Westminster arts library

I look around our house and its hard to believe that neither my husband and I had any books around us whilst growing up –  instead we both frequented the local libraries and borrowed the maximum amount of books that you could at the time – I kind of remember 4 as a figure.  so it was a real pleasure to discover the Westminster Arts Library,  right in the heart of Leicester Square, it is built on the site of Isaac Newton’s house and observatory.

Robert did an event there recently, discussing his book, London Made Us at one of the cultural events – Salon for the City, whose goal is to generate a sense of excitement and inspiration about our great city.  but also make use of  a creatively dormant space as a resource, study and temporary hub of debate and interaction, a ‘creative city’ which opens up to a new and ever changing audience.

The library has a collection of over 15,000 books covering the performing arts, a third of which are available to borrow.  The collection also has a wide range of film, theatre, dance, radio & TV publications, some  going back to the 19th century.

Its a haven amidst the busy hub of London’s busy squares and definitely worth visiting.


marriage story

I really enjoyed this film by Noah Baumbach – apparently autobiographical it tells the story of a bittersweet relationship falling apart with the custody of a child becoming the focus of the issue.  strangely its not entertaining, uncomfortable to watch at times;  rather an insightful and sympathetic view of how a marriage can fall apart.  having been through a divorce, I could relate to certain issues, but now that I am older, hopefully wiser and realising that life is a balance of give and take and compromise its also sad to see it on the big screen.  my friend Jon did not like it at all, I could see him looking at his watch all the time hoping it would end, but my girlfriend really liked it.  strangely I found myself sympathising with the husband, which on paper doesn’t add up…….

I love this photo of Robert’s mum and dad getting married, especially the hair piece on Eilleen.  sadly Robert’s father passed away when he was very young, so I never got to meet him.

send a message of friendship

I still receive lovely hand written cards and postcards, mainly from my lovely friend Peta, who regularly sends me postcards from all the lovely exhibitions she has been to;  its just so pleasurable receiving a message of friendship through the door rather than just a digital message – I pin the cards in front of my desk inspired by all the images.

I am getting all my cards together for my next pop up sales – if you can’t make any of them, you can buy direct from myself and I can post them to you.



dry irritable skin

if you suffer from dry skin, especially in the winter months – remember that the central heating  doesn’t help, but if you put a glass of water by your radiator this will help put some moisture back into the air – add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a lovely aroma ;  there are lots of different products out there, other than cortisone cream which is what doctors seem to dish out. cortisone is good in small doses and especially to stop spreading and keeping the excema under control, but try and use sparingly and then use the more natural options.

my daughter has always suffered in the creases of the arms, ever since she was little, and i have tried so many different products.  I am quite a natural person, white witch my son calls it, but generally i try to use natural to cure illnesses first, then if i have to resort to the chemical stuff, fine.  the best of all the products i have tried for dry chapped skin is Napiers, Infant Starflower cream – its soothing, penetrative and doesnt sting.  Calendula cream can sting excema, and therefore make it look redder.  barefoot sos is another soothing moisturiser.. one of my favourites though is golden tumeric cream by  suneeta – it works in all areas that are dry and irritable. hopes relief is an excellent moisturiser for excema and irritable skin.  one cream that really helped my excema breakout last year was dermalex, its apparently steroid free, but it really worked for me. the wonder product for me at the moment is borage oil, which I squeeze from a capsule, it doesn’t smell wonderful, but it is an amazing soothing oil that I use on dry patches on my face before my moisturiser – Liz Earle sensitive moisturiser also has borage as its key element and it really is soothing. I find that at different times of your life, your skin reacts differently and products that did work, no longer do, so I list the products so that you can find what suits you.

other alternatives –  Stellaria cream by Neale’s Yard, or Aloe Vera moisturiser from B Natural Skincare, which is equally as good for any part of your body and Goats milk cream from Elegance.    Apparently lanolin is a big aggrevator of the skin, so avoiding products containing lanolin is advised.   For general everyday use, shower gel, body cream,  aveeno, seems gentle enough and is affordable to just use generously all over the body.  Aveeno has many different creams, some for the hands, some for the face, and it really is moisturising.   hope’s cream is a great non steroid cream and also is available as a body lotion – I use this cream a lot and is my favourite daily body moisturiser at the moment – I alternate between the Hopes Cream and Aveeno.  Remember that hair products, shampoo, conditioner, and especially hair dye all contain chemicals and can cause allergic reactions – it was one of the main culprits in my daughter’s case – its the lathering agent that can cause reactions.  liz earle products are very good for people with sensitive skin, as is australian organics for the hair.   Green people do a very good sensitive hair range and this is great for itchy scalps and people with allergies.   simple products are also non irritating if you want something that is widely available.  the best cream i have tried for dry cracked heels is from dr organic, virgin olive oil cream , homeoplasmine  and good old coconut oil – try one of the organic ones –  it really has worked.

As with all creams, i tend to think that your skin gets use to all creams and changing is always a good thing, as your skin responds to new things.  Of course, everybody is different and they react to things differently, but natural is worth a try and none of the above are very expensive, so worth a try.

here are some recent photos I did of Caley – we did ultra natural with very little make up and no retouching.


pop up sales

its a month of pop up sales and this year I am all over the place – I love that there are so many community markets and fairs that promote the creativity of small businesses and individuals like myself.   it is always inspiring to see such talent and beautiful things.
my next pop up sale is at Queens Park, next Sunday 24th November 2019 from 10am – 2pm. Curated by Christa Davis who has a fab collection of upcycled cashmere, there will also be a diverse selection of interesting things to buy.
Adjoining Queens Park Farmers Market, Salusbury Rooms, Salusbury Primary School, London NW6 6RG. Will be selling my cards, ceramics, some curated bits and bobs plus vintage and pre loved clothes. hope you can make it.
It will be an eclectic local indoor market celebrating independent makers & designers alongside eccentric vintage clobber and one-off stalls spring cleaning their homes.
the one after that is in Hampstead on Saturday 30th November at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, which is run by Badgers Velvet and it is an amazing array of fine designers, craftspersons and gifts all curated by the lovely Ros Badger;  and then on Sunday 1st December I will be at Curtain Up Christmas market  at St Mary’s Abbot centre, Kensington Church Street, where the lovely Jo Good will be drawing the raffle, which proceeds this year will go to Maggies Centre.
I will also be taking part in a one day ‘clear your junk’ fair on Saturday 14th December at Cecil Sharp House in Primrose Hill;  its basically a posh boot fair by a whole lot of interior designers and makers.