That felt like the longest work week ever! But finally I have a day off ( sort of) I’ll be heading over to Macclesfield in a couple of hours with the paper boots crammed into boxes to install for the Barnaby Festival : http://www.barnabyfestival.org.uk/events/factory

That not only ticks another item off the ‘to do’ list, but creates a little more space in the house :-)

Tomorrow……the Open Studio install, ready for the weekend…. sigh. It’ll all be worth it. ( I hope!)


I’m trying not to think of how much I need to do over the next week and a half. If I take it all in, I’ll just panic and not get anything done at all.

I do have enough people signed up for my workshop though which is good, as I can now shove that to one side and not think about it again until after the weekend. I did get an email off someone saying that they couldn’t do an evening session, so would I consider a day workshop if they found a venue. Initially I thought that would be great as it would be leading along the path I wanted to go, but I didn’t get a response back when I said I would charge £65 for the two hours. Did they think that was too expensive? I’m not lowering the cost though – sorry! It just wouldn’t be worth it for me, especially as that includes my prep time AND materials!

My house is getting increasingly chaotic as I continue to pick up things that might be useful, shoving them away in boxes ( or more likely just dumping them on the floor !) for the three workshops

My evenings have been filled with making small books for the weekend…. but the next stage this week is setting up at the Barnaby festival on Thursday. I ended up making just 70 pairs of paper work boots as I thought more and more about not being paid. I did them more at my leisure, rather than working maniacally round the clock this time.

I have mixed feelings about it . I felt excited when packing them up as I felt a huge sense of achievement. My installations do draw poeple in, so I feel good about that. I generally get good photos of them too, so I can use them as publicity for my own work, but it’s a big no no over making a living. Best I can get from it is that it drives people to my website. I must keep thinking of the positives here and not get caught up in the negatives.

Friday is the day of setting up the open studio tour…..but really, its best not to even think about that now ( OR the two group exhibitions coming up over summer!)

Today is my 4th workday in and I must keeping trying to do my best there and not see it as the damn nuisance it is for taking up my valuable time :-(


“Before people can begin something new, they have to end what used to be and unlearn the old way.” — William Bridges Not exactly a deep philosopher, but its completely true.

I’ve spent the last few weeks unlearning everything I’ve been ‘training’ myself to focus on… …then re-educating myself in other areas.

Unlearning is incredibly hard.

At times I feel really torn – I’ve put myself under a lot of pressure to make changes and at times I’ve thought ‘is this really worth all of the effort?’ Working for someone else – being employed that is, is ‘safer’ – You know exactly what you will earn every month and it’s almost completely effortless.

Making a living as an artist is not.

I will hastily add here that I am not giving up my day job, until I can replace each day’s pay with a guaranteed income. I am still in preparation.

It’s just over a week to the studio tour and preparing for it incredibly stressful. I find myself wanting to just go my old ways, showing one of my installations and leaving it at that, but I know now that I must show a complete range of work.

I still haven’t decided on the framed works yet as I change my mind all of the time, but I will have something. It feels so much work for what could be very little return – especially as I’m annoyed at myself for spending so much on materials.

But it’s a change I will try.

The struggle of what to show is clouded by the need to make saleable items – adding cards and would you believe it, necklaces.

It’s an area that’s crossed my mind but I didn’t feel a need to explore it further before. Its too ‘craft orientated’ and didn’t fit with my other work. I’ve enjoyed making them though – rolling paper and threading but the sudden urge to show them seriously came about in quite a bizarre way…

I decided to set up some evening classes. Playing it by ear, I‘ve booked just 3 evenings at the local art gallery and I will be teaching handmade books. When I went there to meet with them to discuss my proposal and show my books, I happened to be wearing a paper necklace I’d made. ‘We can sell them, along with your books, in the shop’. It never even occurred to me to sell either. My head isn’t and never was, geared for selling things.

So I went home, thought about it (a long time as I was too stunned to just go away and start a completely new career) and eventually began making. Though still at the back of my head, I am realistic. I had looked in the shop and saw the prices of the handmade goods. There were broaches for £7. The gallery takes 40% of that, so someone is working for incredibly low pay.

It’s a sideline I can consider doing while I’m watching TV at night, but I couldn’t give up a day for it.

Not being paid by the gallery for my workshops means that I have to tout for business. I had the stupid idea of charging a fiver for classes, as I thought that the lower it was, the more likely I would get attendees. The gallery set it at higher though – £12.50, or £10 a session if people book 3. To cover my costs, I need at least 9 people to attend. I think friends are under the impression that we can just sit round making one night over a glass of wine. Not now. Now it’s a business.

These changes have been tiring and I desperately need some time off, but I know that the wheels have been set in motion and I will see what direction they take me….