It is the summer holidays here and often I am trapped in the house minding children and I have to find some creative outlet which works on the kitchen table.

 I have to be able to supervise them and do something that isn’t toxic and easy to clean up.  For me this is block printing.

At the moment I am obsessed with the beautiful Fuchsia flowers growing here and wanted to do something immediate with this flower.  Block printing is a great way of turning an idea into a real usable ‘thing’ in an hour - rather than weeks.

All you need are the bits and pieces in the picture here and some fabric.  You can cut out shapes onto foam, rubber or lino.  I stick them on plastic or a piece of wood - anything flat.  Once it is dry it is ready to print with. Try out your stamps on paper first so that you don’t waste fabric.  When you are ready stick your fabric down on the kitchen table with masking tape - cover your table if it is precious.  Then you are ready to print.  

I use ‘Permaset’ ink because it is really thick so seems to work well with stamps.  The iron is used to set the ink - and then that is about it.  I’ve only got a few ink colours at the moment so these aren’t the most exciting prints - but anything is possible.

Here is a photo of some good books on printing too.  Enjoy! x

Transparency

In the interest of the planet, kindness and Karma all my work is being produced either here where i can see it or to the highest ethical standards where products have to be made or prepared outside Ireland. My main textile line is made in a certified fair trade workshop in India run by a UK charity; the aim being to give sustainable employment and support to abused women. How great is that?! They are really wonderful to work with too. Here are some photos of my sheep pattern being made into aprons. I was going to start this post off with photos of my original sketches, and then the first samples but I can’t find them anywhere - a tidy up is required!

sounds interesting and the forecast is good.

sounds interesting and the forecast is good.

(Source: retrorumage)

Aprons and other bits displayed beautifully at new stockist Garden World in Wicklow. It is just off the N11 at Kilcoole.

Aprons and other bits displayed beautifully at new stockist Garden World in Wicklow. It is just off the N11 at Kilcoole.

Lagom are a wonderful Card Company based in the UK. They have great cards and a really interesting blog. Sometimes they feature music and this one is great - also the donkey is lovely

Out today - taking some new photos to freshen up the website. Didn’t realise that really you need two batteries for a proper camera: one to use while the other one charges. Our session didn’t last long. Still… It is a beautiful day here in Dublin

Here I am with a real donkey - on mid-term break.  I’ve lots of new work ready to go.  It just isn’t photographed yet!

Here I am with a real donkey - on mid-term break. I’ve lots of new work ready to go. It just isn’t photographed yet!

Just back from Showcase Ireland which finished in the RDS yesterday. With help I managed to make a virtue out of the big pole in the middle of my stand. It was a great show and I was delighted to win best new gift. As ever it is a bit of fun - a reunion with other similar designers and the nice shops we supply. Only nice sort of people run gift shops - it isn’t really a profession for hardened ruthless types.

Some records of my manic cushion designing from the run up to Christmas. I’ve been putting my membership of printblock to some use and attended some christmas fairs selling things entirely made by me.  This I hope will feed into a small and changing range of cushions for sale in the new year.  The donkey design mixing blue, biscuit fabric and grey was especially popular.

We are on one of our regular trips to West Cork and today went to one of the local large villages Castletownshend.  It is a stately place with a strong Church of Ireland/English Culture.  The Church is thankfully open, welcoming and contains some beautiful Harry Clarke Stained Glass.  The street is very unusual for the area with many fine examples of georgian buildings mostly well maintained.  The affluence of the place must have been very striking.