Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Christmas is nearly here and I am loving all the wonderful Christmas colour schemes and displays that are everywhere I go!
Here are a few of my decorations - my colour scheme for one of the trees this year is red, green and cream.  I have a second tree (an old tatty one) that I put up in the dining room each year - it gives the room a bit of sparkle during Christmas dinner!

I would like to wish everyone a happy, colourful, creative and sparkly Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

WOYWW #184

Well, it's been a while since I've taken part in What's on your Work Desk Wednesday, mainly due to the fact that I've had very little going on on my work desk!  But in the lead up to Christmas I have had to get busy - tags, cards, small gifts etc etc - so here is what is on my desk this week, and I hope no-one will mind me returning after such a long break.  Why not nip over there and see what other people have on their desks this week!

I have been making some cupcake toppers - some are going to a friend, along with a little cupcake book, some will be used over Christmas when I have friends and family round, and some have already gone to relatives who provided a wonderful lunch for us yesterday!

In the background are some tags I'm making - I shall be stamping images on plain brown paper to make matching gift wrap - that's the plan anyway!

This is one of the cupcakes that went over to relatives yesterday - I was going to use white cases but found these spotted ones a couple of days ago - I think they match perfectly!

Monday, 3 December 2012


Winter seems to be well and truly here - we've had several frosty mornings and the woolly jumpers are out!

I used a Kim Klassen texture for this photo of the New Forest - I love the warm, rusty colour of the dead heather at this time of year.

Appropriately, the last two themes for Tag Tuesday have been 'Keeping Warm' and 'Winter Landscape'.

For 'Keeping Warm' I decided to crochet a small panel using different wool and yarns that I have made scarves with over the years.  I love knitting and crochet but I don't do shapes!  I added buttons to give a 'wrapping up warm' feel to the tag - I rather like the natural colours in this and think I might make a real scarf using these same left over yarns.

For the 'Winter Landscape' theme I decided I would carry on crocheting and I made two small trees which I attached to tags - the first tree trunk was stitched using dark grey embroidery thread, and the second was a piece of black satin ribbon - I think the trunk would look better with a thinner ribbon, but unfortunately that is all I had!

I am linking up this week with Colour Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

Monday, 26 November 2012


Our garden has been full of sparrows lately - we are filling up the bird feeders daily, and it's lovely to see them.  They are such sweet little birds and with their numbers declining I am so pleased we seem to have a permanent group living near us.

I am linking up with Color Me Weekly and Mosiac Monday.

For Tag Tuesday the last two weeks themes were 'Sepia' and 'Music'.
Here are my two offerings:

 For the theme sepia I decided to look through some old photos that have passed down through the family to me, and I came across this one - the couple have been in our family for years but I don't know who on earth they are!  I think the girl was a childhood friend of my father, which puts this photo in the 1940's, which also ties in with her dress style.  I was intrigued about what their situation was - is he going away, has he just got back home, is it war time.  I've never been able to throw the photo away in case I ever found out anything about them.
I liked the idea of him being away from her and carrying a memento - did he have a lock of her hair or a scrap of a letter - I've collected little precious pieces and clipped them in front of the photo.

This tag represents the theme music.  I distressed and stamped a background pattern onto a manila tag and a scrap of sheet music.  I added some lace and what should have been two Song Thrushes - however, I had to use artistic licence as these are Field Fares!

Monday, 19 November 2012


 I had forgotten how wonderful old beach huts are - the more run-down and tatty the better the textures to photograph!  

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday, Color Me Weekly and Blue Monday.

Monday, 12 November 2012


It has been a wonderful autumn so far, with plenty of opportunities for walks and wonderful trees and foliage.  
A few days ago we went for a walk around Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, one of my favourite parts of the New Forest - I grabbed the opportunity to take some photos while the sun was shining.

I am linking this to Color Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

Monday, 5 November 2012


This weeks Tag Tuesday theme is anything to do with the moon and stars.
I made two tags using a wonderful old book from the late 1800's that I found in a charity shop, about the Heavens.
The splodges on the right hand tag are gold leaf flakes - I just could not get them to look gold and shimmery in the photographs!

In keeping with the Tag Tuesday theme I photographed the face of our old grandfather clock - I rather like the sun and moon dial (although only the stars were visible when I took the photo).
I am linking this to Color Me Weekly.

Monday, 29 October 2012


I'm afraid I haven't taken part in Tag Tuesday for two or three weeks, as I have just been too busy with other things.  However, I needed some tags for Halloween night and this weeks theme for Tag Tuesday is Halloween so ..... here they are!

I used a selection of rubber stamps for the backgrounds and then added some wire, beads, feathers and bits and pieces from Michaels that I picked up when I was over in the US in August - I just LOVE their stuff!

I am busy preparing for Halloween night and have started decorating my dining room.  I probably wouldn't be so bothered about it if my two young half-American nephews weren't so into it big time!
The spiders web table cloth, feathered birds, black blossom branches and black leaf garlands are all from Michaels, once again!

I am linking this mosaic to Mosaic Monday.

October is a busy month for birthdays in our family and I made these Autumn cupcakes for my sister's birthday at the weekend (I just had to include something Autumny - I couldn't help myself!).

I made the decorations out of sugar paste and painted them with food colouring - I was quite pleased with the overall effect of them (from a distance!), but I think the painting could have been a lot better.  I was quite nervous of painting on sugar paste, but I should have been bolder and braver and put more paint on them!  I'll know better next time!  

Monday, 22 October 2012


I thought I 'd post another photo mosaic of autumn changes - this week I've changed my bedroom round.  The cushion covers on the linen box have been changed to warm terracotta/brick red colours, the white painted wooden photo frames have been replaced with a large copper bowl with seed heads and pot pourri in it, and the bedding is one of my very favourite William Morris designs of acorns and oak leaves.   If only Autumn lasted all year!

Is there anything in the garden at the moment more beautiful than hydrangea heads?  I just love them - this one looked so striking with the sun shining through it.

 I bought this hydrangea head into the house and played about with Photoshop and Kim Klassen textures!

I am linking up to Colour Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

Thursday, 18 October 2012


I took part in the Brooklyn Sketchbook Project 2012 and sent my finished sketchbook over to the Brooklyn Art Library where it will live indefinitely.  However, before it settles down to retirement it is on a world tour, with all the other sketchbooks of course, and this week it's traveled to London!  They are all at the Canada Water Library until the 19th October.

The theme I chose was 'I Remember You'.

I divided the book into four sections - the first 7 pages represent memories of my father who cared for me and supported me throughout my life.  18 years ago he passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly and we didn't get to say goodbye.

The second set of 7 pages represent memories of my dear, sweet mum who loved me unconditionally, and battled with Alzheimers in the latter years of her life.

The third set of pages represents my childhood memories and the people who helped to build my life with me.  Memories of my grandmother moving all her furniture around to make two 'houses' so we could play at being neighbours! Memories of playing 'Going for a Song' (the olden days version of Antiques Roadshow!) and valuing her special china and jewellery...  

And finally the last set of pages represent my ancestors - greats and great,greats - of whom I've been told so many stories that I feel I know them personally.  They made me who I am today!

Here's a link to my complete sketchbook at the Art House

My dear blog friend Lynn, over at One I Made Earlier Today, visited the exhibition and has done a couple of wonderful blog posts highlighting her own work and some of the other sketchbooks she viewed.  She very kindly gave my sketchbook an airing, and a mention on her blog, so I'm sending a very big thank you to Lynn!

Monday, 15 October 2012


I have been busy getting the house ready for Autumn this week.  I love to change everything over in October to warm, autumny colours.  

In my living room the mantle piece is covered in berries, pumpkins and candles - the cushion covers are changed for orange leafy patterned ones, rustic bowls of cones and crab apples are put on the hearth and decorative acorns are hung from handles and book cases.

 The kitchen tea towels are swapped over for autumn coloured ones and my 'summer' salt and pepper pots are changed over for these lovely red and orange ones.  I've been making large batches of butternut squash and orange soup this week and will be serving it in my favourite pumpkin shaped soup tureen!

As you can see I tend to go 'autumn mad' but I love it, especially on these darker, colder nights - the colours make the house seem so warm and cosy!

Not everything has to be orange!  These wonderful yellows and golds are so rich -    I am now after a shrub for the garden with berries in that vivid yellow colour!

I am linking up with Color Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Everything is feeling so Autumny!  There is a wonderful array of coloured berries around and quite a few of the trees are beginning to change colour - I love it!

This handsome fellow in these lovely Autumn colours was strutting around a farm we visited recently - I fell in love with that gorgeous golden brown colouring with a dash of bright red!  I am linking up to Colour Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

Still on the Autumn theme, for Tag Tuesday last week I decided to make some tags using embossed velvet.  I know I've mentioned it in the past but I LOVE embossing velvet - it's the only time I enjoy using an iron! There is some info on it here

One of the velvet tags all ready to go - I was quite pleased with how well it matched the gift bag and wrapping paper.

Monday, 1 October 2012


  While out and about this week I came across a wonderful shop near Boarhunt, Hampshire, called the Flower Mill - it sells a fantastic array of silk flowers, glittery stuff, candles, vases, garlands, Christmas stuff, wedding stuff..... and much, much more - it's like an Aladdin's cave! 

I have been bringing out my Autumny stuff around the home this last week, and I love these colourful fairy lights - although not strictly Autumn colours they look beautiful lit up in my studio on these darker evenings.

I am linking up with Colour Me Weekly and Blue Monday.

Monday, 24 September 2012


There is a wonderful Autumn feel in the air lately and while mooching round my local garden centre last week I noticed these colourful bulbs all ready for planting - I rather like the textures and colours of the different varieties.  I'm afraid the photos aren't brilliant as I was taking them in rather a hurry and had an armful of shopping! 

I am linking these to Colour Me Weekly and Mosaic Monday.

 I also thought I'd post two tags that I have made over the last couple of weeks for Tag Tuesday.  The theme for the first one is 'Autumn Fruit and Berries' and the second one is 'Owls'.

On both tags I added a top tag of printed acetate - old text on top of the Rose hip image and a tree silhouette on top of the owl and printed silk panel. 

If you want to see some fantastic tags why not pop over to Tag Tuesday and have a nosey!

Monday, 17 September 2012


While having a sort out in my studio recently, I came across some old slide mailers - I nearly threw them out as they haven't been used for years.  Then I thought why not have a go - so here is my first 'play'.  In case anyone is wondering, slide mailers are small folded cards with glass slides for mailing samples off to laboratories.    

The front - I used torn paper, rubber stamps and copper embossing powder.

The inside - you can see it opens as a book and the two glass panels were glued in using a very thin line of glue right on the edge of each panel, so it wouldn't show through from the front.

The back.

Still in a blue and orange mood I made this photo mosaic using photos from Charles Dickens birth place that I visited back in April.

Some of my great-grandmothers china.

I am linking this to Blue MondayMosaic Monday and Colour Me Weekly.

Monday, 10 September 2012


This week I've put together a collection of photographs from our trip to Pennsylvania, and I'm linking up with Mosaic Monday and Color Me Weekly.

One of the highlights for me was a day at the Guggenheim art museum in New York - the most fabulous building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the most amazing collection of modern art.

We also drove to Washington DC for a few days and did a lot of great touristy stuff!

And finally, some of our travels around the local countryside.