Saturday, 25 June 2011


Just spent a happy hour down at The Landmark in Teddington's Midsummer Art Fair. Never fails to amaze me just how creative and clever artists can be. I always come away bursting with inspiration.

Here's a little peek at my favourites. Do check out  their websites, I guarantee you'll be enthralled.

Joseph Silcott - each bird, heart or butterfly has been painstakingly cut by hand.

The Birds


Little Black Dress

A Map of the Heart

Wirework artist Helaina Sharpley - these images don't really do her work justice. The play of light on their 3 dimensionality casts lovely shadows against the blacks they're mounted on.


Glyn Walton - Life in miniature. these exquisite domes are only a couple of inches high. I adore the way that rabbit is poking his head above the corn.



And my favourite ...
Kate Newington

Kate is not just a talented collage artist but an extremely nice person. I commissioned her to do a collage of the boys for my husband's 50th and it now has pride of place in our kitchen where I spend most of my time. There isn't a day goes by when it doesn't give me pleasure just looking at it.

It captures the very essence of the boys at a time in their lives in a way that fills my heart with joy. Isn't that what art is all about ? The picture incorporates everything the boys were wild about at that time... for Theo it was dinosaurs, Pokemon, purple Starburst sweets and a video he loved called Baby Mozart. For Max it was wind chimes, the lullaby I used to sing to him at night and even the smear of lipstick on his forehead that I'd leave behind on my way out to work. Beautiful.

Friday, 24 June 2011


Love a bargain. This beautiful piece of cotton lace cost me 50p from a charity shop. Can't bear to think of all the work that's gone into it and then it ends up in the bargain bin. Still, its ended up in a good home.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Just finished this layout

I have a little suitcase and inside that suitcase is a little trinket box and inside that little trinket box is a selection of treasured finds ... which I raided to complete this layout. I'm loving gold at the moment . The tape down the right had side is actually a roll of decorative masking tape with gold labels. I've filled each one with a little treasure. There's a little secret message to my son on the card inside the glassine paper envelope and I've managed to sneak a few birds and butterflies in there too. Quite liking the A4 format these days too. More pleasing on the eye somehow. Oh ... and the man in the moon stamp is from the latest Studio Calico kit as my son always tells me how much he loves me in terms of trips to and from the moon.
Isn't it funny how you don't notice things about a layout until after you've photographed and uploaded it .. like the fact that he has a birds nest sat on top of his head and that the gem in the top right corner is wonky ... oh and that I forgot to attach the strip of gold German scrap to the frame. Ah well.

Dontcha just love it ...

... when you're out shopping for mundane items like shoelaces and something for tea and you come across little beauties like these ....

... and this...

The badges came from Habitat and the little birdie photo holder came from Bentalls. Now you may wonder why I'm in either Habitat or Bentalls when all I need is spag bol and a pair of medium black laces .... well you see , my route to Sainsburys is quite circuitous and takes me right past Habitat's front door and Bentalls ... well I have to walk right through the stationery department to get to the multi story car park. Sort of makes grocery shopping almost bearable.

Incidentally the photo is one of my favourites of my eldest knee deep in mud in the garden when he was 4 years old. That was the summer his baby brother was born and his best friends in the world were a plastic beach spade and the garden hose. Who needs Centre Parks ?

Tell me what you're listening to at the moment . I've just downloaded Ralph Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending and I'm still dumbfounded, since the day I first heard this,  wondering how on earth a human being can produce such an extraordinarily beautiful sound to almost rival nature if that were even possible.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Choosing to Die - Terry Pratchett

I'm feeling overwhelmed having just watched this documentary on iPlayer.

I cannot get the image of Peter Smedley and Andrew Colgan  out of my mind, all the crueler for the latter given his young age. And then there were their nearest and dearest , Peter's wife and Andrew's mother -  stoic to the last.

What struck me most was the surreal and yet at the same time the ordinariness of it. A total juxtaposition which left me reeling with emotion.  A cup of tea , a choice of meticulously wrapped neapolitan chocolates with which to mollify the bitter taste of the poison.

Reading the reviews I see that the usual 'against most religions' argument has been wheeled out again as a reason to condemn the taking of one's own life, as if it is anyone's business other than your own.

This might well have been called Whose Life is it Anyway . Who on earth has the right to judge whether it is right or proper for a human to choose whether and when to die and the manner of their own death.

All the sadder for this last trembling act  to have to be played out on foreign land in a foreign language in a small, blue, rather impersonal house, ghettoised onto an industrial estate for fear of upsetting nearby residents, with a couple of kindly and compassionate 'hosts' ready with the Kleenex.

I was touched by the irony of the yellow and black chevron safety tape adhered to the front door step , a nod to health and safety , as if the potential of a grazed knee caused by a stumble upon entering can even begin to compare to what is about to happen inside.

I can barely begin to imagine how this must feel for those in the precarious position of finding themselves trapped in a body or mind that has deteriorated to the extent that 'normal' life, whatever that is, no longer seems possible.

The documentary was compassionately edited , sensitively filmed and possibly the most haunting piece of television I have ever watched. One can only hope that the debate will now be widened to allow those with a real say in the matter to decide for themselves. Those whose lives are theirs to relinquish without the overbearing voice of moral jurors breathing down their neck ( as if they were even entitled to have an opinion ) bearing judgement on the actions of a desperate and dying , yet dignified soul .

The Deed is Done...

... I have just submitted my application to become Lord Sugar's next Apprentice. These youngsters haven't got a clue. Move over there's an 'oldie' coming through.

   You're Hired !