Sunday, 31 August 2014


I've been taking part in the Create and Thrive #CTMonthInTheLife challenge over on Instagram during August.  I've really enjoyed the challenge of representing aspects of me, my work and business in a single photo and getting into the habit of taking photos again!
The prompt for Saturdays photo was "Treasured.....anything that you treasure and has helped bring you where you are today". 

Wow, what a toughie! So many things whirled through my mind, my boys, my family and friends, my dog, my favourite tools, my most treasured possessions (too many to list!)
Inspiration finally struck when I was standing at the launch party of this years Perthshire Open Studios watching the fabulous film by Dave Hunt and I realised that my Treasured thing, the thing that more than anything else has helped bring me to where I am today, is not a "thing" it's an event.  An un-holdable, temporary, fleeting, wonderful, inspiring thing called Perthshire Open Studios! 

Although it only takes place annually for 10 days in September it's effect on me, my work and my business has been transformational!
This year will be the third year I've taken part in POS and when I sent off my application form for the very first time I'd only been selling my work for about 6 months.  I had no real "body of work" (up until then I'd only sold personalised paper cuts for wedding gifts) to the extent that I had to design a paper cut to photograph as the image for use in the POS brochure!  The birdie in a tree I came up with has gone on to be one of my most popular card designs. I didn't even really have a clear idea of what I was going to exhibit, except that it would be made of paper! paper cuts? cards? paper clay bowls? paper jewellery? layered paper maps? paper Christmas ornaments and decorations? I'm not sure if I was full of confidence or just delusional, but it's amazing how a looming deadline, panic and the idea of failure sharpen and focus the mind!
Taking part in Perthshire Open Studios pushed me way out of my comfort zone, mostly because it made me put my work in front of people and what did I get in return?  It gave me a local group of fellow artists and craftspeople, working by yourself can be a lonely business sometimes!  Confidence, in myself and in my work, the kind that can only be found by showing your work and chatting about it with over 100 visitors! A wide and varied (mostly!) new audience for my work many of whom have gone on to be loyal customers.  It also gave me a much clearer idea of what I wanted to make and where I wanted my business to be, it gave me the push I needed to get where I am today. 

So a huge thank you to the Perthshire Open Studios committee who devote hours and hours of their time (unpaid) to organise and run the event.  Thank you to the other artists and craftspeople who open their studios and make the event what it is and lastly a big thank you to the lovely visitors who come to visit us all because with out you it would just be 220+ people sitting,  by themselves,  in studios and sheds all over Perthshire! 

And here is the fabulous video that sparked the whole realisation off!

Perthshire Artists at Work from Dave Hunt on Vimeo.

Friday, 4 July 2014

{ this moment } boy no 3 arrives!

Inspired by the fabulous SouleMama
{this moment} - A Friday ritual.

A single photo - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savour and remember
Daniel Richard Hannay 30/6/14
I love this photo of the boys.
Danny at the still, sleeping, contented centre and his big brothers struggling to sit still, as a blur of intense, busy energy.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

{ Sneaky Peek } A Diamond Anniversary card

I was commissioned to make a paper cut card for a very special couple celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, 60 years, something to truly be celebrated.
Where to start with a commission, the awful prospect of a blank sheet of paper!
The commissioner had seen my work before and liked the idea of having two birds, a heart and leaves, so to the scribbles. 
I start with a few thumbnail sketches to get the idea fixed on paper, to try out a few of ideas, get the major components in the right places and the overall proportion and composition "right"!
At this point I tend to walk away and let the ideas circle through my sub conscious and thought for the rest of the day.  Somehow this "sets" the idea of how I should cut the piece and I can develop the design a bit further.
And then BINGO! It all clicks into place and the design flows from the pencil onto the paper.
A bit of time and patience and here it is, all cut out.

I backed the paper cut with a lovely matt gold paper which gave the card a lovely glow and I'm told the special couple were delighted with their card.

Friday, 28 March 2014

{ this moment } A special birthday

Inspired by the fabulous SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.

A single photo - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savour and remember

If you're a farmer and it's one of those "special" birthdays how do you spend your afternoon? Indulging yourself, eating cake and drinking bubbly?
Err no!
You spend a glorious, early spring afternoon here.  High on a beautiful Highland Perthshire hill side hanging a shiny new gate with your nearest and dearest,
Happy Birthday Dad, hope you had a lovely day!


Friday, 14 February 2014

{ this moment } 14th February - Valentines Day

Inspired by the fabulous SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.
A single photo - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
I've found more and more lately that my happiness isn't about expensive one off
purchases or gestures;
it's about the simple, everyday things,
turns our Valentines Day isn't any different!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

This year I will.......................................

Well howdy doody folks! It's a little but belated but I hope you all had a fabulous festive period filled with whatever and whomever makes you very happy!

We all had a good time, this year was the first the Johnny (who is 4....and a half!) has really been properly excited about Christmas, the "How many sleeps is it now Mummy?" "Is it Christmas Eve today?" type questions started as soon as the first window in the advent calendar (Lego Starwars, shared between them both!) was opened! The lead up to the big day was filled with Nativity plays, Christmas parties, visiting friend and relations to deliver and collect present, last minute shopping and then..........all too soon it was time for the decorations to come down and "real life" to return!
No more long(ish) lies in, no more lounging in jimjams until lunch time, no more chocolate for breakfast and the seemingly endless rain we had at the start of the month, days and days filled with rain, not even drizzle but proper, persistent rain.....bleurgh!
So my plan to have my word for the year picked and settled by the time "real life" returned stalled slightly in the stark face of grey January reality and I've only now got it settled in my mind. 
Last year I was inspired to pick a word for the year rather than making those vague "get fit and be more organised" type resolutions that I always had done before.  You can have a look at last years word and the thinking behind my choice here  
Choosing a word certainly helped me keep a sense of perspective and a focus on how I wanted the year to develop for me and so to this years choice.................................................................*drumroll*
This year I will....................................SHINE!
I will excel, I will improve upon and I will accomplish.  And not in a flash (oh no!) in a radiant, glimmering, gleaming, shimmering, sparkle of  flair and talent!
And now because I've written it down and all of you know, I'll have to!

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