Uppercase Magazine

Oh the excitment !

I've been a fan of Uppercase magazine for quite a long time. Yes, its expensive, whether you buy loose copies or subscribe direct, but it is beautifully curated and visually delicious – no matter what the theme. I used to buy the magazine by issue at a local bookshop, but what really helps the magazine to survive and thrive is the subscriber base. And so after I heard Janine Vangool, creator of the magazine, give a talk at Hello Etsy in the Netherlands I just had to subscribe.

If you'd like to hear her , then here is a link. (I couldn’t link directly to her speech – this takes you to the collection of various Etsy videos – you are looking for Hello Etsy 2012 )

So fast forward another little while and I happened to spot that one of the requests for submissions was based on “What colour means to you” – in whichever way that could be interpreted. I couldn’t resist sending something in – and hurray – it was accepted. So if you have a copy of issue 22 see if you can find my little snippet.

To whet your appetite, or introduce you if you haven’t come across Uppercase before, here is a trailer for this issue. If you want to subscribe you can do so here and hopefully the little secret code “roygbiv” is still current and will give you a $15 discount.



I am cooking up some changes and new things at StarryBlueSky / Rhiannon Connelly over the next while – if you’d like to make sure you are in the loop then I’d invite you to subscribe to my studio newsletter – you can do that here , or at the top of the sidebar on the right.


Seaside Treasures

Sea Glass

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for sea glass , but used to hunt high and low and find very little. Now I find myself living near some spots where I can find it easily and it is very hard to resist. I especially like all the pale aqua shades and this time also found a few pieces of broken porcelain. I am sure this colour palette is going to show up in a design or painting sometime soon.

rail bridge low tide

The bridges have also been looking wonderful during the last few days – mostly lovely summer weather and some very low tides which make for interesting images.

two bridges

rail bridge

If you are visiting Edinburgh this summer South Queensferry makes a very pleasant wee jaunt out of the city, especially during the crazy festival period. You can even take a boat to Inchcolm island and have a go at spotting seals or even a puffin if you are lucky. Get yourself an Orkney Ice cream and stroll along the prom to the High Street.

In the Garden

garden multi
The garden has burst into life so I thought I’d do a little picture post while it is looking so full of colour. This is my favourite time, when the tulips are fully out. We had one set of bulbs come up all blotchy and horrible – apparently this is some kind of tulip blight and it means you have to carefully remove all traces and then not plant tulips in the same place for three years. It seems likely that the culprits were bulbs that had remained there from last year. Are you an expert on such matters ?

I spotted there was still quite a lot of rhubarb growing so will need to make something with that – too lovely to let it go to waste. Another part of the garden is already looking quite wild and overgrown. It needs some attention to stop it turning into a complete jungle! One minute it was all bare branches and suddenly it has all sprouted.


The next things that are going to flower are the bluebells – another favourite even though, apparently some people feel you can have too much of them and pull them out. They are going to be in full bloom pretty soon . New arrivals in the garden are two little pots of yellow primrose that came from the island of Mull. I like plants that have some history to them before getting here. ( A lot of the bluebells came from a previous house and were carefully looked after in pots at my parent’s house for about 3 years until there was a new garden for them to go to ! )


The other much antipated plant this spring has been the row of pots with white grape hyacinth. I love the blue ones, but last year as we were leaving Holland I spotted the white ones and was keen to try growing some this year. They are such dainty little flowers.


The blossom tree at the top of the garden is doing a bit better than last year when storms blew the petals off very quickly. But at least once the blossom is past the clematis right next to it should be ready to flower.

As I work my way more and more into a world of pattern and textiles I spend a lot of time in the garden , checking on progress and taking photos or drawing things that will be popping up in work later on. It feels a little bit like coming full circle to my time as a textile designer years ago. But also that all kinds of different strands of past work is merging into something new. ( Too long to add that story to this post, so more of that another day.)

If you would like to know about work in progress and other behind the scenes snippets, not to mention special subscriber only offers you can subscribe here.

Early Flowers and an Update…

This winter has been so mild and today even has a bright blue sky hinting that spring might be on the way. But there is always the thought that there might be a cold snowy snap still lying in wait. The flowers in the garden are starting to peek through , and not just the snowdrops . Crocus are up and lots of the bulbs are starting to push through little green points.


As most of my flower phtography has been happening inside until now, and I thought I’d post a little round up of the most recent ones here. I am missing the Dutch flower markets at the moment – at this time of year the tulips are starting to be in full flow – but even more lovely are all the branches of different types of blossom. I only rarely find them in the florists here. Time for a trip perhaps ?

“Normal blogging” is a bit disrupted at the moment due to the upper floor being renovated. Sounds quite nice and contained , but in fact means that all the stuff from up there is filling every available space. Once the joinery has been done it will be time to spring into action with a paintbrush, so Starrybluesky matters are on a bit of a go slow. I do have a lot of plans bubbling so hope I will manage to keep on track with them all the same.

If you want to make sure you stay “in the know” you can subscribe to my Studio Newsletter here.


Etsy shop – last day !

I’ve had a few questions about why I’m closing my Etsy shop so I thought I’d just expand on that a bit. It is something that has been brewing for a little while, in fact , ever since I opened the shop at my main site over at www.rhiannonconnelly.com . It has just seemed a bit confusing to have two places selling work based on similar images. In order to make things a bit more streamlined I’ve decided to close my Etsy shop, review the range I was selling there, and add an edited collection to the Rhiannon Connelly site.
So a lot of the items currently available ( for one more day ! ) will be disappearing once I close the door.

I will admit to feeling a bit sad about the huge policy changes that Etsy have made in the last couple of months which has completely changed the feel of the site and it is no longer the resource for hand made products that it once was.

That said, I do still feel very attached to the Starrybluesky name, after all, I’ve been working under that name for quite a few years. So I may well revive it for another project in the next few months. I’ll need to wait and see how things evolve.

If you’d like to make sure you are kept informed about any changes or studio news you are welcome to subscribe to my studio newsletter.

January Colours

queensferry winter
I’m joining in the latest of Stephanie Levy’s online courses – this one has a seasonal flavour. And this week she encouraged us to take a walk around our neighbourhood paying particular attention to colour. Well, I am always walking and snapping, looking at colour and pattern . But it is interesting that when you really focus on one element the subtle differences seem even more pronounced. I was surprised how many variations I could even find amongst the brown shades ( a colour that I have been known to call “not a colour” ). Luckily the day I picked for this was one of those crisp bright winter days. Others have been posting lovely snowy images but if it had been white here there is no way I would have managed this route as there is a steep hill at both ends of the town.




Also, wee reminder that there are only two more days to pick up a bargain at my Etsy shop before I close the doors. I will be discontinuing a lot of that range in their current format – although some images will find their way over to my other shop at www.rhiannonconnelly.com A few people have been asking me more about why I’ve decided to do that , so will address that in the next post.





January in Pictures

loony dook 2014

This is how South Queensferry looks on the first day of the year – the participants in the Loony Dook marching down the High Street , led by the town crier.

And Queensferry on a quieter day.
Looking back at the town from the harbour.
Wintery skies on the edge of the town.

Although I’ve taken this month quite slowly on the blogging front that doesn’t mean that there has been no picture taking going on. Here’s a little round up of the year so far – part two tomorrow.

And a wee reminder that my Etsy closing sale is running until Saturday.