Printing Christmas Cards

Although it seems like it’s a long way off I’m afraid to report that it really isn’t….yep, Christmas is coming  and in about 9wks time eekk! For me this is the busiest time of my year and I’ve been making fused glass Christmas decorations since the heatwave back in July so on this rare weekend off I decided it was time to get my Christmas cards made.

This year I am running workshops at The Make it Room, Howe Green, Chelmsford and Craft Classes at Beautiful Things, Ingrave, Brentwood in making Christmas cards, tags and wrap with lino printing techniques. As a result of this I have fully stocked card making and print making boxes and thought that it would be a good opportunity to make my seasonal cards slightly differently this year.

ImageI made a start by drawing a design onto a fab product called ‘easy carve lino’. It is so much easier to carve into than the old fashioned lino tiles with a hessian back. No more heating your lino on a radiator or under a hot tap to made it soft enough to carve into (I’ll bet this brings back some memories of school art lessons for a few of you!), this stuff is soft enough straight away 🙂 


I’ve deliberately left the cut lines showing. It will help to create a flow within the design and adds to the character of a lino print. As I was planning on printing this onto white card I removed everything I wanted to look snowy.Image

As many a crafter will understand, going into Hobbycraft can be a costly experience…far too many tempting things to buy to add to an already bulging craft cupboard!!! The other week I spotted mini letter stamps and thought they’d be great for the printing workshops and thankfully they work as well as I hoped they would.Image

I might have got a little carried away as I printed onto the envelopes with the lino and the letter stamps too….is it possible for things to look too pretty at Christmas?! no, thought not hehe…….and Mum, before you say anything, yes there is an enveloped printed for you and Dad too, it’s just underneath some of these!

By the time I got to printing out some wrapping paper I had company…..far too curious for her own good 🙂Image

If you’d like to have a go at making your own designs my workshops at The Make It Room, Chelmsford are on Tues 5th Nov 10-12.30, Weds 13th Nov 6-8.30pm and Thurs 21st Nov 9-11.30 am. Booking is via

If you live closer to Brentwood the workshops there are on Thurs 14th Nov 10-1pm and booking is via

Materials will be provided and you’ll be able to take you pieces of lino home with you so if you need to print more cards/tags/paper then you’ll be able to 🙂

Hope to see some of you soon.



Art Course



Image6 weeks ago my art course began over at The Make It Room, Howe Green. The course was aimed at beginners but it soon became apparent that none of the students were really beginners as they had all dabbled in various types of art in the past, having been on other courses through work or workshops at other locations. What seemed to be different about my approach to an art course though was that I’d structured it with my classroom teacher head on.  I’d start with demos, artists and collected imagery, taught different techniques each week and showed how to work with each material successfully. This seemed to suit my students as they had come along wanting to learn new skills and discover more about art 🙂

Each week was centred around a different technique and theme. Week 1 was based on line drawing where we began working from observation using pencil and stick/inks. The aim was to focus on textured mark making to help objects look 3D. I particularly liked the fluffy teddy, as did Drea’s next door neighbour who offered to buy it off her 🙂

ImageWeek 2 progressed onto a still life with multiple objects and plenty of jokes about me bringing my breakfast with me! Food based still lives are a winner in my book but no boring bowls of fruit here. We had cereal, toast, pots of tea etc The brown parcel paper has an interesting texture for drawing onto and shows up the contrasting tones to good effect….as I’m sure you will have noticed 😉


Week 3 we moved onto coloured materials and began to experiment with chalks and oil pastels. Irma thought she didn’t like using oil pastels because of the feel of them but actually  discovered that she was a natural when it came to using bright colours and blending them together whereas Drea created the most stunning chalk study of an ape holding a baby, it looked so real…. I’m gutted I forgot to take a photo of it!!!Image


In week 4 Sue became ‘star baker’….yep we chatted a LOT about The Great British Bake Off!!!….well the class was on a Weds morning after GBBO on a Tues so it was a natural topic for us teehee…..anyway, I digress, Sue had previously worked with acrylic paint so after a few handy hints, tips, artist studies and experiments took to painting very quickly. That confidence in the material helped her to be free with the paint and I think you’d agree that her autumnal landscape below is gorgeous and would you guess that it was painted entirely with a glue spreader?! 

This week we looked at Leonid Afremov and David Hockney as our inspirational starting points. If you aren’t familiar with their work look it up. They are goooood.Image



Collage and mixed media was the challenge for week 5. We made our own textured papers and then raided the Argos catalogue for other colours/textures. Several of the flowers below are made from bedding and cushions! Those painting skills from last week came in handy for creating different textured marks to add into the piece to create a wow factor. The bigger challenge this wk though seemed to be NOT putting your paintbrush into your cup of tea! anyone else done that before, yep me too!!!


Reduction method lino printing was the task for the final week. In basic terms that’s print, carve, print, carve, print, carve…until you have no more lino left.Image



…and then it was all over 😦 Time flew by each week as we made art, drank tea, ate biscuits, chatted about books and GBBO and before we knew it 6 weeks of art had passed BUT (and this makes me smile ) with everyone booking to come back for course no 2 in January 😀 

In Nov this course starts all over again on Monday eves 6.30-9pm. There are still a couple of places left so if you’d like to join us get in touch 01245 401118 or book directly via this link with paypal

I’ll be running Art Course 2 from Mon 6th Jan 10-12.30 or Tues 6.30-9pm for 6weeks £105 all materials included and this time we will be going BIG…well A2 size big 🙂