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Dear Humanity… June ‘19

Dear Humanity

I wanted to write to you about something that’s been on my mind. Sometimes I look at everything that’s going wrong with the world and I wonder why it is still like this, in the C21st! Why are we stuck on this continuous cycle of pain and suffering? I know it’s a bleak topic, especially considering I wanted this to be a love letter. But, I feel this is too important not to be voiced, don’t you think?

Remember when people, or a majority of people, wanted a peace revolution? I wonder why it never started, or progressed, so that we could now be thriving in a better world. At the same time I’m not surprised, if history is anything to go by, it was inevitable that it would not come to pass. However, in reminding you of something that was once wanted, I’m thinking we could rekindle that flame and hop back onto that train. I’m ready for that peace revolution now, aren’t you?!

Please don’t be disheartened, for there are many things I do love about you. I love that as I grow I try to look for the good in humankind, instead of focusing on the bad, and it is there, if you look for it! You can find it in the everyday little things that are sometimes kind gestures from complete strangers! What I love most is that once we remove socially constructed labels, we are all left with just one thing, you! – our collective and shared humanity. And that is why I’m writing this to you.

It’s been a long and hard journey since I met you. So much has changed and continues to change. Perhaps it’s changes as you and I grow. At times, my relationship with you has been difficult, I admit! I’m sure it will continue to be so, but in realising this, wouldn’t it be nice if we actively approached and worked towards a higher understanding. One where we didn’t repeat history. One where we didn’t justify and continue the cycle of pain and suffering. I only ask you to consider this when making future decisions and actions. If we choose it, they could come from a better place.

I promise to do better, I hope you do too!

Love + kindness

Caroline 💖

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A Dish Best Served Cold

A Dish Best served Cold Caroline Denton 2019

Artwork made for International Women’s Day 2019. I enjoyed making this one and furthering my digital illustration skills in terms of creating something in semi realism. I’m also loving mixing different styles, eras and elements such as body forms and lettering.

As always art is open to interpretation, therefore I shall ask you. How did you interpret this artwork? How did it make you feel? In what way do you relate to it, if at all? – Caroline

Tools used – iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, ProCreate App. Tracked time – 6 hours.

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Alphabet Artwork

This year I took part in 36 days of type – a yearly open call that challenges artists from different creative fields to share their view on the letters and numbers from our alphabet!

I’m happy to say I completed the challenge with a daily artwork over the 36 days. I took on the challenge with the intention of not restricting myself to a theme or design spec. I wanted to explore the unknown and varying aspects of what unfolds from free creativity. Admittedly, for the most part, I managed to stick to similar colours which gave it a more flowing feel.

Here is my alphabet in all it’s creative glory.

I ended up with two for “C” because I wanted to work on my portrait skills too and created my first self portrait!

I really enjoyed this and loved the outcome (even if I did conveniently leave out my freckles!) and have ideas for future pencil and led artworks.

Although my artworks in this alphabet were not planned, this “F” I had to plan, was inspired by the #fauxsaics creations on Instagram, and could have easily been an artwork by itself.

I’m glad I planned it and I absolutely love it!

I had a little bit of fun with “I” – which is your favourite?

Despite the simplicity with this “L” I feel accomplished in managing the 3D effect I created, which I’ve struggled with in the past. This really helped progress this skill in my lettering and I also animated the lights, which you can find on my Instagram.

A continuation in my pencil and led work skills for this octopus. Although not taking the official letter “O” form as a whole it has different elements reflecting the letter.

“Who’s been painting my roses red?” – inspired by Alice In Wonderland.

My “V” ended up being a reworked artwork that I created in acrylics many years ago!

I’m pleased with how my artistic skills have developed over the years and how I improved this piece in a different medium. I will be creating products and prints using this artwork, so keep your eyes peeled.

Having completed the letters, I was nervous about approaching the numbers as I hadn’t approached numbers previously.

As I went into them, I started to create the numbers with similar aspects that I had created in the letters.

The “5” was a lot of work with all of those lights but I liked the idea of it being a celebration for the 5th 36 days of type, which also happened to fall on my 500th Instagram post!

I certainly took a liking to clouds during this time also!

Saving the real celebration, in the form of a balloon, to finalise my artworks on the challenge and successfully completing it! – This balloon ended up being one of my favourites too!

Do you have a favourite or two? Did you take part in the challenge as well or feel inspired to do it next year? I would love to see your creations and artworks!

Thank for stopping by and taking a look at my freely created artworks for the alphabet in this years 36 days!

Caroline

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International Women’s Day 2018

Happy International Women’s Day! A day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

Being an artist and maker myself means I’m constantly noticing amazing works by other women within this community. So, in celebration of today, I’m sharing with you some stunning makes and wonderful things happening by some of these remarkable women!

Bristol Girl Bosses

A collective of 8 designer makers based in Bristol. These amazing women are supporting and showcasing artwork inspired by women this month with their exhibition ‘muse!’ Pretty excited to share this local art news and their team – when women join forces great things like this happen!

Be in the know and support these women yourselves by checking out their social profile and this exhibition! Have you already had a look at ‘muse?’ Feel free to leave your thoughts or a review in the comments.

Hives & Herbals

Bristol beekeeper Alyson Hurst makes hand creams, lip balms and candles with herbs and her own beeswax. A beautiful passion for local and natural ingredients lives here!

Did you know that the worker bees are all female?! – if the queen bee in you wants to support these little females, you can purchase directly through Alyson on her Hives and Herbals Facebook page or at the We Make Bristol shop in Westbury on Trym.

Augarde Art

Artist Jessica Augarde creates beautiful art prints. With a good selection of empowering women quotes, they will proudly put some personality on your walls and make great gifts for your friends on this International Women’s Day, or any occasion for that matter.

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, Jessica has 20% off selected prints in her shop. You can find and celebrate with Augarde Art on Etsy.

Other Noteworthy Recommendations

Other things to do, see and watch. Why not have a search online at what’s happening in your local area?! There’s most likely a host of things you didn’t know about… and then invite your friends. Staying in? Check out this list!

  • Send the women in your lives a card, even a text, just to remind them of how wonderful they are!
  • Jessica Jones S2 airs on Netflix! She has attitude and I love it!
  • The Dressmaker – I know this isn’t new, but I only managed to watch it just recently when film 4 were celebrating women on and off screen. Absolutely loved it! Wish I’d watched it on the big screen, I will be getting it on DVD and admiring Kate Winslet for an age!
  • On Becoming Fearless In Love, Work And Life by Arianna Huffington. A celebration of overcoming those fears that effect us all!
  • Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. If you read anything this year and you haven’t read this yet, put it on your list!

Elf Paper Co Gift

A gift from me to you! I created this ‘Wild Woman’ screensaver image and decided I would gift it to all of the wild women of the world. All you have to do is tap on the image, save it, select it within your camera roll and save as your wallpaper. Voilà!

You can also share on social media. Copyright is not transferred with the image, many thanks for your understanding.

Do you have any recommendations? Then, please share, I would love to know!

Here’s hoping you have a fabulous day, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are in the world!

– Caroline xo

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Coconut & Raspberry Cake

 

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 75g coconut
  • 200g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp milk (coconut milk if you want it extra creamy!)
  • 1 tsp of coconut or raspberry essence (optional)
  • Small amount of icing to drizzle (optional)

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C (180 Fan) and line an 8″ cake tin.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together until soft and creamy. Mix your 1tsp choice of essence. Then, add 1 egg at a time with 1 tbsp of self-raising flour, mixing until you have that soft cake mixture – repeat this for all 4 eggs. Fold in the remaining flour. Add your 1tbsp choice of milk, this gives the cake a fluffy and creamy texture. Lightly fold 100g of the raspberries. Put your cake mix into your lined tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and skewer emerges clean.

Once the cake is baked and cooled, decorate with 100g raspberries. Drizzle a small amount of icing and sprinkle the remaining coconut. Voilà!

Alternatives

  • You can divide the mix into two sandwich cake tins, then sandwich the cake together with raspberry jam giving it a little extra kick!
  • For birthdays and celebrations make a batch of butter icing with a coconut essence. Pipe and decorate – add your style and character!

Cake Photography

Here is your chance to mark your style and showcase what you’ve made! It doesn’t have to be fancy, as you can see from my image I placed the cake stand on my desk, surrounded by other mismatched objects and it works! Adding other objects to your image can help build character. Flatlay images are popular right now – a slice of cake on a tea plate on your kitchen table or workspace surrounded by cooking utensils, stationery or anything you fancy will get a thumbs up from your social community.

Come say hi socially and share your cake bakes @elfpaperco | #elfpaperco

– Caroline 💖

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Paris 17

This year, myself and my son were lucky enough to spend a few weeks in this beautiful city! Commonly referred to as the romantic capital, as a family it may not be your first choice, but it was actually perfect for us. After all, love is universal and a mothers love is like the mother of all loves! Perhaps more accurately it’s the capital of love!… so, I thought I’d share a few of our favourite spots, activities and family time loves. What’s more, is this child friendly edition is also friendly to your pocket! Enjoy!

Montmartre

Probably one of my favourite parts of the city! It’s an arts hub where the streets are adorned with galleries, murals, art and artists selling and making their work. If your child is anything like mine, they’ll be asking to have their caricature done… yes, there are artists dotted around all of the city doing these, but if you’re going to get one done, I really recommend getting one from here!

Montmartre also houses one of the best viewing places of the city. If architecture, photography and getting those great holiday snaps are your thing then this is the place to be. It’s home to the Sacré – Cœur Basilica, wall of love and artists market. The wall of love and the artists market are all on route uphill to the Sacré – Cœur. The ‘I love you’ wall written in every single language was great! Next to the wall is a little bit of greenery and a few benches, we arrived at lunchtime so we sat and ate whilst finding ‘I love you’ in the languages we knew.


View from Sacré-Cœur Basilica © Caroline Denton 2017

Heading through the artists market, it is surrounded by beautiful cafés and gelato shops – the coffee and tiramisu gelato from Tutti Sensi was delicious, if you’re looking for a treat! It is here that you’ll see the wonderful art pieces and artists at work. Even if you don’t get that caricature, it’s truly inspiring to see how they work and their unfinished masterpieces!

Through these streets and up those staircases you’ll get some good photos of culture, rooftops and city views. The Sacré – Cœur Basilica, at the top of this hill, is free to enter the church and only €13 for one adult + one child to climb up to the dome! The picture above was taken from the dome – yes, it was worth all of those steps! If you have smaller ones and don’t fancy the dome, the city view from the foot of the Basilica is just as amazing and you can play ‘find the leaning house!’ – facing the Basilica, its to your right, and it’s not actually leaning, it’s an illusion created with your camera, my son loved it!


Topsy-Turvy illusion house ©Caroline Denton 2017

Tuileries Garden

There are lots of free parks in the city and we tried pretty much the majority of them. The one we kept coming back to was Tuileries Garden. You can stroll between the greenery, venture into the trees, spot a few statues and sit on one of the many scattered seats throughout the grounds as you watch the world go by. We sat by the fountains and read our holidays books, watched the ducklings and sipped coffee and hot chocolate from one of the nearby food stalls. And had a croissant or two of course. It was blissfully perfect, even on a busy day!


Tuileries Garden ©Caroline Denton 2017

As you stroll from Tuileries Garden towards Le Musée du Louvre, which happens to be right next to each other, there’s another small area of green that William called a maze. Through the love of a child’s imagination, it was great fun!

Musée du Louvre

Sitting outside Le Musée du Louvre next to the pyramids was also a favourite spot. I could sit with pen and paper and write or draw to my hearts content, whilst William would practice his handstand and get me to video the good ones. Sitting here, you see lots of wedding, birthday and general photography happening. We did the holiday shots of holding the pyramid and treated ourselves to macarons from the cafe that sits there.


A scarce Louvre Pyramide ©Caroline Denton 2017

Of course we went into the museum, I love art, William loves history and children go free. We set aside a whole day for this and still didn’t manage to see everything. We could have spent longer, but we saw the Mona Lisa which undoubtedly had a crowd surrounding her and we saw so many other pieces that we were content. Obvious one I know, but make sure you book your tickets beforehand to save a fraction of the queuing time.

Love Locks Bridge

This bridge was a couple of bridges away from the Musée du Louvre, heading in the direction of Notre-Dame. For us, walkers in general, it wasn’t far and it was nice to walk along La Seine. We took a good look and a photo of all of this love. Sometimes you need to see that there is love in the world. We didn’t have a lock to do a mother-son love lock, but said that next time we will!


Love Locks Bridge ©Caroline Denton 2017

If you mange to walk, or get the metro to Notre-Dame, you’re in for treat, it is beautiful! I’ve been inside before and loved it, me and William didn’t go in this time due to the massive queues. In any case, you can still admire the beauty of this building that took nearly 200 years to build.

I’ve only touched on the tip of our trip and I could easily go on and convince myself we need to go again, sonner rather than later. However, I’ll leave you with these few family and pocket friendly gems to put on your list.

Happy travels and much love

– Caroline xo