Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cutlery Roll

We bought a campervan a couple of months ago and have been stocking it out with the necessary bits and pieces.  I wasn’t impressed with the camping cutlery on offer so I bought a really nice set and decided to make a roll to store them in so we’re not clanking as we drive along!  So, here’s how I did it ..

Take a new tea towel

Tea towel

Evenly space out the cutlery and pin markers


Fold over and machine the pockets

Sewing machine

Fold a length of ribbon in half and machine into the seam edge, and hey presto

Cutlery roll

Cutlery rolled up

Sizzling September

I was wandering around a local garden centre yesterday and found this lovely wall planter, but unfortunately it had a chip in the glaze. As it was the only one left I bought it half price as I was sure I’d have something to cover over the damage.

Damaged pot

I’ve had fun today searching through my mosaic trays and discovering things I’d forgotten I had.  Anyway, I decided on this beautiful carbouchon.

Wall pot

I found this amazing plant, Juncus Spiralis, which reminds me of wild untamed hair!

I’m making the most of this fabulous weather and planting up some winter baskets and pots, with the help of my furry friend :)

Hanging basket

BP Portrait Award 2014

I’ve just spent the afternoon staring in wonder at the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. To be honest some of the painted portraits could easily have passed as photographs.

As soon as you approach the exhibition you are met by the outstanding portrait of Simon Weston, turn right into the hall and there is a painting of Dame Kelly Holmes which, try as I might, I could not see a single brush stroke.

Amongst my favourites was the 2008 photo-realism portrait of Sir Paul Nurse (Geneticist and cell biologist) by artist Jason Brooks.

Sir Paul Nurse

There is something mesmerizing about this portrait.  I spent ages studying the contours of his face, his skin, eyes and hair.  When I paint I use a grid to copy the subject onto canvas so I was happy to see the Artist’s grid still remained in the background of this painting.

Sir Paul Nurse (1)

After dragging myself away from this room I went into the 2014 exhibition hall where 55 new portraits hang from around the world.  Many are outstanding.  There are informal and personal studies of friends and family, portraits of famous faces, a skateboarder, tube travellers, the list goes on.

Thomas Ganter became the first German to win the BP Portrait Award with his work Man with a Plaid Blanket. The 40-year-old wanted to paint a homeless man in the style that nobles or saints were portrayed in traditional portraiture “to emphasise that everyone deserves respect, attention and care”.


If you get the time go along to the exhibition, it’s well worth a visit.