Saturday, 9 November 2013

Knitted Socks

I finally finished knitting these simple tube socks, my first knitting with double pointed needles/ in the round project. Since I'm new to dpns I didn't attempt to turn a heel, focusing instead on getting comfortable with multiple needles and maintaining tension. I plan to use them with my wellies this winter so the lack of heel gusset shouldn't make much difference. The yarn is recycled so the fibre is somewhat a mystery.

Autumn is upon us so expect more posts featuring knitting in the future, perhaps including a turned heel. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

One more signboard

Commissioned by Compass Inn, this signboard features an ale themed motif designed specially for this project. Its a large board so took many hours to paint but it should look pretty effective when placed on the exterior of the pub.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Another Signboard

This slim signboard is another for the Compass Inn, to adorn the exterior of the pub and advertise it's attributes. 

There's one more larger signboard left to reveal, also commissioned by Compass Inn, it follows the style of this board but features an ale themed motif.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mackerel Drawing

Since working on the commission for Compass Inn and therefore working around a nautical theme I've been wanting to produce some work of a similiar theme that is also relevant to Plymouth - my local area. I decided to explore local fish, such as common names like mackerel and pollack that are both caught and eaten in Plymouth but are rarely appraised for beauty.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Newspaper Yarn

I keep another drop spindle seperate to the spindle I use with tops so I can make art yarns with unusual materials such as newspaper. I made some newspaper yarn and plarn (plastic yarn) as part of the Bliss wedding gift, but since I love the look of yarn on a spindle so I thought I'd show these photos I took before I wound it onto the giant bobbin. I plan to make some other art yarns, perhaps experimenting with different paper stock and dying techniques.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Bliss Wedding Gift

Let me start by describing the wedding, to put it simply it was beautiful. The Crooked Inn was a near perfect venue and the bunting looked amazing as did the guests outfits. It was a mavelous steampunk themed extravaganza focusing on two of the most extraordinary people I have the privelege to know. Congratulations go to Mrs and Mrs Bliss! 

Oh and the vows made me cry...

Now about the wedding gift, I had so many ideas about what to make, seemingly each bigger and potentially less feasible than the last that I soon came to realise that if I tried even a fraction of my madcap plans Mrs and Mrs Bliss would end up with either half a house full or nothing at all (some ideas just wouldn't have made it). Then came inspiration - I decided that since I was giving a gift to a couple of creative personalities I would make a gift that would facilitate that creativity. So I made them a big box filled with as many artsy goodies I could think of. Now, it's important to note that the couple had already requested that should guests insist on gift giving it should be secondhand, handmade, recycled or from small independent local business therefore everything I put in my gift adhered to these guidelines. 

The contents of my gift box were largely yarn based, I deemed this appropriate considering one Mrs Bliss has a couple of particularly fine knitting tattoos. Some yarns I handspun on my drop spindles such as the merino wool, newspaper and plarn (plastic yarn), whilst others were gathered/ found. 

I produced some recycled/reclaimed cotton yarn from a few old jumpers, I arranged them into skeins for easy storage but also because I think skein bundles are pretty.

I found this paper yarn at a little independent craft stall in St. Austell a number of years ago and fell in love with it, I've always treated it as precious and perpetually saved it for that fabled perfect project which turned out to be a wedding gift.

In addition to all the yarns, I added various tools for creative purposes. These were mostly handmade except for the 6-pin French knitting spool which was sourced locally. 

Then to go with the braiding tools I included some dolly peg spools and embroidery thread, dolly pegs make great spools for weaving or braiding because they keep the thread/yarn/cord tidy and add weight.

I also made some embellishments for the wedding gift including air dry clay buttons, polymer clay buttons, felted beads and recycled paper beads.

I packaged everything up using brown packing paper, pretty lace and handmade gift labels. I covered little boxes with paper and made origami boxes for slightly larger items. A lot of the yarn was wound onto giant bobbins I handmade, though the cotton skeins were bundled with calico, lace and satin cord. Then the entire collection went inside a big cardboard box decorated with cream and gold wallpaper ready to be opened by Mrs and Mrs Bliss on their big day.

I haven't included everything I put in the wedding gift in this post, just my favourite elements, I think it's safe to say quite a lot went into the gift and I believe (hope) it was well received. 

All I can say now is another congratulations Mrs and Mrs Bliss, I hope you have a long, happy and creative life together.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Laminate circles

These circles of laminate flooring are inspired by beautiful stones ive seen covered with crochet and knotless netting. I covered the laminate with yarn using a variation of knotless netting and half hitch knots.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Woven beads

Bead and button making using wrapping or weaving techniques have been around since at least the 17th century, it's a traditional craft that's lost it's popularity since mass production arrived but I've always been fascinated by the various techniques. I've only wrapped a few so far but I plan to make enough to create a series of woven jewellery.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

More Bunting

These two bunting pieces were created in collaboration with my mum, she's an avid cross-stitcher so the designs are based around two cute samplers she had available.

Friday, 19 July 2013


I went wild and created a bunch of bunting for my friends wedding, they requested that the bunting be creative and reflect the personality of the maker. Since there were no material restrictions I've made pieces using painted canvas, carpet, foam, duct tape, blind fabric, pinweaving and denim. I think I've got the crazy bunting niche covered. Below is a selection of the bunting I've produced. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Working on the wedding gift

You may have noticed the posts have been particularly sporadic of late ( though you could argue my posts are always like that) but I've been working on a wedding gift(s) for a very good friend who is getting married in about a week. The trouble is I haven't decided what to give/ make for the happy couple - I've had so many ideas and been doing some experimenting but to be safe and secret I've decided to avoid posting anything that could potentially be part of a gift. Don't worry though, as soon as the gift is readyI'll post up everything that you've been missing and after the wedding I'll post about the gift too.

In the meantime, expect a post on wedding bunting - my friends hatched an inspired plan for the decor and asked everyone attending to make crazy bunting, sounds like my kind of bunting. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Swinging Spectacles

I whipped up this leather glasses holder super quick as a replacement for my father's old tattered one, I redesigned it to have a fastening flap to keep the spectacles safe when he's working and they are swinging about. I'd recommend making a glasses holder to anyone who has a habit of misplacing their glasses or an equally forgetful loved one, its especially good for using up fabric scrap stashes.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Floral prints

You may recognise the flowers in these prints from some of my other fine liner drawings, they were pleasing to draw so I decided to draw them in multiple. These prints may or may not become part of a bigger design in the future, maybe even coloured.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Compass drawing

Compass Inn still have some walls with space to paint on so I've been designing a few options for them such as this brass compass. I carefully added the pub's logo as the compass rose, I wonder how many people will notice...

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lighthouse Wall Painting

Compass Inn have commissioned me to create a painting on one of the interior walls, the chosen image is of Winstanley's Lighthouse which was built on Eddystone rock in 1696, Eddystone is a famous Plymouth landmark. Smeaton's tower once stood on Eddystone (many years after Winstanley's light) before being moved to its current location on Plymouth Hoe. 

Winstanley's Light was made mostly of wood and was extremely ornate, it survived until november 1703 when a 'great storm' swept it away killing Winstanley who was visiting at the time. The version I've painted on the wall of Compass Inn is based upon the polygonal tower as it looked in 1699 after Winstanley had expanded the design.

To see the painting for yourself visit Compass Inn at 59-61 Bretonside PL4 0BD Plymouth

Monday, 22 April 2013

Sign Board

I'm still working on commission for Compass Inn, this is the new sign board at the back of the pub advertising some of Compass Inn's events and offerings. I particularly enjoyed designing the stylised rope edge, it may become a feature of the other signboards too...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Door signs

As part of my ongoing commission with Compass Inn I was asked to turn a pair of store bought "life preserver" hanging mirrors into washroom door signs. Its one of the unique little elements that add to the nautical flair of the pub.


Saturday, 20 April 2013


In addition to the logo I was asked to produce a swing-board design for Compass Inn, this is the finished digital image I created: