Monday, 30 April 2012

Saturday York, Monday Hornsea

Look at the beautiful weather in Hornsea today when I made a flying visit to the dentist, first proper sun and warmth in 3 weeks!

The weekend was a washout with lots of flooding around York but I did have a wonderful day on Saturday at the Festival of Vintage. I met up with fellow blogger Sally from Lavender Attic and saw and bought some lovely things which I shall be processing in the next few days.
Working to a tight deadline on some exhibition stuff for the next couple of days.

If you want to see some of the vintage festival, Sally has uploaded some pics on her blog, I'll try not to duplicate any when I do mine.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Bob the Bunny kits have arrived!

It seems ages since I decided to create cut and sew plushie kits of the legend that is Bob the Bunny.
But at last they have arrived, Bob & some of his bunny relatives are now printed onto fabric as little sewing projects. As you can see, Bob is very proud to show you how he has been imortalised onto fabric!

The kits are very simple to make, they are all packaged up and available in my Folksy shop for anyone who would like their own little Bob or one of the bunny family. Other colours coming in the next few weeks, Bob is currently in his burrow working on those!

Sample - Welsh Goddess of Spring

It's always nice to receive samples from a project you've worked on and especially when it is as lovely as these. A fabulous smelling soy candle & fragrance spray from the Celtic range by the Archangel Studio and this one features the Welsh Goddess Blodeuwedd.

I wish you could smell the lovely mix of grapefruit & rose, these are some of the best candles I have come across, not overpowering with the scent like some of those shop bought ones, theses are just right.
I don't think these are available yet on the website but there are other fantastic fragrances at:

My customer has a gift for mixing sacred fragrances and some of the ingredients come from her own beautiful garden.

I should point out that I haven't done the Blodeuwedd painting, my job is the finished artwork for labels & other packaging.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Google, Haberdashery & vintage finds

Isn't Google brilliant today, it's an opening zip. Where would all us crafters be without zips (although I must say I'm not great at putting in zips so try to use other fasteners in preference) but thank you to Gideon Sundback for creating them back in 1913.

To continue on a sewing, haberdashery, fabric theme I'm just about to get going with some new work for a forthcoming exhibition with the title Menagerie at Gallery 49 in Bridlington. I'm in a bit of a whirl at the moment for getting something done as I need to take work by the 3rd May and as yet I haven't started work, other than get some bits of stuff out this morning.

Whilst routing around for things I found this lovely woven ribbon I haven't used yet.

I think the back is almost as lovely as the front.

Here are some fairly recent charity shop finds which may find a use in the artwork.

Excellent quality Anchor silks just 20p ea. Below are vintage hankies gathered over the months and I have a few ideas for chopping them up to make things.

It's funny how your taste can change, I didn't used to like crinoline ladies but I really liked this tablecloth, it was almost immaculate until I washed it and then some holes appeared in the cloth, I guess it's the age and it was thin in places, maybe I should hand wash next time.

These are just some lovely and very cheap things I found in the under a £1 section in a charity shop in Brid. We have teapot cover things and little lace coasters.

And finally, to finish on a haberdashery theme, I just loved this resin & button jewellery which is in the gift shop at Wolds Village, Bainton. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Hornsea Pottery AGM

Yesterday was the Hornsea AGM & get together at Hornsea School. I'm sure it's normally a sunny day for this meeting but it absolutely tipped it down & hailstones too.
The meetings pretty much follow the same format, there are people with stalls set up selling their surplus Hornsea pottery, we have an auction table, a very well donated raffle table and we have a talk.

Compared to last year there were much more interesting pieces up for auction.
The lamp I've highlighted on the picture below is quite rare and went in the auction for over £550 which I was quite amazed at,not that I know anything about the lamp or it's value.

I liked the leaf butter dishes on this photo below but they went for more than my purse contained as they were sold as a pair, I might have been able to stretch to one if sold separately, hey ho. I was quite interested in them because I've tried a similar technique with leaves when I used to do ceramics.

These are some of the other auction items below.

We then had a talk by the legendary potter & designer, John Clappison who talked about some of his early inspiration for Hornsea pieces and then his latest muramic work which he brought to the auction.

Below are the latest pieces of work by John Clappison, muramic dog plaques which he said were Fido. These limited edition pieces of work sell for between £80 - £100 approx. They are lovely pieces, very graphic in style and superb colours and surface pattern work.

So what did I buy, well I only spent £1 in the auction and I got this espresso set although it's only 1 cup & 2 saucers but the design is new to me.

From one of the stalls I bought these, an Impact egg cup and one of the birthday mugs, I love the witch & cat illustration on this one.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Does anyone remember Merrytimes Club?

I was looking for something earlier and as is usually the case, I can't find the thing I'm looking for but I do find some other interesting thing.

Well this has certainly taken me on a nostalgia trip to the late 60's & early 70's, I wonder if anyone else remembers or was a member of the MerryTimes Club?
It was run by one of the national newspapers, I can't remember which and it would seem too obvious to think it was The Times.
I vividly remembered the little pixie illustration on the toadstool and it's probably why I kept this as I was very into pixies & fairies.

As a member you had a small enamel badge & you would receive this same little blue & yellow postcard every year when it was your birthday, sent to you by Uncle MerryTimes.  (see reverse of card below).

What a shame times have changed so much and things like this have died a death. Not that kids would be interested these days but it was a real treat for us when our MerryTimes card dropped through the letterbox.

By an amazing stroke of luck, I also found the little enamel badge in one of my boxes of badges, both card & badge are now safely reunited as a lovely keepsake.

Art in Garden - cold day staffing exhibition

Yesterday I did my days volunteering to staff the Triton Gallery at Sledmere. 
I knew it was a cold place but on a day when it didn't stop raining all day it just felt even colder and more miserable. With my long johns, vest, thermal socks, layers, coat, scarf & gloves, I was transported right back to winter!
There are no windows as such other than one at the door when you walk in so no natural sunlight ever gets in for some passive heat, there are holes in the roof, no radiators (we have a small fan heater to huddle up to) and in summer you might see the odd mouse scuttle along as it's an old barn in a farmyard. 
Other than that it's great!

I had company in the morning for a bit of chit chat with another artist but was alone for the afternoon session. Unbeknown to us, Sledmere House opening times are still limited until the summer season and it was shut yesterday, that wasn't good because it meant we had no toilet facilities and no option to pop over to the cafe for warm refreshments. Fortunately I had a flask although I did pace myself incase I wanted to spend a penny but relief, literally, came in the form of Sledmere staff at about 3pm who came to inform me they had forgotten to open the gates to make available the loos.

We tally the visitors to the exhibitions, I had 4, not surprising given the weather, the day before they had 16 although the house had been open which would draw more people in.

Here are some more of the artworks:

The one above in the middle reminds me of some 1960's barkcloth curtains we used to have in our caravan when I was a kid. Funny how something just reminds you of that.

I took some wool to keep myself busy but my hands ended up too cold for anything much, I did these little crochet flowers.

Still raining today!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Art in the GARDEN - preview

Had a lovely afternoon at the AIG preview catching up with friends and colleagues and even better I walked in to see a sold red dot on mine! This is my first success with AIG. My textile was the picture more likely to sell as it was one of the cheapest pieces and the subject matter is more generic than the specific pictures I did of the house.

I think my little friend may have brought me some luck!
I hope to get some more pictures when I invigilate at the gallery one day this coming week. So far it's looking promising, quite a few pictures were selling.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

YORK - 800 Years old

Well Easter was a bit of a wash out in terms of weather and wanting to go out and do things so nothing much was done and the grey days didn't inspire much arty crafty activity either, although I have got a few projects bubbling away.

My latest postcard designs returned from print the other week. I have adapted one of my railway poster train designs into a postcard celebrating 800 years of the city of York.

It's 800 years since York was granted a Royal Charter by King John in 1212 so I believe there is a programme of exciting events throughout this year. I'm quite interested in the Railfest, first week in June at the NRM, should be a good photo opportunity.

These postcards are now available in my Folksy shop, a pack of 3 for £1.

Friday, 6 April 2012


Well, it's cold, grey, wet & miserable so it must be a British Easter! I can't find my little wooden eggs & wooden bunnies to decorate my Easter Tree which is annoying as I saw them when I was rummaging for festive decorations at Christmas and now they've disappeared.

But still, Bob has found my stash of creme eggs so he's having a jolly time with his friend Snowy and Dandelion the Easter cow.

We'd like to wish you all a very happy, chocolatey Easter!! x

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Cupcakes - Spring / Easter flavour idea

Rose Cupcakes with Coconut Ice Frosting

I made these cupcakes the other day and thought they had quite a nice spring / easter feel to them. I was going to put the recipe down but I decided not to in the end because I made the cupcakes as vegan cupcakes and to be honest vegan cupcakes are quite battery & moist and not everyone's cup of tea when it comes to a fluffy bun.

However I'll tell you what flavourings I added which seemed to work nicely together.

Using any cupcake recipe I added a tablespoon of rose water once you have it mixed into a batter. I also added a hint of pink food colouring as I was going with a rosey / pink theme here, and if you wonder what the black flecks are in the picture I sometimes like to add poppy seeds to my buns but they don't really add much to this recipe.

Once baked, allow to cool and make the coconut ice frosting. As you can see the pink food colouring is quite subtle, maybe should have added a bit more.

As a quick guide to coconut ice frosting I softened some unsalted butter and added sifted icing sugar, taste checking every now and again to see I got the sweetness I wanted. Add a little  pink colouring and then add your dessicated coconut until you have a nice consistency. If it gets too thick add a tad of milk or cream to loosen.

Now the fun bit, lavish the frosting on top of your cakes, I sprinkled with a bit more coconut and veggie jelly decorations which I believe I found in Waitrose.
Tah da!