Mole has been out in the garden…

…and is reassured that warmer days will soon be here. He may even take his scarf off.   The crocuses and snowdrops are flowering and I can’t wait to get outside to tidy up and plant.   This week I’ll be sowing tomato seeds.  That’s always my first gardening job of the year and heralds the almost-arrival of Spring.  And I’m looking forward to photographing my woolly characters without getting wet knees.   🙂

Excuse Me While I Change…

I’m updating this site at the moment. Please don’t listen to any bad words I might say and overlook any messy bits or missing labels and so on.

Please have a look at my GALLERY by selecting it from the drop down menu. There are loads more pictures and different sections, including crafts and applied art.

Thank you.reading


A Few Edinburgh Bears


CattravellingEarlier this month I managed to pack my bags and head off to Edinburgh, with my daughter, for a few days.  Naturally, I was on the look out for bears.

The signs were there. 37438782952_56f11d5916_o



The first bears we met were a bit on the stiff side to say the least..



..and this was not at all what we’d expected from the famous Edinburgh pandas.  IMG_4657



Those are in the National Museum of Scotland which is lovely and well worth a visit. It also serves excellent cake.


We did catch up with a real live panda at Edinburgh Zoo, but I didn’t manage to get a photo. These chaps were more co-operative IMG_4691(and more terrifying).










I think my last Edinburgh bear is my favourite.   It’s the memorial to Wotjek, the WWII ‘Soldier’ bear, in Princes Street Gardens.  You can read about him here.


There was also whisky, getting wet, history and tales of body snatchers in the kirkyard after dark, but you should go and find out about those for yourself.

I’ll be back soon with needle felting, new drawings and other things I’m making.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to look at the new things in my shop.




My Creative Place #mycreativeplace


This is my work space. Sometimes I swap the cat for my laptop and graphics tablet.  I usually have flowers, a selection of bears, and cut out characters from projects I’m working on.

Are you an artist, illustrator, writer, musician, blogger, maker, knitter, craftsperson?  What to you create and where? Do you have a studio, kitchen table, desk, armchair, tree?  It would be lovely to see your creative space.  Take a photo and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, anywhere else you can think of, with the hastag #mycreativeplace

Jools x

Pasta Machine Printing

I love prints as an art form, but apart from some basic lino printing and screen printing I haven’t done any myself.  Print making seems a bit of a daunting thing to try, requiring expensive equipment and space. I’ve always particularly wanted to try dry point etching, so I got really excited when I saw an artist on Twitter talking about PRINTING AN ETCHING WITH A PASTA MACHINE!  Gosh.

Naturally I rushed out to buy one. Luckily my local cookshop had a modest one on sale and I got some sheets of flexible clear plastic from a nearby model shop.

This is what I did:


The plastic sheets I bought were A4, so I cut them up so that they were small enough to feed through the pasta machine. They don’t need to be clear, but it’s handy if you want to trace over a drawing. I scratched my design with a pointed implement I found in an old box of tools. I’ve no idea what it’s really for. Any pointed tool you can comfortably hold should work.


I used block printing ink as it was available. It worked fine. I’m going to try printing with acrylic paint with a drying retardant mixed in. I found the best way to ink the design was to rub the ink into the scratches with a cloth, then rubbing of the excess with a dry cloth.

2I printed onto cartridge paper, as I had some. Soak it in water for a few minutes first and pat dry.  You’ll need to experiment with how wet the paper needs to be.  Put the paper onto another piece of paper and some felt and place the inked plate face down on your paper. Fold the other side over. Be careful to hold the plate and paper together as you feed it into your pasta roller.



Wind the handle! You’ll need to guide the bottom end so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the machine as it emerges.



This is what I made:71

There are several demonstrations of this by artists on YouTube. Worth a visit.

I’m looking forward to experimenting and printing lots more 🙂