I lived on a small island in the South China Sea with a husband, two sons and a scruffy dog and now I live in London which is in a slightly larger small island with a scruffy husband two large boys and a very fluffy dog.
Visiting Shizue on Saturday made me want to have a go at making some handmade rubber stamps. The process is simple enough, draw your design on an eraser or carving rubber and carve out the image. What I had forgotten is how fiddly it is. I usually make larger stamps. However practice makes perfect and I shall go invest in some more erasers today.
These are some boxes I'm working on for a good friends daughters as leaving presents. I am sort of obsessed by polka dots at the moment, they are appearing everywhere in my work. One of the things I always was uncomfortable with in my fine art work was my desire to decorate. It was an impulse I kept in check but which I'm very much enjoying at the moment.
My friend Shizue has a wonderful shop in Central which sells handmade rubber stamps and has wonderful exhibitions of local and international artists. Petit Morphowas a big inspiration to me and I'm very pleased to say that Petit Morpho will carry some of my Prints, original art works and my Notecards.
Hong Kong is full of little shops and businesses tucked away in buildings hidden from view. It's one of my great pleasures to explore and find these places.
Petite Morpho 506 Commercial House 35 Queens Road Central Hong Kong
As a reward for working so hard and getting my cards in a shop some friends are coming round to have tea, cakes and a good catch up chat. I have made Rhubarb custard cake , Rhubarb tart and Banana choc mini muffins.
Rhubarb custard cake
3 eggs 3 tablespoons of milk 1 1/2 cup of sifted cake flour 1 tsp of baking powder 3/4 cup of sugar 185g of unsalted butter Rhubarb chopped up (enough to cover the top of the cake) Sugar for the rhubarb (again lots if you don't like it tart) pouring cream (a tub is more than enough you just want to cover the rhubarb)
This recipe calls for a mixer and you bung everything at room temperature in and mix it all together. Not having a mixer I did it the old way and creamed the sugar and butter. Then added the eggs and then the flour and baking powder.You could add some vanilla extract but I didn't have any. Pour into a cake tin they say 9x7x3 inches. Then on top of this put your chopped up rhubarb, sugar and then pour over the cream. It looks a mess but bakes well. The only thing I would say is make sure the cake has room to rise as mine overflowed a bit. Cook for about 40 to 45 mins at gas mark 4. It is suppossed to be ready when the skewer comes out clean, but as its a custard cake a bit of skill and judgment is required.
My friend Helen has an organic shop on Lamma, called Just Green which is well used by my family. She has just opened up another store in Central also called Just Green which is at 52 Graham Street in Soho. It's a lovely shop and I'm pleased to say that my cards will be for sale there. Above are my display pieces. Hope Helen likes them.
This is anew version of the lino cut stamp from yesterday. I have printed it on heavy watercolour paper , hand coloured it and finished it off with my small island chop. It's only small but I really like it. It will go up in the shop soon.
Elephant ears or Colocasiaesculenta grow wild all over Lamma. Some of the food shops use the leaves to line baskets. Apparently the scarab beetle is closely involved with the pollination of these plants crawling over the flowers and distributing the pollen to its male, female and this plant also has a spare parts. The scarab beetles are often seen at this time of year sleepily crawling across the paths. Now I know why.
This is a Heleconiapsittacorum 'choconiana' or Orange Parrot heliconia. They grow in great abundance in my garden to my great delight, and mostly all year round. At the moment I have a large bunch of these in my house along with some 'San Francisco' . It's one of the great joys of a sub tropical garden having plants like the heliconia's but also all the plants which are house plants in other parts of the world growing out of control here wild .
With all this work on the computer I have to say I am really missing printing. However theEtsy shop is up and running and I have started setting out my wares. Tomorrow I shall start setting out the fabric pieces.
The bag above was done last week when my hands were still inky. I miss it. And I know it looks like an apron. I have done aprons but not in this style. Though looking at it now I wonder why. Next project perhaps?
I am painting, printing and sewing all day today. What a treat.
I'm also hopeful that my order of cards will arrive . That will mean more skills as I set up an Etsy shop. If you dont know what Etsy is here's a link. Its the most amazing online craft market. Easy to get lost in it's vastness.
The picture is my Everyday in May drawing. It is a Heliconia pendula from my garden.A much nicer name than" Lobster Claw" I think.
The muse has visited the whole clan. With me sketching away Z has started setting up his own still lives. Mine is a new image I'm working on. I have worked up this sketch to a painting, acrylic on board and will soon to be a card and a print I think.
I have joined up to a drawing group on Flicker. The link to that is on the left. It's a good way to make myself sketch everyday. So far I have managed the challenge. However I have yet to do a drawing for today.
It's a wet and wild morning here. The garden is flooded and the fuses blew. The kids have a very skewed view of rain from growing up in the sub tropics their first reaction was " Is school cancelled? ".
My sample cards came yesterday and here is a little sneaky peaky before I get the production rolling and start selling these babies.
Every Tin Hau Festival we are treated to Chinese Opera on Lamma. The football pitch is transformed into a huge structure made from bamboo and aluminium sheets. In the evenings the shrill vocals and clanging cymbals float across the valley.
Along the walkway to the ferry large colourful flags are erected on bamboo poles. I've been drawing and painting these flags for years so here is a photo of the pier from yesterday and a painting from about 15 years ago.
I studied Printmaking at college. I always loved the whole process. The mixing of inks how they sounded , how they felt. Screen ink should have the consistency of runny custard. They were oil based inks and now I'm using water based. Same but different.
I have lived in Hong Kong on and off since I was 9 years old but I have only recently discovered the covered hawker fabric market at Sham Shui Po.
Its a magical place, with fabric which I assume are the left- overs from factory orders piled high to the corrugated roof. I left with some treasures, and made my way home by bus and foot down the busy Nathan road and on to my favourite method of transportation the Star Ferry.
It was packed with tourists enjoying the sun setting over the harbour and I sipped my soy latte and breathed in the happy and excited atmosphere .
Here's a page from my diary. I have been very taken with butterflies of late and I'm in the process of having some Butterfly cards printed. These are actually moths which may or may not become their own pictures.
This whole post is of course a is a homage to Geninne's fantastic journals. If you haven't visited Geninne's art blog I suggest you do so immediatetly . After you've looked at this of course.
Oh and it was my Dad's birthdaty yesterday. So happy birthday Dad.