The Here and There exhibition at Aspex Gallery is now open for business

If you are anywhere near Portsmouth Hampshire that you might want to pop into the ASPEX Art Gallery current exhibition
where you will see “My Journey” series on display

Papercutting workshop

As  the Ashcroft Art Centre has asked me to provide a paper cutting valentines workshop for them at the end of the month, I thought that it would be good to share some of the useful paper cutting pages that I like, it is odd how things come around over the years. In the past I have created many stencils  to jazz up fabric and create individual designs, and to personalize walls, furniture etc, experimenting with traditional manilla board and plastics but I have never really got into paper cutting as a craft that is until now  its funny how being asked to provide a workshop reignites a interest.


Getting ready for Christmas a little early

I spent the weekend collecting sloes in the rain to make my sloe gin for next Christmas , making some blackberry whiskey and making willow / cane stars, hearts and Christmas trees ready for my workshop on Saturday the 13th December. How about you?

Changes to my lantern making workshop for adults

Hi Just to let you know that I have needed to cancel this workshop which is a a real pity. however I will be offering Christmas Cane Flowers and Stars workshop at Totton College in the next couple of weeks so keep a look out for more information.

Creating reusable art at the Pumpkin Festival

Supporting my lovely fellow volunteers with Southampton Scrapstore a project that Is right the core of recycling and recreating activities, those  of you who follow my posts will now that Ive been a major supporter of this fantastic project. We had a fantastic day at the Pumpkin Festival today and the shelter coped with the weather, We chatted to lots of new people as well as meeting old friends. This year with lack of troops on the ground we decided to try something different and create a giant artwork using scrap which could then be taken apart and reused.
The images show the blanks boards that we started with and the final collage.Which was based in a ww1 solder standing  in a poppy field
netley pumpkin festnetley pumpkin fest 2 netley pumpkin fest 3 

How simple things can make a real difference- fostering the imagination and cardboxes

I dont know if you have stumbled across the Imagination Foundation they are just a great . At the moment they are asking groups people etc to take part in the great cardboard challenge . So if you love making things out of things that would be thrown away getting involved and encouraging creativity and  inventing wonderful creations  heres an opportunity to join in with something that is both simple and fun


Christmas vintage fair – Southampton

Wyellow vintage fairell Ive finally taken the plunge. After visiting the vintage fair at the Ageas Bowl Southampton I have so many vintage bits and bobs at home as well as of course my own vintage inspired jewellery and crafts that I have decided to take a stall at the Christmas Vintage Fair at the end of November,

If you are interested in all things vintage as well as creating your own crafts  there holding a Make Do and Mend vintage crafts supplies fair on the 6th October so if you are around take a look .



A most interesting project working with young people living in a secure childrens home

Just before the summer I was invited to work with a group of young people who reside on a secure children home,  the young who live in the  centre also attend lessons in the on site education unit who  on occasion invite organizations and individuals with specialisms to come and spend time with them.

I was invited to work on a sculptural project with the young people introducing them to 3d work and materials that they hadnt worked with before,

Many of the young people find it difficult to work together on a collective project and often were not confident in their own abilities to be creative so I knew from the outset that I would need to be adaptive in my approach and focus on enabling them to take part,  I already knew that if they didnt like me then it would be a very difficult to progress, thankfully this wasnt a problem.

Working in very small groups of 3 – 4 participants at a time often with support workers attached. I introduced the young people to using paper mache and mud rock , we then moved on to include wire mesh and finally paper clay and solid foam board skeltons. Myself and  the art teacher decided to set them the challenge of creating a 3d human head the subject being up to them. The winners would receive a prize of their choosing and so they chose a takeaway of their choice.

golden man with dreadsThis is the winning entry , they were so proud of taking part and I was so fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to spend time with them.


Getting ready for Totton and Ealing 1st Arts Festival, May Bank Holiday weekend

Ive been really busy at the moment planning for future activities as well as having problems as a local  garage has just damaged the gearbox on my vw and refuses to admit responsibility but that is another story

This weekend you will find me at the a new arts festival on the edge of the New Forest. On Saturday I will be showing my artwork , jewellery and the like in the arts market and on the Sunday I will be offering two hour taster workshops to crochet and peg loom weaving. If you in the area then please join us as there will be  lots to see  and do for more details visit

Local creative activities and networking

Finding out what is on your local area , creative activities-social  networking or chatting to people you dont know

It is always interesting when I chat to people about how they find out what is on on in there local area,  they often say that they look to local authority websites etc but dont always realize that there are some amazing networks out there.

Now I know that many of these are internet/ email / facebook based , However in itself that is not enough . The power of talking and sharing information  is still the best way . a classic example of this in action is when I attended a great local event last week ” Embrace The Change” held at the Solent University . I was there promoting Southampton Scrapstore which a fantastic local project linked to reusing and recycling.

Anyway to get back to the subject in hand, just before we were due to go into the presentations ( all of which were fantastic)the fire alarm went of and we all had to go outside, now rather than standing there like a lemon I struck up a conversation with two ladies and asked them why they were there. It turned out that one of the ladies had seen a poster in the library and had come along as something to do , as it looked interesting she had invited her friend. Well I couldn’t resist it I asked her if she had heard about SHAPE the local email newsletter for creative activities, I also told them about the Culture Hampshire website and of course the reason I was there as a volunteer promoting the Southampton Scrapstore. All of which she hadnt heard of So there you Id suggest taking the opportunity of sharing what is out there with total strangers when ever you can