Sunday 23 December 2012


Was just about to cut up these old slippers for the blue lining fabric but they have had a stay of execution!

Saturday 22 December 2012

Strictly Threads

Have been sorting out colours to start a new wool embroidery project tonight in front of a marathon Strictly Come Dancing feast. Good to have a  lap based sewing project in the festive period.

Monday 17 December 2012

Thursday 13 December 2012

Hoop collages

Some small collages hanging up next to my £5 dress.

Monday 10 December 2012

My £5 dress

I bought this silk dress for £5 at a market. It was scrunched up into a plastic bag  with a label "suitable for making dolls clothes). Yes its in tatters but beautiful and the label inside dates it to pre-1914.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Getting ready

My studio is normally a tip, with fabrics all over every surface and on the floor. Open Studios events make us all clear up and try and present ourselves a little more tidily. If you are local here is a taste of what you will find this weekend.

2 new pieces ready for the Open Studios event this weekend. .

Monday 26 November 2012


Staying at Gleneagles for the weekend. Total luxury! On the way back fitted in a little culture at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. In the recent year I have become quite inspired by forest animals in my more figurative work so it was good to see these examples up close.

We timed it so that we could see the "murmuration" of the starlings at dusk at Gretna. People come from far and wide to catch this wonderful spectacle which thrills me every time I experience it. The photographs just don't do justice to the reality of the patterns created in the sky for about 20 minutes as the flocks gather. 

Monday 19 November 2012


Christmas collages on the drawing board this morning ready to be worked into with stitch and hopefully ready for the Open Studios next weekend.

Friday 16 November 2012

Open Studios

Only two weeks to go till our Open Studios event and  so much to do before then. Teaching a Klimt mixed media/pattern workshop all weekend, more workshops for IKEA next week ( fully booked I'm afraid), a day in a school, 2 days at the Arts Project, a day at The Knitting and Stitching Show and evening class to teach all before next Friday!
Nice they used my work on the postcard this year.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Burrell at Berwick

My work is now installed at The Granary Gallery in Berwick. 

More information at

Friday 9 November 2012


My work is all about vintage and using old things. If you want to get hold of bits and pieces like these then don't miss this Sunday's ( 11 Nov) Vintage Fashion and Textile Fair at Royal Station Hotel Newcastle from 10.30 till 4.30. 

Thursday 8 November 2012

Festive Doll Making

Its moving towards the festive season again so why not take a break from it and do a course which involves you making something with your hands rather than using them to hand over your credit card. I will be running a Doll Making Course in Jesmond on Saturday December 8th. You will make a very special fairy or angel to put on the top of your Christmas tree. They are quite small so if you are a quick worker you might even make two! This will be one you will keep forever and become a family heirloom. You will learn basic doll making techniques and enjoy using special bits and pieces to dress your doll for the Christmas season. 
The course costs £45 and includes all materials.
To book please the Contacts Form on my web site. Click HERE for the link.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Printmaking Courses for the Spring

I have just posted details of printmaking courses I will be running in Spring 2013 on my web site This does seem a bit premature but Rebecca who does the bookings for Horsley Printmakers is offering an early bird discount if you book before November 30th.
There is a mixed media birds course,  shoe and abstract mark making making themed collograph courses and the Easter school will be on an African theme. For more details go to

Monday 22 October 2012


Glossy magazine called COLLECTION plopped through the door today with a big feature about the Newcastle Fashion and Textiles Fair that I run with Jayne Turner. It all sounds very glamorous and the pictures  and writing are fantastic. Thanks to Liz Hands who wrote the article about us. Other fairs are trying to compete with us in the North East but they are all run by national promoters outside the region and we  think we are still the best because we hand pick the best dealers and we have a fantastic venue. Anyway read the article through the link here. We are on page 27 I think. 1Like · · Share Promote 

Monday 15 October 2012

Cushions at IKEA

Another reminder that I will be running a free little workshop at IKEA Gateshead this Wednesday between 6 and 9 in the textile department. There is a big personalisation and customisation event going on over there and the theme of this session is how to transform a cushion using their fabrics and simple techniques. Here are 2 examples I made today! 

Sunday 14 October 2012

Burrell at Berwick update

My work for the Burrell at Berwick exhibition has been going on steadily in the background. Here are pictures of details before they are stretched over frames. They are actually white and blue so don't know why the pictures look as though they are all on a pale blue background. Must have pressed something wrong in photoshop!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Arthur Bispo do Rosario

Was in London today and  managed to fit in seeing an exhibition of the work of Arthur Bispo do Rosario at the V and A ( until 28th October).
The display brings together over 80 artworks ranging from sculptures, hand-embroidered banners and garments, showcasing the variety and creativity of Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989), one of Brazil’s most recognised artists.
Admitted to a psychiatric hospital at the age of 29, Bispo’s creations were made in complete isolation from the art establishment. However his ‘outsider’ art has long been celebrated for its skill and imaginative approach to working with everyday, found materials. The work on show demonstrates his fascination for the reappropriation of objects such as buttons, bottles, paper, card and cutlery, which he manipulated to create elaborate sculptural pieces.
Worth a visit if you are in London.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Another free IKEA workshop

I will be back in IKEA Gateshead next Wednesday 17th October  between 6pm and 9 pm doing a FREE drop in textile workshop. This time it will be transforming a cushion cover using IKEA's fabrics.
You get given the cushion cover and all the materials to sew on to it.  If you can't make that one then I am there again Wed 31st at the same time.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Spitalfields Life Artists

If you are in London in November please be aware of this wonderful exhibition at the Ben Pentreath Gallery in Bloomsbury. I've mentioned the Spitalfields Life blog before  and this brings together artists who feature regularly on the blog, including my daughter who designed the poster. Unusually you can actually take the work away with you when you see it.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Thread and Thrift Workshop

I still have places left on the Thread and Thrift Workshop at The Shipley Art Gallery on Saturday 20th October. This course is all about Folk Art inspired appliqué and stitch and you get to work on bits of old quilt or lovely tweed and wool backgrounds. Book through my web site HERE.I will show you how to build up a folk art picture of your own, how to make templates, cut and sew the components and embellish with stitch.
 If you want to see some samples of this type of "handiwork" then come and see me at The Shipley this Saturday for their "Threaded Together" day which brings together  embroiderers, quilters, lace makers and offers free workshops with acclaimed textile artist  Deirdre Nelson.

Bernina and the Burrell at Berwick

Working on my machine on to the bonded backgrounds of my pieces for the Berwick exhibition.

Tuesday 2 October 2012


I admit it I am totally addicted to Pinterest ! I try and limit it to 15 minutes a day when I am listening to The Archers after supper but could spend  large parts of every day on it as it is such a delight. For those of you who haven't heard of it it is a way of creating noticeboards on to which you pin pictures you like from the internet or repin from other people's boards.  It is visually educative and supports one's practice ( thats  what I like to tell myself) and leads to new discoveries. If you are already hooked then please start "following" me so I can find you too.

Newcastle Vintage Fashion and Textiles Fair

I have been packing up fliers to send out to our dealers for our next Vintage Fair. We have a strong cast of people with beautiful clothes, accessories and textiles who come from all over the UK to be at our fair. This is what makes ours the best in the North East! Put the date in your dairy NOW.
If you are interested in having a stall I am sorry but we were completely booked up within 3 weeks of the last fair in May. We are looking to expand next year though.

Monday 1 October 2012

Bonding and the Burrell at Berwick

Working on the commission today. Have sorted out lots of blue and white fabrics to use. Its always important to me to use materials wherever possible that I already have, have been given or have recycled from our cast off clothes. Started bonding collage pieces on to the backgrounds. In this piece I am working on one of the very elegant oriental ladies on one of the vases. The rest of the pieces I am working on are all to do with the natural imagery - flowers, leaves, birds and insects.