Sunday…with an Ultra Violet Christmas Wreath Tutorial

December 10, 2017

Filed Under : colour - D.I Y - Winter

With the announcement from Pantone this week that their Colour of the Year 2018 is ‘Ultra Violet’, I was inspired to make an Ultra Violet Christmas wreath, and so I thought I’d share a simple tutorial…

1.Basic things you will need, apart from the plant material of moss, blue spruce, statice, sea lavender, sea thistles and rose hips ( or hypericum is a good alternative ) are pictured below:

Secateurs, scissors, florist’s wire, some string or ribbon, and a wreath frame ( there are 2 sizes shown here and the silver wire can be used to make a frame in any size ). 2. Cut about 10 lengths of wire approx 35cm long… 3. Stuff the moss quite tightly into and around the frame… 4. Use the wire and wrap it round the entire frame… 5. Take a branch of blue spruce and cut about 7 sections… 6. Start to place the blue spruce sections around the moss filled wreath… 7. Take the cut lengths of wire and thread them underneath so that you can twist the 2 ends tightly together over each section of spruce leaving the ends standing upright… 8. Once you have secured all the spruce pieces in this way, start to choose your flowers…             ( pictured below are two different shades of statice, sea lavender, sea thistle and rose hips and ivy berries ) 9. Group a few flowers together in a small bunch and then cut the flower stems to between about 6 – 10cm… 10. Start to place the flowers onto the wreath, and try to follow its circular flow… 11. Secure the flower stems with wire in a similar way to how you secured the blue spruce… ( using the fine wire helps to camouflage where the stems are attached but it’s as well to try and place them in the least obvious positions )… 12. Once you’re happy with the basic wreath, you can add the little extra bits like sea thistles and rose hips; in a sort of floral punctuation kind of way … 13. Once you have secured this second layer, hold it up just to make sure, and if anything falls off use some more wire for extra security… 14. Finally choose a piece of ribbon or twine to attach to the top of the wreath so you can hang it up… Making winter wreaths is one of my favorite parts of the lead up to Christmas; they are always so personal and you should never worry about getting them ‘perfect’.

Allowing your plant material to do it’s own thing, without interfering too much, is absolutely key to creating a natural look for your wreath, and will always make it far more unique than anything you’d be able to buy in a shop… making your own also makes you stop for at least half an hour and actually smell Christmas on its way!


Friday…with a St James Advent Calender

December 1, 2017

Filed Under : Art - collaborations - colour - exhibitions - London - My St James - trips - Winter

Today, being the 1st of December, means that it’s the first day we can officially open the first door of an advent calendar…

When I was a child we either had some glitter encrusted nativity scene ( and is it me or was glitter different and much messier in the ’80’s ? ) with little windows to open containing, often less than relevant, seasonal images. I loved them!

It’s something about the anticipation of Christmas combined with the contemplation of each day leading up to it which feels so cosy.

So this year I was really excited when St James told me that they had asked London Fashion Week Men to curate a physical advent calendar in St James Market Pavilion with a selection of twenty-four amazing gifts to be won every day; presents gifted by exceptional retailers, restaurants, art galleries or hotels in the St James area.

To enter, you should follow the @StJamesLondon Instagram account where they will reveal the gift to be won each day and how to enter on their Stories. You should also have a look over on their website for more details and terms and conditions.

I was at the launch of the Advent Calendar last night ( with gorgeous mulled wine and Scandinavian canopes provided by Aquavit ) where the first window was opened by Dylan Jones and Caroline Rush with carols sung by The London Gay Men’s Choir. It really reminded me of the illuminated shop windows in Jermyn St, which at this time of year look incredibly pretty.

If you’re in London over the festive season you really must go up to St James…it’s so beautiful and very atmospheric, even if you’re just having a wander around. It also feels like a true piece of London which isn’t losing it’s character; full of authentic independent retailers, galleries and restaurants.

I have been asked to work with 2 of the advent ‘windows’ for the 20th and 24th of December which have really wonderful prizes, and I’ll be posting about them on Instagram ( @5ftinf ) on the day, so do keep your eyes peeled for the reveal.

So I thought I’d give you a taste of some of the shops in St James…( some of which are participating in the advent calendar ), as well as a bit of the atmosphere from last night…
( Jermyn St is just a short walk accross the Regent St from St James Market ) Floris Paxton and Whitfield
Grenson Shoes…Thomas Pink… Turnbull and Asser… New and Lingwood…Hilditch and Key…Trickers…Sims Reid Gallery…
D R Harris… Cubitts…Emma Willis…Fortnum and Mason… I particularly love Jermyn St, but there are also loads of other beautiful streets with some lovely windows to have a look at..
I will be telling you a bit more about the gifts offered behind these 2 windows on the day they are opened via my @5ftinf instagram account but do keep an eye on the @StJamesLondon IG account for details of how to enter each day…and good luck!

You can read more about St James and the area on a few My St James blog posts here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

* This post has been very kindly sponsored by St James

Sunday…with St James’ Art Walk

October 15, 2017

Filed Under : Art

On Friday morning I was invited to go on a preview of a new art walk in St James’ London which is not only free but brilliant.  Wallpaper* Magazine have collaborated with St James’ to put together a guided art walk which offers free access to contemporary art and design galleries.

On the 19th and 21st October you will be able to join Wallpaper* on one of three, FREE self-guided walks starting at the RA’s Academicians’ Room and concluding at the new ICA bar. You have to register to allocate a specific time slot via the Wallpaper* website here

The walk has been curated by the art and design team at Wallpaper* and includes drawings by Michael Craig-Martin at Alan Cristea, Catherine Opie’s portraits and landscapes at Thomas Dane and a group show exploring the decline of the post-war American Dream at White Cube in Mason’s Yard.

I was taken on a mini version of the walk so will have to catch up on some of the galleries I missed next month ( you’ll still be able to follow the Wallpaper* art walk map on your phone after the tours )
Luckily we got to start the walk at The Academicians’ Room in The Keepers House at The Royal Academy which is not only an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric room, but which is also currently showing El Anatsui RA’s  ‘Benchmarks’. It’s a display of limited edition prints as part of the RA’s Art Sales programme. The prints are worked from close up images taken of the wooden benches used for hammering the metal bottle tops for his more sculptural works and have a combined sense of a worked patina and abstract solar eclipse.The Academicians’ Room is a Private Members club, so it’s a real treat to be able to have a chance to visit and see some beautiful work… I would say that the only problem with starting the walk in The Academicians’ Room is that you sort of want to stay there all day!

Next up for us was the Sims Reed Gallery on Duke’s St which specialises in modern, post-war and contemporary original prints and works on paper, and it was great to see a couple of the Declan Jenkins woodcuts still on view…a woodcut where you can actually see the wood and the physical effort of carving feels very special…( below: Bob and Roberta Smith’s Feminist Icons )Loved this Any Warhol print ( above ) of Jean Cocteau and a giant moth by Sarah Graham ( below )The next gallery was literally just down the road at David Gill for the ‘Future Classics’ exhibition. I absolutely love contemporary design…I think that it’s the practical fusion between art and furniture which particularly appeals to me as well as my fascination with object design…I was so excited to be able to see some Zaha Hadid pieces here as I find the fluidity of her supremely satisfying organic forms both calming and just always so inspiring… What I really liked about this exhibition was the combination of pieces by different artists and the placing of them with each other… ( above bowl by Michele Oka Doner and drawing behind by Barnaby Barford )( above: Mirror by Mattia Bonetti and  Armchair by Fredrikson Stallard )

( above and below: MicheleOka Doner ) ( above and below: Fredrikson Stallard ) ( below: Mattia Bonetti ) ( above Barnaby Barford, below: Fredrikson Stallard )(above: centrepiece by Zaha Hadid and table by Mattia Bonetti )

Our last gallery visit was to Alan Cristea on Pall Mall who currently have a fantastic exhibition ‘Quotidian’ of work by Michael Craig-Martin which includes prints and one-off originals… I’m really drawn to Michael Craig-Martin’s work as it focuses on both colour and contemporary design; his drawings have become design documents, often of household objects which have either changed massively or even become obsolete over time, and his study of line and colour within them is somehow stimulating and meditative at the same timeThe St James’s Art and Design walk with Wallpaper* is something I would highly recommend to both art lovers and art ‘inquisitors’, particularly those who love art but who often feel intimidated about visiting small commercial London galleries…let’s face it, if there’s a gallery door bell it’s often too frightening to press! But the galleries on this Art Walk couldn’t have been more friendly and genuinely wanting to engage, offer their expertise and knowledge and encourage more people to come and view the art. It wasn’t all about selling the work, there was a definite acknowledgement of art appreciation for those who aren’t in a position to be an art collector.

This is a FREE event too, so it’s a brilliant chance to see some great contemporary art and also have the opportunity of exploring work in a commercial art gallery and you can register for a place on the walks on either the 19th or the 21st October here
If you want to see more of the St James’s Area in London you can have a look at some of my previous posts which incorporate the ICA, Dover Steet Market and Jermyn St: My St James: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3




Saturday…with Burberry at Old Sessions House

September 30, 2017

Filed Under : Art - Autumn - colour - exhibitions - London - texture - trips

This week I visited Burberry at Old Sessions House in London for the exhibition ‘Here We Are’ curated by Christopher Bailey, Lucy Kumara Moore and Alasdair McLellan – in celebration of the September 2017 Burberry collection. I’d seen that Skye from @georgianlondon had been via her Instagram Stories and thought it looked wonderful…and it was! It finishes tomorrow so if you read this in time you really should go…and the cafe is great too! You can see the Steller Story Version here

Sunday…with my Makers4Refugees Silk Scarf Auctions

September 24, 2017

Filed Under : Art - Autumn - collaborations - colour - Cornwall - Shop Discounts - texture

Something I regularly feel shamed by is how helpless and impotent I know I am when it comes to the Refugee Crisis…it’s such an important global issue with tendrils reaching into so many aspects of what feels wrong to me in the world at the moment; racism, rage and and a general feeling of hate seems just below the surface of so many global problems right now, but when it comes to doing something about it I feel under prepared, under informed and and overwhelmed, holding onto what feels like some generalised views which have probably been perpetrated through social media…

But I’m no activist…and that’s what basically makes me feel a bit ashamed…

It takes a pretty special and totally commited person to be an activist; a person who is able to do things I’m not able ( or maybe prepared ) to do, a person with such a strong sense of belief that they know they have to go out there and speak for all of us who are too scared, too comfortable, or who have too much responsibility in other areas to be able to fight in the way they do…the activist has my total respect, which is the main reason I have to come out and admit that I am not one.

( One of the most incredible activists I know though, is Jaz from The Worldwide Tribe who took me to the Calais Jungle last February )

I feel strongly about supporting the refugee crisis and make donations both financial and with food and clothing, and I try and keep abreast of what’s going on. I visited the Calais Jungle last year to try and raise awareness through my Instagram account…but I still feel an awkwardness about not doing more…

When the opportunity arose for me to be part of Makers4Refugees and auction some of my work with ALL profits going to Help Refugees I knew I wanted to be part of it and raise some actual money for this cause…if I can use my skills as an artist and maker to do something which helps people, I at least feel that I’m not doing nothing. Makers4Refugees is the initiative of ceramicist Pip Wilcox and consists of over 40 global Makers across a variety of disciplines who have come together to make a difference by selling their work.

So I have designed 5 silk scarves which all measure 100cm x 100cm, I’ve hand rolled and sewn all the edges and… now I want you to buy them!

The scarves for the Makers4Refugees auctions have developed from my love for texture, nature and the blending of the two.

Japanese aesthetics are really important to me and each of these scarves have a sense of wabi sabi about them; a sense of impermanence and a sense of becoming and dissolving at the same time.
A leaf pressed against a greenhouse window, a cracked pane of glass, wet and worn cornish granite, fading dahlias and an unfinished painting…there’s an evanescence about them all.
There will also be one auction for a bespoke scarf…an assemblage or table arrangement which I will compose for the winning bidder; maybe with an object which has some personal significance or using colours which resonate with you.

The photos below are of each scarf to be auctioned and the bespoke auction will be on the 6th day ( with a slightly higher reserve price of £65 ).

They are digitally printed in the UK by a small business in Warwickshire and are 100% silk twill; an incredibly soft silk with a lovely weight which means the silk hangs with a gentle flow.

In my online shop my silk scarves sell for £120 each, so you could even grab yourself a bargain as I’m starting these off at each auction at a reserve price of £50. Postage will be free, wherever you live in the world!

Each evening next week I will post an image of the particular scarf up for auction on my Instagram account @5ftinf  and you will be able to place your bids in the comments below the image. The auction will last 24hrs.

The winning bid will be the highest bid at the close of the auction and the winning bidder will be expected to make the donation to the Makers4Refugees fundraising page immediately ( this is so that by the time the next maker has their auction week, all the previous week’s fundraising is sorted out).

So you can see the areas of aid where your money is likely to spent, here are some examples sent by Help Refugees …

        • a meal for one person in Athens – 25p
        • a mosquito net for a family’s tent in Greece – £10
        • a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes – £15
        • baby milk for one baby, for a week – £20
        • a buggy and cot – £25
        • a warm sleeping bag – £30
        • a refillable fire extinguisher – £35
        • the cost of a bread-maker and the ingredients for one person to make their own bread – £65 for the machine, 75p for ingredients for one person for the month
        • to support an unaccompanied child to live with a Greek family for a month – £400
        • fresh fruit and vegetables for 1 camp on average for 1 month – £2500
        • running a mobile sexual reproductive health clinic for a month – £5500
        • a rescue boat on the water for 30 days – £23,000

If you feel that you could be part of bidding for these exclusive, hand finished silk scarves next week it would be so brilliant to have you on board…making a practical and significant contribution to a very human crisis.



GREENHOUSE LEAF- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill


CRACKED GLASS- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill


FADING DAHLIAS – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill


WET CORNISH GRANITE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill


UNFINISHED PAINTING- 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill


BESPOKE ASSEMBLAGE – 1m X 1m, 100% silk twill

( You can also have a look at other examples in my online shop here if you wanted ideas for this last auction ).

Please email me via the form below if you would like any more information about the scarves or the auctions.





Friday…with Wyld Wood Organic Cider

September 22, 2017

Filed Under : Autumn - collaborations - Gardens - Museums - texture - trips

Yesterday I went to Hereford with Wyld Wood Cider to visit their organic cider farm and apple orchards.

It was a really interesting experience visiting Weston’s; a fifth generation, family-run business founded by Henry Weston in 1878. They harvest the apples, ferment their cider and also distribute it themselves. The whole process involves such history, passion and integrity… and even the cider vats have names.

So, below is my photo story of the day, which started with an enlightening talk from the Soil Association just before a wonderful organic lunch which fuelled us for the tour… You can see a video I made from the trip here as well as a Steller story with extra videos here

This post is kindly sponsored by Wyld Wood Organic Cider





Wednesday…with Artichoke Inspiration

September 13, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Autumn - colour - texture

Today’s composition was inspired by some artichoke heads my friend was about to dead head in her garden at the weekend…a couple of years ago I accidentally discovered the magic ( and subsequent mess ) of artichoke seeds: I thought I’d tease some seeds out of a head I’d been given to plant in my garden, which I did, and then went and made a cup of tea…when I came back to the table it was filled with giant, golden dandelion like seeds which completely mesmerised me…

So yesterday I thought I capture the happening through time lapse as well as experiment with some bright Autumnal colours amid the soft textures…



Thursday…with Yellows ( and a last chance Earlybird )

August 31, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Autumn - Brighton - colour - My Home - Summer - texture - workshops

I was working with yellows today; a sort of burnt, yellowy gold collation , and a sort of homage to the end of the Summer and the approach of Autumn… It’s all in the positioning of the pears…( I should have thrown these out ages ago but I loved watching them grow more and more golden every day! ) I wanted to create one of my ‘classic’ tables with this particular chair…which meant that Cheeks was moved, still on the chair, to the other side of the room…he didn’t even notice!

I also just wanted to remind anyone who’s thinking of booking a place on my Consciously Creative Online Course, which starts on Sept 11th, that tomorrow is the last day that you’ll be able to use the Earlybird discount code…please email me using the form at the bottom of this post if you’d like me to send it to you. ( There are only a handful of places left now, so do let me know soon )

Sunday…with the ‘Consciously Creative’ online course coming soon

August 27, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - Brighton - colour - Summer - texture - The Shed - workshops

I’ve been working on some of the details for my new online course starting in September and wanted to share them here first with a few images to give you a taste of the sort of thing I’ll be teaching ( There’s also more information on this page here )

So Consciously Creative will be a 6 week online course designed to help you develop your creativity in a type of online art class.
Over the 6 weeks there will be homework and creative tasks which will encourage you to experiment and experience ways of working and looking which may feel out of your comfort zone but which will allow you to be more open to different inspirations and techniques.

I want the course to feel personal so I will be demonstrating and chatting live each week for an hour via the private course instagram account and will try to answer any questions which may arise. The course will also have a limited number of places so that I can maintain that personal input.

I will be working primarily with my iphone; creating work through photographs, but if you prefer to work with paper, pencil and paint,for example, that would be perfectly ok too. However it would still be good to create a photographic document of your process and work throughout the course as it’s good to share and receive feedback even if it’s nerve wracking.

The course is meant to help you identify how you can develop your own daily practice of creating…it’s meant to inspire that creative impetus rather than tell you exactly how to do it. It’s about being inspired to do your own thing; follow your own path; taking away the pressure of having ‘clickable’ content, and by the end of the course I would hope that you would feel more confident about your own ways of seeing and doing or at least have a firmer starting point. I will encourage you to also start a personal project which will serve as a spark and act as an anchor, or even a hobby, for much more work to come.Week 1:
Introduction to a Way of Working
One of the main elements of how we will work is to focus on deep observation and hopefully slightly alter or shift your way of seeing and looking at things.
I will try and help you increase your sense and recognition of natural symmetry, colour coordination and composition.
I will steer clear of ‘styling’ and too much considered manipulation which can definitely create a sense of beauty but often lacks a deeper meaning or atmosphere.
We will cover aesthetics of texture, how important it is not to overlook it and how useful considering the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi can be.
We will focus on colour and how to develop a greater sense of the life of colours as well as learning how to identify and sense them in far more places than you thought. We will forage for domestic colours, look at colour wheels as well as noting how natural lighting can aslo impact on colour.WEEK 4:
Mood and Atmosphere
We will look at how we can add a further sense of atmosphere into your images…trying to enhance the way you ‘feel’ about something and how that leads onto the way you develop your editing skills. I will also create tutorials for making a very simple film and stop frame animation. WEEk 5:
Having focused on detailed elements in the previous weeks, we will now look at composition, focusing on a natural, organic style which I personally use, as well as some universal tips for points of focus, symmetry and asymmetry etc. WEEK 6:
Conclusion, continuing practice, re-cap and play
We’ll talk about everything we’ve covered over the last 5 weeks and work out which ones feel more natural or easy, which ones perhaps need more attention, which make you feel happy and which maybe make you feel at a loss. It’s important to feel that you will be able to carry on experimenting and being open, so starting a personal project in this last week will definitely be a benefit to developing your continuing practice.
I will work out a loose worksheet which you can print out as a creative stimulus and hopefully you will feel more equipped to create a continuing creative visual sense or response to who you are and how you see the world around you.Before the course begins I will provide you with a list of useful editing apps which I personally use, and each week I will suggest other inspirational Instagram accounts, artists, books and films which you may find interesting, helpful and relevant to the week’s topic.

I love working with other people and seeing how a collective of ideas and creativity can be so inspiring and motivating, so really look forward to meeting you if this course sounds like it’s your cup of tea…

You can buy your place in my online shop here  but please do e-mail me at if you are interested in taking a place as I will then send you an Earlybird registration discount code which will last until 1st September. 

Looking forward to meeting some of you soon!