Saturday, 17 December 2016

Sparkly Production Line

This year's Christmas cardlets have been influenced by my quest to lovingly rehome and/or productively use up the contents of mum's home.. 

Take one sewing machine, lots of sequins, some glittery thread and an old unused sketchbook. Here's a pile of results.. 

#thankyoumum #sequins #happy #merry #christmas 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Thought Bubble

I went to the 10th Leeds Comic Art Festival last weekend. This was a fairly spontaneous decision, on the background of a teeny bonfire related hangover.. But it did my eyes good, and like last time, I was impressed with the breadth and quality of exhibitors. 
Highlights this year include Maria Stoian,

.. Emmeline Pidgen who illustrated both the cover of the festival guide and this delightful chap..

.. Emily Rose and particularly her four days in Budapest Zine..

4 Days in Budapest Zine

Fox Pattern

.. and Anja Urhen.

My total favourite find was WarwickJC, from whom I acquired the following excellent dinosaur themed ice cream van.


Monday, 31 October 2016

TAnDem Conference

I went along to the 1st TAnDem Conference at the end of last month because I've been interested in arts and dementia for some time, trying to use my creative skills alongside those of caring to improve wellbeing
This was a varied and refreshingly accessible day - Examples of creative activity were shared.. existing doctoral projects were presented.. ideas, challenges and funding streams were considered for future research.. 
The breadth of people and organisations represented was properly inspiring. It really reinforced that the world of arts and dementia are coming together with some momentum.  There are inevitable challenges in co-production as a result of the gap between theory and practice, or the different approaches of researchers and creative practitioners.. but as with all healthcare interventions, robust evidence is needed to justify funding. 

This got me pondering again on the idea of actually doing some research.. And then today I spent a joyful afternoon at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in a creative group for people with dementia where the benefits were thoroughly apparent.

Maybe it's time to write a research proposal..?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Moving life drawing

After a tumultuous few months, I'm back and staying put (for a bit) in Leeds. And so, in keeping with my way to feel grounded in a new (old) place, I'm on the hunt for a life-drawing class. Tried to go to one last night but epic-failed as it required advance booking.. and I didn't. I forgot that we're so bound to rules and systems in the UK! However, in a lovely twist of fate, this resulted in Daniel agreeing to be my half hour muse instead. And here's the result, complete with overlay as the pose slipped, much to Daniel's denial. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Return of the tile

Its been a while since I blogged about tiles. But the intention for a little project has not vanished. I've recently been working on a design crammed full of personal meaning. 
5 symbols of courage, awareness, safety, peace and love -  a carabiner, a (in) tuning fork, a padlock, an olive branch and a heart - woven into a decorative square pattern. Here's a pic of the working sheet and a close up on the toward-finished design. 
The next bit will be getting it onto ceramic..

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


I'm not leaving the house much at the moment, but I'd wear one if I were.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Day by day

Life has turned upside down this month. I'm back on the UK side of the planet, unexpectedly early, because my mothership crash-landed in a world of hushed tones and uncertainty. Normality and routine are all in flux whilst we take each day as it comes.

A get well soon card didn't fit the bill so I decided to make my own little present. It's not an illustration, but I still think it ticks the creativity box so I could mention it on here, plus it reminded me of my long lost card project.

I found a max sized pillbox and collected lots of small objects for the contents. The items are things mum loves, such as flowers, a jug and a small bit of lace, as well as some love from me in miniature heart form. There are items that hint at experiences, such as her recent visit to me in NZ and our earlier adventure in India. There's also a tiny glass bottle to represent a magic potion alongside a mini spanner to fix things, and a teeny polar bear as a metaphor for facing adversity (e.g. in the Arctic climate). 

The idea is that each box can bring a daily dose of something positive rather than more pills or talk of being unwell. Some joy to help get through to the next day. 

Friday, 29 April 2016

Tyrannosaurus ahead

This month has been a bit rocky - My mum and sister went back to the UK.. the clocks went forward (so it's getting dark really early) and my umbrella was stolen from a campsite (!).

On the plus side - I had a little trip to lovely Napier last weekend.. have started plotting for a certain someone's big birthday in May and I've done a lot of organising for the future, both long term (Lisbon ahoy) and more short term, which includes me freelancing on a bigger scale again. 

Part of this includes having a stand or two at local markets.. the first of which (and possibly the biggest!) *might* be in July. I'm planning to display and sell work that fits into the theme of adventure and exploration, which is most definitely what this life business is about. Dinosaurs may feature. Infact, this little chap will be hanging out with the previously featured stegosaurus. Except he will be slightly better dressed. 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

New exhibition

I've got new work on show in Leeds at the lovely Midnight Bell as part of an exhibition curated by Munro House called Exhibit, which runs at various locations across Leeds for 10 weeks from Monday 21st March through til 30th May 2016.

My work will be on display (and for sale at the very reasonable price of £76).. so if you're local (or not), I strongly advise you to pop along to see it in person. 

Work on show includes the full set of my aforementioned terrarium project - Tis very exciting to have somewhere to showcase it so soon after completion! Here's a preview of the Autumn version to tempt your visual tastebuds..

Saturday, 27 February 2016


It is hot and humid here in Auckland today. The opposite of what I'm used to in February. Where are the minus temperatures and frosty windscreens?!

To take advantage of the season, we've just been on a little holiday to explore the South Island. The above instalment in my terrarium series has been inspired by this trip, particularly a place called Alexandra, which sits in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps. It is the driest, hottest and coldest place in NZ. We felt lucky to see it in it's summer glory - warm and dry, with clear blue skies and the kind of bright sunshine that makes for excellent photography. The below of which made it's way into the digital collage. 

Saturday, 30 January 2016


What do you get when you mix these ingredients with a polar bear?


There's something magnetically appealing about small versions of things. 

I created this little world after having been happily sucked into the current trend for terrariums. It's now hanging pretty in the space where there used to be fireplace. 

I also started an inspired set of drawings - putting a landscape within the frame of a container. There'll be four in total, each depicting a unique micro-climate based on a particular season. This is the spring version (from a UK perspective). The others are on route..