present laughter


download (2)Okay DRUM ROLL PLEASE big news this month is I’ve been awarded artist in residence at Chichester Festival Theatre  and I am rather excited about it TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!  As well as getting to meet lots of great people and be inspired by this wonderful theatre to produce some artwork, I will be based in the props department and get to work on props as well as an indepth look behind the scenes at the theatre over the next three months – another bonus is I get to see lots of great plays.  The work I produce in response to the residency will be exhibited at the theatre to celebrate Festival 2018  in the autumn…..might be some teasers beforehand too.. I haven’t made up my mind yet.….it’s all up to me……Fantastic OR WHAT!!!  I can’t tell you how great it is!!! There is a world of possibilities!! First day is officially next Monday!!!

Meanwhile I sent off some trees for the thread bearing witness project…really pleased how they turned out.   Sorry now pics at picture stuff is driving me mad.. I really can’t work out rhyme or reason of how pictures are saved to my computer..aaargh…

Went to illustrated talk by Gill Clarke, Visiting Professor and Curator at  Otter Gallery, University of Chichester on Women in the Land Army at Petersfield library  – of interest as I have just started to work on my medal and heart for 100 hearts exhibition with the Embroiderer’s Guild – Exhibition later in the Year.

I also attended a conference on the People of the Heath – the dig has now drawn to a close for the present but there is a book, art work and exhibitions in the offing – watch this space.

Heath Instagram

Liverpool delivered again with a great exhibition at the Walker Gallery Singh Twins. Loved it!!!

Image result for singh twins
Singh Twins   – Indigo the Colour Of India

I have also been popping in to Pallant House   in Chichester when I can.. I enjoyed the Delonghi room which is currently showing work by textile designer Sheila Bownas (1925—2007), a supplier to Liberty London and Marks & Spencer who remained relatively unknown until an archive of her work surfaced recently at auction. Her colourful patterns capture the optimism of the post-war era.  One of the many textile designers…female unsung and unrecognised.  Interesting that such an influential art form does not celebrate the mainly female designers – funny that????

Sheila Bownas, SB159, circa 1950-59|
Sheila Bownas

I also enjoyed the work of  British painter Leonard Rosoman RA (1913 – 2012)  –  ‘A Patriot for Me’ –  John Osbourne’s play – is seen  in a series of works not shown together since the 1970s. This is the first museum show of Rosoman’s work for over 30 years.  Loved it!!!

Image result for leonard rosoman
Leonard Rosoman, Portrait with Candelabra: George Devine as Baron von Epp, 1968, Acrylic on canvas, 101.2 x 76.2 cm,

Lots of childcare over Easter. As well as too many Easter eggs but managed to fit in lots of sneaky studio time too….handy having it in the garden as I can disappear at regular intervals and just keep running back up to the house to provide snacks and sustenance  at the required times. Well when I remember!!!OOPS!   Works in progress….


Did a life drawing class too………


and so finally  ….the month  ended with a taste of textiles for Liss in Stiches on Saturday……where I ran a workshop on Kantha Stitching ..very similar to Sashiko, and also, I learned,Durham Quilting. Isn’t it great how these stitching traditions all over the world are integrally linked.. I really like the simple-ness of the running stitch and have been experimenting in my own work with it…..I met some really interesting people.. I love the power of hand stitching bringing people together…it has a real qualities when it draws people together and you have many interesting conversations.. .. I learnt about my little pony!!!  don’t ask!!)  Kerala in India and Cat stitches – evidently they are BAD!!!


Meanwhile at Liss is Stiches we had an amzing  morsebagging evening!  we made about 80 count at ext months meeting.  It was a really enjoyable evening ….definitely need more machines if I’m going to run a sweat shop……20180227_104859

PS Really looking forward to Brockenhurst Fiesta this weekend …hope to see you there..I will be upstairs showing some of my latest work (and staying with you Sarah…..!) off to finalise my packing as I’m flat out for the rest of the week..see you there…

PPS Over and out……..

PPPS noel and me… have to click this..I thought it was funny anyway!!haven’t worked out how to negotiate back tot his page though so of it works your have to log back into my site..not good!!! .which is why i have put it at the end!! BYE!  this is why I am doing a website course at University!  Its really hard!!!

Sugar how you get so fly*

Image result for robin schulz images

isn’t it amazing what can happen in a week? If I told you dear reader, what had happened to me in the last week since my return from the Knit and Stitch in Harrogate you would not believe me……  therefore I’m not going to..suffice to say stress over with and feeling  a lot more fly… meaning unlike Robin Schultz* ( now there’s a man who likes his sunglasses)  no I’m not being big headed and saying I am gorgeous but I am feeling  a lot more beautiful on the inside…  instead of horrible ugly and stressed out…

*(check it out on u tube ft Francesco Yates  ..its my guilty pleasure at the moment.   I am sure its very misogynistic but the bass line is fab….how sad am I????)

Any hoo a  blog is a bit like child birth..doesn’t come till its ready..(obviously without the excruciating pain, gas air and copious amounts of drugs..but hey its a simile).. so here it is….sorry it wasn’t sooner…just been ever So just a tad stressed over the last week… and so stress week from that awful place over and I am back,   my dreams are back –  so I have  dreamed what I am doing for the NEC in March for the ICHF and Room 6…. which I was panicking about ever so slightly..loads of ideas but nothing talking to me ( ever get that?) but I’m there now …just got a display issue but am sure it will come to me  and also yesterday the fabulous Liss in StitcheS came to my rescue with this marvellous Christmas deco…all from an  old book…hope the boy wonder doesn’t get to it and chop it up like he did with the last deco  I made.


and so to Harrogate….Image result for harrogate knit and stitching exhibition


…..where do I start…another amazing week with the Embroiderer’s Guild…think the graduate show case looked even better than it did in London.  Really enjoyed my stint with ArtVanGo.  My mini sculptures had their first outing…by the Sunday they had had enough as they kepy voluntarily jumping off their box,,,they where ready for home too, me thinks! (now on sale in Stuff...see later in this blog).

Great  feed back,  lots of lovely galleries to look at and I was well looked after by the EG..loads of great volunteers from the EG came by to help out on the stand which was great and it was good to catch upon  all the things that are going on in different parts of the country. Special thanks to the  ladies who helped me pack my stuff at the end of the day  so I could get on the road home sunday eve, you were all great tho and it was lovely to meet you! Had a fab journey home with Georgina Bellamy….. following Anthea Godfrey down the A what ever its called from Harrogate through Wetherby

Image result for christmas lights in harrogate

..losing her by mistake north of Knebworth  then driving straight  through central London at night…fabulous…..I’ve never done that before! I did mean to tho as I was dropping Georgina, well actually I

Image result for christmas lights central london 2015

abandoned her to a mini cab driver in Kennington and then pushed back down the Petersfield only nearly fell asleep once… honest..home at 2am..phew…..



And finally home and shopping…I went in to the marvellous ‘Stuff’ in Petersfield,..where  Lyn has been selling my work for me ..she is rather good at it …. I took  also took some of my mini sculptures in ….exhibited in Harrogate for the first time. ..the shop has the most beautiful items.  If you are in the Petersfield area check her out..I have got my eye on one of her  lovely kantha quilts…they are exquisite!!!  ‘Stuff’  sells fab furniture, artwork and stuff for your home, and is at 2 London House, Chapel Street Petersfield. GU32 3DR and is  open 10 til 4.30 Monday to Saturday   or youican visit stuff on line  at

and finally (honestly) talking of online…. more shopping….

mycathasniceboots ….please like my can get to it by clicking the link on my other page of this blog or if you  click this link or type in it should come up…not sure how I do the liking thing independently..??? I am trying to get better at this…but I have actually started selling..somehow!! Decided to make my website bigger so will add more stuff soon. Anyway off home now been working all day have two days to myself to get making and the creative juices are flowing again…thank goodness!

PS Hello Sarah..I need a day in the new forest!x

PPS if anyone other than Sarah makes it this far..well done  I am truly  amazed…and thank you for putting up with my drivel ……..

Hi di hi campers…..

Been standing in a field for 5 days with glasto girl serving mushroom crumble and hash browns to workers at Bestival on IOW…didn’t manage to escape from the site and make time to see the lovely Lyndsay Taylor,..but hoping to pop over to see her soon.  Variety is the fabulous spice of life…the people who work there are amazing.


My lucky scarf came to the rescue and managed to get us in and out of the festival with ease which was nigh on impossible,,,,don’t ask……the magic of textiles.  I’ll happily fill in the details to anyone  who visits me at the Embroiderers Guild Stand at Ally Pally in 3 weeks time! and wants to know…

wish I’d seen you back in the day SiLeBo!!

FKA twigs - LP1.png

Saw and heard Duran Duran (white jeans are not a good look for men especially in their 50’s  oh dear Simon I was disappointed!)), Chemical Brothers and fka twiggs   (going to start calling myself fka dowdeswell!!)  only joking…)

Watched some fabulous animation in a teeny cinema and didn’t make a tie die t-shirt in the slow motion field.

one of the animations used shadow puppets like this but I found this image whilst googling Martha Mosse..see last para of this blog..seredipity?

Charoenchai I think was the animation reference but cant seem to track it  down now..note to self..take was a great story!!..really fun…


Also  listened to a talk on feminism which was good in parts but included the thought that providing creches when women work will re address the gender imbalance, I’m more for making the father look after the sprogs myself, why don’t men require it just women’s work to look after the babies????… but what do I know. Isn’t it more about choice? And giving more choice? (lots of great women referenced and Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi which I want to read.. ..which in turn reminded me of the Yellow Wallpaper which is a great book too..serendipity?) Talking of which my children have nearly forgotten what I look like!  I actually picked my son up from school today and he asked his dad to come too as he wasn’t convinced that I would remember!!   I made a cake with him after I picked him up okay okay..great mummy!!!i

this is rather lovely..sadly not mine..some lovely art for sale on this page

Came back to land of living to teach about digestion to 8 year olds… appearing in an art work coming your way soon….they love that I keep saying pooh, anus and colon…funny that….

Reminded me of Chris Labrooy…………

Did my first talk on my work this week  for the wonderful ladies and one man.. of the fabulous Liss in StitcheS ..they got me started HOPE YOU’RE READING. Went really well.  I do like talking!  If anyone else wants me to talk..I am ready!!!! I did change the title at 3am that morning to a more appropriate one so made the publicity  wrong..sorry… but hey…….’Becoming Me Again’ far more fitting…because I truly believe we all need to be me again ..with whatever it takes…art and stitch floats my boat…what floats yours????  We lose ourselves under the weight of so many labels it’s good to be yourself again….ANYWAY I DIGRESS…

Been keeping my feet up today trying to get my ankles back to normal after standing in fields but have been mad on the internet catching up with texts and trying to sort out all my stuff for Romsey..drop off in 12 days time as well as getting stuff ready for the knit and stitch…3 weeks and counting…just finished my artist statement for Romsey….what do you think..a bit too honest perhaps?

‘Helen is a Hampshire based artist originally from the North East of England.She combines her passion for drawing and stitch with a compulsion to never throw anything away. Fortunately recycling is integral to her work . As well as an interest in drawing and creating machine embroidered images she is fascinated by stitch in general and the emotion and energy produced when people come together to do so.  Helen is currently about to exhibit at Romsey Abbey and still needs to  finish the sodding work. Her piece is called the abbesses’ new clothes. She is going to be extremely busy over the next few days.  Helen blogs about her non-progress at’

A bit too honest perhaps? Hmmm?.. Its actually called the’ Abbesses’ Dowry’ and will be three boxes –  I’ve only finished two at the mo tho so getting busy over the weekend! .better stop blogging!! I’m also showing  My Past in the Present’ because  I think it has ‘cathedralesque’ qualities…Romsey just seemed to suit it….I am really tempted to dye it all red..but don’t think I am brave enough…maybe I need expert advice..Caroline????

Oh! Going to PV tomorrow to see Ai Wei Wei v. excited.  Only problem is I haven’t got a babysitter so bringing the kids…should be interesting…will the trees look the same after my children have been in the vicinity?… this space…(wonder if there’s a creche!!)

P.S, I hate you Sarah your work looks amazing!!!

P.P.S. Have you thought of a title yet?

P.P.P.S.   Also been listening to TED talk by Martha Mosse  ‘the slut, the spinster and the perfect woman’…nothing new here (what is?) but succinctly put..wish I had her confident  delivery…

Following images come from an exhibition called passion for freedom in 2013..the first image is Martha’s work couldn’t work out who the other artist’s were but loved the images…website is..    see if you are more lucky!