16 August 2011

July - missing in action

. of paper and things .: paper fix | chrono shredder

July didn't really happen here on my blog and August nearly got away too. I've watched the tattered remains of the past 2 months pile up around me.  

Poetic, yes but a load of old bollocks. We are living in the chaos of the Summer holiday whilst trying to buy a house, oh and at long last, I'm learning to drive. So I've not made anything, excluding lots of mess, some cake or art stuff with the smallies.

There have been moments of near bloggage.
Amongst them:

The death of Lucian Freud
most recently - Danny MacAskill trial bike genius

Its not the done thing to admit it, but I am looking forward to the end of the holiday. Mostly because our house move, just a few days before the start of school will mark the end of a long period of change, but also because I'm bloody knackered.

13 June 2011

Land of the rising obesity levels

I'm Scottish. So there. Mallow courses through my veins along with Irn Bru. Perhaps not, but I grew up there and its brilliant. Lochs, mountains, castles...

I grew up miles away from that stuff in a new town made of concrete and weird green landscaped hillocks by the side of a dual carriageway.  We did have this. Chocolate, mallow, jam and biscuit. Eaten in that precise order. And of course, most amazing packaging in the world.

After Sunday school my sister and I would, after carefully removing the teacake,  flatten out the wrapper and painstakingly remove every wrinkle (working from the outside to the middle) until left with a super shiny sheet of foil,  curving slightly at the edges. Sometimes we would then mould it or fold it into a shape. Very fiddly.  Not having access to google in 1983 it would mostly be a very limited origami fortune teller

Japan meets Scotland -  land of the rising obesity levels.

I'm still obsessed with super fiddly detail and painstaking, high risk creations. Also all things Japanese.

This may be where it all started, so along with the other stuff I haven't finished yet,  I'm going to be making some stuff about it...

30 May 2011

Now what?

If you're the nice person that bought my picture then a great big THANK YOU!!!! 

Now for the difficult bit... what to do next? I know what I'm doing artwork wise but I've somehow got to get stuff into galleries or maybe apply for an MA?

Dunno. Feel a bit inert. A slight down after last weekends up, maybe. Its the end of something so my energy is tailing off, yet actually, in the broader sense this should be the beginning of something else.   

Its half term this week so I'll be dedicating time to the littlies. I am grateful for this bank holiday making it a 4 day week though. Bill is tinkering with bike things and Nos 1 and 2 are painting each others faces whilst number 3 has a nap. I've got no food or laundry liquid so I'm off to get provisions.

Check in soon for the next thrilling installment... 

21 May 2011

The First Big Weekend

I refer to this post.

Not the track by Arab Strap, but what is for me, the 1st big weekend of the year - putting my work out there in public.
It went well, lots of really positive comments and I met some really lovely people.
Special thanks to all the people I know who made the effort to come along, especially Lou from Littlegreenshed for agreeing to take some decent pictures of my work.
Special thanks again to Vicx at Paper Village for letting me use the space, and for creating such a hub of creativity in South Bristol.

Tomorrow I'm off exploring the Arts Trail with friends and family. I'll report back later...

Drum roll

Its up. I'm excited. Had a nice evening hanging with Vicky Harrison in her shop and putting my things on the walls.

I'm looking forward to a fun day in the shop.....

Nightie night x

18 May 2011

Southbank Arts Trail

A fine chance to have a nose around other peoples houses and also look at some art.


If that wasn't enough, come see the Origami garden, altered books by Sally Darby, continuous poetry on paper, and the amazing gorilla yarn garden growing across the road on Bemmy Green.
More shameless plugging to follow...

16 May 2011


My latest effort for the Southbank Arts Trail on Saturday and Sunday. I'm showing my stuff in Paper Village on North Street, Southville, Bristol.

It is still a single piece of paper sandwiched between two pieces of glass but its a bit of a departure in process; a combination of a soldering iron and scalpel with synthetic paper. A more painterly process, using heat to remove the material, but just as time consuming! I'm sort of  hoping to get another bigger one done before the weekend but I'm probably kidding myself.

Got a billion things to do, like make business cards and sort out prices and of course, actually hang things on a wall! I'll probably sell nothing but it'll be an adventure.

10 April 2011

Woman's Realm - 1st big one done!

Finished finally. 
Its fortunate that the sun's come out just as I got it finished yesterday! I'm really enjoying the shadows it makes against the background..

I got through quite a few scalpel blades.  

Now to get cracking on the rest of them. As usual, I've tonnes of ideas and not enough time. Its half term now so no school run and I’ll be hanging with my small people in the day. Taking things easy and hopefully I’ll have a bit more energy in the evenings to get some smaller pieces finished.

28 March 2011

Paper Robot

I've got a bit diverted. I got digital die cutter and started playing...

It is basically a plotter with a knife which cuts vector files from my mac, and as I make my templates as vector files in Illustrator, its a no brainer to use it almost like a sketching machine. I am still committed to making framed pieces handcut from Japanese paper but I've got tons of other paper engineering type things which can be tested on the die cutter. I am very excited!

20 March 2011

Weekend work

I got some time and space today to get stuff done.  I started with this one. Yes I've done it before, but after yesterday's shaky start I thought it would be best to go for a familiar warm up.

The Kozo paper is very lovely to cut, but you have to go so slowly as it is very easy to mess up.  On the lightbox, you can see the texture of the paper - very delicate, super strong fibres. Its tidier than the last version.

Template in progress for the biggest hangers piece - 0.5m diameter. I have an A4 printer so its a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. Took bloomin' ages.

Piece in progress. I'm about half way. I thought it would be done but alas, things take longer than you think and I can't really rush it!

Hopefully it'll be done and framed this week...


19 March 2011

Those magnificent men in their flying machines

Gotta love Terry Thomas
... up tiddly up, up
... down tiddly down, down.

Roller coasters,
Fear and fun, fun and fear.
Making art?
Sort of similar.

Got paper, got scalpel, got frames,
got TIME - for once!
got a crisis of confidence.

The pressure to perform eh?
My very expensive new paper cuts sooo easily and its a bit scary how easy it is to make mistakes.
There is no Ctrl Z with this,
one mistake and its in the bin.

Got to get stuff made over the weekend.
Onwards and upwards...

15 March 2011

The First Big Weekend

I lived in London for 10 years, during which time I listened to much Scottish music on my mini disc player/ipod device on the tube. Trying to cling on to an idea of "Scottishness", I guess...

Arab Strap
Boards of Canada
Belle and Sebastian
The Blue Nile
even a bit of Deacon Blue

This takes me straight back to Dundee, 1996. Its a life I might have been leading had I not buggered off to Art School. Although we did our fair share of drinking and silly stuff there too.

This and the album its from are so badly produced, its actually good and I love those early Belle and Sebastian albums that sound like they were recorded in a church hall (and they were)...

It has been a "Big Weekend" of sorts. I'm up to my eyeballs in life, instead of making right now but I'll be back soon with more art type stuff. I'm getting stuff ready to make some actual pictures for frames at the weekend.

Until then, this could be some sort of 'on hold music'....

28 February 2011

Evening Sun

Waiting for a bus at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol at 4.50pm - the sun just thinking of setting....

I looked up and there was this amazing tree.  I was feeling a bit sad leaving my buddy in her bed, but thankful for seeing her.

There's really a lot to be thankful considering everything. 
A running theme for the last few weeks.

This time of year and being on the edge of the city, closer to the countryside, the quality of light. It throws it all into sharp relief, or rather sharp contrast. My biggest girl is back at school and we're all back to the same old routine.  Feeling a bit somber, but all in all perhaps its just a little bitter sweet.

25 February 2011

Aaaaaargh. No more hangers!

More hangers?
Well that's it. The final comp. Probably the final colour too. It'll be about a foot square. Just got to source some paper now.
 The other one was a bit crap. Too messy.
Seems to be that as soon as I put anything up on here I go, "Oh I know, I'll do this instead!".
Well at least the blog is keeping me motivated.

I am struggling a bit this week. Its half term. I'm bloody knackered. Too knackered in the evening to risk wielding a scalpel! I'm hoping, this weekend for some time out from my lovely children to get some cutting done.

22 February 2011


For my best friend who is unwell.
You are amazing and I love you xxx.

20 February 2011

Be thankful

I had the idea to make light blue neon sign saying, "be thankful" about 6 months ago after a medium sized hospital stay. Its been a tough year for a variety of reasons and I want to be reminded of how lucky I am everyday.  

My daughter spent a night in hospital last week. After IV fluids and antibiotics, she is definitely on the mend. This is my next papercut. I'm forgetting the other stuff for now.

Today Bill, did a big tidy of the garden, cutting back all the dead stuff from winter. This fell from one of the trees...

Like a birds nest from your imagination.

So perfect - soft inside and the outside is glued together with clay. Its very light. After we all had a good look, Bill put it back in case it might be reused again, this year.

So there you have it, another corner turned. Spring's around the next one... 

14 February 2011

St Valentine

This is my effort. Started it a couple of days ago with plans. Its wholly dependant on symmetry as I have no time to do both halves of anything today. Daughter still very unwell and I can't be ignoring my children in order to draw pretty pictures on my computer.

Feeling like a half hearted artist and a shitty mum. Can't do anything wholehearted today.

Sorry. Back later with some cheer, maybe.

13 February 2011

London Plane

I lived in London for 10 years and I love these pompom trees, especially with only a few leaves left. Just a whole load of bobbles.
A ton of pom poms falling from the sky...
...well they don't actually fall off, that's why they're still beautiful in February.

Another paper cut or screenprint? The beginnings of something. I'm just playing. I'm also doing a lot of stuff with thistles and leaves too, and trees.  More like this. We'll see.

I was hoping to do more actual cutting this weekend but my eldest daughter is ill. Poor sausage. I hope she's properly on the mend tomorrow.

11 February 2011

Hangers, hangers

I should be hanging up laundry. Instead I'm doing this...
...and to anyone in the know, yes, I am using Illustrator version 10! Hey it works. Will try and cut it out later if I can keep my eyes open after putting kinder to bed.

Vicx at Paper Village is going to show my stuff in her shop during the Bristol Southbank Arts Trail. I am very excited.

Anyways, back to the cuddling my children between mindless toil...

9 February 2011

Hina Aoyama

Look at this...
Super fine paper cutting. There are a number of artists out there cutting paper right now.  Some good some not. A Japanese artist living in France, Hina Aoyama's stuff is uncompromisingly intricate. With paper cutting, one mistake means starting again. I'm astounded that she uses scissors.

Yep, scissors. Really small ones.

Hina Aoyama's Photostream.

7 February 2011

For the love of Newtownland

A Valentines card to my hometown

I grew up in a Scottish newtown from age 5 - 18. It was a bizarre place in retrospect.

I love and hate it.

The first of 5 newtowns built in the 1950s, it embodies a utopian dream that the planners and architects had, but also some mistakes made by them in their first go at actualising it.

As Britain's first shopping mall, the original "Town Centre" really was, in my opinion, a building worth looking after.
the Toonie

Look at London's Barbican Centre or Southbank. 

The Town Centre was built in the wrong place - on a dreich and blustery hill.  Over the years, a series of bad planning decisions have left it crumbling and bookended by Tesco and Asda. The original building is more or less abandoned.

More on this stuff to come...

6 February 2011

Woman's Realm

 My first attempts at cutting them out. The first one is best, I reckon. Although its photographed, stuck onto my kitchen door .

The bottom one's in an IKEA boxframe sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass. This is the general idea, although I'll make frames with just a centimetre or so depth, to cast a stronger shadow. Also the paper is wrong, and the green, and I've got to get better at doing it. And my photos are pish (great Scots word, there!).

Practice, practice. I'll get there. 

4 February 2011

1st doillie

If you are a bit sick of silhouettes or circles, look away now.
Doilly version 1

More things on top of other things - draw what you know!
The idea is to cut it out of paper. I've done a couple of tests with smaller pieces (post on its way) and its doable. May just take a little while.  I'm going to do an edition of screen prints too.

This is not the finished version yet. Just somewhere on my way to it....
More to come.

1 February 2011

F is for flowers

Fancy Font - First of February

After yesterday, I need some colour. 

I did this with daughter no.2 on my knee. Text added later. It looks like the BP logo and that logo pisses me off considering how much awful stuff they get up to.

31 January 2011

Woman's Realm

Things on top of other things.
The loneliness of the long distance mother.

The beginnings of something. Screenprints, papercuts, doillies.
Yep, more circles.