Friday, March 29, 2013

Mollie Makes makes my day!

Hoppy Easter to you my friends. Hey look, it's my Hare mirror in the Easter issue of Mollie Makes magazine! How super cool.  Mollie Makes is a lovely mag, I got a subscription for my mom last year (you know that thing when you get someone a subscription so you can conveniently read the mag every time you're at their house.) (she lives in France now.  But now I just get her mags sent to me first. Genius.)  The creators of MM also do another magazine called The Simple Things which is equally as pretty and, ahem, makes a perfect subscription gift for your mom (/yourself.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Totes amaze

Just in case you've been dreaming of owning a tote bag with a unicorn on it I have made you one and you can buy it from my etsy shop.  Now if you'll excuse me I have an appointment with some Emmenthal cheese.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Saving doggies with doggies

So I'm running my first marathon in TWO WEEKS time, yikes! Apart from getting my playlist in order (can't decide whether to go cheesy pop tunes, podcasts or just have naked ears and run with the crowd... anyone have any input on this?) and just resting up my legs until then, I think I'm as prepared as I'll ever be.  I've done my distance, improved my speed, kept in healthy condition and am stretching every day like it's my job.  The only thing I've kind of neglected in the run-up to the big day is my fundraising.

I'm sure other runners will agree that after a certain number of events, you start to get embarrassed asking people for money and likewise people start to get bored of not only you telling them about your various long distance events but asking them to sponsor you to run them.  I've not really done any fundraising since my one-mile swim last year; I think people knew how bad I was at swimming to start so I felt less guilty asking for sponsorship.

But as it's my first marathon I feel it's important to feel like I'm helping someone out - even if it's just a little - so in those last few miles of the run I can focus on the cause instead of my jello legs!

My charity this time is Rain Rescue, a very small organisation based in Yorkshire.  They help abandoned animals in crisis situations.  Because of them there are cats and dogs living happily in homes who may have otherwise been left in huge amounts of pain, or even dead.  I think it's a selfless and very kind job they are doing and feel like they could do with some support and recognition.

In order to get the ball rolling I've decided to offer my skills and products up in return for your donations.

  • A £5 donation will get you a special thank you pack including some kitty stickers and one of my new doggy cards.
  • A £10 donation will get you a special thank you pack including kitty stickers and an original dog drawing in pencil and ink.
  • And a £20 donation will get you an original custom doggy portrait of your pup, done in pencil and ink. You can send me an image of your pooch and I'll create a special original drawing for you to frame and hang in your home.

Along with donating to a good cause you'll have the knowledge that your support will have helped me get through those last few miles!

Please feel free to visit my fundraising page and get involved.  I'd also love it if you could help spread the word.  I know I've left it late but I'm sure we can rub our paws together and come up with something! (When you have made your donation, drop me an email with your address and name for me to get your thank you goodies in the post)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chiens sur les cartes

Within the last 12 months my ma and pa have bought a house in the north of France, sold their house in the Midlands, moved into a tiny rental to host upwards of ten guests over Christmas, sold many belongings and a car, packed remaining belongings including fat cat onto a ferry sailing across the channel to France, been given a fish pie upon arrival, planted a vegetable garden and took ownership of a ride-on lawn mower, setup a website for their new business and made friends with and eaten with all of the neighbours in the entire surrounding region.  Within their first 3 months of living in France my mom has moved up a level in french class and had her haircut - speaking to hairdressers is difficult enough in english so I was impressed when I saw her snazzy haircut was nothing short of exactly how it should be. Impressive, huh?

With two gites quickly booking up for the summer, mom wanted something to post out to the guests with info about their stay - you know, where the best places are to buy bulk wine, eat oysters that won't give you the shits and how to say 'can you cut my hair like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail' in french.  She asked for some french-style dogs, and as I ended up getting carried away drawing dogs (easily done) she is going to also have some for guests to buy and I've had some printed up to sell through my etsy shop. I'm going to be selling them as individual cards, or as a pack of 5.  

PS If you are interested in renting a gite in Brittany, click over to their website.  I know I'm biased but they are darn good hosts.  Mom's recently made a massive batch of seville orange marmalade and my Dad might even let you look at his ride-on mower if you're lucky. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cheep cheep

I had some black aprons printed up and as I'm not 100% happy with them I'm selling them at a reduced rate, and if you use this code SAMPLESALE you can get a further 20% off. (ps there's nothing wrong with the actual quality of the aprons, and they do have pockets which is a bonus!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A crazy 15 miles and some (more) unicorns

I went on a 15 mile run on Monday.  It was freaking crazy! When I left the house it was cold and I had put off my run until about 3pm so the blue skies which were around in the morning had clouded over.  For some reason I was just not (not at all) looking forward to the run.  I started in Didsbury Village after dropping off some orders at the Post Office and limbering up at the counter (not kidding, I totally did all my stretches at the post office, sorted out my Spotify/nike+ app, got all my shit together to start...  house key in tiny trouser pocket, remove cap from drink bottle, headband on - takes a while to get everything just right!) I ran up through Fallowfield and upon mile 2 my thumbs were in serious pain from the cold and I had to take a  quick pit stop in the supermarket to thaw them out.  

I carried on up into town and at mile 5 it had started snowing like crazy and at some points I couldn't see where I was going.  Partly because of the snow and partly because I was trying to see the road I knew I had to turn down, around mile 6 I tripped over a curb and faceplanted on the sidewalk.  No damage done and to my knowledge no one saw me, so I picked up and carried on. 

I was thinking how good the run was feeling at mile 13 when I caught my foot on a spikey gorse branch and sliced open my ankle - which then proceeded to bleed into my shoe for the remaining two miles!  

I finished at Tescos and bought loads of food, got some funny looks as by then my knee was also bleeding from my sidewalk incident, and got the bus back home to stretch, eat, take a hot bath and spray stain remover to my blood-stained trousers, socks and shoes! It was an awesome run though, kept up a great pace and actually had Paula Radcliffe telling me on my Nike+ app that I'd run my fastest half marathon ever at 1 hour 53 mins.  

If you're considering starting running, DO IT.  I can't tell you enough how brilliant it is, how good you will feel, and how much fun you can have - just by yourself! 

Anyways, completely off topic, I forgot to show you two new tea towels I added to my etsy shop last week.  I've gotten somewhat carried away with Unicorns lately...

I am also currently doing a BUY TWO GET ONE FREE offer in my etsy shop, running today and tomorrow March 13/14. It applies to all pillows, cards, mirrors and manfriends. Get your paws on some cool stuff!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

My legs and my pens

Hey ho buddies! February sprinted past hey - and it seems I've made my way up to the double digits in my training plan.  Yesterday I ran 20 miles in Stockport.  The last mile was sore on my hips but to be honest it was a really great run.  I've been suffering with some problems in my leg the past few weeks - I thought it was IT band issues which it kind of was but the ultimate problem was tight hamstrings.  I saw a physio twice and her magic fingers and clever knowledge of muscles got me out of the painful spot I was in and back on the road again.  Turns out I wasn't stretching enough after my long runs and my leg had really tightened up, causing me to run weirdly and feel terrible pain down the front of my shins.  So yes, all good now! Loads of stretching after yesterday's run, tons of foam rollering and lots of re-fuelling.  And hopefully lots of sleep (I find it difficult to snooze after a long run. Anyone else get this?) tonight.

I got my third pair of new shoes in the space of a month. These are just the best though - it took me a while to nail down which ones were right but lesson learned stick with what you know... Nike Lunar Forever same as my old pair - they do the job!

Turns out some time spent resting meant I could do some much needed drawing last night.  Maybe running is the perfect medicine for a self-employed illustrator who spends more time with excel spreadsheets than with her pens?

Anyways in case you want to read an interview of me talking some crap click over to the DEREK shop website, they asked me some questions last week. I'm off now to go cook some bean burgers and most likely talk some more crap.