Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some sewing good times

For the last six weeks I've been doing an weekly evening sewing course at Ray Stitch in Islington, taught by Moyna. I've enjoyed it like mad. I haven't really settled on a hobby that's kept me entertained over the last few years. After a burst of guitar enthusiasm, that's now languishing... pottery classes petered out... I WILL take up running again (ahem), but that's a bit different. 

Anyway sewing seems to be scratching the (st)itch, for now at least. Plus there's such a lovely and interesting community of sewers out there, writing super blogs and posting pictures of their projects. And all the fabrics and bits to covet!

 My friend Susannah did a wonderful blog a few years ago, Fashion on the Ration, and I've been admiring her application and skill ever since.

Here are some pics of my guys!

Our first project was a Simplicity pattern 8523 top. I used cotton print fabric from The Cloth Shop on Portobello Road.

I think this was my favourite pattern. Really easy but looks much harder than it was. Fabric was from Ray Stitch, and the pattern is the Chardon Skirt by Doe and Deer.

And last was this pattern by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons - her Miette skirt. I love the pattern, but sadly chose rather a rubbishy wrinkly fabric from one of the Goldhawk Road shops.

I want to sew and sew! Anyone know any brilliant patterns that they've used and would recommend??

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cut it up one time!

 photo frizzle-2.gif

I had a lovely time at the Pop Up Festival on Saturday. I'd not been to one of Pop Up's festivals before, but I will definitely go again - there was a great and creative mix of activities, shows and installations for children. I met fellow spinners Shirin Adl, Andy Stanton and Dave Cousins (sadly I wasn't there in time to meet Lynne Reid Banks, though I'd carried my very-loved copy of the L-Shaped Room with me in case). AND the sun came out. 

Here I am being DJ Tee Frizzle (apparently DJing for the Betty Ford Clinic).

Monday, July 7, 2014


Fun stuff! I'm going to be DJing (playing my soon-to-be-made iPod playlist) at the Pop Up Festival of Stories this Saturday, July 12th in Swiss Cottage. The festival is free and has lots of great story-based activities, events and art for children. It's on all day from 11am till 6pm, on both the Saturday and the Sunday. My slot is from 3.30-4.30pm on Saturday - so if you want to come and GET DOWN to some brilliant, child-friendly, BANGING TUNES - please do come along!

Disclaimer - that cat below has NO taste - I will not, of course, be playing any Phil Collins... 

Friday, June 27, 2014

From very roughs to roughs...

I'm just starting to do more detailed roughs for a new book, and remembering how much I like this stage, although I dither before settling down to it - mostly because I forget that I DO enjoy it. I always think it's going to be very hard, and I'll forget how I draw anything... 
so it's good to be going again.

 It also make me think to post some of the colouring in from Digby Dog Delivers, coming out this July. Bit of process stuff!

So many layers! And masks...

Getting nearer... think this ended up being quite near the finished one, colour-wise.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Illustrators' Fair at the House of Illustration

I had a lovely day at the Illustrators' Fair yesterday. The weather was beautiful, everyone was friendly, and generally it was a good way to spend a Sunday. I feel like I've got a market bug now - what a newbie I am though! It was good to get tips, and I feel like I learned a bit about what works and doesn't... it was a super day.

I have some stickers and prints left over from the day - I've put them in my shop

On the tube with my trusty V&A trolley - best buy ever!

Still early and the fair is being set up. 
The building at the back on the left is the new House of Illustration.

Mel putting up our cards on our "gallery wall" (metal hoarding opposite)


Sharon writing out prices at our stall.

My part of our table.

Sharon's wonderful cards - available at her shop.

Mel's work - beautiful cushions and cards, and she was wearing a matching dress she'd made and handprinted - it was GREAT!

 All together!

Monday, June 16, 2014


On Saturday I went to ELCAF, the East London Comics & Arts Festival. I had a great time and saw some very inspiring work (and tried to pick up some display tips for next weekend). I watched a talk by Mathias Adolfsson which was super as I've admired his work for a few years now, and I bought a signed copy of his new book, Second in Line. I also bought a copy of Emily Carroll's new book, Through the Woods. I've had it on my wishlist so to get a signed copy was a total bonus. 

Here are the few pics I took:

Perhaps most importantly, I found my sock twin!! And she turned out to be a very super illustrator from Barcelona called JĂșlia Solans.

Me and Marta queueing to see Mathias Adolfsson do his talk.

Hanging out with Shikha, Emily and Stuart too!

For an interesting, well written and photo-illustrated read about the festival, check out Sarah McIntyre 's  blog entry

In other news, I did a commission last week for a friend's dad. He used to make up stories starring these characters, and she and her sisters wanted to give him some illustrations. It was good to draw some people again! (Click on the picture to see a bit bigger.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Illustrators' Fair

I am very excited to have just found out that Sharon King-Chai, Mel Four and I will be sharing a stand at the Illustrators' Fair as part of the Housewarming for the House of Illustration. 

It's happening on Sunday 22nd June from 11am until 6pm at the gallery: 2 Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1C 4BH. There are going to be over 100 exhibitors, with talks, workshops and sideshows, and it looks like it'll be completely great! 

Tickets are free and you can book one HERE.

Sharon, Mel and I will be selling our work, prints, cards and more. 15% of our sales will be going towards the House of Illustration itself, now a permanent home in King's Cross for illustration past, present and future.

Do come along, yay!

Here's a market spread from Digby to celebrate! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I've been away! I spent a week in Marathon near Athens, via Belgrade for one night each way. It was a super break, and inspiring to have such a complete change of scene. I'd been to Greece once when I was 18, and I'd remembered how seriously beautiful it is. The colours, the food, the drink... the best!

Amazing Grecian good times. With thanks to the above pals for the photos - 
as usual I was complete rubbish at taking any! 

Now I'm back and feeling very recharged and excited for summer and work. Today I've been working on a commission for a friend, featuring some giants...

And I'm catching up on Tralalire...

and rat drawing! 
I'm also posting more on my Facebook page, and as @tormalore on Twitter
- more rough bits and bobs!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May bits!

And I've put the Boudoir Cats screen print in my Big Cartel Shop!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pulse London

This afternoon I went with Alice and Barney to have a look round the trade fair, Pulse London, at Earls Court. We stopped by to say hello at the really super Original Metal Box Company's stand, and met Elizabeth and George. It was great to see all the boxes together - they are now available as mounted cabinets and free-standing storage boxes.

It was inspiring to be at the trade fair, makes me want to get my act together and have a stand one day myself!

Us in front of our boxes! 
Top row left to right: Eleni Kalorkoti, Isabel Greenberg, Me
Middle row left to right: George Buchanan, Alice, Maggie Li
Bottom row left to right: Anthony Peters, Frann Preston-Gannon, Barney

The lovely stand, including the fantastic Campaign shelves on the right and robot clocks on the left!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Screen printing and box

I've spent my morning screen printing these boudoir cats. I hadn't been in the print studio since before Christmas, so I was nervous I'd have forgotten everything. Plus I discovered this morning that I'd left the lid of my photo emulsion slightly open... by despite it all I got some good prints out of the morning, and feel back in the game! 

I will put them up on my Big Cartel shop soon - they are just bigger than A4 size, four colours.

And my Lizard Box is now available to buy at The Original Metal Box Company
Here is a photo of it hanging in my mum's kitchen!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Digby Dog Delivers!

My new book with Macmillan, Digby Dog Delivers, is available for pre-order now. 
He is publishing on July 31st - I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Unreal vs More Unreal

I'm fussing about this skunk's colouring (even though they left encyclopaedia-adorning naturalism a long time ago; probably before they put on dresses). I was looking at Pepe le Pew, and he has a white face, as do some other cartoon skunks. It's easier to see their faces that way... but real skunks just have the white stripe... but in drawings with just that, they can't be as black as they should be. 

Skunk decisions! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lizard Box!

A few months ago Clifford Richards kindly asked me, with Alice Lickens and Barnaby Richards among others, to be part of a project to design some tin boxes for children, for The Original Metal Box Company. They will be debuting at Pulse London in May and then be for sale!

I've enjoyed the project so much, and was thrilled to get my sample box yesterday. But what o what shall I put in it???

I had to photograph the box looking fetching in various locales around my flat this morning...

Posing precariously on the ledge. Lizards are good at this though, don't worry!

Casual hanging outside by the stairway.

Opening coyly to reveal two excellent shelves inside.

Next to my sundry junk, bowl of lucky beans and tokens, and cool mouse. The postcard on the bottom right shows one of Clifford's beautiful metal boxes.

Thank you so much Clifford Richards for involving me in this great project! Can't wait to see everyone's boxes together at Pulse!