24 Mar 2014

I like this stuff...

I don't think I've ever posted about a clothes label before but I'm liking the look of this easy to wear stuff from Hush lots right now. I'm not sure on the styling they've used on this shoot, it's not really calling out to me, but I can look past that and there are several items I could really do with for spring/summer 2014. Like the slate trousers below... Don't they look comfy?

I'm a newcomer to Hush clothing, I own only one item of theirs, a grey cashmere beanie that I wore every day through the winter. I LOVE that hat. It's so soft and warm and the perfect slouchy shape. I sometimes worry that at Edie's school I'm known as the 'one who always wears that hat' as it was seriously stuck to my head throughout January and February. Now I've started talking about it I'm tempted to go and get it and put it on right now, yes, I love it that much.

I may get those trousers... And the shorter black dress... Ahh, decisions...

20 Mar 2014

just a Thursday afternoon

Edie is home ill from school for the second day this week. She is ill with a nasty cold but I have the sneaking suspicion she's laying it on a bit thick. It's so hard to judge when kids should stay home and when they should just battle on. She's only 4 though I guess and we all feel rotten with a bunged up nose and a cough don't we? Even a cough that has an element of RADA, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to it.

And it was my day off. I had so much planned, but hey ho.

I've been sorting out my prints for an art fair I'm doing on the weekend. Luckily I had lots already prepared or I'd be panicking right around now. I've just made a last minute order for more printer paper so I can produce more of the 'Reading Makes Your World Big' print and also 'The Alphabet' print; I've sold a few of these recently and my stocks are running low.

I hope this art fair will be worth it, the last one I did was very slow. You can never tell with these things. 

Anyway, it seems my ill daughter is in desperate need of a snack so I shall leave you now and go and attend to the invalid. The constantly hungry invalid who miraculously feels better when she is playing on the iPad. 

18 Mar 2014

10 signs of spring; collected, photographed and noted

1• there are buds on the trees and they're starting to blossom. Soon they will be bouncing pink and white bundles of beauty! Fleeting but all the more magical because of that.

daffodils. They are the front line of spring flowers, their bright and cheery yellowness makes the world a better place, don't you think?

birds getting crazy. Something is going on up in the eves of our house. Every year we have a little nest there and we watch the comings and goings. Last year a fledgling's first attempts at flying were unsuccessful and we had a stressful morning trying to keep our dog away whilst trying to coax it out of it's hiding place in the wood pile so it's mum and dad could find it and encourage it to try to fly again. Happily they did find it and it did manage to take flight. Happy ending!

bees. There was a bee in the house; a HUGE one. I picked up a pair of socks I'd left on a radiator by the bedroom window and my hand began to buzz... there was a giant bee in my fist and I didn't scream much at all.

pussy willows. I've just discovered we have them in our garden and I'm so pleased about that. They're fluffy and full of the promise of growth and new things.

ice cream (especially ice cream in the park).

light. Light in the morning and light in the evening. doesn't it make things so much easier?

there are clothes and accessories in the shops that I really like and they are not black, white, navy, grey, sparkly or metallic...

• blue skies and bird song

and finally (but this is maybe my favourite) that smell you catch in the air, the one that smells green and woody and earthy and full of life and sunshine. Oh my goodness, when you catch that smell it's so beautiful.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like


 Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg

Spring! The beginning of new things. The awakening of sleepy things. The goodness that light and warmth and new life bring to us all. And it's all happening right now all around us. Enjoy it!

6 Mar 2014

tackling the blog bio...

Okay, time to tackle the blog bio.

This is hard for most of us but especially so for those of us who struggle with bigging ourselves up. Those of us like me. I get red faced whenever someone asks me about my artwork, my writing, or my blog, I almost apologise for it. Yep, I'm that girl. I'm much more confident about the things I create than I used to be but I still have a long way to go.

Basically, I'm rubbish at showing people the things I'm proud of. That sucks right? 

So I'm trying to change that, and my blog bio is as good a place as any to start.

The blog bio is an introduction, a way of telling people quickly and succiently who you are, what you do and why you're here.

There's no room for being coy or running yourself down. You need to lay your cards on the table and tell people what you've got that they would like or be interested in.

But what should I include?

I began by writing a list of reasons why I blog; why I bother putting all these words and images onto the world wide web for anyone to see. 

And here's that list:

•I do it for social reasons; to meet wonderful people who are a lot like me and amazing people who are very different. 

•I do it because I love to write.

•I do it to promote my artwork, my writing and my shop.

•I do it to create a record of our lives.

•I do it because I believe it makes me focus on what makes me happy and gives me pleasure. 

•I do it because it motivates me and gives me the momentumn to make good things happen. 

What do I need to include in my blog bio that faithfully represents all these aims? What do I need to mention?

So with that question in mind I started typing...

I had a few false starts...

I'm Anna, I'm a mum, I'm a wife....

Um, nope, I was bored already. Start again.

I'm Anna. I make things. I like peonies, walks on windy beaches and Scandi design...

Gah, that just makes me want to slap myself.

And then, just to confuse things, I thought 'do I write in the first person or the third?' 

Anna is a British artist, designer and writer living in a leaky 1920's house in South Wales.

But no, I didn't like it. It's not right for me. I want something more immediate, less disconnected. So I went straight back to first person...

I'm Anna, a British artist, designer and writer living in a nearly renovated 1920's house in South Wales.

Well, that's all true I guess. Makes me cringe a little but that's my problem, right?

I have a business called Goldlion, through which I sell my artwork and products. You can find it here.

My prints are bold and colourful and aimed at both kiddies and adults. I like to make stuff that brightens up walls and makes people happy.


I also run community art groups, a part time job that I love.

I write here, on my blog, as often as I can about my artwork, my children, my home and whatever else takes my fancy.

I try to be kind, to live in the moment, to keep things simple and to laugh as much as possible. I love my family.

In my past lives I've completed an art degree, an MA in Writing: Practice and Issues, and I worked as a freelance writer in London before coming home to Wales.

Now I can bring in the peonies, right?

I love swimming in the sea, starry skies, cheese boards, dancing in the kitchen with my kids and big bloomsy peonies. 

I'm a feminist, a vegetarian and a leftie and I'm proud to be all three.

I love that this blog is my online diary, my portfolio, my gratitude journal, and my place to meet people like you.

If you've got something to say or would just like to say hello you can get me here:


Okay. It's a start. It's a work in progress. Anyone got any tips or is there anything else you'd like to know about? I'd love to hear what you guys think. 

And would any of you like to offer their bios up for inspection? So I can have a nose around? I've checked out quite a few but the more the merrier.

4 Mar 2014

out of puff

image from Life magazine (found on Pinterest)

We had this little routine going over the weekend. We get ready to go somewhere outdoorsy and just as we get in the car it starts hammering down with rain. So we go somewhere where we can drink hot chocolate or lattes and eat cake. 

If we were hardcore outdoorsy people we wouldn't let the lashing rain stop us, would we? No, we'd make ourselves miserable and wet and I'd lose the feeling in the toes of my right foot (that always happens when my feet get cold, it's not nice). 

But we're softies. And when it's tipping down we like sitting down. Inside. With cake. 

The facts of the matter, however, are that I'm not getting enough exercise. The other family members all daily get their heart rates up by various means whilst I'm getting out of puff just popping out to the kitchen for a look in the fridge. 

I've always been *quite* fit but this wet winter combined with me having a baby has seen my opportunities for exercise diminish vastly, but enough excuses, I need to get my wellies and waterproofs on and get out for some early morning dog walks. Or maybe I should do a exercise dvd. Although that sounds more improbable than the dog walking. 

We shall see.

What do you do to get your exercise? I like dancing around the kitchen, maybe I should just up the ante on that and work up a bit of a sweat whilst cooking dinner? Ew, that sounds a bit gross, so maybe not whilst cooking, but dancing in the kitchen, that's the best idea so far.

3 Mar 2014

this baby boy

It's been more than 10 months since this fella came to join us. He's growing fast; look at those teeth! They took a while to pop through but there's no stopping them now. 

Everyone says what a chilled out baby he is and it's true, he's so laid back and smiley, and it's so easy to make him laugh.

Griff loves dancing, bopping away to any music he hears. Then he gives himself a clap and has a little chuckle. 

He's a slow crawler so when he makes a run for it I've not got to panic. He's a very determined fella, just not a sprinter... Bless his chubby legs.

He finds Lola, our dog, hilarious and cracks up laughing whenever he sees her. 

He's terrified of Edie's little rocking horse. Terrified. It's really the only time I see him upset. So we've hidden it out of his way for a while. 

And I, of course, am as madly in love with him as ever.