Thursday 27 February 2014

A Little House of Your Own

We were having a discussion in the studios the other day about favourite books. If you could  grab one book in a fire which would it be? Here is my all time favourite book. You can tell from the state of it it has been well loved. It was a Sunday School prize and I read it over and over as a child and still really believe in its' message which is that everyone should have personal space even if it means getting under the table out out of sight or hiding behind a newspaper.!  I moved on to Virginia Woolf of course and "A Room of One's Own" but this book tells it all too. Every architect should read it.....

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Monotype and Book Art

There are still places left on "Monotype and Book Art", a course I am running in conjunction with Horsley Printmakers on Sat 15th and Sun 16th March. This course offers you the opportunity not to just learn about basic monotype printing but also to spend Day 2 transforming your flat prints using sewing, cutting and folding techniques. For more information and booking go to the site HERE.

Friday 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Here is a new pincushion I have made as a result of being fired up by my students' work on "The Stitched Hearts" course on Sunday. The central image is of Agnes Sorel. I have transferred the image from a postcard I have hung on to since the mid 1970s as I was so blown away by seeing the real portrait after a trip to the Loire Valley. She was an interesting woman, a mistress of a French king, but gained too much power and influence and was probably murdered through mercury poisoning. I was going to title this blog "Page Three Girl" because of the confident way she is displaying her assets but thought it might lead to the wrong sort of blog browsers!

Thursday 13 February 2014


In my studio today making this. Sorry about the picture quality, it was taken with my phone.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

How do I love thee

Its THE week for romance so thought it would be timely to revisit an altered book I made a few years ago about one of the greatest love stories in literature, that between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. I worked in to an old copy of her poems. Many people do not know her poem "Aurora Leigh" but it is a bit of an early feminist masterpiece.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Stitched Hearts Course

Exhausted from teaching a Stitched Hearts course today. Enjoyed presenting the students with some lovely beads and trims in this old print tray. Have another pincushion on the go and hope to blog about it in time for Valentine's Day! 

Wednesday 5 February 2014


 For some time I have had the urge to do some appliqué russian dolls. A way of using brighter fabrics and having fun with the faces and decorative embroidery. As always a bit of interesting quilt in the background. They are taking longer than the birds to make and are on to a more valuable bit of log cabin and  are a bit fiddly so shall I continue? Thinking of running a course on these.... I have put one on Etsy to just test the market for them.

Sunday 2 February 2014

The Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year! It is the turn of the horse and since my studio is in Horsley and is surrounded by fields with horses in I decided today would be the day I would have a go. Here is the finished stitched drawing ( now on Etsy). More to come I think and a way of utilising all the white table cloths I am given. At the base there is the number 16  off a shirt collar but also referring to the height in hands of this thoroughly thoroughbred horse.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Sketchbooks - how to get going!

Several people have contacted me saying they can't really get going with sketchbooks. Sometimes I can't either but I think the secret is to have all the  mark making ingredients out all the time so that you pick them up and start. I got all my painty stuff out at the beginning of January and then just set myself the challenge of doing a double page of sketchbook each time I went to the studio ( about 3 times a week). Soon I will put it away and get the textiles out again but when there are not gardening distractions in the winter and it is not cold outside I think it is ideal time for sketchbook work. Do your sketchbook for yourself - just playing with textures, shapes and colours and marks will feed into other areas of your creative practice.
The main things I use are 
gesso, emulsions, bleach, brusho, stamps, oil pastels, wax crayons, PVA, watercolour crayons, indian and washable inks, acrylic, nib pen, sponges, brushes, rollers, collage materials incl papers already coloured and printed  by myself.
So there you are , nothing expensive there just get going!