Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Year of the Rabbit begins...

I need to start this post by saying an enormous 'Thank you' to everyone, blog readers, customers, friends and family, for their help and support over the last three weeks. I have been humbled by your kind words and offers of help, and in grim moments it is incredibly heartwarming to find a lovely email or have a friend call to offer help. Please know just how much I appreciate this. It was a pretty awful Christmas, as I went down with 'flu and a subsequent severe chest infection within 4 days of Steve's accident but everyone rallied around us, and my wonderful mother stepped into the breach ( what would we do without them?) and looked after everyone. My children have been fantastic, especially my eldest, who is eleven. She cooked, and kept the fire lit, and walked the dogs, and was altogether amazing!

As you can see, Steve is home, and well on the mend now.
Beetle is pleased to have a cosy lap to sleep on all day!
Christmas came and went in a bit of a blur - I sent no cards, and we didn't decorate or have a tree, as we were entirely snowed in and barely able to get out of bed. I did however receive one very special gift - it was actually commissioned for my birthday, but was just finished in time for Christmas.
This beautiful pendant was made for me by Jason of England.


I am SO pleased with it, I have barely taken it off since. Jason made our wedding rings for us several years ago, and I have been coveting another piece of his work for years. I requested that the pendant incorporated a silver hare, a piece of gorse wood, and 'vertebrae' bead. This finished design is better than anything I could have imagined!


And now, there are changes afoot for 2011. I am taking the plunge and moving to a larger rented studio, in a central location in the village. This is really exciting, although rather scary. It means I have to be more disciplined about work, though I hope this will be easier by not working from home. It also means that I will have to raise my prices this year. Not for prints, which can remain the same until ink prices rise, but originals are going to have to rise a fair bit. Charging £50 for a piece which takes me 2 days just doesn't make business sense! (But don't worry if you already have work commissioned with me for this year - it wont apply to anyone with whom I have already taken commissions)
Anyway, I'll tell you all the exciting details once we are safely in, hopefully next week!

So, my painting things are packed up, but in the meantime I have started a new quilt for these winter nights. It features hares (again!) and bees and some gorgeous recycled indigo scraps.
Happy New Year!

16 comments:

Laume said...

It was a "get through to the other side" sort of holiday for lots of people it seems. For us it was mostly just quiet, but lovely. So much weather that our youngest got stuck here with us for three weeks, couldn't make it back over the mountains in his car with no 4WD, but it was lovely to have some extra time with him. It sounds like you have new adventures and challenges awaiting you creatively this year - I look forward to reading all about them. I hope to make it that sort of year for me as well.

Terra said...

Your plan for a rented studio sounds brilliant, the necklace is a treasure, and I am glad you are going forward in the new year. What would we do without friends and family, as you said.

Shirley said...

Get better soon! All of you!

Swan Artworks said...

Sorry to hear what a rough time you've all had, but also glad you're all on the mend too! And what a lot of work with all those ponies to look after in the snows...
All the best of luck with the new studio, it sounds great and I'm sure it will be a lovely process making it your space.
A Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours...
Carrie...

Valerianna said...

Glad to hear you are all much better! Sounds like a frightful time of it... good luck with the studio, its SOOOO great to have a dedicated work space, I hope you love it.

That necklace is gorgeous!

Freyalyn said...

New year, new start. I'm so glad things are improving. Good luck!

Angela Bell said...

Lovely post,so sorry to hear of your recent bad luck.A lot of people had the horrible flu.Yes it is amazing how people rally round when they are needed. My Steve hada serious illness in 2010 but is completly recovered so I feel for you lol

Kath said...

Never mind poor old Husband (LOL) show us that fabulous tree mural behind him !!
How exciting to have a workshop, I wish you all the best with the new project.

Dartford Warbler said...

I have been wondering how your husband is and how you coped in the snow with the ponies. You must have felt quite overwhelmed when the flu found you!

Wishing you all a much better year. The studio sounds a very exciting prospect. Hopefully we will be down in the Tamar Valley this year so will try and visit.

I love your pendant. No wonder you want to wear it all the time.

Linda said...

WE had a stressful Christmas too, minus broken leg thank goodness! Glad to see you all reunited at Home, at last.
Wishing you all a New Start with 2011. Lindax

Carolee said...

Glad to hear you're both on the road to recovery, and I LOVE that pendant!

Congrats on the new studio as well - Looking forward to seeing what you create in 2011!

~ Carolee

Julia Guthrie said...

There will be plenty more Christmases for decorating & celebrating...as long as you are both on the mend now!

That is a breathtaking pendant...

And lots of luck with the new studio. I bet it will be wonderful :)
Here's to a new and fabulous year Danielle :) xxx

Virginia said...

I'm so glad you are on the mend - I've been 'stopping by' and worrying when there was still no blog! Danielle. My friend is also finally home - but within 48 hours I was visiting the hospital again as my 93 year-old mother-in-law broke her hip and so ended up in the same ward! Fortunately she too is recovering. May you all be warm and well soon.

Aisling Kiernan said...

My Dad always used to say "It is always darkest before the Dawn". You have been through a very dark times so Your luck is due to change. I think your new studio will be a wonderful success. Of course it is scary, all change is, but you will handle it. I cant wait to hear how you get on and if you find that you get much more work done. I know how easy it is to get distracted from creating at home with so much else needing attention!!! A rise in prices is of course understandable and it is a well know fact that the more you value your work the more others will too. Fair play to you in taking this step, wishing you lots of love luck and joy for 2011.

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou all :)

Kath - I'll post a pic of The Tree of Life Mural soon ;)

Dartford Warbler - Oh, do visit! The studio won't be open as a shop, as such, but it will definitely be somewhere that visitors are welcome!

Joey said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! We were down with asthma/bronchitis for five weeks. Bless your heart!

The pendant is absolutely beautiful. I'm sure you treausure it.

I can't wait to see photos of you in your new studio.

Until then, stay well, be happy and take care of yourself as you make your move.

Joey

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