Gemma Correll’s Quirky Illustrations Are So Relatable… It’s Like She’s Drawing My Life!

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Gemma Correll is a UK illustrator who’s simple, yet easily discernible style has seen her publish three books of her work, and won her comic-space in the prestigious Observer Sunday Magazine. Her relatable doodles have also been made into greetings cards, and you can buy pins, t-shirts and bags with her tongue-in-cheek artistic wit as the featured design.

I first saw one of her illustrations last year, the ‘Couchella’ greetings card, and my son and I immediately loved it because the little character on the card was wearing my daily uniform of a stripy top. They also had my glasses and ponytail (that’s me below).

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This year, I found Gemma’s cards on sale in Sainsbury’s, and couldn’t believe the accuracy of the particular drawing (very top, framed), it describes my cat lady-ness wonderfully. So I bought it and framed it.

Gemma’s Instagram is filled with these relatable cartoons, I’ve picked out the ones that most correspond with my feeling that she must be drawing my life. I joke of course, but why don’t you check out her Instagram page and see which illustrations make you think, “that’s so me”.

Magda Archer- Modern Life’s Depressing Problems Meet Sickly Sweet Kitsch

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I was starting into the BBC documentary where Chris Packam talks about his Aspergers, but had to pause and hit Google when I spotted this glorious Wire Fox terrier print on his wall.

The artist is Magda Archer, and perusing their other prints at Jealous Gallery only confirmed that they are right up my street. 

Enjoy. 

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My Favourite Art Deco House in Bangor Northern Ireland- Plus Tonic Cinema Illustration From Hand Drawn Creative

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I shared with you my favourite house in Portstewart last week, so how about my favourite house in Bangor, where I actually live.

Its this pink beauty which resides in the wonderfully named 'Beverley Hills', in the Ballyholme area. Built in the 1930s it nestles amongst a neighbourhood of otherwise regular family homes, and backs onto a golf course.

I know what you're thinking- the cladding. I know. Cladding the exterior of a house in fancy stonework was a trend in the 1970s and you would wonder who in their right mind would have altered such an already high concept design building like this, let alone all over cladding, then painting it pink.

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The photo below showing the house in its original form is so much better, the corner windows to the left side are totally lost under the heavy brickwork. 

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The current owner was not responsible for the cladding, or the pink, and they also say the original interiors have been stripped and changed too. So no retro futuristic interiors to observe, sadly.

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David Wilson architects did some remodelling work recently extending the kitchen and living area on the ground floor. They appear to have done a good job, in keeping with the traditional design of the building.

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Bangor has some beautiful Art Deco public buildings, one of which Neal McCullough from Hand Drawn Creative has featured in a clean crisp illustration, which you can buy on his Etsy Store.

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The Bank of Ireland building is another example, right at the midpoint of Main Street. The building to the right which you can't see in the photograph has quite a few modernist qualities. I have an old Ulster Architrcture book somewhere that features it, I must dig it out to share with you on another blog post.

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There's another section of Bangor, what I call the new-build sprawl of the East which is like a maze to me, but which has a pocket of home designs I've always loved.

Along the ring road and into never ending suburbia there are a couple of streets of these happy little chalets. They look like designs of the 60s or 70s, family homes with asymmetrical rooves, cute archways and novelty balconies. 

There are several designs dotted along the Pinehill / Silverbirch area.

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Incidentally Neal has a print that looks a little bit like these homes- Hand Drawn Creative Hollywood Bungalow A3 for £20. Apart from his Fisher Price retro toy illustrations, I think this is my favourite of Neal's work.

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The last home of my favourites in Bangor list, is one I've been telling my parents I wanted to live in since I was a little girl, when we moved to the same road when I was aged two.

"The Sugar Cube", as its lovingly named by the family who live there, is a flat roofed design house on the same road as my parents' home. I always told my parents I would love there so I wasn't too far away from them when I moved out as an adult. Ironically I actually live almost this close now, although it's round the back of the Springhill Road, rather than down and opposite from my parents' house.

So have I got all th unusual homes in Bangor? Or do you know of any that I might like to nosy at too?  Hit me up on Twitter- @rudedoodle

I may feature Holywood next- it would require a lot of time on Google Streeview going up and down the split-level, modernist heaven that is Marino!

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One last bonus architectural oddity- the Ballyholme windmill, which peeks out from in between the streets of homes. 

I would LOVE to live somewhere like that. 

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Retro Stylised Wonder Woman Print from Hand Drawn Creative

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There's been quite the buzz about the new Wonder Woman film, with the heroine updated for the 2000s. Of course like most superheroes, Wonder Woman started out as a comic book heroine, and Neal from Hand Drawn Creative has paid tribute to these beginnings with his fab A3 print.

Also new is this swish little promo, Let's Learn To Draw The Hand Drawn Creative way. We get to meet Neal and tour his drawing office, as well as watching him at work. 

Don't forget to visit the Hand Drawn Creative Etsy Store, where A3 prints are a very reasonable £20

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IKEA's Art Event 2017- This Year's Artists Revealed

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IKEA's yearly art event stands to bring together a limited edition collection of work from artists from all over the world. Whilst limited, the pieces are priced by IKEA with the intent of making beautiful artwork affordable so everyone can invest in the work of talented artists who some day will be huge.

IKEA choose the pieces by a certain theme, last year was photography. This year the dozen artists chosen are all well known for their hand-drawn work.

So while every artwork is hand-drawn and have that in common, you can still see the wide range of aesthetic in the collection. Different styles to suit different homes, or different rooms within your home.

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Each of the prints is poster size, so they are 61cm x 91cm. One of my repeat purchases from IKEA Belfast since they opened is their poster sized frames.

Starting at £14 (see below), these frames will suit the Art Event prints perfectly. 

I find posters simply Blu-tacked to a bedroom wall can look very, 'student digs', so it's worth £14 to frame your posters to look more 'grown up'. Of course framing also protects your prints of that size from wear and tear, so they are a good purchase for kids' posters in their bedrooms too. 

There are several different frame types in the 61 x 91cm size, box frames, or more flush to the wall flat frames, as well as a range of colours of wood. You can pick whichever will look best with the Art Event prints that take your fancy.

The collection will be instore in April. 

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So what else will be instore in April? IKEA's Stockholm is their affordable luxe, design led range and they will be launching 47 new pieces in the coming months.

Last week I blogged about my  bathroom makeover using plants & soft furnishings from IKEA Belfast. House plants are the big trend for 2017, and the images of interiors IKEA are sharing confirm this. How amazing do those trailing ferns look on the left? I would love to create a green ceiling like that in my own home.

 

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April sees a really cool collab coming  IKEA kids' way too. Partnering with DreamWorks Studio, the LATTJO collection features characters Ernst the Eagle and Victor the Vampire.

The duvet covers and cushions in the works are especially cool looking.  So there is something for everyone due in store very soon.

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Give Back Friday: A Wheely Good Idea From Victory Chimp

Victory Chimp is a Northern Irish art & apparel site with designed pedalled from the mind of Ryan O'Reilly. He loves cycling, apes and illustration, and this site is a culmination of all three.

He has come up with a really cool alternative to tomorrow's Black Friday, which I spotted on Facebook so had to share. I'll let him speak for himself- 

  "We want to do something positive this Black Friday, so here's the deal:

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This is our new print. It comes in three colours and 100% of the proceeds will go to three charities, Simon Community, Marie Curie and World Bicycle Relief.

This is a timed edition. It will be on sale until 11.59 GMT Monday 28 November only.

Our goals:
25 prints / £500 welcomes 20 homeless people with warm clothes and essential supplies
25 prints / £500 provides 25 hours of care for the terminally ill in the comfort of their home
25 prints / £500 sends 10 bikes to Africa, empowering people with access to education, health and economic opportunity"

Pretty good, huh? Even if you don't cycle it's a snazzy design to brighten up your hall or kitchen, and it fits the large IKEA box frames. 

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As you can see it's a limited print, so if you are reading this after Black Friday 2016, and you wish you had picked one up for the cycling addict in your family, don't despair. Check out these other art prints on sale all year round on  the Victory Chimp store. I want the travel poster inspired set, so simple & classic.

Good luck, Ryan & co! I hope you make your Give Back Friday target! 

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Modern Day Ulster Travel Posters- Show Your N.I. Pride Or Visitors, Remember Your Game of Thrones Location Tour With a Beautiful Print

JS Kelly Belfast print

JS Kelly Belfast print

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I love vintage travel posters. I have two in my home at the moment, purchased from Travel Posters Online, a Bangor one in my living room and a Portrush golfing print in my bedroom.

The traditional travel poster style  

The traditional travel poster style  

Artist  JS Kelly is keeping the tradition alive with simple yet beautiful designs of local landmarks and towns. There are designs of places all over Ireland, but it's the Northern Irish prints that I'm sharing with you today.

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There are illustrations of well loved destinations, home towns & tourist attractions. 

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You can search for a design of your home town, but if you aren't from NI you still might like these prints. There are several artworks of Game of Thrones filming locations, including the Dark Hedges and Ballintoy harbour. 

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If you've taken the Game of Thrones location tour, you may recognise some of the other Antrim coast and north coast locations. 

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I'm definitely planning on buying one or more of JS Kelly's prints, it's just a matter of trying to decide which ones!  

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They would also make great Christmas gifts, and if you buy now there is an offer to get 20% off when you buy two or more, so you can get two 50x40 prints for £40. 

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If you follow me on Snapchat you might recognise the station house at Helen's Bay from my walks. 

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Hand Drawn Creative at Bangor's Open House Festival

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My wonderful blog logo designer and all round, mid-century loving super illustrator Neal McCullough has a free exhibition as part of both our home town's Open House Festival this August. Pop along for the opening night on Wednesday 5th, or visit his website for more beautiful illustrations, including some free classic car tablet & phone backgrounds.

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