Thursday, 29 November 2012

Christmas pendant necklaces

Happy Thursday to you!
Well, as you can see, I've redecorated (again) around here. The old design just looked unfinished and not very professional. this is somewhat better, methinks.
Also, there are changes afoot in the shop which you can see from the sidebar there >>

While threading and taking photos of them (by fairylight), I have been listening to French music. This Magritte tune is one of my favourites, with lyrics such as "cette un croissant de lune" :)

Yay! Really, I've been meaning to get around to them for ages, but other projects got in the way. Must stay focused!
There's still time to ship around the world in time for Christmas (I'd recommend you order before the end of the first week of December if you see anything you like though).
We have two circus girls (above and below)
A Mr Darcy for you die-hard Pride and Prejudice fans!

Red hair and pink ribbon wowzers - not for the feint-hearted! ...and a few more ladies too!

Hope you like them!

I have to go now because my fingers are freezing and I can't type too well anymore!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gorgeous Hearts!

Castle On The Hill was so lucky to have been featured on the lovely Anglelina's blog Gorgeous Hearts recently! 

How cool is she? I love the whole aesthetic she has going on there (and am totally envious that it's Springtime in Oz right now! I mean, Winter can be cosy when you get it right, but I'm just not very good at it!).
Have a peek at her shop too - some lovely vintage items and nick-nacks there. I especially love this book!
Thank you Angelina!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Giveaway extension and the Castle is moving!

Firstly, hello there and Happy Thanksgiving to you wonderful visitors in the States :) ...and Happy Black Friday aaaagh!
Oh if you have been following Castle On The Hill over at the Facebook page, I've made a new one for you. For some reason, the old 'Purrr' one wouldn't allow me to change or administrate anything. I know not why, but this new one (actually named Castle On The Hill) makes a lot more sense. I've uploaded a lot of new photos, so you can see almost the whole back-catalogue (bar a few which are on my old laptop etc). Still adding as we go but please hop on over there to join me at the Castle!
NOW...The giveaway...
"Paris, 1959 - Patrice Reads Obsessively, Sometimes To Her Own Detriment..."
Yup! Just a little giveaway! It was originally just a Facebook one, but I've decided to extend it for just another week on here too :)
I only recently realised that our very own 'Patrice' is all over Tumbr , so for anyone who would like to win an 8" x 10" of the lady herself, all you need do is send me a message (either on Facebook, Etsy, or right here), telling me what Patrice is reading. I've already had some cool suggestions and would love to hear what you imagine!
Good luck and hope to see you over at the new page :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tiptoe, Through the...Snow...

The 1929 version :)
Yes - I've been having a lovely day - not because anything much has changed hugely round here, but because I've been listening to music which I always mean to but never seem to get around to. Thank you to Cladrite Radio!
Another thing which happened only late afternoon, was the delivery of these babies:
 Christmas Holiday Cards woohoo!
The colour of those envelopes works perfectly! (Thank goodness they work, as you never know if the colours are going to come back from the printers true to the original painting...) 


You might remember the original painting "A Snowy Walk".
What I would give for an outfit like that - and the red dress peeking out the bottom of the coat, with the little trees? ...and the button-up stockings? Ahhhh oh and to top it off, a friendly gentleman stag to keep you company as you crunch around those snowy hillsides.

They're available in the shop this moment!
Amelia and I went for a lovely walk (well, half-skate) along the canal at the weekend.
Trying to keep her eyes open in the sun!
Yellow and blue amazingness.
Just perfect.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Steampunk pendants!

Well, steampunk for me anyway! I've loved making these up from old watch parts and my little prints.
They kind of remind me of Bioshock (without the fear factor and with a bit more cute) - a vintage world underwater, with cogs and machines. It's all gone a bit Jules Vern!

This one is made using my "An Unexpected Flower" image, which is a bit larger on its own in the shop!

This one is a miniaturised version of "Marcel et Janelle".
Hope you love 'em!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


...This week...

Houmous and grilled veg on toast with lots of oliveoil anbd a sprinkle of rock salt. Mmmm.

This made me cry. I wonder how old Patricia is now... Her name is not one which you would say is in fashion right now. I wish I knew who she is.

A parcel of little ladies are making their way up to Scotland as we speak! 

This is almost finished...I'll share it properly when it's done ;)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mini Photo Diary

A couple of shots of something I was messing about with at the end of last week - a jade cabochon on an aged bronze adjustable ring, adorned with teeny tiny cogs and watch parts. I adore Steampunk and realised it's about time I created some items of my own. There are a few more jewellery items I'm still working on. I'll let you know if they work out. Who knows - some might even creep into the shop if they're good enough ;)

Our kitchen shelf. I might get more of the toadstool wallpaper printed just to go at the back there!

I picked up this extra-cute plate from Tiger Stores yesterday and decided to serve a spring onion garnish to go with our hearty winter stew (which can turn it's hand to many styles - we also garnished with mustard, cheese, chilli or fajita seasoning, so we could choose what we wanted. YUM!)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Regency portraits and something else for the walls...

Morning! I seem to have been playing catch-up (and winning!) so far today, after yesterdays' slumber and my neck refusing to cooperate with my wishes the couple of days prior to that, then before that, the internet going awol... Anyhooo...
Today, I've finished two new Sense and Sensibility paintings - this little Marianne Dashwood as a comission for a lovely lady who missed Marianne #1! Here she is:

I'll be making prints of her soonly!
There are already prints available IN THE SHOP of Marianne #1:
I try not to make them look exactly the same when I paint the same character more than once - although they do have a tendency to resemble one-another. I guess it's like movie and TV adaptations - some people prefer or have more of an affinity with one actor in comparison to another, so I suppose here it gives you a little more choice!
 This is the lovely eldest Dashwood sister, Elinor (#2!)
Original Elinor Dashwood portrait - acrylic on paper (5 x 7.8")
I rather enjoyed painting her velvety charcoal dress - want one!

This is Elinor #1:

...of whom prints are already available... CLICK HERE TO SEE HER ON ETSY
There are also a few new little ACEO girls available, whom I didn't get chance to blog about yet. A couple have gone already, but do have a rifle through the 'Original ACEOs' section if you wish ;)
Oh and I haven't yet shared with you my new wallpaper design! It's taken from my little 'Alice'-inspired toadstool painting:
One day soon, I'm hoping to order enough to cover at least part of a wall. I think it would look amazing in a child's bedrrom, ina  little alcove or something... If you like it, you can see it if you CLICK HERE, TO SEE MY SPOONFLOWER SHOP. SOOO excited!
Hope you're having a wonderous week!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A world of blending

There's something pretty big which I'm working on.
I'm not sure if I should switch to oils for part of it, just for the ease of blending. I have some open acrylics (open meaning they stay wet longer, so you have more time to smooth the colours together). This has to be VERY smooth, but as you can see, it isn't complying perfectly:



Maybe more layers and more working and working at each part will do it. This could take a loooong time.
Hope your day is going SMOOOTHLY!
(Smooth sounds like a very odd word now. You can see why I am a painter and not so much a writer.)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Busy, Birthday, Broken...

Sooooooo..... I haven't been around much recently, as it has been absolutely chockablock with these things:

Last week of Amelia's Autumn half-term, including tuck shop cake-baking; a book and reading week; a karate-grading (and new belt - yay!); open day at school and other events.

Family to visit (my mum and Amelia's dad Andrew) for the last couple of weeks, which was so, so lovely - I just wish I could have spent more quality time with my mama! We did get to visit this bit of London together though:

Then we went to Tate Britain and met with t'other Jess and her lovely mama Miriam at th Pre-Raphaelite exhibition! Yes we can now say we have seen the ORIGINAL Millais' Ophelia,
... Rosetti's The Beloved and Henry Wallis' Chatterton. I'm not quite sure why we didn't take photos together, but it was a bit (VERY) crowded in there.

Amelia's VERY belated birthday party, which turned into a Halloween party. Just eight extra little girls for games, music, a movie (Labyrinth!) and dinner.
 That isn't so very difficult, is it? I mean, there are enough of us to help out, so it should all go smoothly...
 Oh. Right. No not everyone gets a prize at Pass The Parcel - only the winner...and why isn't the dinner cooking? Is the oven broken? Oh no! The movie is too scary for you? REALLY?! Oops! Scarred for life!
Now I understand why more people don't do that, and hope one day soon to return to normal.. Still waiting...
Somehow, on this day, our internet went down, so I couldn't do anything with the shop, and could only occasionally reply to customer's messages, and spent an extra fortune on internet connection through my mobile network. Never good, but needs must...
Oh and then a couple of days after that, as I had been promising for months, Amelia's friend came round for a sleepover.
There they are, with a midnight feast!

It took five days, which seemed like a lifetime, to get back online again, thanks to Rob, who unravelled what the cabel guy was saying over the phone when I couldn't fathom anything.
On Sunday, I met up with long-lost-best-friend Audrey, dinosaur expert and her fantastic mummy! Well done Aud for taking photos!
Still not sure if I prefer this one....
or this one...
The Natural History Museum is one of my favourite buildings in the world.
Just look at these climbing monkeys and love them (also in the foreground in the photo above)!
After saying a sad farewell, Amelia and I headed home for a cosy evening watching some Monty Python with Rob. Then just as I was saying goodnight to her (she was at that moment under her bed, reading a book - the bed is elevated as you can see in the sleepover photo up there ^ somewhere), I cracked my head on the wood and bent my neck back. I thought it was OK that evening, but yesterday and today have been agony. I can't turn my head, can't lift my arms, can't sleep....and can't paint, as my neck is in a weird position (and yes I've tried putting the canvas at different no avail)! So that is why i've been catching up with computery things today instead.
This is my current to-do list:
...and now I would like to sleep, but really shouldn' I'll try painting again, now the ibuprofen has kicked in again...
Thanks for reading! Hopefully, it won't be quite as long til the next blog update...