Sunday, 16 December 2012

Life & Lampshades

I have been trying to keep busy, though probably not with things I should have been doing. I have been trying to deal with one task a day, fitting this around my main pastimes of crying, laying on the sofa, and blowing my nose.

However I did go on my work Christmas party on Friday and remembered how therapeutic dancing all night can be...even Gangnam style with your drunken work friends. I can't very well do that at home though - in fact, I haven't even been able to cope with much music at all when I'm on my own, especially Christmas music, with one exception...I can only listen to strange and lovely Sufjan Stevens.

Enough of drawing to show, but I did make something today. Fed up with looking at this dreary sight in my kitchen...

I took a vintage plasticTupperware jelly mould, (99p from Ebay), some bath plug chain (from B & Q) and some cup hooks...

...and made this lampshade!

"Make do and mend" is alive and well here at Fluffycloud Studios. I like to think of myself as a downmarket Kirstie Allsop.

Friday, 16 November 2012


 As the sun rose on the morning of Remembrance Day, my lovely, brave, funny, glamorous mum died. It is impossible to imagine life without her at the moment, but as a family we are helping each other through it.

Thank you to my friends for your cards and messages. Unfortuately I have misplaced my mobile phone (now having taken the place of Chief Loser of Stuff) so I apologise if anyone has called or texted and got no response.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Graduation....well, nearly.

For various reasons I couldn't attend my MA graduation ceremony. But I was there with my lovely classmates in spirit! I can't offer you a photo of me in a cap and gown so instead I give you the fabulous Grayson Perry, who received an honorary doctorate, and whose speech, I hear, was fantastic. Congratulations everyone and I miss you!

Sunday, 23 September 2012


I've had a welcome week off this week after an exhausting few shifts, which left me physically and emotionally drained! Here are some drawings I did - just good old ink. More to come.

The book is Bambert's book of Missing Stories by Reinhardt Jung, and published by Egmont, as far as I know still in print. It's a quirky and sad book much liked by me, so I decided to illustrate it myself!

( Oh and happy 3rd birthday to my lovely pooch Poppy!)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

4 Days Left to Pledge!

Want to see a brand new, independent comic for 9 - 12 year olds, packed with scrumptious words and pictures from emerging and established writers and illustrators? Want the 9 - 12 year olds to be able to come to workshops and see their work in print too?

Yes? Well head on over to the Loaf Magazine People Fund It page and pledge what you can afford (in return for treats). There are four days left to get this project up and running.

No? Then I cannot help you.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


 I love September. It's my absolute favourite month of the year. The weather is usually golden and lovely, and the air smells nice, with memories of summer but promises of winter. The best month to take the dog for long walks. It's a new year too, really, for everyone going back to school or college. And you know what that stationery! Sharp pencils, fresh exercise books, exciting pencil cases...all things that have made me very happy over the years (and still do!).

Of course my years of official serious studying are over. I still started a new sketchbook though. Seawhites print these for schools, and sell off the ones they do wrong cheaply - I got this one for 25p. The Mister went to Langdon Park School so I was especially pleased with this book! Because it was so cheap I could be breezy, even daring, about the first page.

In other news I spent an  afternoon with a very dear old friend yesterday. And today I made Career Plans. Hurrah for September!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Pugh! Pugh! Barney McGrew! Cuthbert! Dibble! Grubb!

After living in our house for seven months, the Mister and I decided we needed dining chairs. So we headed off to the local secondhand furniture shop. I wanted the funky sixties ones and he wanted the posher-looking ornate ones. I convinced myself I could recover the seats of the posh ones and make them look Indian-y, so I relented.

While the Mister was paying for the chairs, look what I found lurking in a battered box in the corner...

Being a sucker for 3D models and all things retro, these were irresistable to me. The Peter and the Wolf record is in really good condition so I'll give it a whirl when I get a turntable. The Trumpton one looks more scratched though, so I may never actually hear the town clock "telling the time steadily, sensibly, never too quickly, never too slowly", or dance to the three o'clock waltz. (Readers under 35 or from overseas...I haven't gone mad, really...)

The Mister did not share my excitement and was very disapproving of my purchases. I told him he should think himself lucky that he's with the sort of woman who is really happy with two scratched LPs for a mere quid, rather than demanding of spray tans and Jimmy Choos. (And anyway, his chairs are huge and awful and don't fit under the table).

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


It's been an exhausting few days - mainly through work. But I did have a day in London last week with the Mister, joining some of my lovely uni friends to see the wonderful, talented, inspiring Shaun Tan, who was giving a talk and doing a drawing demonstration here.

Of course we couldn't go to East London without having pie and mash. The incredible Maureen's in Chrisp Street Market was closed but we had almost as nice a lunch at another one round the corner.

It was the day of the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, so East London was filled with important-looking people with badges and pink tracksuits.

Olympic fever is still going strong.
Team GB stand a great chance of gold in the London 2012 Men's Freestyle Sleeping Event.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012



 Here are some images from The Paper House, our Open House 2012. If you missed it at the weekend you still have two weekends to catch it!  The Wishing Tree from last year has come to life and sprouted a face and some very psycadelic foliage...


 Why not come for tea and cake, and doodle on our Drawing Wall! 
Or, have the best Facebook profile pic by coming to our Surreal Photo Booth...


 Or go through our hot tunnel into our igloo...but listen may not be alone...

Don't forget your purse because there are things to buy too! Cards, jewellery, hand bound sketchbooks, papier mache dolls and of course art for your wall.


11 Bishop's Drive, Lewes.
Hope to see you there!
Coming next week...GIANT POP-UP BOOK!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fifty Shades of Collage

This couple were at it in lots of different positions and settings in my studio yesterday and almost got consigned to the bin before they settled here in the forest.

The printed paper came from a really old "Mills & Boon" type book I got for 20p from a charity stall. It's great; full of raising of sardonic eyebrows and nipples stiffening against blouses.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


The super-dooper talented Cambridge artist Becky Palmer is teaming up with other illustrators to launch a brand new comic for 9-12 year olds. It's called Loaf, and if Becky's uni projects were anything to go by it promises to be absolutely ravishing.

The Loaf creators need funds to get this off the ground. Please consider pledging - it will be fab, I totally promise you. We NEED brilliant comics in this world. Have a look at Becky's blog for more details! I can't wait to have a slice of the action!

Butterfly Murder

Today's blog post is multiple choice. I will write two versions of today's events, and you, reader, may decide which one you choose to believe.

a.  I sang contendedly whilst completing these necklaces in readiness for our forthcoming Open House. Meanwhile, The Mister was outside mowing the lawn; so that later we could sit upon it together and share a glass of chilled white wine.

b. I constantly dropped things, screamed  and wept, yes, wept, whilst completing these necklaces in readiness for our forthcoming Open House. Now and then, I broke off to shout at the Mister to hack a few inches off of the shoulder-high jungle we laughingly call a garden. Later, we stood together on the butchered battlefield looking down in horror at the butterfly he had accidentally cut in half with the shears.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Olympic Fever

 At my mum's last week I watched a bizarre cycling race which involved groups of three people cycling extremely closely together, wearing hilarious pointed helmets. Every now and then, one of them would veer out and let the other one go in front.  I found it very strange. But it did awaken my interest in the Olympics, which until then had meant nothing to me other than that it stopped Casualty from being on and made Eastenders be on BBC2. But by that afternoon, I knew what a Champions Tiebreak was, and by the evening I was cheering for Mo Farah (and uncharacteristically, staying up til after ten). By the next day I was chanting "GB" at Andy Murray and punching the air. (A bit awkward, as I was serving afternoon tea to extremely old people at the time).

I wish I could have drawn those cyclists but I know I wouldn't have done them justice. Instead I give you my dream bike - an old-fashioned one with a basket. I have always wanted one, but my mum won't let me have one. ( That's a whole other story...)

 Normal interest levels have been restored. I haven't watched any of the Olympics since that day, and have noticed that Casualty is not on tonight.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Book Bound

I have a precious day off today and want to sort out my workspace so that I actually have some space. I've got a piece of perspex and want to try some drypoint, which means I need my little press set up. But my problem is I am physically unable to put down The Other Boleyn Girl. It's so compelling and everything I do other than read it is just getting in the way! If our history books at school were written this way then maybe I would have gone down a whole different career path. (If only Phillippa Gregory would write maths books too...)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Paper Capers at Artwave

Come and see me and my work along with three super-talented artists every weekend during Artwave! (There will be cake.)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

And Another Thing

I've just finished this book, A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. It's the really moving story of a boy whose mum is suffering with cancer, and who is being visited by a huge monster. The concept grew from an original idea by author Siobhan Dowd, who sadly died of cancer herself before the book could be written. The illustrations were done by Jim Kay, who I wasn't familiar with before. They're absolutely stunning.

The book has quite rightly won every award under the sun for both the the writing and illustrations. Hurrah for them...very well deserved.

PS As I was pasting in the link I noticed you can get it on Amazon for only £3.99 now. Blimey!


I must say I am missing my old studio with all its funny smells and below zero temperatures. Working at home has its advantages of course (like being able to feel your fingertips) - but one big disadvantage. I. Don't. Work. Or at least when I do, I have the attention span of a goldfish with ADHD.

Ten minutes at my desk, (which, by the way, is far too small) and I wander off and fret about my ironing pile. Ten minutes ironing and I think about the weeds that must have grown over the ground I recently dug in my garden, so I venture out try and dig, all the while thinking I should be at my desk. Ten minutes back at my desk and I notice it's time to start making the kitchen marginally less unhygenic in preparation for dinner. Even the dog looks at me with a pitying gaze.

I need a deadline and some self discipline. Ah well.

Here's a papier mache doll I made for our upcoming Open House.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Happy Bloomsday!

A craft project I was trying out required some puzzle pieces, so I bought a Hannah Montana puzzle from a charity shop. Putting it together was more fun than Charlie & I hoped...

(By the way, the craft project failed.)

It's Bloomsday today...June 16th, when all the action of James Joyce's Ulysses took place. There have been lots of literary shenanigans going on, which here at Fluffycloud Studios amounted to me listening to people eating kidneys on Radio 4 until it was time to go to Sainsbury's. But here's a pic I did of good old Leopold Bloom. (Or how I think of him, anyway!)

 Coming soon...hilarious pics from an old St John Ambulance first aid book.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


I was supposed to visit my friends today and embark on things arty. But I couldn't rake up the train fare. Looking at it in a glass half full kind of way, at least I now had a day off in which I could start to chip away at the huge list of projects I want to do. But no, it wasn't to be. Instead I decided to go down with a terrible cold. I could feel it roaring about in my head yesterday, and today it's in full flow. Literally. So instead of exciting new projects, I offer you a photo of a cushion I made the other day. Sorry about that.

Oh and I read this book. It's been knocking around my bookshelves for ages, and somehow got forgotten about. But it's one of the best books I've read for ages...really strange, beautiful and thought-provoking. Not to mention gorgeous illustrations by Jon McNaught.

Ooh! It's more than four hours since I had a Lemsip, which means I can have another one! Hooray!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Mind the Gap

Sorry for the absence - again. Preparing my new workspace is taking longer than I hoped, and I've been so busy that my artwork seems to have slipped down to item 75 on my to-do list. Also I now seem to be a bit run down and unwell.

In other news I've been really sad to hear about the death of Maurice Sendak. So unique, so grumpy, so magical. One of my heroes - along with Ronald Searle, who died earlier this year. Searle's book To The Kwai and Back is amazing, and so inspirational. It got me through the Observational Drawing semester at uni...when you see someone's secret life sketches of starving, sick prisoners of war, which they risked their life to do, you feel a bit of a wimp complaining that drawing in the shopping centre is a bit chilly.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

All Change!

Hmm... just as I was praising up Blogger for being all friendly and familiar it goes and changes. Now this was one of the many reasons I quit Facebook - I don't have time or patience to cope with un-necessary change!

Speaking of which, there have been huge operations underway to move the International Headquarters of Fluffycloud Studios. This has involved bin liners, back ache, Billy bookshelves and lots of other stress inducing things beginning with B. I confess to being very sad when I switched off my little digital radio and locked the door for the last time. I thought back to the day I moved in, and the many happy and productive hours I've spent there since.

Still, hopefully my new workspace will bring me new success (and less hypothermia).

No work to show yet but meanwhile please check out this organisation...a really worthwhile charity I hadn't come across before.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Hello, nice, friendly, Blogger site. Hello, easy-to-use site that I understand, and that doesn't turn me into a raging, sobbing hunchback.

I am trying to make a website. Something I was just going to casually do before doing all the other things I had to do today, which believe me was a LOT..

I have been trying to make a website, from a template described (by a liar) as "simple", since 8.30 this morning. That's eight hours. Yes, that's right, EIGHT hours during which I have been hunched, cold, hungry and stiff and weeping over the keyboard. My back literally doesn't straighten anymore. The dog has gone to bed, because I have screamed "WHY???" once too often.

I don't have a website and I DON'T WANT TO BE A WEBSITE DESIGNER. EVER.

Here's another version of a book cover I have been working on. I was going to save it for the website, but website, you don't deserve it. You won't beat me, though. Believe me, horrible cruel website, I will be back and you WILL be mine. Just as soon as I have straightened my back. You mark my words.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Lovely Animation

Thanks to my friend Abbie for showing me this really nice animation by Johnny Kelly, about a farmer changing his methods.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Easter Rabbit

As an Easter-Hater, I grumpily wish you a Happy Easter with a sketch of this very fine rabbit, who belongs to my friend. I love this rabbit and would very much like him to feature in a future project.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending my lovely friend Jo Empson's very first book launch! Her book, Rabbityness, is a beautiful picture book which tenderly explores the pain of loss but also celebrates the joy of uniqueness, creativity and

I studied with Jo on the MA, so I was lucky enough to see Rabbityness develop from its early stages right through to the wonderful end result. I know Jo has a fantastic career ahead of her - but I also know that Rabbityness will always have a very special place in her heart.

The launch party went swimmingly, with Jo signing books the whole evening...

She even managed to snare a real, live didgeridoo player...

The younger generation took to the didgeridoos like ducks to water...

But others only managed pathetic raspberries....

Martin Salisbury braved his toothache and did a grand job reading the story...

And here's a very proud friend with the author illustrator herself.

Congratulations, Jo. xxxx

Monday, 2 April 2012


Just a little model I've been experimenting with!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Just in Case You Were Daft Enough To Miss It... London, our MA show has shuffled along to the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge. Here's my work on display there...
...and this one was taken with the specially installed MavisCam.

Thank you to the lovely Ed Oliver for taking these pics. Whilst mounting our work ready for the show, Ed spotted me in my exhausted state just about to stick a piece of work FACE DOWN onto a piece of foam board. Heroically, he leapt across the room and threw himself in front of the foam board. Then, after I cut myself, stuck a piece down at a jaunty angle and another with 85 creases in it, Ed said "Er...I think I'll stay and help you."

So I think the least you can do is go and look at his website. What are you waiting for?

In other news, I had a ukulele lesson yesterday! The lessons take place in what used to be what Newhaven laughingly called a "night club". When I arrived for my lesson I had an immediate urge to dance like a maniac and be sick in the toilet. Now, though, it is used as a church, so luckily I fought that urge.

What a mixed bunch there are in the class. I think I'm going to like it...

Friday, 24 February 2012

Put Something on the End of It and Get a Damn Job.

In between watching Jeremy Kyle and doing the ironing, I made a body for Olive.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I drew this character last semester and thought I'd make a model of her. I could only go this far though, because for reasons best kept to myself, I have of late been avoiding the International Headquarters of Fluffycloud Studios.

The Intelligence dept has now deemed it safe to return, so watch this space for more Olive action.

In other news I am discovering more and more things I can do now that my MA is over. Today, for example, I had lunch with an old friend and a very enjoyable chat. Is this what it's like to be...normal?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Things You Can Do When Not Doing An MA

1. Washing

2. Ironing

3. Make your family breakfast, lunch AND dinner, all on the same day

4. Walk the dog

5. Read a book

6. Watch brilliant telly (Being Human)

7. Watch crappy (but in brilliant way) telly (Desperate Housewives)

8. With no particular purpose...doodle!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Two things I want to spend more time with now I have finished my MA.

Well, at least one of them looks enthusiastic.

I got the ukulele from my thoughtful son for Christmas and am very much looking forward to impressing everyone with my until now undiscovered musical talent. I have already learnt one chord, and spent rather a long time playing it, which is why the dog looks so depressed. But I learnt a chord! (OK, so it only involved putting one finger on one fret, but still...)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, the degree show comes down tomorrow afternoon, heralding the beginning of the end of all official uni shenanigans. (The show moves to Cambridge on a smaller scale now.)

It has been wonderful to catch up with all my classmates again and to see their fab work. We alternate between punching the air, whooping with joy at our new freedom, and clinging to each other sobbing.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to one and all. Here's the card I made for the Mister...
...who made me a lovely 3-course dinner today. (Of course he's listening to the football now, but the romance was good while it lasted!)