Monday, 31 December 2012

The 12 days of...Stitch

12 days is my deadline (self imposed) for this piece; working from historical influences in the way of traditional patchwork shapes updated by the intention of slapping a budgie next to it... reasoning being they wouldn't have done that in centuries past...
The images above show the results of 12 solid hours of stitch so when you come along to my first solo exhibition in March '13 please be sure to mentally calculate the total time of the finished piece and if nothing else, appreciate that!

I can't long it has been since my last post... it's TERRIBLE! I think I have felt that I haven't had anything solid to say about anything solid... for the past few weeks/months everything seems to have been very bitty- a bit of this and a bit of that.

If I were to have a New Years resolution it would be to update my blog at least fortnightly, if only to make myself do something worthwhile that often in order to mention it.

As this will be my last post of 2012 I won't list the ups and downs of the past year but look forward to what I hope to achieve in 2013, in short:

  • for my exhibition to be successful
  • to sell some work
  • to get my book to a publishable state
  • to launch my new 'collection' of paper jewellery at Design Event(proposal yet to be written) 
There will be more information about the March exhibition as and when but I am very aware I have as little as 10 weeks to prepare and I haven't even come up with a title... please help! Without explanation just vote on the title (in sidebar) that would entice you to come along and have a little look or suggest one of your own in the comment box of this post... much appreciated!

Thank you for reading my posts in 2012 and don't stop in 2013 - Happy New Year!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Am so excited!

So I just opened my parcel... and as soon as I've mounted a stack of paper samples/designs in my new CCAD sketchbook am going to let myself loose on these babies... good times /-)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Here comes a new collection...

the good news:

Yes, this IS tidy...
  • My studio is tidy again and new (old) plan chest installed
  • I will have my 'Built Up - Broken Down' sketchbook back from Portugal hopefully within a couple of weeks which means I can continue designing from it - still loads of ideas to pursue
  • Soon I will have 2 new desks on which to put all my sewing machines on in a line (not unlike a factory)  
  • I am getting better at Illustrator (slightly)
  • Have started a new board on Pinterest - inspiration for my new collection :-)
  • 'fish' and 'chips' rings have joined the ' up your street' jewellery collection (packaging to be tweaked, obviously)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Do you speak Portuguese?

Announcing... (in case you missed it elsewhere!)... that I actually won!!! I can't believe it :-)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

the louvre boutique haberdashery

to have a friend like Stephen who brings you treasure from France is like a little piece of paradise ... fur and feathers in a fine fine very beautiful envelope  - sigh

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bargains of the Week...last week.

Spent a couple of days that were left of my 'holiday' at auction and a couple of carboots... I actually 'won' some things that were absolute bargains (unusually) , take a look...

pearlised white/mint bike... £20
wooden box 50cms x 50cms x 50cms... £4
5 old doors (to make my bath panels with)...£15 lot
Laura Ashley duck egg sofa vgc... £30
box white tiles ... £1
brand new scanner...£4
3 pc suite for sister...£10
How exciting!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Urbex Colour Board...


Well... as I am back to full time 'proper' employment tomorrow I am taking this opportunity to show you my next mood board of colour... these are photographs (albeit out of focus, or rather 'soft' focus) that I took on my phone during last weeks photoshoot... of distressed surfaces. It's the colours that won me over, I shall use these in my next collection ...I know what you're thinking ('but she always uses those colours!')...similar to usual I admit, but I LOVE them. I imagine I may use the very dark almost ebony, the rust ochre and the acid lime in larger proportions this time, with a hint of pearlization (made up word), as it WILL soon be winter.
Have you ever seen a larger battery pack?

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sign Up!...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Out with the with the new old...

Before I finish my tidying up and just in case you missed the shots of my studio on Facebook, here's some of the more atmospheric shots just taken... I added the cobwebs for effect (yeah right!)...  I shall take it all down and swap it for other similar but different delights. Isn't the light delicious?

Friday, 10 August 2012


I have decided to give you a preview of my 'Contextile' exhibition piece 'Built Up, Broken Down'... due to be unveiled on the opening night in Portugal on the 1st September, if you have read my recent posts you will know I am not going to be there in person due to lack of (any) funds. That's life I guess.

Please let me know what you think of my collar collection, but note...there's still a way to go and life in this project yet... I may rename it - 'Never finished'...

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Collars... ad infinitum

I seem to have spent the whole afternoon trying to link and control my social networking! 
This is to test whether:
a) this blog post goes onto my Facebook page and
b) whether I can insert a 'like' button into this post... mmm let's see.

Collars continued...

A few images from my sketchbook showing development work and sampling for 'Built Up, Broken Down' for the Contextile Triennial... just tell me when you have seen enough...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

not going...not happy

Industrial Felt Collar

The Contextile Triennial Saga continues... 
  • my application for funding from the Artists’ International Development Fund has been refused (very bad)
  • my work for the exhibition has safely made it to Portugal                    (good)
  • I will not be joining it shortly, or at all (not good)
I hope I get a catalogue...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Home & Gift, Harrogate

End of an extremely tiring but interesting day... New 'Up My Street' and 'Up the Garden Path' ring sets are going down well...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Under Wraps (Photoshoot)...

Just a little update on my pieces and progress with the Portugal exhibition stuff, I spent an enjoyable day yesterday getting my pieces (mostly finished) photographed, expertly and professionally by the lovelies Moggy and Katie, we were kindly supplied with copious amounts of coffee and sandwiches - thanks Jane!
My own photographs shown here are intentionally (!) vague and unclear as it is all a big secret just now and still under wraps, am not sure whether this adds impatience and excitement for the big unveiling or NOT.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Free Download... Happy days!

Nothing to do? Click on the image, download and make a lovely decorative hanging thing... I've been inspired by those gorgeous old tourist fabric pennant flags, OR print out lots and make your own bunting! It does work quite well with my own bird bunting (on sale in FOLIO, CCAD and my online shop)even if I do say so myself...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

I made this today...

'Bird' ear-rings and 'tree' ring set in a box = £10.00. Look for it in FOLIO at the HE Summer Creatives Show... V.I.P Open Evening Thursday 7th June @ 6.30pm, CCAD, Church Square, Hartlepool... and come and say 'hi'... 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

a little bit on the side...

Not my main task of the month...just a little addition; along with my exhibition pieces I am currently designing a range of DIY products, not because I am lazy and don't really want to make 500 of some'thing' but because we all love to make things don't we? It's nice to be able to say "I made it myself' (if it's good). Here is a sneak preview of my (very easy) DIY Bird Bunting... soon to be on a shelf , or even downloadable mmm... now where's my glamorous assistant?

Friday, 18 May 2012

New old product...

This was not on my list but I did it anyway...  authentic, original vintage, French torchons (that's a tea towel!)...printed by hand on my pool table using my own (obviously) illustration of a Wyndham Bantam. I started collecting vintage tea towels a few years ago, always with the intention of overprinting my own design on them. I have to say they are more expensive than you would expect...  but anyway, obviously I only use those in the absolute best condition. I have made two, rush down to Croft Interiors if you want one... it's a very limited edition and what else are you going to hang off your aga?...

Saturday, 12 May 2012


I am aware I am not getting very far or being particularly prolific at the moment with this very important collection of work - i.e. deadline impending.
Due to reasons such as:

  • other deadlines for other things that were earlier 
  • application for funding to be filled in (feel a bit sick)
  • tax returns (feel VERY sick)
  • busy time at art college
  • going to 'things'
  • feeling sick

Anyway I have to keep stopping and starting, and to start means to draw (again)in order to FOCUS...and anyway there are more things to be drawn, so I chose to do a quick drawing (see above) so I can get on and start designing and then producing some final pieces. I am desperate to start those ... so once I have put a years worth of bank statements in chronological order I think I will... I definitely will.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

nearly there website...

My website is almost there and revamped... although there are still some things to be tweaked, just minor hopefully... i.e. the image sizes, the contact link, shop, and some of my content!
I do need your input though because every monitor is different, as are browsers etc. and I would like to (with the help of my glamorous web designer assistant) try and make it as uniform and delicious for everyone as am politely requesting/begging you to :
  • Please try and find me/ my site in google without using my name...if you can't then just use my name!
  • Go to my website and have a little look around. 
  • And if you can't find it on google just click here
  • comment on any aspect of it - what do you think?
  • suggestions are most welcome
  • also could you answer the poll question on the right regarding the font.
Thank you ever so much... 

Thursday, 5 April 2012


This proposal was not that bad then as I have been selected to exhibit my (yet to be completed) work at the Contextile 2012 Contemporary Textile Art Triennial in Portugal later this now I just need to get the work/collars actually finished and make them spectacular and then maybe take a little trip over. I must say it has motivated me to get on with it and injected me with some excitement but saying that the pressure is now ON. Fabulous!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Monday, 5 March 2012


So I know it's not perfect but this is one of my old sketchbooks, I plan to publish a few of these for my website, which you may or may not have noticed has recently disappeared... BUT it will be back, new and improved (eventually) is proving a little difficult - sigh. Those 'servers' have a lot to answer for.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

urbex and illustrator

I can't do this Illustrator thing and I am now VERY annoyed so playing with pictures instead.
My list 'to do' today involves TOO MUCH...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Talk the talk...' (PROPOSAL)

"Claire’s inspiration was the structured form and repetitive imagery of tower blocks and council flats in the UK, the beautiful line of French architecture (after a visit to Paris) and conversely the desolate and dilapidated interiors of abandoned buildings which Claire was drawn to primarily through their loneliness, their muted worn colours and distressed surfaces; this gives her work a sense of abandonment, abstraction and fragility. The geometric influences have naturally developed from the visual research she has analytically explored...the act of distressing once beautiful work to create something else, no less beautiful but perhaps more emotive was the initial idea of the techniques employed by Claire to emulate the ‘ruined’ and bereft feelings of hopelessness the interiors of abandoned buildings and homes can stir. These techniques include an element of destruction...the colours that have been chosen are unexpectedly varied upon closer inspection; candy pink, washed out so much that it is a mere shade above white that has been combined with tinges of the deepest cobalt blue and indigo; the overall appearance of the work is such that one must peer closely to pick out the shades of sage, turquoise and mustard ochre…"
Please feel free to pick to bits (comment!)...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Hi Honey...I'm home!

After a very long journey on a coach...I have returned. The Paris trip had it's ups and downs, the 'ups' being selling a lot of students' designs, gaining new contacts & placements, even a job. The 'downs' being having my iphone stolen (which I just can't seem to get over...I know - it's ONLY a phone but it did have my life on it) and also not getting my ten euro's back that I lent to the bus driver.
The new (to me) buzz shop in town is 'Merci', a concept shop with the most gorgeous products, but my favourite bike was 2,500 euro. (can you tell I don't know how to type the euro symbol on my mac yet). There's good info and photos on this blog here.

This is an image made up of vinyl strips just outside The Museum of Modern Art which was rather good, slight problem in that all the photo's I took inside WERE ON MY PHONE.
Back to work now and preparing for my working trip to Printsource, New York City... 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Friday, 10 February 2012

before Paris...

I need to put in a proposal based on the yet to be completed project, read 'nowhere near completed' project... 2000 words plus C.V. plus images plus application form plus detailed description of each work (how?) I have 2 days. If I don't do it does it mean there is something more fruitful/ useful/ suitable/ relevant round the corner (i.e. when I DO finish it) delivered by fate? 
I have been waiting to take better photographs before I posted but as I have said, there are only 2 days until I go to Paris. So I am posting but with a limited number of images - that will be 1.
My title is 'Built Up, Broken Down' and when I have written my 2000 word essay on that and returned from PARIS, I will cut & paste some of it for your constructive criticism.
For now this is my concept/ mood board.

Friday, 20 January 2012

a right good textiles talking to...

I have been dawdling on with the collars project without a clear and in depth concept. faltering. therefore I gave myself a taste of my own medicine. a good talking to. I pretended I was one of my students and imagined what I would say to them if it was their work... I was harsh and almost made myself cry. points included:
  • lack of direction
  • lack of enquiry
  • lack of focus
  • lack of interesting visual studies
  • where's my concept board?
  • what IS my concept?
  • what/who is my inspiration?
  • what is my target market?
So I came up with a (limited) colour scheme (see above) and more interesting sketchbook pages in terms of composition but NO clear, well thought out concept.
lets have a brainstorm... I want to draw.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Valentines for cynics?...

I have finished my 'valentine' collection; a small collection of 3D paper 'sculpture' cards which are very lovely (I think) based on the sacred heart, one of my favourite emblems/logos.
And then the others... ' a card between 2 lovers' collection (I have just made that up), part of the 'stick your own sentiment' options. These are the stickers included so you can choose your own sentiment, some ARE nice, most are not SO nice. Which would you choose? (Answers in comments box please).
  1. I disagree with the gross commercialism of Valentines Day (because I never get a card).
  2. I bought myself this card …because you didn’t.
  3. you have to love me…I bought you this card.
  4. love’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
  5. I hope you feel guilty now.
  6. where’re my roses?
  7. I don’t agree with Valentine’s Day …because I love you all the time.
  8. guess who this is from then?
  9. I love you Valentine.
  10. What’s your name again?
  11. you mean more to me than my car.
  12. you mean more to me than my life.
  13. be mine.
  14. you're mine.
My own favourites are No.s 2 and 5. And very proud of those I am too.