Cloud 9 black and white print

Painting in the Big Outdoors

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

I recently attended Moffat Classic Car Rally with my trusty Citroën Acadiane, René, alongside my friends from the Spinning Wheels Motor Club. I carry materials with me in the van, in case I feel inspired to pull up and paint, but rarely seem to get time to do this these days. I should make more time. I decided to take a big canvas and the dreaded sketching easel (which I hate - it always makes me looks as if I’m setting up an old deckchair!) and paint at the back of the van.

This went...

Painting Small

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

This time last year I was packing 50 tiny paintings up to send to their new owners. It was hard work, but enormous fun and together we raised a fair bit of money for charity. 

At the moment I am juggling several artistic balls. For a start I am busily printing a variety of sized prints and cards of my most popular paintings, which can be bought at the gallery but also from this website. I’m very particular about the quality of my prints and the only time I allowed a print house to print...

Not on the High Street

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

As a small business not found on the High Street, I quite often find myself being overlooked. This isn’t helped when all of the current focus is on our High Street and what can be done to improve it. Whilst I’m happy to support initiatives that look at bringing business back to the High Street (as this must have an impact on the town as a whole) I’m really worried when these campaigns focus on what we haven’t got. To me that’s negativity. And I am not a negative person. 

All too often...

Spring Update

Friday, 30 March 2018

I made intentions after Christmas and New Year to fufill some long held ambitions. One of these was to make use of art as a therapy. I’m not able to pursue an Masters degree in Art Therapy, much as I would like to, for logistical reasons. The nearest university offering the official course is the other side of Edinburgh and would take me more than a couple of hours to reach. Even on a part-time basis having a four hour (at least) round trip is just not workable for me. 

And I also don’t...

Meeting Theo

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Just before Christmas, coming hot on the heels of my trip to Downing Street (courtesy of Small Business Saturday UK), I received news of two further business awards. One came from Jacqueline Gold MBE, CEO of Ann Summers, and focused on businesses run by women. The other came from Theo Paphitis, multimillionaire entrepreneur and self titled Shopkeeper. 

Theo started his Small Business Sunday awards, hashtagged on Twitter as #SBS, in 2010 following, he says, an afternoon spent trying in...

Ringing in the Changes

Monday, 15 January 2018

So much happened that was wonderful in 2017.

Firstly we had the hugely successful Tiny Paintings campaign in May, with 49 out of the 50 paintings being sold (and one damaged during exhibition), raising money for two worthy charities. 

In August Cloud 9 was a Small Biz 100 winner, chosen from 5000 similar sized businesses across the UK.

As a result of that I went to Number 10 and was part of an honourary reception in November.

Cloud 9 was also chosen as...

Cloud 9 at No. 10

Monday, 4 December 2017

Such a lot has happened since last I updated this blog - and that was only a couple of weeks ago! I’ve spoken before about my amazing Small Biz 100 win, in which Cloud 9 was chosen as one of one hundred businesses throughout the UK to embody the ideals of Small Business Saturday UK. I enjoyed my SmallBiz100 day at the end of October and have appeared in several national and local newspapers, magazines and across social media. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I admit to have been a bit overwhelmed...

Christmas is Coming

Sunday, 19 November 2017

At the time of writing it’s five weeks until Christmas. Which sounds like ages away. It’s not!

I’ve been busily putting out new stock, some very Christmassy indeed. The gallery is literally bursting with new arts and crafts and looks wonderful. However, I’m still to succomb to winterfying the window and, at the moment, it’s still autumnal on Cloud 9. 

I’ll get all wintery this week though I think - look out for that!

I’ve just been adding...

A Week of Awards!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Someone today suggested that I put money on the lottery because this week I’ve managed to pick up another two awards for the gallery! 

The first came on Monday evening when Theo Paphitis, former Dragon and entrepreneur, chose Cloud 9 as one of his twelve businesses to join his Twitter Small Business Sunday collective. The first I knew of the win was when my Twitter feed suddenly went crazy, with two hundred notifications and almost as many new followers appearing! 

The Lovely Life Planner

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Last year I was telling you all about a wonderful life and business planner I’d been using and many of you followed suit and bought one of your own. I’ve faithfully used mine during 2017, logging my recovery after surgery and important dates and so on, but soon discovered that the planner didn’t quite have everything in it that I wanted and was a bit too airy-fairy for me. 

So I set about designing my own. 

What I’ve designed is something that can be downloaded...