Friday, 22 December 2017


It's been another busy year, mostly looking after the little ones and squeezing what creativity I can into into the little gaps of time I can find. The loss of nap time with our littlest meant that gap of time got even tinier but there is big change ahead, for the little one starts preschool next year!!!

As much as I will miss our time together, those 3 hours every day is going to be heavenly and I can't wait to fill it with creativity :)

Snappy Christmas everyone and see you in 2018!

Christmas Stocking No 4

We have a special visitor this Christmas - the boys' American cousin! I've had a lovely time making this Christmas stocking for her. I hope she likes it :)

Late night printing club

Thanks to my mum, we have acquired a small table-top printing press!! Like most exciting arty things we own, it has been stored away for ages gathering dust whilst the children take up most of the space in the house with their STUFF.

Each year I try to create a new illustration which I send off to get printed as Christmas cards but this month has been crazy busy so I've not managed to find any time. Instead, I thought I'd dig out the printing press and try a simple lino-cut as an experiment to get to know our new piece of equipment. 

The only space we can set it up is in the little spare room next to the boys' bedroom, which meant that I had to do some super stealthy late night printing. It was tricky but I managed to do it without waking the boys or leaving a big inky mess on the spare bed, phew!

I'm looking forward to more experimenting in the New Year :)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas Cards of Love (part 2)


Thank you SO much to the lovely children who came into Rogan's Books yesterday to create beautiful, original and fun Pop-up Snowman cards to send to the elderly residents of Airedale and Elcombe House. I had so much fun seeing all these snowmen come to life!
And of course, a BIG thank you to Rachael Rogan for inviting me. What a lovely way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon - in my favourite shop surrounded by beautiful books, cutting and sticking and making art, which will hopefully bring a smile or two to the residents' faces :)

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Cards of Love

I have been invited by Rachael Rogan to run a workshop tomorrow at Rogan's Books - the best children's bookshop in Bedford and beyond! - for children to make a pop-up huggy snowman card to send to the elderly residents of Airedale and Elcombe House.

The drop-in workshop will run from 1-3pm and is FREE! 
Help spread some Christmas cheer and love :) 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


I made a poster and tickets for the upcoming Magic Show at my boy's school :)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Paper Bling!

It's that time of the year again...when we manically start preparing for The BedPop Christmas Shop at The Higgins Museum! 

Each year we think we have lots of time and get excited about the possibility of new projects and products, then suddenly realise the date has crept up on us and we have a potentially sparse looking stall...cue panic!

This year saw the end of nap time from our littlest one too, which meant loss of free time for me. You might have noticed this by the amount of illustration work I've done lately, ie VERY LITTLE! It's taken me a long time to get over the loss of nap time (I'm not over it) - I end up staying ridiculously late to try and do things for me, and spend the following day fuzzy, grumpy, impatient and clumsy. I feel like I've aged about 10 years!

Anyway, getting back to BedPop, I've been making these Origami diamonds using some of my lovely Japanese papers. I thought they might make good Christmas tree decorations :)

I'd love to try and do something more illustration-y but time is short and there's lots going on in the next few weeks so I will have to see...

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Vampire and the Cat

We went on our first Trick or Treat this Halloween - lots of lovely carved pumpkins and friendly neighbours and fun costumes and sugar!! 
All that walking up and down our neighbourhood just before bedtime proved too much for the 3 year old though, as he declared "Trick or treat is tired-ing" and I had to carry him all the way home. 
Both boys slept beautifully that night, which made every arm-numbing back-breaking step carrying the boy worth it! 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Paper, scissors, glue!

I've been enjoying making very simple images with paper, scissors and glue - they started off as ideas for brooches, but now I'm thinking maybe an ABC poster or greeting cards. I'll keep playing around and see where it takes me :)

Below are our 6 year old's creations with paper, scissors and glue, which I love! I also got inspiration for my butterflies from his lovely drawing.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

pop-up peeps

It's been a loooong time since my last post. This is due to loss of nap time by our littlest one, and I think it is affecting both me and him immensely. I am much more disorganised, frustrated, impatient and exhausted than usual, and I think he is too (apart from the "disorganised" bit - I don't know what a toddler needs to organise other than maybe his gem collection or toy cars). 
It's become a bit of a mission to do anything other than the basics of looking after family and home.

I have been playing around with some pop-up card ideas though, and have managed to put together a rather silly video voiced by our very own non-sleeping but lovely huggy boys! This is partly in preparation for an art and craft workshop I will be giving as part of a "Wellbeing Day" for staff at a local school next week. I'm looking forward to it :)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Good Luck Jam!

My bezzie mate of over 30 years is moving to Edinburgh. 
We lived opposite each other all throughout our school years and shared a house in Brighton for a couple of years. We've laughed and cried and partied and danced and talked so much over the years - admittedly less and less since our boys came along but we've always had such a giggle!

I decided to send her a handmade silly fun pop-up card, as I'd been experimenting with pop-up card ideas lately. She's holding up a map of Scotland and a list of essential Edinburgh slang words - a very entertaining and educational bit of research! The card was cobbled together whilst wrangling 2 boys so there are plenty of mistakes and room for improvement, but it was really good fun putting it together and I felt like I learned a few things :)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

BookFest 2017 poster!!

A little over a month to go until the fantastic children's book festival BookFest in Bedford! Last year I took my boys to see Julia Jarmanwhich they loved, and I ran a drop-in arty crafty workshop "Make your own poster book", which produced brilliant results, yay!

For this year's BookFest, I was asked alongside the Circus of Illustration by David Litchfield to illustrate a favourite children's book character for the poster. Ooooh decisions decisions! So many to choose from but I soon realised that some characters were really hard to re-imagine as their original image was so strong. 

In the end I decided to go with Cat in the Hat and Moonface from The Magic Faraway Tree. Although inimitable, I thought there was quite a bit of room for interpretation when reading Cat in the Hat and so I created a completely different version of him. Moonface, on the other hand was a fairly recent discovery for me so I had a blank slate, which made it a little bit easier.

The characters (from left to right) are:

Mr Toad by Andrew Foster
Moonface by me
Peter Pan by Kristina Bullen
Aslan by Katie Allen
Cat in the Hat by me
Gangsta Granny by Marisa Straccia
Alice by Emily Ross

The poster was put together by the wonderful David Litchfield, the type by super talented Katie Allen!

Thursday, 17 August 2017


Explaining to the toddler what an "!" (Exclamation mark) is in a game of "Dobble", and he came back with the excellent "Extra-bacon mark"!

I turn my back for 1 second...

...and find him playing with a bit of chewing gum he's peeled off the pavement. 

(This is what happened the last time.)

At Bromham Mill

You can now find some of my hand sewn toys for sale at Bromham Mill in Bedford.

Here they are in fine company :)


We held a dragon-themed party for our No 1 dragon! It involved weeks of planning (well, just talking about it casually whilst watching telly) and about a crazy week of making! Here's what we did:

CAKE TOPPERS - it's surprisingly hard to find a cheap dragon toy last minute (because no matter how organised I think I am, the reality is I am and always will be last minute) but there are lots of dinosaur toys, so I made some silly wings and flames out of cardboard and stuck them on. I made the trees by gluing sushi grass onto skewers. It all looked pretty bad and hilarious. This is the look I was going for. 

HEADDRESSES - we made about 30 dragon headdress, with different coloured wings and tail tips. Despite the heavy rain the kids donned their dragon headdresses and ran wild, YAY!

PINATA - my partner Sam spent days paper mache-ing and glue-gunning and painting. By the end of it all his fingers were covered in blisters, all for the kids to bash the hell out of it and grab the loot!

And for afterwards...we made Thank You cards using the dragon print made during Daisy Hirst's printmaking workshop we attended a week earlier.

It chucked it down all afternoon on the day of the party, which goes to show that you can't plan everything but we had fun all the same :)