I am excited to have signed up with Society6 to show off my designs and art. I love that I can see what they’ll look like in real life on real things. Envisioning what it’ll look like has always been one of the hardest things for me to do.

Seeing these items in the shop makes me really smile-y. Seeing people want to purchase them makes me even smiley-er (is that even a word?).

I hope that you sign up and follow my designs. I am so excited by this!

I have added some new items to my Etsy shop. There are three hand paint plant pots on the site. If you use the code ‘HPPTLH15’ you can receive 15% off any purchase in store. The code is valid until Sunday, 5th October 2014.

What do you think of these pretty little things?

A while ago, I posted a picture of a hand painted planter to my Instagram/Facebook and the feedback I received was amazing. I had been thinking about trying something new, doing new things and moving away from card making. One day, The Canadian came in from the shed declaring that he was throwing out some plant pots because they were too grungy, knowing that I am of a ‘waste not want not’ mentality, he asked if I had any ideas for them before they found their way to bin. Not one to turn down an opportunity to think outside the box, I grabbed them and got to work.

People have always commented on and ‘liked’ my work when I’ve shared it but this was different. All of a sudden, people who had previously been ambivalent about purchasing my art were now expressing interest in purchasing it.

I enjoyed the painting I had done on the large pot but it was a 10 hour investment and, at that moment, it wasn’t a viable option for selling.

I took some time, purchased little plant pots to paint, researched how to seal the paint on the pot and got to work.

I absolutely love the finished planters and I wasn’t sure about selling them because I adored them. The Canadian eventually persuaded me to sell them, so out came the camera and on came the click-click-click.

A few people have said that they’d love these plant pots but they’re not really into the idea of ‘planting’ things. These pots would be great for little succulents but they’re also good for:

  • hair slides, ties and clips
  • loose change and coins (thank you @dnam for that!)
  • nail polish, nail files, orange sticks
  • pens, crayons, colouring pencils (if, like me, you like having little pots of pens around the house)
  • little cat toys
  • jewellery
  • all manner of things!

Do you have any other ideas?


All these pots are available on sale now at The Lemon Hive Etsy Shop.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a day job, whereby I usually end up doing all kinds of fun and creative things with some really lovely people. My background is in mental health and I’ve recently found myself working in the developmental services field. It was shocking to discover that there weren’t a lot of creative and hobby building workshops on offer that catered to those with developmental diagnoses. I spoke with my supervisor about this and we decided to try and set some up for the local area. I’m hoping that it’ll be really successful and, although I am not going to use this space to talk about my job in depth or discuss what I do there, I did want to share this little something with you.

As I am incredibly passionate about what I do and the workshops I am creating, I took time out of my personal life and made this poster for one of the courses I’ve created.

I don’t often create posters or informational products, so it was definitely new. Being new to this, it was tricky to know where to start and I didn’t have a clue! So, I decided to approach it with the same methods I use to create cards and postcards; I sketched it out. And, when I say sketched, I mean I used a Sharpie marker because sketching with anything else would have had me all details and no overall concept. As The Canadian has often said “it’s not that you can’t see the forest for the trees, it’s that you can’t see the trees because of the leaves”.

In the end, I didn’t really like the sketched effect for everything but I did want to incorporate some hand drawing into the poster. I scanned in some sketches and I mixed it in with some good ole paint, some of my old photographs, and some fun text. I actually like the overall image. It took me half a day to do it up because I went in lots of different directions initially but I had fun doing it and that’s what counts.

If you click on the image below you’ll be able to see a bigger version. Let me know what you think. How would you improve this?

A few months ago, I came up with the brilliant idea that I should paint my walls in the style of Alisa Burke, the woman that is, to me, the definition of artistic bravery. Hand painted walls have always appealed to me. Ask my parents, they were rather perplexed when I used water paints to draw what was (in hindsight) a rather dreadful flower on my bright yellow bedroom wall. I loved it at the time, my dad did not when, years later, he had to do use three to four coats to cover it up.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to do trial runs aka I am not as brave as Alisa Burke. If I’m honest, I’m not convinced I’m ever going to get around to completing this project. I hope I do! In the meantime, it was a useful motivational tool to get me to practice drawing flowers.

This one (the long picture above) was drawn on the back of a cereal box (I am nothing if not resourceful!). I used permanent marker simply because it was on hand. I also had to do it in stages because, actually, those fumes are lethal!

 This one I did with paints as I spoke to The Canadian about his day. This one is on the back of a pizza box. I didn’t enjoy how it soaked up the paint colours but I did enjoy how messy it was.

 I have been on such a recycling kick at the moment too! My friend bought be a gift in a pretty orange paper bag and now that paper bag has a painting of flowers on it. I discovered pretty quickly that I should draw more than I think I’ll need because once you fill in the background the foreground quickly becomes sparse.

 This final one was never completed. I got tired of breathing in sharpie marker fumes. It’s amusing to me how quickly I jump from one medium to another. One week it’s paint, the next it’s sharpies. Oh, my flighty mind!

After all of this I got a little brave and painted directly on the basement wall…I was really into it as well until I realised there was a grumpy spider watching me. That quickly put an end to any big aspirations I had.

Would you ever consider painting directly onto a wall? With the price of wallpapers it seems to be the only affordable option to having pretty walls.

 At the day job, a colleague of mine is going be starting a little family shortly. It’s likely that it’ll happen before this is even published.

A baby shower was thrown and donations were collected. We are, as always, a little strapped for cash, so I thought about the best way to donate in a meaningful way. In the end, I settled for designing a little congratulations card for my colleague. They don’t know the sex of the baby so I kept it as neutral as possible.

I sketched it out with my micron pens (of course!), cleaned it up on the computer, created vectors and then used photoshop to colour it in.

I love the colours and the end result.

At first, I  wasn’t sure whether it was ‘too messy’ to be considered anything other than a doodle but cleaning it up and smoothing out the lines really made a big difference. I think it looks a lot better than it initially did.

I’m still not sure about the final colour choices. Would you have chosen a different colour palette?

I did a whole degree in Psychology. I did lots of postgraduate hours discussing the ins and outs of mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression. I clocked up some clinical hours and then moved abroad and spent more time working with people who had a whole host of more intense illnesses and more varied manifestations.

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to know more about the brain, how it works and why it can help or hinder entire lives and livelihoods.

As most people are aware, mental illness has been in the news a lot recently. I didn’t want to talk about Robin Williams at all. It’s not that I have nothing to say or that I am not saddened by the news of his passing and the distressing experiences that led to him ending his life. My reluctance came from the fact that I had nothing that I wanted to share publicly.

There have been many people who have written excellent posts on depression and their experiences with the dementors of their minds.

I didn’t want to write much. After hearing so many peoples’ experiences though, I did want to illustrate how isolating and dark depression (and anxiety) can be (if you click on it you can view a close up image).

If you want to read more about depression, anxiety and stress, I recommend this website. I also recommend these leaflets and talking to your family doctor. There is nothing as good as medical guidance from a trusted professional. Fact!

 I recently bought some Micron pens and I am in love! I didn’t think they would be as exciting as they actually are. I went ahead and bought the multi-pack of Micron pens. I love that I now have super fine and super thick pens that are waterproof and make my handwriting the best it will ever be. It’s like expensive, luxury make up. It does the same thing as other make ups, it’s still about having the right technique but somehow it all just looks better in the end.

What do you think of these cards? What colours would you use? Recently my line drawings stop at just line drawings, I seem to have developed and aversion to colour.  Sometimes less is more, right?

mendhi inspired patterns and line drawing on the lemon hive

A while ago a friend requested I draw up a wedding card for her neice’s ‘fusion’ wedding. She gave me a copy of a thank you card her niece had sent her and told me the colours that she would be wearing as Aunt-of-the-bride.

turquoise, yellow and purple mendhi inspired painted patterns on the lemon hive

For most of my teens I was obsessed with the middle eastern, Indian and Pakistani design. I loved watching friends write Arabic and if the opportunity for Mendhi came up then I was there. The intricate designs and time consuming pattern appealed to me. I even spent the vast majority of my time absorbing as much as I could about the religious and cultural aspects of the countries, including the histories. Needless to say, I was really honoured and excited to be asked to design this piece of work.

These designs are all rough sketches and experiments with colours and patterns, but I am pleased with the results. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure that comes from re-visiting topics, cultures and art that reignites passion and drive.

What do you think of these?