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Negligent blogger here!!

Whilst reading comments that have been posted on my blog a gazillion years ago i now feel wracked with guilt that i have neglected my blogging duties…but what with web pages, twitter, facebook “like’ pages (Jaminosh designs by helen) and working as well, i find that the minutes just fly away …..

So, i am going to make a promise to myself and others that i will attempt to blog at least twice a week, and see how it goes from there.

Been very busy making glass, illustrating and even hand painting designs and sewing cushions etc (can you believe that?) – i’m just enjoying being creative, without restrictions, and will try to keep sharing a little on here 🙂 let me know if you like any of it please

Have attached some photos of some glass window panels i have recently made – the aim of these is to use colour theory/colour therapy to affect the emotional state of the viewer.

seascapes wave screen


Facebook test…..

Facebook test.....

just a test to see if my blogs are now showing on my facebook page…and bed!! zzzzz

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My latest journey has been into the world of glass christmas tree decorations, where i have really enjoyed seeing how light travels through the glass, and how the decorations light up when placed on the tree – ive really got the bug now..many more to come!!

 Fused glass decorations blue star green 2 layers green 4 layer green star love and joy purple bobbles red and green bobbles red star robins snowflakes snowman xmas tree flat

And so now i wander into the field of glass…..hmmmm…..not alwasy easy, doesnt ever do what you think it will do, and am definitely having to learn to go with the flow – which is so much the opposite to my illustration work!!

Here i started off with some hot glass, that was intially supposed to be a wave formations, but it cracked whilst cooling (due to the molton glass being applied in the wrong direction initially) and so i ended up with 2 pieces – which i decided looked pretty fishy… here they are sandblasted and polshed, sat on bases that are due for fusing or are sandblasted – and just awaiting glass eyes and tails now – but you get the idea hey? I am also looking at lighting the glass from underneath as well as i love the way it brings it all to life!! Many more photos coming soon 🙂

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starting to practice the art of glass cutting....gulp!

Cutting glass is definitely a skill that needs to be learned… is my first attempt, now it needs to be fused and slumped…watch this space 🙂

Starting my journey into light, glass, and projected colour....

My first attempt at creating a model out of acetates that i will then endeavour to re create in glass very soon…well as soon as i have learned all the skills that are necessary!

As the focus of my MA is on the effect of colour in the environment on the mental, emotional and physical state, i have found myself also looking quite deeply at pattern on walls, and the effect it has on me. In my final year of my BA i had a go at designing wallpaper and i remember thinking how much harder it was than designing patterns for fabric. A successful wallpaper design is one that can be pasted on all four walls and looked at and enjoyed day after day, week after week, even possibly year after year….where as we don’t usually spend anywhere near that amount of time  gazing at the material our clothes are made out of – we may gaze at our soft furnishings more – but we certainly dont usually paste the fabric all over the walls and then try and live with it! 🙂

What i realised very early on is that when looking at wallpaper the eye instantly tries to find a visual path through the pattern, as our eyes need to find a place to rest during the process of collecting information. Possibly it is because of my Irlens syndrome, but i find a vast amount of wallpapers make me feel uneasy – they are too overstimulating, and some of the designs i feel would be best used on stationary or on fabric as there is just too much information within the design. Others will cause me to gaze deeper and deeper as i try to work out the pattern, and my eyes set off on a journey throughout the design.

But as well as looking at wallpapers i have been looking at any sort of pattern and design that is wall based and is big enough to have an impact on us. I went to the Westfield Centre in Derbyshire a few weeks ago to see my son, and the first thing i noticed (possiby even before the design) was the wonderful feeling within the building, relaxing, friendly, open and inviting – not at all what i usually experience in these places….

I took a fee pictures of the designs on the walls and also on the mood changing lighting that was around the restaurant and fast food area – i found it quite mesmoric..

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

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I came across some other really interesting walls today and this time the pattern was on the outside of the walls instead of the inside, and even more fascinating was the fact that they were on the walls of a school building in a little, out of the way town in  North Wales.

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

The designs were subtle yet very effective, their contemporary style blended well with the more traditional buildings around it, and as the light hit the building you could really appreciate the vastness of the pattern.

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

Again i noticed that the patterns design was very much based on flowing, making me think of water, and it was extremely calming and relaxing to look at. The pattern seemed to journey from left to right, following the path our eyes take to read it – but then on the side walls changed to horizontal. I am starting to wonder if we find a pattern more relaxing if we can read it in the same way as we would read a book – from left to right, and if the pattern is uncomplicated, with the lines only running in the one direction at a time?

But what a lovely surprise on a dark and gloomy winter night, to come across such a beautifully adorned building!



On my MA course this week we had a session with a tutor who is part Polish, and who is known for her wealth of information with regards to being creative! She talked to us about how a lot of the Polish crafts used recyclable materials and were low cost, and at the end of our lecture on ‘Book binding’ she showed us some simple ways to make a christmas tree out of unwanted books.

Coming home feeling really excited, i couldn’t wait to make one for myself, but as i couldn’t find any book that i would quite happily destroy i picked up a colourful ‘Beauty Equipment’ magazine that i thought would also do the trick! As i folded it i remember thinking how nice it was to use something that had some colour in it rather than a book that was just plain black text on white paper…here is the result from my first attempt…


My first attempt at making a Christmas tree out of an unwanted magazine!

Whilst doing my part time job this week (supporting and working with clubs for children) i realised that there was a need to activities for the older children in the clubs (8 – 11) and that this would be ideal. But to make it more Christmassy and to also make it a little less challenging i decided to use a magazine that had a lot less pages (so that they don’t lose interest half way through) and also to adorn the tree with some decorations, to make it look even more Christmassy!

An easier version of the tree

The beauty of these crafts is that they are low cost, and they also teach children to not waste materials and the benefits of recycling. If you wanted you could just fold the tree and use nothing but your hands – but if you do want to make it a little bit special there are a few low cost materials you can use (see below). Have a go…..and if you want to take it even further you can give them a light spray with a metallic spray (use a face mask) and whilst wet, throw glitter onto it…lovely!!

Some optional materials for the tree



The 'Mad Hen Design' Award 2012



Glyndwr University Award 2012

How exciting!! Yesterday was my long awaited graduation day, where i had been told i was also receiving an award ‘The Mad Hen Design Award’ for the most outstanding design graduate at Glyndwr University! I was chosen for this award from all the Design Communication students in our year, Milena Polak won the award for Graphic Design and John Whitbred won it for animation.

Not only did we get to shake the vice chancellors hand but we also had our photo taken with him as well! whoooop whooop! 🙂

But seriously, it was an absolute honour and a privilege and i felt that all the hard work i had put into my work and also into helping others had been recognised throughout the 3 years, and it has really spurred me on to continue the standard throughout my MA !

Shaking the hand of the vice chancellor when i received my award.

Leaving the stage very very carefully, trying not to fall!! 🙂