Friday, 23 June 2017

New stash

I haven't bought any stash for a few months (other than replacing glue etc) but I couldn't resist this-a bargain!

30 sharpies for £8-thats 26p per pen!  

Now my go to pen is Posca, BUT a sharpie is great for quick sketches and also for drawing on white canvas shoes (or daps as we call them in Bristol!) so this was a perfect opportunity to  expand the colours I currently have as they have some lovely shades in this pack.

I just need to think of a new project to start using them on-pinterest here I come!


Monday, 19 June 2017

Contemporary Craft Fair

I recently went to the Contemporary Craft Fair at BoveyTracey in Devon 

I have been attending for many years and the array of work is amazing.  Once again they had the pottery show down, a vintage cinema, willow weavers, stone masons etc

The level of work is amazing and we may have made one or two purchases (though not as much this year, last year we bought an original piece for the bedroom wall).

I prefer to buy direct from craftspeople and this is why I love events such as this.  
You get to talk to them direct and really appreciate the work that goes into each piece.

My mum and I bought a selection of handmade zipper bags. 
 A couple of screen printed ones on linen with waterproof linings ( and three where a fabric was created from their original paintings (

My husband also bought me this from How cute is it?  I cannot wait to wear it on my suit jacket at work, I think it has SO much character-she is stomping, a little like me at times!

Do you have any events you attend where you can buy direct from the maker?  I would love to know (especially if they are in the UK) as I am always on the lookout.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Sketching in Tapas bars

 I have finally gotten round to getting some of the photos off my phone and realised I have not blogged the urban sketches I did whilst I was in Sitges, Spain.

Now I know this looks like a LOT of time was spent in Tapas bars, I cannot lie-we did!  It was a great way to get out of the mid day sun.  Either inside in the cool or under an umbrella on the edge of the beach!  I could really get used to this life!  

To keep the weight down I only carried my sketchbook and pen with me and I usually add some colour when I am back at the ranch.

I am not too keen on sketching people but I find that in busy bars it is a bit easier as you are not noticed as much!


Wednesday, 14 June 2017


I know, it's Wednesday and I have a clean desk!!!

The only thing on my desk this week is the supporter pack from Upfest.

upfest is the largest street art festival in Europe and happens in Bristol every year 
at the end of July.
Each year they run a crowd funding event to raise money to cover paint etc and depending on how much you donate they offer a small gift in return.

This was ours.  
A lovely blank sketchbook (nice thick smooth paper inside perfect for wet mediums) which was embossed with their logo and three posca pens (my favourite marker pen as it takes on most surfaces).

How is your workdesk this week?  Don't worry as mine will not stay this clean for long (it never does)!


Monday, 12 June 2017

ATC Updates

Just a quick update to say "thanks" for the latest ATC's I received for the 8th anniversary of  "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday".

On the left is one from the lovely Donna who made it from some of the shaving foam printed card I sent her and a brilliant handmade card. 

On the right is a lovely one from Ali ( with a fantastic quote "The stars are out there. Just look up"

I also got this one from Margaret and a card with a fabulous saying "Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person. Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measured words". 

Thanks ladies always nice to have happy post.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Quick cards

Just a quick update, some of you may know that I often carry  'googly' eyes in my bag.  
If I spot something when I am out and about (advertising poster, old stickers, bollards) that looks like faces I have been known to add some 'eyes'!

I was sorting them into sizes recently (a strangely therapeutic 10 min job) when I noticed some wrapping paper off cuts I put to one side so decided to make a couple of quick cards, adding some 'googly' eyes to a couple of the animals.  I particularly like the tiger!

Sometimes quick and easy cards are a perfect way of getting some crafting done 
when time is precious.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Another week has passed and as it is once again hump day that means "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" where across the globe we show our desks.

For full details why not pop over to the Queen of desks, the lovely Julia at stamping-ground

After the terrible incidents in London at the weekend I have decided not to do my 'Man Bites Dog' cards again but I have been doing some more work on my canvas boards I plan on abandoning hopefully at Upfest later in the summer.

Not much time to craft at the moment as super busy at work (and when the weather is nice I tend to garden-so maybe that will be a future 'desk' update as it is lovely being light in the evenings and being able to do 'stuff' after work).

So, what are you all up to?

Happy crafting

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

June 365 Challenge

Just a quick update for my June pages (you may have seen a sneaky peak on Wednesdays blog update) for the 365 Challenge over on Kate Cranes blog.

These were actually ready for the start of the month!
Now I just need to do 'some stuff' so I can fill each day in.

Happy crafting

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Life drawing

Hello, I thought I would share some of the practice sketches I have been doing recently.

I don't really draw (never did art at school) but I borrowed a book from the library 
"Life Drawing" by Jake Spicer and decided I would have a play around.

I really like the way he explains the steps and techniques.  Nice and simple.

I only tried a couple of exercises using just a propeller pencil but I was reasonably pleased with the results (well, I could tell what they were meant to be so that is a good start)!

I managed to get another of his books, this time from a charity shop (I think they may have been on sale last year in shops like The Works so they are starting to appear in the charity shops now-result for me!).

Only a few sketches but I suppose we all have to start somewhere and I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed doing it.


Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Oh my the week passed quickly!
Last Monday we got back from Spain and it feels like I haven't stopped washing and ironing since then!! Luckily I was able to pop down to Devon for the weekend and nosied around Plymouth, Exmouth and Exeter so feels like a proper break (though I appear to have a terrible cold at the moment requiring two lots of bloods for the doctor to test-ah the joys of RA and no immune system)-anyway I blather on as the reason you are here is to witness my desk of mess!

On my desk this week is my June 365 Journal-I have actually finished just in time for the start of the month!  Go me!!! 
My "Man Bites Dog" cards are 'Romantic Movie Actor Runs off with Drugs'-oooh!

Also is an 8th Anniversary WOYWW ATC from the lovely Shaz (who I sent one over the weekend to as she was next on the list but she kindly sent me one).

I love the lavinia stamps she has used and a great background too (thanks Shaz).

I have about 6 ATC's going if you would like one please let me know your details and I will pop one in the post (until I run out).


Monday, 29 May 2017

Doodling a postcard

Just a quick update as I am slowly uploading my recent photos from my holiday.

I did several sketches whilst away (but not downloaded those photos yet so they will follow) but I also did some 'doodling' (well, when you are sat near the pool, with a beer what else can you do)?

This is the small postcard I doodled to leave with some wine at the apartment we stayed in just to say "thanks".  Not a great piece of art (especially when you realise the owner of the apartment is an artist!) but a pleasant few hours were spent mindfully doodling away.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 27 May 2017


 I was lucky enough last week to go on holiday with my extended family.  A a present for my hubby's 50th they organised a holiday in Spain.  

We stayed in Sitges (about 40 mins train ride from Barcelona) and I actually took over 200 photos-but don't worry I wont show them all!  This is just a small random selection.

We had a day in Barcelona and luckily my brother and sister in law are fluent in spanish (and can get by in catalan) which was a boon. Since it was just a day in the city we used the Ho-Ho (hop on, hop off) bus as this enabled us to see several of the sites in a short period of time.

We are quite a short family so sitting upstairs on the bus meant we could see over the crowds-a great way to see the city (and save my legs-one of the downsides of RA is I am often slow and tire easily).

We got off at Park Guell, an amazing park full of art and gorgeous plants and walks.  Whilst you have to pay to go into the monument park I knew from research that brilliant views of the paid area could be seen from a walking route that took you around the top of the park-amazing views all for free!

Everyway we turned there was more art, sculptures and architecture.

As we were staying in Sitges we explored the town, it is an ancient town filled with amazing buildings and stone carvings.  It also has a fabulous promenade and amazing beaches with clear blue water.

Sitges is the Gay capital of Spain (think Brighton) so there is a brilliant vibe and some great eating and drinking venues (we ate a lot of tapas and quite a lot of wine and beer!).

I am happy to admit I fell in love with both places and plan on returning several times as there was SO much to explore.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WOYWW Anniversary

Welcome to my desk on the 8th anniversary of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  
8 years-it is amazing and I bet when our leader and Queen of the desks, Julia, first started this she never expected it to become what it is.  Over the years we have met both virtually and in real life, we have swapped craft, stash, cards and ATC's.  We have shared highs and lows (I will never forget those of you at the crop 4 years ago only a few weeks after my dad's sudden death convincing me to come and held my hand and fed me cake!!).

The past week has been a rush, I have not been able to return visit many desks as I was lucky enough to be in Spain (Barcelona and Sitges) with my family so access was very limited (very few wifi spots).  An amazing place for art and architecture though so MANY photos were taken and even some sketching.

Anyway, to the reason you are here-my desk is back to being messy (you will be glad to see) as I am quickly making a masterboard for my ATC swap (hoping I will be able to make a few after work tonight).

I find masterboards are a great way to make several projects especially if you are short of time (which I am).

I have decided after the terrible attack in Manchester not to do my "Man Bites Dog" cards this week-my thoughts are with all those affected.


Saturday, 20 May 2017

A new mug for my cuppa

A few weeks ago fellow Coven member Julie celebrated her 50th Birthday by having a pottery painting party!  It was brilliant, there was snacks, chatting and copious amounts of bubbly!!!

So when I recently picked up the piece I painted I was pleasantly surprised that my dotty mug (I applied the glaze with poundshop nail art tools!!) was actually quite good!  The sparkling bubbles didn't seem to affect my ability to apply the glaze too much!

It was a great idea and we all have a unique piece to remember the day.
I would recommend it to anyone thinking about what to do-so much fun.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Welcome back to my desk and "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" desk is still clean (seriously those that know me will worry-it is NOT natural) and I have made some progress on the canvass boards I was making last week and whilst they dry (and I await my mojo to return) I thought I would make a start on some tag backgrounds ready to abandon (and then I need to start on some ATCs).

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Movie Heiress Strikes Judge'-well, I will be watching the news and reading the papers with interest this week!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 13 May 2017

sketching hands

Now, I am the first to admit I am not a natural sketcher.  I have never been taught and at school I was never encouraged, but I am bloody minded and was brought up by my parents to be a strong independent individual so I never let the fact that I cannot do something hold me back (after all my favourite saying is "every day's a school day" because I love to learn new things, actually it is my 2nd favourite saying-but that's another story).

So, I took myself off to my local library (I LOVE a library, a place where books are free and DVD's are SO cheap for the latest films, please use your library and don't allow the Government or Council cut their services even more!) and picked up a Jake Spicer drawing book.

I do love Jake Spicer's books as I find them SO easy to follow so I was super excited to find this in the library.

I am slowly working my way through and since I struggle with hands (as well as feet, heads, bodies, hair etc....!) I thought I would try a page of hands.  Not fun to do I admit but I did feel that I had a better understanding of how to approach drawing them should the desire arise!

Have you any drawing tips?  If so I would love to hear them.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017


So on my desk this week (which still looks clean!) are some canvas boards I am making up with the idea to abandon them at some up and coming festivals.

I will keep the blog post short and sweet.  My "Man Bites Dog" cards are 'Wall Street Attacks Bizarre Czar'-to be honest I dread to think what this could mean!  Each day when I wake up and listen to the news my first thought is usually "what now?".....strange times indeed!

Happy crafting


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A little bit of what you love does you good

Following on from my previous post  about crafting being my mental saviour there are a few things I make sure I try to keep up to date with, and they only take a few moments.

As I explained previously I love to abandon art, quite often just a quick sketch on a tag, but the act of making art for me is important.

Another thing I do is I keep a tin where I write down a small snippet, maybe something we did or a joke I heard.  Not every day but most weeks there will be a couple of things.  Then at new years my husband and I sit down and relive all the lovely moments that happened over the past year  (I blogged about it here)

The other crafting thing I like to make time for is my 365 Journal, started by Kate Crane over on her blog, they are a group that do a small journal entry each day.  I have been doing this nearly every day for 4 years and it is fantastic to flick back through and remember things that I have forgotten, still dealing with, or made me smile.

Some small but simple things that bring me pleasure and cost very little.

Happy crafting

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Abandoned Art

So the pay the bills job has been somewhat hectic the past few months meaning that there has been very little time for me, friends or crafting.  

Crafting for me (since I discovered it when I was about 7 years old) allows me some 'down time' mentally and physically and is crucial to my well being (it is as important to me as exercise and meditation).  This has meant I have had to learn how to snatch little pleasures where I can and art abandonment fits this perfectly.

I recently spent 10 mins during a break making a quick sketch on a tag that I used to mop up some paint from a previous project then abandon it for someone else to find.

This watercolour and ink was a quick sketch of some tulips and I abandoned it at the park in Sidmouth, Devon opposite the Sir John Betjemen plaque.

I always leave the details of the Art Abandonment group of Facebook but have never heard from anyone who has found one of my pieces (which is fine as the point is to set them free and not expect a response) but I do hope that they bring a smile to someones face.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Japanese woodblocks

I recently went to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) in Exeter to see the "Hiroshige's Japan:Stations of the Tokaido Road" exhibition.  

No photography was allowed but I had my sketchbook with me and after some discussion they agreed I was allowed to make sketches!

The exhibitions consisted of a selection of 21 woodblock prints from the early 1800's on loan from the Ashmolean Museum. They were truly stunning and I was particularly taken with the way he recorded people and their movements.

Sunrise at Shinagawa, Utagawa Hiroshige I, colour woodblock print

This is an example of some of the work that was on display.  

If you are ever in the Exeter area I thoroughly recommend a trip to the RAAM.  
It is free to get in (some exhibitions have a charge, as this one did, but only £4) and there is such a wide variety of exhibitions to look at.  Also a great cafe and gardens and right in the centre of the city.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


 Welcome to 'What's on your workdesk Wednesday' and yet again a tidy desk.  It is crazy busy at work still so very little time to craft (or blog).  However this is a rare event as I actually have some new stash to share (I cannot remember the last time I bought stash that wasn't replacing something that has run out like glue or tape)!

This little haul came as a kit from a charity shop.

I couldn't believe my luck especially since the stamps and die's appear to go together.

There was also this embossing folder and some sequins (I presume to add to the mermaids tail)....but all this just for £2!  You can see why I had to buy it?

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Fake Priest Sues Tourist'.....ooh I wonder what that will bring (quite pleased its not political as there is quite enough of that at the moment!).

Happy crafting

Sunday, 23 April 2017

World Earth Day

Saturday was World Earth Day and also March for Science. 

Events were planned all across the globe as a response to the recent events over the pond for non evidence based political decisions being made regarding subjects such as global warming, medical advancements, technology etc

So we decided to join the one in Bristol. There were speakers including Chris Packham, 
Dr Simon Singh, Anna Starkey, Prof. Bruce Hood and Dr Suzi Gage.  Millenium square was PACKED, there must have been at least 1000 people there, all ages and all walks of life-all united for one reason.

There was a competition for the best placard (I quite like the couple below) and we all marched round the city shouting "what do we do we want it...fact based!"

It was fantastic and hubby was pleased to be able to meet Chris Packam (on the right!) especially as his speech included references to two of my husbands favourite punk bands (The Clash and Penetration).  It was a fantastic day out and great to take part in something that joined people across the globe.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Speedy Recovery card

I needed to make a special card for some recently who had a nasty fall and broke her leg.
These embossed cards are quite large and I bought them from the charity table a couple of crops ago at the WOYWW meet up.  I have been mainly using them for weddings etc but I thought they would make a good base for this card.
I die cut some TH butterflies from board and coated them in some indigo blu flitter glue (love this tacky glue) and covered them with gilding flakes.

I stamped a sentiment and matted and layered it on silver card.
A feminine get well soon card and one perfect for the recipient.
Happy crafting

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Work got in the way the past couple of weeks and the garden had to take precedence of any spare time but I did manage to get a quick hour in the craft room so I have something to show you for 'What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday'.
I am trying to use up old supplies so I have used up the last of my golden lightweight texture paste through some stencils on 3 canvas boards.  I keep these and don't use them-probably the worse thing for craft/art supplies since they are made to be used!

I have sprayed them with a mixture of dylusions and distress ink adding water and moving the boards to create pools of colour.
No idea what else to do with them (or what I am going to do with them-probably an art abandonment/free art Friday) but I am sure that given time inspiration will strike!
My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week-'Judge Revealed Fake Drugs'
Apologies if you visited my desk previously and I didn't get a chance to return visit, I do try to visit each one but sometimes the pay the bills job and life gets in the way.
Happy crafting

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Bristol Urban Sketchers Meet up

At the weekend I attended the monthly meet up of the Bristol Urban Sketchers.
It is a great group (and expanding month on month) and there are some fabulous artists with so many different styles that there is always inspiration and something new to learn.
This month we went to a 45 acre cemetery only 15 mins walk from the centre of the city.  I have lived in Bristol for about 14 years and have never visited. 
 Well, I will be back soon-this place was amazing.  It had a cafĂ©, exhibition space, museum, natural 'green' cemetery, historical areas, sailors cemetery, woodland walks and much more. It is free to get in and for a  small donation you can have a guided tour.

I was running late for the meet up so I didn't have too long but I did manage to make a quick sketch in my travel journal.  After we sketch we all meet up for either a drink or some lunch and share sketches and stories.  It is always lovely to meet with like minded people and they are such a talented group-if you are interested and in the area then they have a FB group.
Happy crafting

Saturday, 1 April 2017

More upcycled cards

 Just a quick update on some cards I have made from upcycling other items.

I hope that people don't mind that I upcycle some of the cards I get!

I often mix them up using bits from other cards, calendar etc as well as my own stash and give them a new lease ready to be gifted to a new recipient.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Hump day so that can only mean one thing "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" when we gather across the globe to show our desks.  Some tidy (so tidy I wonder if its post crime scene!) others...well...lets face it its a pig sty.....but it is creative (sort of!!).

On my desk this week I am trying to catch up with my 365 Journal and at least try to make Aprils pages so they are ready to start writing, and by jove I am nearly there!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this weeks are 'Beauty Model weeps for Nails'-well, let be honest we could certainly do with some glib and superficial news!!

Happy crafting

Monday, 27 March 2017

Dressed to impress

 So, I decided to take a well deserved day off work the other day and instead of spending it catching up with housework (everything takes longer when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I admit I get behind with a lot of it) I decided to have a day sewing.

I bought a Tilly and The Button dress pattern for the Coco dress on the recommendation from a friend and whilst I made one about a month ago the fabric/seam around the armpit rippped after one wear-no idea why.  Maybe my thread was a little tight or maybe I was over zealous with the iron and it was a little too hot for the jersey fabric.  Anyway, I bought some different fabric (ponte de roma) and decided to have another go.

It was all going really well, I remembered to wash and dry the fabric before cutting it out. Then after about an hour trying, unsuccessfully, to insert the arm into the pattern I suddenly realised what was wrong....can you spot my schoolboy error?

I kept wondering WHY the sleeves were not the same each side. Then I spotted the pattern had one edge tucked over when I cut the fabric out!!!!

 Can you spot the difference between the two?  I was SO annoyed at myself (but also thankful I took my time and hadn't started sewing...that would have been a pain in the backside!) Thankfully I seem to have a LOT of fabric left over when I cut this pattern out (no idea why, I think I need to email them to ask for advice as I end up buying a lot more than I actually need) so I was able to cut another pair out.

Once I had cut the arms out correctly it was much easier to fit the arms (still took me a while to sort it out though but I am guessing this is a skill I can develop the more I make). 

I finally made a dress!  Yes its plain and black (no matching of patterns for me at this stage!!) and I may decide to put a couple of pockets on the front.  I haven't worn it yet so fingers crossed the seams and fabric doesn't rip on this one as I think I may loose the plot if it does!! 

But still...I made a dress!!!! Yes, I did a happy dance round the lounge when I tried it on and it fitted!

Happy crafting

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Mothering Sunday

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK (and the clocks went forward so back to darker mornings for a few weeks but lighter evenings).

I made a few cards (for donations at work for charity) using some of my flower fairy toppers.

Not my usual style but I am a bit of a sucker for flower fairies, I think it stems back to having the books as a child.

Quite simple cards but I do like to give a handmade card when I can.

If you are celebrating (or remembering, if your Mum is no longer with you) then I hope you have some lovely memories, and cake, we all need cake on Mothering Sunday!

Happy crafting