Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for reading and a special thank you to everyone who comments. It's lovely to have some feedback and interaction, especially when working from home which can feel a bit lonely. Here's to a happy, healthy & creative 2015.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blues and reds

Here is the past few weeks in pictures. Walking on the South Downs and enjoying beautiful landscapes, Alfie modelling his new coat, managing to fit in some drawing and Alfie and I having a lovely cuddle. 

A great night at the Komedia in Brighton proudly watching Gra's band.

Monday, 1 December 2014

still a bit early

I had to wait until today to write this post as I don't like to think about Christmas until December. One of my Christmas card designs is featured on the gibson holt blog and they are also searching for freelance pattern and surface designers for 2015. Closing date for submissions is 1st January if you are interested. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


I've been asked by Marianna of sewpro2 to participate in 'bloghopping' which involves answering a few questions about my blog and then passing them on to someone else to complete. The idea being a way of spreading the word about other blogs. I don't know when Marianna and I first communicated or how we became aware of each other but it is one of the lovely things about blogging - finding a 'connection' with someone and becoming friends even though you haven't met. Marianna writes with a wicked sense of humour and I'm in awe of her ability to run up a wardrobe of clothes for her and her family with such style! 

Why do I write/illustrate what I do?
I'm self employed and work from a home studio which can be a lonely experience and making a living as a designer means always satisfying the briefs and specifications of others. So when I started my blog 7 years ago I became part of a whole community of like minded people and I used my blog as a vehicle for my own illustration projects and photography. I always write and illustrate from a personal viewpoint on the blog rather than a work one and it's very therapeutic.

What am I working on now?
I'm inspired to illustrate or photograph when I see something that brings me pleasure and I see shapes, colours and textures that urge me to put pen to paper.

I'm concentrating on drawing at the moment as it's the basis for all my work. I bought a variety of squash last week - the patterns are incredible plus there's a beautiful bird's nest I found when trimming the garden hedge - so I'm about to embark on 2 new drawings.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
This is a hard one! I find it difficult to be subjective about my own work. If I analyse things too much or compare my stuff to others, I can get a creative block. I love to see work that's unique and very personal and I think it's so important to embrace your natural style and not to mimic others. After all it's being different that makes life interesting.

How does my writing/illustration process work?
I either draw from life (which gives me the best results) or from photos and use a HiTechpoint 0.7 black pen on white paper. This is the part that gives me most pleasure. Here the process is shown using an illustration of my favourite bag.

I scanned the initial pen and ink drawing from my sketch book and used it as a graphic which I coloured in CorelDraw and then added some more decoration by drawing the green shapes. Finally I found a photo of some cracked mud, turned it into a line artwork, made it brown and clipped it into the shapes of the bag to show the effect of old leather.
This bag is very old and battered now but I still love it.

Thanks Marianna, I thought answering these questions would be daunting but actually I really enjoyed it!

I'm passing the task on to Cally of Forest & Sea who again I've connected with through blogging. You get a real sense of Cally from seeing her beautifully delicate designs - it's a calm and tranquil place to visit and I can't resist the pictures of her sweet cats too.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


I was amazed at this annual squash display in the village of Slindon, there is a pop-up cafe this year too - in the church where we had tea and delicious cakes. You can buy pumpkins, marrows and squash in all sorts of weird shapes, sizes and colours. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

spindle berries

I haven't been drawing much lately - I go through phases like this but on Sunday I picked some spindle berries - the colour of these berries is amazing, bright pink with orange seeds. Seeing them on the mantlepiece each day I decided I must draw them before they died. I scanned in the finished drawing but it wasn't as free as I'd have liked, so I roughly drew in the shapes for colour and the result is below. A bit different from how I normally work.

Monday, 20 October 2014

fossil forest

We finally visited the fossil forest at Lulworth Cove in Dorset, something we've wanted to do for ages. It was not a disappointment and I found it amazing to be somewhere that is 145 million years old. I'm surprised you are allowed to visit with the current ridiculous health and safety laws in this country - there are steep concrete steps to get down and then a narrow strip of cliff where the stumps of the fossilised tree ferns remain. We were the only ones visiting which was nice. If you do go, check when it is open as you walk across the army firing range - so that needs to be closed!

Friday, 3 October 2014

A taste of Autumn

We're beginning to get a taste of Autumn even though the temperature is still warm and the sunshine's holding out. The photos below are from my travels around, plus a lovely one of Alf and a dog I met called Jack - who made me long for another dog. The trouble is that Bill's a hard act to follow. I would always get one from a rescue centre and the terriers seem to be snapped up quickly which is great. I'm sure one will find us when the time is right, just like Bill did.

Monday, 29 September 2014


Last night we walked along the coast at Langstone where the sea defences have been made from old railway sleepers and we saw quite a few faces peeking out.

Monday, 22 September 2014


There's been a last minute burst of Summer which is fantastic and it's rumoured to last into October - I hope so. I thought I should do a post before September is over - I've been busy with lots of work - making the most of the lovely evenings - and my continuing obsession with instagram. When the nights draw in - which they are doing rapidly  - I will have more time to spend on my blog - well that's the plan anyway...

Here are photos of things I've seen on my walks, an old chest I finally painted, a beautiful bag which is made from the ring pulls on cans - an amazing birthday surprise. 

Monday, 18 August 2014


I don't think I've seen such beautiful dogs as these two (apart from Bill of course). They're always sitting outside the pub and the whippet cross often perches on the wolfhound! Late summer landscapes and a luminous passion flower fruit.

August is pretty busy so I'm only dipping in and out of the August Break this year.
Subjects: In my bag; Blue; On the table; Bookshelf; From above.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Still hanging on to Summer

Although there has been some rain, the lovely weather is still here amongst the odd shower. We've been on some beautiful walks along the coast, seen fields of sunflowers and wild flowers, spent time with a friend's new dog and visited the burial mounds at Kingley Vale on a beautiful evening - there was a scary atmosphere in the woods though!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Finished ...

I have finished my first painting in ages. It's quite large - acrylic on canvas and I have really enjoyed doing it. Also it's been good therapy during a sad and difficult time. Now onto the next one....

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Apologies as my blogging is a little very sporadic at the moment - we are in the middle of a glorious summer and the temptation to be outside is too great.

I visited Arundel Castle Gardens again and loved them as much the second time round. I would like to be entombed with my favourite dog at my feet when the time comes but think it is highly unlikely to happen.

Visited London to see the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on the hottest day of the year which was a bit silly, but the exhibition was well worth it. I also saw a lot of Patrick Blanc inspired gardens.

Went to  Standen House for the William Morris Exhibition. It was in a tiny room and so quite disappointing but the rest of the house is well worth a visit - especially to see the Rossetti paintings. Apart from this amazing spurt of cultural activity I've also been doing the usual things - walking, swimming, collecting, jam making and painting.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Passing weeks

More weeks pass. June has been lovely: reflections, evening walks by the coast, collections, Alf - he loves posing, blue skies, an evening out by bus and my first new potatoes of the year.

I've been swimming in the sea twice, it's lovely and warm, more walks, my olive tree about to blossom and I've actually started a painting - first one on canvas for years!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Oh the beauty of this rust - I'm so easily pleased these days!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Flaming June? - Occasionally!

June so far: Alf merging with the carpet, he is such a sweet dog and has been a real comfort, new leaves unfurling on a plant I thought I had killed, beautiful scented honeysuckle, a coastal walk when the weather turned murky and the South Downs on a hot sunny evening.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


May has gone and Summer is now here although no sign of nice weather yet. I am having a creative block with my drawing which always happens when I'm sad or anxious. Although I love taking photos and recording all the things that interest me, mainly dogs, nature and food - which does help.

Arundel florist's display, Petworth Park where there was much debate about whether this was a Magnolia or Gardenia - we decided on Magnolia Grandiflora - if anyone knows differently please let me know, wild foxgloves, homemade strawberry tart and grass silhouettes from an evening walk.

A visit to Lewes which I always love, a lot of the shops are independent which makes a nice change, woodland walking and cousin Gif who gave me a lovely cuddle.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Keeping busy

I'm trying to keep busy at the moment as being without Bill is proving to be even more difficult than I imagined. We are doing a lot of walking so hopefully I will soon be fit and svelte like!

Some instagram pics - beautiful tree, flowers, feathers and Alf!  These peonies from my sister were just lovely. Walks in the Spring countryside and a trip to London to see the Matisse cut-out exhibition at Tate Modern. No cameras allowed inside unfortunately and it was so very crowded - even on a Monday which spoiled my enjoyment a little. The pictures were brilliant but it was annoying to have to queue to see each one.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Yesterday was a sad day for me as I had to have Bill, my beloved JRT, put to sleep. He became quite ill on Monday night and so did not suffer for long which was what I'd always hoped for. He was 15 and had a brilliant life, out walking every day and sharing all our adventures - a tough, brave little dog, full of character - he fitted in with our lives perfectly. My constant companion, I'm missing him so much.

Monday, 14 April 2014


The days are flying by - this is my favourite time of year when everything starts changing and there is an amazing amount of colour which seems to suddenly arrive from nowhere.

The bluebells this weekend were beautiful, no photo ever does them justice. The rapeseed is turning all the fields vivid yellow and the sky has been an intense blue - apart from the odd murky day of course when we could only just make out the shape of Bill. He has had adventures of his own - chewing up a toilet roll tube and getting his top and bottom teeth stuck together! We tried for ages to free them and had to take an emergency trip to the vets, where they tried everything but with no luck. He has a bad heart murmur and I thought this would be the end of him as he was becoming quite agitated and trying to pant. Suddenly it just came unstuck and he trotted out as right as rain - I on the other hand had to go and have a lie down to recover from the stress! My sister now calls him 'Billy the Eternal'.

We also all had a trip to Boxgrove Priory - the ruins of a 12th Century Monastery on the outskirts of Chichester. 

Monday, 31 March 2014


One of the great things that comes from blogging is making contact and sharing your work with others - seeing ideas from creative people all over the world. Recently, out of the blue, the owner of The Richmond House Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Chichester contacted me. They had come across my blog and liked the illustration of the city skyline, drawn from a particularly unusual vantage point. They asked if they could use the image printed in large format, as wallpaper in their new Rooftop Suite. Of course I was delighted and so it all went ahead as you can see above. 
You can visit them here to see all three new suites.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


I'm getting so much pleasure using these beautiful mugs from Amanda Dilworth

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Spring has almost arrived and here are some pictures from the past few weeks.

A lovely new necklace from Wolf & Moon, my tree drawing process, a distant rainbow, pretty fungi, and the results of a great floristry evening with a friend. As you can see below - Bill is feeling a lot better!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

trees trees trees

Playing around with my latest tree drawing

Friday, 14 February 2014


My beloved JRT is 15 today. There were times last week when I didn't think he'd make it to his birthday but he seems to have made a good recovery. I know that as he's quite old anything can happen at any time but for now we are just taking one day at a time and enjoying the fact that Jack Russells are tough little dogs.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


It's been pretty wild, wet and windy lately and difficult to get out walking. Also my JRT has been ill but seems to be improving now, although I am cautious about being too optimistic as he is almost 15. A bit of Spring colour from the garden, a murmuration of starlings was amazing to watch in Waitrose car park (I felt that they put on a display just for us), more trees and stormy Wittering beach at East Head which sadly is eroding very quickly at the moment.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Long distance love

Finally, the debut album by Heartshaped Buttons has been released - it is brilliant (not that I'm biased at all - living with the songwriter/guitarist!). I was asked if they could use my illustrations for the cd and website, seeing as I listened to the songs while drawing - a really enjoyable project. 
If you are interested you can hear them at:

Thursday, 16 January 2014

rushing by

Halfway through January and the year is already rushing by, which is a scary thought. 
But it won't be long before we see blossom on the trees - a lovely thought.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Year

A relaxing Christmas - renewed love of Jenga - Alfie loves his new bed - Bill relaxing and having a run and one of the highlights - the lovely bread we made during a master-baking class from Gra. And below - can't get enough of looking at trees especially in the Winter - late afternoon skies and a frosty windscreen.