Friday, 7 November 2008

Jo Sweetings Open House

I will be having I think mostly my two sets of alphabets , amongst other prints in Jo Sweetings Open House at 72 Ashford Road, Fiveways, Brighton on the weekend of November 16th-17th.

I'm really pleased to have been asked because the many wonderful and various artists and makers will make it a great house to be part of, and it's always good to hopefully find some unique Christmas presents, and then keep hold of them.

jo sweeting stonecarving ceramics and paperwork

joy fox button jewellery and lampshades
amy cooper porcelain urchin lights
betty bib watercolours and fairies
jo riddell prints
victor stuart graham boats and houses
Sharon Schofield jewellery
Katie Brinsley porcelein reindeer and doves
one in the house brooches and angels
carol butler embroidered shawls and pictures
sylph baier domestic tableware
penfold press handprinted wrapping paper

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sussex Gardeners

Here's the third book I've illustrated for Snakeriver Press -'Inspiring Sussex Gardeners'. It's a very interesting book and I like that Lorraine has written about some gardeners who are completely self-taught, and that the gardens ranges from very grand affairs to individuals veg patches - well, maybe a bit more than that!

There is also a good mix of gardeners from past and present, and from well-known to not so well-known.
My illustrations are simpler- a bit more graphic than the previous two books, ' 20 Sussex Churches' and '20 Sussex Gardens' and I think better for that.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Shed Finished!!!

At long last and with various delays for wood to be delivered and painted floors to dry our new shed is finally finished and we are now in and working out how to use it apart from lounging on the deck. It does feel very posh for us, now that we've painted the inside, but it is a studio so it is going to have to get scuffed and paint splattered sometime. It's lovely working virtually in the garden with the doors open and with all the insulation we've used it's beautifully cool for most of the day until the late afternoon sun hits the windows.

We can't be spending too long slobbing in the hammocks yet though, as the pond has to be dug, clay puddled and pond lined and then all the proper work we've been dodging whilst playing builders has to be done - and the sun's out....

Anyway we're very pleased with the shed and it was a pleasure having Damien from Splinterhouse building it. I hear from other people that 'having the builders in' isn't always a good experience but I can recommend Damien both for delivering a building better than we commissioned and being good to have around. We think we got a bargain.

If you are interested in your own bespoke studio drop Damien or me a line.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


The latest posters, hot off the computer. Madame Art Fair started off in 2004 as a Monsieur
but I can't find any of him since our computer melt-down. I do remember he was initially much more cut out from papers.

Our main intention was to make the art and craft fairs friendly and accessible, and show that they were definitely events for buying.

We also wanted it to stand out by looking a bit different, and have a kind of theme that could progress year by year. Although sometimes a little obscure hopefully the feel of the posters and banners around town reminds people of the event.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Bella Bun and the cat

Bella Bun is from 'And so to Bed' by Lucinda Guy, I've used different wools so her clothes are a bit bulkier than they should be, I've also added knickers as it's only right. The skirt felt very ingenious to knit and I wondered whether it could work person-size? She will be Megans' who's 2.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Hoot Couture

This was a doll I was quite pleased with, she's called Hoot Couture because of her obviously owly attributes. She was sold at Mel's Christmas Open House last year. Mel's in full swing with Brightons May Open Houses,and has some lovely work there. Helen Musselwhites'
paper sculptures, Jane Arkwrights' paintings and Annabet Wyndhams' jewellery amongst them.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Brighton May Festival Open Houses

This year is the first we haven't shown work in the Brighton Open Houses. We've always been incredibly lucky to be in wonderful houses over the years, most recently Stanford Avenue (Beyond the Level)and then South Avenue, Queen's Park (Kemptown). Both large houses with a very high standard of work from a core of makers and artists, that changed and remained and grew with some wonderful guest artists, amongst them Rebecca Polyblank and Jane Muir who I especially enjoyed sharing space with.

It's lovely to have a bit of time in much-missed Brighton, but the, hopefully 'break', is well-timed, I mostly show prints- relief, screen, collagraphs etc. so it's fine that many of these won't have been made this year, but I always try to have at least a few brand new ones, and I havn't been able to do much at all recently because of a big book project.
I will however have lots of original prints,(that Jon is mounting at this very minute) in the wonderful Castor and Pollux in Brighton. And an exhibition near Lydford Gorge in Devon,at the Dartmoor Inn at Lydford in conjunction with their 10th year celebrations. Karen and Philip Burgess have made the Inn a really lovely place, I'm only sad that I've only managed to eat there twice,when we showed before,and hope very much to rectify that at the end when we pick work up, as the food is fantastic.

Crochet Presents

I made this, (the brooch) for a friend from the book 'Vintage Crochet' by Susan Cropper.... I was half way through it when I realised it was a design by Kate of Cardigan who we were very pleased did Brighton Craft Fair last year and will be doing this years re-named MADE08-Brighton's Design and Craft Fair .

Some wonderful and unusual crochet at these 2 etsy shops - gooseflesh and
irregular expressions,which we featured in shop of the week at MADE, our art and craft blog.

My first attempts at crochet,toys for babies, were from Japanese amigurumi patterns - with a basic translation of the key. Oddly they do seem much more straightforward than a lot of English patterns.

Apart, of course,from Lucinda Guy's absolutely wonderful 'Crochet Designs for Boys and Girls'.

I was lucky enough to see a dummy before publication, it's a real beauty, very original and very 'want to makeable now'. As with her other books, it's a complete collaboration between herself and her partner, designer and illustrator Francois Hall. If his elegant solutions to understanding the crochet patterns more clearly, had been around a little earlier life wouldv'e been a lot simpler for someone who managed by fluke rather than design!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

New Shed/Studio Progress

It seems a long time coming - we raised the money at the Studio Sale last summer - and at last we're clearing the small hill, and re-homing the frogs from the end of the garden. Massive amounts of earth moving- mostly riddled with a white bluebell looking flower of the allium family.

When the digging gets a bit much I retire to the shed for a little gentle painting - I have been commissioned to paint a large version of a painting of someone hanging dresses on a line at night, that I did a year or so ago. It just about fits in the old shed.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


One of the nice unexpecteds of doing the art and craft exhibitions have been swaps. Usually art or craft for my prints but sometimes holidays or accommodation! We've been so busy we haven't been able to do the cottage in France but it's nice to know it's there. Friends who run Graig Wen wanted some reminders of Brighton so we had a week there. I hope to do a painting or print of the area and swap it for some time in one of their new yurts!

How far could you take this swapping? (or how far would this swapping take you?)