Saturday 31 December 2011

Friday 16 December 2011


I have just finished this applique picture which includes a piece of my son's jeans, my daughter's pyjamas and my husband's shirt. It is based on the shapes of some black lucky cats I was given. I liked the backs better than the front so turned my cats into white ones.

Monday 12 December 2011


We have been to London this weekend and I managed to see three great exhibitions. At the British Museum the 'Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman' was thoughtfully curated by Grayson Perry. The British Museum is so full of stuff it was good to have a few special pieces handpicked and put into a context. Broken into areas such as pilgrimage, relics, maps, shamanism. I particularly loved the Asafo flag and reminded me of a fantastic show I saw at the Barbican about 15 years ago of these graphic appliqued political flags.It provided me a turning point in my practice which is still influencing me today. What is fantastic about the British Museum is that you can access images and descriptions of nearly all the objects online.

I did quite a few pages of sketchbook drawing which really makes you look closely at detail.

The last piece in the show contained Perry's largest sculpture which was a mixture of objects cast in metal from real objects in the Museum. At its centre was a flint axe head which is the starting point really of all making and craft, the first invention.I actually have a flint head like this of my own ( it probably should be in a Museum) which was dug up by my Grandfather with the plough on the farm at home in Norfolk. The Norfolk soil is full of them. It is one of my most precious possessions, I can't believe I actually own something which is Neolithic and about 3000 years old.

On then to 'The Power of Making' the V and A which neatly complimented Perry's exhibition but was about how contemporary makers and craftspeople are using tools and making and developing techniques.
We ended the day at the Wellcome Trust which is always challenging and inspiring. "Miracles and Charms" was a rare chance to see votive paintings from Mexico and a superb collection of amulets carried around by Londoners in the past to bring luck and ward off evil.
An inspiring day and made me eager to continue making things!

Friday 2 December 2011

Cashmere Cats

After this Open Studio weekend I really must go back to some serious work!

Monday 28 November 2011

My Open Studio Event

My studio at The Hearth will be open this weekend 3rd and 4th December 11am - 4pm. will tell you how to get there. Lots of new gift type things for sale.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Christmas Fairy Workshop

Come and make a Christmas Fairy with me at Corbridge's atmospheric medieval pele tower on Friday 9th December. This is a hand sewing workshop where you will learn some basic toy making techniques and have a fine old time rifling through lovely fabrics, trims, beads and sequins to create your own little family heirloom which can be used Christmas after Christmas.
The workshop costs £55 , includes all materials and a delicious lunch at the famous Watling's Coffee House. The workshop is organised by Delight and Wisdom so to book and for further information on access and facilities you need to contact them on (01434) 632818 during shop hours or email them at

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Recycled angels

I have recycled last year's Christmas cards in to new mixed media pieces. These will be central to the rehang I am doing in my studio in preparation for our Open Studios Event next weekend ( 3rd and 4th December) See for more details.
If you didn't get to see my Blues exhibition in the Autumn I will also have most of this for you to see.

Monday 14 November 2011

Now the Vintage Fair is over my thoughts are turning to Christmas and the Open Studios Event on 3rd and 4th December at The Hearth. Am starting to make a few new bits and pieces on a seasonal theme.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Friday 11 November 2011

Only two days to go!

at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle from 9.30am - 4.30pm
Here are some little drawings from my daughter Alice to tempt to you to come to this stylish event. Give up buying new and buy good quality and much better made vintage pieces. Jayne and I have spent months organising this event so please come and make it happen for us!

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Textile Hub courses

I am not teaching any more public workshops before Christmas ( though plenty in schools and with other groups). However the good news is that my Newcastle textile friends who form The Textile Hub still have some places left on their courses :

Ali Rhind's Proggy and Hooky Mat Making course on November 20th

Fiona Rutherford’s Tapestry Weaving one day course on Saturday 12th November

and on Jane Frazer's Christmas decoration Course on December 8th

Why not book now to avoid disappointment?

New brochures and Gift Vouchers for Spring 2012 Courses will be available in:

Ali Rhind's Studio at 36 Lime Street during the Ouseburn Open Studios on November 26th and 27th 2011. Jane and Ali will be available to talk about the courses. Book early to avoid disappointment or buy a Gift Voucher for a friend or relative for Christmas. Ali will also have lots of her work for sale.

Programmes and Gift Vouchers will also be available at
The Hearth Arts Centre, Horsley during the Christmas Market an Open Studios on 3rd and 4th December 2011 from 11 - 4pm. Myself and Jane Frazer will be selling our work at this event too.

Courses for Spring 2011 include:
Wedding Jewellery and Needle Punch Felting with Jane
Sewing classy aprons or up-cycling: a skirt with Cia
Tapestry Weaving with Fiona
Hooky and Proggy with Ali, including a special Valentine Course, ' Hook a heart for Valentines Day' and a 3D Proggy or Hooky Master class
Textile Collage or Recycled Sock Creature class with Me
and finally a Scandinavian Weaving master Class with Cia and Jane
More details will be posted on the web soon but in the meantime please contact us for details on any particular course and to purchase a gift voucher

Friday 28 October 2011

Paper cut

Applique piece inspired by a Victorian paper cut.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Surface Decoration; Autumn Texture

There are still a couple of places left on the Surface Decoration; Autumn Texture course which I will be running on the weekend of 5/6 November at The Hearth.
Taking the beautiful colours, textures and shapes of Autumn as inspiration we will explore a wide range of surface decoration techniques to create unique mixed media pieces.You will learn to paint with dyes, use collage effectively, make rubbings and use simple printmaking techniques to build up rich layers of mark making. You can even have a try at cutting lino.There will be lots of practical demonstrations and you will have plenty of time to develop individual ideas to create really interesting work.
To book and for prices you need to go via Rebecca's web site at

Saturday 15 October 2011

Monday 10 October 2011

The Newcastle Vintage Fashion Fair

During the last few months Jayne Turner and myself have been organising a Vintage Fashion and Textile Fair for 13th November at the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle We are pleased to announce that we have now sold all the tables to vintage dealers from as far away as Liverpool and Perthshire who will be selling quality vintage items such as clothing, bags, jewellery, textile bits and pieces such as lace, buttons, haberdashery. Some of them have put links on our Facebook page eg. Dotty for Vintage who sell vintage clothing in sizes 14 - 26, hurray for all curvy women! It is the first big event that we have organised so please come and support us by not only coming to it but doing lots of your Christmas shopping at it, even if you are buying Christmas treats for yourself. There is a £2.50 entry charge, £2 concessions.

Friday 7 October 2011

Autumn Textures

The leaves are starting to look really pretty. If you want to capture the glorious colours of Autumn then you could think about booking on to my surface decoration course on 5th and 6th November at Horsley Printmakers. This is a mixed media course and there are a few places left. For more details look at The courses I am running in the Spring are also advertised on the printmakers site. I am particularly excited about the 4 day intensive Easter workshop on the Oriental theme.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Time to plant tulips

Its getting to be time to plant tulips. I love looking through the Sarah Raven catalogue and ordering a few special ones each year. Just cut this off the drawing board. I did it really quickly over lunchtime during the last surface decoration course I taught. I just used up all the scraps in the style of the great Eric Carle ( he of The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

Sunday 2 October 2011


I haven't had time to do much of my own work over the last week or two as I have been busy preparing samples for an 'Enchanted Forest" workshop I have taught today and will be repeating in Rothbury next week. So because I haven't anything to show this week I will just have to show off my daughter's work instead! Here is one of her latest designs and check out her alphabet of superstitions which she has been putting on her blog daily for the last 2 or 3 weeks

Monday 26 September 2011

Manchester Textiles Fair

Yesterday Jayne and I had a wonderful time at the Manchester Vintage Textiles event. I was looking for old quilts and found some real lovelies, all Irish. This is an old one from County Antrim - I love the way the stripes are not quite straight and give it a liveliness that perfection would just not achieve.

This is a really unusual Crazy quilt which is made in blocks. Very stained but some lovely old prints.

A beautiful silks and satins log cabin top. Obviously hasn't seen the sunlight but some of the silks are barely there and mice had nibbled the edges.

The backs are as good as the fronts....

If you are jealous of my purchases soon you will be able to buy your own as Jayne and I have organised vintage textiles to come to Newcastle. There will be vintage clothes but lots of other rare, old textiles which you can only get through the specialist textile dealers we have hunted down. Put the date in your diaries NOW November 13th and tell all your friends. We want as many people as possible to come so we can run these regularly!