Quietly pottering…

Just wanted to drop in and say hello! I’m still here, just pottering away quietly.

We are halfway through the school summer holidays and I’ve been busy with my boys, our holiday dog guest and family. I will be back soon with a proper post!

Hope you are all enjoying summer and not getting too wet in the rain!

Rebecca’s finished Daisy Book-Wrap!

Rebecca, who attended Angie’s workshop last week has kindly sent photos of her finished book-wrap. Unfortunately Rebecca’s day at the workshop didn’t run smoothly – when she came to set her sewing machine up, she found she had forgotten to pick up the foot and cable – argh! The majority of the finishing off had to wait until Rebecca got home but… hasn’t she done a fantastic job??!

I love the purple running round the edge as well as using sequins to add more interest!

“Daisy Book-Wrap” Workshop with Angie Hughes

Wednesday was a great day to be doing a workshop – sunny with beautiful blue skies but also high temperatures of 28ºC – just setting up was sweltering work!

We had a different set of rooms this time, no stairs and right next to the cafe – great for getting lunch but the smell of crispy bacon kept everyone feeling hungry! The bigger of the two rooms was our workroom  (the other used to hold the ironing board, bags and also had kitchenette facilities for tea, coffee and cake – yum!). It was perfectly placed for parking in the central courtyard with almost direct access so ideal for moving all our bags and boxes in and out to and fro. As with the art rooms, we could hear an almost constant refrain of children’s voices – not surprising when the centre houses a daycare facility, a playgroup, after school care AND various other children’s activities! It’s really nice though to see the centre so well used by all ages and right from early morning to late evening.

As the organiser, I feel I’m very much learning on the job – I don’t mean that I’ve made a bad job – not at all! – but each time, I figure out something else that will make the next workshop flow better still and it is all stuff you probably wouldn’t think about unless you were running some form of workshop or event! This time I came home and drew out table plans – no trying to figure it out on the day, I now know exactly where each table / person will go and future workshops will ensure every attendee has an entire table to themselves (workshops I’ve attended elsewhere have varied from half a table to a table and interestingly often those that you needed space for, were the ones that you only had a half table space).

Anyway, on to the workshop! Angie was teaching us her Daisy Book-Wrap workshop and the aim was by the end of the day, we would each have a small book with decorated book wrap plus a head full of inspiration and tips for taking a basic design onward.

We started off by making the wrap – adding textures, stitch and pretty shapes before putting our work outside to dry in the sun – it was so hot, that paint, pva and gesso were drying within minutes!

We then moved on to adding colour using Angie’s techniques of adding layers and depth plus then adding shine with transfer foils.

Now we needed to put the book together – adding the inside layer to the wrap, stitch, cord and finally pages.

Some of the finished books – don’t they look fab?


A good day was had by all and it was really inspiring to hear people saying “next time I’ll do..” or “that technique has given me a really good idea on how to take a current project onwards” – even I was going “ooh plasterers scrim would make a good texture in reference to an audiogram”! Yeah, don’t worry, I got that funny look you’ve just made from several people but it makes sense  when you look at my current work for my #invisible theme! Angie was a fantastic teacher – patient, helpful and full of tips and suggestions. I hope she will come and teach for us again!

Future workshops – Jackie Cardy’s Embroidered Felt Panel workshop is the next and that is in October, there are just a couple of spaces left so sign up quick if interested! Then in March 2018, Amanda Hislop is teaching her Sketchbooks as a Rich Resource workshop. Plus, I’ve just signed up Christine Chester to teach her Paper Lamination workshop in March 2019,  more information to come soon!

Angie Hughes Workshop

A handful of spaces left on Angie Hughes Workshop.. sign up quick! 

We will be using fabric, stitch and mixed media techniques to make a mini book and a beautiful book cover/wrap. Looks to be a fantastic day with a fantastic teacher so don’t miss out!

Details under the workshop tab or use the contact form if you’d like more details and/or to book.

Becca x 


As part of my ‘invisible’ theme, I’d really like some (lots!) of photos of ears – all ears! BUT especially ears with hearing aids or cochlear implants and any other form of hearing aid!

Would you mind taking a selfie (or as I have just discovered that taking a selfie of your own ear is rather awkward.. ask someone else to take a photo!) or a family/friend’s ear – in fact as many ears as you can and email the photos to me at beccabirtles@gmail.com. Could you also give me permission to use the photo(s) in any artwork I do.

I have put an old photo of me below showing the sort of photo that I am after (it is old.. I had my CI in 2008 so this is pre-then!!)

2014-11-06 08.11.30adj


Thank you in advance!

Becca xx