Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Kinsale Conkers - Bespoke Botanical Jewellery for Natural Elegance

Blimey what a whirlwind of a journey!
My new venture, Kinsale Conkers has finally opened up shop on etsy!

Its been a exhilarating ride since mid October,
Having conceived the idea whilst walking to work one morning and picking up a couple of beautiful little conkers and deciding to turn them into a pendant to wear.

Then creating the logo and branding and feel of what my new venture would be!
Within a short space of time, this emerged! 
One day of thought & percolation, then 1 day of creation!


The next day I created Kinsale Conkers' Website (In 1 morning! with tweaks over the next few days)


Then I had to design & make everything, photograph it and put all of the photographs into my website, social media outlets and get posting about all the beautiful things I was creating!

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Photographing was a long process, several photo shoot sessions later, using only my old samsung camera phone. I had a stamp created of my logo by www.englishstamps.com
and printed up my own labels and my own jewellery boxes. Man how I love how it all looks! I'm so in love with how this has all come together in such a short period of time!





I started making jewellery from things other than conkers, beech seed pods and acorns too!


We even managed to get a sneaky photo of me wearing one of my favorite pendants, which has now permanently become attached to me.




The conkers themselves were dried out on a gorgeous sunny day in October (I know, what?! In Ireland of all places!) Then dried by the wood fire on a chilly evening.


Drying preserves the conkers so that they won't deteriorate, and stay nice and snug in their little nutshells. I've also been experimenting using beeswax for that little bit of extra protection from the elements.

I'm currently wearing a conker on the end of my sneaky dreadlock, and testing out how it fares with being taken into the shower daily.

Our guardian of the conkers- Nooshie- claims that all of this was originally her idea... if ONLY she had opposable thumbs, she'd show me a thing or two.



So finally a week ago, I launched the etsy shop!
Within 30mins, we had sold 8 pieces! 
They're going super well, and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them.
They make great presents to yourself or a beloved. I'm having a hard time parting with any of them! I swear I have to make everything twice so that they can actually be released into the world without me getting PCST (Post Creation Separation Trauma)!

Kinsale Conkers was also featured on Cork's Insert Title magazine! 


I'm so glad I walked by that conker tree in the very beginning, so grateful that it has come this far and evolved into such a beautiful thing.

I hope that you continue to enjoy the journey with me, and I look forward to creating more natural jewellery! 




Monday, 2 June 2014

New Sketches

New photoshop brushes = new things!

Been messing around with some pretty rad brushes over the past couple of days.
Been drawing my step-dad like he used to look when he was younger / Frank Zappa.
And a random woman.






Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Print Run!

Hey guys, 
Thought I would give you a heads up,
I'm putting in a big print order for an event I am selling at, and thought I would give you guys the chance to put in your own order too!

If there is some piece of my work that you love but has never been available for print, just let me know that you would like a print of it, and what size, and I'll get it printed up for you this week!

NON GICLÉE PRICES
A2- £50
A3- £30
A4- £20
A5- £15

GICLÉE PRICES (Archival Quality Inks & Paper)
A2- £60
A3- £40
A4- £30
A5- £25


Let me know by Sunday 1st!

email - stephanie_ayres@hotmail.co.uk
And be sure to put your name and 'Printing' in the title!

x


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Satsuma The Tea Dragon Has Landed!

He's here!
Yep, I finally finished painting Satsuma this weekend, and he's pleased to see you guys!

He'll be part of a wonderful anthology about tea where we all chose a tea to create a character from. I chose Longjing tea which translates as 'Dragon Well' tea.

A bit about Longjing tea

Longjing tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or Imperial tea, in Qing Dynasty by Chinese emperor Kangxi. According to the legend, Kangxi's grandson Qianlong visitedWest Lake during one of his famous holidays.
He went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan) and was presented with a cup of Longjing tea. In front of the Hu Gong Temple were 18 tea bushes. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the Longjing tea produced here that he conferred these 18 tea bushes special imperial status. The trees are still living and the tea they produce is auctioned annually for more money per gram than gold.
There is another legend connecting Emperor Qianlong to Longjing Tea. It is said that while visiting the temple he was watching the ladies picking the tea. He was so enamored with their movements that he decided to try it himself. While picking tea he received a message that his mother, the Empress Dowager was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves and he immediately had it brewed for her. It is said that the shape of Longjing Tea was designed to mimic the appearance of the flattened leaves that the emperor brewed for his mother.
Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is said to have named after a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.
Legend also has it that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, water from the Dreaming of the Tiger Spring, a famous spring in Hangzhou, is to be used. The water quality of the spring now is certainly very different than before. The tea takes its name from the eponymous "Dragon Well" located near Longjing village.

So, without further ado, here he is!

You can get your very own beautiful giclée print of this little fella over in my

Also, don't forget, I'm having an original art auction for my painting
'The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side'
this is the first time I have ever auctioned off an original, and I probably won't again for some time, so seize this chance with all your might!
Seize it I say!


Hope you're all having a wonderful spring!
x

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Original Art Auction

Hey guys!
I'm auctioning off an original painting over the next 10 days on ebay,
the auction ends at 11.30am GMT on Fri May 16th. 

This is my first ever original for sale, so you could be making a wonderful investment!

The original painting for sale is
"The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side"





Happy Bidding!
x

Monday, 17 March 2014

THE SACRED PORTAL

I recently went to Camp ComicBookSlumberParty... which was awesome by the way.
a 4 evening workshop with lots of rad people, making comics. We had to make a 1 or 2 page comic for the end of it, which will be put into an anthology and sold to YOU for your viewing pleasure.

If you live in Plymouth, you can come along to the Illustration STUFF fayre at Plymouth College of Art on Thursday the 20th March, from 10am- 7pm, and buy a copy! There will be a ton of illustrators from the southwest and all over coming to sell their brilliant work.

Here is my contribution to the anthology! Had so much fun doing this, can't wait for  the next CBSP!


Plus... this is my 300th post on this blog! Amazing!
Having trouble enabling zoom on here, I've been told that if you right click on the image and copy image location, then paste it in your browser, then you can see it full size! Blogger, what a pain! 

Here's an article on the meaning of the 'invocation' or mantra! 
http://www.jivamuktiyoga.com/teachings/focus-of-the-month/p/lokah-samastah-sukhino-bhavantu

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Some unreal Laydeees

'Real' women? 'Unreal' women? I was about to say I bet there will never be this kind of questioning around men being real or not... but oh nope, Patriarchy went there too. Want to be REAL man? Nah thanks, an unreal one is good enough for me.
Well, what am I blathering on about? To be honest, I'm not sure, but whatever it is, it irks me right down to my core, real or not.

So here are some drawn ladies.



Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Satsuma and his First Coat

 Laying in some tone for Satsuma's debut :)


Messin' Around

Time for a little bit of fun to lighten up what has been a rather emotional and confusing week!
Had a beautiful Valentines evening, got caught out in the storm when the car broke down, we had to wait until 3am for the road rescue man to come! Nearly ran over an owl on the road (thankfully it flew off just in time). We went to see the waves, and the beautiful full moon in Leo, shining VERY brightly down on us, as we tried to stand up in the face of the wind. Cleared out the cobwebs certainly. 

I was messing around with some of my crystals and realised one looked like a big nose-


And I carved a buddha hand from the end of a piece of wood that I collected from a valley in Wales. An ash tree struck by lightning, the same piece that I'm using for the axe handle, a bit I was going to lop off but then decided it bore an uncanny resemblance to a hand.





The tip of the middle finger missing, as nature dictated. Gives it charm.

I also framed up a key of awakening print as a housewarming gift- looks quite nice framed!


Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Ol' Sketcharoo

I've been trying to get back into being able to draw faces well again. I mean, there are myriad ways you can draw a face well, but I err on the 'realistic' side, because I tend to really suck when I don't stick to realism (when it is people's faces anyway).

So, here are some recent sketches of faces :)




A boy from the Kayapo tribe of Brazil, drawn from a photo by Martin Schoeller


  

And some Dragunz just because. They're pretty bad at spelling, these folk.






Monday, 3 February 2014

Satsuma, Flint Axe & Little Book of Tea

Meet Satsuma. He likes tea, and eating dates.





He's ready for his coat of colour now. I'm thinking all sepia tones or a muted palette though.



I am also currently making a flint axe, learning how to knap flint, and carve an axe handle and put it all together, just by trial and error really. The wood is a branch from an ash tree that was struck by lightning in a very special valley in Wales :)





I have also started to illustrate my 'little book of tea' that I made years ago but was too scared to draw in. So I drew some end pages, and now I just have to fill it with wonderful tea based illustrations and information :)





My body was feeling sorry for itself, so I purchased a few things to liven it up. Hair treatments, and moisturizing things were the call of the day.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Panomania, Tiny Teapot & A Conglomeration of Drawings

Where to start? 
Ok, here's a crazy panorama of my room, there are a lot of double images going on within it, but you get the gist! Its a little Aladdin's cave that I sneak off to and sit in every night. 
It is multi-functional as a studio/ music jam space/ tea room/ reading room and small nest. Yoga has been attempted in it, but is not the most pleasant experience.



I recently went back to Falmouth to see a bunch of wonderful people and had a beautiful time reminiscing and eating. Those two things go well together.
I also picked up my christmas present from my mother, from my fantastic friends, David & Kathy of The Essence of Tea, a beautiful little Bian Gu style Yixing teapot made by an apprentice of Master potter Chen Ju Fang. Read a bit more about these wonderful teapots here- http://www.essenceoftea.com/teaware/clay/yixing-1.html



Poor sad frog! Looking on and longing for tea



Ahh, such lovingly crafted pots just make tea brewing such a wonderful experience.

So, on to drawings! A little selection from my sketchbook of late, more to come soon.





A Wood Wyrm! 



A good friend alerted me to something that seemed like a good idea to me- getting to know, like and accept yourself without makeup, by taking selfies (we all know how much I love to take them, so lets just have it all out in the open eh?) Yes I love myself, good job too! So here's my un-bedecked face, sans makeup, sans trying to get that perfect angle so that your chin looks just right and less like a quadruple chin.

So, here's to a new paradigm of self love and acceptance for a whole load of awesome people, 2014 is going to knock the stuffing out of all of those stupid companies that constantly tell us that we're not enough just as we are.