A day in the studio…

mando manderin from birds animations on Vimeo.

As part of our collaborative work together, fellow artists Annie Gibson, Katell Sevellec and myself have produced a video biography by ‘birds animations‘ giving you an insight into my studio and what I get up to on a typical day there…enjoy!

Close-ups of the new baby comforters

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These are my first three designs from the new baby range – if you’re looking for a personalised present for a little newborn you know, look no further!All feedback on these new items are welcome!

Made from 100% Cotton on the front and soft baby fleece on the reverse, trimmed with satin ribbons in complimentary colours and fully machine washable. Measuring 25cm x 25cm and handmade by me!

Available to purchase from Bouf.com

Personalised Embroidered Baby Gifts

I’ve been busy in the studio making new products for babies – personalised baby blankets and comforters, and I thought ‘who best to test them out than a true professional’? Enter beautiful baby Charlotte…and thank you for your help! Please click on an image below to view the full gallery.

Craft Fair Extravaganza!

Just before Christmas was a busy time – a veritable feast of craft fairs, and this year I was involved in three different ones across the country. It was beginning to feel a bit like Challenge Anneka..if only I’d had the helicopter, my life would have been so much easier. Okay, so it’s a bit rubbish to be writing this retrospectively, but better late than never!

My stand at Lustre 2011

First up was ‘Lustre’ (4th-6th November)  www.lakesidearts.org.uk at The Lakeside arts Centre in Nottingham. Fantastic show as always thanks to the organisers and had the pleasure of meeting ceramic artist Justine Allison and jeweller Clare Hillerby who is relocating to Manchester really soon so keep an eye out for her gorgeous jewellery.

Next up was a trip down South, all the way to Brighton for Made11. It was my first ever trip to the city (no way!) Loved it, got time to see some of the sights (see picture postcard below) and hang out with some friends. Met some ace fellow makers including the lovely textile designer, knit and crochet specialist Rose Sharp Jones and bumped into an old friend – vintage inspired Milliner and accessory designer Jen AKA Lilly Lewis who is stocking Topshop in London among others, yep, she’s made it!

As well as trying desperately hard not to spend all the money I don’t own (I believe that’s the definition of an overdraft) I couldn’t take my eyes off many of the window display especially Dockerills hard wear shop on Church street – see picture below.

I have also been given the opportunity to stock my work in the exquisite boutique ‘Hope and Harlequin’ on Sydney Street. They are stocking a selection of my cushions as well as my new printed and embroidered Handkerchiefs. The shop is a combination of beautiful vintage clothing (including wedding dresses and accessories) and modern collectables for the home – if you’re nearby you have to check it out.

Dockerills furry window display

And there you go, Brighton in a nutshell…well on a postcard.

The third and final craft fair of 2011 was in Newport, Cardiff – the home of ‘Made by Hand’ in the most beautiful setting of Tredegar House. Google it. Or even better, go there – it’s gorgeous. This was 2nd – 4th December and I got my Christmas presents for myself thanks to fellow makers Sarah Culleton and Zoe Acketts among others. It was massively inspiring to be a part of this show and to be surrounded by such a high a standard of contemporary craft makers.

Also in London…

Saw this fantastic advert for the Notting Hill Carnival. I love it when a good advert is made…like most of the Specsaver ones, good job ad men.

Going Underground

Went to see Origin while I was there and saw an artist whose work I’d admired at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, her work is gorgeous – minute and detailed depictions of shot, hung and slaughtered creatures are seriously dark, funny and cute – they have a real sense of humour and definitely gets my ‘Best in Show’ rossette – see what I mean:



Recent jaunt to London

Among many reasons to visit the big smoke last month was…THE LAUNCH OF THE EXCLUSIVE HELLO KITTY RANGE AT LIBERTY! Oh yes, that deserved to be shouted. I splashed out big time and bought a half a metre of Hello Kitty fabric, it’s a beaut:

Just going to take it out and look at it every now and then.

The other thing that equally impressed me was the biggest Hello Kitty I’d ever seen in my life. That is indeed a fully-grown person stood to the right of it, how did it even fit in the lift??

Other things of interest in the capital that I went to see were ‘The Power of Making’ exhibition at The V&A and of course a visit to the taxidermy next door at The Natural History Museum.

At the V&A exhibition, they had a great selection of manufactured and carefully crafted hand made goods – including an impressive array of 3D printers with video footage of models being made using them.

A personal favourite was Shauna Richardsons ‘Crochetdermy bear’. A life size model of a brown bear entirely crocheted, totally fantastic!

 Just a hop skip away were some equally fantastic once-real animals. One of my favourites being the antelope creature to the right…I just can’t shake the feeling that he may have gone to the same dentist as me.

Catch up time

So, I feel like there is much to catch up on – several exhibitions and new pieces of work have happened recently so I guess this is a good place to start. Not so long ago a collaboration happened between myself and fellow artist/curator/facilitator Bren O’Callaghan for the  ‘Re-Covering’  exhibition at Untitled Gallery . The exhibition showed works by 40 local and international artists who redesigned the cover of an influential book onto a paper-back book sized piece of reclaimed oak from school libraries.


Bren approached me with an idea to re-cover Leonora Carrington’s ‘The Hearing Trumpet’ – his favourite of her novels. Having never read any of her books, I set to work reading – Johnny 5 style – and could soon see why Bren had wanted the piece to be constructed in fabric. There were so many references in the book to exquisite materials, rich fabrics, leathers and the like, as well as the powerful visual references to ‘The Winking Abbess’  painting. From her words and an exhibition we visited on religious iconography at Blackburn Museum, we started to sew together our ideas…Bren tells the story beautifully:


….I promise to give you your book back Bren.


Hooray, the sun is out

Gnome time!

This was taken on Holiday in Verona a couple of years back. There was the most amazing shop, possibly the closest thing to Heaven (outside of Las Vegas) called ‘Love Therapy‘. If anyone has been there recently, please tell me if it’s still open…it would be worth the trip alone.

Design classics

Totally 80's card designed by Jytte Morch for Attica Designs

What every good 80’s card should have:

1. A cat

2. A heart

3. A double entendre