The summer 2015 ... Southbank Arts Trail, Bristol

Well, where do I start?!  I have been absent due to many reasons but I haven't been idle.  Here are a few images from the local South Bristol Arts Trail where I threw open my doors and let everyone have a nosy at my creations...

Textiles, Cushions, Studio, Vintage finds, Hand printed textiles, Bristol
Hannah Reddens Studio

Textiles, Cushions, Studio, Vintage finds, Hand printed textiles, Bristol
Left - Vintage Textile Sazburger Cushion; Right - Hand printed and appliquéd Cushion

Sketch a Day Images,Textiles, Cushions, Studio, Vintage finds, Hand printed textiles, Bristol
Sketch a Day Images; These sold really well over the arts trail weekend.  

Textiles, Cushions, Studio, Vintage finds, Hand printed textiles, Bristol
Handmade Cushions from Vintage Finds

Textiles, Cushions, Studio, Vintage finds, Hand printed textiles, Bristol
Packing up a sale
Freya being entertained


Sketch a Day Challenge

Day 67 - Spotty - 12.03.15 - Version One
1 - I was going to add more spots to this but rather liked it as it was. 30min Watercolour with Salt resist.
Day 67 - Spotty - 12.03.15 - Version Two.
2 - Attempted a larger A4 version. 40mins on this one, Watercolour with Salt resist.
Day 54 - Chickens - Watercolour
Day 58 - Lizard - March 2, 2015
Really enjoyed this one as very free as only had half hour before my class this evening. Not quite sure how I didn't fit him on the page though
Day 60 - Mushrooms. About 45mins, watercolour
Day 59 - Spoons - 50min Watercolour
This was rather tricky, didn't even attempt to make them realistic
Day 63 - Something Green - 40min Watercolour
Quite enjoyed this one, wasn't that regimented, tried to be loose and am pleased with the outcome.

Day 61 - Green - Watercolour and white pen - 1/2hr
Day 65 - Scissors - 20min Watercolour
Decided to restrict myself to less than half an hour today, I was surprised that I can actually produce something quite quickly. Might aim for 15mins tomorrow.


Creativity in Dumfries and Galloway

I've just returned from a trip up north to visit my family in Dumfries and Galloway, I always forget how beautiful the scenery is.  The weather was pretty droll for a few days but the sun did shine for some of my trip.  I lived in this area until I moved to Glasgow to study at the age of seventeen so it has lots of lovely childhood memories for me.
Allan Wright Photography - Lock Ken
Allan Wright Photography - Carrick Shore
Whilst I was visiting I attended one of my Moms workshops in Journal Making

I like to think that I am green and recycle as much as I can, but I feel guilty that I've been throwing away so much cardboard!  We learnt how to use discarded cereal boxes,bits of cardboard, old wrapping papers etc

After this workshop I really am inspired to keep as much cardboard waste as possible and make journals, sketchbooks and whatever else I can from it!  It really is such a waste to just throw it away.  Especially when you can create unique and beautiful items that would cost so much to buy new!  Right I'm off to make a sketchbook before Freya wakes!!  


Sketch A Day 2015 - Day 56 - Mandala

I had no idea what a Mandala was when this topic was set apart from it being a round decorative image.....

The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

A mandala is...

An integrated structure 
organized around a 
unifying center

I came across this website that gives a really good explanation of how to attempt drawing a Mandala ... follow this link to see how.  How To Draw Mandalas  

I didn't follow these guides and ended up with the following attempt....

Not quite sure I properly embraced the meaning and belief behind them.  I think I'll try again and use my favorite medium watercolour as that would be a lot more relaxing.  Or perhaps it would just end up the same = Uncentered, I do feel like my life is a little off center and disorganised :)


Bristol Pound Competition

'Calling all Bristolians'  Fancy seeing your art work on our Bristol pound?  Here's your chance to enter a competition to be in with the chance for your designs to be featured on £1, £5 or £10 notes!! How awesome would that be?

Current Bristol £5 Note
Current Bristol £1 Note

Now, what topic shall I enter?...

1. European Green Capital 2015 (£B1 note)
2. Art & culture (£B5 note)
3. Community & diversity (£B10 note)
4. Innovation & Technology (£B20 note)


A different type of Magazine


I thought I'd share this lovely offer with you all.  

I took part in a fair last December Christmas at the Orangery​, and had the lovely opportunity to meet the Pretty Nostalgic Magazine​ crew.  

They are now offering a fab offer to have a nosy at the wonderful magazine they produce (only pay postage).  


The Pretty Nostalgic Society –Creative and sustainable living inspired by the past
Pretty Nostalgic is about hands-on living, heartfelt giving and mindful consumption.
Do you revel in nostalgia? Yearn for gentler, more civilised times? Would you rather live  a more hands-on, less commercialised existence?
Yes? – Then join us – the Pretty Nostalgic Society – the perfect antidote to the greedy, corporate, lacklustre and often unfriendly modern world.
We are a group of history and vintage-loving souls, who delight in our brilliantly British lifestyle. We try to live in a creative and sustainable way, enjoy crafting, making, baking, growing, sewing, brewing, preserving, foraging, upcycling and what’s more we love sharing our skills with others.  We are not about giving up technology and permanently time warping back to the 1940s (Not unless you want to of course!)

We feel that modern ways aren’t always good and that old-fashioned ways weren’t always bad; we strive to find a balance and to live in a way that makes us proud and fills us with a sense of achievement and pleasure rather than purely existing in an out-of-control world, dictated to by others, feeling unsatisfied and surrounded by mass consumer tat!

We are committed to supporting independent British makers, small independent shops and businesses and those who supply handmade, vintage, antique or upcycled goods and services. We want to put our hard-earned cash into the hands of those who deserve it!



Eden Inspiration

I've been accepted onto the Eden Project Big Lunch Extras to attend one of their inspirational camps at the Eden Project.  Big Lunch Extras is for individuals in the UK wishing to start a community initiative or take existing projects to the next level. 

Myself and a friend have had an idea for a while…. Fuelled by housing crisis information….

‘’For decades, successive governments have failed to build the homes we need. By 2008, the number of new homes being started had fallen to its lowest peacetime level since 1924 – and house building has barely recovered since then.  This means that every year more and more people are being priced out of home ownership. It means rising rents and more people competing for every single home.’’ 

We want to help people to enjoy their homes, to make the most of them, to appreciate, but overall to love them …… We’d like to assist locals in our community that need advice and help to make the most of their homes.  I have training within the interior field and feel I have skills that I would like to share.   

We haven't any funding but have considered approaching the council, as we are sure that they are aware of the need for more usable living conditions (waiting list for homes as an indicator).  I am a member of so many Facebook's groups that advertise free furniture, storage solutions and garden items that I do feel there is a gap here that can be filled with local volunteers.  A community initiative to collect these unwanted items and deliver them to those that need them, to help decorate, to assist with small home repairs... I could list so many ideas.

I was hoping really to be further inspired and to pull together an action plan as to how I can go about setting up such an initiative and am rather excited to be part of the Edens Projects fantastic courses.  I'll keep you updated on the progress of this.


Week 7 2015 - Sketch a Day Images

Day 39 - Round
Tea Cup  - Pen and Watercolour

Day 40 - Love
Valentines Inspired tpoic for the day - Watercolour and Gold Pen

Day 41 - Bouquet
Heather and Lavendar - Watercolour

Day 42 - Penguin
Really pleased with this quick 30 minute Watercolour.  I've decided to try and be looser and quicker.....

Day 43 - Bread
Banana Bread Ingredients - Pen and Watercolour - 30 Minutes


February 2015 - Sketch a Day's

Just a quick update with my 'Sketch a Day' progression.  I'm still sticking to it even though some days I'm just not feeling it.  Here are the latest attempts.  I do feel a certain style is emerging, or perhaps I'm just more relaxed now and have found a way to quickly do my sketching :)

Day 29 - Moon - Watercolour

Day 30 - Ears - Black Watercolour

Day 32 - 'F' - Watercolour
Day 35 - Greenman - Pen and Watercolour (Found this rather a tricky subject to tackle)

Day 33 - Shells - Pen
Day 33 - Shells - Pen and Watercolour.
I just couldn't resist adding some colour to this simple pen image.

Day 36 - Bicycle - Pen and Tea :)

Day 37 - Pumpkin - Pen and Watercolour (and Tea again!)

Day 38 - Jewellery - Pen, Watercolour and gold pen for the detail.


Further Textile Study

Although I am feeling very positive with the way the year has started (the successful Sketch a Day challenge), I have been feeling that I need to do something particularly linked to Textiles that will be beneficial to me once little Freya starts nursery (fingers crossed by May this year!!) so that I can develop my drawings into designs and progress further quicker.  I have stumbled across a website called mastered.com which specializes in online further study courses linked to textile related study...
Online fashion courses taught by world-class industry professionals

Every course includes video lectures, demonstrations and projects from carefully selected, world-class industry leaders who share insider advice and professionals skills. Access these at any time, from anywhere, on any device.  

Examples of the industry leaders who offer the support for the courses:





You can undertake a free two day trail for any of the courses offered.  I am going to seriously consider over the coming week which one would be most beneficial for me and carry out the trail as soon as possible.  Ooooo I’m rather excited about this opportunity!


Sticking to Resolutions - January Success

Well I did it!  I completed my resolution to do more drawing and general creativity!  I stuck to my 'Sketch a day' challenge and completed January!!  I am rather pleased with myself.
Day 22 - Book - 40 Minute Watercolour.

I'm not particularly pleased with this image, I feel it's too contrived and not as effective as my quicker more relaxed images.
Day 25 - Your Star Sign - Capricorn - 30 Minute Watercolour.

Again this wasn't what I'd pictured in my head but I quite like the outcome.  It's rather dark and mysterious.  My partner described it as a pixie goat, which I rather liked.

Day 24 - Something Sweet - 30 Minute Watercolour.

I rather like this one, the messy, carefree effect and of course the scrummy biscuits.  We don't normally have biscuits in the house so this was a treat to go and buy so many packs! :)

Day 26 - Weather - Our Changing Climate.  40 Minute Watercolour.

 The day before this topic was set I had literally been through all these types of weather.  I'd set off on a little outing with little Freya and wrapped up in so may layers then had to unwrap ourselves as the sun was out and shining.  On our return journey I encountered the most amazing hail and snow, I could see it ahead of us swirling down the road.  It was a shame Freya was asleep as I'm sure she would have loved it!

Day 27 - Snowdrops - 30 Minute Watercolour.

This topic was set as the following day was the commencement of the 'Scottish Snowdrop Festival – 31 January to 15 March 2015.  I rather liked doing this painting as I really like the form of snow drops.  I think I will revisit this as I can envisage a lovely repeat for a textile design.

Day 15 - Time - 40 Minute Watercolour.

I have to admit, this was inspired by various images I found online searching for Flying Time, I particularly wanted to include feathers and flying etc into this topic.  Especially appropriate for me, where has January gone to?

Day 16 - Birds - 40 Minute Watercolour - Humming Bird.

I spent longer on this than I had intended.  That seems top be a problem when I'm painting, I let the time fly and get sucked in to adding more detail. 

I'd like to really thank all the participants of the 'Sketch a Day' challenge as receiving the feedback and viewing others daily sketches is so encouraging.  I attempted a similar challenge last year to draw more, however I didn't have the daily support of such a group.  Thank you sketchers :)

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