Where are Olly and Georgina?!
Where are Olly and Georgina?!






So,  Sarah this is what I got up to…..

I have had an amazing time at the K & S in Harrogate. So many people came to the Graduate Show Case. I loved our eclectic group and will genuinely miss  my fellow exhibitors –  Olly Mason, Georgina Bellamy, Caroline Bell, Harriet Stiles,  Chris Woodcock, Hanny Newton and Maria Boyle. I think we were a pretty great group.  It would have been great to keep going if I only wasn’t so pooped and really  rather worried if we had an extra day that Maria was going to turn into a reindeer.

Reindeer migration in northern Yorkshire...
Reindeer migration in northern Yorkshire…
The great hall...
The great hall…

image image image





I spent rather a lot of time talking to the ladies from Hue who were exhibiting in the next stand.  I ❤️ Hue! So glad we were where we were!

imageLots of lovely people were interested in my work and stopped to chat and listen to me! I am glad I made lots of themsmile. My pink ladies really tickled some people.

imageFortunately they kept me so busy I didn’t really have any time to leave my stand and buy stuff with money I do not have. So that was a rather large positive.  I did however manage sneak off to buy some lovely threads from Oliver Twists and some gorgeous silk from The Shuttle, as well as some rather nice dyed hessian from another stand which I’d never seen before.  The woman who sold it did a rather great rendition of Mama Mia. Lusting after Ernest Wright and Son  scissors ..sadly no left-handed pairs at show so they will have to wait.  Please support this amazing company which is the last hand-made family run scissor company in the UK.  I’ll take orders if I ever manage to make it to another show!

Left postage...hmmm?
Left postage…hmmm?

Great that people supported me by buying my work.  To the lady who wanted my ladies. You know who you are ….please get in touch if you still want them. You asked first! And to the lovely lady who bought my Le Bon Maman .. I am so sorry if I appeared rude,  I was just rather shocked! Enjoy.

imageFlagging on the last day and I went to visit the Lower Hall.  Totally lifted my spirits and recharged me till the close of play Sunday. What a fantastic atmosphere. Great to see lots of women doing! Had a great chat with woman who runs fashion courses at Harrogate College and Audrey Hollingworth – stunning work.  Else where on the TG stands it was great to have another chance to see more of the bits I missed at the other shows. The graduates managed a bit of added value too – everyone deserves a triptych and a chocolate bunny.

I could not get over the kindness of people.  Want to say thank you to all the lovely, gorgeous,  generous people who enabled me to get to, from and stay in Harrogate …you know who you are. I could not have done this without you.

Not my luggage!
Not my luggage!

image…and the best thing I learnt from a fellow artist….? To save my children from choking I must bite off the corners of all their chocolate bars….classic!x



Back at uni tomorrow…got an essay to write, some beautiful fabrics arrived from Japan while I was away so need to experiment with.  image image imageI have loads and loads of ideas for new work.  Looking forward to exhibiting at the society of designer craftsman – 25th Designer Crafts at the Mall in London which opens on the 8th January 2015

ps I am a Geordie.

Round three….ding ding..

just a quickie before I head off to Harrogate tomorrow for my last turn with my stand at the graduate showcase for the Kntting and Stitching Show with the wonderful Alison Hulme…if I manage to find her place that is…at 5 am in the morning, she’s not convinced but I am fairly confident!  Well relatively.  Been madly  trying to get things to together. Excited and a bit sad that it’s all coming to an end.

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageHope to sell some more things in Harrogate before Xmas so that I can buy more materials to experiment some more…have a new direction to go in now which is great….watch this space…I am still looking for my scarf Caroline! I have some ideas….I’d better sell some stuff otherwise going to need extension or watch out for table top sale outside my house.

Ps I stood on the stage at the Globe in London yesterday and quoted Shakespeare…that’s definately going in an artwork some where…I bite my thumb at thee! Now there’s a slogan to put on a piece of work. Rather better than the conversation I had with my daughter yesterday about swear words….had an interesting discussion about reclaiming some female anatomy words……anyway I digress…also managed to see Richard Tuttle textile thingy at the Tate – afraid it didn’t do it for me at all! Very disappointing!

pps managed to actually make it into new shop which has opened in Petersfield called ‘sew creative’ lots of workshops on offer and lots of materials and threads to buy…always good. I will take you in when you come up Sarah ……we’ve also got to go to ‘the garage’ which is amazing!!!

ppps watchout for talk in Hampshire with Rozanne Hawksley coming up in June 2015 organised by new textile group ‘room6’ more of which later.  Right work to get to then bags to I need a suit carrier…has the Mad Canadian got one?


The need to draw

Missed my life class at Chichester last week due to Dublin and this week due to Harrogate which I’m trying to get ready for. My beautiful Bernina jammed so looks like I may have to have a plan b…or c as my plan b needs a service.

Went to life drawing in Petersfield last night it’s been a while but I got one okay one at the end that didn’t look like a mutant alien …here are the good and the bad.  See if you can guess which is which!

imageimageimageimageimageOkay I know pretty obvious. Yes they are in chronological order……would have liked another hour at least to do that last one. That could be my prep sketch only had 40 mins…lovely model….going to miss next week too as taking school children to London. Oh my! Anyway it’s helping me with my essay a bit…which is about drawing. Need to remember the name of the drawing I want to use in my essay next…ah the joys of short term memory loss!  Anyway off to update my sketch book not keeping it properly at all ……have got lots of bits of paper to stick in it and scribbled ideas.

Kim Thittichai  mentioned me on her blog..thank you Kim! (Does this mean I can now say I am a famous, internationally exhibiting artist?) Still waiting for Mr Cross Stitch…!)…her photos look great…pleased she took some of my work  cos I didn’t take any! Oops! Anyway sketchbook calling…..anyone know a good Bernina fixer?

out of the ashes….

Right have decided to bunk off college today and try to get head together and assimilate Dublin and the way forward.

Still got bunnies in my life
Still got bunnies in my life


Not too skint to avoid indulgence at Empress Mills! See  Sue -  am still experimenting with new thread!
Not too skint to avoid indulgence at Empress Mills! See Sue – am still experimenting with new thread!
Does white wine and soda mean I qualify as bonfide artist?
Does white wine and soda mean I qualify as bonfide artist?

Loved the experience but it was a hard slog as I’m really worried about money. You can happily survive on surprisingly little, however a scone for lunch every day ain’t that great.(Free jam and butter!… does this mean I truely am a great artist or do I need to drink pastis?) Fortunately Caroline is great at coming up with fantastic budget hotels. Not many places I am used to staying bring you fresh milk on demand!


I have been rubbish at taking photos. Actually I quite like to just look and soak it all in, but that’s no good for you – is it Sarah – cos an odd photo here and there would be quite good wouldn’t! Sorry.  Also when I have tried to search for some online very little of it allows you to copy. I think perhaps as everyone is worried about people knicking their ideas. So, sorry!  Will tell you /explain about it when I see you.

Fantastic to meet some great textile artists that didn’t get the opportunity to talk to in London and also  good to meet the Irish contingent. Textile art is alive and well across the water. Some inspiring work. If I had money I would have bought Amy’s collar and Rebecca’s hare –  Graduates From GMIT.

NCAD also doing amazing work as well as the the arts council, especially loved the  work produced by second year Limerick students in collaboration with Electric Sheep. I want that coat! They are auctioning it for Oxfam which is fantastic. No photos! Sorry! I also loved the women of Finglas… keeping crocheting alive and separately,  I had a very interesting conversation with a woman from Newcastle which included croched vaginas! Fantastic! Hope you are continuing to worship at the alter of Grayson!

Jean Beattie
Jean Beattie
Jean littlejohn
Jo Bennett

Thank you Jo and Jean it was great to meet you. ( I love textile artists!)  I really loved having the time to look round their exhibition space properly. Quite beautiful work.  Jean also showed me another way to use to use markel, her drawing is quite lovely. Was too scared to have a go on the big space with art van go.  Really hoping to get asked back another time so that I can have a proper go too!

The Dublin phoenix                                                              The Dublin Phoenix

I had the best time thanks to Kevin and Viv  at art van go …..don’t think I could have kept going if it hadn’t been for them letting me use their lovely papers and jelly plates so that I could print to my hearts content. Definitely needed a good distraction –  art therapy. Am now in love with jelly plates,  locti  and  Japanese lens paper! An amazing way to spend a Sunday morning! They will never know how much were a life saver!!!

More stuff to work into
More stuff to work into

Apart from doing some amazing printing from a found objects  and work to make from that, I now have lots of food for thought from one of the fashion scouts who suggested making garments from my pieces. I really like this and am going to explore! Lynn…help!!! Note to Caroline … scorpion appears to have gone missing so it’s going to be interesting when FLybe actually find it!

I need to say thank you to all the amazing people who stopped to talk to me. Your comments were lovely and I loved the craic!

imageEspecially thank you to Arthur –  I hope LauraLyn charity does really well and I am definately exploring the burglar alarm idea for my boxes…if successful I won’t forget your royalties!

Georgina Bellamy jacket
Georgina Bellamy jacket

Right roast chicken to make for the kids and archers catch up…

Ps Georgina it’s absolutely no good telling me about expensive fashion brands I can’t afford. I do however expect a FROW  seat and free garments from your first collection

PPs I can’t leave petersfield Caroline, I just bought a Betty Jackson top for  4 quid from a charity shop!

It sure is grand…

Caroline, Barry Flanagan hare and me...Dublin
Caroline, Barry Flanagan hare and me…Dublin

Having an amazing time at the RDS in Dublin. Caroline has picked a great hotel in Sandymount. Went to the National Gallery, after set up,to soak up some art and get inspired.

The little green fields Gerard Dillon
The little green fields Gerard Dillon


Peasant wedding Pieter Brueghel the younger
Peasant wedding Pieter Brueghel the younger
nano's dream Gerard Dillon
nano’s dream Gerard Dillon







Liked this exhibition, lots to see. Having a good think about I might use this work to inspire my work. Liked the Yeats…now why didn’t I buy a post card of his work?)



Meanwhile my son has been exhibiting at the Tate in London…

Live at the Tate modern Nathan Dowdeswell
Live at the Tate modern Nathan Dowdeswell







Also really liking that you can buy a sarnie and a cake at the spar and then sit outside said shop in a rather nice seating area and really have your cake and eat it so to speak…no extra charge! Much better than the pot noodles I was expecting.

Lovely speaking  to lots of people and seeing all the other graduates work. If you go to the knitting and stitching show gallery my work is on the website! Fantastic! Fame at last!

Georgina is trying to persuade us to take in some drum and bass tomorrow. If it starts at 6pm and I can be tucked up in bed by 8pm I’m in!

Nearly sold a book! X

N.B to Gary (or as Margo Ledbetter would have said nota bene) yes I do actually know what drum and bass is and when I u-tubed the band it sounded a bit more like jazz reminiscent of Camberwell Jazz club circa 1990’s rather than Pendulum.)

Am. All. Sixes. And. Sevens…

Hello! isn’t it a buggar when life gets in the way! Been up in the North East for the last 5 days. Bit of a family emergency going on there, but let’s not dwell…am back and trying to get ready for Dublin tomorrow. Omg! Not ready at all! Have had to do a bit of a rethink and just go with the flow! Tickets money passport and off to the Emerald Isle.  Went to boots and did a bit of emergency maintenance.image




Then into spec savers to try to make sure I can see whilst I’m there.




Am putting this photo in just so my children remember what I look like. Yes. Mum’s off galavanting again!

Just in case...
Just in case… 








Fortunately already done a bit of stitching, so got a few bits to sell to try to supplement income whilst there…so should manage more than cuppa soup and pot noodle! Might even manage a pint of Guinness!






Have got the cheapest flight going with no luggage allowance. Just praying that I can squeeze everything into the rucksack and make it look like am not carrying a handbag.  I’m sure this luggage allowance thing is all smoke and mirrors anyway ….or am I living in the past? Probably!

Thought for the day…..why are contemporary art galleries often full of crap? ie the Baltic (ps this a totally personal opinion but it’s mine and therefore valid! Anyone can not ‘get ‘my stuff too! But I do hope that it’s nice to look at.)  And why are lovely little quirky galleries sometimes over looked? SIDE gallery ….Confronteir…Kai Weidenhofer…..check it out if you’re in Newcastle.  Worth a butchers.

imageAnd ….just for the record there is no where on this Earth called NewcastleGaTeshead.  Mind you, looking at the lovely corporate website devoted to ‘NewcastleGateshead’ (and just be grateful Gateshead cos at least you keep a capital letter, even tho you’re tacked onto the end of Newcastle….) it does have a ‘strong track record of successful delivery’ so there you go, what do I know. Just for the record, I left 30 years ago and I will never call it NewcastleGateshead.  And, after a quick straw poll,  it appears that neither will anyone else from the North East.  See ya! X



I finally get it

I think. My head is still buzzing with everything that went on last week. But I think I finally get that it’s not a race. I am allowed to take my time and begin to form my work.  Really starting to think about what I want to to get from my fine art course at Chichester.  Drawing and a trying more techniques to get my drawing on to fabric.   I want to make books and pictures and draw and write in them. I want to get better at how I do this. I want the space to do it in.

Lots of head chatter on the drive to Chichester this morning.  Asked lots of questions when I got there.  Another great artist’ talk …Paul Westercombe. Amazing drawings and paintings. Great story. Had tutorial with him which has made me want to keep going.  These photos don’t do the drawings justice.  Would love to see them for real.  Exhibition coming up in Newcastle. ( think it’s probably Gateshead the Baltic).

Right can’t work out how to insert the pictures above so going to need another post!  Bye….

Paul Westercombe's egg
Paul Westercombe’s egg
Paul Westercombe's coffee cup
Paul Westercombe’s coffee cup
4th Cornice of Mount Purgatory Paul Westercombe
4th Cornice of Mount Purgatory Paul Westercombe

Back to reality

A new day dawns.  Back in the real world to get woken up at 5am by a six year old who still loves me even though I abandoned him for 6 days. Megan woke up at 3am to remind me who she was. You’d think I’d  left them with a basket of sandwiches and a picnic blanket for 6 days…well they are quite self sufficient,  but they do need some one to operate the remote control on the telly. (Gary was actually there looking after them.)(Honest.)

Great journey back from London with Alison and Caroline who  thankfully ignored the sat nav at a crucial moment and went off piste and got me home fast! Thank you to the Mad Canadian who picked me up in tesco car park outside Winchester and sped me homewards to large glass of wine.

Head still buzzing with everything that’s gone on.  Need to take a moment to compose.  So much more material for new work.  Back later with more musings.

I love books
I love books
The ladies are back
The ladies are back
More books
More books
Great artists acknowledged
Great artists acknowledged
The family and a punter...Megan had just got money off me so no where to be seen!
The family and a punter…Megan had just got money off me so no where to be seen!
She's back for more
She’s back for more

PS. claim to fame I took Diane’s  first selfie…..

Diane, me, Hanny over the ironing board
Diane, me, Hanny over the ironing board
...and her second one!
…and her second one!

PPS Also have the recipe for the best cottage pie ever! Which I am so passing off as my own.

PPS Thank you to the lady with the back pack who knocked all my boxes over because when I piled them back up again they looked even better cos you could see more of my drawing.  (Couldn’t  thank her in person because strangely she disappeared rather quickly afterwards) It’s all about change!

Bye bye space
Bye bye space


Off to do a life class. Will be good to draw again instead of talking!


The future is bright the future is textile art

I cannot believe I only have 12 hours left of the magic that is the knitting and stitching show.  If you see one thing you must see Renate Keeping ‘s work. I have never been so moved by a piece a of work, it is totally unbelievably beautiful, touching and moving.  Why had I never heard of this wonderful lady and her husband, Charles , although I know his illustrations from childhood.  My ignorance embarrasses me.  Something is wrong somewhere in the world when more people don’t get the opportunity to experience this wonderful art work. In fact textile art needs to be out there so much more.

Je t’aime  Anthea Godfrey,  Diane Bates,  Diana Springall.

Gorgeous gold work...Godfrey is god!
Gorgeous gold work…Godfrey is god!
Me t'adore Diane, AKA the Mistress of Stitch
Je t’adore Diane, AKA the Mistress of Stitch


Dig Diana
Dig Diana

You are missing out if you don’t know about these incredible women. There are a whole lot more.


Goodness this is tiring but all rather lovely!
Goodness this is tiring but all rather lovely!

My mission, which I have chosen to accept is to raise the profile of textile art…two years oops  sorry I mean  13 years left to win the Turner Prize! X

ps this should have been posted this morning but being rather technically challenged I didn’t do it! So it’s now. Later…Sarah x