Wednesday 30 March 2016

Upping sticks and moving North!

If you follow me on social media then you will of seen my post (or perhaps not) just over a week ago, telling the world of my change of location.  It's quite a big move, but it is reminding me how small our lovely UK is.  I've relocated from London to Crewe to be with my boyfriend, so it's the start of a new adventure for me.

I've already discovered we can drive to visit my parents in under 3 hours, I've survived so far without a car and have made the flat feel like home.  Somewhat surprised how much stuff came out from the tiny flat I used to live in in Hammersmith, but this one is considerably bigger so problem solved!

I'm working on some lovely commissions at the moment and a few personal projects so I will share those with you soon.  If you're interested in me doing something for you, from house portraits to wedding invitations, then have a browse in my Etsy shop or get in touch.

Friday 29 January 2016

Water-Colour Travel Kit

This is one of my favourite products :)  I'm still testing the water with them and learning as I go along, but the last 2 years have gone down really well so now I'm streamlining the process and hopefully having more available for you guys.

2014 watercolour kits

Initially I made the cases out of fabric I had screen printed with a bike print pattern.  This bag was my first attempt, it was unlined but sturdy, and housed the paints, jar, watercolour postcards and mechanical pencil.

2015 watercolour kits

Last year, they had the same contents, but the material was digitally printed (with a pattern made up of a silkscreen print I'd done) and this time was lined.  HURRAH!  Finally, it is reflecting the amount of time and effort that goes into it.

This year, I'm planning on designing a new pattern/design, continuing to have them lined but I will rethink the shape.  Last year was a struggle with the lining (we won the struggle and they turned out great BTW), so this year I'm going to take the time to master some more sewing conundrums.

You can follow my hashtag on Instagram and Twitter #watercolourtravelkit and see the postcards I paint while I'm out and about or on holiday.  If you have a kit, then use the hashtag to share with me what you've been painting on your travels.

All of last years kits are sold but there are a couple of cases left, in different sizes, if you wanted to snap up something with this fab fabric!

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Home Sweet Home

 I thought I'd share one of the lovely commissions that I worked on last year, they all make me so proud and happy but this one in particular from 2015.  People get in touch with me from all over the country/world with requests for these, and luckily, thanks to digital cameras, it is very easy to accomplish!  This is the largest size I go to currently and is just a bit smaller than A1.  Painting on such a large scale is quite daunting but such an accomplishment when it's finished and in it's new home.

If you're interested in having a house/home illustrated by me then just get in touch, prices are very reasonable, starting at just £35, and there is one that should suit every budget.  You can see more information in my Etsy shop under the commission listings.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Not just for Valentines Day

Valentines Day.

You either love it or you hate it.

But I'm actually somewhere in between.  

So my 'Valentines' card this year celebrates an action rather than just full on love, which reminds me that love isn't just for a significant other.  It's for friends and family too, where ever they may be.

This was the valentine that I gave to my boyfriend last year, and we went on many adventures together, I'm looking forward to another year of that but feeling the pressure to produce a better card than last year...

You can buy this card (A5 and printed on a lovely textured stock) in both my Etsy and Not on the High Street shops, if you fancy exploring with someone you love.  Here are the links to the shops:

Monday 25 January 2016

Onwards and Upwards

I love seeing customer photos - this one is shared by the lovely Tatts Treasures

Happy New Year!

We're nearly at February, 2016 really crept up on me!  I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and spending time with loved ones, however you celebrate.  I was at home with my parents and sisters for the most part and enjoyed time to crack on with some new Bookshop illustrations - hurrah!  Here are some pictures from during my illustration and painting process.  I've completed 3 new bookshops so far with more on the way once I've finished my January commissions.

If you'd like to see the finished ones then check out my Instagram feed @charlsvallance

Saturday 19 December 2015

Crafty Fox Market at The Geffrye Museum

What a stunning building The Geffrye Museum is housed in!  Which, does suit it well being the Museum of the Home.  I'd not been before and will certainly be back in the new year to enjoy it properly and have a chance to look around the museum.

The Crafty Fox Markets always deliver on amazing stall holders, I was itching to look around while I was setting up and even later when I could gaze around the room - so many awesome presents to be bought!

I always over estimate what I can fit on my table but I did a pretty good job to get it on and everyone seemed to enjoy flipping through all my prints and paintings.  It was interesting to hear more feedback on my Bookshop illustrations and I've been spurred on to continue with this little project, so expect to see more in the new year!  To check up on this you can follow the hashtag 'bookshopforcharlotte' on Instagram to see which bookshop I'm illustrating next and also to share one with me if you have a favourite bookshop.

Thank you for having me Crafty Fox and The Geffrye Museum!

Saturday 5 December 2015

Peterley Manor Farm Christmas Market

My first time at this lovely market but not my first time at the Farm!  You will recognise it from previous posts on my design work for the Wild Strawberry Cafe that they have in the Yurt there, and my on going work with them (pictures shared via instagram as well!).  The market was such a success last year that they opened up some extra space so that it was bigger and better than last year, and offered more and variations on what shoppers would of experienced last year as well.

I was next to some lovely stall holders and also was lucky enough to meet some online friends - love it when that happens!  We were there till around 4pm both Saturday and Sunday, which, with the light fading fast and early was just perfect to get a nice glow from the fairy lights before packing up.

The Wild Strawberry Cafe strayed from it's home in the Yurt to bring us mulled wine, coffee, tea and baked goods - all the yumminess!  The Christmas cards I designed for the Farm Shop also made their debut which was lovely to see, they looked so cute all tied up with string in their packs.

I had a few enquiries for house portraits (which are my favourite!) so I went home a super happy girl.  Thank you for having us all Peterley Manor Farm!

This year the market was on the 28th and 29th of November, so keep an eye out in 2016 for similar dates!  Or check the above link to sign up to the newsletter from Peterley Manor Farm.

Monday 19 October 2015

The 10th Manchester Artists' Book Fair

Manchester Artists' Book Fair is one of my favourite fairs I do.  The hall it's set in (The Holden Gallery) is just lovely, with a great big sky light giving everyone natural light to display their products in.  The people are awesome, sellers and shoppers alike - everyone is friendly and asks questions about my work.  It's really nice to think I'm helping to inspire todays art students - young and old alike!

Best sellers this year - book marks and magnets!  Lucky Dip bags went down well, and my buildings all got a lot of attention.

I've signed up for more Artists' Book Fairs next year so fingers crossed you might see me in a city near you!  If you have one to recommend, do leave a comment and let me know.

You can find more information for the fair on their website :

Monday 5 October 2015

The Crafty Fox Market - Autumn

Photo by Tom W

My second time at the Crafty Fox Market in Brixton at The Dogstar and it was lovely!  I was on the middle floor this time and really appreciated the high ceilings and big windows.  I also had a super view of the cakes and sausage rolls at the pop-up cafe - woohoo!

Photo by Tom W

I had a small table this time and it was a challenge to cut down on what to bring with me.  BUT, it was great having a table full of my favourite items and seeing peoples reactions to my work.

Have you done a market recently, or is there one near you that you'd like to recommend for me?  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday 14 September 2015

10 Handmade Holiday Postcards

My family hasn't had a proper big holiday with all of us together in years!  Life I guess has got in the way with each of us doing things with our partners or friends.   This year, we felt the need to change this and booked a big house in Turuc, Turkey for all of us to bring our partners as well.  Never done before, to have all of us for so long under one roof but it was a success and I can see it happening again soon!

Being the illustrator I am, it's always strange for me to not be drawing, painting or printing in my spare time so the idea of a two week holiday away from what I love doing was a bit daunting.  To balance it out, and not put any pressure on myself to work on certain projects or ideas I simply packed up my watercolour travel kit with the idea that I'd paint a few postcards.

It's great because you don't have to bring anything extra back with you - simply pop them in the post to send to friends and family!

I take my watercolour travel kit pretty much everywhere with me.  It's fab, and I add to it or keep it minimal depending on the journey.  I love it so much that I've put together a kit that you can purchase through my online shops - hurrah!  It includes a book of blank watercolour postcards, watercolour travel paints + mini brush, mechanical pencil, jar for your water and all comes in a lovely case sewed by myself and my Mum.  Fab.

You can find this in my Etsy shop :

Do you love to send postcards too?  Do you paint your own or seek out lovely ones from local shops?