Latest News



One of my jobs (and sometime bete-noire) doing design work and other creative projects is getting to grips with the rhythm of proportion. Shoud be simple right? Not so much. Proportions vary (obviously) depending on what you are working on and as I find myself designing all sorts of different kinds of things in my job, means that you are constantly shifting the proverbial, proportional goalposts.

In order to achieve the desired outcome of proportional simplicity requires either a) mathematical devices (I do on occasion) or b) a finely attuned eye (my preference). By looking, looking and looking again you get the picture. Without a visual input there is no chance of just guessing what works, it needs to be seen.

For design work, when figuring out the layout of a brochure or poster for example, I am searching for a rhythm, a punctuated space or a proportion that, when placed correctly, sings back at you YES! THIS IS THE ONE. The rhythm of a page or wall or whatever, despite me using a musical reference, is purely visual, it allows your eyes to glide across the beat of a visually pleasing scene. If something clunks you feel it like a bum note or an out of tune voice.

For me to get to this point of golden proportion takes time, patience and self-confidence. And when you can’t quite get it right, it’s time to walk away, have a break and come back to it the next day. The walking away technique never fails to work no matter how you might feel at the time. And here’s the truth, despite what some people may expect of a designer, creating proportionally pleasing, new and interesting work takes time, enforcing a period of reflection that cannot be rushed, sometimes making this job feel harder than perhaps it should, but when it works; it really works.



I have been thinking [read: over thinking] just what to do with the bedroom wall to give it that little extra oopmh. The thought process went as such: wallpaper or not to wallpaper, paint stripes or not to paint stripes… The argument was pretty much that and to be fair VERY boring. So here’s the outcome. I bit the bullet, I decided to paint some yellow stripes on the wall in a kind of retro futuristic headboard vibe and as it turns out, I’m pretty pleased with the results.

The great thing about painting a feature wall in your home is that it’s a great value way of adding impact on a small budget. And of course the golden rule, if it looks rubbish, you can always paint over it.

To get the look you’ll need:

  • a metre rule or a long straight piece of wood
  • ALOT of masking tape (good quality)
  • base colour paint
  • your chosen stripe colour paint
  • pencil, ruler and rubber
  • a lot of patience and a small amount of OCD

First up was picking out just the right shade of yellow which took some time. Yellow can be quite a tricky colour on a wall and I didn’t want a mustard custard egg yellow, I wanted something translucent, slightly neon and light which doesn’t exist in your average range of paint tester pots. I ended up mixing my own colour using a neon yellow paint mixed with a lemon and white after testing some unsuccessful shades at varying times of the day. Being a light and sunny room, the yellow I chose warms the room nicely but be warned; certain yellows have the effect of making you feel like you are living inside Big Bird, and no one wants that no matter how much you love Sesame Street.

I wanted the stripes to act like a headboard but not to envelop the entire wall so I chose to sit them within the bed border and to go all the way up to the ceiling. This sat nicely with mirrors either side of the bed, any bigger and I think it would have looked overwhelming.

I marked out the edges using a piece of string with a weight attached to the bottom for an absolute straight edge and then taped it out. I then chose my angle and width and marked out the stripes (see pic) using a very feint pencil line (using anything heavier will end up with you seeing the lines forever so I advise a light touch here).

In order to prevent the paint from bleeding through the masking tape (note – less likely the better quality masking tape you use) I painted over the masked out stripes with the wall’s base coat (white) so that if any paint was to bleed through the tape you wouldn’t notice. With the masking tape was now sealed down and dry, I painted the yellow over the white making sure to paint the right areas with right paint.

When the yellow paint was fully dry (no cheatin’) I removed the masking tape (gingerly to avoid plaster being ripped off too) and saw my stripes in all their glory. The impact was marvellous.

Next stop, a striking piece of monochrome art to sit on top… the mission for a little more oopmh continues.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


It’s half term next week and I’m getting ready for a week of workshops at RIBA working with children and young people of all ages to create some architecturally inspired artwork. And so I thought it might be nice to share some art ideas if you’re looking for some ways to amuse the kids over the holiday week.

First up, how about making some tiny tree houses (think Ewok village or check out my Pinterest board) from balsa wood and scrap bits and bobs? Get some PVA glue and you’re away. Perfect for populating with toys and the like.

We’ll be building some giant Jenga out of cardboard boxes, decorating them like buildings we love and stacking them up high to the sky and then of course, knocking them down again. Why? Just because you can… (And if this floats your boat, why not capture it with a stop motion animation app and make it into a film to share and stare at? There are loads of brilliant free ones out there).

And finally if in doubt, get the posca pens flowing like in the drawing or the beautiful mural above by Lucy Tiffney and let the kids loose on a wall or massive bit of paper. What could possibly go wrong?!


I thought it might be nice to share a few of my  Christmas card designs as we approach the big day.

This year I chose the 3D reindeer template (below) as my favoured festive greeting. I think I may have started a trend……. I’ve already had requests for more DIY templates. Stay posted for more free cut-out downloads and remember have a Happy Christmas! X


A3 Cardboard Reindeer Template-01-01

Why not get your Christmas Craft on now and make yourselves a 3D reindeer!

You can use this free printable  version and stick it on to thin card (pdf available to download here) or use it as a template to draw round onto any kind of card or patterned board. Then simply cut out and slot together. Will look great as a table or mantlepiece decoration. Great fun for kids. Have a very Happy Crafting Christmas!

3D reindeer

Wallpaper Part One

WallpaperI’ve been toying with the idea of wallpapering or repainting my bedroom for some time now. Having lived with bright white walls for over a year I think the time has come to add more colour and pattern.

When it comes to  choosing the right wallpaper or paint colour it can take time. Being visual is brilliant, but it can sometimes be a hindrance when it comes to making decisions…

As I am pretty sure I’m not alone in this ridiculousness, I thought I would share my solution to mocking up wallpapers / paint colours of choice to SEE what works best. It was super easy to do if you have access to photoshop (if not search for free photo editing software online).

I found my wallpaper choices online, saved the images and then pasted multiple images behind a photo of my bedroom to see what colours and patterns would look like.

So many choices, but here are some of the highlights:

I also quite like to the idea of painting a stripe, thick or thin, bright or pale yellow, on the walls, inspired by my fellow blogger, Lucy Tiffney‘s studio wall as seen below, with its beautiful pale pink popping stripes.

So far so good, I love being able to see my choices come to life, but now here’s the tricky part, actually making a decision…

Autumn Colour Pops

I’ve been adding a bit of Autumn colour to my bedroom of late. With its bright white walls, it can sometimes feel a little stark, but with the addition of warm, colourful soft furnishings, graphic prints and some bright flowers, the colours really ‘pop’ against the background.

I wanted a colour palette of grey and yellow and these work really well with small amounts of pink and orange sneaking in!

The resulting look is something bright and bold to cheer up a grey Autumn day.

Upcycled Blind



I know I’m not alone in having lots of odd pieces of fabric stashed around the house, you never know when it might come in handy right? And when my nosy neighbour had become too much too bear, I decided I needed something for my front door and that’s when those offcuts came in rather useful to make an upcycled blind.

I had ordered a small piece of chevron fabric online yonks ago on the premise that I would use it for making some cushions and hadn’t got round to it (classic). So that along with a rather lovely unwanted silk vintage dress provided all the materials I needed to create my blind.

By lining the chevron fabric with a section of the dress fabric it meant I could keep light (and prying eyes) away. It also provides a lovely turquoisey hue through the black and white when it’s sunny. The key, as with any sewing project, is pressing the fabric before sewing to ensure it fits like a dream.

A simple white pole and hooks to hang it above the window finished off the project adding a bold graphic and functional feature to my hallway.

Club Tropicana

I’ve been checking out some tropical graphics and vintage posters for a forthcoming design project and what with all this sunshine we’ve been enjoying, it seemed like I just had to share some of my club tropicana themed inspiration. Note – I’m thinking less ‘Wham’ and more ‘Glam’. Enjoy the sun! X

Signage Baby

Being a graphic designer I love a bit of signage and neon typography. It always provides inspiration for work projects.

I collect photos of signage I love and look over when help is needed or when the mood takes me.

So I thought it apt to share some of my greeny blue themed favourites here before Tiff n I head off to God’s Own Junkyard for a neon themed field trip in a couple of weeks. More of that to come…Meanwhile you can follow my signage baby pinterest board here.