Thursday, 11 December 2014

What an evening for Ataxia UK, thank you so much the Arter XX

Last night Paula and Rachael from The Arter in Stratford, very kindly hosted an evening for me to raise money for Ataxia UK. Unfortunately I and some members of my family have inherited SCA1, an incurable neurological rare disease.

Rachael, Paula and Rory from The Arter

Not wishing to sound like the Oscars, but I do have a few people to thank for making yesterday evening such a success. Firstly, and biggest hugs to Paula and Rachael for thinking up and working so hard to deliver such a wonderful idea. Everything worked so well, the invite was amazing and The Arter looked so beautiful! Sorry no pictures of the brilliant balloon decorating outside and great lung power. The mulled wine, mince pies, nougat etc were so yummy. Many thanks to all the very kind fellow artists and their generous donations to the raffle and those who came too! Many thanks to the gorgeous Rory, Paula's son, (I want one - he is SO lovely) for everything but especially his star role in the raffle. Ian for his great auctioning of my torso and the wonderful Steve Orchard for being the successful bidder (very sorry Rachael).

Yummy nibbles

Great helpers

Successful bidder

Lovely Steve Orchard

Rory my excellent helper and raffle

As you can see The Arter is looking wonderful and is crammed full of Christmas goodies, you cannot fail to find the perfect, unusual gift (and calendars). I think Mr Smith was even impressed by the quantity (and quality) of pressies we found last night. Too tempting and it is Christmas after all! Definitely still time to give them a visit if you can.

Lovely Arter - Thank you SO muchXXX

Many, many thanks again to everyone at The Arter. If  you would like to see more photos from the great evening please follow this link.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas festivities!

Christmas has come early to Goose Farm. We have a very busy start to the month.

Kate and I are back at Worcester Cathedral (this time in the cloisters). On the 4th we are  decorating one of over 70 Christmas trees.

The Christmas Tree Festival is a free family event running throughout the Christmas break. You can visit the wonderful selection of trees 9am-5pm everyday, from 8th December to 4th January. 

5-7th December (11am-5pm) is our h.Art Christmas weekend. We would love to see you and please tell your friends to pop in too. There will be loads of Christmas culinary goodies to sample and lots of present and decorating ideas. Kate and her friend Alice also have a really beautiful surprise!

The lovely Arter in Stratford are very kindly hosting a shopping evening for me on Wednesday 10th December (from 4-8pm). There will be yummy mince pies and mulled wine too. They hope to raise money for Ataxia UK with a raffle and auction of one of my pieces. Everyone is very welcome to join us. Late night shopping at the Arter is a must for handmade gifts anyway (plus 10% discount!) but if they can help promote such a rare illness that is brilliant too, and very kind of them.

Monday, 3 November 2014

To Gheluvelt and back

A huge thank you to the boys Ian, Nigel and Neil for the great photos. They just visited the battlefield of Gheluvelt to commemorate the 100 years anniversary and the very brave Worcestershire Regiment.

Their story is sympathetically explained in Ian's blog. The whole trip was incredibly moving. I was particularly haunted by the pictures showing the trenches where so many died, so sadly. 

On their long journey home, they very kindly called into a cemetery in Contay, where a relative of mine is buried. I told his story in an earlier blog. Jonathan Tombs was born in Herefordshire and buried with 1,132 other soldiers. It is a beautiful location.

I was especially thrilled with the leaves that they brought back. I hope to make something from them. Many thanks and I am glad the trip went so well.  XXX

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Cha Cha Challenge Yourself

I have just made a new video about the ballroom dancing which Ian and I do on most Saturday mornings. We have been going for about 4 years and have a private one hour lesson in a church hall in Worcester. Our very patient instructor is Debbie.

Unfortunately I have inherited a very rare, neurological disease SCA1 (Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1) and ballroom dancing really helps both physically and mentally. I first read about the benefits on Dr Tom's wonderful website. He is in the US and had to retire because he has ataxia. Ballroom dancing will help anyone but especially those who have a neurological disease because it allows you to move with the support of a partner in ways you wouldn't normally be able to. This helps you to exercise more muscles.

I am very lucky because I have a great husband who finds the time to come and learn with me each week. Although we will not win any prizes, we do have a lot of fun and can sort of Waltz, Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango and my favourite Cha-cha-cha.

Thank you so much for Kate finding the time to come and film us so brilliantly. If you would like to have a go there are lots of dance schools. If you are in Worcester, Debbie and her husband Steve McCormack both do private lessons and arrange group dances. You can reach them on 01905 458407.

I am so lucky having such a wonderful family to help and support me. Thank you all XXX

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Such a good idea - Thank you

A couple of years ago, I made a beautiful Treasury on Etsy called 'Plant'.

It is a really lovely way of getting to know some very talented artists around the world. In the bottom row of images, you can see a gorgeous tree by CassandraZ. She is such a gifted lady, as you can see.

Anyway, she loves my ceramics and asked if I would like to do a trade! In the past I have  traded some of my ceramics for some beautiful hats for my daughter, but never someone so far away. I am thrilled because I am now the very proud owner of this tree.

My amazing Cherry tree

It took me ages to finally choose what my tree would look like, but it is perfect and I would not change a thing. It came safely all the way from CassandraZ's home in Illinois,  USA. If you would like one she has a wonderful Etsy shop,

My tree sculpture is 8.5' tall Cherry Blossom. It has 3,565 beads, 240 feet of wire on a slate base.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Well that was fun - h.Art 2014!

For the first time, Kate and I opened our art workshop to the public this September for h.Art. It was great fun and we met loads of lovely and very interesting new folk. We were also very lucky and had lots of very good friends and relatives pop in. Here are a few of the photos but there is an album if you follow this link.

Pink sign time

Kate and my work

Kate's lovely cards

Beautiful Annabel

Different cake every day!

Our first cyclists

Christmas card progressing

Will filming for h.Art

Having fun!
Thank you so much everyone who visited us! 

Kate made a great little video about getting ready

You are all very welcome to join us for our Christmas Open Weekend on the 5th, 6th and 7th December, 11am to 5pm.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Etsy treasuries - Pheasant is my latest

I LOVE making Etsy treasuries and finding other people's lovely artworks. My treasuries are always nature inspired. My latest is called 'Pheasant'.

If you would like to visit the page on Etsy, please click here
I have made many, so if you would like to see them together, they are on my Pinterest in a special folder. If you like any, just click on them and you go to the Etsy page.

I would love to see yours if you have any please?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

'Before the Dawn' : Kate Bush What an evening!

Spoilers - DO NOT READ if you are lucky enough to be going.

Well last night was a brilliant evening! Thank you so much to Kate for taking me and looking after me so well and everyone who was so very helpful and kind all evening at the Eventim Apollo in London. A huge thank you to Ian for dialling 148 times to get the last disabled and carer seat and then not being able to get another seat anywhere to join us. To rub salt in the wound, he then drove us there and back!

Poor Ian!

Safe delivery to the Apollo in Hammersmith

Kate Bush's son, Bertie, convinced her to do some live shows. You were not allowed to take photos (rightly so) during the performances, so there are rather a lot of pictures of Kate and I getting a little overexcited!


Kate Bush cocktails before - yummy

Official tour poster

The stage

Getting very excited waiting

The show started promptly and had a 20 mins break. Kate Bush had wonderful stamina and kept performing for a very physically demanding 3 hours! There were so many very exciting highlights, but here are some of my favourites. The performance began quite traditionally with a beautifully dressed, bare foot Kate Bush with many old favourites and then her wonderful story telling began. 

It started with the tale of 'The Ninth Wave' - her in a shipwreck including haunting images on a screen of Kate Bush floating and freezing in a life jacket but managing to sing, a nightmare room at home seeing her husband and son, confetti canons firing hand-written Lord Tennyson's poetry (including the inspirational lines 'Wave after wave, each mightier than the last / Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep'), huge billowing sheets as waves, helicopter search and very creepy life size fish skeleton costumes. AMAZING!!

After the break, the next story was 'A Sky of Honey' - During this session we were treated to a wooden mannequin and Kate Bush at the piano. While this happened there were giant projections of flying birds. Also, 16 year old Bertie was an artist with a huge canvas and he also sang a solo. The scene then turns darker and the puppet savages a gull and Kate Bush's arm turned into a wing and she flew! 

How spoilt was I?

The whole evening was fantastic. Especially getting to know our new friends Ann and Ken (sitting next to us). I knew Kate Bush would not disappoint. I had remembered every last detail of my previous experience in 1979 at the then Hammersmith Odeon as a very young 17 year old! It was so good then and I am very happy and privileged to have had the opportunity again. Thank you X X

Kate has written a beautiful blog with some of her drawings. If you would like to see it click here please.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Come and see us at h.Art

So excited, we are doing h.Art.

For many years, we have been avid visitors to local artists in their studios and now it is our turn to be hosts! If you have not been to h.Art (Herefordshire art week), I should explain what it is. It is your chance to follow the pink signs and join the art trail. There are over 200 artists and design makers to tempt you with their wonderful artworksl.


Our art studio shall be open 6-14 September 2014 from 11am-5pm. We are No.10 in the official booklet.

There is a free map and guide to help you plan your route. They are available from  or I am very happy to pop one in the post.

We would love to see you. By all means send me an email or message on the form below if you know when you might come.

Monday, 18 August 2014


A huge thank you to Ian for taking my work to the autumn show at  beautiful Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Garden.

Wyndcliffe Court

This is my first time at this lovely Sculpture Garden. Wyndcliffe is in Monmouthshire. Its opening times are 11am-6pm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, from 2nd May to 28th September. 

These are what I am exhibiting in the garden.

Because I have been quite busy this year, I have not been in many sculpture trails.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Art in Action 2014

What a wonderful day!

On Saturday we went to ‘Art in Action’ at Waterperry House in Oxfordshire. Sunday was the final  day (I am afraid), but I thoroughly recommend a visit next year. There is a wonderful selection of art, to cater for everyone’s taste and lecturers for those inclined too. There is also a huge choice of yummy foods and drinks available. As well as specialist art tents there is a great market.

My presents

As you can see from the photos, we had a fantastic day out and met LOADS of lovely artists! I was also thoroughly spoilt and had all these beautiful presents. 

There are far too many, very talented people to mention but here are a few of my favourites. My gorgeous cardigan above came from the beautiful Megan Crook from Crooked Knitwear, the soap and very elegant reed diffuser came from an old favourite Merrywood and the beetle hand bound book and unusual owl tea towel both came from Inky Otter.

Gil Fox and her wonderful creations

Kate wearing one of Gil's hats

Claire Cawte's textiles

These are more family favourite designers who were at 'Art in Action' this year. They include the wonderful and quirky work of Gil Fox who makes hats, fascinators and flowers, Claire Cawte's beautiful 'one-off' items that can be worn or displayed and Lucy Jade Sylvester's organic jewellery.

James Price blacksmith

Some of James Price's contemporary ironwork.

Hilary Simms ceramics

Vinegar Hill Pottery

Ceramics are always a big favourite and there were too many to choose from. Two of my favourites this year were Hilary Simms with her gorgeous sculptural ceramics and the Vinegar Hill Pottery with stunning colours. 

Simon Griffiths beautiful sculptures

Tom Griffiths collection

My final favourites are the Griffith family. Dad, Simon creates amazing stoneware sculptures. I do not normally like realistic sculptures, but these are really beautiful and I especially like the wood he uses. His son, Tom is a wonderful drawer and has a great letter from David Attenborough.

My beautiful assistant!

Kate and Ian

A really great day out! Huge thanks to Ian and Kate for taking me XX