Charlotte Bronte’s birthday celebrations

On the 21st of April it was the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birthday. I have been teaching drop in workshops at the parsonage, so I was asked to plan a birthday craft session.

I have always loved the quote from Jane Eyre:

“I am no bird;and no net ensnares me:I am a free human being with an independent will”

so after researching I found a good card template here which looked like this;

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and fit with idea of freedom in the quote.

When I got to the school room in Haworth it looked so pretty.The flowers had been arranged on a workshop taught  by simply by arrangement and looked great. The West Yorkshire Playhouse were there singing songs to showcase their Bronte season that is coming up in Autumn, a must see if the beautiful songs were anything to go by.

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The sun shone all day!


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and lots of birthday cards for Charlotte were made and decorated.

I got quite caught up with the day and didn’t end up taking that many photographs but there was cake, plays,poetry and music to name a few things.

I will be at the parsonage on the 1st of June with another craft workshop, pop in and visit this very special place if you can.

30 days…April

Well, April has been a busy and exciting month. I did my first ever trade show; British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate. It was overwhelming but successful in equal measures! I am just working through my orders and will share with you my new stockists in a separate post.I am pleased as punch about them, so they deserve their own space!

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top row BCTF preparations; lots of drawing, printing and painting. Oh and Cecile helping me choose my props.

second row my stand at BCTF, Billy bag and packing away after a busy few days (big black house design chair)

third row the school room at the Bronte parsonage in Haworth (I did a workshop there on the anniversary of Charlotte’s birthday), artwork from the children’s art club I run, SNOW!




How to make a 3D owl

owl sample

Last week I held a craft party and the theme this time was owls, so I thought I would be good to share how to make them on here. This is a nice craft activity and would suite children aged 6 and above.

Children often ask to make 3D things, which can be difficult to get your head around, so here is a simple way to make a 3D owl.

Materials needed:

polystyrene balls (about 12cm in diameter)



coloured paper

small coloured circular stickers

PVA glue





I firstly made a cone shape out of the card and taped it with sellotape.

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I trimmed this down so it had a straight edge and then taped it to the polystyrene ball.

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This was now a shape that the children could decorate.

They started by gluing ripped up coloured paper on to the shape. I would advise to have two sheets of A4 coloured paper saved for this to ensure you don’t run out half way through. It also helps to have a jam jar to stand the owl in.

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Once the owl is completely covered it can be decorated with shapes to make the eyes, beak and wings.I cut out circles for the eyes, diamond shapes folded in half for the beaks and wing shapes. The little stickers can be used for additional patterns. The eyebrows were just scrap pieces of paper or feathers could be used.

Here are the children’s owls..

owl party collage

..a lot of fun was had by all!

You can staple string to the owl so it can be hung. I did this before the paper was added.

For information on the craft parties do not hesitate to contact me.All parties are held in central Hebden Bridge.

30 days…November

november collage

first row stand at the hepworth christmas fair 2.hepworth gallery decorations 3.monoprinting done by pupils at crossley fields school, mirfield, (where I teach after school club).

second row 1.autumn walks 2.the corn exchange, leeds printed postcards

third row 1.hebden bridge train station decorations in the making 3.misty mornings

Workshops at the Bronte Parsonage

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For the past couple of weeks I have been heading to Haworth and teaching drop-in art workshops at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

The first one I did was based on silhouettes of the Bronte sisters and their books.

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Wuthering Heights was a popular choice! The image was made with collaged text that was then tea-stained and included Emily Brontes silhouette.

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This was from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, vintage birds were added to fit with the text.

Last week the workshop was on mono printing with natural materials. I picked grasses and leaves when I got to Haworth…

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And these were used to make prints, along with stencils I had prepared earlier. It was so lovely to see that people approach things in different ways. I got a few ideas for myself!

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There is another one this Wednesday: 11-4pm, do come and say ‘Hi’ if you can! We will be printing again but this time making animals inspired by the wildlife in the Bronte area.

The workshop is run on a drop-in basis and is free with admission to the museum.

Haworth is so pretty I took a few snaps too..

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I have made a friend on my visits.

bronte parsonage signRoll on Wednesday!

Mark making workshop

Last week I taught a mark-making workshop.We started off with very quick drawings of a still life set up. Drawing for 5 minutes, 3 and 1!


We drew with sticks, drew as though we were shading around an object and with white chalk on black paper.

I then introduced words to think of whilst drawing, the first was bold…So big brush strokes and large drawings were apt. I think using words can help encourage different and braver ways of mark making,when a word is the main focus the drawing can flow automatically.

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The next word was frightened.

mark make frightI did gestural marks in charcoal and moved the charcoal around the page a lot.

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This was done by a student using a mix of sponging with different strengths of ink and also using a brush.

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This was drawn with a sponged paint brush, drawing with a stick and thin ink washes over the top. A lovely development of different marks.

I hope to hold more mark making workshops and I will have a new beginners drawing class starting in September, so lots more drawing to be done!

Drypoint and Mono printing Workshop

Last Friday I had a great day teaching a drypoint and mono printing workshop. It was held at Shelley College, Huddersfield, and involved students aged 12-14 years from the College and local schools. We experimented with mono printing in the morning, trying different ways of drawing Christmas trees including continuous line and drawing without looking at the paper.

We then designed a dry point print by scratching into plastic sheets with drypoint needles. In the afternoon we printed our dry point trees and birds, finally gluing them on to card to make Christmas cards. Et Voila!

Monoprint and drypoint workshop

It was a great day with lovely pupils!

Saturday Art club for children

This Saturday I am running a workshop for children (in Hebden Bridge) from 10am – 12pm, all ages welcome! We will be printing with Autumn leaves and using mono printing techniques to draw leaves.


We will be using lovely coloured inks.


Making coloured patterns on leaves.


To get pretty prints.


Mono printed leaves.


We will be drawing trees in charcoal..


And adding our printed leaves for our finished picture, ta da!

The workshop is £16 and you can pay on the day. Please message me if you are interested.