This is an opportunity to create your own unique design and transfer it onto fabric. During the workshop you will be guided through steps to create a bespoke design and transfer it onto a fabric of your choice for use in whatever textile, sewing or craft project you wish. You will learn about products, techniques and equipment, how different fabrics respond to the process and how best to prepare them. You will be inspired by what your designs could become. This workshop is supported by ‘Colourcraft’.
The workshop can be booked through the venue website at
Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.
Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.
It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet.
Heatpressing hand painted peppers
Machine rendering after hand sewing
Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging.
So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort.
So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.
Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease.
Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers.
Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.
Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.
Celebrating 3 years: It’s now three years since I began focussing on art and making. After injuring my knee I decided to follow my heart and felt a need to let out the colour and creative potential that I instinctively knew was within me.
Switching to a less commercial line of work has not been easy and has taken courage and conviction, but as I continue to explore and my work evolves I’m keen to see what I’ll be creating next.
The highlights of the past three years have been two Art and Design year long course Distinctions, a solo art exhibition, and being commissioned by customers to create bespoke artworks and gifts.
Collage of my favourite 9 from the past 3 years…
Latest work: My latest creation is an embroidered work for a dear friend, inspired by an image. I felt real flow in this work and felt guided in creating it by some artistic wisdom that joined me while I hand and machine appliquéd and stitched.
Workshop Development: Exciting news is that I’m developing a heat press workshop. This will given people the opportunities to develop a design and print it onto fabric in just 2 hours. Watch this space for news and dates. if you’re not signed up to receive Inspire news then you can do so by typing your email address into the box above.
Work in progress: Miniature plants need a miniature place to grow so I’ve been building a greenhouse in Fab lolly sticks with a Magnum stick for decoration. I’ve also tried a more rustic ones from twigs pruned from my Japanese Acer. Need to eat a fab lolly or two more to be able to complete the roof structure. I’m considering whether to plant miniature climbing plants with the rustic greenhouse to encourage them to grown up and within it.
Greenhouse picture 1 &2
Ceramics: I’m exploring ceramics, its not an area I’ve studied before so I’m learning hand building techniques. More on that when the pieces have been fired.
Commission Time: Christmas is coming and its traditionally a time for commissioned artworks for loved ones, providing a bespoke gift made for them. My deadline this year for commission requests, to be ready in time for Christmas is 31st October. Please email me and I’ll help determine all that’s needed to begin the creation of your unique artwork.
Thanks for the support in the past three years and here’s to the future. To creativity, and beyond!
October is #Inktober: I’m taking the #Inktober challenge again this year. My intention is to try to illustrate the prompt words simply and clearly. You can see my ink creations in my Instagram ‘stories’.
I was asked to make a colourful cushion featuring a bird and flowers with this drawing from a lovely customer:
I thought about whether I might seek such a fabric design, but I didn’t have the desire to go hunting for a fabric, so I designed my own.
Having found painted designs that the dye colours can mush together I decided to try a collage technique, as developed in some of my favourite work, my paper cut pictures.
I firstly prepared papers by carefully painting them with transfer dyes then cut and assembled pieces to build a design. I liked the composition on a cute practice design (above), but felt that the colours lacked texture and depth. So I tried wax relief frottage techniques learned at UAL Chelsea and also hand-painted my favourite flowers inspired by our own garden and a visit to the wonderful tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the Botanical Garden in Leiden earlier this year. I challenged myself to limit colours to the wine red, golden yellow and turquoise Colourcraft Transfer Dyes.
I cut shapes and enjoyed assembling these to form the design for the main panel of the cushion.
White dog portrait created in silks, yarn and thread on dyed fabric.
After the success of the embroidered portrait earlier this year I decided to try to create an embroidered portrait of Sam, the white dog that has featured in a number of my paper artworks, and whom I painted previously in acrylic paints before, paintings which became an illustrated children’s book.
I chose a teal/ turquoise cotton fabric that I had dyed. I chose the colour as it was the colour of Sam’s favourite toy, and echoes the style of the portraits that I painted on bright bold coloured backgrounds.
I gradually built the design using hand sewing, deciding to add fluffy white yarn that was left after I knitted the jumper on jumbo needles.
I was struggling to get a likeness and lost momentum in the project so decided to inject some energy by continuing the piece on my sewing machine with a transparent foot, and also with a darning foot to use free motion embroidery techniques.
This worked and I was able to sew into the design, develop the likeness and then finished the final elements by hand. Here’s a 43 seconds short video of how the work developed.
I’m pleased with the final outcome and can now decide how best to display the work in my gallery.
Related posts which feature Sam or similar techniques are here…
April was a bright and creative month, here are the highlights from my Instagram feed. Enjoy!
Better late than never!
First up was a cupcake themed cushion that I made for a close relation.
Lush pink, grey and teal design. It was a huge pattern repeat so I made a booster cushion with different parts of the design front and back. As I know I’ll be asked the question, the fabric was from Direct Knit and Sew in Sheffield.
Ta da! Here’s the finished cushion. It really was a work of love as it was for someone I love and I love the outcome. The pink ribbon edging the cushion really makes the colours pop.
As a small sofa-friendly project over the easter weekend I decided to embark on a small embroidered portrait of the little dog that spends some days with me.
I found a high res picture that really showed the detail, and began first to represent the darkest areas gradually and carefully colour matching the different tones with embroidery silks, and representing the different textures. I took a drawing in silks approach, using drawing techniques that I use in life drawings.
I was pleased with how the embroidery began to take on his likeness and reflect some of his character. I added a paw print, from a picture I captured of it whilst walking during a snowfall.As I liked how the portrait looked in the embroidery hoop I decided to turn that into the frame, giving it a collar effect using a football boot lace (ssshh!)
The little dog is a lhasa apso with a lovely coat and sooo cute. He’s a great little guy who it is fun company.
The little dog’s owner was really pleased with the picture and how it captured the detail of his face and coat.
This is not the first cute dog that I have had the pleasure of capturing in art, I previously used acrylic paint to illustrate a children’s book about a white dog called Sam who wanted to fly.
Its been a pleasure to share this story and its fab to have you here, please share my site with friends who’ll enjoy it x
I write my blog as story by story I’m logging my creative journey and writing my book. If you’d like to read the chapters as they are created you can follow this blog. It’s presently a small and select group but it would’ve lovely to have you join us. 😊