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:

Monday, 29 July 2013

Budget Home Improvement

Before continuing the marathon of wedding blog posts…just kidding, will keep them to a minimum I promise, i’m going to share with you a home improvement project kindly funded by the folks at MoneySupermarket.com.
I got word that they were running a competition: £50 to do a budget home improvement & then blog about the project. Yeah pretty ace huh?!  Well I couldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, especially seeing as that pony doesn’t come round visiting too often, so I took up the challenge.

For a long while i’ve wanted to create an art wall in our living room using a salon-style hanging. If you’re not familiar with this it is basically a way of displaying several differently sized framed pictures on a wall in a more unconventional fashion to create an eye catching feature. Here is an example of a fab one I found on Pinterest:


This seemed like the ideal opportunity to do this, so here’s my ‘£50 salon-style feature wall, home improvement tutorial’-

1. First off you need some art... actually no scrap that! First off you need a wall which needs pimping. Here's mine:

Think you'll agree this definitely needs improving.

2. Now for the art, photos or other imagery for your wall. I would suggest no less than 6 hangings in the feature. Now obviously £50 isn’t going to get you a couple of Picasso’s, the latest Saatchi artist’s work or most likely even a single artwork from your local gallery. Therefore what goes in the frames has to be cheap or better still free. There are many ways you can do this:

a. If you like getting creative then its easy, make some art;  an abstract painting; a simple print that can easily be created at home such as a stencil or lino cut; a pencil drawing; or a simple typographical artwork made on your computer & home printer; a uber cool collage from old magazines/books/annuals…the list goes on. Basically its easy to create cheap and good looking art if you have at least 1 creative bone in your body and most people do.
b. You may already have some art or photos etc (possibly already framed) which could go into the hanging.

c. Alternatively from the £50 put aside a small budget of £20, then go hunting for some low cost art. You might be pleasantly surprised & find a charity shop harbouring a dusty but lovely painting for £4 , or a car boot sale might reveal something equally awesome. Try visiting a local craft market and see if there is anything you like in your budget; perhaps an artist is selling some great postcards with their work on - these could look great in a frame, particularly with a picture mount border.

3. Time for the frames! This is what most of your £50 budget will need to go on and it is indeed pretty much where all of mine went, seeing as I already had the art.
If you’ve already spent £20 of it on artwork then you’ll only have £30 left. Yes…it may not seem like a lot, but there are plenty of places to get cheap frames particularly as they don’t all have to be the same size or type. It just requires a little time to hunt for them. Try:
a. Charity shops - an excellent source for cheap, and often good quality and unusual frames!

b. Car boot sales/flea markets/jumble sales.

c. Shops like Ikea and Wilkinsons do frames at very low cost.

d. Maybe you already have a couple of frames lying around the house that you can use, or perhaps your folks might have one spare.

Keep in mind the size of work when looking for frames but don't worry much as photo mounts (which often come in the frames if buying them from Wilkos) will create a border for your image, so mostly the work won’t need to be a perfect fit for the frame. You can buy picture mounts cheaply on ebay. My frames have come from the following places Ikea, Wilkinsons, a charity shop, a low cost but quality local framing warehouse which I’m lucky to have not too far away from me (Factory Framing Centre) and I already had a lovely framed piece of art as a wedding present which went in the mix.

4. Once you’ve framed your images find a space on the floor big enough to lay your frames out and play around with the display. It’s important to bear in mind which frames work better alongside each other the shape of the wall and of course the size. Once you’ve decided on your format for the display, grab a camera and take a quick snap of the layout on the floor. This will be used as reference later.


Next create templates by placing each frame on some sheets of old newspaper (or other suitably sized paper you have spare), drawing around them & cutting them out. I would suggest marking on each paper template piece the name of the corresponding pic i.e. this piece relates to the framed fox artwork:

Ok now for the tricky bit. For this you’ll need a spirit level (which I’m afraid I didn’t budget for as I already had one) to ensure all your frames are level.
Take your templates and with blue tac begin organising them on the wall using your photo reference and the level to ensure they’re in the correct position and straight.


7. Like me you’ll probably find each of your frames have a different kind of hook i.e. D rings or mirror plates etc. Depending on the style of hook this will effect the positioning of your frames on the wall e.g. if you’re hanging with string/picture wire you’ll need to consider the stretch of the wire as to where the frame sits. Sounds a bit complicated doesn’t it?
Actually its not too difficult as long as you measure exactly where the nail needs to go in the wall. For example if it’s a deep frame and you can hang it from a single nail: simply measure the distance from the top of frame to where the nail needs to be and the centre point between left & right side. Then on that frame’s paper counterpart tacked to the wall, mark the point where the nail should go using your measurements and hammer away!

You can hammer the nail straight through the paper template & remove them afterwards. It’s a good idea before removing the templates to test out each frame as you go, against its paper counterpart and make sure it sits right.

9. Once you know each frame sits in the correct position, take down the paper pieces and put up all your pictures making sure they’re nice and level. Et voila! An eye catching feature to transform what was once a sad bare wall -

Hope you like it!
Oh and just before i go, just want to point out that it probably seems pretty narcissistic creating a an art wall only from my art, but this is temporary and once i have some more spare cash i intend to replace some of it with work from other artists whose work i admire. This is a bit too much like having a wall of images of my own face - Aahhh!!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Planning for a festival

This time last week I was waking up in a very, very hot tent in Suffolk for the start of Latitude festival. Hence the no post last Friday. The decision to go to Latitude was pretty last minute as we were unsure at first because the date was so close to the wedding - we knew if we went we'd be totally knacked. In the end we decided to go, mainly because  the lure of Kraftwerk and a special 3D show was all too much.  So we went and we were totally knacked! But it was still ace and look i've kept my 3D glasses as a momento:

So I did say there would be more posts about the wedding, although i will try not to bore you by going on about it too much. As that its all go on the festival front this seems like the prefect opportunity to give a little insight to our wedding planning.

Before we even started talking about planning the day we both knew that traditional weddings weren't our thing and wanted to do something unconventional. Within minutes we agreed that what we'd really love to do was to have a mini festival in tribute to our original meeting at Glastonbury in 2004.
The 1st thing we did was to choose a summer date which statistically had the least rain fall - the internet is a wonderful thing my friends! Then about 15 months before the booked date we set about looking at a venue...or more accurately a suitable field.
It became quickly became apparent that going down the festival in a field route wasn't going to fit our budget, seeing as the only response to our 'field hire' requests came back with a quote of £1000 for a small piece of land. This was before even looking at the cost to hire toilets, a water supply, caterers, a generator, PA, tent, bands....and the list goes on.

What we needed was an affordable venue with a good outdoor space so we could use the venue's power supply & facilities and also use their garden for our bands. To cut a long story short after months and months of searching & one or two set backs along the way we finally found a place. The hotel has a great garden with lots of different areas, so there is a lot of scope to play around. Its also liscensed for weddings and has a gorgeous Georgian ballroom - a perfect fit. Plus it was very affordable, with incredibly accommodating staff who were willing to let us hold a mini festival in their back garden!

Yay...now that we'd finally identified a venue and set the date, i could get onto the first fun job of creating the invites. Its sad to admint but i'd been looking forward to making the invites since getting engaged.

Firstly all festivals need a name...Wedstock was born!

It felt right that the invite should be fun & colourful, but i also wanted to use the idea of a ticket somewhere to make it feel like a bonafide festival. 

I decided to make a separate RSVP which would be the festival ticket, complete with hologram security sticker for added effect! 


Even added a QR code on the RSVP ticket which linked to our festival wedding website. Although not sure many people got that bit!

So the planning of 'Wedstock' had begun...TBC

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Catch up

Yes this means i'm back. I'm now a 'Mrs'.... Eeeek that sounds a bit too grown up - scary!

Its been almost a month since I last blogged and there is a lot of catching up to do, so over the next few weeks i'll sharing with you all the fun from 'Wedstock', our festival wedding and my many, many creations for the big day. First off, let me show you the ring:

Not sure yet about the whole changing name thing. Although I do quite like the sound of Lucy Webb over Lucy Farfort
. Many of our friends have gone down the double barreled route but we decided that our surnames really didn't fit together well enough - far too much of a mouthful.
I probably will change my name but it might take a while to get round to doing it...particularly as both Dave & I forgot to collect the wedding certificate. Doh! Thankfully the registrar gave it to Dave's dad to look after.

You can expect to see a lot of wedding related posts over next few weeks so soon you'll be well and truly sick of reading about it :)
In the meantime I want to mention some unexpected residents in our back yard several weeks ago. I desperately wanted to share this with you back in June but with preparing for the wedding i just didn't have time. I did though, take lots of photos so i could come back to it when I had time. Last year we had a blackbird ma and pa make their nest on top of a piece of wood in our back yard. What with their nest being next to where we store our kayaks the poor things didn't exactly get a lot of peace given that we had to move the kayaks in and out. However ma black bird endured and successfully fledged two little birdies.

We were pretty sure that given the noise last year, there was no way they'd be back this year, but we were wrong! In a yard we have an old, metal office style cabinet which we use for storing garden tools. The cabinet is situated under a sheet of corrugated plastic which forms a basic roof, sheltering part of the yard from the rain....yes the whole thing is pretty 'rustic' looking to say the least.
The space between the top of the cabinet and under the plastic roof acts like a greenhouse, so early in June Dave moved about 6 potted tomato plants up there to help them grow.
Anyway a couple of days later when he went to water them, much to his chagrin (now there's a word I don't get to use often), almost all the plants had been pulled out and carefully arranged into a single pot. Yes you guessed it, ma and pa blackbird were back and had decided to make a flower pot nest with the addition of the young tomato plants for some extra comfy green bedding! The remaining plants were swiftly moved away to somewhere safer.
Here are 3 of the 4 little hatch-lings in their flower pot nest:

Amazingly the blackbirds managed to get all 4 of their brood to fledge!

Once out of their pot the little chicks spent a few days in the yard testing out their wings before moving out into the big wide world. I managed to get some photos of the fluffy fellows -

Are they cute or what?!
I like to think they will all still be out there now and perhaps in a year or so's time this year's chicks will be making nests of their own.
Bye bye birdies!