Sketching at Stansted House 7-1-2018

What a wonderful time we had at Stansted House on Sunday morning and yes the time flew by yet again!

Thank you to Fiona and Daniel for organising these events and giving us the opportunity to draw/sketch/paint in such a lovely rich environment. 

This time we were shown around the ‘downstairs’ rooms and the only difficulties being what to draw and not getting too distracted!  I ended up in the Still room where in the corner stood a wooden clothes horse with beautiful, delicate little cotton dresses and a pair of lace trimmed bloomers hung over the top. The images are copies of my drawing for the morning.


There was a great atmosphere and looking round people seemed really inspired by the surroundings.  Drawing takes practise and these opportunities give artists a chance to do just that but not just that they offer the chance to share and talk about their experiences, to learn from each other.

If you haven’t already, give it a go, I’d thoroughly recommend it.

Details can be found on the Standsted House website at


Sketching at Stansted House

Last month a group of us went along to Standsted House for the monthly sketching event they are offering at the moment.  I think I can safely say we all had a thoroughly enjoyable morning. 


The next event takes place this Sunday 7th January 10am-1pm.  Information including details on how to book can be found at 


If you fancy getting in some drawing practice, in a beautiful setting, exclusively opened for those attending the event, I’d really recommend it.  The time flys by!


Origami a Christmas Catalogue!


What to do with all the christmas cards once they were taken down was always a favourite ‘make’ dilemma when I was a child.  You could always rely on Blue Peter to come up with something, though the most common solution was to take mum’s dressmaking pinking shears (of which I scream in horror now, sorry mum) and cut out shapes to make your present tags for next year, which of course when next year came around said tags were usually long gone!

Anyway this got me thinking. What to do with all those catalogues you pick up in the run up to christmas?

I’ve run some origami workshops recently where the focus was on creating christmas decorations. I discuss types of papers and which would work best for each decoration they would be making. So going through my pile of christmas catalogues I found the Aldi catalogue printed on lovely thick, non-glossy paper with great images.  Perfect for the origami wreath!


So here are some images of my Aldi food and wine christmas wreath decorations.

I cut out my papers carefully selecting the best images and trying to avoid any text.  Each wreath is constructed of 8 pieces of paper, the size I used was 10cm x 5cm. I found I was even cutting the sheets so that each decoration became themed. Cheese and Wine. Smoked Salmon Starters. Christmas Spice and so on!

This is a modular origami decoration, in other words all 8 pieces are folded the same and then slotted together to make the wreath.  It will hold together without glue but you can add a spot to give it extra stability.  I finished mine off with some lovely satin ribbon in beautiful rich contrasting colours.

So why not give it a go? The step by step instructions are below

Once you’ve got the hang of it, why not try different size’s and other types of paper. I’ve made them before using old sheet music and wallpaper. Smaller wreaths look lovely added to presents with a tag attached or given as a card. Go really big and hang it on a door!

Keep them somewhere safe ready for next christmas, in a place you’ll remember!

Create, Escape, Relax, Smile!