My partner and I recently started a new series of articles for Strong Island called Dwelling. Its about the homes of Portsmouth residents that are in some way beautiful, interesting or tell a story.

You can read the interview with participants Rudy and Anna here and view all the images on a blog we set up for Dwelling.

I think you’ll agree there home is unique and full of love.




Apple and Cinnamon bun recipe.

The gentle art of perfecting my cinnamon bun recipe has become a bit of an obsession in our house. I think I’m almost there with the addition of apple chunks it’s gotten serious and I feel I have upped my game. Josh also obliged by taking some lovely photos of the result and then of course he got to eat them.


To make 12 buns you will need:

  • 500g of bread flour
  • 1tbsp of instant dried yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 2tbsp of sugar (extra sugar for filling)
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • powdered cinnamon
  • 2 sweet apples peeled and chopped in small chunks.
  • icing sugar to dust

Dough (I used a bread maker if your making dough by hand follow a basic bread dough recipe)

  • Combine the yeast, flour, egg, salt, sugar, 2tbsp butter, vanilla extract, 2tsp of cinnamon and milk in the dough pan.
  • Set for a standard bread dough setting around 2hr 40min.

The rest…

  • Roll out dough into a rectangle about 1.5cm thick.
  • Spread butter over the surface like your buttering a slice of bread.
  • Sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon over the buttered dough evenly.
  • Dot the dough with the small chunks of apple and add an extra sprinkling of sugar.
  • Roll the dough up like a magic carpet.
  • Slice your magic carpet up into 12 equal rounds.
  • Butter or line a baking tray and place the rounds on it, bake for 20mins or until slightly golden at 200c.
  • Remove from oven, cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.

These buns are not overly sweet but if you like a more decadent bun make a gooey frosting from cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract to smear on the top of the buns, it amazing!



Spring Colour… inspiration.

In the midst of an uber busy time at the gallery I know how important it is for me to keep my site healthy and active. I am so excited because tomorrow we have an exhibition of photography at work by Ali Tollervey which is of the band Dark Horses. The band will be there and then we get to see them perform live afterwards at The Registry. Then on Saturday we have our Zine Fair which I’m beyond happy about!

To get us in the mood for a super Spring Easter weekend here are some images I came across on my tumblr. I will credit images where I can.



In-dy tumblr

I took this photo last week at Portsmouth Museums Teddy Bear exhibition. this bear is my favourite.

Raw Draw.

Sheila Forde

yeh loser

Things and People interview.

Late last year I came across this wonderful project Things and People the images with accompanying stories make for an engaging combination. I decided to contact the artist behind the project for an interview.
1. How did you conceive the idea of ‘Things & People’?
The project was really a happy accident. I’m from a family of shop keepers, my mum’s shop celebrated its 50 anniversary this year. My elder sister has a shop which had its 10th anniversary in 2009. We produced a small book to thank customers and give to the press. In it I wanted to celebrate independent retailing, to show the relationship between my sister as a shop keeper with her customers. This is something I was brought up with, my mum really knows her customers – their size and shape, their preferences, bits about their lives, my sister Victoria has this same knowledge. I thought it would be lovely to photograph a customer for every year that the shop had been open and the object that they’d bought that year. My sister effortlessly reeled off ten customers, what they’d bought and when. Most of them were based in Winchester, I’d recently moved back from the states and it was great to get on my bike again and cycle around a small city meeting people and photographing them. I enjoyed every aspect of it, chatting over a cuppa about what they’d bought, shooting and then editing the pair of images to use. I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end – so thingsandpeople began.

2. How long has the project been running?
It’s been going for just over two years with one posting per week.

3. Are there any objects or people that stand out to you from all your interviews?
They’re all very different which makes it hard to choose and is partly why I love them as a collection, I love the breadth (click on images for a link to the text), from silly –

to poignant –

to sad and moving –

to remarkably coincidental –
4. Whats your background, did you study at art school?
Yep, an epic stint at various art schools, six years in all. I graduated from St Martins, took a year out and went to the Royal College of Art for my MA.

5. Have you or do you intend to exhibit ‘Things & People’?
I’ve not exhibited it, it’s more about stories than anything else. I think maybe a book before an exhibition.

6. Do you have any other projects on the go at the moment or plans for future projects?
As far as plans outside of my real job – I want to do another installation for End of the Road festival this year, in 2011 I made a series of bicycle powered washing lines! I want to keep working with my photographer friend Sara Morris, we’ve done a bunch of stuff together – I have an idea, prop, style and art direct and she lights beautifully and photographs. Our first project next year is for 100% Design.

7. This is cliche I know but do you have a ‘thing’ that means a lot to you?
I have lots of things that mean lots to me but a set of 60s Melamine cups and saucers aggregate a series of stories for me. My younger sister was getting married and my elder sister and I went to Covent Garden to buy flowers for the wedding. The stall holders were very funny, there was lots of silly shouted banter between them – ‘Kev, your Viagra’s come in, shall I bring it over?’. So I have this lovely memory of buying flowers with my giggling elder sister. We got home and had to empty out any receptacle we could find to keep the flowers fresh, the dustbin, pots and pans and a big cow creamer that my mum climbed up to reach from a high shelf. She shrieked – inside was a Christmas present for me that she’d hidden so well that she’d lost it for two years. I love that my mum knew that I would adore this red and white plastic cup and saucer set and I love that she found it in an old charity shop. I also love that the cups themselves tell a story, two of them have a tea tide mark and two are immaculately unstained, I imagine an old couple who didn’t have people over and just used the same two cups for themselves over years.

8. Do you invite people to submit there objects to you?
I’d be very happy to photograph anyone, it is more a story site, so the monetary value or aesthetic value of the objects is less important than the narrative attached. A good story is really what I’m after.
Artists journey…
After college I worked at a design company called Pentagram for four years, I loved it so much I was worried I’d never leave so I booked a ticket to Australia and travelled around for three months. Back home I had an abortive attempt at launching a magazine with an old friend, I then took a job as Art Editor for Time Out in the hope that I’d learn enough to make a better job of launching our own magazine – I learnt lots from my fantastic Art Director for a few months before he left but I discovered that I wanted to do more than editorial design. I freelanced for a bit then got a job at Apple in California. I had a great life in San Francsico for four years. Four years was enough to make me hanker for home and broader work than I’d produced at Apple. I freelanced and did my own work for four more years before another happy accident landed me a job as a Creative Director at Wolff Olins – I went in to talk to their designers about my work, including thingsandpeople and they suggested I come in for an interview.

An end, a beginning.

Yesterday I think I reached the bottom and had an out pouring of grief like I have never felt before. Sometimes perhaps you have to break to realise that you need fixing.

This morning I woke up and I produced three paintings in quick succession, more than I have painted in three months. Brave new feelings have been found and demons have been fought and destroyed. Taking solace in creativity is a wonderful thing, to take a blank page and fill it with colour, a pile of materials and make something new. Oh what a metaphor for life.


Some things that made me smile today…

Maria Carluccio


1950’s card

Becca Stadtlander

Traditional eskimo folk art: Bear Emerging from Sea

Artist unknown

Hemzo Karoly

Traditional wooden dolls.

Alpine Kitsch: Oh Marie

Beautiful Dutch online magazine Oh Marie has launched it’s latest issue ‘Alpine Kitsch’. I can’t describe how visually delicious it is, cute, festive and stylish. It would soften the hardest of hearts to the romance of Alpine living.

I want to step into the pages and surround myself with deer, cuckoo clocks and alpine blooms. I know you will feel the same and take inspiration from the styling guide, little craft projects, interviews and photography.

alpine alpine1 alpine2 alpine3 alpinekitsch

Ingrid the Nahwal and friends.















I have had so much fun making these recently and enjoy my job more and more with every year that passes. To purchase Mr Cuddles the dog, Mr Cloppity the pony or Ingrid the Nahwal please visit Flo & Stan. To purchase them online contact Flo & Stan.

The beautiful images were taken by the talented Josh Knill at Often Hover, he is great at product shots for crafter’s!


Ch ch ch changes.

Amazingly I have given up smoking, Im on day 6. Its getting easier with each day. Maybe its the change in the season, makes it easier to change something in your life. Its not an easy choice and I haven’t been out to a bar yet drinking, that will be a huge test of strength not to smoke. If I can do it I will prove to myself that I am capable of self control, this is something that at 29 years old has eluded me most of my life.

Lets celebrate the change in season and the freedom of stopping.