Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gallery display - June

Each month I like to reorganise the art work and also display other peoples work.

I decided after 6 months in the Studio I would have a wall all to myself.  As I love painting water and have a bit of a thing for the turquoise shades of blue,  I put them altogether .  I am quite pleased with the result as I also dug out some of my old stained glass mirrors that `I used to make, to compliment them.

On my larger wall I am displaying work from  pencil portrait artist, Mark Bradley.  and 4 pieces from my 'lodger' Greg Hunt.

I love that it gives my students something new to talk about each month and also it forces me to have a good clean and sort out, its amazing what you can collect and let get in a mess, in just 1 month.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow!!

I have been missing in action recently,  not only in body but in spirit too.  I have lost my painting mojo!!  not just a little bit, but a lot.  I have been doing other creative things but no painting and my studio although ticking along nicely hasn't had the attention it needed. In fact in you had caught me a a bad moment last week, I would have told you I was packing it all in and going back to a 'proper ' job'.  
But things are brightening up.  The sun is shining and  I had a rest,  simple I know but makes a lot of difference.  I had a really bad sickness bug, not the usual remedy for relaxing but it forced me to stop and because I couldn't risk passing it on to my Dad in hospital then,  I had one less journey down the M5 and I think it was just what the Dr ordered.

I finally finished a commission I had,  I started it back in January and I have finally done it!  The deadline was August which was lucky really as its the longest I have ever taken.
I also managed to follow up on some students that said they may join my regular sessions but didn't. I got my mailing list sorted and a newsletter written all ready to send. 

I also thought about how I could utilise my studio space so that when I don't have lessons I can easily use the tables  for more display space.  this also means people can see at a glance from the door that its not just a classroom.  ( Thanks Sue for your help)

I  finally made the brush rolls I had been promising my students for a while. They have just gone on sale so hopefully that is one more string to my bow.

And finally..........   

I knitted my first ever pair of socks, not bad for someone who hasn't knitted for about 20 years. and Thanks to my lovely student Jo who bought me a how to knitting book for my birthday.  It got me started again and I must say taught me a lot I didn't know, which may explain why I was so rubbish 20 years ago.

 So any thought of packing it in have gone and maybe, just maybe my mojo will be back.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Update - 50 things

 A good start a month into my birthday year , don't you think.

1. Have a meal with Steve and all the kids

Last night the children surprised me  ( literally jumped out as I got back from work.  I even thought my son was in Dover on his way to see his girlfriend) with a meal they all cooked,  Chris did the starter, roast Garlic soup, Gemma the main,  Beef in red wine sauce  with veg and roast potatoes and Heather,  made wheat free bread and a pudding of Lemon tart on poppy seed pastry .  Lots of wine and cocktails and great company and lots of fun.  Also see No 50

2. Try and see a whale

3. See the Angel of the north
Saw this on my actual birthday when we visited Northumberland.  It was more amazing than I thought and on a lovely bright blue day she was magnificent.  We stayed for quiet a while considering how cold it also was. ( I don't do cold very well)

4. Photograph wild flowers - started  
I did get a shot of some bluebells,  I need a lot more though

5. Paint outside ( not the fence)

6. Search for sea glass
On a couple of beautiful beaches in northumberland we sound some amazing glass.

7. Find 50 Art Deco buildings and photograph them - started
 I found some brilliant seaside villas that were so obviously Art Deco. 

8. Swim a mile

9. Walk on a beach at sunset in the UK

10. Sing in public ( not on my own)

11. Make  a sculpture out of found or natural items

12. Pooh sticks

13. Walk up to Glastonbury Tor

14. Paddle in a stream

15.  Go on a picnic

16  Climb something

17. Tea and cake with all the family
 After my birthday meal surprise we were so full we couldn't eat the brilliant Cake I had  ( fireworks and all) so we ate it the next day out in the garden on a sunny Sunday with lots of Tea. 

18.  Spend a day with Gemma           

19.  Spend a day with Heather

20.  Spend a Day with Chris

21.  Walk a dog
We walked 2 year old Lexie on a visit to Plymouth,  but now we have Fin, there will be lots of walks.

22. Find treasure

23. See wonderful stained glass

22. See a David Hockney painting
We visited Salt mills on our roadtrip ( see No 27) up to Northumberland. Fantastic David Hockney works, prints , painting and ipad art,  Fabulous, well worth the visit.

23.  Visit Scotland

24. Try and see the Northern lights

25. Stargaze

26. Dance in the tower Ballroom Blackpool

27. Road trip
My birthday Road trip took us from Somerset to Northumberland,  Via,  the yorkshire sculpture park and Salt Mill.  We had loads of cans, bottles and crisp packets in the back seat of the car ,  so we knew it was a good road trip!

28. Decorate a special cake

29. Do a mosaic

30. Make 50 origami birds and hang them in trees

31. Grow a pineapple

32.  Throw a pot

33. Have a girly night

33. Make a flower arrangement

34. Sparkle

35. Have my engagement and eternity rings repaired

36. Decorate the bedroom

37. Make a daisy chain
 Today after my surprise birthday meal we all took the dogs for a walk and we picked loads of Daisies and I made my daisy chain

38. Get a tattoo

39.  Learn to pick a lock

40. Make myself an item of clothing

41. Have a photo us all.  Not professional
 Fab pictures of us all taken this weekend,  brilliant 

42. Make an album or photo book of the year

43. Do something to raise money for charity
I have been supporting the RNLI in my studio.  I have an artist who is selling a painting in the studio which 50% of the proceeds will go to them.  I also produced a Bear bag which 20% of the proceeds will go to The Five sisters Zoo.  I am hoping to do much more by the end of the year,  but at least I have done something.

44. Candle lit relaxing  bath
In Breakwater Cottage in Seahouses ,  there was a great bath and little tealight candles,  where I indulged myself.

45. Kiss in the rain

46. See a film in the directors lounge

47. Have a butterfly land on my hand

48. Crochet or knit myself a jumper

49. Paint a good picture on an Ipad ( or similar)

50.  Surprise me!!!
 See No 1

38 to go 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spending spree

I was a very lucky girl and won this fabulous giveaway.

I wanted to say a huge thankyou to all the people involved and especially Clara for organising all my lovely shopping.

With recent events this has come as a lovely distraction and I am touched by peoples generosity.  The parcels started arriving yesterday and not only are the itmes I chose fabulous but they have also come beautifully wrapped,  with lovely notes of congratulations and with some little extras like chocolates ( very well received).  As those who know me with testify, I love nice wrapping and I love recycling,  so I also get a lovely box full of recyclable,  envelopes, tissue and ribbons etc and it is almost as much fun a getting the items.
I would love to show you what I have got but I am being a bit canny and a lot of the items I have chosen especially as presents for family and friends, birthdays and even Christmas presents and as I know a lot of them see this blog then I don't want to spoil the surprise.  But I can tell you I got a stunning Art deco pin from Sue at Butterfly Sue ( which I will keep myself. She was kind enough to meet me as I travelled yet again down the M5, to visit my d
Dad in hospital and give me not only the pin but some beautiful photographs. We had a quick catch up and a cup of tea,  before I headed on down to Exeter.  You can also find her on Facebook
and I know she would appreciate any new followers so pop over and say hi.

Also I will be keeping the lovely felted bowl by and the blink earrings by

You can check out all the shops who offered the £10 here   each and every shop is well worth a visit.  but below are those poor unfortunate people who have had to give me a free item for which I am very very grateful and am touched by your generosity.

Audreys Cat
Adiens Crafts
Ali Dufty
Bijoux Boutiques
Butterfly Sue
The Crimson Moon
Damson Tree Pottery
Discerning Chichi
Goddess Jewels
Jon Turner
Knit Wit originals  Uk
Lampwork Jewels
Les Bijoux De Clare
The Laughing Butterfly

Thankyou sooooo very very much x

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something different

I bought this table from the charity shop.

It used to look like this.......

Now it looks like this............

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Winning streak and that blooming rain!!!

Sorry I haven't been updating you as much as I should,  As some of you know my Dad is in hospital and I am travelling twice a week to see him in Exeter.  What should be a hour and a half each way is being made worse as I am hitting rush hour and its taking me 2 hours just to get through the centre and back onto the motorway.
My colleague Greg, who uses my studio once a week, is being very helpful and trying to help in the studio as much as possible so I did actually spend an afternoon with Mr WD the other day, which was lovely.  But when in the studio I feel very deflated at the lack of people coming in.  Numbers have dropped right off.  I think there are two reasons.  Firstly people are not wanting to be tempted to buy  and by the amount of pound shops we now have popping up on Weston High Street, then I think they are really only after bargains and not any type of luxury items  and secondly,  this blooming awful weather.  As most of the centre is outdoors then people just don't come if the weather is bad.
The centre is spending some money on advertising ( we all contribute to a fund as part of our rent) and in the brief spell of good weather we had this was showing to be working, and we are due to get our new leaflets soon, so maybe if the weather would let up we would get some more people coming through
I am ok at the moment as my lovely loyal students are keeping me afloat, but because my personal life is a bit of a mess at the moment, I haven't got the time, or indeed the energy to follow up on all my students or get my new leaflets out and about.  Money is getting tighter as I am spending £50+ every week in petrol and parking costs and so I can't afford to sink any more money into advertising, unless I make it in the studio,  so I could really do with those sales coming in.
I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, as I am really doing ok,  just tired,  but to warn those of you thinking of taking the step into turing a hobby into a business, that you really need a back up plan.  If I had relied on sales alone,  I would have been out of business now.  My teaching is what has keep me going.  I really didn't think though what would happen if I was ill and couldn't work or as has happened,  my family needed me more.  I am not saying don't do it as I don't regret taking the plunge but please think though the problems better than I did.

On a happier note we have a new puppy.  Its probably the worst time to have got him,  but he is adorable and makes me smile and lightens my heart at such a difficult time.

I also have had a lot of luck with giveaways recently.  I haven't been online as much as I would like,  but I did enter a few giveaways,  I won a beautiful print , and I mean really beautiful,  form the fab Jools at Umbel Handmade mania,  Thankyou Jools and thankyou for your lovely kind words x

I then won some lovely cakes from Rachel at Rachels bakes
who is just setting up business in Weston

And then I heard that I had wont the fabulous giveaway on etsy ( I am embarrassed to say I have not been keeping up with my etsy friends)
I have had fun spending my winnings and I received my 1st part of the prize yesterday from the lovely Sue at , she went out of her way to meet me yesterday as I was on route to Exeter, to give me a beautiful Art deco pin.  I am over the moon with it.

So at a difficult time in my life I have been touched by such generosity and by some lovely people online who continually lift my spirits.   Some people say to me ,  why do I spend so much time talking online to strangers but I tell them, they are not strangers but friends that I just happen to have met online and I thank you for listening to me and letting me have this bit of a rant today xx

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Lucky Day

I just had a lovely delivery.  I was lucky enough to win a box of Rachel's Bakes cakes.

Rachel has set up in Weston-super-mare, making cakes with an extra touch of elegance. and I followed her on facebook,  where you could win a box of hr signature bakes, just by sharing her link.  I was lucky enough to be picked at random and just received my lovely cakes.

They look so yummy.  and were beautifully presented in  white box with silk blue ribbon.

I shall enjoy tucking into them later and will try and resist until Mr WD comes home,  but I can't make any promises......

If you are interested in more information about Rachel's Bakes go to or e-mail her at