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:

Friday, 30 November 2012

Folksy Friday - Morning Mr Robin

Today my post is inspired by that humble little birdie that has become so synonymous with the festive season, the Robin Redbreast. I must admit i have an ulterior motive for theming my post around this little guy and thats to promote an illustration finished only yesterday which also features a wee red birdie. Though the bird in my illustration is a Cardinal rather than a Robin, so admittedly its a tenuous link. Anyhow before I roll out the Folksy showcase, here's my new illustration 'Winter Chums' which is now also on sale here as a print on Folksy.

Right onto the Robins:

Hope thats got you all in a Christmas mood. Its the first of Dec tomorrow, so not long now.
Well i best get down to some making. I've got a couple of fairs to prepare for so its going to be another busy day! 'Hi ho, hi ho............

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Hidden treasures

Earlier this month Walton Robinson started a competition called Newcastle Secrets where students were asked to submit their favourite or newly discovered place to visit in Newcastle. These submissions are now open to public vote and the lucky student whose suggested location receives the largest number of votes will win 300 quid.
I was honoured to be asked to write a blog post as part of their campaign on my five favourite places to go in the city. Its lovely to be asked to write posts, not least as it lets me know that people are actually reading my musings, but also because it gives me a focus to write about something fresh.

As I began writing this it became apparent that narrowing my choices down to five was going to be tricky. It also became glaringly obvious that the majority of my favourite places to frequent are cafés. I'm not quite sure what this says about me as a person, but hey, I do like a good cake :)
Given the competition title is Newcastle Secrets i've mainly tried to choose places a little off the beaten track and let people know about some hidden gems which they may not already be aware of. Here goes:

- Scrumpy Willow and the Singing Kettle café - Despite its rather twee name (sorry, you know I love you, but really) this friendly, rustic café on Clayton Street is without a doubt my favourite café in Newcastle (very closely followed by Settle Down). They have a huge variety of delicious food much of which is organic, free range and/or local produced. They even make their own bread. Its a foody's paradise!  I would highly recommend the very simple but extremely tasty avocado on toast - yum!! http://www.scrumpywillowandthesingingkettle.co.uk/

- Sugar Down Bakery -  A tiny, but charming bakery, tucked away on Pink Lane.  This bakery is the tasty offspring of Settle Down café which resides just around the corner on Thornton Street. Its a fairly new establishment offering a select range of artisan bread such as sourdough, savoury bakes and tempting cakes. Any place which can make boring old rock cake taste like food of the god's gets my vote. http://www.get-into-newcastle.co.uk/where-to-eat/285/sugar-down-bakery.aspx

- Star and Shadow Cinema  - A volunteer run cinema with a bar in Ouseburn, which only opens when an event is on so check their site before-hand. This quirky, art-house/madhouse, off beat venue plays host to gigs, exhibitions, markets, festivals, club nights, performances & more. Foremost, as the name suggests it is a cinema, which generally shows obscure films which you won't see anywhere else. A super friendly, super inclusive place entirely built and run by dedicated volunteers. A place for the open of heart and mind! http://www.starandshadow.org.uk/

- Cyrenians - A charity shop in Eldon Square which as far as i'm aware, like Made In Newcastle was set up as an empty shop project. This place is great as they have quite a large range of vintage clothing which isn't over priced and to top it off the money goes to charity. Cyrenians is an independent Scottish charity,  that focus on helping those on the margins of society, such as the homelessness, poverty stricken and people suffering with addictions. So you'd be shopping for a very good cause indeed! http://www.thecyrenians.org/shop

- Tyneside Cinema - I couldn't possibly do this post without including this. An independent cinema housed in a stylish art deco building, this is a fabulous and very comfortable place in which to watch a film. As well as the cinema screens it also has a bar, a café and a couple of rooms for hire. They have gigs in here and have their own craft market. Walking into their beautiful and glamorous main screening room is like stepping back in time. https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/

- Ouseburn Coffee Company  -  From my top 5, Ouseburn Coffee Company (OCC) is definitely the most hidden away. This coffee roastery on Foundary Lane in Ouseburn was (I think) set up this year by two brothers. The roastery doubles as a small café and shop from which they sell their very fine, ethically sourced, artisan coffee. There are around 5 blends to choose from including their signature 'Foundary No 1' & you can sit and enjoy a cup, secreted away in the surroundings of the lovely Ouseburn Valley. If you love coffee, then it is worth visiting for the smell alone.  http://ouseburncoffee.wordpress.com/

Okay so that's the five, but as discovering and supporting independent establishments is a topic very close to my heart and as there are quite a number of awesome 'lesser known' haunts I want to give credit too, i'm taking this opportunity to give them a mention:

- Pet Lamb Patisserie - An independent cupcake kiosk in the Grainger Market set up by two lovely talented baking ladies. http://www.petlambpatisserie.com/

- Hoults Yard - A historic and arty hub in Ouseburn that is home to art studios, galleries, design agencies and a rather nice café/pub. http://houltsyard.wordpress.com/

- Settle Down - My close 2nd favourite café in Newcastle. Great value, great people, and a nice chilled out atmosphere. http://www.thesettledown.com/

- The Cluny - A fab pub & gig venue in Ouseburn with an excellent choice of ales!! http://www.thecluny.com/

- No 28 - A nice but pricey bar with a good atmosphere offering tasty food in unusually decorated surroundings. http://www.no28.co.uk/

- RPM - An independent record shop on High Bridge Street. 4 Old George Yard  Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 1EZ

- Made in Jesmond - A cute little boutique in Jesmond offering handmade homewares, set up by one of the folks who used to be involved in Made In Newcastle. http://www.facebook.com/MadeInJesmond

- Mmm  - A tasty food merchants in the Grainger Market offering goods such as chutneys & infused oils http://www.mmm-food.co.uk/

Right i'm sure you've all had enough of me harping on by now so i'll shut up. But before I dash, just a reminder that Made In Newcastle are having a Christmas Fair on the 15th Dec in Gosforth with 35 stalls from local designers, artists, makers and independent businesses. To find out more visit here: http://madeinnewcastle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-christmas-shopping-alternative.html
Oh & tell your friends ^__^

Friday, 23 November 2012

More book illustrations & Summerhill Fair

Unfortunately i've not had a chance to post on here since last Friday. This was partly due to being busy with other stuff, but mostly because on Monday I woke up with what was probably Norovirus (or horror-virus as i've renamed it). Therefore was pretty much unable to move the whole of Monday and some of Tuesday without feeling or being very sick. Not good. Anyway thankfully i'm feeling much better now so its business as usual.

I meant to post these final few illustrations for the gift book mentioned in my post here on Tuesday morning but that nasty little bug wouldn't let me here they are today instead -

 One more thing to mention. I'll be doing a Christmas market on the 8th Dec in a very lovely place called Summerhill. Its a pretty little community tucked away in a suburb of Newcastle around 15 minutes walk from the City Centre. If you live in Newcastle and you've not heard of it you really should go and have a wonder through it as you kind of have to see this leafy hidden idyll to believe it. They even have their own website http://www.friendsofsummerhill.org.uk/
Anyway i'm really looking forward to it as i imagine it'll be a nice chilled out, cosy affair. Heres the poster for it -

Until next time :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Folksy Friday - Stocking up

Seeing as there is no getting away from the Christmas shopping madness I may as well get on board, so to get myself into festive shop mode today's post is a stocking filler special.

Let's face it most of us will hit an age (I hasten to add I already have) when Christmas presents become less about surprises and more about necessity. So instead of the unexpected bottle of perfume under the tree instead you'll find a new mouse for your computer which you sent your other 1/2 the link to on the internet 3 weeks prior...sad but true. Oh dear that sounds rather ungrateful, but its not meant to be.
Anyway my point is its always nice to give or receive surprises, so small, affordable and fun stocking fillers are a good way to do this without breaking the bank.
I've selected 10 suitably stocking sized items (5 for the XXs and 5 for the XYs) costing £5 or under.

The girly ones - 

The manly ones -

Happy shopping!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Gift book illustrations

A few months ago I was over the moon to be offered the chance to do some illustrations for a story written for a very lucky little girl by her grandmother as a present.
The story centres around the lady's grand daughter, her pet French bulldog Zoe and two squirrels which live in the oak trees in their garden. I've been commissioned to do 8 illustrations and i'm now around 1/2 way through.

As you will notice these illustrations are not in my usual style. The lady who has written the book was looking for a classical, painterly look. So i've been using traditional mediums, namely pencil and paint - with barely any digital input at all! We agreed that the images would be quite basic and sketchy, to cut down on time & therefore costs, so i've had to restrain myself in spending ages perfecting every minute detail.
I forgot how much i enjoyed painting and i think its something that i'm going to start introduce more into my work in future.
Well i thought i would share these with you -

Right back to the painting board ;-)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Look what you can win!

A super quick one to let you know that i'm doing a giveaway of two illustration prints of your choice, via Business Boom Collective. Yay!

Its on for a week and to find out how to enter just visit this link:

Good luck and please spread the word :)

Friday, 2 November 2012

Folksy Friday - You're having a scarf!

The winter gear is well and truly out. Heavy coat, wooly hat, scarf, gloves the lot. I've even gone as far as the thermal vest, which i think is justified given that it snowed here last Friday.

My winter coat which has served me well over the past few years, has now unfortunately had it's day so i'm on the hunt for a new one. I'm a bit duffle coat obsessed at the moment this year & to go with my coat (when i finally find one) i think a new scarf is in order. So i may ask for one, as a gift for that festive thing which is coming up in December….shhh don't say the C word its still too early.
Here are some Folksy contenders on my scarf wish list:

Happy Days Scarf

Lastly just a little reminder that its free UK post on orders over £5 in my Folksy shop until Monday.
Have a cosy weekend. Bye bye!