Tag Archives: New Designers

“Meek Bears …Affable Wolves”


Messing about with my heat transfer paints today and brewing endless coffee on the stove.These two sad looking bears are quick doodles using left over heat transfer papers, I like the way you can keep layering and reusing the papers to get very subtle effects.


If I were fantastic at paper cutting, like Rob Ryan or someone, the effects could be amazing. Must invest in some new blades for my knife…


I just discovered the blog of Trend Bible who contacted me after my graduate show at New Designers (2008). In the end they didn’t use my work which is a shame because it looks like a really interesting publication; some great inspiration and research, and they’re based in the North East.

Well, its time to put another log on the fire and do a bit of stitching.

(Listening to : “The Imagined Village” Various Artists/Real World – a contemporary reworking of English Folk music, including a great version of Tam Lyn by Benjamin Zephaniah and Eliza Carthy)


“Here Comes the Rain Again…”


I’m building an ark out of blankets and thread and old tequila bottles; the rain has flooded the road and the water in the taps looks like Taylor’s “Golden Best”. What happened to the “Barbecue Summer” we were meant to be getting?

I haven’t been writing much here lately, but I have been busy, still working on my cathartic pieces,in between some dress designs for New Leaf. I realize these little embroideries are probably meaningless to most people but I’m enjoying adding to them slowly…most recently some patches printed on sand-washed silk which feels lovely and printed really well through the inkjet.perhaps they are a bit too personal though and I would not be able to part with them if I needed to? Hmm, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.


New Designers was last week and it was great to hear that Holly Flanagan,from CCAD,was picked for Texprint and her work featured in their photo shoot . I’m also glad that I picked out her work as being one of the best in the degree show, so maybe my sense of fashion and design isn’t as rubbish as I was beginning to think!

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Yesterday, before the rain, I went to Helmsley Open Air Pool and swam up and down until I was worn out. watching the swallows swooping down to drink from the pool and just about managing to keep pace with a lady wearing big glasses and a huge, battered straw hat.Its lovely swimming on your back looking at the clouds and I kind of hoped it would pour down just to see what it felt like.

(Reading : “So Many Ways To Begin” Jon Mcgregor, “The Wind- Up Bird Chronicle” Haruki Murakami Listening to: “To Heaven By Water” on Radio 4, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” …still !, the rain)

Message in a Bottle


The trouble with working at home is that there is so much distraction, or rather, it is too easy to sit in pyjamas reading left over bits of the weekend’s papers! I should be sewing but I’m including updating this blog as part of my working day as it’s providing a link to the world beyond Witchmountain.

I was e-mailed by a student at CCAD this week and after a discussion about natural dyes she mentioned that my work was featured on WGSN (an online resource for students and professionals giving access to trends, inspiration and industry news). Its so flattering to see that they picked my designs after seeing them at New Designers and lovely to get a bit of an ego boost ( how nice to be included in the “Generation Now” section, ha ha!) but it’s made me wonder again about how on earth use of imagery can be controlled, or even if it should be…

If Helen hadn’t pointed it out to me I would never have known that WGSN had used images of my work, particularly as you can only access the site with a PIN number given to college.I guess they must have an arrangement with CCAD because photography at New Designers is not allowed without permission.


I was pleased to get to the Designer’s Market in Middlesbrough last Thursday, there were some great stalls and I’m kicking myself for not getting my act together in time to take one myself. It was so good to see a few people from my old college group and get inspired to start making some stuff to sell.

Time is the thing ;so enough of this waffle, its time to get some work done! Goodness, how am I going to fit Christmas in?

Country Feedback

Hello, I’m back! After a busy couple of weeks I’ve finally got around to finding some images to post. I was wishing I could show you the things I did at Tigerprint but that is strictly against the rules. Security is taken very,very seriously; you needed a special pass to get from the main Hallmark area into Tigerprint because M&S guard their exclusivity jealously.” This is not just a card factory…etc,etc!” Anyway, despite the huge corporate feel of the place it was a really nice atmosphere to work in, with everyone covered in “flitter” (tiny glitter) and having serious sales/design meetings with armfuls of teddies as well as clipboards!

I was working on a Christmas trend for 2009 and combining some CAD work with a lot of hand embroidery and beading.The other placement people included Anri Moolman who won the New Designers prize and Emma Daniel from Manchester whose hand embroidery was beautiful and delicate.We stayed in a cottage in Cottingley and I became a little obsessed with looking for fairies… unfortunately I forgot to take my wellies.

Meanwhile, away from the drawing board… Sunday the 24th was REM day which I’d been looking forward to for ages.The stage light show was fantastic, I’m not sure who it was doing the graphics and animations but The Heads of State have been involved in doing some of the limited edition posters for sale on the website and I love the simplicity of their designs which I first came across at college.

I don’t care what anyone says,REM are one of the best live bands you could see, and Micheal Stipe singing into his megaphone on Orange Crush gave me a flashback to another night in 1989 at Newcastle City Hall…. hell,was it really so long ago!? We also got a “special set” in celebration of Manchester Gay Pride Week and highlights included an acoustic version of Let Me In, audience participation with”portable phones” on Electrolite and a rage against US governments past and present with Ignoreland.

Now its time to return to the matter of designing and finding a way to make a living, so farwell until next time.x

What Goes Up Must Come Down


The show came down alot quicker than it went up, thank goodness and I now have 4 years worth of work piled up on my bedroom floor ( hope the dodgy beams hold out!).Next stop New Designers, July 3rd-6th. Here are a couple of details from Final Major Project, no more bears after this, honestly! They are heat transfer prints on cotton velvet with hand embroidery. The red bear is my favorite, he started out as an experiment using stencils and painted splodges, and as often happens, turned out to be better than the “real” pieces.


I looked on Tubbyphunk’s website this week and found some images of our show catalogue. They do look pretty good all together like that but I still can’t decide how they compare to previous years. I love the “eco” concept and the handmade element, but it would be interesting to know what “the industry” thinks of it. Anyway, for more points of view take a look at Carl’s blog and www.tubbyphunk.com.


At the weekend I painted the bathroom green and black and watched Atonement at last ( yes I cried, of course I did). I wish I could just swan about like Keira Knightley in that green dress but actually I think it may be time to put on my wellies and mow the lawn.


New Adventures


There are only two days left of the exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery so here at last are a few pictures of my bit, with Carl Liddle’s amazing digital prints just visible in the background.Carl is one of the students nominated for Texprint, along with Jess Blackwood,Samantha Harrington, Claire Salway and Zena O’Connor.

The work comes down on Monday and then in two weeks we’ll all be in London for New Designers. I’m really looking forward to it now. It’ll be interesting to compare our work with that of other colleges ( I hope it is interesting and not depressing!). Its at the Business Design Center, Islington (right near Angel tube) and well worth a visit as its not just textiles but ceramics and jewellery as well.

I’m hoping that this time I will be able to persuade someone to come to Fabric with me, its been far too long since I had a good dance and by then we should have had our results and be able to celebrate! If not I will have to wait until August and REM in Manchester :@) !!!

Friday the 13th and its raining on my washing. I hope its not bad luck that I posted some cv’s today. Its pretty cold so I’m going to look for another jumper and some fluffy socks and bake a cake for Father’s Day.


orange bear

Here is another bear to celebrate having had 1000 hits since starting this blogging lark;thank you. The drawing is a study sheet from my sketchbook and includes some motifs adapted from those used by the Déné and Kaska tribes of Native American Indians.

Today we had a visit from the external examiner who talked to us individually about our work and how we felt about it. She had also read our dissertations so it was nice to get some feedback from someone coming to it from a fresh point of view.

Today was also the day for planning the rota for New Designers which was a bit like getting toothpaste back in the tube! Quite a few students have interviews for Texprint while they are down in London. This is a great opportunity for them so, GOOD LUCK.

Tomorrow I’m going to take some photographs of the degree show and hopefully post them when my friend plugs me in to his Ethernet… so keep tuning in.