Sunday, February 06, 2011

I've moved!

I am no longer posting on blogger; follow my news over at my website

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blink and it's Christmas

Oh I had so many plans for this Christmas yet here we are again with no time left to do any of them. My new years resolution? To plan for next Christmas in January. It's the only way.

Having said that I am definitely getting into the Christmas spirit with frosty mornings, school plays, seasonal craft fairs and of course the Winter edition of UK Handmade.

We even put up the Christmas tree a whole 4 weeks early! The kids finish school this week and then we can relax and indulge to our hearts content. I usually work right up to Christmas Day but not this year. I am all "up-to-date-and-on-holiday". Tis a very good feeling.

This has been a year of slogging and learning things the hard way, particularly about myself and what I want to do with my career. I have found myself wearing many hats, some which fit better than others, the result of which has made me more determined to follow my heart and get back out into the world. This has been the first year I haven't been creating so much and blogging even less and I miss it badly. But as is often the way you have to step away from something to be able to appreciate it more and understand what is most important.

Roll on 2011, I have some exciting things planned...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Light

There is something truly magical about autumn more than any other season I think, where the cold meets the warmth of the sun and brings out a rainbow of colours. A long walk through a local wood wrapped up in woolies and boots followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows. Can't beat it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Not sure these are entirely successful but until I can work out what I am actually trying to do this is what is appearing on the canvas. I can't say any of my work ever feels finished - each one is a stepping stone to the next one and the progression is marked. I just hope I don't realise that the path leads nowhere, but I have to follow it regardless.

I do like this last one though, dark and spooky ;)

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's the little things...

...that keep me sane when the workload looks like it is going to engulf me...

Deer spotting in the forest...

making useless yet fun pretties in front of the TV...

devouring home made eclairs (made by my children not me!)...

stealing the odd hour or two in the studio...
What do you do to chill?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Two paintings in one week! Of course now I have run out of gel medium so I will have to answer my creative needs another way until a new tub arrives, but it is good to dip my toe back in the water. Even if it does feel indulgent. I have 4 big jobs needing to be finished by the 25th so the pressure is on!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eco Business and Upcycling Competition!

This week I have put up a 5 part series on running an eco business over on the Makers Online Community Blog, featuring fab people like Lynsey of Swirlyarts, Evie of Milomade and Teresa of Mimi Pearl. Find out where to source eco friendly packaging, DIY craft displays and producing eco freindly products from scratch, Lots of fab expeience straight from those in the know!

We are also running a fun competition to create something beautiful out of something worthless - enter the trash to treasure upcycling competition and win a whopping £200! Get creative and good luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've been desperate to start new pieces of work for a while now. My paid work is good and pays the bills and feeds the kids but doesn't feed the soul in quite the same way. I feel like I am heading towards something but scared I will miss the boat if I don't start start preparing now. So here we are, quite rough and ready but real and exciting. Sadly the camera doesn't pick up the layers and textures and subtleties that are hiding in there. I know what it means to me, I always wonder if viewers feel the same thing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

I spent many an hour rifling through my nan's button tin when I was little, it was an old rectangular battered metal tin and it made a really satisfying noise to just run my hands through the buttons. I would empty them out, sort them into type and colour and put them all back again. Who needs Barbie's and playstations and all the childish entrapments of modern life when you have a tin of buttons? Children today just don't know what they are missing out on. Actually my kids do. Both of them love going through my boxes of beads and buttons and feathers and all manner of crafty stuff. My other half thinks I just love to hoard junk. But then I think his love of bicycles along with his boxes of weird mechanical bits and bobs, and the mysterious parcels that turn up through the post suggests he understands it more than he would be prepared to let on.

These are my latest aquisition from Penny Spooner who I met at the Wemake Fair last month. (Note to designers who make buttons - pop them all in a pot and sell them loose if you know I will be there as I am guaranteed to buy some).

Handmade ceramic buttons are the best of all types of buttons and I discovered them first at a textiles show about 9 years ago (above) so much I can't bear to use them. I have decided to make my own when I can afford a kiln and find some free time so I can use them and then make more.

Charity shop finds.

Market stall finds.

Pearly kings and queens.

What are your guilty pleasures? Things you like to buy 'just because'.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


...don't tell but I've been taking a few 'me' days...

...rainbow days... days...

...sports days...

...poppy days...

...costume days...

...daisy days...

...and drawing days!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Creative Boom Interview

I'm pleased to have been interviewed by Katy Cowan over at about my role as Creative Director of, go see!

(And if by any chance you haven't seen our summer issue yet you'll find that here )

Monday, June 07, 2010

In The Pink

I'm here, still buried in UK Handmade and all my other jobs, but although I am missing producing my own artwork I am enjoying being busy and productive. We have recently taken the very scary step of turning UK Handmade into a Social Enterprise LTD Company. Sounds very grand doesn't it. Thankfully I share this responsibility with fellow Directors Anna Stassen and Kirsten Miller and we have taken on more core team members so things are definitely looking up.

Of course this has meant more time organising the new team and coming up with new ideas and plans for all aspects of the business - it's amazing how much of my time is spent in skype meetings and emailing! I have also taken on a part time role working as online marketing consultant for where I am putting all my years of experience in retail and marketing into practice by writing articles and features for their main company blog and the community blog. It's all a lot of fun and it's giving me more incentive to get my own little business a badly needed update and to just spend a bit of time doodling.

In the meantime I will just have to console myself taking lots of new flower photos now that spring has finally taken hold. These photos are from the cherry tree in my front garden - a real charge of pink hit you every morning when stepping onto the landing and although they have gone now I have one of these photos in my studio to lift me when I'm feeling the pressure of work. Colour like this is the best kind of therapy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lazy Days...

Party Days...

beach days...

tourist days...

happy days!

Monday, March 29, 2010

UK Handmade Spring 2010

At last I have something to show you - the Spring Edition of UK Handmade Magazine is finally finished and ready to read over on the website . My deputy editor Anna has taken over fully as editor leaving me now free to concentrate on developing the website and lots of other fun projects we have planned. Maybe I can now find a bit of time to do some painting too, I really miss making a mess! Oh and I have spent the weekend building new furniture in my studio and putting up shelves etc - just got to put all my stuff back in and it might be the motivation I need to get those paint brushes out. I will post pictures when it's finished; with the weather getting sunnier I am feeling more relaxed and productive.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tick tick BOOM!

Well don't ask me where February went, I have absolutely no idea. Just after writing my last post I lit a fuse that exploded in such a way I never thought I would recover from the fallout lol - yes I'm being melodramatic and no it's nothing bad. All good, very good in fact.

2010 started with good positive vibes, I don't know why, I just had a good feeling about this year. Then I thought I really needed to ask for help with ukhandmade and take the pressure off me a little to concentrate on my new found confidence and do lots of pretty artwork for my business. What I didn't anticipate was the people who responded to my plea for help would have such energy and enthusiasm for what we are doing at ukhandmade that they have pushed us further in a short 6 weeks than we had done in the last 12 months. I can't go into details yet but it has forced me into rebuilding the website quicker than I had anticipated ready for all the new ideas and increased amount of traffic we will hopefully get as a result. Overwhelmed is not the word. I always knew we had something pretty special at ukhandmade, more than just a well designed magazine promoting the huge amount of talent we have here in the UK but also it has picked up on a wave of feeling that things need to change in our day to day lives, something that people are responding to in such a way I wasn't really prepared for. I suddenly feel humbled and honoured and scared and responsible for something a lot bigger than me but much more than that I am excited. I have butterflies in my tum on a daily basis and I haven't felt like that for years.

Hopefully things will settle down and I can find some me time soon, the ideas for chalk hill are piling up inside my head and it's all getting a bit crowded in there!

Monday, January 18, 2010

10 years and counting...

I was having a clear out my 'office' this morning; old paper work, clearing out folders, chucking out old catalogues, you know the kind of thing and I stumbled across papers dated 2000. It took a while for the cogs to slot into place but when they did it was like a lightning bolt. I have been in business a whopping 10 years. 10 years!

So why do I feel like I've only just started out? Has it really taken me that long to find my feet? It's not that I'm inexperienced - the first 5 years I ran a successful wedding and bespoke design business but it's a massive step to go from selling commercial work to selling your own and I never truely appreciated just how long that would take me. (Add to the mix 2 children and 2 house moves along the way and very little sleep.)

2010 has started feeling truely like a new start. I feel like I have done all the ground work, made all the mistakes, tried and tested and tried and tested and thought and talked and analysed myself to death and now I am where I want to be.

All that is left is to create and create and to put all my experience and new found confidence into practice.

(And cross my fingers and close my eyes and sprinkle a little fairy dust to help things along a bit.)