New best paper

I ordered a ream of sugar paper from this place I found. I like sugar paper for it's slightly cruddy, grainy texture, it holds the colour oil pastels really nicely and is nice and thin for cutting up. Just as well I like it because now I have loads. No sooner did it arrive in the post than Team Anarchy set-to for their inspection: Maggie ate a bit of the parcel tape and then the the boy managed to fall off it - all 5cm of it - and landed on his face. That's how my days go now.
To test the paper out I made myself some new collaged blog buttons -->

The Natural History Museum at Tring

We visited the Natural History Museum at Tring the other day (now we're locals) and it was very, very good. The little person had a good stare and also a lot of standing, beating his tiny palms against the display cabinets. 
I feel like a right mammal at the mo: having grown a life inside me and now feeding it from my boobs - so seeing the little man gaze in to the eyes of a chimpanzee (albeit a stuffed one) felt both unnerving and profound.
I will go back one day with my pencil and paper to do some drawing but for now I just have some photos that I might make some animally collages from . . . or not, depending on whether I find the time.
My only other observation from the day was this: birds and fish look amazing stuffed, as if you might leap in to life at any minute . . .
 . . . animals not so much.

Wedding comission

In the summer I made this collage as a wedding commission - I was asked to make a champagne label with their names on - so I made this But I also packaged up the original and sent it off for the happy couple as a keepsake - not bad eh? I like to go the extra mile (unless I'm too tired and hungry, then I like to have a tantrum and eat in bed)
Very fine photograph by Lucy Birkhead.

From the sketchbook

My banners have finally been taken down at Ditchling. One has gone off to be in a photoshoot (oooooh shmancy) and two are back in my studio ready to fight another day, you can see some pictures on my textiles page. The cards for the Edward Johnston exhibition were very well received and I think I will continue to print them for my wholesale customers. 
Here's a picture from my sketchbook that I made whilst I was designing all the different bits: I like it! I can only ever say that about pictures I make after I haven't seen them for a few months.

from the scanner

I scan in most of my collages in little pieces if I want to use them for a digital image - because things look so different printed out that they sometimes need tweaking to make up for all the nice little textural nuances you loose when the image becomes flat. Here's all the components for my thank you card laid out. I think it makes a nice image.

From the archive

I've been clearing files from my computer because it's getting slow as heck! I haven't been keeping up standards recently - because I've been all self-congratulatory - 'You had a baby Josie Poo' *patty-patty back* 'No need to be too organised' *pat pat pat* 'You don't have to do your taxes yet' *pat back* 'You're too tired to floss' *rubby, rubby back*.
And now I have a root canal booked on the week I need to sort my tax using a computer that likes to ponder every instruction before deciding to do it or not.
Well, on a plus side I am dredging up old work that I'd forgotten about and that I really like: like this combs print. I'm going to find the original and put it up on my wall to cheer myself up.

Perpetual Motion

Thinking about mobiles again and ways of making them move in interesting ways and I ended up browsing perpetual motion machines which are very satisfying to see running, even if the name isn't entirely accurate - they always lose momentum. This is my favourite one - very nice shape.


I've made a good few mobiles recently - here's one I made for the baby, as he would see it. I like using paper balls because they look the same from all sides: good for baby and good for adults who also live in the house.
The all black one is for downstairs above the boy's play area: it's strung across the top of the V shapes so it is very springy and bouncy and when you ping it it dances for a long time. I will make a video soon: I actually thought I'd already made a video but I'm using a new (old) camera and it turns out I hadn't at all, what a nob I am.
And this new one hanging in my studio is a gift for someone: it's interesting to try and channel other peoples colour choices, I hope I got it right. I like how it looked hung up with those old mounts and a picture my brother did ages ago (it's of a couple hugging and Jack gave him a fiver for it when he was doing a stall down Brick Lane).
I like mobiles a lot, these ones so far are quite mid-mod and sparse: I fancy making something a little more dense looking and interesting. We'll see. My maternity pay stops at the end of this month and I need to start bringing some moulah: jeeps what a drag.

patrick rylands for Ambi Toys

I really love Patrick Rylands' toys for Ambi - the lines and characters are so sweet and the mechanisms are just intriguing enough. I bought my boy the Magic Man toy and he's now been gifted a bath fish and a Ted in the Box too! It is nice to have toys that are good for parents and kids: I think I like them because they remind me a bit of my own childhood.
The Ambi Toy he hasn't got is the elusive Rock and Roll (below), which is no longer in production so we'll have to keep our eyes peeled at car boot sales.

A commission

A friend saw the collages I made for Townhouse and commissioned me to make another - so that was nice - I enjoy making these collages: the scrappy/grubby stuff is pleasing to me.

A new nest

We had such a brilliant time living in London and made some really lovely friends and found brilliant places. It was quite like being in a washing machine: being tossed from place and all mixed up. Which has been grand and all very exciting, we ate all types of food, met all kinds of people and had a variety of things stolen - such is city life. But then a couple of years ago we realised that in the spinning we were getting pushed further and further out of town and the next push out we'd be somewhere very, very 'up and coming' - which is estate agent code for 'shit'. So we figured we'd move out properly!
And we found a perfect little house too - a 'quirky' little mid-century jobby with lots of light and greenery and two sheds. It was previously lived in by a lady who owned it for nearly 60 years and raised a family in it (some of whom we know and are very nice). So all in all: good vibes. Added bonus is that she kept a tight ship, maintaining the house beautifully and keeping it more clean that we'll ever manage. The garden is a delight too: we've loved seeing various beautiful things growing in the time we've been living here.
Here are just a couple of before pictures, I wanted to document the whole thing but the house still felt very much like someone else's so it felt a bit odd taking too many photos.

We've painted it white for now until we can decide on colours, it had a lot of floral wallpaper which I actually really liked but just wouldn't fit with our vibe. Also: check out the amazing sun fading above.

All the doors and cupboards and hooks and rails are lovely though and have been given so many coats of paint down the years they must be much bigger than when they were first installed.

Book plates for babes

I made little bundles of personalised book stickers for my nieces and the boy for Christmas (I've took their names off them for my website because it seemed a bit weird to broadcast them).

They're up on my newly arranged, slightly more understandable website if you fancy taking a look.

The one for my little lad is the central one. I chose minibeasts because we have so many of them in the new house, I don't know if it's just because we're used to London or whether the house is especially alive but it's quite nice really; I'm going to teach him all their names.

And a quiet new year

We had a very quiet new years eve, unlike previous ones which have always been noisy. So we didn't know what to do. We chose the wrong film to watch then ordered bad food and finally ended up lying on the floor in the living room playing with the babies toys whilst he slept - that was the nicest bit. 
And the next day we went for a walk up our new local hill, it has ponies and enough dry weeds and sticks to make a nice, sparse, quiet bouquet.