Thursday, 2 December 2010

Quite a few things, really

I've been busy making headway with my children's book! Without giving too much away, here's a sneaky peek at some of my initial drawings. I'm really enjoying just getting on with this at the moment. I've been thrusting it under the nose of anyone who'll look to try and get as much feedback as possible before attempting to show it to the big boys!

I also did a very successful Christmas Fair at my local school, where my little misfit kOodles were the stars of the show, closely followed by these fabulous fabric keyrings. Both make great stocking fillers!

All my Christmas cards are now available in packs of twelve packaged in a rather fetching kraft box. There are three different sets for sale in my Folksy shop and my Etsy shop.

So, I'd better leave some news for later, ciao!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Beautiful Blogs

One of my cards was featured by Kellie of "it's the little things..." blog today for her Folksy Friday. A new discovery for me, I look the look of her blog and it will definitely be a regular read for me now!

Here's the card that she featured and here's one of the other hideously cute things she admired!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Characters and Places

I have a huge pile of ideas that I struggle to put into words, even with the Thesaurus app on my phone! I have a plotline, but no main character, or I have two fabulous characters with amazing personalities, but no story. To try and fire my brain up I have been reading a few books this week. Largely Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan, which I have only just discovered and it's arguably not really a children's book, but it's just so surreal! It's a series of short stories and beautiful illustrations that I could not put down.

Anyhoo, I occupied myself by trying to put my own characters into their own environment. Very experimental at this stage, but we'll see how it goes. I've tried to keep it light and colourful because often my style tends towards the darker side.

Real life Maurices, Harrys, Lolas and Mias are available to purchase here. Each kOodle cometh in its own little box with a badge and a little booklet about it.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

This week I have mostly been thinking about...children's books

...because, like Alice, I don't see the point of a book without any pictures in it! It's my lifelong ambition to write and illustrate my own book, a lot of people have said I could do it, but I don't know how much they are just being kind.

I have a fabulous collection of children's books featuring some of my favourite illustrators Oliver Jeffers, Lisa Evans, Shaun Tan and Sara Fanelli to name a few. I get so much inspiration from them and it helps in every type of work I do.So, this is the beginning. This will push me to work harder towards my dream, because I am going to record every bit of my journey here. It could take a very long time, but I'm determined to get there in the end!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Super duper sale!

Once again I have relisted some of my original hand stitched pictures, but now they are all reduced! These are original, one off pieces of artwork, mounted and framed, some for under £20! I really need to make some space (and some cash too, if truth be told) to pursue new and exciting creative endeavours.

My Folksy shop is now being updated regularly with new cards and bits and pieces. Until the end of August (that's midnight on Tuesday 31st August) I'm offering buy 4 cards get one free, or buy a brooch kit or a keyring and get a free card! To take advantage of this offer, place your order in the usual way (don't add the free card to your basket) and please specify which card you would like in the "message to seller" (or something to that effect?!) box. This offer is also available in my Etsy shop! Now you have no excuse, get shopping!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lots of things!

Howdi! I've been slacking a bit in the blogging department, but hoping to get back on track after a lovely holiday in Portugal and a few very busy weekends! Here's a few photos to prove it.

This is me in Tavira, the lovely old town where we stayed

A good ol' family barbecue, with all the doggies, they are just playing, honest. This is Archie not being beaten up by a girl, Maggie the Westie.
And a hen party for my friend Helen, we saw Dirty Dancing at the theatre, then went to learn how to make cocktails! Here we are in all our classy gear.
I've now opened up a Folksy shop so people can buy things in real pounds sterling, hopefully this will make it easier for people. There are a couple of new items in this shop including two new cards and a "make your own brooch kit," which is already proving popular.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Uber blogging

Ok, so it's been a while since I wrote anything, that's just because I've been busy doing things to write about! Firstly, I am now a fully fledged member of, you can see my shop here with my little creatures in now. They're like a little family!

I also took part in an online project by Sandra Dieckmann called a Haus Stories where each artist creates a floor of a really tall house! Here is my floor doing its thing between the one-eyed girl and the duck-billed platypus (we don't see enough of those in art these days).
I visited the Whiteknights Studio Trail a couple of weekends back, which was truly fabulous. It was so lovely to meet lots of artists, designers and friends of friends and I loved doing it on my own so I could take as much time as I needed! I bought some gorgeous prints from Jo Quinn to add to my mini art collection that is growing and growing! So this isn't one that I bought, but one that I would have bought if I had more money!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Spontaneous little pics

During the final weekend of Gathering Threads I was creating mini artworks as prizes for a competition I ran. I scanned them all quickly before sending them out as I thought people might like to see them, plus I was quite pleased with some of them! I'd love to know what people think, should I make any of them into cards/prints? So anyway, here they are...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

All good things must come to an end

I'm both sad and relieved that our Gathering Threads exhibition is now over. At least now I have my weekends back! We all had a wonderful time and found it to be a great success, both for us and for the National Needlework Archive who welcomed a number of guests who "didn't even know it was here!"

Here are a few photos from our final weekend of demonstrations, which was a huge success and we were busy all day. We even had to be gently nudged out of the door at closing time! Enjoy!

We hope to get together and do another exhibition at some point, but in the meantime you can find Val Tierney here and Serena Nickson here. Oh and me here of course, and all of my work will shortly be available in my Etsy shop here.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Big Final Weekend!

Well hello there chaps, I'd like to invite you all to our big final weekend at Gathering Threads on Saturday 29th May 11am-4pm, details above (click on the poster to make it bigger). Let us know if you're hoping to come (just so we have enough biscuits!) by emailing me at We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Read all about it!

We made it into this week's Newbury Weekly News, yay! Unfortunately I was not present for the photograph, but Val and Serena posed brilliantly and they still printed a picture of my work, which is the important bit really. Not only that, but the feature on Insight, the main Open Studios exhibition, shows a photo with my piece of work in it, bonus! Click on the image for a larger view and zoom in to read it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

On the Radio again!

I had a phone call from BBC Radio Berkshire today asking me, as a successful artist (?!), to answer a few questions from Mary about whether it's possible to be both popular and successful, which I gladly did! My dad mused how I could possibly know anything about either of those things. I said it depends on what you class as successful. Being rich and famous isn't everything, sometimes it's just about being nice.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Lower Way Farm

I visited another lovely set of studios on Saturday at Lower Way Farm in Thatcham. Joanna Burton and her husband have completely renovated the outbuildings of the former fish farm into artists' studios making it a great little creative community. They are open 11am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday until 26th May.

Joanna Burton herself is a painter using thick, sumptuous colours and splashes of gold along with collage to create these fabulously ornate scenes of antiquities.

Marsha Swanzy is a fashion designer selling her modern, eccentric designs in vintage fabrics from her truly maximalist studio. Walking through the door, I had to stop and take in everything I saw, so tempting and inspiring!

Nuala Whales is a painter and picture framer who really knows how to enhance the image using quality classic and contemporary mouldings and mounts.

Sophie Waite is a talented young ceramicist creating vases as works of art, exploiting the clay as a soft maleable medium and showing it in its raw state.

Sue Diffey had a fascinating story to tell through her work, which is big, colourful and full of meaning that you'd never assume was there. Her abstract oil paintings are striking, yet strangely subtle at the same time.

Helen Mortimer paints on silk using vibrant colours with her inspiration coming from architecture. This results in a beautiful contrast between the soft, mellow nature of the silk and the harsh geometrical lines of buildings.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Whizzing around

On bank holiday Monday I was able to visit some of the artists I wanted to see. I had a lovely inspiring day, driving around the English countryside in the sunshine and the rain. Here are some of the people I went to see.

Kate and Paul Kessling are two very different artists, but both creating some really beautiful work. Paul paints huge striking landscapes in oils, whilst Kate creates very fun digital prints from her vast collection of buttons amongst other things. Paul has a website here, Kate doesn't have one just yet, but you can see more of her work here.
Diana Barraclough is a ceramicist whose work I found refreshingly colourful and playful. She makes garden sculptures called "totems" which fit perfectly amongst the plants and trees.

Finally I went to see Gill Banks and Sue Crook of Frayed Edges who are both textile artists. Gill's work was quite geometrical using layered fabrics and straight lines, whilst Sue's soft needle felted backgrounds played host to some beautiful freehand stitching.