Category Archives: workshops

Monday…with an ikebana workshop

February 8, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - ikebana - Winter - workshops

Photo 08-02-2016, 08 52 13 I ran an ikebana workshop at the Arlo & Jacob showroom in Putney, London on Saturday…

It was the first time I’d run a workshop like this so I was really pleased with the incredible results  the participants created.

I was also so engrossed that I didn’t take many photos at all, but Emma Herian from Sew Recycled did, so thankfully you’ll get a sense of what the morning was like…( I’ve put her name under when her photos appear! )Photo 06-02-2016, 14 23 34Photo 08-02-2016, 13 26 20( photo above by Emma Herian )Photo 06-02-2016, 14 08 21Photo 06-02-2016, 14 12 29Photo 08-02-2016, 13 30 15( photo above by Emma Herian )Photo 06-02-2016, 14 28 56 Photo 06-02-2016, 12 37 55 Photo 06-02-2016, 13 55 43 Photo 07-02-2016, 11 43 46( photo above by Emma Herian )Photo 06-02-2016, 14 22 40Photo 06-02-2016, 14 24 00Photo 08-02-2016, 13 29 36( photos above and below by Emma Herian )Photo 07-02-2016, 11 40 10A large part of the workshop involved the arrangements being carried around to various areas of Arlo & Jacob so that we could experiment with light and textures which worked well for the display; something that is just as important as the piece itself, so here are a few photos taken by the participants themselves of the arrangements they created…

( below by @suselladeville )Photo 08-02-2016, 13 58 00( below by @alexis.allan )Photo 08-02-2016, 13 58 16( below by @ikebana_jen )Photo 08-02-2016, 13 58 27( below by @dinopi )Photo 08-02-2016, 13 58 37( below by @Sussie Bell )Photo 08-02-2016, 13 58 44Photo 07-02-2016, 11 38 14Photo 06-02-2016, 14 11 59After we had worked on the moribana ikebana arrangements, I demonstrated a flat lay ikebana…something I’ve sort of invented using some of the ikebana principles and with a free style, combining the arrangement of plant material with the arrangement of domestic material and then framing it within a photograph…Photo 08-02-2016, 13 27 35Photo 06-02-2016, 13 27 52

This is a bit of a new passion for me so it was great to share it for the first time and something I’m making into a daily ritual as it’s a wonderful form of simple, uncluttered creative concentration.

I’ll hopefully be running more of these ikebana workshops this year so keep looking at the workshop dates page here in case you miss an announcement and would like to come.

( there’s also a lovely blog piece by one of this class’s participants here )

Photo 08-02-2016, 12 32 36


Friday…with Flat lay Ikebana

January 29, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - cycling - ikebana - Winter - workshops

Photo 28-01-2016, 13 43 11 Yesterday I was chasing green fields and the blue sky on my bike for a series of photographs I’m working on at the moment…

I was wanting a rose against some blue sky and as the head had already accidentally come off one of the roses I placed it in an empty spindleberry tree which immediately made me think that it looked like a piece of natural ikebana…Photo 28-01-2016, 13 45 52So today I decided to create a sort of flat lay ikebana reflecting something of the inspiration from yesterday…
Photo 29-01-2016, 12 50 11 here are the stages of the arrangement…Photo 29-01-2016, 12 52 47 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 52 53 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 53 08 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 53 18 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 54 09 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 55 31 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 56 15 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 58 26 Photo 29-01-2016, 12 59 41

Photo 29-01-2016, 12 50 47

( that’s Himalayan rock salt by the way… )Photo 29-01-2016, 12 42 20Photo 29-01-2016, 12 44 01 (1)You can join me at a workshop in London next week where we’ll be looking at ikebana style arranging as well as some of this flat lay ikebana ( you can book tickets for it on my eventcube page  here )Photo 29-01-2016, 12 49 35

Wednesday…with frosty Ikebana

January 20, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - cycling - ikebana - My Garden - My Home - Spring - Winter - workshops

Photo 20-01-2016, 11 10 47The snow from the weekend has melted, but the frost has set in this week, which is something I don’t mind at all if it doesn’t kill the echiums and the sun is shining…I love how the whites of snow and frost are actually often some sort of blue depending on the light…
Photo 20-01-2016, 08 35 53 (1) I cycled up to the Ditchling Beacon this morning and although I’ve done it loads of times this morning was so beautiful in it’s coldness…Photo 20-01-2016, 08 41 31 Photo 20-01-2016, 08 41 59 ( this is me looking like a Victorian postman on some sort of penny farthing! )Photo 20-01-2016, 08 42 45 Photo 20-01-2016, 08 43 48 Photo 20-01-2016, 08 35 36 I cycled on to Stanmer Park nearby as it was all too nice to rush back the normal route…Photo 20-01-2016, 09 08 18 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 08 32 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 08 50 (1) Photo 20-01-2016, 09 09 22 When I got back I felt really inspired by how I found it so beautiful even though there’s a lack of bright colour at the moment…just loads of twigs, blueness and a sense of structure…

So, it’s actually a perfect time of year for an Ikebana arrangement as there’s so much form and simplicity out there at the moment, with just those little pops of otherness…
Photo 20-01-2016, 09 45 29 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 45 49 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 46 50 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 47 15 I wanted the arrangement to reflect my bike ride in some way, so went into my garden to try and find things which I thought may be able to capture some sense of that…Photo 20-01-2016, 09 51 25 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 52 10 Photo 20-01-2016, 09 53 25 ( I also had a little black and white experiment inspired by Karl Blossfeld…this is a direct link, but if you Google him with ‘images’ you’ll get his incredible photos en masse! )Photo 20-01-2016, 09 54 48 Choosing the ikebana vessel is important…Holly Bell made me these 2 light ones for Christmas, and I wanted to use them, but I thought this arrangement would probably work better with a larger base…Photo 20-01-2016, 10 30 33 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 37 50 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 39 33 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 39 56 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 40 13 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 41 34 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 41 59 You have to start somewhere, and I love this common hogweed seed head which I’d picked even though it was the last one left…Photo 20-01-2016, 10 44 34 but it didn’t really work…

I wanted to reflect the landscape more…

Photo 20-01-2016, 08 44 27…so it disappeared!Photo 20-01-2016, 10 46 09 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 48 36 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 49 49 Photo 20-01-2016, 10 52 03 I wanted to create a sense of the cycling; the wind in my face, everything going past so quickly and glances into the hedgerows…Photo 20-01-2016, 11 06 32 …and I just added a hint of Spring as it was definitely lurking out there this morning even in an underground sort of way…Photo 20-01-2016, 11 08 51 …and these are the leftovers!Photo 20-01-2016, 11 12 21

I’ll be running a short Ikebana style workshop in a couple of weekends time at Arlo & Jacob in London, in which I’ll demonstrate and also give some firm ideas and starting points on how to create your own arrangements similar to this one…a sort of story telling though simplicity and the frugal sense of season, with a definite sense of place and relevance .

There’s more information about here and in a blog post here, and if you’d like to book a place you’ll be able to here.

I’ll be bringing all the ikebana ceramics, flowers and twigs, and there’ll be free coffee, cake… and popcorn ( I’m obsessed with popcorn at the moment! ) and we’ll be able to look at the photography aspect too once you’ve created your pieces.

( You can see a Steller story here which has lots of pictures of the space where the workshop will be held )

New Workshop Dates for 2016…( + a 25% shop discount! )

January 9, 2016

Filed Under : Art - ikebana - Shop Discounts - synaesthesia - workshops

Photo 29-06-2015 16 02 45Over the last week, I’ve been putting dates and ideas together for new workshops for 2016. I have 4 workshops now available at , 2 of them are my flat lay and colour based workshops, but I’ve also decided that I’ll start running a few synaesthesia painting workshops along with the more floral/photographic based ones, as painting is basically where I started ( you can see some of my work here ). The first one of these will be on 27th February.

1.Synaesthesia workshop 2016

My signature style workshops will happen at home in Brighton over the year, and the first two will take place in March, ( these March workshop tickets are now on sale ). There will also be some retreat workshops during the Summer and Autumn and which I will be able to release tickets for next month.

March Workshop 2016

The first workshop of the year though, will take place at the Arlo & Jacob showroom in London ( a fantastic former ice cream factory! ) on Saturday February 6th and will be a sort of taster of how we can create Japanese Ikebana style arrangements using seasonal flowers, sticks, ceramics as well as vintage props to help with the photographic element.

ikebana Workshop 2016

I visited Arlo & Jacob last year, so here are a few photos of the beautiful, light and very comfortable space…

IMG_5752 This will be a workshop where you’ll feel encouraged to play with shapes and space, but also take time to quietly reflect on how the process of arranging can be a grounding and meditative process…

( you can see my ikebana Pinterest board here )IMG_5758 IMG_5745 IMG_5764 IMG_5747 IMG_5733 IMG_5771 IMG_5750

I love the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, so I’ll be trying to encourage you to love and incorporate accidents, and work with what nature gives rather than what you want it to do…

( you can also have a look at my wabi sabi Pinterest board here )

I’m really looking forward to working within the Japanese style with people, as it’s something that is very important to me and my work…and also as my Granny qualified as an Ikebana practitioner in the 1960’s and we will be using some of her original ceramics.


You can find more details about my workshops here and please feel free to e-mail me at if you have any questions about anything…really looking forward to meeting more of you this year!
Photo 11-01-2016, 13 25 07Also I’m just starting a January sale in my shop, with Checkout code: 5FTINFJANSALE which will give you 25% off when you order 2 or more calendars. I don’t have a huge quantity of the calendars left, so this discount will run until they have all been sold.

Photo 07-01-2016, 10 28 57

Monday…with Workshop catch up

December 7, 2015

Filed Under : Arrangements - ikebana - My Home - Winter - workshops

Photo 07-12-2015, 11 51 24 I ran 2 Christmas workshops at my home in Brighton over the weekend, where we created Ikebana style arrangements in the morning and then after lunch Christmas wreaths…the pictures below show the arrangements which people created as well as moss-covered table workings of the wreath making…all overseen of course, by Cheeko who loved the attention he got!Photo 05-12-2015, 09 32 27 Photo 06-12-2015, 09 26 18 Photo 04-12-2015, 10 01 41 Photo 04-12-2015, 16 20 02 Photo 05-12-2015, 17 32 02 Photo 06-12-2015, 08 51 15 Photo 06-12-2015, 11 36 06 Photo 06-12-2015, 08 53 10 Photo 06-12-2015, 08 53 34 Photo 05-12-2015, 12 17 01 Photo 05-12-2015, 12 26 54 Photo 06-12-2015, 11 01 48 (1) Photo 06-12-2015, 12 10 28 Photo 06-12-2015, 12 14 15 Photo 06-12-2015, 12 16 29 Photo 06-12-2015, 12 20 39 Photo 06-12-2015, 11 55 08 Photo 05-12-2015, 13 28 52 Photo 05-12-2015, 15 00 50 Photo 05-12-2015, 15 28 47 Photo 06-12-2015, 12 09 24 Photo 06-12-2015, 14 14 27 Photo 06-12-2015, 14 14 47 Photo 06-12-2015, 14 15 06 Photo 06-12-2015, 14 15 16 Photo 06-12-2015, 15 11 57 Photo 06-12-2015, 15 22 21 Photo 06-12-2015, 15 46 37 (1) Photo 07-12-2015, 11 47 43 Photo 06-12-2015, 16 06 32 Photo 06-12-2015, 17 56 47 Photo 07-12-2015, 11 43 25

There’ll be more workshop dates for 2016 announced in the New Year, and there are a couple of places left at my wreath making workshop at The Queen of Hoxton next weekend ( you can book for that here if you fancy coming )

Wednesday…with Grimm Wreaths!

December 2, 2015

Filed Under : Arrangements - D.I.Y - Winter - workshops


Photo 02-12-2015, 10 20 35

I’m really getting into the seasonal spirit this weekend as I’m running 2 workshops at home making festive wreathes and ikebana style arrangements.

The weekend after on the 12th, I’ll also be running a short wreath making workshop at The Queen of Hoxton in London in their rooftop wigwam, where the wreathes will be inspired by Grimms Fairy Tales ( you can follow my Grimm Inspiration Pinterest board here ). It’s pretty booked up already but I think there are 5 places left if you wanted to book. ( you can do that here )

If you can’t make it or live miles away, I’ve put together a visual DIY below of how to make a mini woodland type wreath…

Photo 02-12-2015, 10 22 45 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 25 11 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 35 02 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 37 02 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 40 03 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 41 47 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 45 44 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 46 07 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 55 50 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 58 00 Photo 02-12-2015, 10 59 03


Saturday…with scented reflections

October 31, 2015

Filed Under : Art - Autumn - collaborations - My Home - synaesthesia - workshops

Photo 27-10-2015 10 29 34

When I’m not filling my table with lopped off flower heads, I paint… and painting has always been the impetus and background to my photographic compositions on The Table before Instagram and blogging were ever in my life…

And this week I’ve been up to my eyes with painting, as on Thursday I ran 2 synaesthesia based workshops for The Perfume Soceity with Illuminum, London at the Illuminum gallery in Mayfair.

I had been sent 5 of the Illuminum fragrances a few weeks ago which I had painted sketches of, and I had also composed a photographic composition inspired by scent for the cover of the Perfume Society’s magazine ‘The Scented Letter’…
Photo 27-10-2015 09 46 17 Photo 06-10-2015 17 43 33 Being a synaesthete means that I see the shapes, colours and textures which accompany the senses and through paint I am able to create an impression of what goes on inside my head…

My favourite scent out of the 5 I was given was ‘Taif Rose’ which I decided I would translate into a large canvas painting…
Photo 27-10-2015 09 49 50 Photo 27-10-2015 09 49 58 Photo 27-10-2015 10 35 49 Photo 27-10-2015 10 00 58 ( I started off in the shed but as the hours went on I decamped to the back room, so I could just slink off to bed in the early hours, and then carry on in the morning… )Photo 31-10-2015 09 47 36The other fragrances I was sent were…

‘Black Rose’Photo 06-10-2015 17 43 40‘White Musk’Photo 06-10-2015 17 43 24‘Black Oud’Photo 09-10-2015 13 05 56‘Tribal Black Tea’Photo 09-10-2015 17 46 54I went to visit the gallery space last week where the workshops were held and where an amazing installation occupies the gallery…It’s called ‘Colour as a Narrative’ and was put together by Antonino CardilloPhoto 23-10-2015 15 23 32Photo 23-10-2015 15 22 39Photo 23-10-2015 15 23 01Photo 23-10-2015 15 24 03As the participants were not only going to be smelling perfumes but also drawing and painting the scent, I spent a bit of time during the week choosing some materials…Photo 26-10-2015 12 23 57Photo 26-10-2015 12 23 47Photo 26-10-2015 12 23 25( and also using my new and very favorite ‘Colour Dictionary’ of pencils from Niwaki )Photo 29-10-2015 10 10 42Photo 29-10-2015 17 48 05I set up at the gallery on Thursday and also brought along shade cards, flowers and ceramics by Holly Bell, so that colour and texture was around and inspiring but without being intrusive…Photo 29-10-2015 10 10 22 (1)I had pre prepared textured small canvases for everyone, and basically encouraged the inner abstract I believe everyone has, but something which people just need the time and space to explore…it was very satisfying to see everyone completely absorbed in their own creative worlds completely working with their senses…Photo 29-10-2015 17 47 39

I wasn’t very handy with my phone during the event as all hands were needed for painting and explaining, but luckily the absolutely amazing photographer Aliona Adrianova was there taking the wonderful images below… ( and you must take a look at her incredible portraits here )
4 5 6 111142157 138 12 17

9 10( You can see more of my synaesthetic paintings here and please contact me if you would like to discuss a commission or purchase. There is also a Steller Story version you can look at here )

Tuesday…with Brocco on the Park, Sheffield

October 27, 2015

Filed Under : Autumn - collaborations - trips - workshops


When I saw a long and busy weekend ahead of me in Sheffield, I knew it would be a real treat at the end of the Friday, after a long drive from Brighton and preparing for the ‘Vase to Table’ workshop, to stay in an hotel…but to stay in such a beautiful small hotel as Brocco on the Park was more than a treat…it is a complete oasis, and not only that, the food and the service in their restaurant is amazing.

I discovered Brocco on the Park back in July ( care of searching on Instagram and finding their account here ) after a nightmare 8 and a half hour drive from Brighton, and so I knew it would be the best place to stay in Sheffield during the workshop weekend…

One of the things I love about it is the interior design which the owner Tiina Carr ( who’s half Finnish ), has taken so much care over getting right; even the small details have been considered, right down to the beautiful graphics painted onto the wallpaper There are only 8 rooms and each one has been named after a different bird…( even your keys have a bird fob! )

There is also some really good art dotted around the hotel…we were really taken by Jonathan Wilkinsons work which you can see here

imageimageI also love that in each room they leave you a book…nothing too intimidating, just things you can dip into with a sense of relaxation…Photo 26-06-2015 19 31 16

…and you don’t just get tea and coffee in your room, you get homemade cake too!

Basically Brocco makes you feel so comfortable in your bedroom, you have to tear yourself away to visit the restaurant downstairs…

Photo 27-06-2015 08 25 19 Photo 26-06-2015 19 35 14 image imagePhoto 27-06-2015 09 13 45 Photo 27-06-2015 09 12 48Photo 27-06-2015 09 12 18

…and to be honest the restaurant was one of my favourite parts of the whole stay.

I love eating out, I always have ever since I was a child…it’s what I used to ask for for my birthday present!

…I suppose as I’ve got older I’ve become a real stickler for good service as well as food; it’s the combination of the two which makes a meal so pleasurable… or not. I’ve had meals which have tasted amazing but the table service has been so snooty that I’d never go back…

But at Brocco, even if the food had been just mediocre, I have definitely gone back anyway as the standard of service was so outstanding, but the food was completely amazing as well. The hotel says that if something can be homemade, handpicked or personalised that’s what they’ll choose ( you can see some of their menus here ).

I ordered the mackerel, then the steak for my main course, and was surprised but completely won over, when our waiter, Joe, presented me with a wooden box full of beautiful, bone handled steak knives which I was asked to choose from…I loved the theatricality of this personal touch; the meal wasn’t just about eating, it was about engaging with it too…
Photo 27-06-2015 08 58 25Photo 26-06-2015 20 32 19

I’m not a big pudding fan, but rather unfashionably I do love an Irish coffee; my Dad always used to have a ‘floater’ when we went out as kids and I thought it looked really sophisticated, so I decided to ask if Joe could make one,  under strong protest from my other half not to ask, saying that no-one does ‘floaters’ these days…

…and he was right; Joe thought I wanted a Bailey’s in my coffee, ( which I went for in the end ), but he seemed really interested in this hot, whisky coffee I’d conjured up from the 1980’s ( a time before his time! )

The next evening it turned out that another brilliant waiter, Stuart, not only knew how to make them but was an absolute expert…he was going to show Joe how to do it properly…and Stuart’s Irish coffee was one of the best I’ve had in years!! Now that’s what I call ‘personalised’ service…I could have stayed in the restaurant for hours drinking Irish coffees before I went to bed…

Photo 26-06-2015 21 37 52imageimageimageLuckily, breakfast was just as good as dinner…image

and I could quite happily have stayed for a week having my own version of a retreat…rather than sitting in the car all day driving home and eating far too much popcorn!

The hotel is now gearing up for Christmas and New Year ; I certainly noticed a change in temperature from Autumn to Winter when I was up there, so they’ve got lots of seasonal stuff happening, ( including a table decoration workshop by their resident florist Alison Doxy with a 2 course meal included! ).

They’re also doing Festive Afternoon Teas, which is my idea of Heaven, and of course I completely agree when they say ‘ there’s no better gift than sharing tea and cake’…I just wish I lived closer, but to be honest that’s not going to keep me away from this wonderful little hotel…I’m planning a birthday getaway already!


You can find out lots more little details about the hotel and their upcoming events via their website, Twitter and Facebook page, and you can also see the Steller Story version of my trip here