Coffee Morning Magic

COFFEE CAKE CREATE – what’s that?  It’s a creative coffee morning that will give you space to breathe, connect with others and let your ideas rise to the surface. You don’t have to be “good at drawing”. It’s definitely not an art class or a workshop. Sure, engaging in something creative while you are there is important and I’m all over that – you can bring any project you are working on – whether that’s knitting, sewing, embroidery, sketching, drawing, writing – anything goes. I’m usually working on my latest project, collage or a page in an art journal. I am always on hand to help and you are welcome to use my materials.

BUT….’s so much more than that. If you want to come and hang out, chat, get inspiration from books, people, images and conversation – that is fine too. Most of the time, THIS is where the magic happens – when your best ideas come. It’s in the being rather than the doing.

It is the care and love for the attendees – “ ooh, my usual, coffee with one sugar please”.

It is the familiarity – “oh you’ve got my fave biscuits again, marvellous”.

It is a regular place to allow space for creativity – a routine.

It’s a pride, admiration and encouragement for each other’s efforts, boosting self confidence.

It’s the regular connection and the friendships.

It’s being part of a creative community.

It’s the sharing of ideas – “I love this music, where did you hear it? Where’s the best place to buy those paints? Have you seen the new exhibition at The Minories? What’s a good book for a summer holiday read?”

It’s the unknown and doing things you may not have tried on your own.

It’s the summer house, doors open, kettle on, a table, some materials out and a homemade cake …..sounds good right?

At the end of the day, we are social creatures. We look for context and connection in our lives. It’s not rocket science that creatively we are stronger together which is fundamental to our success. The key to COFFEE CAKE CREATE is showing up. Letting go of the expectation of an outcome or creating a masterpiece and trusting that the environment will ultimately foster creative ideas. They may come in the moment or they may come down the line – either way it’s a win.

Join us every Friday from March 15th 10am til 12 30pm in the garden studio. £10 for unlimited coffee and cake. BYO materials or you are welcome to use mine. Book your space by messaging me through Insta, Facebook or email and pay on the day with cash or card. I live in a busy little street but there is off road parking and I can put a visitors parking permit on when you arrive. I am quite central to town so also well placed for bus routes. I can’t wait to meet you!




How to get unstuck and boost your creativity

We all get stuck from time to time, so here are 5 top tips to get unstuck and boost your creativity!


❤ Go for a walk and get out in nature….research has shown that people tend to be more creative when they are moving and that activity boosts imagination. So if you are tied to a desk, try going out for a quick walk, maybe inspiration will strike?

❤ Keep a diary or try doing Morning Pages ( check out Julia Cameron’s Artists Way for more info). Writing a page of whatever crosses your mind ( like a brain dump) on waking can be calming and stimulates clearer thinking. I’ve been doing this since the New Year and have noticed an increase in productivity.

❤ Make regular time for yourself to see an exhibition, a film, read in the garden or see something that interests you. It can be something small, but little and often is key.

❤ Create a vision board, which could just be a Pinterest Board online. Fill it with anything and everything….hopes, dreams, goals, colours, houses, art, books, films, home decor, clothes, music…..basically whatever inspires you.

❤ Get together with others and share ideas online, in person at workshops and coffee mornings or with friends. Don’t be put off by other people seeming better than you; the chances are they feel exactly the same as you and will be inspired by your ideas too. Remember that creativity is contagious!!

Creatively stuck frustrated artistic hands

So what is mixed media art?

Simply put, mixed media art is a form of art that uses a variety of materials, such as paint, collage, and sculpture


This means that with mixed media we can create two-dimensional or three-dimensional art forms.

Mixed media art is often used to create expressive and unique pieces either on canvas, on board or paper, as stand alone pieces or in art journals. It can be used to tell stories, to express emotions, or to create visual representations of dreams or memories.

Mixed media art is a great way to experiment with different materials and techniques and is an outlet to express your creativity and to create something unique.

If you are interested in creating mixed media art, there are a few things you will need to do. First, you will need to gather a variety of materials. You can use anything you like, such as paint, inks, pens, collage, fabric, upcycled or vintage paper, photographs or even objects from nature. To apply paint you can pretty much use anything. As well as brushes you can try, old toothbrushes, old palette knives, credit cards, sponges, rags etc. These can create some really exciting effects.

Once you have your materials, you can start experimenting. You could try mixing paint with organic materials like sand to create texture, use flowers to print with, try paint splattering and letting it drip, collage with vintage paper or magazines, try doodling and mark making with things suggested above. There is no right or wrong way to create mixed media art. You don’t need to be “arty” or be able to draw – just a curiosity to experiment with materials and see what effects you can create.

Here are my top tips for creating mixed media art:

  • Use what you have, don’t spend a lot of money to start with. Experiment and once you have found what you like, then you can invest in materials.
  • Mistakes are a part of the creative process, so don’t be afraid to make them and to learn. Think of them as “happy accidents” – that will often lead you somewhere else.
  • Let your imagination run wild -anything goes!
  • Be more childlike – try and tap into your younger self and enjoy the moment – how the materials feel, the colour and the physical act of splattering paint for example…….as you would when you were little. Dont worry about the outcome.
  • Above all, have fun!
  • If you fancy giving mixed media a go, come and join us on one of our Studio Workshops or a Coffee Cake Create session!

Bigger and Closer (not smaller and further away)

Embracing the technology once again, 85-year-old David Hockney brings us an immersive experience in the form of a gigantic projection and atmospheric, audio display – “Bigger and Closer (not smaller and further away)”


Walking into the bowels of the Light Room at Kings Cross, we heard Hockney’s familiar, soft voice – my fears of a gimmicky exhibition from one of my most admired artists gradually being dispelled.

I felt safe in David’s hands, immediately highlighting the main difference between this and other similar immersive exhibitions, the like of Van Gogh, Klimt and Frida Kahlo – Hockney is still alive and at the wheel, (at one point quite literally, in his car driving through the mountains describing how the Wagner score he was listening to at the time, came to life in his painting of the same encouraging us to “see the music”).

On entering the Light Room, we spent a few moments, looking down over the expansive room, its viewers ( young and mature) sitting, lying, standing – the images of David’s work underfoot and all around. We then moved into the heart of the room and took up a different position finding ourselves sitting in one of his iconic swimming pool paintings – his signature squiggly marks depicting the water dancing around us.



The 50 minutes of Hockney’s commentary and film took us on a journey through his interest in ipads and cameras; his fascination with perspective and how it translates into his work. It’s divided into various chapters of his life, including his move to LA; his surreal Opera stage designs; his Cubist Polaroid collages, and his digital sketches – “I recorded this so you are literally watching me paint here”, Hockney says. My favourite section is a wall of his many sketch books, with his ageing hand turning over the pages of his beautiful preparatory paintings. “My job, I think, is to make pictures”.

A shared interest of mixing collage with paint and a love of vibrant colour is what drew me to the exhibition. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. By the end, my lingering doubts about a novelty act were gone. I felt impressed by the level of skill, tenacity and thoughtful reflections.



Critics such as Jonathon Jones may complain that there “is not a single real work by him here to catch your memory and hold on to your soul. Without real art, this entertainment goes the same way as all the other immersive exhibitions of art icons: into the wieightless, passionless dustbin of forgetting”. However on looking around, I didn’t see people who would forget this experience. I saw emotion – joy, amazement, happiness. And movement – people contorting their bodies, to see what they were missing behind them.



Isn’t this what David is asking from his work – for it’s viewers to look more closely and to see a different perspective – in nature, in life, in people? And after all, he is no stranger to an immersive experience. He demonstrated this in a previous more traditional exhibition called ” A Bigger Picture” 2012, where gargantuan panels filled the entire walls and were created specifically for the Royal Acadamey of the Arts Gallery, curated by Edith Devaney.

Yes, it’s true what Jones says. There is nothing better than observing original works and seeing the artists expression through brush strokes and marks. However, a modern IT take can present a different view point and have value for sparking wonder and interest in a more diverse audience.

If you go to the exhibtion I’d love to know your thoughts and about your favourite bits – or the bits you didn’t like! Get in touch.

Meanwhile you can read more about this exhibition, and book tickets, at