Wednesday, 19 December 2012

So Here It Is...Merry Christmas!

Gift wrap, ribbon, mince pies, a dusting of snow, fairy lights, twinkling stars, sleepy afternoons, roaring fire, tempting treats, thoughtful gifts, flickering candles, turkey and leftovers, cosy jumpers, winter walks, long conversations, magical memories, high hopes, festive cheer & good will to all...

We do wish you a truly very Merry Christmas 

A Happy New Year...

Also, thank you so much for all your support of Funky Scottish in 2012 - it is wholeheartedly appreciated and we do hope to see you again soon in 2013! 

Lots of Love,

Karen (and the whole team at Funky Scottish)


Happiness Is....

...healthy kids and fresh laundry?

I'm going to try and remember "good food = good mood" this Christmas! 

Meanwhle, hope you like my recently hand-painted bowls...

Find out more about my work at

A Reflective Day...

 These pretty puddles were too lovely to miss out on a photo opportunity.  Inspiration is everywhere...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Ideal Gift For Your V.I.P

I recently found this image of a commission I designed for the Lord & Lady Provost of Glasgow! Our hand-painted, bespoke plates could also make a wonderful gift for the special people in your life! I can commemorate a special occasion and feature lots of personal touches that have a unique meaning to the recipient, as shown in this piece. If you'd like to have commemmorative, personalised gift commissioned for yourself or a loved one, just get in touch with me. 

Meanwhile, hope you're having lots of fun with your Christmas shopping...and thank you so much to everyone who joined our late night festive shopping party last week!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Coastal Christmas - How To Create The Perfect Look...

If you're spending Christmas by the coast this year - or even if you just love the ocean and want to add a nautical twist to your celebrations - there are so many ways to incorporate a little seaside style into your festivities!  Funky Scottish is based right by the sea on Scotland's gorgeous east coast, so I'm always picking up new ideas (literally) during walks along the coastal path.  However, if you don't have easy access to a shoreline, just surf online for inspiration!  Here are a few fabulous finds that I discovered via the web...

Wrapped Up Like A Fish Supper...

Image & more ideas via here

Newspaper isn't just for fish & chips on wintery days!  Create a unique and funky recycled festive gift wrap by contrasting neatly folded newspaper with bright festive ribbon.  You could also use old maps, parcel string and pretty seashell decorations! 

Snowdrifts & Driftwood...

Image & more ideas via Beachcomber

If you're short on space and want to create a tree that could last a lifetime, make your own driftwood tree, then decorate it with seashells and beach combing trinkets!  Check out our driftwood tree on display in the Funky Scottish boutique!

Hooked On Christmas...

Image & more ideas via A Beach Cottage

These baubles and trinkets would look great hanging from the gorgeous vintage coat hooks that you can see and buy in our Funky Scottish boutique on the high street in Pittenweem.

A Tree Of Sea Treasures...

Image & more ideas via Completely Coastal

This beautiful tree is filled with handmade sparkly seaside decorations.  Go here to get more inspiration and a DIY guide! 

A Captain's Christmas Table

Find more images & ideas via A Beach Cottage

Find more images & ideas via A Beach Cottage

Give your festive table a nautical feel with red & white contrasts, a big lantern and a 'ship's ladder' decorated in fairy lights.  For the main Christmas Dinner and special celebrations, add some beachy bling by including lots of silvery sea shades and a scattering of baubles and seashells.

Our Christmas Invitation To You...
Finally, don't forget to join our Funky Scottish Late Night Christmas Shopping Party tomorrow night, Thursday 6th December, until 10pm - complete with christmas gifts, candles, decorations, mulled wine and mince pies! 

Happy December! xxx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lots On Our Plates! Festive Colour, Commissions & Our Christmas Party!

Remember last week I told you about the little robin that inspired my new festive bowl?  Well, the finished result is shown above - a big splash of festive colour!  That's not all though - we've been busy with plenty more designs too....

AND I've just created a special commission for a totally unique family Christmas present...

If you'd like me to design a truly bespoke Funky Scottish gift for you or a loved one, just get in touch with me!

And finally.... 


Join us on Thursday 6th of December - we'll be sharing mulled wine, mince pies and many gorgeous gifts....and we're open until 10pm!

Really hope to see you there for lots of festive fun!   Karen x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Little Wing...

This week, I'm really looking forward to sharing one of my latest creations - a very festive little bowl.  I've put the finishing touches to the artwork and it's just going in the kiln!  So, for now, I'm sharing a wee snapshot of a robin - the little bird providing inspiration for this latest project!   The bowl will be featured here shortly.  Happy Wednesday!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Heaven Scent...

We are absolutely loving our new range of Pintail Candles featuring divine festive scents including Mulled Wine, Cinnamon and Orange, Frankincense & Myrrh and Christmas Spice.  You can come and try the scents yourself in our Funky Scottish boutique. The candles are being showcased as part of our Coastal Christmas centrepiece, featuring a driftwood christmas tree, a sandwashed positive affirmation coat rail, heart cushions, cute candle holders, vintage key coat hooks, greetings cards and more gift ideas. 

Also, why not take the stress out of Christmas shopping and have a relaxed, coastal daytrip?  Wander around Funky Scottish and all the other little art & craft boutiques here in Pittenweem, take time out for coffee and cake, amble down to the harbour or coastal path and perhaps find a few pebbles and trinkets for your own Coastal Christmas decorations?!   Hope to see you soon...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Island Inspiration - Mull & Mallorca....

This year, I've been really lucky to enjoy some time away from the studio in two of my favourite locations - The Isle of Mull and the island of Mallorca!  These are obviously two very different places but there are real similarities too.  There's a familiar ebb and flow to life in the quiet fishing villages of both the Mediterranean and our own coastal communities. Also, both islands have a special quality that, for me at least, lingers long after a visit. Even better, I took along my camera, allowing me to capture and recall some really inspiring images that I know will weave themselves into my own creative projects, somewhere along the line.  Have you had an inspirational holiday this year?  Do you have a special place, either close to home or far away, that feeds your soul?  I'd love to hear from you! Meanwhile, here are a few of my snapshots from the islands. It's difficult to tell where Mallorca ends and Mull begins, don't you think?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Don't Do Spooky? A Happy Halloween Is This Way.....

Halloween - Doorway To A New Season...
Blow Away The Cobwebs! A Blustery Day in The East Neuk - Set Of Tiles By Karen Edward @ Funky Scottish

Happy Halloween!  This time of year is of course best known for ghosts and ghouls, witches and the other-world - which can be lots of fun if you're into that sort of thing! On the other hand, if you find yourself easily spooked, take solice in some of the alternative traditions associated with the festival. According to the old Celtic tradition of Samhain, which preceded Halloween, this time of year has its roots in honouring the end of summer and the beginning of winter.  Samhain literally means "summers end" and today's blustery weather in the East Neuk suggests the festival has arrived in perfect time!  This is a bewitching time of year to wander up and down the wee wynds in our enchanting coastal village. We're witnessing the breath-taking elemental magic of stormy seas, gold dust sunsets, starry skies and moonlight over the water.  Artists and art lovers adore the colours and changing light of this season. So, if witch tours, guising and scary movies leave you feeling a little jumpy after Halloween, put down the broomsticks and pick up a paint-brush!  Alternatively, have a look at what local artists have been creating as you unwind your way around Pittenweem during this upcoming open weekend...

Find out more about the warm welcome you'll receive in the various venues - including the brand new Art at 47 - over at You'll discover plenty of inspiration for the next big festival - Christmas! Of course, our little studio-gallery-boutique,  Funky Scottish will be open this weekend too. Hope you can come in to say hello and have a look at my new "Coastal Daisy" designs! There won't be a scary pumpkin in sight....


Karen  XXX

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Goodbye Gloom - 5 Ways To Fall For This Funky Season...

At this time of year, as autumn turns to winter, it's so easy to fall into melancholy.  The nights are drawing in, the days are often drizzly and the sparkle of Christmas isn't close enough to brighten the darkened skies.  So, when the gloom begins to take hold, I try to remember to be extra kind to myself.  Sometimes, hidden under all the fallen leaves, we can discover a season full of wonderful gifts, surprises and creative inspiration!  So, here are my Top 5 ways to celebrate this season!  Kicking through the big piles of fallen leaves is optional.....

1  Sunshine On A Rainy Day

When the elements aren't too inviting, it can seem like there's really nothing to do but slump into a chair and switch on the telly.  Instead, have a look in the local what's-on guides - you're bound to find something to pique your interest! When was the last time you treated yourself to a visit to a gallery, museum, exhibition, concert, theatre show or cinema? This weekend, I'm off to Edinburgh to an exhibition by one of my favourite Funky Scottish artists, Sonas MacLean...

You can also see the work of Sonas MacLean on display in Funky Scottish

2 Wrap Up Warm And Head For The Coast

I love getting all bundled up in funky knitwear and braving the elements!  Away from technology and everyday chores, it's amazing how quickly a low, lethargic mood can be blown away.  Scientists have even proven that the extra ozone in the air around the seaside can really boost our energy levels....

Enjoying The Calm Between The Seasonal Storms

3 - Doodle & Daydream

If you're likely to be literally blow away when you step out the front door - and we've seen plenty of days like that here in the East Neuk - it might be best to stay at home.  This is the perfect excuse to batten down the hatches, light a few candles, make yourself a big mug of hot chocolate (or tea...or coffee) and get your notebook out...then indulge in a bit of creative daydreaming!  Write gratitude lists, plan your next big project, write down your wishes for the future or just doodle away an evening...

Find candles & my 'Sea Pottery' notebook and mug at the Funky Scottish boutique

4  Have A Lazy Lunch

I know, most of us are mostly busy most of the time....but now and again, we deserve to head out on the town for a wee pick-me-up with a few of our favourite folks! One of the funkiest new places to enjoy brunch, lunch, coffees or dinner is Mitchells in St Andrews.  The former butcher shop has retained some of the original character and mixed it up with industrial chic meets autumnal tweed and a retro diner vibe - the menu is fabulous too!

5 - Get Creative

A little time out can do wonders for your creativity, so don't be surprised if you find yourself brimming with inspiration. Follow the urge and see where it takes you!  What do you love to do?  It may be taking pictures of the stormy seas, writing a short story, painting, cooking or baking, re-decorating, organising your photo albums and trinkets, pottery or some other craft!  This is the perfect time of year to do something creative and who knows, what you produce might just turn into the perfect gift for someone special. After all, the sparkle of Christmas isn't really so far off ....

Autumn Bowl - One Of My Own Recent Creations!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Funky Artists: A Day In The Life Of....Jill Calder

We're delighted to introduce the first in our series of interviews with the fabulous featured artists at Funky Scottish.  We take a peek behind the artwork, into the everyday lives of these talented people.  We discover how they seek out inspiration, structure their day and tap into their natural creativity to produce the pieces that are showcased at galleries and boutiques like Funky Scottish.  Also, if you're dreaming of becoming an artist - as a hobby or professionally - this series will provide an invaluable insight into the many different ways to craft a successful and fulfilling creative, artistic lifestyle. Now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Jill Calder...

Firstly, Jill, where do you live?

In Cellardyke, which is just along the coast from Pittenweem. I have lived here for 8 years, having moved here from Edinburgh to set up home with my now husband!

Tell us about your studio or work space – where is it, what’s it like?

I work from home, which I have a high love/hate relationship with! I love my studio space but I do occasionally dream of a big vibrant studio with lots of other people busying about the place! But then again, I do LOVE being my own boss too.

How would you describe your art?

I am an illustrator and I love responding visually to text, stories, ideas, captions etc that will eventually be used commercially, whether for advertising, design work, in newspapers and magazines or online. I also make time to do personal work too, as it's important for me to try out new ideas and experiment with new materials. Drawing, bright colour and ink is at the core of my work and I combine and blend that with digital  processes  to create the final product.

Tell us a little about your background and how you uncovered your love of art?

I just always loved drawing and making pictures and telling stories to myself about my pictures! I always wanted to study art of some kind and luckily I got into a foundation course in Carlisle and from there I applied to study Illustration and Animation at Edinburgh. I have been quite single minded about being an illustrator - purely because I have no idea what else I would have done! 

Tell us how you began your life is an artist?

When I left art college in 1992, I just started to show my portfolio around newspapers and design agencies , sent out a few postcards and hoped someone would ask me to illustrate something! I finally got my first commission from The Scotsman in 1993 to do an illustration about dyslexia. I got paid £65.00…20 years later, I am still working as an illustrator and now have 2 agents who bring work in for me from clients all over the world! I do love this job and I still get a buzz when a great commission comes in from an exciting client.

Which elements of your surroundings provide you with the most inspiration?

I do buy and collect a lot of books about art, design and illustration and have a very good library of them now. I like to dip into it at random every so often and I always come away inspired! I recently bought some signed Brian Wildsmith first editions  (he is an old school illustrator I discovered a couple of years ago) and I absolutely love looking at his work, in particular his painting technique.

Aside from your immediate surroundings, where do you gather inspiration?

I am not too bothered where or how I get my inspired, as long as I get it! - it can be a documentary, or a conversation, a bus journey, the cats next door or just by being outside in the countryside.

 How do you begin and structure your day? Describe your ideal day at work?

No day is the same but on an *ideal* day I get up very early and deal with all the niggly domestic things that can get in the way of me being creative. These things , you know ,washing up, laundry, hoovering etc can be very distracting when you work from home - especially if I am procrastinating about a deadline! I need a clear head to then deal with admin and emails that come in overnight (from my USA clients). I prefer to do this at my kitchen table, away from the studio. I go out with my dogs for a good walk. If I am in my studio by 9.00am I am delighted! Quite often, however, if deadlines are looming, I get up super early and just bolt downstairs in my pyjamas and put in a couple of hours before doing all the above. Strong cups of tea do help a lot! I find the more I have on, the more efficient I am with my time and I try to set myself mini deadlines throughout the day to get tasks done, so 30minutes of drawing for one job, 15 minutes of scanning, 1 hour of ideas bashing - stuff like that. Of course, it can all go to pot and I faff about endlessly too! Overall, I do make a conscious effort to not sit at my computer for long stretches of time and so have planned my studio around that - my drawing desk (which I stand rather than sit at) is at the back of the studio and I have to get up from my desk  to answer the phone too. I like to have lunch and tea breaks out of the studio too - if it's nice I go into the garden. The best days are deadline days, when the adrenalin is high and all the drawings and planning and sketching come together and the final piece emerges!

Do you have any creative rituals? (eg. in the style of Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way’ – journaling, time-out walks etc)

If there is one thing I know now, it is that you just have to get OUT of the studio sometimes - especially if you are in a rut. Doing something different - whether it be cooking or reading, or walking - can reboot the brain and you can start with a fresh perspective when you go back . Alternatively, I also believe that sometimes you just have to draw your way through a sticky patch. The drawings might be the worst in the world but eventually something starts to work!

How do you “switch off” and relax away from your work?

Dog training, travelling, cooking, watching movies and quality TV (and not so quality) and pilates. However, the creative mind never really switches off and I do believe that the subconscious always absorbs things for later use - at least, that's how my mind works!

In which ways do you find you most relate to other artists?

I am a bit of a loner and although it is great to see art exhibited and be inspired by that, I don't actively seek out other artist's company.  I think when you work on your own, you develop your own way of doing things and when I do occasionally get together with other creatives, I am then always amazed at how differently we go about our business!

What are the most typical daily challenges for you as an artist?

Procrastination…usually when there is a horribly tight deadline! Also, looking ahead and making sure you have enough work coming in, even when you have your hands full with current job loads. Juggling all of that can be a bit stressful at times but making achievable "To Do" lists can help - that and lots of tea.

What are the most typical everyday rewards?

Hitting the "send" button! When a job is complete it's great uploading my artwork to the designer who commissioned me. Seeing the job in print or online is pretty good too! Then, getting great feedback from people is lovely too.

How did you begin exhibiting at Funky Scottish?

Karen saw my work at East Neuk Open Studios and liked it - simple as that! She has great taste, is all I can say…:-)

What advice you would give you anyone dreaming of doing what you do – or something similar?

Work bloody hard, network all the time and be friendly and polite to people - you never know who will commission you. It's no good just being talented - you have to show people what you do and communicate well about what you do. You have to keep developing your craft and experimenting as well as marketing and promoting your work too…especially in a recession! Try to keep a balance between the business side and creative side of your business.

Tell us about any upcoming projects or special dates in your diary?

Hong Kong! I am off there for a few weeks to work as Artist in Residence with the English Schools Foundation and some of their 16-18 yr old art and design students. I have done this for the last 2 years and it is great fun, hard work and enormously rewarding. Just being in the wonder that is Hong Kong is amazing! I always come back with lots of lovely calligraphy brushes and pens too…

Finally, give us your top tip for a creative working day!

Get up early and get work-a-day tasks out of the way to let the creativity flow. That and try to only check email/phone messages/texts 2 or 3 times a day. That little *ping!* can be severely distracting! Do something random too - anything you like!

Jill, thanks so much for your time - and best wishes with all your exciting projects!

You can see Jill's work here at the Funky Scottish boutique.

View more of illustrator Jill Calder's work at her website -