Tuesday, 23 January 2018

thinking about spring

I have been thinking about the beautiful trees on the Birtley Estate in Surrey, as spring is coming and I'm planning this year's art days.

Why not come along and spend a day drawing and learning simple print making  in this peaceful place? Art days start in May, and you can find out about them from me at:


I can't wait to see the first bluebells!

Monday, 14 August 2017

the psychedelic cows of surrey

Pictures from a sunny art day at Birtley Estate last Saturday. Birtley is host to some colourful cow sculptures, and Suzy did them full justice in her prints.

This one made me think of a disco version of the Lascaux caves:

Everyone enjoyed the textural quality of monoprint making, although this log doesn't look too happy about it!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

happy birthday Eternal Maker!

Saturday's birthday bash at the eternal Maker https://eternalmaker.com 
was a brilliant success!

Such a lot of visitors, and such a lot of inspiring makers selling their wares. Look at these woolly superheroes, made by Heidi, at Handmade by Heidi.

And this tee shirt, made by Millie who works at the Eternal Maker. Who wouldn't want two crocheted fried eggs on their tee shirt?

Such a lot of people came in beautiful handmade clothes. Love this robot dress,

and Anna's wonderful pirate galleons.

Thank you to the wonderful laughing ladies from the Best Shop Ever!


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

sewing madly

At the moment I am sewing madly, to get enough items ready for a table at the wonderful Eternal Maker fabric shop's 10th birthday party sale next Saturday!


I'm making pouches, big enough for pencils or makeup, decorated with rather eccentric ladies. 

They all start off in much the same way,

but then seem to take on a life of their own without my permission. This lady appears to have decided to do a little light dusting in her bikini...

…and this lady has forgotten most of her bikini completely.

The small purses I'm making have just hands on them, but they are each fully equipped with nail varnish and jewellery.

I will also have fat lady and muscle man brooches, and hopefully more besides.

Maybe I'll see you there if you live near to Chichester?

Sunday, 2 July 2017

butterflies and bracken at Birtley

Four lovely ladies came along yesterday for a sunny art day on the beautiful Birtley Estate. The sun shone, and the woods were full of butterflies. Fiona told me that the small brown ones we saw everywhere are called 'gatekeepers' because you find them around field gates. there must be an interesting origin to that name- maybe they congregated there because the cattle trod the mud down and water collected? One of the nice things about meeting new people is the fascinating things you learn.

They all took to monoprinting straight away and were soon trying out their own ideas. the day went so fast that I didn't have time to take many photos.

Fiona creating a misty landscape print.

Clare made some stunning prints using bracken, which she is going to frame for her summerhouse.

We all enjoyed a very inspiring day!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

an elegant tern

Other people's hobbies always seem a trifle mad if you don't share their passion. Why on earth would anybody sit fishing under a wet tarpaulin for hours, and then throw the fish back in? Or build model planes you can't fly in?  Or (like me) buy a lot of fabric, cut it into little squares and sew them all back together?

Last week I went to paint with friends at a lovely coastal nature reserve, and I was surprised to find that not only could I not get into the car park, but I ended up leaving the car about a mile up the road, perilously perched on the verge. It was a beautiful day for a walk, though, so that wasn't a problem.

When I arrived at the shore I discovered the reason for all the crowds- LOTS of twitchers! Apparently they were all watching a single 'elegant tern' who should have been in California but was snuggling up to one of our common old British terns with a view to creating a nest full of not-so-elegant babies!

The nature reserve warden said that men (and they were 99 percent men) had come from as far away as Glasgow for that elusive 'tick'.

What an opportunity for a fun painting, though!

We didn't see the elegant tern, but I hope it has a happy time on the British foreshore. It seems a shame to treat it just as a statistic, though, rather than enjoying the beautiful weather and atmosphere of the place.

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