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The problem with loving colour….

So, we are building a house. A whole new, completely from scratch, house.

We are insanely lucky to have a plot of land at the back of our house with lovely views, so we will be selling our house, renting for a year and then moving into the new house, simple, right? It’s going to be completely stress-free and completely enjoyable. Just like it always is on Grand Designs, haha.

We are at the stage where we are choosing kitchens and bathrooms, this is, I admit, completely thrilling. Having put up with a 1980’s kitchen for 10yrs, I can’t wait! So, we visit showroom after showroom, talk to kitchen designer after kitchen designer, but (and I know I am THE fussiest person on the planet) I just do not like anything. Nothing. It’s embarrassing. I pretend to like things, nod approvingly, but am I that different? Why does nothing make me excited?

I thought about it, I thought about it hard and it occurred to me that at no point in any of the showrooms or meetings did I see any colour. I mean actual proper colour, not terracotta, moss green or dark blue, I mean sunshine yellow, coral pink and vibrant teal. Where. Are. The. Colours?

I went onto a big flashy showroom and stood in the middle and honestly, if someone had told me it was a showroom for medical schools, mortuaries and science labs, I would have completely believed them. Everything has become so clinical. Why are we so afraid of colour?

So, after extensive research, I have stumbled upon a few pioneering companies who have dared to be different, dared to introduce small, da da daaaaaa….. splashes of colour!

I have decided, that the world needs to know about them, and as I like the idea of sharing, I am going to document my findings throughout the house build, here on this blog.

My first discovery were these fabulous sinks from Villeroy & Boch. The bathroom basins come in really nice shapes and have a collection of carefully chosen (and spot on, in my opinion) colours.

I’m thinking of this pink one, or perhaps the blue, imagine what fun you’d have choosing tiles to match (more on that later).

I was also shown (by a kind twitter friend) THIS:

I am waiting to hear back from Aston Mathews as to whether it is available still, I really really hope it is.

Bathroom cabinets are always white or wood, so I salute Duravite for these gorgeous coral pink units. Maybe paired up with a teal coloured sink? Now this, gets me excited, I can get very very excited about this…

So my friends, I will keep searching for colour, I will keep thinking of ways to inject life into our new build and I will keep you informed! More soon….  xxx Jennie

Thank you ‘Being a Mummy’ Blog!

I love following @zooarchaeologis on Twitter and her blog ‘Being a Mummy’ is beautifully written and really inspiring and also, a very useful recourse when choosing books for children.

Her review of The Times tables and Great Grammar Books is wonderful, you can read it in full here.

Just look at her two gorgeous boys playing with the Five Times Tables spread! How sweet!

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Thank you so much for interviewing me and for the lovely review! xxx Jennie

Interview from Se7en Blog, all the way from South Africa!

A while ago, through the magic of Instagram, a lovely lady from Cape Town, who has SEVEN children, got in touch about doing a piece on her wonderful blog.

They are a wonderful family, who, happily, read lots of books and generally seem to live an idyllic and wonderful life.

Thank you so much for interviewing me! Here is the interview in full:

 

Se7en Interviews Illustrator Jennie Maizels…

We (really really) Love The Good Life Experience!

Oh my goodness, what an AMAZING weekend we had at The Good Life Experience.

This was our second time bringing Sketchbook Club to the festival. It was lovely to see how word had obviously spread since last year as the numbers had more than doubled! It was buzzing; a wonderful atmosphere, everyone was so cheerful and friendly and happily for me, so eager to learn more about Sketchbooks!

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We were in Makers Row, but as you can see, we were very squashed and had to turn lots of people away (sorry sorry!), but fear not, lovely Charlie Gladstone has promised us a whole tent to ourselves next year!

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This year we were lucky enough to have three extremely over qualified helpers, Suzy, Kirsty and Anna Houser (two twins and their mother, who looks about their age!). Kirsty is an illustrator, Anna, a textiles designer and Suzy runs an art gallery and is a set designer, they were AMAZING! I hope we can persuade them to come again next year.

 

As soon as we opened, we were full, full, full. Non stop and packed to the corners of our little tent space. Everyone was so incredibly focused, I was overwhelmed by their talent and their outstanding creative abilities, just look at those Helter-skelter paintings!

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We painted, dogs, castles, flags, leaves and much more (look at some of the lovely leaves below), everyone was given instructions as to how to finish the sketchbooks around the festival over the weekend. On Sunday, it was really special because so many of you came and showed me your completed sketchbooks, it meant so much and I absolutely loved seeing them.

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So, thank you. Thank you The good Life Experience; Charlie, Caroline, Vicky and Cerys, for having us and for making us feel so welcome, but above all, thank you to all those who came and worked on Sketchbooks with me. I met so many wonderful people and so many adorable and delightful children! It was so wonderful to meet you all, can you spot yourself in my Sketchbook Cub Hall of Fame…?

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Thank you and I can’t wait see you all next year! xxx Jennie

Back To School!

I can’t believe the summer has flown by so quickly! Are you all sad that the children are going back to school? I certainly am. I will miss the lazy mornings and the just ‘hanging around’ with them and not having to nag about homework or bedrooms…

So to cheer us all up, here are some fun ideas to launch everyone back into the old routine…

Happy Back To School Folks! xxxxx

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A Half Term Sketchbook Club Competition!!

I am SO excited to be holding a Half Term Sketchbook Club Competition!
I have written a special Sketchbook Club challenge (shown below) for children (max age 16) to complete over half term, either at home or on holiday.
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The winner will be the child who has created, in my opinion, the best Sketchbook page/spread and will receive a set of my favourite pencils and two sketchbooks!

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The winner will be announced on Wednesday June the 8th.

Please share your creations using the hashtag #HalfTermSketchbookClub so we can see all the entries (or email them to jennie@jenniemaizels.com if not on Instagram or Twitter).

Have a wonderful Half Term! We can’t wait to see what you create!

Treat Yourself to Gilly and Jennie’s BIG Creative Weekend!!

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Come and spend the weekend of 24th and 25th September, being CREATIVE with Jennie & Gillian at The Gilliangladrag Fluff-a-torium in Dorking.

Jennie & Gilly’s Big Creative Weekend will include creating beautiful sketchbooks by copying, tracing and lots of “cheating” with yours truly and learning wet felting and needle felting with Gillian Harris – Felting author and ‘Queen of Fluff!’

Click here to book a place & for more information (and to see Gillian’s BEAUTIFUL website!) 

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Just £240 per person will include two days full tuition from Jennie and Gilly with all materials and refreshments provided AND two lovely lunches and a wonderful meal out together on Saturday evening!

Accommodation not included, you will find lots of lovely recommendations (some special offers just  for us too!) on Gillian’s website.

I really hope you can come, can’t wait to see you all!

xxx

Jennie

 

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Thank you Menai Holiday Cottages!

Those that know me know that I absolutely love Anglesey, my Grandparents lived there and my Mother is now an Artist in residence in the little village of Llangoed by the sea.

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A while ago I wrote about a Visit to Nain’s House on my Blog, this was read by a lovely lady called Sarah Lloyd, who works for Menai Holiday Cottages. We stayed in one of their beautiful houses one year, it was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t fault it!

Sarah contacted me to ask if we could have a chat about ways in which we could work together, given my love for the area. I asked if it might be possible to hold a Sketchbook Club for them, so this is what we are doing, hooray! On May 31st at the beautiful Out Buildings, we are holding an exclusive onhealthy.net workshop for the residences of all the holiday cottages throughout North Wales.

Not only will everybody (40-50 people!) be creating a beautiful spread in their sketchbooks of Menai Bridge, but they will also take away with them a full and detailed ‘brief’ instructing them how to complete their sketchbooks. Full of suggestions of where to sit and paint around the island and fun ideas that don’t involve any drawing at all!

Sarah has written a beautiful Blog Post and has contacted all the locals and residences about the workshop as it is first come first served…

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I hope to see you there if you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of their properties and can’t wait to get you all sketching!

xxx

Jennie

Hooray for The Guardian!

We LOVE The Guardian, always have and always will. We especially love Kate Carter who has championed our cause right from the start, I am eternally grateful for her support.

This Christmas, Kate selected my Online Sketchbook Club to be featured in her line up of best Subscription gifts; we were INUNDATED, it has been incredible.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that so many of you are taking part and creating Sketchbooks again, it makes me feel SO happy.

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So, a very big welcome to you all… I can’t wait to see your creations! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #sketchbookclub (and the relevant module’s hashtag too) so we can all see what you do.

We’re all in this together, I am here for you; either via instagram, twitter or email (contact@jenniemaizels.com), I will always answer any questions, give feedback or support whenever you need me 🙂

Good Luck everyone and THANK YOU Kate and The Guardian!

xxx

Jennie