Entries Tagged as 'Workshop'

Neon Workshop & The Hepworth

So I feel slightly embarrassed I’ve become one of those people who has a blog linked to their website and has updated once since  the start of the year!!! ARGHH! Its one of my pet hates! I actually like writing this blog, its as much a visual diary and somewhere I can just speak freely about work, life with no pressure and is kinda therapeutic. It probably should be more work orientated but hey I’m human and not that business savvy plus I can only say having a 14 month old is a full time job as well as trying to run a business and add to that some free me time.

Neon Worshop 1

Its the me time I wanted to talk about and the start of my creative journey this year, I made a 5 year wish come true with a neon workshop day course. It was birthday present to myself and I loved every minute of it. If you’ve not heard of neon workshop, its a creative studio and gallery space run by Richard Wheater, an incredibly talented neon artist based in Wakefield. I actually first found the studio during a very drunk Wakefield Art Walk many years ago which ended in Reflex nightclub doing somesort of body popping on the mirrored floor but that night I met and commission my first piece of neon by Julia Bickerstaff. It wasn’t until Christmas that I found out that Kate, my partner in crime had also commissioned a piece for me.

I have to say the workshop was great! A full day of neon magic packed with practical demos and plenty of time to practice the art of bending glass with instructor Ali. We all had a chance to design a piece of neon and watch as Julia made it from our pencil sketches. Its a fascinating medium and the perfect mix of creativity, chemistry and physics. I havent’ as yet fixed my piece to the wall, which was a neon arrow but I’m looking forward to having my own home and finding the right spot. If your eager to find something fun to do and make a piece of neon, there are monthly workshops in Wakefield and mobile workshops in venues around the UK and the world, take a look NEON WORKSHOPS

Neon Workshop 2



Whilst in Wakefield we managed to visit the Hepworth Gallery, I had specifically chosen the workshop date as I knew there was a huge Martin Parr exhibition on and I love looking at his late 80’s and early 90’s work. What I hadn’t quite grasped was how bloody incredible with building, location on the river and the scale and variety of Barbara Hepworths work was on show. I hadn’t really looked at her work since art school and immersing myself  in it again was a joy. It was a really amazing weekend and thanks go to Keith and Martha for tagging along with me and entertaining themselves.












Workshop Sundays at Quill London

A Petal Unfolds


So I feel slightly embarrassed I’ve become one of those people who has a blog linked to their website and has only updated it once since the start of the year!!! ARGHH! Its one of my pet hates, as actually this blog has become a visual diary and somewhere I can just speak about work, life with no pressure and is in someways is kinda therapeutic. I can only say having a 14 month old is a full time job, as well as working and trying to have some sort of life. And life is what I want to talk about or my creative life.

I’ve been a big fan of Quill London for quite sometime, I love their monogram stationery and classic taste and about 2 years ago I attended their modern calligraphy workshop which I loved. So when I thought about breaking out of my bubble and just doing something for me, I looked at their workshop diary.

I love Esther from Origami Est‘s IG feed and had bought her book when it was released but hadn’t had chance to sit down and focus, so I thought this was the perfect workshop to start my creative journey and it really didn’t disappoint. A fab group of people, Esther was a dream and I was thrilled with my final mobile, even though I left it on the train home when I was trying to juggle a just walking Martha!! Oh well the few hours I did spend doing something just for me really started me thinking about new skills and how quickly time flies when your making.

So the addiction started! And before the end of July I had booked myself into another workshop at Quill  and one of my favourite IG feeds, a petal unfolds. Susan was an amazing teacher and her IG feed is soooo beautiful, most importantly I didn’t need to juggle a baby on the train so I actually have my beautiful peony in a vase on the mantlepiece and I’m just a little bit proud of myself. Susan is definitely one to watch, she was chosen to be part of the Etsy/John Lewis roof garden pop up shop and is creating an incredible window display for Quill as part of the LDF which I’ve earmarked as a must see during my trip to London.

Next on my list is watercolours with Emma Block as I’m just a little bit in love with her Etsy shop and did you see her beautiful illustration in last months Mollie Makes? If you’d like to while away a Sunday afternoon at Quill learning something new check the workshops link and dont forget to take your purse as there are some unique stationery supplies to buy, I’ve never left without a little something.

Origami Est








Thread @ Farnham Maltings

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It was a lot of fun to head off to Thread at Farnham Maltings last weekend, not only as I was leaving my 3 month old daughter  with her dad for a few hours (it was the first time eek!) but also as I could immerse myself in fun and friendly crafting world again. I managed to pop along to see Great British Sewing Bee’s Guthrie Gandhi at work, teaching a purse making workshop. Visited the Alice & Ginny workshop space, as well as perused the beautiful stalls which including Beyond Measure and Sarah Waterhouse Printed Textiles and finally purchased some pretty amazing liberty fabric to make some bonnets for my daughter from local shop Stitched By You.

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Kirsties Handmade Fair – Part ii


I love these images of Kirstie and Lou Gardener, they make me smile inside. I’m not sure if its the statement ‘Freestyle Machine Embroidery is the crack cocaine of crafting’ or the infectious nature of Lou which has Kirstie smiling or maybe its the freedom which this craft allows. Kirstie will say herself that she is a perfectionist, someone not averse to finalising projects for her shows at home as she wants them to look great. In this craft masterclass it was inspiring to see both Lou and Kirstie just let go, from drawing with their eyes shut to using their machines with gusto to dance music, it was a hoot from start to finish!

VIP tent Handmade Fair

Oh I do like a wee glass of bubbly at midday as did many of the VIP ticket holders. One of the benefits of these tickets was a Q&A with Kirstie each day at lunchtime and as you can see some of the questions were a little more personal than I had expected by all the hilarity. One VIP had traveled all the way from OZ, I had seen on facebook earlier in the week a name and picture and when I saw Sheena, who was a total delight thrusting a book to be signed towards me, I took her by the hand and ran after KMA, obviously Kirstie told her to ‘jump in’ the little golf cart which was helping to keep time in a incredibly tight schedule. I hope Sheena your trip round the world was worth it, it looked like it by your smile.



Oh the wonder of Annie Sloane paints! I do think I may put too many exclamation marks in my posts but I do like to make a big point about Annie Sloane. The masterclasses she gave were full to brimming and everyone loved them. Have I told you that Annie Sloane was one of the people who I was star struck by, isn’t it strange. I did hear a lovely story from a lady who was in the same boat as me, a little star struck although she said that had disappeared when they met one another at the toilet washing their hands, then had a right old natter on the way to back and now has some big plans with a wardrobe she has at home. Ha the thrills of the fair.


Kirsties Handmade Fair 2014 – part i

Kirstie Handmade Fair Hampton Court Palace

What a magical location for the first Handmade Fair, Hampton Court Palace shone brightly over the 3 days, well really Friday was a little too warm for my Scottish skin and inappropriate clothing but WOW it looked beautiful! It was a wonderful weekend of making, baking, crafting, smiling and chatting, everyone I spoke to and I spoke to a lot of people, were all so positive. There was a big top where Kirstie was in conversation with so many lovely people, my highlight being Cath Kidston and Annie Sloane. I do always get a little star struck but like Kirstie, everyone was so down to earth and I hate to say it, so nice and approachable.

Cath Kidston in Conversation with Kirstie Allsopp

Cath was a mindfield of information about growing a business slowly, and understood that growing meant having another freelance job, in her case designing interiors of super yachts which financed her passion. There was no big bank guiding her as she had earned the money in advance to evolve each idea. It was amazing to hear her speak about the challenges she faced but also how she still plays an integral part in all the design and layouts of her shops.


There was a amazing west and east village filled with finished products, books as well as tools and materials. I was in awe of some of the things on display and made one very impulsive purchase of a Welsh Blanket on Sunday night, although I had had my eye on so many beautiful products. The wonderful Mandy Shaw who has helped behind the scenes in supporting the makes on Kirsties shows, was there, shes is a mind field of information and by looking at her most recent book, I may have to visit her house as it looks beautiful.


The most important thing for me was how many smiles I captured, its a hard thing to do when people are concentrating on craft, often I see the wrinkled foreheads but over the 3 days whichever tent I stopped by, I found myself drawn into peoples laughter. Most of them were sitting beside complete strangers but still there was always that crafting comradery of ‘oh i’ll help.’ New skills were learnt and new ideas shared. I don’t like to gush on the blog but god it was a wonderful 3 days.




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