Friday 29 July 2011

It's a Jellypark Friday!

Well it's come round fast but we are ready for the next digital stamp release, ready to announce the winners of our very first challenge on the Jellypark Friends blog...and ready to start the next one!

We have two new images going into the store today, a cute princess and one for all the grandads! The princess one is taken from a one off painting I did for a friend a while ago now, it was a little watercolour with a castle in the background that she wanted for her daughter's bedroom.

This grandad stamp was inspired by a character I created for a story I illustrated about the relationship between a rather quirky but sweet grandad and his little granddaughter. He looks like he would be fun doesn't he?! 

I've started adding little extra elements and greetings onto some stamps, let me know if you think they are a good idea or you would rather I just kept it to one image! I am relying on you to tell me what works best to get these digital stamps just how you want them :)

Well the Design Team have been hard at work again, pop over to the Challenge Blog to see the cards they have made with these new stamps - I promise you they are really good again! I'm really loving what they have done with the Grandad one in particular, brilliant colouring of the image and great choices of papers and colours...proud of this team!

There you will also see the winners names of our first challenge 'Christmas in July' (can you believe how many people entered?) so congratulations to them plus you can see our brand new challenge and some of the DT's ideas to get you going.

 Go on - come and join in!

Wednesday 20 July 2011

New at Jellypark - branching out into digital scrapbooking

I told you there would be more new product lines coming! There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment, so many projects on the go. The Jellypark digital stamps have been such a success that it's now the plan to also develop a range of digital scrapbooking supplies as well.

Since getting into the world of digital crafts, I have been blown away by the size of the digital crafting community and the range of material on offer. I'm hoping that my digiscrap line will add something a bit different though with a much more illustrated style rather than the slick vector designs that are often used. We'll just have to wait and see if that's what people want!

Here are the first 2 set that have gone up in the Jellypark store. Each set contains several images, each saved to a separate PNG file at 300dpi and emailed out in a zip file. My goodness, that last sentence would have sounded like gibberish to me a couple of years ago, look how far this computer luddite has come!

I think I'm going to have fun designing some more of these!

So pleased to see loads of entries for our 'Christmas in July' on the Jellypark Challenge Blog - still plenty of time to grab your free snowman digital stamp though and get your entry in. Don't forget there are prizes to be won!

Our Design Team have been working away and are getting ready for the next issue of digital stamps. They get the new stamps early and are sworn to secrecy while they create some brilliant cards to inspire you. Their beautiful designs will be revealed along with the sparkly new stamps being released into the store on the 29th July (I've seen some of their cards already and you are going to LOVE them, can't wait to show you)

Winding down to the school summer holidays here, the kids are a bit tired and hyped up as we have just a few more days left. Love, love, LOVE the summer hols, no getting up early, no packed lunches, no uniforms - lazy days!

Now remind me I said that when we are five weeks in, the kids are bored, fighting with each other again and we are counting the days until we can pack them back off to school again...

Sunday 17 July 2011

Do you Doodle?

I am a serial doodler, give me a pencil and a an old envelope and I can keep myself happy for ages. There is something so relaxing about doodling away with no reason or end in plan, just going where the pencil takes you.

Emma Stacey won the National Doodle Day competition in March

I tend to always start with faces which then become odd characters, which in turn blend into patterns and shapes until the page is merged into one big doodle. Sometimes out of doodles come ideas for illustrations but often as not they are just random bits of nothing with no purpose.

I'm working on the interactive book app again at the moment and, as with most projects, I started with a more directed kind of doodle, a page filled with scribbles of possible ideas and notes. I know it's not true doodling but it's a nice relaxing part where imagination can run wild and there is no pressure to get it right or wrong at this stage.

doodling while thinking of ideas for the new interactive book yesterday

I try to encourage my kids to doodle sometimes rather than always produce a finished picture. As they get older they can be far too hard on themselves when their ideas don't come out quite as they wanted on the paper, when younger they were simply just happy just to experiment. We lose that as we get older and get frustrated if we don't produce a finished image we think is 'good enough', it's nice sometime to take that restriction away from ourselves and just draw for no more reason than to make some interesting patterns and marks on the paper.

Look, it's even good for your brain:

According to a study published in the scientific journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, doodling can aid a person's memory by expending just enough energy to keep one from daydreaming, which demands a lot of the brain's processing power, as well as from not paying attention. Thus, it acts as a mediator between the spectrum of thinking too much or thinking too little and helps focus on the current situation. The study was done by Professor Jackie Andrade, of the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth, who reported that doodlers in his experiment recalled 7.5 pieces of information (out of 16 total) on average, 29% more than the average of 5.8 recalled by the control group made of non-doodlers.
So there you go, lots of reasons to keep on doodling!

Friday 15 July 2011

It's another BIG Friday at Jellypark - are you ready for this?

Hold onto your hats, it's a huge Friday here at Jellypark as the Design Team reveal their amazing designs using the two new digital stamps we are launching in store today, the Challenge Blog is buzzing with it's very first challenge and the online Jellypark Magazine has arrived!

click here to find this new stamp in store

click here to find this new stamp in store

Where do I start?! The Design Team has been busily meeting up in their Yahoo group, getting to know each other and loading up all their creations. I've been itching to show you their work so let me give you a list of their blogs for you to pop along and admire their beautiful Jellypark cards:

Now on to the Challenge Blog's very first ever challenge - 'Christmas in July'. Just click on the image below and you will be taken to a Winter Wonderland as our Design Team kick start the challenge with their brilliant designs. Pick up your FREE digital snowman stamp and just get creating - love to see lots of you joining in!

And finally, we now have an online Jellypark Magazine where we will be featuring new products in the store, finding out more about the Design Team, giving creative ideas and tutorials for your craftmaking and having special offers and competitions. We will be featuring cards and other creations made by our lovely customers so make sure you send us pictures and links to your work - you never know we might just do a special feature on you!

Our Lovely New Jellypark Magazine!

Monday 11 July 2011

In praise of Design Teams and Challenge Blogs

When I first dipped my toe into the world of digital stamps, I spent a long time on the internet checking out other companies to see what sort of images people were buying. I kept coming across these 'Design Teams' and to be honest I didn't have a clue how they worked. As I saw more and more and then came across challenge blogs it dawned on me what a brilliant idea they all were!

I am sure every one of us has sat with an image, fiddled about a patterned background paper we like or just sat in front of a blank piece of paper - with not a single clue or scrap of inspiration as to where to start. The DT's and challenge blogs are the perfect solution to get that flash of an idea, maybe a colour combination you hadn't thought of or just a totally different way to arrange the elements in front of you.

I knew one of my aims early on was to have our own Design Team one day, to help inspire ideas and show off our stamps too! The craft and card making community is friendly and vibrant, particularly in the blogging world were people have their own space to put up their designs and the means to connect with other like minded creatives to swap techniques and ideas, to share the enjoyment of their craft.

I have asked for advice, for ideas and opinions and every single person I have come across has been so friendly and gone out of their way to help me out. So I am indebted to everyone along the way as the Jellypark Friends Design Team and Challenge Blog begins this Friday. I am particularly grateful to Jennifer Scull who has given so much of her time and advice, without Jennifer this new team and blog would not exist - thank you Jennifer!

If you have been over to our Design Team and Challenge Blog you will have met out lovely ladies on the team already. Plus if you have checked out their blogs you will know that we are lucky indeed to have these talented people with us and I know you are going to get loads of inspiration from them with their great card making ideas.

As we gear up for Friday I have had some sneek peeks of the cards the team have prepared for the launch of the two new Jellypark digital stamps. Now, I knew this bunch of ladies were going to be great but their first bunch of designs are AMAZING... just can't wait until Friday now!

We will be releasing two new Jellypark stamps in the store this Friday and on the same day you will find the Design Team's ideas for how you can create brilliant designs with them on the Challenge Blog.

Then we want everyone to join in with the Jellypark Challenge we will set on each stamp release day - there are details over on the blog of how to enter, rules of entry etc. There will be prizes to win plus winner's badges to pop on you blogs and sometimes a nice little free digital stamp for you to play with too!

So roll on Friday and let the fun begin!

Thursday 7 July 2011

New Pirate Stamp Released by MFT

I have a range of stamps available at My Favorite Things and they have just released this new one featuring my little pirate on the picture to go and have a look at their site.

They have a brilliant Design Team over at MFT and here are some of the cards they came up with using the new stamp - love them!!

By Joanne - click image to visit her blog

By Linda - click image to visit her blog

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Why I Hate Sports Day and 5 Things I Do Like

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, this is the time of year that, if you have kids in school, your diary is packed with end of term dates.

Last night was parents evening for my eldest, his first one at senior school. So many teachers to see, my goodness it took forever to work our way around the tables. Why do I instantly feel intimidated by teachers? It must be conditioned into me from those (very long ago now) school days of mine when some of the teachers in my old school used to strike the fear of god into me! Now I am a grown up, am actually older than most of the frankly alarmingly young looking teaching staff and yet still found myself squirming when talking to them and feeling about 13 again!

It was meant to be Sport day for the youngest this afternoon and I watched with much delight as the rain clouds gathered and did a little jig when the text came through from the school to cancel due to the weather. Hate sports day, we just don't do sport in this household! We were not naturally graced with ball skills or the ability to run so the dislike for that annual day in which we are expected to demonstrate this to the entire school has passed down the generations. They don't assemble the parents to publicly witness how badly little Tommy is at spelling or to watch as little Jenny fails to grasp long multiplication, now do they?!

So, now on to things I do like. I have been whizzing around on the internet more than usual over the last few days and keep coming across the most lovely things so I thought I would share 5 with you:

From Sweet Poppy Cat Etsy store, a jumper recycled into a cute monster which reminds me of the lovely illustrations in 'Where The Wild Things Are'

The dunk mug from Mocha because I love a chocolate digestive to dunk in a hot cuppa

I want one of these from Marnie Moyle just need to grow a tree first to hang it from...

Bought one of these from Paperpod for a little friend and she so loved it - decorated it and flew it to the moon.

...and for some reason bunting just makes me happy! (from Art To Go)

Sunday 3 July 2011

New original watercolour paintings - grass fairy and jumping in leaves

Want to see what I painted yesterday? Three new paintings have gone up in the Jellypark Store which I did on Saturday while the boys were out and I had a nice quiet house to myself. I do draw an awful lot of fairies but I can't resist them, not sure why as I was never a girlie sort of girl at all. 

This picture reminds me of jumping in crunchy leaves as a kid, is anything more tempting than a huge pile of crisp autumn leaves? Joy of being a parent means you can still do it but mine are getting a older now so not sure how much longer I can get away with that.

There is a new painting in the shop too of a little boy playing football in the park. he is wearing an Arsenal kit - well no surprises there!

Saturday 2 July 2011

A new book to illustrate?

I've been contacted by a book publisher this week who wants to put a book proposal forward to a bigger company and would like me to be the illustrator. To do this I need to produce one double page spread to show how the book will appear once finished, this gets shown to the big bods at the company and fingers crossed they will commission the book. Watch this space!

I have illustrated a few books now but only have ever seen one in the flesh! Many of the others were for reading schemes and a couple were published is Spain and so I never saw any copies. This is my first book, how proud was I to see my name on the front cover?! That was a lifetimes ambition met, all I had wanted since being a kid was to illustrate a book.

Well the shop is now open and it all went well yesterday! I got this yummy cake made for me by my good friend Louise, how cool is this?!! Loving the 'crayon' candles and the little girl image she copied from one of our digital stamps!

And finally, have you entered both of our Jellypark competitions? We have one on Twitter and one on our Facebook page, make sure you all enter :)

Friday 1 July 2011

Competition - Win this Original Watercolour Painting on Twitter!

As today is our Jellypark Store opening day, we are having a competition on Twitter to win this original watercolour painting - painted by me! The image measure about 5" x 7" and is painted on thick watercolour board with fade proof ink detailing. This image was in fact made for one of our Jellypark digital stamps which you can find in the shop here:

So if you are on Twitter, make sure you are following us and retweet the competition tweet to be entered into the draw! The competition closes at 10am GMT on Monday 4th July and the winner will be selected 
at random from all the names popped in a really fancy hat. 

Good Luck!

Jellypark Is Open!

Today I am very proud to say that the Jellypark store is open for business! We opened our doors at 10am and hope you will come and have a look around then come back to tell us what you think.

I'm delighted with our new colouring posters that look so fab all packaged in their tubes. We have had lots of brilliant feedback from our our little tester team so I can't wait to hear what you think about them!

The range of box canvas prints are just starting, we will be adding many more designs as the weeks go on so if you have any suggestions of what you would like to see please get in touch. We are planning to added some that can be personalised with children's names too.

Still to be stocked in the store are t shirts, party invites and personalised celebration original paintings - we have lots more to come!

...and of course we have our Jellypark Design Team and Challenge Blog launching today to promote the new digital stamps we will be issuing every month. Lots of ideas and inspiration for your handmade craft  projects and some freebies chucked in as well!

xx thank you everyone for all your support xx

Announcing the Very First Jellypark Design Team

So lets start off this amazing Friday at Jellypark - drum roll please - can I introduce the really quite brilliant, wonderful, brand spanking new...

It was almost impossible to choose from all the applicants and to be honest, I would have been delighted to have chosen any one of them - the standard was very high indeed. So it is a very warm welcome to Diane, Suzie, Ruth, Mel, Jennifer, Lisa and Tracey. 

From today, new digital stamps will be released by Jellypark every fortnight on a Friday. The Design Team will be working on projects using the new stamps so that when each stamp is released you will have their amazing ideas to inspire you!! 

There will also be regular challenges that we hope all you crafters will be joining in with too, there will be occasional free stamps to work with, a few little prizes and of course Jellypark blog badges to be awarded!

Why not come on over to the DT and Challenge Blog right now and have a hop around all our DT's blogs to meet the new team...