Sunday, 30 January 2022

Breakdown Printing Workshop: Session 1 results

OOOh - maybe I can add a note!! This is a short (18 mins) video about the breakdown course results - hope you enjoy it - Hilary xx


Hello 😊 😊 😊

So how on earth do we start on a 5 year catch up?? I’ve been trying to think of the most important, or most interesting things to tell you about. And of course, one stood out miles ahead of anything else. The dogs!! What is the current dog situation? So, let's start there, although I promise there will be lots of textile and arty stuff to come as well!!

It was strange seeing the last image and line of my final post in 2017 – just before I started workshops at the studio here – because it was my beloved Dixter. And he sadly isn’t with us anymore. He died in November 2019, after a brave battle with cancer. It was very late diagnosed, and we tried operating – but it was too late. And as soon as I could see he was suffering, I made the decision to let him go. He was a one off – and we loved him so so much. But the sadness of losing them, is the only downside there is to owning a pet. And for me, it’s so worth it, for all the joy they give in between

But let’s move on from that sadness – because before he was ill, we finally decided to get him some company. You may recall that we still had Bala our lovely cat when we moved her and she and Dix were good friends. 

And after she died, we were concerned that Dix was getting lonely. He sort of became a little withdrawn – isolating himself even. We were doing all the usual humming and ha-ing: ‘would they get on?’ ‘would the new dog bully our lovely but very gentle and timid Dix?‘ ‘should we get a puppy or a rescue adult?’ ‘girl or boy?’ etc etc. If you’ve been there, you will know all this. I’m a bit of a fatalist, so I kept thinking that if it was the right thing, then fate would put a doggie in my path. And so she did. A friend suggested I join a Bedlington Whippet Facebook group (that’s the lurcher cross Dix was) – and I soon saw a gorgeous pup needing a new home. He was living in a gypsy camp, and they didn’t want him Only 3 months old – I wondered if he was just a bad hunter or something. Anyway – who cares? Not me - - so I got in touch with the owner and persuaded Stephen he would definitely love this new family addition. And he did, we did, and all the students coming here for workshops did. Dixter was a little wary ...

 but got over it quickly – and soon took the youngster under his wing. 

We called him Milo – and he settled in with us quickly. He’d never lived indoors and was used to living with the other lurchers outside, so to begin with would only socialise with Dix. But he soon learnt all about food (he was starving on arrival!!)  and walks and cuddles and all the other happy stuff our spoilt pooches take for granted

And they had 18 very happy months together, before Dixter left us all. And we were then back to ‘should we get another dog’ again. ‘Was Milo lonely?’ 

He was still a puppy, so hard to guage – but of course we worried. And all the same questions came up. Milo’s a very different boy to Dix – much more confident and where Dix was timid, Milo can be aggressive outside with other dogs. Upbringing I imagine! Plus he got attacked by another dog. So how best to deal with that? Older dog companion? A girl? Questions questions again. 

And yet again fate decided. A Facebook message about a beautiful boyo in Spain, whose adoption had fallen through and was now at risk of being killed, just caught my heart. 

And so our Dylan arrived with us. Another lurcher we think – but a very different cross: we think a Spanish Mastin/Podengo cross. This is day 1 

 Whatever he is – he is just gorgeous, and  the best thing that ever happened to Milo. They just adore each other. Very close in age – they just play and play. It’s a total joy to see. 

And a fair bit of snoozing too!! 

And of course, they help out with my teaching and artwork as well – goes without saying. You will hear lots more about them – they are so central to my life and happiness. But next time will be textiles and art I promise!!

And I’d also like to post a video of some materials made during the recent Breakdown Printing course. One thing I do want to do better, is notify people about workshops. I only ever seem to get a notice on Facebook – and I am aware that not everyone will see that. So  I will link from YouTube – but I still don’t know how to add notes!! So be prepared!!

Thanks for reading – and do please comment and chat to me. I like talking! And although we have our new lovely boys - for now this is still the screen saver on my phone ...- Hilary xx

Friday, 28 January 2022

Ok - so its been rather a long-ish time since I last posted!! In fact it looks to have been when I was just starting up the studio here in Newport. Nearly 5 years ago 😲

Do I have an excuse? Not a very good one I'm afraid. But it is a good reason. Simply time and complete overwhelming busyness. I have kept most of my interaction and posting on facebook for the last few years - its about all I've managed to keep going.  But I do know its not everyones favourite platform, and  it keeps altering it's faces and wa - which is annoying!! And I'm not convinced I'm actually talking to the people I want to anymore.

So I've decided to get back here, where I can post images and videos, information and chat (plus a little gossip). And I can be sure they are being seen by those who would like to keep in touch with me, and what I'm doing. 

So - the next few posts should really be a good catch up I think! I shall start on Sunday - see you then - Hilary xx

Monday, 12 June 2017

Open Day!!! : July 1 (Sat) .. 10am - 4pm

So .. who would like to come and have a good nosy round the new studio spaces?? I have so loved having my first students here and now it is all finished (well - nearly) I think we need an open day. 



I will do some demos and provide drinks and a light all day lunch .. you can come and have a good look at what has been done in the last year. 




 You can also have a good look in the shop - because there are lots of things that I never even get onto the website.

  Parking at the weekend is easy peasy - car park over the road and lots of on street spaces (postcode for sat navs: NP20 4LY). And the train station is really close. I will need an idea of numbers - so please would you let me know if you think you might fancy visiting - (email: ... hope to see lots of you xx

- oh .. and Dixter is ready to say hello too

Friday, 26 May 2017

Language of Flowers at Llanidloes

Last week I was in sunny Llanidloes (the sun always seems to come out for us) teaching the Language of Flowers workshop for 3 happy days. Most of the students came on last years retreat as well - and 8 of us booked some holiday cottages together so we could extends the days happiness into the evenings

The cottages are surrounded by hills and have residents ducks, chickens and dog .. total perfection

So - day 1 was the one they were worried about - the drawing word. I never do anything scary, and I knew they were nervous - so we got stuck in and spent the morning following through simple exercises, designed to gently ease the students into drawing without them really realising it. The afternoon was then spent drawing flower images. Most of this group were determined they simply 'could not draw' - and yet ... this is what day 1 produced ...

No apologies for the number of images - I had 14 students - and they were all so excited about their new found ability to draw(!) that they did LOTS of drawings. We also carried on in the evening after sharing a meal in a large barn at the cottage site (and feeding ducks and chickens)

Day 2 dawned sunny and glorious and we were into making collage backgrounds for the flower drawings. All nerves had gone by now - told them they should have trusted me! And then on day 3 we looked at how to transfer the drawings onto their collaged backgrounds and thread stitch them. As ever with me it was a very full and full on 3 days ... and also as ever, the students rose to the challange magnificently. A few actually finsihed their thread sketches and lovely Brenda both mounted and sealed her peiece .. which was quite beautiful. So heres the work on day 3 ...

Beautiful aren't they?

I love it when I can give someone a belief and knowledge that they can do something they are convinced they can't - so this was a lovely workshop for me too. I could pick up the excitement as students realised that they could draw - and then realised what a wonderful thing to do it is .. very relaxing. I think I have sent 14 drawers out to draw their worlds now. Good job

I am tewachiuhng the Language of Flowers twice at the Bramble Patch in Weedon this year as well. Both are fully booked - but Anne does run a waiting list. I am also teaching it here in Newport next March (14,15,16) - and there are still spaces on that one. Visit the online shop and look under ';workshops' for more information.

I'm also going to teach a 2 day drawing course - for all of you who think you cant draw! We will start with simple exercises and you will gently move into drawing. We will then  move onto drawing from photos and life, together with adding elements of colour to our drawings. Theses are new on the programme and the first one is on 10th and 11th July. Again look under workshops in the shop. In fact - here is a link

It was a magical few days - and the students want a repeat next year .. they didn't have to twist my arm much at all!

Hope to see some of you in Newport - back to decorating the studio now! - tanks for reading .. Hilary xx