Monday, December 29, 2014

gift to self

ok, so I might have just purchased a kiln! watch this space for future clay based creations in 2015...

a happy new year to all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

pink speckles

another clay wall hanging experiment fresh from the woodburner (with a sprinkle of bicarb to give it the pink speckles). unfortunately I dropped a log on it - oh well!

have a good christmas if i don't drop in to this space before!

Monday, December 08, 2014

an experiment

during the summer i had started to experiment with making some small pottery items, pinch pots and tiles mainly, just for a change of creative scenery. i bought some white low fire clay which was cheap and all i really needed for these sketches. my plan had been to build a pit fire on the allotment in order to fire them however time and weather just wouldn't allow me the time to do this and they have sat in a drawer ever since.

and then i was daydreaming in bed one morning, as i tend to do most mornings, and thought to myself that surely these could be fired in our woodburner? a bit of googling later and it seemed worth a shot so i dug out these 2 testers to fire the other day to see what would happen. the top one has a small crack from drying on the back and the bottom one was just a doodle really, no great loss if these disintegrate in the flames.

i heated them in the oven for an hour first then sat them on a bed of cold ashes in the burner, built the fire up slowly around them and left them in there for a few hours...

and bob's yer uncle, one of them made it! and i'm really loving the soft tones of charcoal and smokey grey that this has...

and i'm looking forward to getting some others fired and finished in the coming weeks...

Friday, November 28, 2014

something new

gouache on natural linen panel
7 x 9.5 inches
available in the Restless Things shop

notes: it has to be said that i'm struggling with the seasonal shift from autumn to winter. i can't quite cope with the slower pace as i always like to be pottering around, making and doing or being outside. winter feels so claustrophobic! roll on spring...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

recipe for success

earlier this week i woke to the first noticeable frost which put a sparkle on all of the rooftops and leaf edges in the garden. the sun broke through and it ended up being a crisp but glorious day. perfect weather for a hearty pot of warming lentil dahl i thought…

a hearty late autumn dahl
serves 6 (but stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days)

olive oil
2 x mixed peppers
1 x large onion
1 medium courgette
4 x good sized carrots
1 x tin chopped tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1/2 red chilli
6 x cloves of garlic
2 x teaspoons marigold bouillon powder
500g red lentils
2L boiling water

add indian spices to taste but i used roughly
4 x teaspoons garam masala
1 x teaspoon ground cumin
1 x teaspoon whole cumin
2 x teaspoons mild chilli powder
2 x teaspoons ground coriander
1 x teaspoon ground ginger
1 x teaspoon kolonji seeds

the beauty of this recipe is you can just wing it and add whatever needs using up in the fridge, today I also added some pumpkin and wrinkly celeriac which worked just fine.

dice all the veggies and add to a large stock sized pot and fry gently in the olive oil. add all of the spices and garlic and stir through. mix in the lentils, half the water and the bouillon powder and stir, bring to the boil and then simmer adding more water up to the full 2 litres if required. simmer for 30 minutes.

serve with a fried egg on top if the mood takes you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


(above) one of monty's lovely dogs from 'the ivington diaries'
with the gradual shortening of the days the call to stay indoors and stay warm is getting stronger day by day. i've already started my autumn ritual of stocking up on books from the library to keep me going through these dark days when I can't get outside in the garden or allotment for a good dose of pottering. here's a few of my current faves…

river cottage handbook: chicken & eggs
i've long had the desire to keep my own chickens for eggs and since i've finally cleared most of the allotment i'm thinking about taking the plunge in the spring. i've looked at a number of books on chicken keeping over the past few years and none of them have come close to the river cottage guide which really answers a lot of important questions and gives step-by-step guides to their upkeep. who knew feeding chooks kitchen scraps was illegal?!

the ivington diaries: monty don
my love for monty don runs deep. ever since a friend bought me a copy of fork to fork about 20 years ago (and i never saw the tv programme until i found it on you tube this year!) i have always defaulted to the oracle of monty for all of my gardening queries. this book is great and i don't know why i've left it so long to read it as it has bountiful excerpts from his garden diaries which are both poetically anecdotal and informative whilst being completely down to earth and easy to read. a visit to monty's garden would truly be a wish come true but this book, as well as his many others, will continue to fuel my imagination…

jekka's herb cookbook: jekka mcvicar
i've been dipping in and out of this one over the past couple of weeks and there is truly a plethora of great recipes involving herbs which range from including your typical parsley and sage to more unlikely varieties such as catmint and myrtle. in recent years my love for fresh herbs has really developed and i usually have a great bounty of assorted herbs available year round so this book was great for getting some fresh ideas on how to use them. for me it is thyme right now. i just cannot get enough of it in everything and am definitely going to try the recipe for thyme souffle as it sounds divine!

Do you have any good winter reading recommendations - fiction or non-fiction?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Collection Two: Unending

Back in August I launched Collection Two: Unending a series of 6 original prints created by repeatedly printing block plates on to book pages. This collection took a while to come together and went through a completely different phase initially which although completely enjoyable I just had to admit to myself were just preliminary sketches and not what I was really trying to achieve.

I needed something with a weightless quality which could convey my love of nothingness and fascination with the perpetual evolving of time. And after much contemplation and frowning I came up with these and by jove they make my little heart sing.

Collection Two is also now available in the Restless Things shop. Do have a nosey if you have the time x

Sunday, September 28, 2014

recap 2

Continuing with my recapitulation...After the launch of Collection One it was my birthday! It was crazy hot and we went for a long walk and got lost on a very steep cliff. Looks great in retrospect though :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Just to recap...

Just in case you didn't make it over to the new/temporary blog which I've now decided I don't much care for (!) here's a recap...

Back in June I launched Collection One - a collection of 14 one-of-a-kind drawings which combines my unending love for simplicity with the meditative qualities of repetitive mark making. This is a group of drawings which I thoroughly enjoyed working on it was rewarding to have a group of pieces come to fruition all at once. I really like to see them all laid out in a grid like this; it's like they are having a conversation with one another.

This collection is available through both my website and the Restless Things etsy shop.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

guess who's back?

lets just say that the blog template on my new website is not cutting the mustard with me. I wanted everything under one roof but I guess it was not meant to be. c'est la vie. you'll find me posting back here from now on, pretend like I never went anywhere ;)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

softly, softly

Finally, and after much tweaking, I am pleased to announce that my new website is now live. From now on I will be blogging at the Gallery blog over there, just keeping it simple with new work, thoughts and inspirations.

Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my posts over the years, I do hope you will bookmark my new space and drop in from time to time.

Don't be a stranger!

Olivia x

Friday, May 30, 2014

new work & progress

well, there's all sorts going on around here and hopefully I will have my new website launched next week with my first 'collection' of pieces available. this will be the first new work i've had available for quite a while. don't forget that this new work will only be available through that site first and I'll add it to my etsy shop at a later date.

another thing to remember is that this will also be the end of this blog as after about 7 years and 734 posts I will be making it an integrated part of my website which you can either bookmark or keep up with me on facebook or flickr. I do tweet upon occasion but not that often.

Monday, May 26, 2014

notes from here

a pretty dead visitor and the garden is blooming away

managed to catch a hypnotic show from toumani diabate in norwich last week

Monday, May 19, 2014


i've been doing quite a bit of work behind the scenes of late; it's funny how things just come together sometimes.

there is a new website in the works which will incorporate a gallery of older work, shop for new work going forward and a new blog. i've decided to put this blog to bed, after many years i feel like some fresh starts. i will continue to have work available through my restless things shop but new work will be launched on my new website several weeks before it hits there. 

if you're on facebook you can keep up with me here but if you prefer the blog format i'll be posting a link to it once the new site is up and running.

this will also be the end of digital prints. when i first started out digital prints were a cost effective way of making my work available to more people. when i look at these now i feel they're missing the point of my work having a sense of history and a tactile quality, they are dull and flat replicas. i still have a small stock of printer paper and can make orders on request. a few more popular prints will remain available whilst the printer paper lasts but these will ultimately be phased out for good.

i will be launching my work in small collections taking time to bring together a group of pieces that have a narrative with each other, work will be available on an as and when basis. i am starting to work with some different materials and am currently playing with some larger scale block prints, textile designs and clay - hopefully all for future release - how exciting!

i hope some of you will follow me into this foray and i'll keep you posted on any happenings...

Monday, May 12, 2014

notes from here

good monday greetings to you! let's hope this week pans out better than the last as i'm feeling a bit windswept and interesting from the fierce weather of the past few days...

here's a few doodles from this weekend on salvaged wood and a bunch of bright flowers fresh from the cutting patch to lighten the mood!

Friday, May 09, 2014

work in progress

having a full studio day today and working on some block prints i've been itching to complete! for all of those keeping their eyes peeled for new original work I will be launching a collection of pieces later in the year instead of the usual dribs and drabs so watch this space.

Saturday, May 03, 2014


i attended a wonderful show at the foundling museum (britain's first home for abandoned children) last nite and was completely enthralled by the hundreds of 'tokens' on display. these beautiful unique objects were easily recognisable items that could be used to prove the identity of an infant if the parent(s) found them selves in circumstances to take the child back. breathtaking stuff.

enchanting music was provided by micah blue smaldone and tom kovecevic