Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Softest Loveliest Fabric for Toys ..... Ever!

It's that time of year when I am frantically making. Everything from pompom garlands through advent stars to mince pies. In the midst of all this frantic festive creativity I am making a few presents for some of my smaller and newer relatives. Those small beings are getting these soft squishy dolls, my designs (I call them Spotty Dolls, these are 18cm tall but are also available 40cm tall and more like a cushion.) and from my Spoonflower shop and oh my are they soft!

I would love you to feel this fabric as I don't think I can quite explain how tactile and lusciously soft it is. When it arrived in the post the other day and I showed it to various family and friends their instant reaction was to stroke it while oooohing and arrrrrhing and gently rubbing their cheek on it.

What am I talking about? The new farbic from Spoonflower called Minky! I ordered my dolls on it out of curiosity and Oh my! It's lovely. The colours are crisp and bright and, importantly for babies, it is beautifully soft. There is a slight furry texture or knap to it and just a little jersey style stretch. As it is so soft and floppy it is slightly more fiddly to make than when using the linen cotton canvas, but nothing some tacking doesn't overcome.

I love it. My next Campervan and the Surfies will be ordered on Minky. I think it's the loveliest fabric for babies toys.

Am I going on a bit about this lovely soft fabric called Minky?

O.K. I'll stop.

But just to remind you here is my Campervan and Surfies, but on the usual lovely but not so soft Linen Cotton Canvas from Spoonflower.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Stew Pot Tea Towel Calender 2016

It's that time of year when I show you my tea towel calendar.

This one is for 2016. The design uses a linocut of a still life. It depicts the classic winter veggies for a lovely warming stew and my favourite stew pot. The orange gives a retro 70's feel inspired by my own colourful orange kitchen. 

You can buy it in my Spoonflower Shop on their beautiful Linen-Cotton canvas. It fits a fat quarter or buy a yard and have four tea towels. All you need to do is simply hem the fabric and voila a funky tea towel for yourself or maybe a Christmas present!

Snoozebot Robot

My finished 'Snoozebot' Robot Quilt!

This design is much more of a classic quilt design, emulating patchwork. It's more of a 'cheater quilt' (a clunky name for a lovely way of making quilts!) than some of my other designs.

You can buy the design from my here in my Spoonflower Shop and make your own.

It's very simple to make and quite relaxing and addictive and the loveliest present.

 Basically you are making a fabric sandwich with something like wadding as the middle bit to add the warmth. Once you have your Snoozebot fabric you will need a backing fabric and wadding. Pin them all together, I find saftey pins are great for this then just start sewing. You decide how much or how little you want to sew, where you sew in relation to the design and whether by hand or on your sewing machine.

Watch this space I have another one on the go that I will show you soon!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Finished Farm Quilt

My 'Farm Quilt' fabric finally finished and entirely hand sewn. I must admit, as my first ever hand quilting project, it's not perfect but has been quite hypnotic and a lovely task with a satisfying end result! It is a simple process to make, being a sandwich of batting and fabric stitched together. The design is available from my Spoonflower shop.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

New Fabric Designs - Farms, Robots and Bubbles

The Farm - Quilt

Snoozebot Robot

Undersea Bubbles - a cut and sew dress

I get so excited when my samples and test swatches arrive from Spoonflower. I have some tweaking to do but most will soon be available at my Spoonflower shop

There are two of my 'cheater quilt' designs, 'The Farm-Quilt' and Snoozebot - Robot These are designs made to make quilting easy and quick to make. Also a sweet cut and sew dress for a 5 to 6 year old called Undersea Bubbles.

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos, I was too impatient to wait for good lighting!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A class load of artists

Last week I went into my son's class for a whole day of art. What a wonderful bunch of talented enthusiastic 8 year olds!

Linking into their botany topic our theme was flowers and initial inspiration taken from Georgia O'Keefe's flower painting.

I asked the children to really look at their chosen flowers and believe what they really see not what they think they see. I asked the children to fill the whole page even letting the image fall off the edges.

In one day this amazing bunch of small people drew their flower, painted their flower in watercolour using wet on wet technique, they made monoprints of their flower, they made a group stencil painting of their individual flowers and they made linocut plates and printed them.

The children's joy in exploring new techniques was wonderful, with each child feeling great satisfaction and confidence with different mediums. The monoprints were particularly enjoyed as the resulting prints were so surprising to the children.

Have a look at some of the gorgeous images these lovely little people made.

P.S. The linocut prints were all drying outside and I forgot to take any photos of them, but the above image is a plate.

I say linocut, but in actual fact, due to health and safety the plates are polystyrene. Somewhat ironic as lino printing was invented by Frank Chisek, an Austrian educator from the beginning of 1900's. He recognised children's art for the amazing achievement that it is (totally disregarded before), lino was easier to cut than wood, enabling children to make 'woodcuts'. Chisek's work came to the fore when Picasso realised how versatile and wonderful linocuts were and used the medium himself. However, the thought of 30 children cutting lino with sharp tools does make me shudder.

One to one children cutting lino still does work. Look what my 8 year old son achieved the other day. By the way it's an otter if you didn't realise.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Early Summer

Poppy seed heads

Elbery Cove



Early Summer in this part of the world is lovely.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Making my home

Today I thought I would share with you some of the things I have made for my house.

I live in a little 1950's terraced house. We have lived here for three years now. When we moved in we had a decorative project on our hands as the poor little house had had any architectural personality wiped out of it in the 1980s leaving us with brown yuk doors and a plethora of beige, beige and questionable wallpaper. With a limited budget and a desire to live life creatively we have played with the aesthetics.

I know that some of my 'tasteful' ideas you will find questionable, but that isn't really the point. The point is we are having fun making this our own unique home and if some things don't work it doesn't matter because this is an on going project and everything is subject to change, time and finances permitting.

 The kitchen was beige and brown. We painted the tongue and grove white. Then added colour and more colour. The candelabra was sprayed copper and magnetic butterflies added and you can't quite see the shelf that has my collection of coloured glass.
 The spare room was a very dark red. It's now white with a collection of picture frames. The cushions are covered in my fabric designs, although the butterfly cushion is tapestry and took me what felt like eons to make.
 What to do with my fabric samples? Sew them all into patchwork curtains for the window at the top of the stairs.
 This was fun! We ripped up the old disintegrating fluffy blue carpet. Stripped the old paint off the stairs and painted and stained them. The bookcase was an old wooden ladder that we screwed with brackets to the wall and now has our childhood book collections. Then displayed family photos and a few old lovely children's wooden puzzles.
 The entrance hall was a problem with the ugly double glazed plastic 80's door. Not being able to replace it at the moment we have embraced it's questionable design using sign writers vinyl to enhance the glass design. The curtain is original 60's bark cloth and the bench is an old brown wood 40's chest painted with chalk paint and contains Alfred's dressing up costumes
 Paintings, postcards and illustrated children's books I love.
 Paint chips from the DIY shop makes a playful impact in one of the kids bedrooms.
Little details can make all the difference! The bathroom desperately needs renewing but until then we stained the grout, stained the light pulls and added wooden beads.

I took these pics on a dull old winters day, when the sun shines the house is full of light.

Can you tell? I like colour!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Illustration Friday - Metropolis

This weeks Illustration Friday is Metropolis. So I thought I would post this little design.

This is my metropolis, or as metropolitan as my world gets. Although it's an imaginary street, all the buildings can be found in the little market town where I live.

This design is a fabric but also a wallpaper. I figured it would be great to colour in if you wanted to add a personal twist to your home decor.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Illustration Friday - Sleep

This weeks Illustration Friday word is 'Sleep'.

 I couldn't help but post another of my linocut prints illustrating the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea'. The princess cannot sleep because of a pea placed under a pile of mattresses, there by proving she is a princess as she can only sleep on the most comfortable of beds.

The my print is coloured with a collage of beautiful Chinese origami paper.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

New Products on my Red Bubble shop

I have finally had a good sort out on my Red Bubble shop.

 Now you can find all sorts of new products with all sorts of my designs on, including mugs, tote bags, duvet and cushion covers, in addition to the original cards, prints and stickers!

I think I am going to have a seagull mug as it's my favourite at the moment.

If you would like to have a look click here and it will take you straight to my Red Bubble shop.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

An Inspired Exhibition by St Johns Primary School

Inspired by Antony Gormley's 'Field for the British Isles.'

 I live in a small market town called Totnes in Devon U.K. It's sandwiched between the sea and the moor and is an old, pretty, creative little place that I love.

My sons' school, St Johns Primary, had an art exhibition last week,in a local gallery called Birdwood House. The children took their inspiration from where they live and modern British artists. Using a variety of media they created a beautiful and varied show. 

The children are all aged between four and eleven years old. I think their work is gorgeous, amazing and inspirational, so I just had to show you a few pieces of work from the many on display.

The River Dart


The River Dart

Totnes High Street

Dartmoor Ponies


Totnes (showing the castle, hill and town down to the river) by the Reception class.

Totnes High Street

The Old Bridge

The exhibition at Birdwood House

Totnes High Street


Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy