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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Etsy Sale and Last Posting Dates for Christmas!

Etsy Sale

There's a sale going on over in our Etsy Shop with 10% off all items excluding pet portraits! No need for a coupon as all discounts have already been made so if you're looking for something fun and quirky with a good dose of animals then go check out the shop and all the offers!

Christmas 2017

Below I have posted the latest recommended posting dates for Christmas delivery this year. If you're wanting any goods from me for Christmas please place your order BEFORE these dates to have the best chance at Christmas delivery.
Please also note that this time of year can be busy and I cannot dispatch larger or international orders over the weekends.


Sat 2 ~ Africa, Middle East
Wed 6 ~ Asia, Far East, Cyprus, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)
Thurs 7 ~ Caribbean, Central and South America
Sat 9 ~ Australia, Greece, New Zealand
Wed 13 ~ Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Thurs 14 ~ Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Fri 15 ~ Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Sat 16 ~ France, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg
Wed 20 ~ UK

Please note that custom orders need to be made by Saturday 25th November if you're wanting a guaranteed Christmas pet portrait! Pet portraits take time so this needs to be taken in to consideration along with final posting dates.

Orders can still be made after these dates but I can no longer guarantee Christmas delivery.

Thanks for your patience around this time and thank you for keeping me busy!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Gerbil Portrait

So you're partner is turning 30... you want to make him something special but have no idea what to do... so you draw your gerbils!

Yes, I even do pet portraits for people I know, it's good I know so many animal lovers!

Our gerbies are named after Guardians of the Galaxy characters so I decided to draw them in character! It was a complete challenge and took a lot longer than it should have!
Apparently I work a lot better and quicker when I'm working on pets other than my own.

This portrait went through three sketches before finally becoming the painting it is today.
I had fun with getting the sizing wrong to start with making them much too big for the frame they were going in, so then I decided to make another sketch but this time keeping to the correct sizes.
This went well, I even got to the inking stage and then I was stupid... I normally use very light, hard pencils to work on sketches so that they are almost invisible.
I was so tired the day I worked on these guys that I used a very dark, soft pencil that would not erase from the paper!
Sometimes you really shouldn't be working if you're that tired, trust me, tiredness can lead to some very silly mistakes! Like drinking paint water, putting a paint brush in your tea, knocking over paint water on to the painting, dropping a dirty brush on to the painting... the list goes on and I've done all of them!

My worst has been falling asleep face down on a painting, I was in my teens and going through exams which is my excuse but waking up stuck to the paper is never a fun experience!

So back to the gerbils, I then made another sketch using the lightest pencil I own and finally got it how I wanted.
The painting was also fun as I just couldn't decide on the colours to use so of course that took longer than normal and then the words... oh the hand lettering that I absolutely hate!

Hand lettering is something I admire and something that I truly cannot do! I tend to try to hard and mess things up, hopefully this is a skill I can gain soon but for now with the gerbils... it's a little bit lacking but it's mainly all about the gerbils in character!

So here they are, after all the insanity of the past two weeks getting them done!

And of course the gerbils had to get in on the photos too, Drax in the bottom right posed perfectly!

So now I just get to give it to the boyfriend and hope he's amused by it.

Remember pet portraits are still available from me. I will be posting last Christmas order dates on Monday so keep an eye out if you're planning on making any orders from me for the festive period!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Goals, Goals, Goals

At the beginning of this year I made myself a few fun business goals for Silly Badger Designs. I didn't obsess over them as I had no idea whether they were actually achievable.

One of these goals was to reach 100 orders this year.

I thought this might be a bit of a push as I didn't even make it to 40 orders last year so being able to reach 100 in another year seemed a little bit hopeful.

Although I hit that goal a few months ago, and then today I look at my stats and find out that I've had 100 orders exactly this year so far!!

For a small business who struggles at times this is a huge celebration for me.

This past week has seen me hit rock bottom with confidence, feeling as though I'm doing everything wrong and that I'll never make something of this. I really was in a dark place and was losing all hope for my little business and my art skills.
Luckily I pulled myself out of that and got back to work but reaching this goal has also given me a reality check.

Sure I'm still in the growing stage, this is only my second year and I have absolutely no training or experience in any of this!

Last year I made 36 orders for the whole year and this year a whopping 100 orders and we're only in November!

Definitely time for celebrations in the Badger Den!

So I want to say a great big THANK YOU! To everyone who has supported my little business over the past year and for helping me to achieve my silly little goal :) 

You're all amazing and to celebrate I'm doing a special coupon for anyone who follows me here and on social media, just use code THANKYOU17 at the check out on any order over £5.00 to get 10% off!

Go to the shop and take a look around!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Early Festive Discount!

From now until midnight on Sunday the 5th November (GMT) you can grab yourself 10% off all Christmas products in the shop!

This includes cards, gift tags and decorations for all you early birds out there!

No code is needed as the discount has already been applied! So go enjoy and get super organised unlike myself...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Pet Portraits For Christmas!

Well, it's that time of year again and even though I know a lot of people will cringe as I write this, Christmas is coming!

And of course we're all starting to hunt around for some fun gifts.

And what better gift for a pet lover than a fun portrait of their fur baby!

I offer custom pet portraits through my Etsy Shop and can work with any pet you have. 

If you're after a pet portrait for Christmas however I am taking orders until November 15th for International customers and November 25th for UK customers to make sure I can get your portraits to you in time.

I don't mean to sound like I'm being pushy or trying to rush anyone, I would just like everyone to get their orders in time so if they're gifts you can actually give them at Christmas!
All portraits take around 1-2 weeks to complete and as we get further through November and closer to Christmas I start to get a lot of orders and become extremely busy so the sooner I get started on any pet portraits the sooner they can be sent out to you.

Of course I'm not going to stop taking pet portraits after these dates, I just cannot guarantee Christmas delivery with the joys of the postal systems. Especially international. At times it can take 3 weeks or more to get items to people.

So if you're interested go to the shop and take a look around, if you'd like more information you can always get in touch with me via Etsy or email and we can discuss your needs.

Happy November everyone!!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Busy Begins!

I'm currently writing this with a cool strip on my head trying to fight off a migraine and have dosed up on painkillers and all the naughty foods I could get my paws on. Apparently as is typical with my body... I seem to be going down with something just as the busy period of my work begins!

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Actually my crazy busy behaviour has probably lead to me being run down allowing me to catch said virus from a supermarket or something similar... I blame snotty kids coughing on me... that happened a lot last week!

However there have been lots of colourful additions to my work lately!

Now these were an idea I had whilst searching through Ebay recently, I absolutely love working with wooden shapes so when the idea of making some festive stars with rats in them came to mind I just had to give it a go!
Amusingly the rats were my main idea, I desperately had this idea of cute rats in bright shiny stars and yet the rats have turned in to a slight nightmare for me. As usual I have chosen a big project for this as my rat designs though simple are surprisingly detailed at times! Not forgetting I've barely used acrylic paints in the last ten or so years.
So the rats are coming along nicely but I will only be offering 4 decorations featuring them. I can't manage any more than that, especially when I can't guarantee any sales!
However you might notice in the image above that there is a sneaky design in the bottom left that is most definitely not a rat!

He is however a happy polar bear!
I cannot express the love I have for this guy and his design, to the point where I'm wanting to do a little bear series featuring him!
This star came out so perfectly I just have to make some more! So I will be making another five of them over the next couple of days and hope to have them available to buy by the end of the week.

The star and bear design are painted completely by hand with acrylic paints before having some fun glitter details added, I can't decide whether they're glitter snow or a sparkly starry sky! They will be varnished and come with their own blue ribbons for hanging.

I can't truly express how much love I truly have for this design, he came to life one morning whilst I was doodling when I had an allergy reaction and was up alone at 4am. I had to draw something fun and happy to cheer me up and this little guy slowly appeared. He is honestly a design that I created for myself and being able to incorporate him in to my work is such an awesome thing!
I just hope other people love him as much as I do!

I've also been working on some sneaky things lately. My partner takes part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every November where you attempt to write a story of 50,000 words! I used to join in but work has taken over and my mind no longer works when it comes to writing.
But I tend to make him a little celebration package as rewards for every word target he hits and this year I wanted to out do myself.

So a nice wooden advent calendar soon turned in to a celebration box that's filled with goodies and prizes! I spent so much time on this but it has been so worth it! 

All I have to do is wait for November to roll in so I can give it to him and kick his butt in to writing all the words!

Acrylics have also popped up again!
I've barely used them for anything over the past few years so it's been interesting using them with the decorations but over the weekend I had an urge to paint with them. I wanted to paint a baby seal (Seals are one of my favourite animals!) So I got the paints and played around.
And oh gosh I forgot how to paint with them!
I'm so used to watercolours that I'd completely forgotten how to paint with them, at first I was using way too much water in my usual habit as a watercolour artist but finally I mastered something... It wasn't how you're meant to paint and it sure wasn't how I used to paint but this is my end result!

Probably one of my favourite paintings now! It's not the best photo, I plan to try and scan him in at some point and might even make a little print of him or something. What you can't see in the photo is that he actually has glitter all over the snow, apparently I have to use glitter with everything at the moment!

So yeah, it's been a fun one lately and this week is going to be filled with me getting as much done as possible before the potential festive rush begins! I really could do with a festive rush, even though I'm doing great I'm suddenly feeling very fretful about my work.
I guess it's part of self employment, you're never sure whether you're doing something well enough and don't get me started on comparisons with other small businesses! Luckily I've stopped doing that!

So back to work for me today! And then some fun Halloween quesadillas and some ghosty cupcakes because I'm trying to get in to the spirit of things (pun intended) and enjoy each day rather than obsessing over the future... did you know it's only 8 Fridays before Christmas!? When did that happen!?

Well before I have a panic over that amazing bit of info I think I shall be off in to the wilds to get my work done! Expect more bears!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

50 Facts About Me

So I thought I'd do something different this week. I share a lot of my work on here but I rarely show myself so after being dared by a pal I thought I'd share 50 facts about me... this will be hard!
So if you're new around here my name is Siobhan Beer and I'm a freelance illustrator/artist. I am 28 years old and live with my partner in Wiltshire in the UK.

  1. I have lived in the same town for my entire life just in two different houses.
  2. I'm a country girl at heart and love that I live somewhere so close to fields and trees. 
  3. I absolutely hate big towns and cities, I can't see the big deal with them and have no interest in staying in them for longer than a few hours.
  4. My nickname is Shiv, short for my full name Siobhan. I rarely get called my full name by anybody unless I'm being told off or being professional.
  5. I rarely go out without any nail varnish on, it's like a constant thing with me. If I'm not wearing any I'm usually very stressed or snowed under a lot of work.
  6. I used to want to work with animals but the world kept that door shut for me so I could find my way to illustration.
  7. I was completely obsessed with cats as a child, then horses in my early teens followed by rats in my late teens.
  8. I am a vegetarian and have been my entire life, I hated the taste of meat. I've also been very healthy my entire life so don't believe that vegetarianism is unhealthy for kids!
  9. I have severe anxiety which can get in the way of life at times.
  10. I'm constantly fighting my anxiety and depression which makes people think I'm either stuck up or overly happy and annoying.
  11. I'm good at cheering people up.
  12. I love animals, in this world they are the one thing that can just fill me with utter joy.
  13. I don't really like kids and am not interested in having any.
  14. I am however a romantic and do want to get married some day.
  15. I used to work in only graphite and acrylic paints when I was younger until I found coloured pencils and watercolour and I haven't looked back.
  16. I am an only child.
  17. One of my favourite plants are Bromeliads and I currently have two that seem very happy, well they're still alive after a few months so I'm guessing they're happy and I'm doing something right!
  18. I am a bit obsessed with prehistoric life, like dinosaurs and ice age creatures to put it simply. I wish I could incorporate them more in to my work.
  19. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger and spent a lot of my time writing stories that then transferred to comics for a short while.
  20. My favourite colours are blue, purple and teal... so basically a peacock!
  21. My favourite place to be is Cornwall, nothing beats rambling around the cliffs of Cornwall and a good cold drink in a village pub.
  22. I don't drink. I have had alcohol a couple of times, the first time I got migraines and the second time ended in me getting a little tipsy and thinking I was having a stroke... I decided then that alcohol wasn't for me!
  23. I'm a bit of a doofus and goof about a lot to make people smile.
  24. I don't get on with technology... all the parts I use for work are basically me winging it.
  25. I love to cook and experiment with food.
  26. Autumn is my favourite season and October is my best month.
  27. Fluffy socks and candles are the way to my heart.
  28. Long nature walks bring me back to earth when I feel like I've lost my grip.
  29. I get affected by the moon cycles, I get very twitchy and anxious around every full moon. 
  30. I also come from a family where the women are more in tune with the world around them, we call it our witchy side. I have the rough ability to know when bad things are about to happen.
  31. I love to make pom-poms.
  32. I'm good at painting, baking and making people smile.
  33. I'm bad at maths, social situations and being tidy.
  34. I am naturally dark blonde haired but can never decide whether I want to be blonde or brunette.
  35. I have never studied art and failed GCSE art because I wasn't fast enough.
  36. I was told I was wasting my life and was never going to achieve anything.
  37. I run Silly Badger Designs by myself and hand make every product, all the prints are printed at my home studio along with the greeting cards and bookmarks and every little thing is done here.
  38. I love birds. It's always been an obsession but then again my family have always kept birds. Cockatiels are the best pets and I love corvids and hornbills!
  39. I'm terrified of grasshoppers and crickets. I got bitten by one when I was little and ever since then I've been terrified of them.
  40. I nearly always walk in to door frames, it's like I have this magnetic pull towards them and tend to bounce off them well!
  41. I'm badly allergic to rats and can never own them again which is why I draw them so much. I miss them.
  42. I paint both realistically and characterized, I can't pick just one as I work with both equally.
  43. I love playing games but never give myself the time to sit down and relax. It's a bad habit.
  44. I've been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years and we're still as weird as we were when we first met.
  45. I would love to own a ragdoll cat and adopt a dog.
  46. I have trouble thinking about facts about myself!
  47. I'm a believer in hard work not talent. I believe talent helps but hard work is what wins in the end and I truly respect hard working people.
  48. Foxes are my lucky charm. Every time I see a fox something good always happens after.
  49. Badgers are my spirit animal.
  50. Silly Badger comes from my initials, SB. It came to life when I was on holiday watching wild badgers and I started doodling them. that was over ten years ago now and the little Silly Badger has stayed with me all this time.
Well! That was fun... and silly... and full of randomness which pretty much sums me up. I'm mainly all about smiles and animals. I'm a very simple person when it comes down to it!
So that's a bit more about the person behind the business! I hope I haven't ruined my image too much!