here in my pyjamas, writing this blog and no doubt I'll answer some emails in a bit, which eats into the time I should be spending at Hot Bed. My computer is here, it's hard to leave this guy. I am good at being disciplined sometimes, but other times I AM NOT.

Various items being made in the Craft Centre. Badges, bibs, baby wear.

 Treats for sale in the shop.

How do you stay focused? Come on, I need some help here!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Being Adventurous

This is a little illustration I'm thinking of making into Risograph printed posters.

I am a notoriously keen and intrepid adventurer. I like to be outside as much as possible, it's so good for the soul. I am the founder member of both The Nell's Angels and Adventure Club, dontcha know. I've done quite a bit of travelling and would love to do more in the future, Scandinavia is high on the list, and Russia too, the trans-Siberian railway is very appealing to me, I love trains…so many places I want to see and experience. I had a more modest micro-adventure yesterday though, I wanted to make the most of the sunny weather and felt I deserved a Monday off after working Saturday and running hard on Sunday. So off I went on Gino, my trusty steed, down the Transpennine Trail and Bridgewater canal. Just the thing to give the legs a stretch.

Transpennine trail.

Bridewater Canal, looking brilliantly British.

 Feeling rad in Rapha.

 Barefoot park times. Post mint Magnum.

Let's take this outside.

The rhododendrons were looking glorious.

Although I would like to see more of the world, I really love Britain and have many adventures brewing in my heart. I'd like to complete LEJOG, the CTC, take my bike to the Isle of Wight and cycle around the island, go to Brighton, Glasgow, go puffin spotting on the Farne Islands...you see the list of fun is never done. I'd also like to do a residency here or abroad, I need to get myself sorted and start applying for these things, otherwise nothing will happen!