I Know a Four Year Old Could Have Done it But I Couldn’t be Prouder

Sue and I were welcomed into the conservatory which serves as Lydia Haines‘ studio. It was a hot day so the temperature inside was bikini appropriate. Around us hung her giant silk paintings and her prints on fabric and paper. She gave us both screens to paint on, encouraging us to experiment, not worrying about trying to make them look perfect, advice Sue ignored as she thoughtfully dabbed away for twenty minutes. When the screens had dried we flipped them over onto paper. Lydia brought out some special seaweed gunk she herself had knocked up that morning, it looked like wallpaper paste. We plopped some into the frames and immediately the paint colours were drawn up into it. We spread the gunk all over the screen, squeegeeing it back and forth, lastly sweeping it off. Then the reveal. We lifted up the screen, peeling back the paper and ta dah! Mine is the brown stripy one, Sue’s is the green and blue one that looks like a tree.

I love the separation between artist and composition that printing provides. The final result is hidden even from the creator until the last moment. It feels magical, surprising.


Small Handmade


Thanks to ruthless packing, the only toys that made it across the Channel were Sandy, the sand filled doll and a handful of cars. After a whinefilled day or two, the tots have proved contentedly resourceful, especially when making dolls and jigsaws from G’s castoffs. Inspired by Eve Arnold I show you the tiny hands responsible.

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Universal Appeal

We need a romantic hero, a thoughtful poet, who sees beauty in the ordinary. Courageous enough to blaze an independent artistic trail, ignoring fashion and championing love, yet empathetic to the loneliness of many around him. A business man creating a hugely desired brand, accessible to all but never successfully imitated. How will we cast him? Like this?

This?No, like this.


It’s not for physical fortitude*, nor intellectual brilliance** nor heartwarming altruism***. If you’ve read the comments on my last post you already know. I entered a competition for two greetings cards from the fabulous beat and rubbish. (Their shop is mates and rubbish)

They combine must-have cuteness with an edgy, sometimes gothic vibe. Quirky (with teeth) We haven’t seen that since:


*I didn’t walk 5 miles to get medical help, carrying my own severed arm.

**I haven’t found proof for Gilbreath’s conjecture.

***I haven’t funded a dozen malaria clinics in the Sudan.

A crazed fan never hurt anyone

This is my desert island craft book. Indents of letterpress on a rough cardboard cover. Wobbly lined illustrations and photos of Purgatory’s eclectic creations. Exquisite workmanship and original thought, that, thanks to Esther K. Smith’s kindly tone, leaves you not weeping at your own inadequacy, but shot with starting pistol eagerness.

I mailed Esther an origami envelope fold (Annalee taught me) I danced in the living room when she replied.

Because I love planet earth and treasure her resources I will now recycle these envelope instructions for you.