Monday, 28 February 2011


Yippee, when I came home at lunchtime today a parcel had arrived with my new glass powders in it among other things. I have not used glass powder before ( very fine frit- crushed glass) and am looking forward to learning this new technique. A friend of mine has been trying it out with some exciting results. I also ordered a dish mould and I can't wait to use this too. I have booked a workshop at Making Space doing more fused glass so the tutor will help me to experiment with the powders. Roll on tomorrow night! Bliss.

weekend workshops

A good friend of mine was unable to run a workshop on basic jewellery and so she asked me to step in at the last moment. It was a bit scary at first but everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was only for the morning. We looked at making single loops, wrapped loops and jump rings and then people could create earings etc using these techniques. Most were able to make at least 2 pairs of earings in the time given, along with some samples and they seemed to have a good time. I was worried about the feedback forms but I had no need to, everyone was very positive about their experience.
 I am wondering if blog visitors might want to see photos of how to do these techniques?
Next Sunday I am also running a felt making workshop. Again it is only for a morning, so I think I will teach the group how to make felt beads and bangles. Last time the workshop was all day and I could cover more, but the shop owner only wants morning sessions this time.
Would people like photo instructions of this too? Let me know what you think please. I want to keep improving my blog and this may be one way to do it.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

More happiness blogs

I have added  several new blogs to my happiness blog list today. I really enjoy reading about what other artists and crafters out there, are up to. I have actually met the lady from poppyfields on a glass course last year. She was the person who inspired me to set up an etsy shop! She is so positive and enthusiastic about trying new things.
Design Sponge is a blog that I have returned to several times for ideas and tips so I have added them. Also I came across a blog by a daughter and mother in law, who give advice about working in the creative industry. Their style is relaxed and encouraging so worth a read.I have attached their button- blacksburg belle. Gosh I am proud of myself for doing this. Last night I tried for ages to add a button for craftaganza, nearly throwing my laptop out of the window in frustration, with no success.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I really wanted to go in here because I just loved the name and the idea but we had just eaten so must remember this place for next time. Brighton is such a stimulating place with every corner offering even more excitement. My sketchbook kept coming out but the weather was determined to halt my progress. Still I have a few ideas for new glass work. Can't wait til tomorrow to try out some of them.
 I came across a lovely vintage dress shop. Upstairs was really warm and The Archers was playing on the radio. They had a velvet chaise longue and I was sorely tempted to sit down and soak up the cosy atmosphere.
After so much rain we decided to visit the art gallery to get warm and I was amazed at how varied the exhibits are. I will definitely be returning again and again to this hive of inspirational visual treats.
Just returned from a short break in Brighton. More drizzle and mist but we still had an inspiring time. Gosh did I OD on chocolate in this unusual cafe! The hot chocolate was made from melted chocolate with milk steamed through it. Marshmellows and cream on top, just about beat me and I had to leave some! Unheard of. The decor was full blown , over the top, red!

I was fascinated by this young guy's outfit and supreme confidence in his own style. I cheekily took a photo but he looked even more amazing from the front. He had a curly moustache and he looked like a circus act or a magician. He even wore spats and he clearly has an eye for detail. The next day he appeared again in another amazing vintage outfit.

Monday, 21 February 2011

seedling favourites

What a wonderful bold seed design. I found this printed cushion by Zebedee on Folksy. She has lots more fab printed items too.
This lovely fabric envelope came from thebotheredowl and is another fine example on my theme.

more seedlings

I chose this wonderful leather bound sketchbook because I had a fab time at Westdean and made a simple book on one of the summer sampler workshops. This is from Baghy on Etsy.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Just loved the red wheels!


The shard-while on the train I realised that I had sat behind Hugh Dennis and his family. They kept talking about the shard. It is partly hidden in the mist too. I thought, that is near my girls- I am sure I have an invisible umbilicle chord still attached. Whenever I watch the telly and see views of London I become aware of it. I used to hear the children playing in the playground when I was at home with my youngest and I was certain that the chord was pulling me towards them!

Tate Community Gardens

 What a wonderful idea- this garden is available to residents who live in the Tate Gallery area to use. They have to have a code to get into the gardens. I know because my girls are able to us ethis facility. It lookks grey and dull today, but it is fabulous in the summer. It is almost invisible yet right next to the Tate!!

 St Paul's looks mysterious through the mist.
The New Globe Theatre just around the corner. It looks incongruous amongst the concrete of Bankside.
What a fantastic sight. I could lie under those trees and dream forever. Though perhaps not today in the drizzle!

glass seedlings

This is my attempt at seedlings using glass. It has not been decorated yet nor has it been fired. Watch this space.


I have found my first find for creative journeys. I love the switchplate design from funkychickendesigns.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Springtime and thoughts of the garden

Been thinking about the garden and springtime! Each year I say shall we replace the old fence and then can't bring myself to spend the money on it, money that could be spent on so many luscious plants!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

from the traditional to the fantastical

 I have cut the top of this photo. I really need to do a photography course! I made 2 slightly different lanterns. I also made the blackberry basket. The sculpture on the right is mine too. It was based on seed pods.My favourite theme!

Fame at last ?

I am soo excited  for two reasons! One, I was looking through the West Dean College brochure when I suddenly spotted myself in one of the photographs! It is not the most flattering of photos! I still think I  am about 20 though the reality is very different!!But hey! I had been on a summer school doing willow work and was busy making a lantern to go out on my deck in the evenings.
The second reason is because I have booked to go on the summer sampler weekend. I went last year and it was great fun. I met loads of lovely people and experienced crafts that I wouldn't normally attempt. You get 4 half day workshops and come away with an item from each. I have chosen printmaking, jewellery, making a fabric bag and small scale wire sculpture. I can't wait to do the last one especially, as I love the work of Cathy Miles.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Close up of work in progress

 I hope this will make a lovely dish when I have slumped it. The only trouble is I have used kiln fibre as a background so it will need two firings, which means waiting to see the final piece. No patience, me!

dots and spots

This new addition to my happiness list has some great valentines ideas on it. I really love myrtle the mouse because my middle daughter was small and her feet looked like mouse feet when she was born, so I have a soft spot for mice!

Found a fab artist!

Found an exciting website about an artist who makes a wide range of work. I absolutely love her wire sculptures and can't wait to get my willow ready to make more sculpture myself. She makes felt jewellery, paints, draws, allsorts. Just my kind of person! There is no blog or further information about the maker, which is a shame as I am sure it would be something really fab to follow. I am going to follow her on twitter though.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

using maps

Just been browsing again and read some interesting articles on Swirly Thoughts. What a fab name! I was only looking in a charity shop the other day with my husband and we saw some old maps.He was surprised that  people would buy out dated maps and I said they make great backgrounds for all sorts of art.(Not that I had made any use of them) Well , next I turned to Swirly Thoughts and lo and behold, she has created envelopes from maps. I love the idea of recycling in such a creative and unique way. There are many other lovely makes to be bought on her etsy shop. Well worth a look in myhappiness blogs.

colour diving

 I love just opening up the drawers to reveal the fabulous coloured glass and confetti. I also stare at the boxes of brightly coloured wool sometimes! I must get a life!
Colour is the most important thing to me. I could rearrange coloured glass or felt all day long. I used to drive the girls crazy when we passed a field of oil seed rape because I would go into raptures about wanting to dive into the brilliant yellow colour! This was usually accompanied by groans from the back of the car!

Studio space

I am lucky because  my studio is really light and I look out onto my garden, which I love.

my studio

The weather was so lovely and spring like that I tidied up my studio ( tiny lean to at the back of my house!). I decided to reorganise some bits and now my space looks tempting to make in. It is still a bit cluttered and I haven't photographed the scruffy bits! he he.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Felt jewellery

 More to see on my Etsy shop and still more to be added soon.

Handmade felt

Just been booked to run a few more felt making workshops at Stanstead in Buttercup Blue's workshop. Now I need to check out my timings because each workshop is for half a day. I should be able to show people how to make flat felt pieces or maybe beads and bangles. Mm! I need to see what they want me to do first! I know people like to have something to take away with them and to be able to explore further at home. I love the colours of felt. I have them in my little studio in transparent boxes so I can look at them and drool! Sad I know, but true. I must make some little felt bags next I think. My mum has been on at me for ages to make her one.

Monday, 7 February 2011

craft fair dreams

Come and see me at Craftaganza on March 26th in Brighton.
It is scary and I flow from being really excited and unable to sleep for ideas buzzing in my head to being gripped with fear that I will not be ready in time! I have decided to be brave and have a go at selling my glass at a craft fair. I must say that the people who are organising it have been really encouraging. Well, I did decide to make this year special!
Anyone got any helpful hints and tips about setting up a stall? I have been reading The Handmade Marketplace but there is nothing like experience.

city guide design

I have just found an interesting site or blog that keeps you up to date with a whole host of trends. I must tell middle tree because there is a really exciting section called city guides that has guest writers talking about their city in terms of designers and design around the city. What a great idea!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

little plates

Little tea plates are so lovely. I bought some more from a charity shop yesterday. I love the fact that they don't match and that they have a vintage look about them. It also helps that they didn't cost that much.

Well earned break!

Yummy cake!

After all that work I made a lovely lemon drizzle cake. We sat down for a super "cup of tea and a slice of cake mrs!!" Gosh, Worzel was a long time ago. I used to love that programme.

Two band rings


Middle tree and I worked  all afternoon in my studio and I taught her how to make a band  ring. We had a go at using punches and she also drilled holes in the silver. I was really impressed at how quickly she picked it up. Last time her big sister visited me I also taught her to make band rings. What clever girls I have!

Thursday, 3 February 2011


I like millefiori glass and I have used it in mosaics and recently in my glass panels. You can't always be sure how it will turn out- sometimes it looks like beautiful anemones but at other times it blurs and moves.


Wool experience

I was given some extra large knitting needles as a present and had a go at knitting with them. You need to use at least 5 balls of wool at once, although my friend used 9. I don't do that much knitting so I only had these 5 colours to use. I was pleased at how quickly it knits up and I made this simple shrug to try the needles out. You need to sit in a big space becausethe needles are so long! I want to have a go at making a throw for the lounge next but must go shopping for wool first. Maybe I will try Oxfam and other charity shops for cheap wool.

Extreme knitting!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Selected books

I have chosen Bill Brysons book because my book group has selcted biographies for our next read. I need to get on with it though, so I will be able to discuss it at the meeting. Two of the others in the list this month were gifts from Christmas.

Jean Auel

I have just realised that we have got to a new month. Time for a new book list so I shall be adding that shortly.

I strongly recommend The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel, as it is the first in a series of books. I love this because when you get to the end of the book, you know there will be more adventures to follow. This story is set in  the last ice age when two kinds of humans , Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon are alive. This book begins with an amzing and terrifying adventure that befalls a young girl in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption, resulting in the loss of her people. I am excited because the 6th book in the series is due out in March!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

More work at the making stage

Truly rounded

I have started my first circular design ready to be slumped in a dish mould next. It was quite difficult adding the background fibre paper for kiln casting though. Oh well, I will just have to wait and see. I want to buy some small slumping moulds so that I can fire them in my small kiln and don't have to hire space in a larger kiln. Mind you, I really want my own larger kiln too!

I am hoping to do a rag rugging course with a new friend of mine. It sounds like fun.

In the Round