design, fashion, handmade, illustration, vintage

Thrifty Finds


It’s been a long time since I posted about my thrifty finds. I now tend to take a quick snap of something and upload it onto Instagram which has become a less time consuming type of blogging to me. I thought the other day though, that it would be nice to do a little post about some recent charity shop and Ebay finds. So here we are…

The spotted cotton shirt I found in my local St Giles Hospice shop for £3. It seems to have been hand sewn from scratch as there are no labels. I just love the bow at the front. Will come in handy as a nursing shirt too! The oversized vintage M&S blouse was from also from St Giles, and should make a nice light maternity blouse for the Summer and beach cover-up post-pregnancy. It was £5 and isn’t the type of pattern I usually go for, but I was drawn to it for some reason – probably the symmetrical nature of the pattern! Finally, my £2.50 Ebay find – a Gordon Stowell illustrated children’s book filled with inspiring bright images and simple wording. I can’t wait to show and read this to the little one in the future!

design, Guest Post, handmade, recycled paper

Blog Hop


Last week I was tagged by Madeline Norris of By Meeni, to join a ‘blog hop’ – where another blogger tags you in a post to answer some questions and give a little insight into your world. Below are the questions Madeline asked me and my answers.

1. What have been the doings/makings/scribblings at your desk/making table in the last week?

I’ve been mainly working on print and graphic design jobs this week – developing branding, designing stationery and printed publicity. As it’s the end of term, my recycled ‘Thank You’ note cards have been given a plug online too as they’re lovely to give to teachers.

2. Where are you currently finding your inspiration? (influences, heroes/who, sources of inspiration, paths exploring)

I have been randomly inspired by my washi tape patterns and colours over the last few weeks – I love how simple and effective they are. Also, a renovated Norwegian church I came across in Swansea at the weekend. I loved it’s leaf-like windows and monochrome look – it had be renovated into a jewellers workshop and gallery space.

3. How important is being creative to you & how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

Being creative is part of who I am and in all my work as a graphic designer. I’m fortunate enough to be able to run my business productively from home, so I get to spend plenty of time with my dog Bailey and find the time to cook too most days, which is another creative outlet for me.

All to discover other bloggers, artists, writers, makers and designers, I tag the ever talented Elizabeth Dunker from Fine Little Day and Francine Schokker from COW Studio to “blog hop” on their blogs and answer these questions too!

design, handmade, interiors, vintage

Illyria Pottery


On a “school trip” to Oxford yesterday to visit the Modern Art Gallery’s new Barbara Kruger exhibition, I came across a beautiful shop in Jericho.

Illyria Pottery is handmade by ceramic artist, Katie Coston. The earthy toned pieces in the shop with their mixture of glazes were so tactile I couldn’t resist picking them up for a closer look and feel. The shop interior itself perfectly complimented the pottery featuring raw disused spools and concrete slabs, chalkboard paint and up-cycled vintage crate shelving. Nice to see somewhere else using spools creatively like we did for the Made By pop-up shops and fair. I especially liked the tree branch mug holders which looked as if they were growing out from the wall. There was a sweet display of locally made soaps with bunting made from triangles of actual soap and unique ceramic jewellery hung from nails in vintage books. I happily left with some thyme and poppyseed soap and a glass bottomed and green glazed small pot pleased to have found a lovely shop in a lovely part of Oxford.

design, good, handmade, illustration, interiors, tasty eat, vintage

The Affordable Art and Design Fair

AffordableArtDesignFair copy

For the last few months, myself and other ladies from the Made By collective have been planning and organising an art and design fair to be held in an old light aircraft top hangar. Selecting artists from applications, arranging a pop-up tea shop, and styling the big wide space was a huge task but the day was fantastic. Around 500 people walked through the large open metal hangar doors, cakes sold out by 2pm, dogs pottered around with their owners, and the feedback we had from the sellers and visitors was amazing. Above are some of my favourite photos from the day but more can be seen here.

good, handmade, tasty eat

Earth Oven Baking


I spent last Friday helping to spruce up an old light aircraft top hangar into a creative venue for artisan craft workshops, music, and for the Made By Affordable Art & Design Fair I’ve been organising for the last few months. At the end of a few hours hanging banners, sweeping and painting, the reward of sampling the very first warm, freshly baked bread from the newly built earth oven on site was wonderful. The wood burning earth oven was made by artist/chef Lizzy Bean using cob – a mixture of earth, clay and straw – on top of a cut down tree trunk. Lizzy made some quick but tasty chilli, rosemary and sea salt flat breads and the oven will be used to cook fresh pizzas during events at the Top Hangar this week and on Saturday for the fair. The beautiful willow baskets and servers were made that same day on site by Lodge Wood Basket Makers.

handmade, interiors, recycled paper, tasty eat, vintage



2 weeks ago, I had an afternoon tea party to celebrate my 30th birthday at The Spark in Lichfield. I decorated the room with bright multi-coloured bunting, helium filled balloons, yellow daisies, and made mini paper bunting and washi tape flags to decorate the (already pretty) cakes with.

The Spark did such a super spread of cakes and sandwiches for us all to tuck into while we chatted and listened to mid-century jazz. Everything was delicious. Big cake favourites were huge slices of chocolate Guiness cake, courgette and lime cake, and raspberry coconut whoopie pies. A lovely afternoon with my lovely friends and family.

design, good, handmade, vintage

Printing at The Works


Stopped by a local printer’s garage printing studio this morning to help print large fabric banners for the art and design fair I’m helping to organise with the Made By collective in June.

Peter came up with the brilliant airplane style typographic design inspired by the fair’s venue of an old airport top hangar. Already looking forward to going back to ‘The Works’ to print some business stationery and vintage woodblock typographic prints of my own.

good, handmade, interiors, vintage

The Book Barge


Spotted bobbing side to side at Barton Marina in Staffordshire yesterday was The Book Barge – an independent bookshop operating from a 60′ cruiser stern narrowboat. It has been amazingly converted into a bright, vintage inspired and creatively designed space. As well as books, it even had space for a vintage sofa, kitchenette and two MDF beds! To find out more and even buy the book about how it all came about, visit here.

I’ve been asked if I would deliver a hand-cut paper art workshop on board at some point… watch this space!

design, good, handmade, illustration

Young Artists Sessions


As part of my new freelance role as a workshop facilitator, I was asked to plan and deliver a Young Artists Sessions this weekend at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. These two sessions are held every Saturday and are a group for under 8’s and a group for over 8’s.

Inspired by work in the latest pop-art exhibition at the gallery, we looked at making our own pop-art work. The collage letter shapes and still life line drawings that the kids created were fantastic, and we had a really fun time together. I hopefully enthused them a little about what I do as a graphic designer too – there were definitely some future designers in the groups!

design, handmade, illustration, vintage

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Exhibition

MadDogsandEnglishmenI had a meeting at Bilston Craft Gallery this morning and was so pleased to have seen a wonderful exhibition of work by artist Lauren van Helmond while I was there.

Wonderfully fun human and canine characters have been created in a mixture of wire, clock mechanisms, recycled biscuits tins, pegs, wood and washers. Each unique and up-cycled piece shows very British narrative scenes of gardening, tea drinking, day trips and hobbies. I loved the interest in dogs and tea particularly, being a fan of both myself! The exhibition is on until 18th January and is very much worth a visit. The rest of the craft gallery itself contains stunning locally made historical enamel work alongside more contemporary art and craft design.