Saturday, October 18

Hedgerow Jelly (Autumn in a Jar)

If you have kids and, like mine, they love to collect everything and anything they spot while out walking (shells, stones, feathers, broken blue and white pottery, coins, bottle tops etc. etc. etc.) then you might enjoy making this with them.

On our last walk we collected all sorts of edible Autumnal treasure - crab apples, sloes, rose hips, rowan berries, black berries, haws... but what to do with it all? Hedgerow Jelly, that's what.

We found this recipe, which worked brilliantly, and really you can be fairly flexible with what you put in, depending on what you find.  Always be careful to check that what you have picked is actually edible though, and not deadly nightshade berries for example. Make sure you wash everything thoroughly before starting.

As long as the sugar to juice ratio is 1 pound : 1 pint, you should be ok. And we totally cheated and squeezed the muslin straining bag (which looked like something out of a terrible slasher movie as the thick, red, viscous liquid oozed over our hands). Yes our jelly is a little cloudy, but we got twice as much, which is more important than perfection in my jam making school.

Then when it was done and poured into jars, we made labels (Isla's was so nice I copied hers).

It tastes very nice on porridge, crumpets and pancakes and would probably be very nice with game too, as it is quite sharp and sweet.

Wednesday, October 1


These roundels are about 100 years old.  They have been set free from some old panels which I am dismantling and re-using to make some new door panels.  But first I had to have a bit of play with them.  They are such gorgeous textures and colours.  The black lines are snippets of lead from my workbench.

It's interesting to make yourself stop work and play for a bit.  There is much value in "unnecessary creativity" (I'm stealing the term from this podcast).

Saturday, September 20

Crafty Ladies - Bugs & Fishes

I was recently interviewed by Laura (aka Lupin) on her Bugs and Fishes blog as part of her excellent  Crafty Ladies series.

Laura's is one of the very first blogs I ever read, so it's really nice to appear on it, and it was interesting to look back over a few of my projects from the past 12 months.

It also sparked a little conversation about Blogging Vs Instagram, which has motivated me to post more regularly here again (or at least try to!).

You can read the interview here.

Eagle-eyed stained glass folks will notice I have neither scratched or tallowed my solder joints in this picture.  It was late, I needed a workshop picture, it was just me and a self timer.  I forgot.  Rest assured when I actually soldered this panel I did scratch and tallow first :)

Wednesday, July 2

Instagram Addiction / PicTapGo

Sorry about the blog absence.

I have no excuse, other than a slightly unhealthy addiction to The 'Gram.

But as a result of this, I am stunned and delighted to have been chosen as this week's featured photographer by PicTapGo (my mobile photo-editing app of choice).

You can have a look on their blog over here.

Saturday, June 7

Contemporary Stained Glass Exhibition - One Square Foot

Some details from my contemporary stained glass panels currently on show as part of the One Square Foot exhibition (with Stuart Low and Christian Ryan), running for a couple more weeks until 21st June.

Thursday, May 15

Ready.... Steady.... Go....

First swim of the year at Burton Bradstock this evening.  It was great.

Photos by Nelly.

Knocking knees and chattering teeth by The English Channel.

Thursday, May 1

Work in Progress - One Square Foot

I've been continuing with designing and making my three panels for the upcoming One Square Foot contemporary stained glass exhibition which opens on 24th May.

It's been liberating to turn some ideas that have been inside my head for some time into actual pieces.  The process has also generated a lot more ideas for future projects and designs I'd like to work on.

If you are in the Bridgend area in May/June, do try and visit Chris's studio to see it.

Sunday, April 20

Gypsy Caravan

It's nearly the end of the Easter Holidays.  I haven't done a stroke of work.

We stayed in a proper Gypsy Caravan set in an orchard in a very beautiful part of the world.  Our stay coincided with beautiful spring weather, clear skies and a massive yellow moon rising as we sat around the campfire.  There were frisky little lambs to coo over and big scary cows to run away from.  We took our wildflower and bird books and spotted-and-jotted.  The girls wrote and drew constantly.  We climbed hills, swung on rope swings, paddled in rivers, fell in nettles and slipped in mud.

Details here.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

(NB. Not a sponsored post.  Just an actual holiday)

Tuesday, April 8

This / That


From top to bottom:

1) Lots of freelance work lately - mainly copying roundels damaged in storms. 
2) Wooden stepstool, a bargain.
3) Tools of the trade.
4) Sick day - defacing Boden catalogues with the kid.
5) More freelancing...
6) Running 10km.  Actually 11.
7) Visiting London.
8) Eating way too much dim sum in Chinatown.

Tuesday, March 25

To blog or not...

Blogging.  A constant dilemma.  Seems entirely superfluous these days.  But then I read sweet, funny posts like this, or see beautiful photos like these and think, Yes, there is a point.

From top to bottom:

1) Work in progress on exhibition panels
2) There are always funny little things I find when tidying the girls' rooms 
3) Auditioning new bird shapes
4) That day when it felt like summer, even at 7am
5) My favourite beach activity

Thursday, March 20

Logo Design, Soulshine Cafe Bridport, Dorset

I've been itching to post about this for ages, but wanted to wait until the café was open so I could get some shots of the interior as well.

My friend Lisa approached me a while ago to ask if I'd design a logo for the new café (including shop, deli, juice bar, coffee house) that she was opening.  I sketched a few initial designs involving coffee cups, juice drips, that kind of thing, but nothing really encompassed the whole of the venture.

So Lisa suggested the idea of a character that summed up the ethos of the café: creative, wholesome, curious, adventurous, playful, fresh...

She had kept a party invitation I had drawn for Isla's birthday about 5 years ago, and said she had always loved it.  So that little sketch of mischievous, bold 2 year old Isla became the basis for The Soulshine Kid.

The café is stunning.  Lisa and Chris have done a fine job of creating a place that people are already flocking to, because it is just such a great space.

Selling independent magazines, children's books, Moomin mugs and other delights, alongside artisan bread and deli-produce, this is way more than just a café.

Their attention to detail is awe-inspiring, and the fact that they have used pretty much all local tradespeople and craftsmen in the build, as well as suppliers of the food and produce is commendable.

I'm thrilled to have played a small part in this endeavour, and lucky for me it's just down the road from my house.  My flat-white consumption just increased ten-fold.

Even more thrilling is seeing random people out and about sipping from their takeaway cups, with the kid on.