Tag Archives: workshops

Thriftfest on our doorstep, Discovering Berlin, Whole lot of Rosie update

Thriftfest on our Doorstep

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Image: Festival of Thrift

It’s that time of the year again! My favourite yearly event rolls into town, and this time it’s almost on our doorstep, in the neighbouring town of Redcar.

The Festival of thrift was devised and began three years ago as a collaboration between a local business man (who just happened to own Lingfield Point, the funkiest industrial estate you’ve ever seen) and retro genius, designer and Red or Dead owner  Wayne Hemingway. I visited in year 1, met one of my now closest friends who had a stall (hello Jane) and was totally won over by it all.  Finally something totally up my street had arrived in the Tees Valley!

Year 1 brought 17,000 visitors and I knew at the end of the two days I just had to be part of the next one. A year passed, and in year two I was there with my stall, and my book classes, with 40,000 visitors, my friends Geraldine and Abi selling too, and the lovely ladies from the Bobbin Shed (at the time artists in residence at Lingfield Point) as well as hundreds of stalls, classes activities and loads of shows. In year 3 the visitors had topped 45,000.

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Image: festival of thrift

This year there’s been a change. The fab F0T people have decided to move the event and bring it to Kirkleatham, on the edge of seaside town Redcar. Kirkleatham is what remains of the village that surrounded Kirkleatham hall and is a hidden gem of gorgeous homes, a stunning little church and buildings which now serve as a Museum, almshouses and a bird sanctuary.

I’ll be doing a new thrifty ‘Mini-screenprinting’ class, suitable for those aged 14+, which can be booked here, and will be selling on my stall with the help of my children George and Sadie.  To find out more about this fab event which comes our way on 17-18 September, click here.

Discovering Berlin 

This Summer we visited Berlin. In September my son will be off on a new adventure, starting Uni in Leeds, so this one was a special ‘last time we’ll all live together’ holiday.

Thoughts: amazing laid back city, creative as could be with plenty to see and do. SAFE, even at night, everyone is laid back and pace is slow. Rush hour still isn’t packed and S & U Bahn trains are clean and efficient – go by tram if you want to see the place..

Loads of graffiti on everything! Everyone lives in a flat, has a bike and a bottle of beer. Police are calm even if there’s been a spectacular accident (which we observed). If you try to speak German you’ll probably find the person you’re talking to is Australian.

There are urban beaches all over ( you need to find them) and a swimming pool in the river. You can tour the city on a hired bike, on a Trabant tour, in a mini-dragracer, in a horse and carriage, or on a London Bus. Sit outside and eat, take in the atmosphere in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain (where we stayed) in E Berlin. Do a river trip in Moby Dick and wonder at the modernist government buildings around the Reichstag. Visit the old Jewish quarter of Scheunenviertel with its galleries, gorgeous old buildings and the labyrinth of independent shops in the Hackescher Markt 

If you go, go on a Sunday when all the amazing flea markets in the east of the city are on. If you miss that, then every Tuesday there’s a fabulous Turkish market in Neukoelln, full of gorgeous eastern food, fabrics, jewellery and sounds. … Wonderful.

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Whole lot of Rosie Update 

The life of a creative is never smooth, but always interesting!

WLoR Design 4In-between my job at TeesValley Arts, our shop, the markets and events, somewhere there is a creative / foodie business. So – how far have I got with the update of my tea brand? I have the new name, domain name, and email address sorted, and next has been the logo and labels.

Summer is always busy, I try and fit spending time with my children between all this and there are holidays to be had (see above) as well as events to prep for, but I’ve got back to the drawing board (literally) and made myself everything I need.

New name, labels in hand, some images to take next and we will be off! Whole lot of Rosie teas will be here soon, with a new site where you can look and buy. WLoR design 3WLoR design 2WLoR design 1


A Welsh Hug & a Fab Festival


Our morning view of Fishguard

I wanted to start off this blog with the view from the window of our caravan . Completely untouched by Instagram or Photoshop, this was how we woke every morning during our week away, to the view of Fishguard harbour, perfectly framed by the curtains.

We went to Wales for the first week in August, and as our first ‘holiday’ day was my birthday, I chose to visit one of my all-time favourite places, Slova. Solva is one of the most beautiful little enclaves along the Pembrokeshire coast, and for a tiny place still boasts the most idyllic unspolt homes and some wonderful little galleries . I couldn’t help but do a watercolour of the harbour, which I gave to Liz and Pete, my gorgeous in-laws as a thankSolva by Cedric Lockwiood Morris you for spending lots of time with us and feeding us on most evenings.  While we were there, I learned a new word … cwtch. It means to cuddle in Welsh but also to protect and (oddly it may seem) it describes the cupboard under the stairs!  – Not sure Harry Potter would like the word, but I suddenly spotted it everywhere, and adopted it as my new word of choice, and managed to get Liz a gift of a cwtch heart hand embroidered and made from up-cycled Welsh blankets.


This moves me on nicely to our weekend at Galtres festival. Having told my friend and fellow maker Geraldine about the word ‘Cwtch’ she kindly made me some fused glass pieces, featuring the word as she was making fused glass for our stall. All ready with our handmade wares, our new huge Gala tent and bags of wool roving for our felting classes, Geraldine and I  set off with my teenagers, George and Sadie in our camper, Ruby.

We spent a hugely rewarding but really tiring weekend in a field in North Yorkshire. We met ‘Haley’ from Coronation Street (the lovely, and extremely cool Julie Hesmondhalgh) whose daughter bought one of Sadie’s tie died t-shirts, we danced along to The Human Leaugue, The Levellers, Morcheeba, Bellowhead and Tricky, and tried not to be driven mad by the music from the fair directly opposite us! There was fun on the dodgems, the odd fish finger and cheese sandwich from the ‘Fish FInger Heaven‘ stall and lots of fun all round with the most wonderful set of people. We’re all signed up for next year.

More workshops, festivals and markets to look forward to until Christmas so it’ s a mega-busy time . Look forward to seeing you there!

Thriftfest and Pot Dogs


What brilliant news we had this week that Geraldine and I have been accepted to have a stall at the Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point in Darlington, this September.

For any of you who are in driving distance and didn’t go last year this is an unmissable weekend with loads of handmade and upcycled loveliness for sale, delicious and diverse food, and fabulous events and workshops (we loved the hula-hoop lessons). It’s a real honour and we hope to rub shoulders with the likes of Wayne Hemingway and Max McMurdo, a fab upcycler who’s appeared on both Kirsty Allsop programmes and ‘Small Spaces’, both of whom were there last year!

So, bringing myself down to earth and thinking of new recycled projects I have been looking at ceramics for inspiration, having come across some iconic Staffordshire pottery dogs whilst perusing Ebay. Looking a bit further it seems I’m by no means the first to be inspired by these lovely objects, and I found examples of updated versions by Rob Ryan (whose work I have long had a love for) and Donna Wilson…


For my own version I have used a quilting method and 2 layers of thrifted sweatshirt fabric to create some dog and cat brooches, but there’ll be lots more to come.

Don’t forget to book your workshop if you want to come, we’re planning water-colour, free stitching, crochet and pattern-making after this round too! See the Facebook page to keep updated! Book a current workshop HERE and see below for details!…

See you on the flip side!

hub workshops apr 14 photo



Creativity by the seaside..

Whenever you open up a new set of workshops..

..no matter how successful your previous ones have been , there’s always that trepidation that no-one will turn up.. always, but especially when those workshops are in a new format and at a new venue . This is  what keeps you on your toes. So, to the new art workshops I have planned with the lovely G; we had bookings before we had even advertised , which is always a great and it’s been lovely to see the support we’ve been given so far. If you want to know more about workshops, click here.

The new venue just happens to be on the Seafront on the North East coast at Redcar, and after a recent ‘creative retreat’ by the sea, where I got to rekindle my love Redcar-content-headerof water-colour, I already have ideas to include a water-colour class for the next round of workshops, and happily have people interested in taking the workshops up… That view is too good to waste!

CREATIVE BRAIN…Untitled picture

What is a surprise is when you find out on where on the internet your work or your workshops have appeared. .. This week there was a little link to our workshops on the blog ‘Creative Brain’ .Lots of articles about creativity, with a decidedly intelligent twist..

I only discovered our link because of a Twitter post , but it’s great to see other people appreciating what you’re up to and as I have a real fascination with how the brain works , having done my thesis of ‘creative thinking in underachieving boys’ this blog was of great interest..

If you’re interested in the ways of the brain, a great book to read is ‘Frames of Mind’ by Howard Gardner, all about multiple intelligences and how we’re all intelligent, but in different ways…(one of the many reasons I love creativity, is it’s accessible by everyone) I’ll leave you with that and with my favourite quote: