Welcome to the my blog. My name is Lucy Farfort i'm a freelance illustrator & designer maker. This is where you can find out what i've been up to of late, read my attempts at a decent post & the rantings of a visual addict. Hope you like it. You can contact me to say 'hi' by email on lucy@lucyshappyplace.com
If you would like to take a look at my work (& i would very much like you to) please visit my site:

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Time Out & Christmas Fairs Ahoy!

AHH! My Christmas market preparations have reached critical mass.
I'm afraid for the next couple of weeks my blogging antics will be even more thin on the ground than usual. No more Folksy Friday for a bit - sorry.
Next weekend is a BIG weekend for me with two major Christmas fairs which i'm getting stuff together for:
  1. On Sat 3rd Dec from 11am - 4pm, i will be at the Designers Marketplace. Its a well established and well attended event and is my first time at the one in Middlesborough. I've heard great things about it so i'm very excited. I've even planned my stall layout - for me thats super organised!!

  2. The on Sun 4th Dec from 11am - 4pm, you can find me at Made In Newcastle's Christmas Fair at the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle city centre. The other MiN collective members (special thanks to Judith) and myself have been working really hard to get this ready for a while.
    It should be a great day and i'll try & post a couple of pics from the 2 events.
If any of you my lovely followers are around these areas on this day, i would LOVE, LOVE LOVE it if you pop bye and say hello. Stop by & mention that you're a blog follower i'll give you a little freebie to say thanks :)
So its bye from me for a while.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Folksy Friday – Pick Me Up

I don’t know about you, but this time of year often makes me feel pretty low. The pre-Christmas rush preparing for markets and the festive onslaught, the short days, dark skies and the winter cold make me feel like I want to get away from it all. From mid-October I’m willing for Christmas, just so I can have a holiday and see my folks.
I get the impression that i’m not the only one who feels like this. These last couple of years with the recession and all, have been pretty tough I think for a lot of us who run/try to run small businesses, so there is quite a lot of pressure during the festive season to do as much as possible to make up for it being slow the rest of the year. I imagine a lot of us are stressed and tired and could certainly do with a pick me up.
For this Folksy Friday i’ve picked items that just looking at them makes me smile and gives me a warm feeling. I hope this selection picks you up a little too:

1. Things to make you smile -

Yay this Sweet Suzy plushie is soooo cute:


As is this happy little chap from picture of Grace:


2. A couple of things to make you laugh -

Tee hee i love this:


A Konnie Kapow special, no beating round the bush, ha!:


3. Some things to help you relax -
Perfect for a nice hot bath. Mmmmm:


A chocolate treat without the calories, yum:


4. Maybe you need some motivation -

Gorgeous bookmarks for inspiration:


3. Not feeling any better how about a hug?


5. When all else fails:


Ahh i feel better already, thanks Folksy. Thats a great new look you have by the way!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Etsy Photo Critique

A few weeks ago I joined the Etsy Success team on the Etsy community in the hope to get some useful tips on how to help grow my shop. Yesterday when looking on the team's forum i noticed they were asking for volunteers to have the photos in their shops critiqued as part of an online live lab. The idea is to help people create better photos to increase their chances of getting featured in blogs and the such like.

So i volunteered thinking there was no way mine would get picked. Then i got an email saying thanks for volunteering and they'd picked my shop as one of the ones to use.
Woo Hoo!! I was over the moon.

At 9.30ish yesterday night i watched the live labs and pathetically i know, when mine came on i turned into a 6 year old at Christmas. I don't think anyone has ever been so pleased to have someone point out their flaws. It was really constructive and useful. I've learnt about a new function on my camera, got some really good tips on improving my photos and noticed something about my shop which was not apparent before.

You can watch the recorded lab by visiting this link http://www.etsy.com/community/online-labs then from the video library at the bottom of page selecting 'Etsy Success' and 'Michelle Photography'. In case you're interested (i'm sure you don't give a monkeys) my shop comes in at about 22 seconds ;o)

I think the Etsy success team are still looking for volunteers, so who knows you could get your Etsy shop photos critiqued too. Definitely a team worth joining.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Festive Freebies!

The season of giving is almost upon us and in the spirit of sharing i've created some free festive digital downloads. I've created 3 super cute, kawaii style gift tags and a simple & elegant, modern style, A6 sized Christmas card.
You can print these, email them, use them for your site etc. Pretty much do whatever you wish to do with them, except selling them on please.
This is the 1st time i've every created any digital downloads of my own and i enjoyed it so much i may even put some more freebies your way! So you better follow the blog & keep check or you could miss out ;) Haha sneaked that little plug in there.

Printing instructions for card:
The card design is the full length of a landscape, A5 size sheet. So when you print either copy the image and print 2 cards length-ways on an A4 sheet, or print 1 card length-ways on an A5 sized sheet. The idea is that when folded you'll have an A6 card with an image on front that continues around to back of card. I have also rounded off the edges of card so you can cut round the printed card and have nice rounded edges.

To download the images - click the link(s) below, zoom in to its full size, then right click & save target or save image - its all yours.

Free download-able Christmas gift tags here.

Free download-able Christmas card here.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Folksy Friday - Sleepy Time

Today its a short and hopefully sweet post featuring a selection of items themed on creatures that hibernate. This time of year makes me want to hibernate too so I'm quite envious of these little critters. Just think, they'll all be snug as a bug in a rug right now and won't wake up until Spring. That's the kind of holiday I want.

1. Hedgehog
First up is this rather brilliant mini world, featuring our spikey friend:

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2. Dormouse
This adorable print of a cuddly curled up dormouse perfectly depicts their hibernating state. I love the little feet!

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3. Froggies!
Representing the frogs is this beautiful badge from Inspired Naturally:

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And this sweet organic cotton baby t-shirt:

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4. Bats
I choose this simple but lovely, hand stitched, longeared bat card

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and i couldn't resist this cheerful little chap from the fabulously named 'Gosh Darn It'.

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5. Butterflies (did you know some fully fledged butterfiles hibernate?)
Wowser look at thats gone into this! A beautiful bargain me thinks:

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6. Ssssnakes
This Rainbow Serpent illustration by Studio Two caught my eye, i think it will catch your's too:

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and 1 more for luck - these fun little Adam and Eve door hangers. Watch out Adam!:

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Actually that post turned out to be not quite as short as I intended. Probably because I found it almost impossible to select only 1 item for each creature. Still, i hope it was sweet though.
Don't forget to check your bonfire piles before you light them this weekend for sleeping hedgehogs.

Monday, 31 October 2011

The weekend that was

Having managed to cram quite a bit in this weekend, I thought I would bore you all and give you a little run down on what I got up to ;)

Firstly I put 2 Christmas cards (Snow Globe and Gingerbread Forest) and a new coaster featuring my 'Autumn Rain' illustration on Etsy and Folksy:

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Sat afternoon we visited town to source some more bits for my spider costume and find something for Dave's get up - a last minute effort. Town was heaving with people and judging by the long queue for the fancy dress shop most had a Halloween night out in mind.
For Dave’s zombie costume (if all else fails go as a zombie) we began a hunt for fake blood. Unfortunately everyone else in Newcastle seemed to have the same idea so there was none to be found anywhere. Luckily we managed to find two phials of the stuff left over from previous years, gathering dust in a cupboard at home.

Our resulting efforts looked like this:

All set we headed off to ‘Fright Night’ at the Baltic, where once again there were some pretty awesome costumes. The best for me (even though he didn’t win a prize) was a guy who went as Jack Torrance in the Shining. The scene when ‘Jack’ puts his head through the door after chopping through it with an axe. He spent the night with his head through a constructed piece of smashed up door and an axe in his hand. Inspired! Wish I had my camera.

Despite drinking too much at the Halloween bash I managed to wake up on Sunday with only a mild hangover and felt surprisingly motivated. So I added the selection of makers and artists getting involved in an online handmade Christmas gift trade, which I wrote about in this post. The trade is now on!
It should be lots of fun and a great way to get some gorgeous Christmas gifts. If you would like to take a peek at the traders taking part click on the 'Maker Christmas Trade (North East)' tab. Also the more the merrier, so if you’re a maker/artist in the North East & would like to take part please read how it works: http://lucyfarfort.blogspot.com/2011/09/maker-christmas-trade-for-north-east.html and send me your info. I’ll only be adding new submissions until the end of this week, so you will need to send me your details asap of you’d like to take part.

So that was my weekend. Hope you all had a good one too.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Happy Handmade Halloween

Rather than a Folksy Friday this week this is an extended post featuring lots of Halloween themed goodies I’ve discovered from a variety of online handmade retailers.
I’m a fan of Halloween as I love the atmosphere, colours and imagery associated with this time of year. I also enjoy a good spooky dress up if I have the energy and time to make a costume.

This year I’m planning on going to the Baltic’s ‘Fright Night’ do. I went for the first time last year and it was a really fun night out. Everyone was dressed up and some of the costumes were brilliantly creative. My personal favourite was a scary version of the milk bottle cartoon character from Blur’s music video for Coffee and T.V. Yes it was random but that’s what made it so wonderful.

When it comes to dressing up for Halloween I’m a firm believer in home-made costumes. Buying/hiring an outfit from a fancy dress shop to me defeats the point. Half the fun is making it yourself and coming up with weird and wonderful ways to get the desired effect.
I plan on going as a spider this year, so I’ll post some photos after the event if poss.

The picks in this post are based on things which would go toward the perfect Halloween party. Here’s a selection of some of the creepy creations I found:

1st things first, you need to get some friends in for the party. These invitations are sure to catch their eye:

or how about this party pack, which would be especially good for a kids event:

To conjure up the right atmosphere decorations are a must. Heres some i found earlier. Spooktacular window decals:

A nice touch for your creepy (or crappy if it was my baking) cupcakes:

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If its a more sophisticated Halloween bash, how about a nice wreath for the door?

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Or what about this for a feature? Wowee!

Pumpkin Coffin

Now for the party food.
Finger food is always popular....mwahahaha.

Gift Boxed Creepy Cookies, Maple Flavor "Witches Digits"

Cute chocolate treats. Yum!

Solid Chocolate Pumpkins

I love these fab eye cake balls. They're sure to be a talking point.

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Hmm what to wear? If you're as tired as me of seeing sexy witches and cats then its time to opt for something a little less cliche. If you have to buy a costume here are some good options (cash-flow dependent).

A stunning day of the dead costume. You'll be the hell, belle of the ball!

Day of the Dead Costume- Halloween Costume Black Steelboned Corset, Tulle Skirt With Lace Skirt, and Accessories

If you need some wings for your costume then these are pretty flipping awesome:

Dark COBALT BLUE HUGE Lifesize Gothic Fairy Queen Wings Adult Costume xl dress up wicca Dark angel gypsy steampunk Boho emo larp realistic

I found a shop on etsy called PoshFairytaleCouture. Go take a look. Some of the stuff on there is out of this world. Unfortunately my dressing up budget at the moment wouldn't stretch that far. However if money wasn't an issue then i'd be getting this:

Victorian Newspaper Princess Dress and Neck Collar

Okay its not spooky, but it would certainly win you a few fancy dress prizes for the most obscure and wonderful creation.

For those friends who can't make it along to your most fabulous handmade halloween bash, poor sad folk that they are, they'll just have to make do with a Halloween card. These will go someway to help compensate:

Have a good one. If anyone else is going to the Baltic Fright Night, say hello to the friendly spider.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Folksy Friday - wrap up

Getting out of bed these past couple of days has become increasingly difficult due to the arctic conditions that exist outside the safety of my duvet cover. In my part of the world, up in that there Northern place - Newcastle Upon Tyne, it is flipping cold. Its only October and it feels like mid-winter already. To top it off our house is freezing and I sit here typing this post in a huge old parka, relegated for use as a house coat. It may be tatty but its warm and I call it my sleeping bag coat.
Sorry to be the harbinger of doom but judging by the last few days I'm guessing this year's gonna be another freezing winter. So in preparation for the bitter onslaught, I've themed this FF post on things to help you keep warm this winter.

1. The hat to have in my opinion is this gorgeous beret hat from a knit for all seasons who have loads of lovely items:
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2. I‘ve fallen in love with the knitting style and colour of this lovely scarf. Its simple and elegant.

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3. Still on a scarf tip as you can never have too many, i found this fab neck warmer. I'm a sucker for anything teal/turquoise.

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4. This eye catching shawl from shawl the crafty bride will add some colour to your winter wardrobe. Fab!

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5. Keep your hands warm, with these cute powder blue mittens:

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6. I can definitely see myslf sat in front of the fire with a good book and this blanket over my knees. You must check out the crochet in this shop its seriously good.

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7. I love these cute knee length woolly socks, they look sooo cosy.

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8. Last on my list is a coat. An essential bit of winter kit and this one is beautiful. Its got such a flattering cut, so you can be stylish and warm at the same time.

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Keep cosy everyone.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Calendar follow up

I have now put my calendars into production and you can purchase them from my Etsy or Folksy shops. Each is cut with rounded edges and bound, so you can flip over the pages for ease and hang them from the wall. After looking into costs i have put the price up to £11 so not much more than the orginally planned price of £5. Also i have jigged around a couple of the images as my boyfriend pointed out the bunny balloon illustration would probably be more fitting for April because of Easter, which made sense.

The first batch of calendars i'm printing will be on linen card stock. There will be a total of 9 of these made. I wanted to print all of them on this but unfortunately the company where i get it from has now run out and won't be getting anymore in. So the 2nd batch will be on satin photo paper, which will also look great.
I'll be printing a max of 20 and will list only a few at a time online, as if possible I would like to take a few to the markets i'll be taking part in over Christmas. If you would like one and can't find any left on Etsy or Folksy, please email me (lucyfarfort@yahoo.com) and i will send you one from the market allocated batch.

Below are photos of the printed calendar, using the linen card stock. There is also one image of the calendar cover design + a montage of all the calendar months (except December as this is show in the photo).