Collections


I love sets of things, I love arrangements & collections.

When I hear a song I love, I have to scurry off as soon as I can to find the album it’s from, find the artist, track down the other tracks. Fall in love again.

When my eyes are magnetised by a piece of art, I race to seek out the artist and soak in everything else they’ve created.

I’ve done this with authors and poets, actors, directors, blogs and my current jam: podcasts. I get hooked. I have to absorb all I can until my attention is hooked someplace else. 

This energy directs me, and now I’ve identified it, I can see how it plays out in all kinds of ways.

I’ve had attachment to all sorts of obsession, with habits and ritual, with a certain style of living or eating or being, with a form of minutiae that maybe only I notice, but it’s place in my days has been critical. For the moment. Then gone.

Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes a few years, or anywhere in between. The more life I live the more context for this observation and the more patterns I can see.

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Right now I’m channelling this obsessive method into making. I’m filling every moment, pouring every ounce of energy into making, and will do so until the next hook catches me. That maybe tomorrow – maybe next year – I’ll show you when.

It’s manifesting itself right now as a collection of paper and fabric collages, I’m calling the Peacock & Mermaid collection. This is part two. I don’t know if there will be a part three – I might get called away by another muse.

All of the pieces shown here are available in my Etsy shop. The first part of the collection sold out the first day – so hop over quick if you’d like one of them in your home!


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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be hidden in a secret place, I will feed it tea and biscuits as required. 

Mermaids & Peacocks


colorwheelI’ve just spent a month dwelling in a color I love so much: blue-green, and I have to admit it wasn’t easy to move on!

In this year full of color, as I journey around the color wheel, I’m devoting each month to a single color, and April was all about teal, turquoise and sea-shades of aquamarine. These are the colors of a magical world inhabited by peacocks & mermaids. And me!

At the end of each month I add the fruits of my makings to my Etsy Shop — there are only three of these in existence, so catch ’em while you can!

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Mounted on 8 inch square canvas board, these are layered collages of hand dyed paper and cotton & silk fabric intricately detailed with little weeny glass beads and stitching. 

They are ready to hang as soon as they arrive in their new homes. 
Welcome to the underwater realms of my imagination … 

Thought forms


This is one where I’m beginning in the middle. I’ll catch you up on the beginning next, but let’s start off here, just coz I feel like it.

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Thoughtforms are a series of relief collages I’m making from the dyed paper (way back… remember the dyed paper?) IMG_3421a

and the don’t-know-why-but-compelled-to-keep-making-them funny little colored rectangle things.

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So these loose ends are also finding each other and forming into slightly more coherent entities.

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Thoughtforms are continuing that recurring theme: trains of consciousness & patterns of thought. More on that later.

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I’ve made 6 of a series that will total 9, 3 are still in progress. These 6 are on display (and for sale – if you’re quick before they get snapped up!) at the Upstairs Gallery

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Each one is named after a fragment of text found somewhere in the piece, serendipity giving them eclectic names such as: Spacecraft, Puddings cakes etc, Fortitude and Adversity amongst others.

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The next series will include more textile elements, but the overall feel will be similar.

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Still with that one theme leads to another, one thought folds round a corner and opens out into a coiled up spring, some buttons and a rivet, stitched onto the overarching idea of something else.

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Or something. Y’know, like it does. The beauty is they can represent whatever you want them to. Or nothing at all if you .

obsessions de jour


Hey folks – Happy Holidays to you all!

We’ve had a lot of dark, gloomy, rainful days here. Not a big grumble, weather happens, but the half-arsed grey wet daylight has severely hampered my ability to any good photos lately. This week, finally I got a few pics of my latest adventures and obsessions!

When time and people permit, I like to pretty much hibernate from around 21 December straight through to a couple of days into January. Not so much a big sleep, but a big re-charge. I spend most of these days actively pursuing colors and shapes in some fashion or another 😉

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Recently I’ve found myself making a whole load of these. Srsly, like dozens of them. Ranging in size from about 1/2 inch upwards to 2 inches, they really satisfy the no scrap is too small to keep mentality!

To what end I can’t be certain, but I mounted a few up on some dyed paper and framed a few in little Ikea box frames.
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Some of them have a very dimensional quality – consisting layers of paper and some with corrugated card – so they work well in a deep box frame. (pics to follow…)

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Hang on… like a deja vu thing going on here… these things remind me of something…
Yes! these things
Curious… I’d totally forgotten about them til typing this post… But do feel encouraged, at least I’m consistent with my obsessions, even if I’ve no idea what they’re for (yet).

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So, dear friends and visitors, whether you’re getting ready to party the new year in, or already have done, I wish you all the very best for 2013.
May it bring you what you wish for, and more 😀

Eph X

warm and colorful holiday wishes!


Season’s greetings to you all, dear friends…

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some P, M, bits of N and oddments from G


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Remember the dictionary I dyed? Pages are evolving!

Apologies for the poor photo quality. Better to follow when me, camera, art & daylight are in same place @ the same time!! 😉

words and colors


If you’ve visited here before you’ll have to noticed two of my favourite things are words and colors.

So dying a dictionary seemed the obvious thing for me to do.

Flamboyant through to Flat, multiple ink stains

30 years ago this month I began high school.
Plea to Plough

30 years ago? Lordy!

ink soaked paper napkin squashed between Shun and Side

Equipped with the essentials dictated by the school, I now owned a Pocket Oxford Dictionary.

from Irk to Irresponible. Coffee painted on with teabag.

(At over 1000 pages and a good 2 inches thick, the average pocket size of an eleven year old child negated its title.)

Lure to Machine. Dripped inks and dye water.

Nonetheless this book has travelled with me through the decades.

Abbreviations to A. Squished inky paper

Repay through to Reproach. More inky goodness.

Battered, dog-eared, with scribbled notes in the margins here n there…

from Pylon to Quandry. Squashed strip of inky paper

… the spine went first but now it’s cover has separated totally from its papery wordfilled heart.

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In it’s new incarnation – a colorful version of the former – it will one day become collage ingredients.

Encode to Engine. Colorex inks

As an aside, I sometimes catch a glance of myself in my art room, as if from an outsiders perspective. I’m ironing torn, stained scraps of paper. Phrases like ‘not doing anyone any harm’ in bemused but sympathetic tones echo in my head. I smile. They just don’t understand. Anyway, I do it cos I have to and it makes me happy. Nuff said.

every last ounce of goodness


I’ve been dying fabric for the quilt lately. I’ve been dying fabric for years. It got me thinking: The only stage I don’t like is towards the end when the residue dye – as it’s no longer active – has to be poured away. Why? it’s mostly water. But something inside me winces, it’s beautifully colored water and I don’t want to waste a drop of color.

In my perpetual quest for ways to wring every last ounce of goodness out of every stage in a process, last week I had one of those why did I never think of this before epiphanies.

rolled paper in a jam jar of dye dregs It’s no good to dye fabric with now, but it will dye paper!

Decanting the dye dregs into jam jars, rolling up scrap paper and standing them in the jar.

Then just let science take over: the water soaks in and climbs up the dry paper bringing the remaining pigment in its wake.

When they’re soaked through, or the water in the jar has dried up, or when I just need to clear some space I empty the lot into a bucket to finish intermingling and eventually dry.


dye dreg paper dying

It’s satisfying on so many levels: using up color, repurposing scrap paper, creating patterns for future collages and art works. It does it’s own thing when left to its own devices. It’s messy and unpredictable (just like me) And it’s effectively better than free!

More variations on the theme:

  • Dry paper, water-splashed paper, soaked paper (hot & cold water)
  • Letting the liquid soak part way up, then up-ending the paper so it runs down and creeps up at the same time
  • Pouring more color down the inside of the paper rolls
  • Using paper that’s been part printed on the inkjet so the colors merge and dribble into each other
  • Coffee dregs instead of / mixed with colored water
  • Just water + inkjet printed paper (but not laser printed – that ink won’t run)
  • Scrumpled paper for a veiny effect
  • Glossy photo paper (make good use of those expensive printer mistakes!)

Seeing through new eyes


Over the last couple of years, my perspective has shifted. Like after an epiphany, I began to see differently. Expectations and assumptions either altered or vanished.

I’ve always enjoyed the process, creating, painting, etc-ing…. but inevitably it would go wrong and be set aside (that paper/fabric/material etc was expensive/so nice before I ruined it… for these reasons I can’t through it away. Haunted by a residual value… It must remain as a warning not to repeat this mistake. It must fester. It can sit there stewing in guilt, shame, regret). Weeks, months, years would pass. These ghosts of ideas would move house with me. Boxed up past failures.

Art school taught me to question these feelings, the judgemnents I made. Finally I found out why I’d kept so many of these past attempts: they weren’t wrong, they just weren’t finished!. They took a detour from the path I’d imagined for them, but that didn’t mean their journey was over.

Through these ‘new eyes’, I see possibility in so many places. This week I’ve been playing with water – as bits of dyed paper lie about my work space, often splashed and used to dry wet brushes, I came to notice how the dried watermarks disrupted the pigments of the dye/ink. This had to be investigated further…..!

Water brushes are the perfect tool for this!


The moral to this story? Keep playing! Keep on swimming! 😀

Quality time…


It’s August Holiday weekend, just about 24 hours into my holiday.

From finishing work on Friday through to Tuesday morning, I am off duty from day-to-day doings and beings.

I’m staying home, and I’m having some quality time with someone very dear to my heart: my Inner Kid.

We are both very excited about this.

Beginning last night, we sat down and surveyed the chaos. What to do first? Barely time to catch my thoughts and IK yells “Paper! Paper! Tearing and folding, snipping, concertina-ing, gluing, stitching, snippetty snippetty….” and then we suddenly had a little heap of these
We stay up late, we listen to the radio…
and the papery things get more intricate and fiddly

We stay up later still, eating biscuits and reading. Listen to the ideas bubble away in the background. We sleep and dream.

In the morning we go back to play. IK: Let’s make holes! Find the stabby-awl-thing and make holes to stitch the things with!! Now!

Yes! Like this! no idea why or what for but gotta make this new thing bigger and more thing-ful!!

And more directions! It needs to go in more directions!!

Yay! Now it needs a button!

………………….to be continued………………… 😉