Make Art That Sells – Week 3

November 26, 2015 | Design, Make Art That Sells, Personal

Oops, I’m a little behind in my MATS recaps! Last week was actually week 5, which was the last week of the course.. big sad face. But I won’t jump ahead yet (though if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll have had a peek!).

Week 3 was all about children’s book illustration. Probably not a market I really see myself in I must admit, but worth giving it a go anyway, right! We were first tasked with drawing lost of cats and creating cat characters, before being given the big assignment to either illustrate the cover, or one spread of the story The White Cat.

I had a bit of shaky start to my cat illustrations, trying to work out how a cat really looks.. but then when I made it more human like, I really got into it! I thought it was so fun sketching her facial expressions and trying different shapes and sizes for her features.

Sketching cats! By fellow fellow :)

I eventually settled on the middle-bottom one. I thought she had a nice personality :) Next onto the cover..

The story is about a white cat and a prince, and the prince rides a wooden horse.. it’s a really bazaar story actually, pretty dark and creepy, so I opted to put a lighter, more fun spin on the cover. Why not, it’s for kids after all!

Here’s what I ended up with.. I think there are a few things I’d like to keep working on, but overall I was happy I managed to complete it :)

The White Cat by fellow fellow

There was such a massive variety of designs that were submitted, all so different, and quite a number that really stood out as incredible to me. There’s some serious talent in this class!

If I’m honest, I’m actually finding it very difficult not to compare my work to everyone else’s! There are so many wonderful illustrators that sometimes I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed.. BUT I’m also really proud of myself for getting through each task as it comes and creating great work even if I’m initially stumped by the idea. I’m proving to myself that I can do it, and that’s worth a lot I reckon :)

Read about week 1 and week 2 here.

IKEA Project 5: The Veggie Ball cook-off

November 9, 2015 | Recipe, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

So just when I thought all my Ikea posts were done, I got asked to participate in an extra surprise challenge – a cook-off!

Ikea recently added a new item to their menu (and shop) in the form of some yummy veggie balls, so we were tasked with creating our own recipe using the balls. Really, anything that involves food is fine by me. So before I knew it a big bag of frozen veggie balls were being couriered to my door, just in time to throw them in the oven for Arlo’s dinner (he approves by the way!).

But that’s not going to be my recipe. I wanted to create something I was excited to eat! So I chose to make a delicious lamb curry with veggie skewers :) YUM.

Lamb curry with veggie skewers

I first tasted this curry at a friend’s place and have since made it a couple of times at home. It’s always pretty yum, but the addition of the veggie balls gives it a really nice taste and texture. You can choose to eat them straight off the skewer, or take them off and dunk them into the curry sauce.. either way is good :)

Lamb curry with veggie skewers

So here’s the recipe.. it’s been adapted from this one here. I’ve changed a few little things, as well as halved the recipe as there was only 2 of us eating it.

Lamb Curry with Veggie Skewers

IKEA Vegetable Balls (4-8 per person)
Vegetable oil
400g lamb cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tbs ground tumeric
3/4 tbs garam masala
3/4 tbs ground cumin
1/2 tbs chilli powder
1/2 tbs plain flour
3 tomatoes, chopped
200mL coconut milk
300mL chicken stock
A handfull of baby spinach leaves
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
Plain yoghurt
Cooked rice to serve

* Tip – prepare and measure out the ingredients before starting, it’ll make it easier as you go.
* I used this cast-iron casserole pot instead of a saucepan, but if you’ve only got a saucepan that’s fine – just simmer it on the stove for an hour instead of putting it in the oven like I mention below.

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2. Heat a cast-iron casserole pot (or large saucepan) over high heat and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the lamb is golden-brown all over. Remove and set aside.

3. Reduce the heat and add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.

4. Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin and chilli powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute. Then add the flour and cook for a further minute.

5. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

6. Add the lamb and enough chicken stock to just cover the lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any of the good bits that are stuck there.

7. Once the curry has come to a simmer, put the lid on and carefully transfer it to the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender and cooked through. If you’re doing this in a saucepan, just put the lid on and simmer for 1 hour.

8. When there’s 15 minutes remaining in the cooking time, put the veggie balls on a tray and into the oven.

9. Once the balls are cooked, take them out and thread onto skewers, being careful because they’ll be hot to handle.

10. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the curry, then add the spinach. Stir until the spinach has wilted.

11. Serve the curry in bowls with steamed rice. Garnish with yoghurt, coriander and pomegranate, and of course your veggie skewers. Dig in!

Lamb curry with veggie skewersLamb curry with veggie skewers

Thanks so much to the lovely team at Ikea! It’s been so much fun, and I’ve loved testing out the new veggie balls :)

Hope you’ll give this recipe a go too, it’s totally worth it!! x

Lamb curry with veggie skewers

Make Art That Sells – Week 2

November 2, 2015 | Design, Drawn, Make Art That Sells, Personal


Phew, week 2 of Make Art That Sells was a doozy! In a good way, of course ;-)

This week was all about the Home Decor market, and we were tasked with using Staffordshire Pottery as our drawing inspiration. If you don’t know what Staffordshire Pottery is (like I didn’t), do a google search and you’ll find some of the weirdest, scariest, and definitely not-to-my-taste ceramic figurines. Huh, crap. How was I meant to get inspired by a subject matter I didn’t find very attractive?!

Luckily I don’t think I was alone in feeling this way – it seems like a lot of the people in my class were also struggling with it a little bit which made me feel reassured! Nevertheless I managed to get over myself and find some time while Arlo napped to try sketching a few of these funny figurines without being too self conscious of the outcome (kinda tough for me!). The idea is to experiement after all. And whaddayaknow – I actually started to enjoy it. So then I moved onto watercolour and it only got better! Wha. Amazing – and the funny thing is, because Staffordshire pottery is already kinda quirky, I found that the less precise my illustrations were the better, and the fat watercolour strokes seemed to just fit right in.

claire dalgliesh MATS PartA

Yay! So now that I had some icons to work with, next up was to tackle the main assignment for this week, which was to create a set of 4 ceramic plates using our Staffordshire illustrations. By now I was really loving the assignment, so had fun putting the plates together :)

Here’s my final piece.


So despite the slightly unsettling start to this week, I’m really happy with where it ended up! :) And looking at our class Flickr group I’m blown away by just how varied our work is. All 200 (or so) of us got the same brief, and no one’s work is even close to similar, it’s kind of amazing!

This week we’re onto Children’s picture books… bring it!

Make Art That Sells – Week 1

October 27, 2015 | Drawn, Make Art That Sells

Have you guys heard of Lilla Rogers and her wonderful online class Make Art That Sells? If not (and you’re interested in getting your art into the world and onto products) you should definitely check it out!

I don’t consider myself a very strong illustrator (or, I don’t think I have a very distinctive style), but I’ve always felt like it’s a side of design that I’d like to explore a bit more, be pushed a bit more in, and get better at. I guess ultimately I think it’d be amazing to be able to licence my art and patterns to shops – to see my work being produced for people to use. That’d be cool, right?!

Well yes, but how to get there? I don’t seem to work very well when I set my own briefs, and need a little nudge in the right direction sometimes. So, after visiting Lilla’s site about a hundred times (and talking myself out of it the same amount of times) I finally signed up to Make Art That Sells Part A a couple of months ago. And last week, class started! Eeeek! So I thought I’d document it here too so you can all follow along :)

Week 1 was all about making art for the Bolt Fabric market. Lilla gave us lots of tips through the week about bolt fabric and the market, along with our mini assignment to draw lots and lots of pasta and vintage pyrex. Such cool subject matter! So I got to drawing. The idea is to be free and just experiment with styles and mediums at this stage…


I did most of my drawings in pencil and black pen.. it felt right for this one.

Then, once we’d all done about as much pasta and pyrex sketching as we could do, we got our main assignment – Using the pasta and pyrex as our subject matter, make an artwork or pattern that you would send to a bold fabric company in order to get a collection. Bam.

After loads of fiddling around in illustrator with my various sketches, these are the elements I came up with…


Then it was time to put it into a pattern. My final submission is below, along with 3 coordinating prints.

It’s terrible to say, but I was actually surprised at how happy I was with the final piece! I’m ashamed to admit that.. but I’m my own worst critic, and generally at the end of an illustration I pick it to pieces.. but this one I really liked! So I’d have to say the course is doing wonders already :)

Perfectly Pyrex Pattern by Claire Dalgliesh

This week we’re onto the Home Decor market, and it’s already put me way out of my comfort zone! Stay tuned! x

5 Halloween DIYs To Try

October 21, 2015 | 5 DIYs To Try

Man, this year is flying. I’m sure I say that every year, but I can’t believe it’s the middle of October already! I got a bit of a wakeup call when I noticed the halloween party fliers go up in our condo lobby… it can’t be halloween time again already?! Well, I guess it can. Eesh.

I thought it might be helpful to pull together a few fantastic, quick DIY’s and printables from around the web to get in the spooky spirit – just in case you’re like us and Halloween just crept up on you this year! Time to get my craft on!

Halloween DIYs

1. Printable Stick-o Treats from Oh Happy Day  2. DIY Pun-kins from Studio DIY  3. Jack-O-Lantern Balloons from A Subtle Revelry  4. Carved Pineapple from A Subtle Revelry  5. Halloween Coloring Pages from Mr. Printables

For the first time in years we live in an apartment building with lots of kids, so I might have to craft up some Spook-pops to give the trick-or-treaters :)

In case you’d like to check out some of the other Halloween DIYs I’ve done in years past, here they are… oldies but goodies!

Halloween DIYs by Fellow Fellow

6. DIY Creepy Crawly Insect Lamps  7. DIY Houses by Night  8. DIY Spook-Pops

Happy crafting! x