Saturday, 30 December 2017


I appreciate that Christmas can be an overwhelming time, sometimes the culmination of a difficult year. We all expect a great deal from the festive season, I know I put myself under more pressure than I need to. From decorating the house, finding the ideal gifts (sometimes making them) and cooking heart warming food. This year I added pressure by filling empty crackers because I couldn't bear the rubbish in bought ones. But looking back on my Christmas just 3 days after everyone has gone home, I realise that I choose to do it this way and probably could not do it any other way.
A few things have been different this year. Rudolf had a frosty, wintry look about him and he hung front and center over the fire place.  
My eldest son threw himself into creating, culminating in a wreath making session with his girlfriend. He has ended the year with the discovery of pompom making, can't wait to see where that leads.
The whole family pitched in this year, helping with decorating and cooking. Daughter and youngest son delighted us with winterslaw, and chocolate salami. Fabulous.
All around the house are reminders of making Christmas pasts. I had a year where I could not stop making crochet snow flakes and stars, that garland kept me company in the kitchen.
This year saw the second family bauble challenge. I found these hanging jars in Hobby Craft in November. We all made one including my sons girlfriends and arty chums. I have to say I know what next years task will be!!!
Yes Father Christmas still comes to visit my 3! There is always a making kit in their stockings. When they were small it was to keep them busy while lunch was being cooked and it still has the same purpose even though they are in their 20's. Christmas morning found them making a fridge magnet with the pack of Magnet paper from Tyger. Spot the pompoms? 
One of my greatest joys at Christmas is the fairy swap I make with my chum and talented artist friend Caroline McCatty. I think this is swap 14. We decide the theme at the point of swapping, so next years fairy is decided...!!! This year I have to admit was my choice, Forensic Fairy, yes we try to alliterate and this was not an easy theme to portray in fairy form. Mind you last years Film Noire Fairy caused me problems. These fairy's look great together, it shows how different we are, forensic gloves being key to one and macabre science body parts in the other. As usual I feel so lucky to be owning my fairy and will treasure it, thank you so much Caroline.
Can you guess who made which?!!

Thank you everyone who has followed, supported, come on workshops or poppped into the yard:ARTspace, bought my work and just been there for me in 2017. 
Here is to a creative and exciting 2018.

Friday, 29 December 2017


So here I am in between Christmas and New Year. I have got my website up to date, sorted out a newsletter and now a blog post. This dose not make me super human, just trying to fill the gap left by my family going home after several days with a full house over Christmas!!
I do try to keep my hand in and this holiday finds 
me doing a bit of research and development. 
This little sketch book is for a 3 day summer school I am planning for next year. 
Not on the web site yet, but details are going out in the newsletter. 
I find developing pages 
very soothing. 
You may notice a little festive influence.
I have to say I love the monochrome snow brings to the landscape, always inspiring.
Walks have had me constantly bird spotting. 
And there is always the odd garden visitor.

But it has not all been work, I have had some fiddly fun too.
I go back to childhood makes at Christmas, these peg angels were made several years ago. 
This years peg fairy's have become very pantomime dame and
I had the joy of participating in Viv Sliwka's alternative angel workshop at the yard:ARTspace in November. 
Inspired by the weather and as part of a family decoration challenge I did some stitch drawing and made a snowy lantern.

All in all it has been a full on season, cooking, decorating and generally having fun. I hope you have had an equally cheery season and have lots to look forward to in 2018. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


I find Christmas exhaustingly creative...I can't resist those festive makes. But before that has really taken hold I have spent the last week or so
making new collagraphs these will be editioned after the glitter has settled in the New Year. 
Inspired by the winter birds in the garden, I have 
put together a set of birds on milk bottles.
Card and glue plates, simple is often the most effective. 
While enjoying new inky pleasure, I have also started a new sketch book. 
I found that the wintery weather has inspired me. I also 
miss the discipline of, Draw a Bird a Day! Never thought I would hear myself say that?? 
There is a cunning plan here which I will reveal at a later date. 
But in the meantime I am enjoying lots
of mixed media and birds. 
No surprise there really!
I have arranged a series of prepared pages so that I can snuggle into the shed between Christmas and New Year. It is too easy to emerge after the festivities feeling a bit lost, so I always arrange a buffer to avoid that dip.

Monday, 4 December 2017

END OF TERM AT the yard:ARTspace

It's getting all festive in my world!! This is the time of year when my mind turns to Christmas cards. 
I have decided to try a new material this year. Why make life easy eh?
Now I know it's madness to make a collagraph Christmas card, the inking is far too time consuming. So this year I have made a collagraph robin as the basis of a stamp.
Using Magic Stamps from Handprinted UK. Iron the surface of the blue block, protected with baking parchment, then
press onto you chosen texture. In this case my collagraph robin.
Ta dah! Inked with a roller, or an ink pad! So that's my card sorted.
As part of my busy Christmassy weekend I held the last class of 2017, fueled by festive treats.
Viscosity mono printing is always exciting as everyone
makes lots of colourful , layered work.
Could I get anymore rollers on the go?
The results are spectacularly colourful, 
All these prints are made with one pass through the press,
and excellent printing use of wall paper.
Then the over printing starts,
adding rich colour to pale ghost prints,
extra texture and above all
silver ink.

It has been another exciting printmaking year at the yard:ARTspace and 2018 is looking to be equally experimental. There are just a couple of places left on the 10 week course and the weekend workshops are booking up quickly. Have a look at the website and see how the yard can develop your creativity.