Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Today I received a beautiful, empowering e-mail from my friend Clare.  It simply said

twinkle, shoot, S H I N E  xx

As I am feeling a little less than shiny today I receive the sentiment with gratitude and will work toward shininess!

"You must carry a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star." 

Monday, 18 October 2010



Looking back at my blog for the last few weeks I realised that it looks like all I've been doing is enjoying the Autumn and galavanting in the sunshine!  Well I have but I've also been working very hard ..... I promise!  It has been lovely to have David at home looking after the children but that has put a lot of pressure on me to succeed in what I'm doing.

I'm diversifying into ceramics and have been sourcing products for transfering my designs onto.  I'm hoping that will be in time for the Christmas markets.

I've also been carrying on with the original artworks ready for gallery drop offs and heading very quickly towards The Art Market at Holmfirth on November 7th.  I've had the stall plan and I'm visualising my shop.

In amongst all that, I've been getting my teeth into being Eco-coordinator at Little Man's school.  This week it's a display for Harvest Festival and an assembly on Climate Change.  My two are loving having Dad around and are helping in the garden where Dad seems to allow a far more hands on approach to life than I normally go in for.  Tools, dirt and wood chopping are now deemed everyday projects for my two and five year olds and Little Man (who is actually the bigger one) has developed a rather too enthusiastic love of starting the fire!   I definitely feel its a boys zone and look forward to collecting "my ladies" in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I lived to tell the tale

Last weekend we were away enjoying beautiful sunshine in Suffolk.  We sat around an open fire, and the following morning foraged in the dewy fields for these mushrooms. Idyllic.  They ended up in a soup....a brave two footed leap into the unknown.  Luckily for us, we had been shown how to identify a field mushroom and a parasol mushroom, and by the fact that we suffered no ill effects from our tasty soup I think we got it right!

We had headed to Suffolk for the annual wood fair at Ickworth House.  It is a celebration of Autumn and wood crafts.  There are huge pieces of freshly sawn wood to buy, tools and items from jewellery to furniture to tree houses to buy and commission.  Other country crafts abound against a backdrop of musicians and storytellers.  It felt magical and a celebration of Nature.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Friday, 8 October 2010

Favourite place

One of my favourite places is the glass house at Clumber Park.  It's a huge, graceful structure, infused with a serene white light.  The space is truly alive with the magic of plants and the ghosts of those who have lived and gardened there.  I felt at one with myself when I sat on the benches in the warmth of the autumn sun and inhaled the gentle oil evaporating from the geraniums.  Sublime.

No one had told these plants that summer is over.  Oh I am enjoying these balmy autumn days.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


I had a quick experiment with the electric sander. It was great fun but I'd feel a bit scared of attacking a finished work of art with it.  The sander roughed up the papers, knocked off sharp corners and generally matted the surface, giving a sense of age to the piece.  I think that it is worth pursuing, especially on the more abstract pieces.  Oh, and I've started working this way up as a change from the landscape pieces.

Louise Baldwin

"These pieces are  worked on brown parcel paper with a felt backing. 
She begins by building layers of paint, plaster, and more paint onto the parcel paper, crinkling and sanding back. She then works silk and other fabrics as well as glittering threads into a machine and hand stitched  whole, with a thick felt backing. The surface is very rich, like a strange reptile skin." Juju Loves Polka Dots (a really lovely blog)

It really is hard to find any images of Louise Baldwin's textile art online.  I think somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I remember seeing some and being inspired by the combination of paper and stitch.  They are very rich.  I love the idea of sanding my work.....to try and create some layers of colour, like in the Annora Spence images.  But am I brave enough?!

LS Lowry

I was looking at LS Lowry's landscapes and came across this "Portrait of Ann" from 1957.  I was arrested by the image.  I love the design of it, and the sadness in those eyes.

Annora Spence

I had forgotten how much I love the work of Annora Spence.  I used to have her work on my inspiration board when I studied woven-textiles.  I love the intensity of colour and the texture created by the layering.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Paulo Cuelho

I really enjoyed listening to this program about Paulo Cuelho, one of my favourite authors.
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