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Two months since I last blogged…can’t believe how time flies. I’m determined to keep a record of my days here so lets fill that gap.

We went to South Africa  – a country with the most magnificent coastline, the biggest skies, abundant nature (even in their wintertime) whales to watch courting and beautiful national parks to discover.

I’ve tried to edit my 1000’s of photos down to just the four that sum up my experience – I loved the Bo Kaap district in Cape Town (I think you can guess why)

We drove a circular route from Cape Town to Knysna and back up through Franschhoek during which I began to see the contrasts in how people live and who and where those people are. Not comfortable and I’m still mulling over how the seeing of this might turn into a response and what that response may be.

The Egg Hillary Goodwin

I visited The Festival of Quilts – not sooo amazing as usual in my book but this one was awesome – that’s stitch work making those patterns people!

The show did inspire me to begin an English Paper Pieced hexagon thing – might be a quilt top, a curtain or a pin cushion! It’s early days.

Went to London with my lovely girl.

We braved the Natural History museum which made me glad to be in the company of a young adult and not a young (tired, crying, hot) child. It was sooooo noisy.

 

I also taught a tonne at the MAC which doesn’t look much in four small squares but has been a really wide and fun range of classes for all ages from Toddlers through to adult learners. It really is the best job I’ve ever had.

And the rest of the time in between all this has been spent contending with the biggest bit home renovation we’ve done since moving here 7 years ago. I’ll spare you the photos (v. boring to look at and it’s not finished yet) This however was a design I’d worked on for several hours….I was a little stuck mulling over colour choices and thought I’d go and walk the dog and come back fresh to it. Alas, I didn’t save a PS file (only this jpg) and while I was out the electrician cut the power forcing my computer to shut down. Game over.

That’s indicative of the last two months really – it has been hard to do any meaningful work this summer with people buzzing around, endless cups of tea to make and interruptions.

When I’ve not been out I’ve tried to hide in my studio doing quick bits of art to keep my sanity intact.

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And that about sums things up. Hope you’ve had a lovely summer where ever you are.

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Exciting news this week! A design of mine that I sold to Huggies through my agent in North America, has hit the shop shelves. It’s exciting because I don’t often get to see what becomes of my patterns once they are sold. They are each like my little babies so it’s fitting it’s on a baby wipe pack 😉

We are just back from a week away in the Peak District and I had forgotten just how beautiful it was up there.

We did lots of walking as the weather was extremely kind to us and I even got to sit and sketch on a couple of days.

And we took in a lot of art when we visited Chatsworth house.

The wallpaper was AmAzInG!

There was a whole wall of Lucian Freud work.

And this Gainsborough – I didn’t notice until I looked back at the photograph that her expression is both quizzical and a bit sassy – both unusual for a woman in a portrait of that time.

And there were gorgeous Spring flowers to inspire everywhere.



And lots to eat and drink (!) and all that fresh air and lack of the usual responsibilities has re-charged my batteries.


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Here’s my Best Nine from the last year on Instagram. It’s an interesting exercise in what appeals to ‘likers’ – painting, pattern, food, family, flowers, travel and knitting. It says it all.

Here’s to another precious year of the same.

Happy New Year to all of you x

 

 

Of course I meant to post here long before now but time just runs away!

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I stole a few hours today to paint a little something, anything really – I can get right mardy if I don’t create something and I had given most of this week over to wielding a mop and bucket so I felt it was necessary for everyone’s sanity 😉

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So I shall simply send my heartfelt thanks to those of you who pop in here and continue to support me and wish one and all a Very Merry Christmas. Claire x

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This is the longest W>I>P I’ve ever had but finally my African Flower blanket is done (all but the edging).

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Back in 2015 while we were mooching about on holiday,  we passed a knitting shop selling off it’s closing down stock. Too good to pass up. I had already inherited a big bag of the dark and light grey Angora wool so chose a similar weight and fluff to match.

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I got started pretty happily but then fell out of love with the colours and doing the shape. It’s sat gathering dust for quite a while…

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But there’s nothing like the impending clear-up for family coming to stay at Christmas to galvanise a tidy up, sort out, throw away and get done mentality. And so after taking a deep breath and just getting it done…it’s done!

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And now I really love it!

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Todays calendar page is not wrong!

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After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.

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So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂

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Although it’s been a busy week here, it’s been a week full of working with the loveliest people and doing the nicest of things.

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I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.

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Today I visited the Constance Wallace teashop (which I have mentioned before here)

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 but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.

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Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.

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 I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet 😉

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I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!

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Monday morning vibes – have a super sunny creative week.

I’m about to have an uncharacteristically unguarded moment!

claire_leggett 1. teaset prep

Normally this is a place to show nice pictures and celebrate good things and as we all know, that is just one side of the prism of my life but I keep the mess, disappointment and thankless hard work out of the picture because self-editing is usually always a good thing. I know, you know that my life isn’t all flowers, nice colours and pretty patterns.

Like most creatives, I embarked on a public journey with my art in the hope that The Internet would find me opportunities that I would otherwise have missed. And sometimes that has been true.

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I was totally stoaked last year, to be approached to design a teaset. A teaset for a franchise that runs tea-shops in three high-profile department stores, two of which are in London.

I couldn’t believe it – which was a good first reaction to have because it quickly became a ‘competition’ between me and some other un-named, undisclosed artists. My philosophy was to work hard for the two weeks we had on the project, over perform, feel satisfied I’d done my very best and wait and see.

Claire Leggett_Floret Collection design board

                                                © Claire Leggett

Roll on a few weeks and I was as surprised as anyone that not just one of my design collections was chosen, but three!

Still not celebrating till the ink had dried, I waited on getting a deposit payment which eventually I did after some tenacious emailing.

© Claire Leggett

© Claire Leggett

Amazing, it looked like I was going to have three sets of china in production in 3 high street stores.

And then it went all quiet, my contact became harder to get hold of gradually becoming uncommunicative until I had to call closure on it myself. Poo! It’s all come to nothing. And no, I didn’t get fairly paid for all the work I did but that’s the downside of pitching for jobs which isn’t an unusual practice with creative endeavours.

© Claire Leggett

                                                © Claire Leggett

It was lovely work too, which is partly why I’m putting it up here.

I guess the guy who approached me had just had a good idea which he didn’t think through in a practical and financial sense until way after he’d commissioned me to visualise it. I don’t blame him particularly but why is it that artwork is seen as such a free and easy thing to conjure up without an expectation that it’s fair to pay for all the hours of work involved. It’s so under valued in commercial terms and yet we all buy stuff because we like the design on it.

No design files exchanged hands but I wouldn’t be the first person to get ripped off- another reason to name and claim my work publicly.

And now that it doesn’t hurt to say that it didn’t happen, it seems a good time to enjoy the fact that it very nearly did.
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I still like The Internet. Still happy to share my working life here, although times have changed as it’s not so much a community of artist friends as it once was. And I am still finding it brings goodness unexpectedly – take this lovely little package which Pat sent me out of the blue. Pat has bought a couple of my calendars in the past and is now using the patterns to craft brooches from.

pats gift

It all goes around and comes around.

Copyright notice 2015

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

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