Stitches, writings, DIY publishing and photocopies


Bradford Zine Extravaganza yesterday was incredible! We met some amazing people, got some awesome zines and sold lots of zines and books to the lovely folk that came into the caravan.

Thanks to Loosely Bound for putting it on and Jean McEwan for making it all possible!

It was pretty funny trying to negotiate my way through a busy city centre on a Saturday towing a caravan. It was extra busy that day because the new park had just opened and they were holding an opening event with activities and acrobats and all kinds of things. So the city centre was possitively bustling with activity!

We managed to find the place after manoeuvring around a slalom of stubborn balloon sellers and general public, and positioned ourselves in front of the window. Unfortunately it was at that particular moment that a group of performance artists had planned to do a dance in the shop window behind where we’d just parked, and so I had to quickly reverse out of there, with the caravan, back up the hill, whilst trying not to hit any children.. which would have been fine if the 60 year old caravan with its faulty reverse lock hadn’t got stuck and refused to move backwards. So we were stuck in between a performance and a whole host of people who had gathered to see it. Poor James had to wedge himself between the car and the caravan whilst pushing on the caravan to try and alleviate the pressure from the car and I reversed it with a little help from one of the organisers! Oh dear. I’m sorry performance artists. 

We felt like the Chuckle Brothers bodging in on stage at the English National Ballet with a 14ft pane of glass and shouting ‘where do you want this mate?’

Luckily we sorted it out. Thanks to James. 

We set up, and ate some nice cakes from the ‘Project Babe’ stall and set about wooing Bradford with our wares. 

I met some really interesting people who now want me to come to art fairs and exhibitions that they’re putting on, and I’ve got some lovely new stock from a few more zine makers, including Threads and Letters, Project BABE, Melanie Maddison and many more!.

I’ve got a new zine in all about vegetarian cooking which I’ll be talking about later!

All in all it was a brilliant day. Even the bit where we went the wrong direction home for about half an hour. After praising ourselves for not using a sat nav..

I’m hoping to go to Soltaire Arts Trail next year as I hear the caravan would fit in perfectly, and I’ve got a few dates lined up for events at the end of April and May, so watch out for news.

You can see more pictures from the zine fair here

And look at the Loosely Bound blog here

A little description of my book-making workshop at Loosely Bound zine extravaganza.

Last week I ran a workshop at the opening gala of Lancaster Children’s Film Festival.

I wanted my workshop to be film themed to tie in with the festival so I helped the children to make small paper story board books.They were either Pirate ship or Princess castle shaped. The older children decided to make a more classic version of the book with one score and slit through the middle of the paper.

Ingredients: A4 Brightly coloured paper



                A good sprinkle of imagination.

The children folded, cut, stuck, glued, wrote and drew some wonderful stories. One girl even made a Charlie and Lola themed minature theatre. I do like the one with the dog/bear secretly opening in the middle.

Result: It was a good and fun way of showing children how to make creatively shaped books in the simplest way.

I also got to meet the director Jan Terlouw of the film “The Letter Writer” which was being previewed at the festival. He had just flown in from Austria the night before with his family and they were looking for things to keep themselves busy. I gave him some tips on nice things to do in Lancaster. Of course I said to visit Williamson Park and The Whale Tail Cafe.

The festival was full of things to do, puppet making, music soundtrack workshops, face painting, storytelling and a closing gala at The Dukes theatre which had free cakes, a screening of Arrietty and the announcement of the Young Film maker competition winner, my little brother George.

The Wart goes on a Quest Notebook


You have far too many notepads, but where are they? Bother, you’ll have to make one yourself. So here it is:


Beexwax thread

Children’s old picture book

Large eyed needle



Hard wearing fabric

1 Cut/pull out 2 pages of your favourite old children’s book.  The Wart goes on a Quest is a particularly delightful one and my chosen story for this book.

2. Cut out approx 20 sheets of paper the same size of the picture book paper.

3. Cut out a piece of strong fabric that is sufficiently taller than the than the top and bottom of the papers, therefore it can justly cover the papers.

4. Place one of the picture papers on the bottom of the paper pile and the other picture sheet in the index of the blank papers. I left a giant’s fingertip (3cm) of fabric on the side of the fabric to fold under the button cover (See Picture 3)

5. Gather 20 cm of beeswax thread/linen thread, securing a knot on the bottom and stab the thread from the bottom of the papers to the top. Stitching right through the paper and fabric and back again. A running stitch will suffice.

6. BUTTON time. Stitch on two of your favourite buttons to the front of the cover and the back. I’ve used some Paddington inspired wooden buttons. This is where you can tie a ribbon to keep the notebook together, tightly.

7. I cut out the title of the book and stitched it on, you can too if you so choose.

P.S If you have a sewing machine to hand, a quick zig zig stitch around the outline of the fabric cover will rid any nuisance fraying.

New envelope design for threadsandletters.

New envelope design for threadsandletters.

Nude online shop

Nude magazine, a counter culture publication promoting diverse up and coming creatives in the alternative arts.

Visit the Nude shop for original back issues, greetings cards, giftware and a great selection of independently-produced books, zines and magazines, including;

The Modernist, Okido, Boneshaker, Popshot, Eight:48, Fat Quarter DIY Couture, 10 Fingers, Vapid Kitten, Threads and Letters, The Man of Glass, Arty, Lubin Tales, Girls Who Draw… and many more.

A Note from the Monster living under your bed.

The Faded chime of the Ice Cream van

Like a wound up clock the ice cream van chimes, riding along stripes upon the shore, the chunky wheels miraculously never become stuck upon the sandy floor. “Try a Sundaee, it’s delightful for all.” The ice cream vendor boasts his van’s treats. Just for today, You shall sail away on the ship that Grandpa brought, with a splendourous cream cone dripping in the waves.

Wow, check out the gingerbread factory we had going tonight.

Festive yellow hedgehogs, chunky buttoned gingerbread men and a few fashionable snails.


Well made by the Willmott sisters.

A bit like a notebook and a bit like a card. Only made five so far, surprisingly I actually have more friends than that, so I better get making more. I have even stitched on added buttons. I proudly handed them to my Portico writing men-tee for doing so well in the Portico Young writer’s competition, in fact she got her work commended! Bravo! One shall be going to Emma the Portico library manager and one to my Masters tutor and Portico writer in residence, Sherry Ashworth. Intellectual card giving you may say. And I snapped one to Duncan my fellow bookzine accomplice. 

A splendid evening celebrating young Northern literature, Dicken’s Christmas tales and spoken word was held in this hidden hightop cove of literature in the Manchester city centre.

.#stab stitch #craft #Christmas #Dickens #literature #young writing