Tuesday, 27 January 2015


I've been fascinated by Jays since childhood and have found quite a lot of their blue stripey feathers over the years. To look down and see the bright blue feather on a muddy path is pretty exciting to me but as I've said before I don't think I get out enough! Lately several Jays have been landing in the tree outside our bedroom window and it has been my first sighting of the actual birds. I've always thought they kept away from people because they were very shy.

Monday, 12 January 2015

New Year, New ......

We have a new dog! He is a rescue terrier cross called Finnegan but as that name is such a mouthful he will be known as Finn. I'm so delighted - he's fitted in well apart from raiding the biscuit tin, trying to jump the garden fence and retrieving a quality street from under the sofa and stuffing it down. I managed to get most of it away from him as dogs and chocolate do not mix. 

It all happened rather quickly - we had seen several terriers online at Battersea and Dog's Trust that we liked but each time they were reserved before we even had a chance to visit, so we decided to wait until after Christmas before looking again. My sister saw Finn on the Allsorts Dog Rescue site and we applied. They responded - saying he was already reserved but then on Tuesday of last week they contacted us again as the man had changed his mind. We had a home check on Wednesday and went to see him on Thursday, loved him and brought him back there and then.

He's gorgeous but quite naughty, completely the opposite in character to Bill although he looks similar. I think he will provide us with a lot of fun and love and many stories for this blog!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for reading and a special thank you to everyone who comments. It's lovely to have some feedback and interaction, especially when working from home which can feel a bit lonely. Here's to a happy, healthy & creative 2015.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blues and reds

Here is the past few weeks in pictures. Walking on the South Downs and enjoying beautiful landscapes, Alfie modelling his new coat, managing to fit in some drawing and Alfie and I having a lovely cuddle. 

A great night at the Komedia in Brighton proudly watching Gra's band.

Monday, 1 December 2014

still a bit early

I had to wait until today to write this post as I don't like to think about Christmas until December. One of my Christmas card designs is featured on the gibson holt blog and they are also searching for freelance pattern and surface designers for 2015. Closing date for submissions is 1st January if you are interested. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


I've been asked by Marianna of sewpro2 to participate in 'bloghopping' which involves answering a few questions about my blog and then passing them on to someone else to complete. The idea being a way of spreading the word about other blogs. I don't know when Marianna and I first communicated or how we became aware of each other but it is one of the lovely things about blogging - finding a 'connection' with someone and becoming friends even though you haven't met. Marianna writes with a wicked sense of humour and I'm in awe of her ability to run up a wardrobe of clothes for her and her family with such style! 

Why do I write/illustrate what I do?
I'm self employed and work from a home studio which can be a lonely experience and making a living as a designer means always satisfying the briefs and specifications of others. So when I started my blog 7 years ago I became part of a whole community of like minded people and I used my blog as a vehicle for my own illustration projects and photography. I always write and illustrate from a personal viewpoint on the blog rather than a work one and it's very therapeutic.

What am I working on now?
I'm inspired to illustrate or photograph when I see something that brings me pleasure and I see shapes, colours and textures that urge me to put pen to paper.

I'm concentrating on drawing at the moment as it's the basis for all my work. I bought a variety of squash last week - the patterns are incredible plus there's a beautiful bird's nest I found when trimming the garden hedge - so I'm about to embark on 2 new drawings.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
This is a hard one! I find it difficult to be subjective about my own work. If I analyse things too much or compare my stuff to others, I can get a creative block. I love to see work that's unique and very personal and I think it's so important to embrace your natural style and not to mimic others. After all it's being different that makes life interesting.

How does my writing/illustration process work?
I either draw from life (which gives me the best results) or from photos and use a HiTechpoint 0.7 black pen on white paper. This is the part that gives me most pleasure. Here the process is shown using an illustration of my favourite bag.

I scanned the initial pen and ink drawing from my sketch book and used it as a graphic which I coloured in CorelDraw and then added some more decoration by drawing the green shapes. Finally I found a photo of some cracked mud, turned it into a line artwork, made it brown and clipped it into the shapes of the bag to show the effect of old leather.
This bag is very old and battered now but I still love it.

Thanks Marianna, I thought answering these questions would be daunting but actually I really enjoyed it!

I'm passing the task on to Cally of Forest & Sea who again I've connected with through blogging. You get a real sense of Cally from seeing her beautifully delicate designs - it's a calm and tranquil place to visit and I can't resist the pictures of her sweet cats too.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


I was amazed at this annual squash display in the village of Slindon, there is a pop-up cafe this year too - in the church where we had tea and delicious cakes. You can buy pumpkins, marrows and squash in all sorts of weird shapes, sizes and colours.