Friday, 18 December 2015


So here it is again, that festive celebration that gives us all an excuse to deck the halls.
This is now an annual post with the usual suspects appearing. The vintage lanterns have been up for a couple of weeks now to get us in the festive mood.
Rudolf now finds himself on the wall.
The gnome from my childhood Christmases is in pride of place on the mantel piece and
has now been joined by a flock of vintage robins this year,
 a gift from the talented Caroline McCatty. Frosty fairy, from one of our annual fairy swaps has made a return visit.
Creepy or cute, you choose?
I have a marvelous collection of hand-made cards
this year, thank you for going that extra mile at such a busy time.
The tree is now up and 
encrusted with my favourite decorations.
And there are more fairy lights in places you just could not imagine.
But the highlight of the festive season is the fairy swap I do with Caroline, this year the theme was Frightening fairy and once again Caroline has won. So del Toro in nature, I am so lucky to have yet another McCatty original!!
My fairy became a little too corpulent to accommodate a growler that sounded more like a cow than a frightening other being. But it is the joy of making something for someone.

We have been making and swapping fairies for years now, do you have a Christmas tradition you would like to tell me about?

Thursday, 10 December 2015


Thank you to everyone who gave me such useful feedback about Create for Christmas, the set of craft workshops delivered at the yard:ARTspace to encourage handmade festive loveliness. As a self employed artist things that seem a good idea in one's head, sometimes proves otherwise when discussed with others.
Everyone who offered suggestions and thoughts about these specifically targeted sessions, both from my blog and my facebook page have been popped into Grandpa's bowler.
So Elaine from Kitsch and Curious, you are a lucky winner, please let me have your address so I can get your prize in the post.
I had so many replies that I decided to pull 2 out of the hat so Tracey Turner, let me have your address too.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to offer an opinion, it has been very valuable market research, so watch this space, I suspect Create for Christmas may make a return next year.

Thursday, 3 December 2015


Can you believe that December 4, 2014 was my last class at Hampen Factory and during the run up to that Christmas, I and lots of lovely chums were doing this..SUE OF THE YARD
I look back at the photographs from this time last year
 and wonder how I got from this
to this?
Well with the help and
commitment of my super friends,
the ones who physically painted and built, who offered exciting workshops and gave me the moral support to keep pursuing the idea of the yard:ARTspace. I could make a long list, but you know who you are and a great big thank you.
Thank you also to the talented people who came and used the yard by coming on courses and workshops, producing some of the most gorgeous work I have seen. Again you will get a taste of the talent from previous blog posts.
The end of term saw lots of experimentation and
gum arabic transfer, done here on beautiful Liberty fabric.

I have lots of exciting stuff planned for next year, sign up for the news letter at the top to stay in touch, check out the website or keep an eye on the yard's facebook page

Sunday, 22 November 2015


I know that it is still only November, but I have made my cake, pudding and Christmas cards and I am beginning to address the situation that present buying can be! I may use my fall back plan and buy Christmas at T K Max! 
But at the yard:ARTspace it is still creative and magical hosting the last Create for Christmas workshop of the season...this means that about 30 people have hand crafted goodies to present to their families this season by taking part in this festive program of workshops.
It was the turn of the artist Dinny Pocock to share her skills with the Robin Bobbin workshop. Inspired by Julia Jowetts workshop presentation last week, everyone received their goodies in these little carriers...I know brown paper is one of my favourite things.
Tools , materials and 
and examples ready...
everyone was soon stabbing, stabbing, releasing the tension of the week onto wool fibre.
Here is Dinny directing the activity.
By the end of the workshop there was a flock of jolly robins all with individual characters in the yard together with practice mushrooms.

So, blog followers, I need your opinion. I think a series of workshops based around creating handmade things for Christmas in the October and November is a crucial thing before we are all sucked into the materialism and mayhem of putting together our family festivities...WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should I repeat this next year, what would you like to see appear on the program of Create for Christmas? I will pop each comment into a hat and draw out  a winner who will receive one of these small enamelled labels... you have until the 10 Dec to let me know. I value everyone's opinion and would love to hear from you all.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

the yard:ARTspace FESTOONED

Two weeks to go before the end of term and we don't want it to end!
My Solo printmakers are all doing large creations, this one from Jo is on an A1 piece of paper. I will show you more when they come hot off the press, but if you would like to join them go to!solo-working/c15ku for the details.
The 10 week course is beginning to produce 
resolved work,
too many lovely prints
to show here.
The viscosity inking technique has worked it's magic
bringing images to life.
Interesting colour combinations and
exotic results are being achieved.
I will leave you with this blended colour print from Tracey who assured me she had never done printmaking before, after 8 weeks has made and printed this...I think the result speaks for itself.

To join in the fun next term, go to!courses/c1hjv

Monday, 16 November 2015


The exuberant and creative Julia Jowett came to the yard:ARTspace last weekend. 
As part of Create for Christmas she ran 
her signature wire bird cage workshop.
And much to the delight of my Ladies she brought some of her delicious pieces to tempt us. I can resist everything except temptation!!
I filled the treats tin with creative fuel and off we went.
Everyone hung on every word, Julia's infectious enthusiasm got 
everyone creating ambitious wire projects.
She encouraged and enthused all day as well
as sharing a comprehensive stash of threads and buttons.
decoration and
lots of creative thought went into these cages.
The results
looked intricate,
and personalised. 
Julia and I have been working on some collaborative pieces in preparation for an exhibition at Unit Twelve Gallery in January, for which we have the work in the bag, but her cages set me thinking...
So using some etched copper,
 collaborative enamel responses to Julia's
beautiful cages are beginning to this space!