If you follow my social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, you would know that we recently lost our dear Mum.
Its been an extremely hard time for us since April, when we found out my Mum was so unwell. Trying to function like nothing was going on behind the scenes to the world was so hard, but it had to be done. There was only a handful of people who knew what was going on behind the scenes, and I thank those people dearly for their support.
I’ve had good days and bad days, and days where I just can’t get my head into work/creating. Those are the days I feel defeated the most. I’m trying to get on top of all of my orders right now, and I thank you all tremendously for your patience with me through this.
My creative mojo is coming back, more and more each day, and while I have many feelings of thanks to you all, there is still feelings of sadness. This time is for our family to nurture each other’s hearts, our heads and our spirits.
Each day is a new day, and I go into it with no expectations at all. I wanted to thank you all again for your messages of support, prayers and hope. You are all stars ✨
This weekend past was the last of the Winter Workshop series, and I have had a lot of requests for the next dates already. So, I have got my calendar out and worked out the next dates. I will be in Hobart this Saturday, 29th July for the last Chalkboard Calligraphy Workshop for the year at Verde, which is a beautiful space owned and run by gardening extraordinaire, Karen Wagner. If you would like to book a spot (there is only a few spots left) please call Karen at Verde on 03 62316883
There will be 2 ceramic workshops and one of those will be a Christmas themed one, where you can make decorations, serving pieces…whatever you like.
Here are some of the wonderful pieces made on Saturday at the last Winter Workshop. I love getting to share what I know, and watching people slow down and become lost in the process. There’s often comments about how “calming” the workshops are. I love that in this busy day and age.
It’s something I get asked about often, and I’m so happy to be able to offer it for this seasons workshops. It will be a little different from a traditional calligraphy class, and will work for beginners through to the experienced. We will have a Christmas theme to this workshop as well. So, if you want to make your own cards, invitations, place cards, decorative pieces, this is the workshop for you.
Hard to believe, but we’ve been at the farm for a year tomorrow! I know, right? It seems like a few months ago that we packed up The Old Lady and headed to our fixer upper ‘The Old Dame Farmhouse’.
Weve had a blast here at the farm so far, so I thought I’d update you on what we’ve been doing up until now…
Day 2, we pulled out the horrible kitchen. It was a LOT of work. Floor height differences, knocked down a wall into another room to make he kitchen bigger, replaced bearers and joists, demolished a fireplace/chimney, replaced the hot water system and gas lines and rewired lots of dodgy wiring.
We replaced it with this. We love this space now. It’s so nice to wake up to in the morning, and the feel in here is what will be through the rest of the farm as we renovate it.
Its been wonderful bringing my antique and vintage pieces back out and finding new homes for them.
My Dad restored this beautiful, original wooden screen door that we found in the berry orchard. It’s perfect for the front of the farmhouse.
We also replaced the whole roof at the back of the house, replaced plumbing, more wiring…lots of things you can’t see, but are most important.
Discovered this gorgeous old Sunshine gate in the back paddock, which is earmarked as our new front entry gate. We are planing on changing some things in the front garden….
Right now, we have a huge double entry, horseshoe driveway that we are thinking of making into a single entry with a return circle drive around an old tree in the centre of the yard. It will take away the dust that gets flicked up on the front porch at the moment. We are thinking of some semi formal beds along the front porch that will walk out onto the turning circle driveway…stay tuned.
I started tearing up the terribly old shag pile carpets to reveal some old floorboards that are in pretty good shape. I’ve got a few plans for finishing the Flores to compliment the style of the farmhouse. Eventually, that doorway in the middle of the hallway will be removed as well as the false ceiling that runs through this space. The original ceiling is hidden by it, and it is a few feet higher. The walls will be tongue and groove, painted white like the kitchen and a natural runner will go on the floor. I’m thinking about making some ceramic lights to go down here.
I gave the studio a mini makeover and removed more shag pile carpet, an old kitchenette, and painted the whole place white. I also handmade the backsplash tiles in the patterns that feature in my work, to compliment my salvage yard find school art sink.
We added to our family also…three gorgeous sheep that I named Tallulah, Dolores and Agnes…
…as well as a flock of gorgeous Silkies. They are the sweetest little balls of fluff.
At Christmas time, we hatched this gorgeous rooster, Francois Le Peck (front). That’s his dad behind him, Geoffoir Le Peck, the original rockstar! We sadly lost Geoffoir a few weeks ago. He has been missed dearly.
Theres still loads to do both inside and out, but we have all settled in so well here. A few people have commented on the amount of work we have ahead of us, but if you had seen The Old Lady when we bought her, you would realise that the farmhouse is so much less work. We are happy about the less work bit!
So, you may have worked out that I love calligraphy…all forms of it. The old hand of my ancestors, the traditional, the new modern, Chalkboard art, you name it. Love them all!
I’m currently researching our family history, and have been finding so many beautiful old certificates from my ancestors in the old hand. It really makes me wonder why handwriting is not taught in schools anymore. So sad.
For me, it’s something I’ve never been formally taught, and you know what? I like that idea. From a small child I have practised the traditional, and the modern. They are all beautiful. What I’m really passionate about is creating your own style.
Lets not call it a font though. Let’s just call it “your own style”. It’s something no one else can mimic, because at the foundation of it all is your own handwriting, and no one can replicate that.
We all have our own little quirks when we write, and they need to be celebrated I think.
Showing you how to create something unique from your own handwriting. Even if you think your handwriting is terrible, it can turn into something beautiful…and that’s where I come in with this workshop.
Its a lovely day with me, in my studio, having the most amazing lunch, and playing with chalkboards.
Once you’ve learnt this, you can go on to create invitations, cards, logos, menus, and of course, chalkboards for any occasion.
If you would like to join me, the next workshop is on Saturday, 6th May 2017 from 10am – 1pm in beautiful Gravelly Beach, 20 minutes from Launceston.
Tickets are $120 each, and includes all materials, and a catered lunch made from local ingredients. To book your place please head to the Marley & Lockyer store HERE
If you’ve been following along on my Instagram and Facebook pages, you would know I’ve been giving M&L headquarters a makeover. It’s been a pretty superficial one at that, because soon we will be relining the walls and giving it a proper renovation, but for now it’s been all about lots of white paint!
Let me paint a picture for you of what it was like…orange/brown ripple shag pile carpet. Dirty beige walls and orange/yellow/brown trim work…there was even shag pile in the toilet!
basically, I ripped it all out, and went to work painting it all white. There are a lot of mismatched walls in here, and soon that will get fixed, but for now the white paint has worked wonders.
Here is a before photo of the wash up area, just after I pulled up the carpet (seriously I had to get rid of that carpet straight away. No time for photos). This little kitchen area had brown/orange/cream tiles that had been painted this dirty tan colour…so they went along with the cupboards too.
The tiles were taken off, and I handmade these tiles with all of the patterns I use in my ceramic pieces.
Once they were up, I finished them off with light grey grout…even though this was taken while I was grouting, I kind of like how the patterns show.
I love them! I’ve had such a great response from the little peeks I’ve shown on Instagram and Facebook about them. I’m thinking I’ll make some for the splash back in the bathroom when we renovate that in the farmhouse. Mic put a little shelf up for me and we installed my $20 salvage yard find ceramic sink on a wash stand my Dad made, and my Mum painted. One of my drawings, from a photograph that artist Lisa Maddigan took in France, hangs to the left of the window. On the window I’ve hand drawn some white flowers, which is a little nod to my ceramics “Botanic” range.
This before photo is of my main work area. The light from this window during the day is wonderful, and now that there is loads of white for it to bounce off, it fills the space even better. It looks out onto a lovely orchard.
You can see now it is full of light. I’ve hung a few things on the wall and filled the hutch since this photo…
Just a few little pieces here and there have made a huge difference. This cast iron deer head and basket is from The Vintage Rose in Launceston, and the hutch was made by my Dad.
Even though it’s not how I want it right now, the makeover has made a huge difference to how I feel in the studio now. I really want to be in there, and I now feel so inspired by the change…a good thing.
It’s lovely that I’ll now be able to share this space with people, visiting the studio. My first ceramics Hand Building class is on tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to it.
I have some other dates up on the Marley & Lockyer store, as well as classes for my Art Of Chalkboard Writing Workshop too. If you’d like to see the available dates, or book your tickets, please click HERE.