Christmas – making a start with card designs for both my ranges

Recently I’ve begun to think Christmas – a little late but better than never.

I have a shop on and while I didn’t make their deadline for the look book last week, realising that there was such a thing and just how early they need images makes me determined to meet the next deadline in early June with some new things.

I’ll be adding to what worked well for me last year too:

christmas 2013

I designed two cards in this style a year or so ago and  I’m working on some more to go with these and a few other items too – gift tags and postcards. These will all be part of my Gabriella Buckingham range available in my Etsy shop and in Moobaacluck on too.

Over the weekend I got my paints out and jumped on the owl bandwagon ( they’ve been everywhere for a few years) for a woodland animal inspired set of 4 cards I am doing for Moobaacluck. On Sunday I had an idea based on the thought of presents that aren’t exactly ideal for recipients – a bit odd but it made me laugh to think that a squirrel might be given a spade for Christmas.


Anyone less likely to need a spade is hard to find. I wonder whether anyone would get the joke at all!? I suppose someone might… I need to work on the wording here though.. perhaps “Huh?” or ” I’d rather have socks”. What do you think? If you can come up with some pithy words that suit the design that I actually end up using I will send you a pack of four of the final cards once they are done. Just leave a comment on my blog or facebook page and if I use your idea I promise to send you some. The next two will feature a badger and rabbit and a deer and birds.


I thought you might like to see how the images started out. I painted in acrylic on wood ( which then was impossible to scan of course as the sheet was too big)). I took photographs and uploaded them into photoshop to finish the designs off. I had started by doing some excersises in Lilla Rogers new book ” Make Art that Sells”  – you can just see the collage with flowers on the left. I wasn’t surprised to find that I am drawn to bright complimentary colours like pink and orange and citrus yellow.


What do you think of these cards? I am hoping they will appeal to adults who like the cute and quirky –  the ideal Moobaacluck customer!

The end . . . and fresh starts.


At last! I’ve come to the end of the pile of orders had to be posted before tomorrow and I finished a day earlier than I’d expected! I secretly hoped I would as I wanted to be able to fully relax tonight as I am off out to the Gunton Arms   to meet up with three girlfriends to talk business. Sort of. It’s our Christmas party 🙂

We’ve set up a bijou business group to give each other support. So far we have two analytical types and two creative types so there’s a good balance.

I love this time of year because it although I am so very tired from all the late nights and early mornings working in the last 6 weeks I have a huge sense of achievement and every year feel ready for a change. Out with the old in with the new. Plans are afoot and it will involve a massive amount of work on my part and a clear head but I am determined. Somehow I have to find time to tackle the garden too, so it resembles less of a wasteland.

I left Instagram and Facebook today. I’m going to see how life is without Facebook for at least 6 months to a year, I know I will miss a lot of people but many of them are on Twitter or I could actually  see or phone in 2013!  This was prompted by their now retracted ‘new’ terms in which they seemed to claim that unless you deleted your Instagram account by Jan 16th then you were granting them rights to all your photos. I really dislike this high-handed careless way “they” (they being Facebook who now own Instagram) go about things. So although this is retracted now I feel disgruntled and don’t feel inclined to let them store anymore of my messages, interactions and photos. When you die what happens to all that? It stays in their archives. I think that might change in their future, what a minefield storing people’s virtual lives forever! I want to be involved in real life this year.

I used to feel slightly incredulous at friends who weren’t on Facebook and now I think they are the clever ones ;).

Wishing you all a wonderful relaxing Christmas with a sprinkling of friends and a huge dose of love, Gabs


Painting for Christmas

a new design, available from January 2013

Hello! waves from the shed! Moobaacluck commissions are taking up all my I’m afraid I haven’t any exciting trips to London to report just some hair-raising trips to and from the summer house  in the dark and rain! I only worked until 5 today..with a break this morning for a big shop and post office dash (it has to be done). I’ve been dashing in and out of watching Strictly Come Dancing to write this.

I’m happy to say that orders are coming in very steadily just slightly faster than I can get them out so I always seem to have 70 -80 outstanding but have 3 or 4 weeks to get on top of them and am determined to do it. I found out that the horse door plaques are  not in the second catalogue drop by Notonthehighstreet next week which I am so relieved about! Today I had a single order from Switzerland for three of them, several singles and a few others. When a single customer orders more than one I have to paint them all side by side to ensure they all look roughly the same!

A days orders before trip to the post office…

I have been pleased that other items throughout my range have been ordered – for sanity’s sake! I love way this cat plaque order  turned out, I like the colour combinations:  I didn’t have a sample available to view but the customer bravely ordered a ginger cat. Do hope she likes it.

Cards have been selling well and I’ll be introducing more next year.

Finally put my “Baby’s first Christmas” card out there and orders have started coming in; I sent one off in the post this morning with the optional printed instructions and ribbon to turn it into a decoration:

Naturally my bestsellers have been the horse plaques as they featured in the brochure but these Christmas stars have been a close second in the last few weeks:

I will probably have to stop taking orders for hand painted items at the end of the first week of December but so much depends on how well I get through all the orders outstanding – that’s the unnerving bit about this time of year! I hope if you’re making to order that it is busy enough, but not overwhelming. You can see and buy much of my Christmas range here until November 30th or see even more in my notonthehighstreet shop.

So I’ll be mostly in the studio whatever the weather until the third week of December! If I’m quiet you’ll understand why.

Last weekend I had a Saturday off and spent it swapping rooms with my ten-year old son back to the room my husband and I had when my daughter was born at home just over 8 years ago. He now has the biggest room but it’s also the only one with fitted carpet and he now has a space to play with his friends that’s brighter and bigger. It feels like coming full circle and new chapter of life is about to start.

When you work on your own it’s so easy to get carried away with what you think should be doing, pushing yourself constantly and comparing yourself to others. I’m so grateful to be busy now; it hasn’t been the easiest year but the demand I’ve had across my range has really boosted my confidence that I am on the right path. I know what I enjoy doing most now and I shall build on what has worked next year and experiment more with my painting and stationery ranges.

I took this picture from our back doorstep this morning. It doesn’t quite do the soft ashen, peachy, gauzy view justice but to me it looked like a painting. We have big skies in Norfolk.

Happy Weekends to you all.