Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sew! This is Christmas

I never got around to putting this post's title in an embroidery hoop as I intended but here is a little glimpse of some of the sewing I did get away with this Christmas (the advantage of being a visitor rather than visited at this time of year). I've become quite absorbed with making these soft sculptures: another mussel shell ( to partner the first made in the summer hols), a starfish and an as yet unfinished jellyfish.

And here are some of the new toys/tools I got for Christmas - a soldering iron and some hole cutters. I think m&d thought we could put the hole cutters to some DIY use but I have crafting plans for those!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Hope you all had a great Christmas and got at least a little of what you hoped for. 

I'll post some snaps of my new crafting toys in the coming days but in the meantime here are some photos of the collections at the amazing toy museum at Sintra. 
(anyone else find large groups of dolls sat together a little spooky, and what is the collective noun for a group of dolls?)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Unseasonal trees

During a break in Portugal over the autumn half term I became slightly obsessed with a cloud-like group of trees that stand on the hillslopes close to the World Heritage Site of Sintra. Sintra itself is an amazing complex of palaces gardens and woodlands top off with a moorish castle. I spied the "broccoli trees" (as OH and son named them) during a tram ride between Praia das Maçãs (beach of apples, apparently they used to wash down onto the beach from the orchards) and Sintra but it is pretty tricky to take a photograph from a moving tram,  even more so when it is peeing down with rain. I was keen to start working on this print when we got back, but by the time it was finished in early December it felt a  little bit out of sync with the season so I put most of the edition to one side, and I think I will probably leave it there until spring. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Last minute shopping...

Just a little reminder that there are still beautiful art and crafts to be had at

The Art Market Showcase at Huddersfield Art Gallery

Printmaking@Central Hall, Keighley

Crafts for Christmas at the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley

As well as the independent retailers featured to the right

(Do check the links for opening times to avoid disappointment!)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011



Way back in the summer holidays we spent a couple of weeks in the Outer Hebrides. A considerable amount of time on this holiday was spent trying to take a reasonable photograph of oystercatchers (one of OH's numerous favourite birds). Nature watching with a five year old boy is nigh on impossible most of the time but on one walk ours was content to amuse himself jumping on and off of the same rock time and time again and we managed to get just a little bit closer. 

My linoprint "Oystercatchers" will be on show at The Art Market Showcase at Huddersfield Art Gallery from the 2nd December to the 14th January. Click here for more Showcase details

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Printmaking @ Central Hall Keighley

Opens tomorrow!

unpacking ~ daunting blank walls ~ hanging Print for Love of Wood's Bake More Cake ~ my prints to the left, Print for Love of Wood to the right ~ Print for the Love of Wood to the left, and me to the right.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to photograph Emily Harvey's wonderful collographs on the wall but I was particularly taken by a lovely print of intertwined fish.

don't forget INC.creative, just down the road from Central Hall, also stocks my prints, a completely different selection to this exhibition, two birds and all that ...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Crafts for Christmas, Cooper Gallery, Barnsley

I'm delighted to have been invited to show at the Cooper Gallery's Crafts for Christmas exhibition. It runs until the 24th December, click here for more details

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Postcard from Portugal

Just back from a week in often sunny but sometimes rainy and really quite windy Portugal. Have arrived back to a mountain of tasks on all fronts and three Christmas exhibitions to prepare for, news on those will follow soon.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


I am really pleased to be amongst the designer-makers whose work will feature in the new INC.creative retail space. INC.creative is so much more than a retail space though so click here to find out more.

PS Launch Day ~ Tuesday 18th October. Address ~ 11-15 Cavendish Street, Keighley, BD21 3DR 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Gannets, periwinkles and small fry

Of all the visual feasts available on the beaches of the Outer Hebrides the dive of the gannets was the most thrilling to watch. Time and again we watched these birds circle high above the waves then abruptly adopt the dive position before hurtling towards the sea at an astonishing speed. Mostly we had to observed the gannets from a distance but on the journey back to Ullapool the ferry crossed the path of one of these magnificent birds and it passed within feet of the window where we sat, an amazing glimpse of pure sleek muscle. 
Gannets, periwinkle and small fry is available in my Etsy and Folksy shops.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Stockist

I am delighted that

The FM Mall (formally Flying Horse Walk)

is now stocking a selection of my lino prints.
The gallery showcases the beautiful work of owner-artist Jill Perry.  

Friday, 2 September 2011

Waiting... (the Lewis Chessmen)

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In the dunes, by the sea at Traighe Uige or perhaps Mealasta?
Rabbits came and went.
Cows stumbled and lowed.
Storms rose and fell.
Sand drifted up to their knees.
And they waited.
The King settled back in this throne and resigned himself to the wait.
The Queen slumped with boredom, chin on hand.
The Beserker bit down hard on his shield ‘til small shards of walrus ivory splintered his tongue.
The bishop had his faith.
And still they waited.
Then one day MacLeod’s cow, or a massive storm or Pure Chance speared their darkness with a shaft of light, and the rest is history. 

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The Lewis Chessman were discovered in the Western Isles in the 19th century. The circumstances of their recovery are rather mysterious but this is how I imagine them in the last few moments before they saw the light of day again after centuries of darkness.  We were lucky enough to see the The Lewis Chessman Unmasked exhibition at the Museum nan Eilean, in Stornoway. I was amazed by the luminous quality of the walrus ivory and just how tactile they looked (though of course they were safely behind glass).

[nope, not a beachcombing find (unfortunately), just a museum shop replica]

Monday, 29 August 2011

Holiday hoarding


As well as armfuls of inspiration I've returned from holiday with bagfuls of materials. I love the different degrees of worm action in these four pieces of drift wood and I think I'll try to keep them together, not sure for what end yet though. I splashed out on a few pieces of tweed, a gorgeous sea blue-green from the Harris Tweed Hebrides , a little placemat and a fabulous piece of Breanish Tweed . I've started working with the  blue-green but I am saving the multi-coloured piece for something really special. The sea glass is actually my son's so out of bounds, but my eye was taken instead by these weathered buoy and float pieces, I love the way their colours have mellowed.

Here's a piece of the Harris Tweed, with wool covered limpet shells :) 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


View across Bagh Thiarabhage, Barra

We spent the first week of our Hebridean hoiday on the island of Barra. We stayed in a little cottage overlooking Bagh Thiarabhage, which is one of those long fingers of sea that seem to reach into the island and tickle it under the armpit. We watched seals and oyster catchers and wondered at the crowds of gulls who gathered in anticipation of the fishing boats landing at the fish factory up the road.

There is a certain tension in this landscape between the ruggedness of the terrain (which can change from bog to bare rock to machir to bare sand to sea in a 10 minute walk) and the overwhelming orderliness of the croft system, which superimposed straight lines across the land and regularly spaced cottages. I think I’ll be returning to this in future prints.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Outer Hebrides (and back)

Finally made it home yesterday after a long long trip back from Ullapool after a couple of weeks on the far north-western tip of these lands. My mind is buzzing with images of stunning landscapes, plants and critters and a heavy dose of inspiration from some of the local artists and artisans. I couldn't wait to get at a block of lino last night , but could I find my scapel? No of course not, cue much swearing and procrastination. I found it today so am looking forward to cracking on with my first Hebrides print tonight :)

I had hoped to do a spot of painting whilst there. I packed paints, cut wads of my favourite watercolour paper, even stretched a sheet in anticipation. BUT I FORGOT MY BRUSHES!!! There are no watercolour brush shops on Barra. I thought the coop might have a make-up brush that I could at least daub around a bit with, but no. In the end I bought a small decorator's paintbrush in desperation but didn't have the heart to waste paper with it in the end.

Luckily I had thrown in some sewing bits and bobs at the last minute so at least I had some channel for the making urge. Lots of sketches for prints too:)

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I was knocked out by the fabulous colours of these banded demoiselles when I saw them dancing across the River Wharfe this afternoon. I wish I had had the video camera with me so I could share the amazing fluttering flights of these damselfly, its enough to make you believe in fairies.  

Until I saw these I had quite liked the colour pairing in my latest bit of stitching, but now it seems so drab by comparison. Ho hum. Might put some thought into a damselfly print though ...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Swedish Thread 2

I've still got my thread head on, much buoyed up by the lovely comments to my previous post and by the arrival of a small stack of embroidery hoops :)

This one preempts what I hope will be a summer holiday spent gazing into rockpools, one of my favourite past times (equal place with beach combing). I'm hoping to work on some prints on this  theme but in the meantime I've been thinking about limpets. These gastropods are soft squidgy critters in a tough conical shell and they are near impossible to remove from a rock. Amazingly they gouge away at the rock and produce a shallow depression that is "home" then range around grazing for algae and other food before returning "home". I like to think they are performing a little dance as they go, maybe a limpet dosey doe or tango. 

and from the previous post...

Friday, 15 July 2011

And the giveaway goes to....


A big thanks to everyone who left comments, it was lovely to read such happy stories (and the odd hilarious mishap:))

Saturday, 9 July 2011

swedish thread 1

During a big tidy up a few weeks back I came across this little bundle of threads, felt and woven fabric that I had bought in the fantastic Svensk Hemslojd store in Stockholm a couple of years ago. 

I hadn't attempted much needlework for a good few years so thought I'd  have a stab (literally!) at something as a break from print making.  But there was one thing I had forgotten about embroidery - it is so blinking addictive! Once I started I couldn't stop and was busy stitching away crouched over in bad light 'til gone midnight. It reminded me of the time I obsessively chained stitched an A4 sized piece until none of the fabric was visible (wonder where that's gone?). 

I had chosen these linen and wool threads with the landscape of Gotland in mind. Gotland sits in the middle of the Baltic and has fabulous sandy strands, pebbly beaches, low scrubby vegetation and its roads are line with the most fabulous displays of wild flowers. Here's the piece nearly done, just the flowers to add now.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Folksy 100th sale! Time for a giveaway

This week i sold my one hundreth item on Folksy. Whoop whoop!
For this I owe a big thanks to the Folksy team and, of course, all my lovely customers :)
Although global domination is obviously some way off, reaching this milestone has put a big smile on my face. 
 To celebrate I  am giving away one of my latest prints "Red squirrel" and a framed version of my paired aceo-sized prints "Winged Seeds East and West". 
For a chance to win leave a comment below, I'd really like to hear about the little achievements in life that have made you smile this week.  
 I'll pull a winner from a virtual hat on the 14th July. Tweet, facebook and share for more chances to win (but let me know in case i miss it :))

blue grey I art selection

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Collared Doves in Summer Rain

I've added a touch more dark grey ink to the version i posted yesterday and now it's done.
all lined up and ready to go!

 available in my Etsy and Folksy shops.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Collared Doves - nearly there

Here's a quick look just before the last layer of ink was added. Its too dark now to photograph the final version - fingers crossed for some time to do so tomorrow.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Collared doves work in progress

I love the look of the chalky white against the soft grey lino and always pause at this stage in the lino cutting and debate whether to carry on or just leave it as it is. I'll aim to match that soft grey (perhaps a shade or two lighter) in ink when it comes to printing. I might add a smudge of buttery yellow too. I've steered clear of yellow in the past but I rather liked it in Betty's Hen no.3 so i'm emboldened to try again, albeit much softer this time.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

wet sunday

We took a trip over to Brimham Rocks near Harrogate with a lengthy walk in mind but after an hour of persistant rain we took a short cut back to the rocks and had a scramble around & picnic. By then it had dried up and the sun came out so we looked a bit daft wandering around in our full wet weather gear. Especially with mouths and hands stained deep blue from bilberry picking & eating. If any one knows an idiot-proof recipe for dyeing fabric with these berries i'd love to know :)
Despite (or perhaps because of ) the wetness, nature was in full force. We watched a pair of hares chasing each round and round a field for at least five minutes. And we heard two calling to each other from fields on either side of the road, one watching over their offspring. Lapwings fledgings are incredibly beautiful! Skylarks trilled overhead accompanied by the occassional baleful mew of the curlews. But the best bit was the sheep whose baa sounded like a long belch. 
The scramble round the rocks reminded me that I had intended to do a companion piece for my Crow and Anvil linoprint, something to think about this week.   

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Art Market aftermath

Phew! After a frantic few weeks of mounting and framing, pricing and packaging in preparation for the Art Market, i am kicking back a bit and looking forward to some printing. I had a good day with lots of lovely conversations about nature, landscape and technique with a reasonable dollop of sales. I was really heartened that several were to repeat customers who had bought from me at last November's Art Market. My only regret was not having enough time to visit all the other stalls, my "helpers" when they arrived were dripping wet from their bike ride to Penistone and frankly i didn't trust these two drowned rats with my precious stall.      

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Find me ...

under this banner

on Sunday 12th June (10am-4pm)
at the

at Holmfirth indoor market, HD9 3JH

Friday, 3 June 2011

half term

So I haven't yet finished preparations for my stall at the Art Market on the 12th.I  didn't really expect to what with half term and OH at conference in Mexico (how unfair is that!). But I did manage to stumble across the white cotton tape I was after for this little project. Small things make me happy :) Right back to the mount cutter, so much to do, so little time.   

Sunday, 29 May 2011

sneaky peek

at some of the work I will be bringing with me to the Art Market on the 12th June. These pieces are part of a small collection of original lino prints in vintage frames. I've been scouring antique centres & fairs and charity shops for just the right frames to compliment some of my favourite prints. I've sanded, painted, waxed and hand cut new mounts. There are one or two that I would rather like to keep but we shall see how they go. If you're coming along on Sunday 12th do drop buy my stall and say hello!

Monday, 16 May 2011

presentation and display

We nipped over to Manchester at the weekend and spent some time wandering around the university museum. With less than a month to go until the Art Market at Holmfirth matters of presentation and display are playing on my mind at the moment, so for me it was the container as much as the contained that took my interest on this visit. I like the the way old museum exhibits become something more than just the poor bleached-out specimens, the way the sepia-toned pickling liquor, the custom-made glass vessels and the hand written labels all become integral to the exhibit. I think the curators have used this to great effect in these displays. 

Monday, 9 May 2011

newt love #3

Over the last couple of days I've stippled, brushed and wiped my way to a completely different version of Newt Love (see here and here for the original single colour versions). It was achieved by overprinting from the same lino block, first a flat rolled ink layer in lime green, after this had dried selective areas - the newts, frog & lily pads - were inked by brush with an olive-green. The when this layer was dry, I inked up the water areas of the lino block a green-blue and ran it through the press for the third time. I thinned the inks a bit so that the original lime green shows through. It was much more time consuming and fiddly than the flat rolled versions but I rather like the result.


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