I’m delighted that Ski A to Z is now on sale in the beautiful Ski Paradise Shop in Les 3 Vallees, in the Savoie region of the French Alps.
The shop in Meribel Mottaret has a limited number of signed first editions of Ski A to Z, so those in the area can get them in time for Christmas. Just five minutes walk from the piste its possible to pop in whilst navigating through the ski area.
Les 3 Vallees is where the first painting of Ski A to Z were created. So its fitting that the book is now for sale where it first began.
These were paintings of ski equipment which were used for the ‘K is or Kit’, and ‘S for Skis’ pages of the book. I did not have the intention or plan for the book at that stage, I just decided to paint something that I know a lot about.
I decided to use a warm colour palette to contrast with the icy blue colours of the mountain environment. A colour range that was used throughout the book project.
Photo Caption: Painting whilst icing my knee after skiing in January 2020.
After following Ski Paradise on Instagram and loving their product range, I went to the store in March to show Ski A to Z, so I’m delighted that they are stocking the book. I was skiing between Courchevel and Val Thorens with my Dad that day.
The shop has the best range of ski themed gifts and ski art that I have seen anywhere, so it feels like a lovely fit with my work and its a dream come true to have my book stocked there. The shop also has a great range of clothing and offers ski equipment hire.
Thank you to Dorothee at Ski Paradise for the enthusiasm for my work. Dorothee is a talented artist who also has her artwork in the shop. Thank you to Andrea for getting the books on their way.
It’s that time of year when gingerbread tastes its best and spending time on a baked creation doesn’t feel indulgent, and there are plenty of visitors to eat it afterwards. Here is the story of my gingerbread work, as seen in Ski A to Z.
My final creation of 2020 was a two-storey chalet with balcony constructed in gingerbread. This was continuing the ski theme which was key for my work in 2020, and with the publishing of my Ski A to Z has continued to be.
The chalet had an overhanging roof, shutters, chimney, a log pile, and sugar windows in warm hues – including a window in the roof. I cut skis, bindings and poles from patterned papers and placed these at the front of the chalet.
I experimented with green screen technology to put the baked chalet into a mountain setting.
The chalet was lit from within its fairy lights added before the roof went on, with access to the switch through a space in the side wall.
I didn’t have chance to paint the chalet as still life before it was eaten, so I painted it from a photograph, with some additional details to the balcony. I added a depth of snow and removed some of the snow icing for the painted version.
The Art Applied
The gingerbread chalet features in Ski A to Z as a painting, and also in photo form.
The chalet features in Ski A to Z as a watercolour painting for ‘A is for Alpine’, the first entry in the book. Image Copyright Kim
A photograph of the chalet is in the map design for ‘M is for Map’, representing a cosy mountain restaurant.
I then placed and warped the map design to demonstrate folds in the piste map, for the spread in Ski A to Z. Pictured here on our mid-century teak table, which is a kind of gingerbread colour itself.
The chalet is also in my ‘Ski Goggle Reflections’ fabric and wallpaper design, in the yellow edge to edge lens. This design is available for print on demand fabrics and wallpapers in my Spoonflower shop. Here is the design mocked up as wallpaper for a ski house or chalet setting along with my favourite G-Plan Astro table. More about the designs here.
The Design and Construction Process
Here’s how I created the gingerbread chalet…
1. I drew the chalet design and then determined the pieces required before cutting card templates for each piece.
2. There were lots of parts to the design as it had a balcony, shutters, chimney and to look like a chalet it needed a considerable overhang on the roof. I find ceramics hand building techniques useful when constructing in gingerbread.
3. Once all the panels and components were baked, and beautifully golden brown, with boiled sweet windows, the construction could begin, with edible glue and royal icing, and some cocktail sticks and kebab skewers to hold in place.
For the following artwork I added a painted mountainscape background with falling snow in Procreate app. I used a might scene to accentuate the interior lighting and inviting atmosphere, a warm shelter after a chilly, but fun, day on the mountain.
Gingerbread construction is a lovely thing to do, Although my family can’t wait to smash my creations and eat the gingerbread. It’s delicious but always a little painful for the work to be undone so quickly, although that’s why it’s nice that this gingerbread chalet is now all around the world in my Ski A to Z book.
I completed the house on New Year’s Eve, and so the year closed. A challenging but creative 2020 ended.
I used the Mary Berry recipe for the dough, I’ve used this before to make two gingerbread houses, and a gingerbread car, each time using my own templates.
Earlier Gingerbread Creations
Gingerbread House 1 – 2013
My first gingerbread house was a three storey townhouse using Mary Berry’s recipe when she did a Christmas cooking programme with Paul Hollywood, during her Great British Bake Off years. Quite ambitious as a first attempt and my own templates, alway taking the easy options, not!
Gingerbread House 2 – 2018
My largest gingerbread creation was this huge house. It stood 13 inches tall. I Intended into have turrets on the corners but I struggled with the bend in the bake. Features I particularly liked were the scalloped roof and large windows.
See the real estate type ‘virtual viewing tour’ video, which was fun to make.
I painted a picture of the house in a simplified way in acrylic paints. painting from something you’ve crated can be a good day to get a fresh looking subject.
The following year I used this for my Christmas card and gift tag design (below). Each of the houses in the picture are the same hous but photographed from different angles. Christmas often feels to me like it comes round again really quickly.
Santa’s Car 2019
My Christmas card design for 2019 (above) then became the theme of my gingerbread bake that Christmas.
gingerbread Gift Box (2021) and Top Tips
This was a cake in a gingerbread box that I made for my husband’s birthday. Ceramic hand building techniques were applied to create this. Making the box was easier for me than decorating the cake.
Here are my top gingerbread tips.
Draw out your design and think about what parts make up the structure or design.
Bake more than you think you need, it will all get eaten.
Note that gingerbread expands during cooking, so trim with your templates part way through the bake.
As you make your templates for each piece of the bake decide whether your panels will overlap or meet at the corners, as this will affect the dimensions.
If a panel will be load bearing, such as for a wall to hold a roof, adjust the thickness of the gingerbread. Adjust your bake time accordingly.
Crushed boiled sweets work great for windows – Mary Berry is right! But if the windows are too large they will weaken your structure and may not fill the space. The boiled sweets are added mid way through the oven baking time.
It is important to text/ taste the bake 😉
Enjoy, it’s meant to be fun.
This video shows the stages of the the gingerbread house creation.
Now to make this year’s gingerbread Christmas bake. Watch the space. Please subscribe to follow and see updates as they go live.
To Own The Art
To own a piece of my work and support my art practice please visit my shop. Your purchases are greatly appreciated.
For more information and links to buy Ski A to Z head here, The book has info, tips and advice for skiers, with over 100 illustrations. Ski A to Z is published by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK).
I hope you have sweet time this Christmas. If this inspires you I’d love to see what you make.
I thoroughly enjoyed Snowbound Expo in Boston USA. It was wonderful to see the reactions to Ski A to Zbook, my ski art prints and fabric designs. Lovely to chat about the work and hear about the friends and relatives that they hoped the book would help to get into, and get on, in skiing and snowsports. I signed books for many people, including school libraries, newborns and those helping friends into the sport.
“Please sign the book for all the children in our school, they will love it.”
Snowbound Expo Visitor
Boston you’re beautiful, love the architecture and how it’s juxtaposed so strikingly in this historic city. I also thoroughly enjoyed the live music at the Be Bop Bar, ideally placed next to Berklee College of Music. Had a great time and hope to visit again in the future.
“I wish I’d had this book when I was learning to ski.”
Snowbound Expo Visitor
“I love your work. I have 350 ski books, this book will be added to my collection.”
Snowbound Expo Visitor
I hope that everyone enjoys their Ski A to Z books, the demand was huge, so much that we sold out on day 2. We hope that the additional online orders can be fulfilled in time for Christmas, and recommend ordering as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. For the links to buy the book head to the Ski A to Z page.
The book is also an ebook so you can enjoy it right now! Get the ebook here.
Please could you sign the book for our granddaughter, she was born this week. All our family ski.”
Snowbound Expo Visitor
It was exciting to show and chat about the range of fabric designs, pictured above as table coverings, a swatch book and brought together on the bunny character. Had some interesting conversations about commercial use and licensing the designs.
There are 25 designs in my Spoonflower print on demand shop, and I enjoyed seeing people inspired by the designs, we chatted about what project they may use the fabrics for. I and can’t wait to see what is made in the fabrics. More about my ski and snowsport inspired fabric designs here.
“My Mum is an interior designer and is ski mad, I’ll show her your fabric designs.”
Snowbound Expo Visitor
Having had great times chatting with Tim Meyer on his Ski Rex Media podcast it was fun to meet him in person and sign a Ski A to Z for him. Listen to our 2022 chat here.
Thank you to Kathy Brennan, CEO of CEO PSIA-AASI Eastern Division (Professional Ski Instructors of America) for including Ski A to Z in the talk on the Snow Skills Stage. Kathy is pictured here is with Snow Skills Stage hosts Brian and Mario of Ski Bum Podcast, who are as great in person as on their podcast. Listen to our latest chat on the podcast here.
Dan invited me to sign Ski A to Z books at his stall at the screening of the new Warren Miller film Daymaker at Berklee Performance Centre, and at the three day Snowbound Expo at Hynes Convention Centre. By the way, Daymaker is a great film, I highly recommend it.
After working on the White Haze project it was great to hear Dan share his extreme skiing stories on the Inspiration Stage at the Expo.
30 Years In A White Haze is now available as a hardback book. It’s a thing of beauty. It was good to chat to Dan’s ski clinic clients, friends from school, early ski instructors and one of his school teachers. Nice to meet you all.
Dan’s endorsement for Ski A to Z is on the back cover.
Thank you to Dan for his support for my work and for his stand hospitality.
So a grateful , “hello” to all the new followers from the show. Great to have you here. Do have a look around at the posts about the Ski A to Z journey and enjoy the sporty art.
It was a pleasure to meet so many people who are passionate about snowsports on the stands and see new products, ski resorts and ways to enjoy snow.
Having helped my husband and stepchildren (then aged 5 and 8, to prepare and head onto the slopes I know it’s no mean feat to get non-skiers up and skiing, A fun, safe start in the sport, as a foundation for them to build on is what I hoped for. All this and over 40 years of skiing fed into the writing and illustrations of Ski A to Z
Ski A to Z is like an all knowing ski friend, it’s packed with information, advice and tips to save time, money and effort in your family’s skiing, more information and links to get your copy are here.
Ski A to Z is published by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK).
Schools: Please put Ski A to Z on your ski trip resources list so that families can benefit and fully enjoy this exciting new experience.
School Ski Tour Operators: Help your customers have their best start in skiing and let it be a great foundation in the sport with the support of Ski A to Z.
This article in the School Snowsports magazine explains how Ski A to Z is ideal for pre-trip preparation for children and youngsters heading off on ski trips for the first time.
The article has tips and advice for new skiers, and tips to help group leaders who are planning ski trips.
The helpful information and advice packed into the 96 pages of Ski A to Z can reassure parents and help youngsters know what to expect, and to feel more comfortable and confident to embark on this exciting experience.
I wrote the article to inform schools about Ski A to Z and to encourage them to put Ski A to Z in their pre-trip prep advice and packing lists. The book is incredibly good value, snowsports are not cheap, but the price of the book compared to the cost of the trip makes it power up the experience and the reader will enjoy their trip and the investment in the holiday all the more, having read and consumed the book contents.
I hope the article will really help families where their child or youngster are going skiing for the first time. Getting your child ready for what may be not only their first snowsport holiday, but may be their first time away from home is a big thing and could feel overwhelming, “what do we need to buy”, “what should we pack”, “will they be safe”, are all concerns.
Ski A to Z complements on mountain learning and advocates learning with qualified instructors.
That first school ski trip can be the start of a wonderful journey in snowsports, and it’s important that the experience is as positive and enjoyable as possible.
Ski A to Z can help youngsters prepare for not only a ski holiday, but can help them get ready for an outing to an artificial ski facility whether it be an indoor snow slope or outdoor matting.
Ski A to Z can help ease anxieties and help the reader get to the fun of snowsports faster. With the help of Ski A to Z new skiers can get the most enjoyment of their time on the mountain, And don’t we all want to save time, and feel comfortable, when learning something new.
Ski A to Z can grow with the skier with advice that will benefit even experienced skiers.
The tips and info in the article are just some of the tips and gems of advice in Ski A to Z. Find out more and for info on where to buy the book head over here.
I wrote the article and created brand new ski themed illustrations of youngsters in school uniforms escaping the classroom and enjoying the experience of skiing and snowsports.
If you are a school in South Yorkshire or Lancashire get in touch and I may be able to come along with Ski A to Z to your ski trip info evening. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if this will help your students.
The National Snow Show at Birmingham NEC in October 2022 was a wonderful event. It was great to meet so many lovely people, to show them the work, to hear and see their reactions, and to make it possible for them to own, art prints, greeting cards and signed first editions of Ski A to Z.
The National Snow Show was my first event doing every aspect of a show. I’ve worked at exhibition events before but always after the planning and set up. It was a busy time prepping for the show, determine the products, display, pricing and signage, but the long hours before the show were well worth it.
My mini art gallery space displayed high quality art prints, giclée archival inks printed on 100% cotton paper. Printing so good that the have been tested to not fade for 300-400 years! And yes that is possible top test by firing intense UV light in a controlled environment to simulate time passing! The art prints are mounted in conservation grade mount board, in glacier white colour in a range of sizes.
The prints were popular for those buying for themselves, for ski chalets/ themed rooms or gifts for friends who enjoy skiing and snowsports. To see all the range of prints click here.
Brand new for the show, in addition to the art prints were professionally printed greeting cards with ski and snowsport themes. I am offering bundles of these cards in my shop here.
The cards are blank for your message so they can be sent as birthday, Christmas, or notecards. The cards are high quality so they also look lovely framed.
It was magic when people brought their Ski A to Z books with them to be signed, and when one person said they had gone to the show to seek out my work. That means so much.
This was my latest event presence to date for Inspire by Kim, so I’m pleased the products proved popular. Wonderful to see all the work together and hear the reactions of so many lovely people.
“Wow”, “This is great”, “No one else is doing this.” “Amazing’”, just some of the many comments on the Inspire by Kim stand.
Great to see lifetime ski friends there and to also make new friends.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback, and sharing the ski stories. Here’s to growing the awareness of the joy of skiing and snowsports to attract more people to our sports. The slopes await. I was speaking at the show, to make it easier for new skiers to get into the sport. More about this later.
In this one we talked about the coming season, ski fabrics, Ski A to Z, Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo and The National Snow Show.
This was my second appearance on the Ski Bum podcast, so it was great to catch up on what has happened in the incredible past year and look forward to what is coming up. As we chatted we both had copies of Ski A to Z to hand and were able to reference the work and tips there, that was a nice twist on a conversation that spanned that Atlantic. (Click on the pic for the podcast episode from 2021.)
Brian asked for episode art, so I created a new variation of my ‘Ski Goggles’ fabric/ wallpaper design on Spoonflower to represent three people. See my 20+ designs at my Spoonflower shop.
Back to the prep now for The National Snow Show. Lots to do to get ready, can’t wait!! Come meet me and check out my work at stand D76, by Red Bull and the SnowDome ski slope and on the Crystal Snow Skills stage on Sunday afternoon when I will be sharing my top tips for beginner skiers with illustrations from Ski A to Z on the big screen for the first time!! Ski A to Z is published by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK). More about the show here.
Wonderful day at Pendle Ski Club annual Open Day. Great to talk skiing and magic to meet so many people who were experiencing their first time skiing.
The club is fabulous volunteer run facility on Pendle Hill in Lancashire where people can learn to ski, race and enjoy the sport.
I hope everyone will enjoy their Ski A to Z books. It was great to talk to so many people who are getting ready for their first ski holiday this winter, it’s a huge step and so it was nice to help out with all the info, tips and advice packed into Ski A to Z.
“This is just what we need, “We’re going to read this as a family, it will help us all” “This is a great book.” Were just some of the comments.
Thanks to all at Pendle Ski Club for the warm welcome on such a stunning day.