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The prompt for day three of #indieweek is ‘your home and community’ – which gives me the perfect excuse to trot out one of my favourite quotes (by the wonderful Ben Aaronovitch – if you’re not familiar with his work then grab Rivers of London and get reading).

If you’re a native-born Londoner..then the strongest bit of your manor is where you grew up.  There’s a particular kind of safety that comes from being on the streets where you went to school, had your first snog, or drink, or threw up your first chicken vindaloo.

It’s true, and one’s manor doesn’t just confer a sense of security but also one of community.  I live at a bit of a crossroads: on the north/south boundary between Brent and Westminster and, looking east/west, I’m slap bang betwixt Queens Park and Kensal Rise.  I went to school in Kilburn, and (for various reasons) Maida Vale has also become part of my regular stomping ground over the years.  My manor is wide and varied; it ranges from the polished and ludicrously posh, to the slightly grubby and still-furiously-resisting-gentrification. I love all of it: the community spirit of the people who walk their dogs in the parks, the friendliness of local shopkeepers, the quirky habits of certain local residents (I’m naming no names), and the fantastically rich local history.  It’s an amazing place to live, and I think that living here has influenced me and my work no end.

 

 

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Day 2: What does Just A Card mean to me?

The sale of even just one card means a lot: it makes me feel that my work is appreciated, that the effort that’s gone into my work has been worth it, and (because often people don’t think of the obvious) it helps keep a roof over my head.  Every sale makes me smile for all of those reasons, and also because I really like the idea that my work might be making someone else smile!  One of the things I enjoy most about my job is customer feedback: I’ve had lovely messages from people in the past, telling me how much they (or the person they’ve bought something for) have enjoyed writing in one of my notebooks, or that seeing one of my paintings on their wall always cheers them up.  I love, also, the stories behind some of the commissions I’ve been asked to do.  One of my handcrafted boxes was even used as part of a wedding proposal (it was a Harry Potter inspired proposal, and I cannot tell you how chuffed I was to be asked to help out with that)!  Some of the stories I hear are happy, some are poignant, and all of them are special.  Buy just a card, just a notebook, just a painting and you’re enriching my life, and I hope that my work helps to enrich yours too.

If you’d like to view my notebooks and other stationery then click here to visit my Etsy shop.  Pop over to my Instagram to view my paintings and, if you’d like to see a selection of past commissions then click here.

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To kickstart my return to blogging I’m taking part in Just A Card‘s #indieweek.

Day 1: All About Me.

Who I am: My name is Emma, I’m in my late thirties, born and raised in the same area of NW London in which I still live (which makes me something of a rarity these days I think).  I have a dog, a somewhat obsessive love of JK Rowling’s Wizarding World, and the attention span of a butterfly.  I tend to write the same way as I speak; waffling, going off on tangents, and rarely using one word when three can be shoehorned into the same place.  You’ll get used to it.

What I do: Flit from project to project because I have about as much focus as a concussed duckling? I kid, although in truth that’s actually pretty accurate.  I do turn my hand to a variety of crafts (including lino printing, print gocco, embroidery, and knitting and crochet) but predominately I’m a bookbinder and painter.  My style varies quite a lot (check out my Instagram to see all my paintings, and my Etsy shop to view my notebooks and other stationery) too and depends vastly on my mood.  I like that my work is versatile, but I have to admit that it makes it a little difficult to build a recognisable brand/look!

How I do what I do: Ok, you’ll have to pop back regularly to find out.  One of my intentions going forward is to share the design and making process for some of my past work.

 

Where I do what I do: I have a studio at the end of my garden, and that’s where messy things like bookbinding and printing take place.  And I have a desk in my bedroom, which is where I paint (because the studio is lovely but the light is much better in the loft!).

And that’s me!  Do follow me on Instagram, and follow Just A Card too!

 

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I’m never sure whether to count ghost signs as street art, but I like them so here you go!  Some ghost signs from various stops on the Left Turn Roadtrip.

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I think this is the penultimate batch from the boys, these photos are from Lemar, Colorado.

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Another batch of American street art, this time from Manitou Springs, Colorado.  Thanks again to the boys for their photos.

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Next set from the road trip boys, street art from Santa Fe (my favourite is the pedestrian crossing guy).

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