What’s on my drawing board, Nov 16 2017
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Patterns from the 16th Century. This weeks drawing board is full of 16th Century Jacobean patterns featuring flowers and leaves (of course!). Top row: Top sketch book with colour swatch samples for leaves, mainly yellows, blues and greens, lower sketchbook … Read More

Making pictures from paint splodges!
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I’ve always been a fan of painting and drawing exercises to loosen up my work. This is a technique I’ve hit upon to look at some colours other than my usual palette (greens & blues if you hadn’t noticed!) and … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Oct 14 2017
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Leaves, vines and new watercolour paints. This weeks drawing board is full of patterns featuring leaves and vines and pink flowers, inspired by a recent trip to country Victoria. Combined with 2 products new to me: Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Sept 06 2017
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Greens and Purples This weeks drawing board has preparatory work for some new tropical watercolour paintings. I’ve been looking at deliberately planning complimentary colour schemes to help make my tropical compositions pop. I’ve been adding purple, which is the complementary … Read More

July #WorldWatercolorMonth challenge
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#WorldWatercolorMonth A painting a day Since the 1st of July I’ve been taking part in #WorldWatercolorMonth, the challenge is to paint and post a watercolour painting every day – I’ve made it to day 20, its been a stretch – … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, June 24 2017
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Lots of leaves This weeks drawing board is full of tropical leaves as part of my Palm House series of watercolour paintings, sketches and large acrylic works, inspired by the architecture and exotic tropical vegetation of the Sefton Park Palm … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, May 26 2017
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Practice makes perfect This weeks drawing board centres on an A3 size inked drawing of an ironwork spiral staircase surrounded by tropical vegetation in a glasshouse, part of my current Hot House Palms theme of artworks and designs. For this … Read More

using Inktense pencils with an airbrush
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I have been experimenting with my Derwent Inktense water-soluble colour pencils again.   I’m obsessed with their luminosity and intensity, but must admit am finding it hard to maintain those attributes across a large area of work without things getting … Read More

knitting in the winter
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On my morning walk today I felt the first chill of winter, so I came straight home and dug my bag of knitting out of the cupboard. I only knit in the winter, I think its something to do with … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, March 17 2017
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Hot House Palms Top row: Bird studies for new range of felt craft kits I’m developing to sell on Etsy. All based on birds I see on my morning walks, the pretty Terns are one of my favourites I see … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, March 02 2017
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Its all a bit green. Top row: Sketchbook with pen & ink studies of teasel flowers in silhouette and Gum shadows pattern variations. Watercolour green leaves pattern using water brush pens to gain a variegated effect from centre of painting … Read More

How to sew a felt ornament
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If you have bought one of my Happy Sun Sewing Kits from my Etsy store read on for a detailed and illustrated tutorial on how to sew your ornament. Don’t worry if you haven’t bought the kit, this tutorial comes … Read More

So what is Kumihimo?
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Until a few months ago I had never heard of Kumihimo, and now the disks used to practice this ancient Japanese craft are top sellers on my Etsy shop. Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Feb 07 2017
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I'm mostly experimenting Top row: Sketchbook with studies of houses for large pen and ink study currently under way. Cow parsley & daisy small watercolour experiments using household candles as a wax resist – it works surprisingly well – I … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Jan 09 2017
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Sea to sky Top row: Sketchbook with studies of houses (Looe, a coastal village – Cornwall, UK) for planned large pen and ink study. Set of Inktense pencils by Derwent (a Christmas present) and colour swatches in sketchbook; Inktense pencils … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Dec 16 2016
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Back to botanics Top row: Sketchbook with leaf patterns, birch tree designs, Flemish flower painting inspiration, Moroccan tile design examples in scrapbook.Middle row:  Pink chrysanthemum watercolour flower study, on cotton watercolour paper (with reference photos above). Pencil sketch of ivy … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Dec 5 2016
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Basically…. a lot of holly! Top row: Hand tinted purple coloured holly lino prints, sketch book – flowers in a china jug (from a photo), holly wreath Christmas card initial design, current sketchbook – digital holly pattern, random holly leaf … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Nov 21 2016
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Top row: watercolour flowers, sketchbook with a study of wattle blossom and postcards of snowy Joseph Farquharson & Peter Graham paintings – images from my favourite Scottish highland painters to get me into a winter Christmas vibe in Australia. Middle … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Nov 14 2016
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Top row: sketchbook with quick study of passion fruit. Botanical line art preliminary sketches, lino print scrapbook.   Middle row: water colour doodles, & small chrysanthemum (prep work for larger design). Bottom row: childhood Christmas ornament sketches, orange & crimson watercolour … Read More

What’s on my drawing board, Nov 7 2016
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Top row (left to right) my lino print scrapbook, botanical line art preliminary sketches, lino print inspiration scrapbook. Middle row: large flower doodles in coloured pencil, my watercolour paints (W&N), small sketchbook I take on walks. Bottom row: current sketchbook … Read More

How to assemble my press out laser cut boxes.
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If you have bought one of my press out, self assembly  laser cut boxes, chances are you have followed this link for a detailed and illustrated tutorial on how to assemble your box. The boxes, in their component form are … Read More

Creativity through affordable paper
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I love getting new sketchbooks, over the years I have amassed quite a few. Large, small, hard bound, soft bound,  moderately expensive to quite expensive, and mostly with glued or bound paper pages.They are all on my shelves in perfect … Read More

Laser Cut Wooden Pencil Box
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I splashed out on some fancy art pencils recently, and designed a bespoke pencil box to keep them in. I made the box out of 3mm birch plywood using our laser cutter.Rather than buying something off the shelf, I wanted … Read More

Gum Doodle tablet cover
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I used one of my own fabric designs – Gum Doodle Teal, in a lightweight cotton fabric to make a simple tablet cover. I selected cotton wadding for the padding and white cotton fabric for the lining, then  I simply … Read More

Sketch to woodcut in an hour
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I took a recent watercolour sketch and turned it into a wood block ready for printing within an hour. This was an exercise in using technology to retain creative spontaneity –  I usually use the computer to neaten and ‘vectorise’ … Read More

Half drop pattern repeat design
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I’ve added a new design to my Gum shadows range of fabrics. For this pattern I used a half drop pattern repeat. This is a really useful  pattern repeat technique if your initial design appears too regimented in a regular … Read More

Gum Doodle Fabric Designs
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Continuing with my botanic pattern designs, I have recently been designing some patterns specifically for printing on fabric. Designing for large scale printing: fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper etc. usually involves creating a pattern repeat. In this post I’ll detail the … Read More

Botanic pattern lino prints
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I’ve  been developing a collection of surface pattern designs with a botanic theme. My process begins with watercolour sketches and observations in the field. From these sketches I create a set of patterns that would work well in a variety … Read More

A return to Lino Cut Prints
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I really enjoy the whole process of relief printing with lino tiles, from the initial design phase, through carving and onto the ‘final reveal’ stage when you peel the paper from the tile and see your printed design for the … Read More

Made-to-measure place mat tutorial
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Some of my best project ideas come to me when I’m browsing though fabric stores. When I saw this striped material I wanted to make place mats, with a bright orange binding.

Reverse appliqué
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Reverse appliqué, is a method of layering fabrics and attaching them together, usually by sewing,  and then cutting away portions of the fabric to reveal a design. I have been creating 6″ square pieces, taking inspiration form Celtic knot work … Read More

Exhibition print work
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I just created a poster and postcard design for a local art exhibition showcasing the work of my local ceramics group, and as the tutors name is Betty Jennings the exhibition is named after her classes: Tuesdays with Betty. When … Read More

Tube Lining Paintings
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Tube lining is a technique I’ve always enjoyed working with in my ceramics, and I thought I would have a go at transferring the principle to artwork. To tube line a tile or pot – a bead of wet clay … Read More

Flyer for art show
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I designed a printed flyer for an art show. The exhibition was for two artists, one working in ceramics and another a painter working on acrylics & oil canvases. 

Website for an art exhibition
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I just created a website for a Joint art exhibition held by a ceramic artist and a painter. I created a simple site design and layout, (based on a WordPress template) which helped to display the artists work cleanly and … Read More

3D printing – bracket for an IKEA lamp
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Once I had completed my drawing board, I needed a lamp for it,  an IKEA TERTIAL work lamp seemed a good option. The clamp base on the IKEA lamp is perfectly good for horizontal surfaces (like desk tops) but tends … Read More

Making a drawing board
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It all started when I watched a film where a character spent most of their time perched at a large wooden drawing board immersed in sketches, and I thought “I’d like one of those”. After some internet trawling I realised … Read More

3D printing – stamp
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I wanted to create a small plastic stamp that would leave a signature and date imprint on clay. Another of my interests is ceramics, see my online gallery HandmadeArt . I’ve always wanted to have a bespoke stamp to put … Read More

3D printing
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As a designer I have always been interested in 3D design, be it interior, furniture or product design; and find the recent developments in 3D plastic printing very exciting. It is now possible to purchase and build a 3D printer … Read More

More adventures in weaving
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Once I got the weaving bug with my simple loom, (see previous posting), an eBay purchase of a rigid heddle loom was inevitable. I was lucky to come across one locally that had been handmade with great skill many decades … Read More

Ever wanted to have a go at weaving?
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I have wanted to try weaving for a long time, but was put off by the bewildering array of costly equipment involved, and complicated set up instructions. Then I discovered the Simple Frame Loom, ideal for impatient beginners like myself, … Read More