Elegant & Burly

A couple of years ago, my youngest fell over and hurt her knee.

As I cuddled her, I whispered ‘You’re a big strong girly!’

She replied ‘Elegant and burly!’

I had no idea why – although I think it was because she’d been watching an Ice Age film where a character was described as ‘Elegant and hairy’. Anyway, I thought to myself that it would be a good name for something. A shop, maybe.

So when my friend Sarah Lowe and I decided to set up a shop on Etsy selling Handmade Things, we decided to call ourselves Elegant & Burly. (In fact our first choice was Lightfoot & Lowe, but that already existed! And I’m glad now that it did).

We realised that Elegant & Burly could also mean a certain balance… beauty with just enough burliness to stop it being overly refined. We thought of a few examples (the bearded fisherman, who wears glittery nail varnish; the hefty rhino in a delicate fascinator; or the divine opera singer eating a great big pasty).

We even invented a word – Burlegance: 1. The state or quality of being both elegant and burly, whether it be hugely hefty with a hint of elegance, or exquisite with a touch of burliness. 2. Something that is burlegant.

We chose The Secret Garden as a theme for our first range, as we both loved Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book when we were little.

Sarah has made some beautiful jewellery, including pendants of silver leaves cast from leaves from her garden (she is an amazing garden designer).

So there you have it – ElegantandBurly is our new Etsy shop!

Beside the Seaside

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There’s some wonderful work for #colour_collective by so many artists on twitter tonight – the colour was Limpet Blue and as I’d woken up wanting to draw an ice cream van it seemed to fit in nicely.

A Nonchalant Fox

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The other day I was spending the morning drawing wolves in my studio. As I stood by the door washing my paintbrushes a beautiful fox walked past right in front of the studio.
I opened the door quietly so as not to disturb it and then suddenly wanted it to look at me – I wondered what it’s reaction would be.
The only thing I could think of to say, rather foolishly, was ‘Fox! Fox!’ as if I was calling a pet cat.
It carried on walking up my sloping garden, then turned and looked back at me.
Then it did a wee in the grass and sauntered off.