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, 20 December 2013

The final post for 2013

Helloo friends!
I'm excited today because its my last day of work before a whole week off and as i've been working my butt off recently this couldn't come soon enough.
As this blog post will be my last this year, I wish you all a very happy Christmas and an awesome 2014. Before signing off though I have a piece of work fresh from the sweatshop to show you.

I mentioned a few posts ago that Fiona Pullen from The Sewing Directory commissioned me to make a blog banner for a new website which will accompany a book to be published next year called 'Craft A Creative Business'. Fiona asked for a banner which would incorporate visual elements representing both crafting and business so after a few sketches I came up with this early draft of an idea:

Then after much re-drawing, refining and colouring the final product was finished. In the end two finished banners were produced because when the design was first being drafted we were not sure of the exact dimensions, so the initial one was done at 800 pix by 250 pix and the final one tweaked for the site was 1000pix by 200pix.
So here they are -

Had lots of fun designing these, thanks Fiona! Once the site is up and running I will put a link up on the blog.

See you in 2014 & have a good one :)

Friday, 13 December 2013

Character designs: Ali and Ollie

Around a week or so ago I was directed by lovely & supportive fellow Twitterer @ to a fantastic opportunity run over on Northumberland National Parks website.  The organisation put a call out for an illustrator to create characters for their website & printed material and of course I jumped at the chance to submit something. Was over the moon to find out about the call as it as right up my street and without the 'heads up' from Janet, i would never have known. So many thanks @!
To help with the selection process illustrators were asked to submit a design for a female, outdoorsy, adventurous & approachable character with an animal partner in crime, preferably one native to North East England.
They received loads of submissions and unfortunately I was not the chosen illustrator but despite this i'm still really glad I took part; creating the character was really fun, plus its another one for the portfolio. Congratulations to the whoever was picked!

I was hoping to share these images with you last Friday but only finished them on Monday so instead here they are now. I decided to name the character Adventure Ali and Ollie Otter.

Happy Friday. I'll be off to town this week to battle the crowds and finish the last of the Christmas shopping. Byee!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Folksy Friday - The pick of the pack

Hello just checking in this week with some quick Folksy Friday picks as got a busy day ahead working on two exciting new projects. In the morning I'll be continuing work on a web banner & logo for business lady extraordinaire, Fiona of 'Sewing Directory'. Her blog has gone from strength to strength & she now has a book deal plus a new website to look forward to. Then in the afternoon I'm going to be sketching some character design ideas for a competition which I was pointed in the direction of, through a Twitter pal.

Despite being eager to put pencil to paper, as I'm currently in the market for a pack of Christmas cards which I would like to get via Folksy, I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to post my top 5 choices as today's FF selection...and here they are -






Hopefully next week i'll be able to show you some images from the new projects.
Till next time!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Gone for a paddle

Last weekend we went on a kayaking trip o High Borrans in the Lake District with the canoe club, 'Tynemouth Canoe and Waveski Club' to be precise. This was our second time there as its an annual outing run by the club.
I paddled two rivers, with stretches of low grade, (low stress) white water rapids, played games ate lots of nice food, drank, chatted and generally had an ace time.
Plus the huge bonus for me was that I learnt loads about how to position the kayak and managed not to fall out once!!
One of the club members in my group had a camera and took lots of lovely photos, so i've picked a few to share with you -

Here's Dave and I in our gear:

I'm the one in the yellow kayak with the blue helmet.

Here's Dave on a play wave -

Oh and here's me paddling a small rapid:

Now all i've got to do is learn to roll!
Byeeee & happy Friday.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Folksy Friday - Ice, ice baby!

It has been an age since I've done one of these posts, so given that i've recently re-opened my own Folksy shop this seemed like the perfect time to revisit the Folksy Friday.
One of my work colleagues informed me yesterday that snow is on it's way (eek) and with this in mind i've based today's choices on the theme of ice.
I really hope the snow holds off for the weekend as Dave and I are going on a kayaking trip to the Lake District with the canoe club and the idea of paddling through ice does not appeal. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't end up in the drink!
Right, without further ado -




Have a good weekend and wrap up!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hey there whats new?

Quite a bit as it happens.
Firstly you'll be glad to know this in not another wedding post - woo hoo!! ;)

You may have noticed I don't seem to have been producing many new illustrations recently. Well actually I have been producing new work and LOTS of it, but its all been for a specific job - a visual dictionary for company in Canada.
So over the last 4 months or so i've created around 150 images, everything from sandals to chickens and everything in between. Each week i'm never quite sure what images i'm going to be assigned next so its a bit odd but pretty cool too.  I'll share some of the images with you soon.
This coupled with the part time day job has meant my shop and the creation of any other new illustrations has had to take a back seat.

However in amongst drawing the peanuts, tea bags, alarm clocks. boxing gloves, ice and whatever else is thrown my way, an idea for a new illustration popped into my head which I really wanted to get done and now several weeks later the thing is finally finished.

Being doubly productive this week i've also managed to spend some time opening my Etsy shop up again after a few months downtime, so if you like the new illustration enough, you can bag yourself a print here. Well this is 'Sky Ark' hope you like it:


Monday, 4 November 2013

Night time rave

Welcome to the last wedding series blog post!
Its a shortie as i've definitely had my fill of wedding posts now :)

Following the bands and an evening buffet, the ballroom where we had the ceremony was opened up again, ready for the night time rave. Dave was keen to get some kind of rave element into the reception given his penchant for techno and pointing out as we go past derelict buildings (particularly warehouses) that 'you could have a rave in there'. 

Our friend did an awesome DJ set for us in the in the ballroom come dance arena, transformed with the aid of fairy lights, disco lights and vehicle recovery light for added old school rave effect.
By this time I was cream crackered, but the music was so ace I managed to dance into the small hours and somehow still in my wellies(?).
Unfortunately with the exception of some fairy lights and LOTS & LOTS of glow sticks, given to guests in a festival goodie bag at the start of the day, it was very dark so there are barely any decent photos. But I do have this rather blurry one of Dave raving it up with the recovery light:

All in all it was a fantastic and fun filled day which I will definitely never forget.

The wedding seems like it was ages ago now but next year we have a belated honeymoon to look forward to courtesy of very generous friends and family who contributed to a 'honeymoon in the sun' funding pot.
Which... brings me onto the last bit of this post. We wanted to say a big thanks for their generosity, so to give them something a bit special made a flick book from a series of photos which worked together perfectly. This is the book...

but as this doesn't exactly give you much of an idea of the flicking action within, I made a gif animation on Photoshop from the same photos and on this page here you can see it for yourself.

I'll be back with a new illustration later this week which I have very nearly completed.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Going Tribal

Guess what? Today you can breathe a sigh of relief as you'll be pleased to know this is the penultimate wedding series blog post. Alright, alright - don't get too excited ;)

Holy Moly's lively dance folk stylings got everyone nicely warmed up and ready for our headline act Hannabiell & Midnight Blue. Personally I would say that the name of this band suggests a sort of smooth, chilled, sort of jazz outfit, fronted by a female vocalist with a sultry voice. However they are nothing like that and are in fact an energetic, all out afro-beat, tribal funk, band fronted by a sassy no- mess Bostonian out to get the crowd moving. Essentially - they're flipping awesome!

(Photo by Alan Chun from the Hannabiell.com website)

I first discovered this band at a friend's African celebration event two or three years ago. At that event the band's two leading ladies took centre stage, Yilis on the drums and Hannabiell shifting between drums and a massive bass trombone. Just the two of them alone made some serious noise and were mightily impressive. I kind of forgot about them but at some point when organising the acts their name arose, and after watching some gig footage of them and their band I quickly got in contact. Luckily for us the band was available, because they're pretty busy (unsurprisingly given how fab they are). I found out from one of our guests a few weeks after later, that our little festival was their third gig of the day - wow!

I'm not quite sure the crowd knew what to make of them when they first came on, as Hannabiell's first port of call was to insist that everyone came closer to the front of the stage. Her bubbly Bostonian tones finally coaxed everyone to the front.
First the drums kicked in - these ladies' drumming skills are awe inspiring to watch. Then the brass from their band mates started and not long after that the trombone came, followed shortly with a rave whistle to set off the tribal drumming. By the end of the first song practically everyone was dancing.
I can't remember the last time I danced that energetically, especially in wellies:


Getting down with tribal sounds, Dave took the opportunity to whip of his tie and use it as a head band. This combined with his rave inspired waistcoat and some purple fairy wings, he looked like he'd just stepped off a carnival float.

It was ace seeing everyone up dancing and having such a great time.
Then came the icing on the already very tasty cake: after their last song, Hannabiel announced that she needed volunteers from the audience to help the band out. Off course she had LOTS of takers including Dave. Each volunteer was given some kind of percussion instrument and one by one after Yilis and Hannabiell introduced a beat, each was instructed to join in with their contribution. Seeing everyone taking part on stage and the audience's surprise was just fantastic. Even thinking about this now brings a massive smile to my face. Here's Dave up on stage, concentrating hard to stay in time -

All of our guests absolutely loved them and for the rest of the night people kept asking me where I'd found them and how I knew about them.
Its impossible to get an idea of what this band sound like from my description and the photos alone so  I was over the moon to learn that one of the guests captured some of their set on film and here it is:

Hope you enjoyed the post. Back next week for the last one.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Dance till you drop

For me the end of the first dance marked the beginning of the proper festival. All the traditional stuff was over so Dave and I could finally relax and enjoy the moment without having the worry of any more awkward bits to come. So it was time to let our hair down and DANCE!! After Holy Moly's rendition of the Bright Eyes classic it was time to crack on with some stomping folk music.

Of course much barn dance type 'swing your partner round and round' action ensued. It really felt like a festival, with some folks like myself dancing up front, some watching from the back and others lazing about on the grass with a pint of specially brought in Nel's Best ale.


When we were in the process of planning it all, although we obviously wanted the reception to have a real festival atmosphere, I don't think we realised just how close it would feel to the real thing. Our very own mini Glastonbury!
There was no doubt that our first band went down a storm, but then it was time for our headliner act who really got things moving....

There will be more on that next week, but in the meantime as promised I managed to get the first dance video uploaded and as embarrassing as it is i'm still going to share it with you.  Its bad! Don't say i didn't warn you:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Note to self: NEVER slow dance again

Happy Friday! I'm a bit late with the post today but at least i got there eventually.
Before i get into this post, i just have to say a big thanks to Narc magazine for recommending our first band of the evening.
Organising the bands was undoubtedly one of the most difficult parts of planning the wedding.  With a very tight budget and family and friends who all have greatly different tastes in music, getting this right was going to be no mean feat.
I think its fair to say that Dave, my better 1/2, pretty much only likes dance music - ala techno and drum and bass. Now as much as I love a good bit of D&B, it doesn't really have that early evening festival vibe... does it? Given that dance music (at this point of the day at least) was off the menu, the band hunt was essentially down to me. After months of hunting and with the clock counting down, I contacted 'Narc' a well-respected local music mag, for help. They  suggested 3 bands and after listening to each, one really stood out; 'Holy, Moly and the Crackers', a dancey folk outfit, who we know would appeal to lots of tastes and get the crowd going. Finally! We'd identified out first main stage act.

I was really excited about the bands, but I wasn't at all looking forward to the first dance, which we planned for the very start of the 1st act's set.
Looking back now, the sensible thing would have been to just say ' we're not having a first dance at our wedding'. However at this point during the planning, tradition reared its meddling head and said in a very hypnotic voice which seemingly I couldn't resist 'YOU MUST HAVE A FIRST DANCE'. Like a fool I said:
'Yes, we must have a first dance, and I have a brilliant idea! Given that we both have absolutely no clue how to slow dance, lets choose the slowest song we can find to dance to'.
Whoops, bad plan.
The intention was for us to practice, but as usual lack of time, coupled with the embarrassment of attempting to slow dance in the lounge when you're totally clueless, equated to virtually no practice.
Anyway when the 'time' arrived there was no escape, particularly as the band learnt their own rendition of the song especially for the occasion. The song was 'First Day of My Life' by Bright Eyes and although not the best choice for people who can't slow dance I still love it and the lyrics are very appropriate.
Now despite the embarrassment I was going to put a video on here of 'the crappest first dance in the world' as caught on video by one of our guests, but lucky for me and probably you i can't work out how to do it so will have to make do with some pics.

The good thing about the photos is you can't witness the crap-ness to it's full effect.
The 'lift' was Dave's spontaneous attempt to fill time, which to a point did work quite well . Then as time goes on and it becomes increasingly painful we just call on guests to join in an ultimately save u. I promise i will get the vid up when i can work out how to do it.

Next week - a good ol' knees up!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Wedding post - Its raining sweets

Thankfully yesterday evening I managed to devote some time to write up a new post about the wedding which is now starting to feel like long time ago.
Right now lets see where are we up to. Ok so following on from 'the speech' post ... After food everyone was desperate to get out of the hot marquee and back into the hotel's gorgeous sun bathed garden. On the invitation we requested people bring and wear at least one festival accessory to get into the spirit, and it was at this point that the accessories started to come out.

Oh as did the face paints provided by Tom, Dave's brother and best man -

With 25ish minutes to spare before the main stage called, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to have a spot of piñata bashing, whilst our friend Ed hit the decks with a selection of pop-tastic tracks.
I mentioned back in this early wedding blog post that Dave made an incredible piñata for the big day which took several months of messy papier mache labour.
We thought the most appropriate piñata for our festival wedding would be a rain cloud so everyone could bash it, because no one wants rain at a festival. Until last year when we went to our first sunny festival, the rain has poured down at every one we've been to and there have been a fair few, so smashing a rain cloud to pieces seemed justifiable. This was the finished product hung in our back yard.

At the hotel we hung it from the swing frame in their garden. The cotton wool covering was looking a bit disheveled by this point.

 I was quite glad to have missed the first few hits as it seemed such a shame destroying this work of art. The trillions of papier mache layers had turned this beast of a piñata into a candy fortress and it took sometime before it showed any signs of weakening. Finally though Dave's uncle sent it to pinata heaven and its sugary insides spilled out for an eagerly awaiting crowd. I think this was the final strike:

Unsurprisingly this caused a flipping great mess of cotton wool and newspaper.

At 7pm everyone headed up to the higher end of the garden where our stretch tent and homemade shipping pallet stage would play host to 2 awesome bands.

To be continued...

Friday, 20 September 2013

Mamma Mia!

Damn you time!! *shakes fist* Once again time has thwarted my plans and I don't have enough of the stuff to spend on writing this weeks wedding blog post. I want to do the post justice so don't feel right in just quickly hashing something together. Instead, as a 'post quickie' i'll share with you a snippet of a new illustration.
Very recently I completed an image which is intended to be part of a collaborative calendar with 11 other North East based illustrators. The original aim was to get it done this year, however due to that there 'time' again causing no end of havoc *shakes fist again*, we've postponed to next year.
Its going to be a really ace little collaboration and the name of the calendar is absolutely perfect, but i'll keep that under wraps at the moment.
I don't really want to ruin the surprise by showing you the full illustration on here, so instead here is a small part of it: the recipe bit...well the ingredients bit anyway -

I will try my hardest to slot in some time next week for writing up the next wedding post installment. Hope you all have a fab weekend. I'm off to Brighton to visit friends. I LOVE Brighton so i'm really exctited, but just wish i had some spare cash to fritter away in the awesome shops there. No doubt i'd be bankrupt if i lived in that place.

P.S. Have you noticed the new page on my website?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Wedding post 6 - The speech

Yep i'm back with another wedding related post. I was going to make this post the 'festival' one but decided to do one about the speeches so a word of warning before you read on, this is maybe a more somber post than you may have been expecting.

Once everyone had descended from the beach bus it was go, go, go in order to keep to time as we were 1/2 an hour late in getting back to the hotel and the food was due to be served in 10 mins. Yikes! After a quick 10 minute breather the guests were swiftly ushered into the marquee or, in keeping with the festival spirit - 'the food tent'.

Before the wedding guests were given a selection of menu choices on the back of their invites.
They could choose from 3 starter options and 4 main options:

You'll notice desert was not an option, this was because we thought as there was going to be an absolute ton of cake we'd serve that as desert.
Not in our wildest dreams had Dave and I thought the weather would be tropical on that day, and even though we'd been hoping for sun 'heat' wasn't something we'd exactly planned for as that would have been tempting fate. So Dinner or 'the wedding breakfast' as is officially known was a bit out of kilter, given our menu wasn't exactly hot weather friendly. Put it this way...if people had known they'd be sitting in a 30+ degree marquee in the blazing sunshine, I don't think 'leg of lamb' would have been their first choice.

Our plan was to have the speeches before the meal as knowing how much anxiety having to give a speech causes, it made sense to get them done and out the way so everyone could relax. Alas, this was not meant to be since our late arrival back from the beach. Instead we had to opt for a quickly thought up plan B and give the speeches whilst the cake was being dished out.
There were 5 in total and although that may seem like quite a lot, they were mostly quite short.

My dad, who like me was dreading doing it, went first -

He was followed by the two best men Dave's brother Tom and his good friend Samir. 

Then Dave gave a short groom speech (which lucky for him i can't find a picture of) and lastly came mine. I guess its not traditional for the bride to give a speech and although i'm not really one for sticking to tradition, this one tradition which as a bride I was extremely glad to follow, as it meant I had a legitimate excuse to dodge a daunting task.
'So why did you do one?' I hear you ask. Well I thought I would share a cut down version of my  speech with you, so have a read and it will answer your question: 

'When we first started to organise the wedding around May time last year, one of the things I said to myself is ‘thank god I don’t have to do a speech and I can leave that bit up to Dave, my dad and the best men’. I hate doing speeches and I was very clear in my head that I wasn’t going to do one…. until something happened that changed my mind.

Now most of you here today will know that my mum passed away fairly unexpectedly on boxing day last year. It was a huge shock to my dad, my sister and me, as well as my mum’s sister and family and we are all still trying to come to terms with it now.

Actually for a while after it happened I was seriously considering postponing the wedding, but in the end we all agreed that mum would have wanted me to go ahead with it.
That horrible day is still so clear in my head, but one of the positive things I remember on that night, just as we were leaving the hospital for the last time, was my dad saying about Dave who’d been incredibly supportive and I quote ‘he’ll make an excellent son in law’, and I knew he was right. So Dave I just want to say ‘Thank you for being there’.

Anyway I don’t want this to be depressing and the main reason I decided to make the speech was so that we could have a toast in my mum’s honour as I know she will be here in spirit today even if she can’t make it in person. She’ll be on that dance floor with us, as she was always the life and soul of the party. So if we can raise our glasses -
‘I would like to make a toast to all those who couldn’t be here today and all those loved and lost, I hope we meet again’.

Also I’d also like to thank all my fantastic close friends and family who have all been so amazingly supportive through this time, having you there to listen has made it so much easier to get through....

So now you see. I had to and although I was REALLY nervous and despite trying couldn't stop the tears from falling at one point, when it was over I was so pleased i'd done it. Particularly as that very morning I was still unsure as to whether I could go ahead with it and went through it at least 5 times.

After we left the marquee my aunt gave me a big hug and said how proud mum would have been. It was captured on camera by one of the guests and is one of my favourite pics of the day -

Promise next week i'll get to the bit with the dancing :)