Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Joyful jugs #thejugseries winners

Jay from @foundbyher who collaborated on this month's competition, sums up the entries so beautifully that I will let Jay's kind words complete the post. But first, thanks Jay for a fun collaboration and for providing such a beautiful antique piece for the winning entry and also for the additional runners up prizes! Also, selecting the winners must have been difficult, so thanks too for doing the hard task of judging!

You can find Jay on Facebook, Instagram and through her website Found By Her  where she blogs about the vintage pieces she finds and also sells through her online shop.
Claudia x


Jay from @foundbyher
"Thank you to everyone for joining me and Claudia in this challenge. It was wonderful to get so many fabulous and creative entries, but also to receive such lovely feedback about how enjoyable the challenge was for many people.  I really loved the many sentimental stories these jugs evoked: memories from childhood, about much-loved and much-missed relatives, or even about comforting cups of morning latte. Choosing a winner and runners up was so difficult, I could have chosen so many more, but I managed to whittle all the gorgeousness down to 3 winners.  

As a thank you to everyone who entered, I would like to extend a 15% discount on any purchases over $30 to use in my Etsy shop, Found By Her - just use the coupon code: 15OFF!  I will also feature the winners and many more of my favourites on my blog in the near future.

So to the winners……
Lisa from @donnelday

This photograph really spoke to me with the jug gently shining out from the moody background.  I love how Lisa captured the jug, which had belonged to her grandmother, and made it the hero of the image.  Lisa, I hope you enjoy your prize!

Wendy from @wendypaulamuses 

Wendys photo was one of the first entries and it really stayed with me the entire competition.  The colours are just perfect: from the whole comforting, milky feel of the composition down to the way the rim matches the print on the cloth. 

April from @aprilsloves

Anyone who knows me or follows my feed would see that Im a big fan of the imperfectly perfect and April has certainly captured my heart with this shot! Love the chippy old chair and the fabulous old zinc garden jug.  The colours were also beautifully chosen to create that dreamy, spring-like tone but also allow the jug to become the feature. 

- Jay from @foundbyher 

Well done to all the winners and thanks to everyone who played along. Such a joy to see all your lovely entries. 'Till next month - Claudia x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Maker Space - Five Questions for Michaella Mazzoni

I am always inspired by young women who push themselves creatively. One such young person whom I recently met through Instagram, is Michaella Mazzoni. Michaella hails from Australia, but has current roots in London.

Like so many artists who cannot earn a living by art alone, Michaella has to fit art around her busy life. She works as a client relationship manager in the fine arts industry - so mixes with artists, collectors and gallery personnel daily. She also runs the lifestyle blog Mazzonisays Her website covers topics such as Fashion, Hair + Beauty, ‘How To’ tutorials and Recipes.

Michaella is also a watercolour artist which of course is why I wanted to include her in my Maker Space this month. I like the way Michaella renders her watercolours which tend to be of simple every day products and food.

Michaella has kindly offered to share her responses below to some questions about her love of art and inspirations.

1. Tell us about your art background and how you became interested in water colours? Do you use other mediums and which do you prefer and why?
MM: I suppose it all started when I was tiny, all my best memories from my childhood include crafting and painting in one way or another, like my crafting birthday parties and making dresses for my doll’s out of tissue paper and wet wipes.  When I started working, I went into buying but after a few years was drawn to the art’s industry. Working in the arts, I am fortunate enough to see fantastic artworks daily which inspire me to continue working on my own projects.
Until recently, my primary mediums have always been charcoal, ink and pencil however I love with watercolours that you can be spontaneous and less controlled than with a detailed pencil drawing. The spontaneity and vivid colours is largely what drew me to watercolours, I love everything to be bright and colourful with my recipes and the things I wear and make so it feels like a match made in heaven! I also love how with a watercolour the colours have a bit of their own mind and blend together on the page.
When I am sitting down to work, I always have some good music playing in the background and a cup of tea next to me. I tend to work by balancing on top of a small mountain of cushions on the floor and paint on the coffee table. I think it is important to be mentally clear so that all my focus is on what I am painting and find that the more I paint the more this can happen for me.

2. What inspires you and what tips or tricks can you share that help you into a creative mood?

MM: I get a lot of enjoyment from baking, cooking and crafting and love how a combination of paper or of ingredients can create a beautiful looking meal or gift; this also inspires me to put the everyday objects or ingredients down onto a paper in a similar way. I think there is a purity in the happiness that a good meal can provide that isn’t tied to anything more complex or requires much thinking, it is just pure loveliness – for me, this is what I try to aim for with my paintings, simple and happy. My boyfriend, who I live with, is also an artist and is a constant inspiration and encouragement for me to keep painting. 

3. Do you sell your art or work to commissions? If so, how do you stay motivated and keep on track to meet deadlines having a day job as well?
MM:I have worked on a few commissions and worked with other artists on small projects. As I am studying a bachelors in Social Psychology which I do while working part time so setting aside time is something I am used to having to do! I set aside certain times, usually in the evenings after dinner or on the weekend which is dedicated to painting or crafting.

4.  What have you picked up from the art industry or artists you've encountered, that has been valuable in your own approach to art?
MM: From working with different artists and being exposed to different bodies of works and exhibitions, the most valuable thing that I have learnt is that there is no ‘perfect’ illustration or painting, everyone has their own style. Even within an artist’s portfolio, the style of their works and mediums can change throughout which has encouraged me to continue experimenting with mixed mediums, which I have been doing recently with pencil and watercolour.

5. Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time, creatively?
MM: I would love to expand mazzonisays and am hoping that this will have happened in 5 years’ time! Ideally I am looking to create my own workshops in the weekends or evening which combines different elements from my website, for example baking in the morning and then creating a watercolour of the finished product in the afternoon. I have started a series of watercolours of the ingredients most used in my recipes. I would like to continue with this and would love to collaborate with companies and websites (like this one!) that I admire.

To see more of Michaella’s work, visit her website and on Instagram at @MAZZONISAYS