Sunday, 28 August 2011

Under the Weather

The weather is turning from possibly sunny with rain to rain with possible sun. I love it. I'm better at getting snug than I am at cooling down so it suits me.
As I'm on holiday, I've decided I'm ill. This is something that happens. For the first 10 years of my life I got ill during blackberry week (the first holiday of the winter term). I get stressy and survive and then I relax and crumble; it's fine. I've come to accept it about myself, beating myself up about getting ill is so two years ago.
My sicky treats (things I keep for when I'm feeling icky to cheer myself up, something everyone has, yes?) are as follows.

Number 1- 101 Dalmatians
When I was little we had a tiny telly with a VCR in my mam's room and when I was poorly I was allowed to hunker down in her big bed and watch this flickery black and white TV. So naturally, something that featured predominantly black and white animals suited this situation best. And the awesome songs.

Number 2- Chai tea
It hasn't always been chai tea, hot orange juice always made me feel like I was being looked after, then in later years tea became more dignified as I lay sniffing mournfully. I love tea, cammomile, early grey, the gritty black stuff I got from Tanzania, green tea, red tea, ooh tea! Part of the reason I want to get better at throwing. Right now though, chai tea. Phwaa.

Number 3- Pyjamas
I have a soft spot for pyjamas, I have an entire laundry bin full of em. They provide instant comfort and I'll never understand the people who wear them outside (girls in Liverpool thought it was a craze) totally wrong. I try to buy the sort of pyjamas I could look cute in, but a combination of chai tea stains, bed hair and, occassionally, craft supplies, means this dream will never be a reality. I will never be chic and sleepy. Confused/grubby and sleepy? That's me.

There are more things that make me feel better, bubble baths, murder mysteries, jelly, being patted on the head, flowers, sympathy, presents. I'm a simple gal and I'm off to have another cuppa tea and read Darwyn Cooke's The New Frontier that Daniel bought me yesterday. If that don't make me feel better nothing will.


Friday, 26 August 2011

In with the new

I can see the carpet in my studio now! Some combination of elements actually made a plastic bag decompose, I didn't know I had such skills. Impressive, eh? Finally have my notice board looking a bit more acceptable but I've not got as much as I'd usually like on it, since the clothes pegs started falling off I've had to get creative with wire and pins.

The view out of my window is nice and calm, occassionally through the summer the old folks house across the way plays old records outside but otherwise trees, traffic and rain. Might as well clutter it up with Donna Wilson cards, dry flowers and pieces of glass.

Couple of vintage finds that could probably use some more explanations, pictures from Tynemouth market and a lovely tea tray that I got to try and keep the tea apparatus at uni all in one place, seems a waste of such gorgeous patterning.

New things are happening over at Terracotta Lily, keep posted for new prettiness.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Concepts and cookies

Today was a busy-busy day. Meetings. Research. Coffee. Meetings. Tea. Catch up. Tea. Lots went on. But let us just pause and appreciate the wonder that is these cookies. I got the recipe online but have lost the where, and it was American, and my cups are never the size an American cup is so they probably aren't 'right'. It's not a unit of measurement, k?

I found that hedghog waiting for me at the Westoe fair, she's called Nettles. As a child, my mother never bought me teddies, said they're horrid. Now I'm a grown up, I can buy my own and everything.

And the plate's vintage Tupperware, I didn't even know they did ceramics, I love the plate. I love the cookies.

I may need to sit down.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Lot's more tidying to do today but chekkit out...

Our bathroom bin looks like a Pixar character, cuttest rubbish I've ever seen.

Monday, 22 August 2011


My studio is a mess.

I don't even recognise what part of the room this picture is of.

My potting bench that I bought from Morrisons, not only has a massive lean to it, but an unidentified object wrapped in a tablecloth.

This plant has been dead since 2009.

I forgot I made this.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Q & A

I love Elle Decoration. I heart it beyond any other publication (even Peter David's X Factor, and I bliddy love that comic) and many times, many, many times, have dumped draft love letters to Michelle Ogundehin. I day dreamed that I would bump into her in the V & A whilst I was in London and be able to pretend not to be a massive fan girl over her editorial skills.
Instead of gushing, I thought I'd pretend that MO was interviewing me for the pages of Elle Decoration as she skillfully did in the September issue for astrologist Shelley von Strunkel. And if you don't have the September edition, shame on you! Two editorials on design and a trend predictor for next season. Go. Buy. Create.
And any one of these questions could fill an entire post so it's value for money/time.

Tell me five words to describe yourself...
Crafting adventurer adores armchair luxuries
What's your favourite film?
It changes often but I love the 1958 romantic comedy Houseboat with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.

What book are you reading right now?
I'm reading The Invisibles by Grant Morrison and Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Talk about diversity.

What is your greatest fear?
Hurting myself. Losing a limb. Blood in general.
What is your favourite virtue?
Honesty with a dash of diplomacy.
Who is your favourite fictional hero?
I love Tuppence Beresford from Agatha Christie's mind, she's brave, clever and funny. She's no nonsense too, is Tuppence.

Who would you most like to have been?
Josiah Wedgwood, I'd love to have been at the cutting edge, be the founding father of something.

Who would you most like to meet?
I'd love to meet Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I bet you could have an amazing conversation with him. Though I'd have to admit to still not having read his autobiography. That might be a conversation killer.

Tell me something that annoys you.
Negativity. It's my biggest flaw so I hate to see it in anyone else.
Your house is burning down, what do you grab?
Daniel, he's first obviously. Our laptops are like our children. The wedgwood coffee cups and possibly the Notting Hill blend of tea from the Tea Palace, then we could have a cuppa whilst we waited for the fire brigade.
Are you religious?
I envy people who have faith but no. I just try to be a good person rather than obey someone elses rules.
Do you collect anything?
Tea cups, (particular weakness for Wedgwood archive collection) coffee cups, comics, books about plants but not plants.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. But I also believe in dislike at second sight.
What talent would you most like to have?
I'd love to be able to make a decent cup of coffee, the skill escapes me and I have to do special trips out when I want one.
What can't you live without?
Company, whether it's a real solid person or a facsimile of one.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A hedghog, outwardly cute but occasionally prickly.

If you had to lose one of your sense, which would it be?
Hearing I suppose, or speech, there are better ways to communicate.
What does luxury mean to you?
Not doing the dishes.
Do you believe in luck?
No, I believe in happiness.
Do you have a motto?
I tell myself not to steal. Not to steal someone's pride or happiness or self-respect or clothes. It helps keep me feeling moral and original.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

As promised

I promised to do a post about the wood firing with Lois Maude Blacklock, Kahli Lee and Megan Randall so here it is.
It rained a lot whilst we were firing. It's hot work so sometimes it wasn't a bad thing, unfortunately, the fire wasn't even going here.

The sun came out but I didn't trust it enough to take my waterproof off.

The man with beard turned out alright, quite a big crack but interesting texture. Some of the work possibly underfired or maybe just had a little too much iron in the body (stoneware) and so went metallicy.

I had an awesome time with these ladies, they're hardcore and not at all afraid to sleep in sheds in order to have a good time.

Oh- and I nearly broke Lois's nose whilst rubbing charcoal all over her face, that smile, is the smile of a woman who is either holding in tears or planning my downfall. But you can't tell that because she's so purdy.
Oh again- mad photo skills are courtesy of Megan Randall, soon to be PhD.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Roses grow from poo

It's true, good things can come from $&!£ and the riots are just manure for the people of Britain. I'm not going to pretend to understand the causes, the timeline or the people involved. I'm not going to condemn kids who did this nor am I going to preach about people doing the same. I'm just going to celebrate all of the lovely things that Britains do when we're in a corner.
00:38 9/8/2011: Camden Town, London
Whether it's the couple who served tea to riot police, you can read their story here.
Or the people who showed up to clean up in the morning. The people who are trying to do something for the Malaysian man who was mugged.
Or the Operation Cup of Tea on facebook (trending on twitter) all about keeping people safe, saying 'no' and making sure people don't go all vigilante on the looters. There are more things happening on tiny human scales as well, that I obviously can't link to, but we all know it's there.
If you can think of any I've missed, just say.

Monday, 8 August 2011


I posted the same video twice, I am a poo-head of the highest order. I get a prize, a medal and a pat on the back for being daft. Apologies intrepid reader, my copy and paste skills are not what they once were.

Nokia 'Dot' from Sumo Science on Vimeo.

Loosing time

Meant to be cracking on, but have you seen this?

Gulp. The world's largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

That's the kind of viral advertising I can get behind. There's also this one.

Gulp. The world's largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

May not get on with this work for a while...x

The day after the market before

It rained. The lights were broken. And although I met a bunch of lovely people they were mostly stall holders rather than customers, which, is fine, I got some feedback that should help so lets crack on. Today I will be working through 'Craft Inc. Business Planner' from Meg Mateo Ilasco, it claims to be 'the Ultimate Organizer for turning your crafts into cash'. I got it at The Baltic Shop but I'm sure you can get it at other online stores.

And I'm looking for other markets, both for me and for everyone at Sunderland Glass and Ceramics to sell at to get to New Designers. Think I might be going to the North Tyneside indoor market on the 28th for some research, anyone know if it's any good? Oh, and thanks to Lucy Farfort's list of markets, it's a revelation, check it out here.

Saturday, 6 August 2011


I've been looking at these plates so long now I don't even know if I like them any more, except I do know, and I do. In fact, they may be the best things I've ever done. That may be the gajillion cups of tea I've had today but gaze upon their wonder.

Daniel and I are going for an adventure tomorrow, getting to Newcastle from South Shields usually isn't too much of a fanny on, but the metros are off. So adventure with many pots on public transport. Exciting, eh? Will I get to the Cluny in one piece? Will the work get there at all? Will anyone leave the house to get to a craft market when the weather has been being a bit mental? What an adventure!

Friday, 5 August 2011

A little Brave

A couple of years ago I took a writing for children course with the fabulous Ellen Phethean, it was an amazing course and I got to read some great work. My contributions were, well, they were, oh look, some native Americans.

One of the exercises was to take a picture and write a story about them, I had a picture of two little braves and it made me write a story about two brothers, one who is really boistrous and the younger who's only a little brave. Gettit?
Then whileI was getting ready for the market on Sunday I decided to do some low-fired enamelling on pre-bought plates and after watching a wonderfully rubbish film on the iPlayer (Seraphim Falls? Something like that.) Anyway, it starred the wonderful Pierce Bronsan, as a cowboy. Yeah. Cowboy Bronhom.
Phwaa. A combination of these things meant that cowboys and indjuns seemed like a good place to start after doing all that heavy pattern work on sculpture. So that's what I gawn dun pardeners, I'll show y'all tomorrow, I gots me a man and some pizza that need lookin' afta. Be seein' ya.