random nu logo rr textile2 cowes french navy front

My studio is in a room that's attached to the house, so the garden is always part of my day. As well as providing soul food it's a green gym and a great big animated colour chart too! We have an oversized Smoke Bush (tree!) and the colours of the leaves change all through the year. At midsummer they're deepest, darkest maroon scattered with sprays of fluffy 'smoke' flowers. They attract greenfinches. I held my breath when these three landed. Those Colours. I managed to snap a quick pic which is roughly in focus. Most importantly I'll remember the colours which will be inspirational in the middle of winter when I'm planning colour combos again.


sewing notions header

August 2016

sewing notions header

It's nice to be able to work outside at this time of year. I like the mix of skills needed to be a designer/maker. Ideas are vital of course and a lot of time is spent with sketchpads and colour samples. Printing itself is my favourite activity. It's physical and engrossing and when the screen is lifted from the fabric to reveal a freshly printed image, it's always an exciting moment. Preparing the screens for a new design means I have to clean off old ones and that's the worst job. The cleaners I use are 'green' but still very pungent and they require a lot of elbow grease. That's a good job for outside. Right down at the bottom of the garden, glamour gloves at the ready.


We've had a lovely August here on the Isle of Wight. Lots of sunny days that sometimes make it difficult to keep working. I love spending time on the coast and feel 'landlocked'  when I'm not near the sea. This is a picture my daughter Holly took for a Random Retail brochure some time ago. It shows a cushion that I made from the most gorgeous piece of vintage embroidery. The tide came in as we were working and this ended up being one of my favourite summer shots. Peaceful, dreamy, calm, beautiful... it says it all.



Summer on the Isle of Wight is a very busy time too. We're packed with visitors and there are endless treats and distractions to be enjoyed. Festivals, carnivals, fetes and fairs, galas, gigs... and Cowes Week. It always finishes with a glorious fireworks display, 'the brilliancy and effect whereof are beyond description'.

RIMG0609 RIMG0544 RRFeb08-41