Monday, 17 July 2017

The most excellent fantastic Daisy Hirst!

On Saturday we went to a most excellent fantastic printmaking workshop run by author illustrator Daisy Hirst. It was my first visit to the House of Illustration where the workshop took place, and I felt excited and inspired the moment I stepped in, with it's shop full of beautiful cards and books as well as the gallery filled with beautiful original artwork.

I was a little worried about the length of the workshop (3 hours for a 5/6 year old could go either way!) but he loved it and we made it through without any tears or tantrums, phew! He got stuck in right away and created some lovely prints and we both came away inspired, wanting to carry on doing more at home :)

I loved how we were able to have a real printmaking experience using simple, familiar and safe materials. Daisy was brilliant at planting a seed for an idea which set off the children's imaginations! I loved the village scene she had drawn on huge black sheets of paper, which she then invited the children to print on. Soon the buildings were filled with a whole array of intriguing characters and narratives. 

She shared her sketchbook with us, which was absolutely fascinating! Crammed full of teeny tiny lovely drawings, with each character only measuring about 1-2cm!! 
Below is an A3 sheet of paper which our boy crammed full of dragon and alien sketches today. I imagine they were inspired after seeing Daisy's sketchbook.

We've been reading our (tinily) signed copy of "Alphonse, that is not ok to do!" throughout the day and it's been top pick for their bedtime story 2 nights in a row - the boys LOVE it as do I :)

Thursday, 13 July 2017


SLEEP seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to illustrating motherhood, especially when you have 2 terrible sleepers :'(
These days we often end up with both of them in our bed, rotating and wriggling non-stop (with Daddy getting booted out) and so I name this new position "The Carwash".
You can find previous sleep positions here and here.

What are you doing H?

I found him casually leaning against the wall with his legs arranged like a no 4, so I asked him,

"What are you doing?" and he replied,
"Being a flamingo". 

I turn my back for 1 second...

...and find him drinking a puddle through a straw.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wild Bats

I asked my boys what musical instrument they would play if they were in a band. Eldest answered electric guitar, youngest said electric rattle, haha :D

I asked who else was in the band and what's the band's name?

So here are WILD BATS, with Oki and Leon on guitar, Hoshi on electric rattle, Emma on drums and Tom on electric piano. With a name like that I feel like they should appear on stage like this:

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Big Lunch

We are having a street party in our neighbourhood, as part of The Great Get-Together in honour of Jo Cox. It's all about celebrating "community, commonality and connections", and we are lucky to be part of a lovely, friendly neighbourhood with a strong sense of community.

A small group of us have been getting together regularly to plan The Big Lunch and it's been so much fun! I've loved having something to think about outside of motherhood (maybe a bit too much) and have been enjoying getting a little creative after a long absence. I've put together some placemats and have got a little carried away making some foody props for our Insta-wall. I'm looking forward to seeing all the photos after the event, but most of all I'm looking forward to sharing food and time with friends old and new :)  

"We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us" 
Jo Cox (1974-2016)

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Dragons dragons!

Our 5 year old is all about dragons at the moment, so my partner asked him to draw some dragon parts to turn into stickers. He's been having lots of fun putting together a whole variety of spiky winged creatures. Dragon No 4 is by his friend Tom :)

We might put together a new Make Your Own Poster Book pack soon, on the theme of - you guessed it - DRAGONS!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Letters, Lettuce, Sailor and Chubs

I've been doing the tiniest bit of sewing a day whilst the little one naps, and have finally managed to complete 4 more squishy friends to join the Minty Bob Gang, yay! The round orange one reminds me of the lovely chubbiness of a baby and makes me smile each time I hold it, ahhhh :) 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Yikes Spikes!

Today was the warmest day of the year so far. Blue skies and glorious sunshine, beautiful! Shame I could only enjoy it from the confines of our very warm home with all the windows closed as my hayfever fully kicked in :'( I get it really badly every year and it's a messy itchy horrible NIGHTMARE!

Rather than be miserable and mope about, I decided I would take advantage of my partner being home to get the sewing machine out and sew whilst the little one napped and older one was entertained. 

The older one is obsessed with dragons at the moment. He draws them all the time and comes up with great names for them. I asked him to draw me one to make a while ago (I had to keep on reminding him to keep it SIMPLE!!!). It's probably taken me about 2 weeks but I have finally managed to finish it, hooray! There are lots of mistakes and it's a bit lumpy and bumpy and funny looking but he seems to like it and immediately held it in his arms and chewed on its tail so I think that's a thumbs up :)

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Child play in the time of Trump

Even playtime with the kids take on a political edge these days...

The Literal Kid

We get this quite a lot from our 5 year old, with a completely straight face.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Lego Club

We love Lego in this house. I grew up with it, as did my partner, and now we get to enjoy it all over again with our two boys, yay! 
This morning we found our 5 year old making numbers with it which I thought was rather lovely :)

Monday, 13 February 2017

Toddler demands

Every time our toddler and I step into the local supermarket, the relentless demands begin. He's fairly predictable but every once in a while he'll surprise me :D

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


"Fresh Delicious" (Poems by Irene Latham, illustrations by me, published by Wordsong USA) won an EUREKA! Silver/Honor Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Readers - it's true it's true! Look, I received it through the post and it even came in a fancy looking black and gold envelope thing! Yay :)

Saturday, 4 February 2017

mums on the run

Motherhood has changed me in many ways. 
I'm not as laid back as I used to be, I'm impatient, I shout, I lose control of my emotions and unbelievabIy I consider waking up at 7:30am a sleep in. 

I have also recently started enjoying running. When I told this to my old school friend she said she nearly fell off her chair! I was never any good at sports and HATED running so it's no surprise really.

It started off with a Parkrun one Saturday morning at our local park. I thought I'd give it a go even though I hadn't run in over 20 years, telling myself if I can give birth on gas and air then I can overcome the pain of running 5km! I did and it hurt and I felt sick and was a complete mess but strangely I wanted to do it again.

Then I discovered Power pramming - a group of mums getting together in the park to run with their buggies - something you can do with your child and a lovely supportive group of mums AND for free - amazing! 

I've been running with the little one in the buggy since last June (although these days, he seems to prefer it when it's just me and him) and I've come to realise that actually, the challenge isn't so much the running as the constant providing of snacks and drinks to the little one whilst running. It's taken me a while to work out what the best snacks are; it's got to be easy to grab and hand over, low maintenance but chewy enough to keep their gobs shut and busy for a while. 

Motherhood is all about multitasking and learning to do a whole array of things one-handed, and now I can add 'peeling a satsuma whilst running with a buggy' to my list of newly acquired skills thanks to my ever-hungry son and Power pramming :)

Friday, 3 February 2017

Good words and bad words

I love the words that come out of our little ones' mouths. Sometimes poetic, sometimes ridiculous and funny! Here are a few uttered by our 2 year old:

(When he spotted the moon through the car window following us when we were driving at night)

(His description on seeing fireworks for the first time, followed by "Big magic, small magic, red ones, green ones...")

(Runny nose)

(Fight talk)

Incidentally, our 5 year old very clearly said this the other day:

when he couldn't quite put his lego together. After a pause, I asked "What did you say?" so he repeated it very clearly. I asked him where he got that phrase to which he proudly and matter of fact-ly replied, "Daddy".