100 Days

I’ve decided to take on a 100 day project. Nuts? Yes, a little. But I’m going to give it my best shot.

I love fiddling around with cut up pieces of paper and making them into something that looks new, balanced and meant. So I’m doing 100 days of collage. Mixed media, words that I love and scribbles will be cropping up over and over but in different forms and quantities and they will all be presented the same way to display a certain sense of consistency.

The process is fairly quick and intuitive so I can manage it in 1 hour max per day, I reckon.

These are my first two pieces.

Day 1 - Synchronicity

Day 1 - Synchronicity

Day 2 - Intuition

Day 2 - Intuition

Return from the abyss

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Hello, hello! I’m not entirely sure that anyone still reads my blog and if you have given up on me, you’d be completely forgiven because I have blatantly ignored and abandoned my website and blog for almost two years now. There’s a good reason for that, in fact many good reasons. Let me explain.

For anyone who isn’t aware of what has happened in my life the past couple of years, in a nutshell, my husband was diagnosed with advanced cancer in December 2016, he struggled for a year and a half and passed away on the 2nd May 2018. Following that, as if that wasn’t traumatic enough, I decided to return to the UK in July 2018 after living for 9 years, with my husband and the girls in Australia.

I did this solo.

Solo. I organised the packing, moving logistics, painted my Australian house and renovated the garden (with help from cherished friends) in preparation for selling. Put the house on the market and rode the ensuing rollercoaster that followed. I organised a trip to Sydney before we left Australia because in the 9 years that we had lived there, we had not been outside of Adelaide. How could we leave without seeing a tiny glimpse of at least one small other part of such a vast country?

I organised pet transport for our daft and hairy but loveable hound. Paperwork galore, sorting out Mark’s affairs and I was working on a fairly substantial client project all the while.

It didn’t stop there. When we finally moved to Scotland at the end of July 2018, the hunt was on for a house to live in and schools for the girls. I was on automatic pilot and couldn’t for a minute drop the ball, because it’s just me now, the responsibility, and I have to make sure that everything is as safe as can be, in place and as secure as it can be for my girls. Since we’ve been here in our new house, I’ve built furniture, bought a car, mowed the lawn, picked up the dog poo, made dinner every night, exercised when I could, set up my new work studio, done the washing, I’ve been the taxi driver, carved a pumpkin and done halloween, I’ve been Santa, the Tooth Fairy (on numerous occasions) and the Easter Bunny and cooked and hosted my first Christmas dinner. I’ve taken the girls away on holiday and we’re planning another for later this year. Solo.

It may have been an easier transition had it just been me but these two little people are in this equation too. Two humans that I love more than words can say and who look to me as their support. And sometimes I’m not great at it. I’ve never had to even think about guiding my two daughters through their life without their dad. Until now, and I’m sometimes a little bit clueless and so I have to take each day as it comes. The girls didn’t like the move one little bit. Completely understandable given that they spent the majority of their lives in Australia and so that transition, for them, has been difficult on top of losing their dad. All I can do is be there for them. And I knew that I could do that better here in Scotland, with family support than in Australia.

And somehow, listing all of these events doesn’t even scratch the surface of the sense of pressure and overwhelming load that I was dealing with everyday. I didn’t even recognise it fully when I was in it. It’s only now, months later, that I realise that what I managed to do in a few short months was nothing short of miraculous. I have beat myself up because I haven’t worked properly for such a long time and the financial burden of being a solo mother weighs heavy. And what made it worse was that I had completely lost my motivation to work and just create for the sake of it. Little did I know that it was because I was just worn out and not because I didn’t love creating anymore, it was just that everything that happened took the wind out of my sails, temporarily.

Now that we’ve been here for a while, I’m feeling a lot clearer and I can feel my motivation coming back. Slowly, slowly. Hoist those sails.

So, here’s to a fresh start. Here’s to friends and family who have helped us get through this rocky time. I’m truly grateful.

100 days of plates [8-14]

Another plate instalment. I'm really enjoying this process, the spontaneity and variety.

I had many requests for "REAL" plates at the Makers + Shakers market on Saturday (which was an amazing day). All I can say right now is that I'm working on it. I'm going to experiment and try to make these plates a reality. Watch this space. I can't promise anything but I'll try my best.

100 days of plates

So, this year has been the fastest I've ever experienced.

For us as a family, it's been fraught with uncertainty, anxiety, heartache and lots of busy, very busy, days. You see, my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on December 20th 2016.

Our whole world suddenly came crashing down around us that day.

Since that day, Mark has had to endure the most horrendous treatments, severe weight loss (to the point of dangerous and life threatening) and he has faced a real emotional and mental battle more than anything. We all have actually. We have all faced the same nightmare, just from a slightly different perspective. We have faced it together. It hasn't been easy, the daily hospital appointments, the impromptu trips to the emergency room, the weekly chemotherapy with the ensuing sickness and fatigue, the agonising wait for test results.

For the past 6 months, I have been the carer, the mother, the cook, the cleaner, the taxi driver, the maintenance guy, the shopper, the admin person, the one that keeps it all together. With all of those jobs to do, I didn't have much time for any client work or personal work (or myself for that matter).

My husband couldn't work for the first 5 months of his treatment because he just wasn't well enough. And I couldn't commit to any new client work not knowing if I'd be able to get it done. Financially, this was/is tough.

Things are looking fairly good right now though. My husband has slowly been gaining some weight back and has been able to work from home. He has even gone to his work place every Tuesday for the past 3 weeks which is such a big step forward for him. It's good for him, he thrives on and loves his work so to see this is the best, most positive thing I think I've seen in a long time. He has been making some meals too which is not really that big a deal but really where I struggled the most after doing it everyday for 6 months solid.

What this means for me is that I too get a bit of respite. I can begin to pick up where I left off all those months ago. Slowly but surely. I'm excited to begin working again.

We have had some wonderful support and understanding throughout this difficult time from friends and family (you all know who you are) and I can't thank you enough. In a world that, right now, seems to be full of hatred and insane goings on, it really warms my heart to know that there are still decent, caring, kind, loving and just down right amazing human beings in this world.

So, with that long-winded introduction and back story, I'd like to share my 100 days of plates project with you.

A lot of people have been asking me if I will print the plates and if so how will I do it.

The simple answer is no, I won't be printing the plates. However, if any home decor/gift companies out there spy anything that catches your eye please get in touch to set the wheels in motion.

The long answer is this: I am doing this project a: because I love plates and I love designing them. And b: after having such a long spell where I wasn't creating, I felt that doing this would give me that creative freedom, without pressure to just make some new stuff. There are no rules, I can put whatever I want on the plates. They're my plates. I just need to get my brain, heart and spirit going again. I'm ready.

You can follow my plate progress on my Instagram just search the hashtag #zoesplates to see them all together.

Headstrong - a new typeface

Hey everyone! I just wanted to write a quick post about my newest typeface now available on Creative Market.

I launched it on Thursday last week and to my surprise, I woke the next day to a wonderful message from the peeps at Creative Market telling me that Headstrong had been featured in their weekly Fresh Design Goods post over on the Creative Market Blog.

What a lovely welcome to the marketplace!

Read the blog post.

Launching on Creative Market

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have been busying myself with my new Creative Market store. I put in an application last week and was accepted which I am totally thrilled about. I'm also a shopper on Creative Market, I love the site so I hope that I can bring some exciting new goodies to you too.

I just finished setting up my shop front AND I have launched my first product, a typeface no less!

I have been meaning to try this out (making a font) for quite some time now as I use my hand lettered forms a lot in my work and it was always so time consuming moving every letter one by one, copy and paste style. Madness in fact! So, I took the bull by the horns and went for it. I made a font.

And here she is, my very first font, Piñati. Check it out on Creative Market.

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May Bootcamp

Such a contrast from last months assignment, May was full of beauty and pretty. We were studying roses this time and the assignment was to create a journal using roses and a quote from Gertrude Jeykll.

Gertrude Jeykll was an influential British horticulturist, garden designer, artist and writer. She created over 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

I rebelled a tad and chose to use a quote by Vita Sackville-West who was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer.

Quick tip: Spell check everything! Twice. And then check it again before sending off to a client. I made this very error when I submitted my final piece to the Bootcamp gallery and then realised afterwards that I'd mis-spelled Vita Sackville-West.

This is how my exploration started

And this is how it ended up!