All Posts · Fabrics and Ceramics · French Life · Making and crafting · My Company Projects · Thistle Cottage Studio

French Expo

The last few years have been very tied up with renovations, Covid, starting my illustration business and struggling with migraines…some things on the agenda had to postponed, but this year I refused to postpone the summer Expo at Crocq, a pretty medieval town near Aubusson, famous for The Black Prince invading and partially destroying during… Continue reading French Expo

Childrens Book Illustrating · Making and crafting · Thistle Cottage Studio · Writing and Illustrating

1001 Reflections

Every year, just south of us in Crocq, an exhibition for art is run, featuring both professional or amateur painters, ceramics, sculptures. The exhibition is themed and your given space of upto 2 x 2.5×1.75 metres to display work and sell prints etc. It’s quite a big deal in such a rural area and thus… Continue reading 1001 Reflections

All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · French Life · Making and crafting · Renovation work · Thistle Cottage Studio

Thistle Cottage Studio

Drum roll please!!!!!Apart from painting the walls, and making curtains, my studio is finished. A lot of chalk painting and waxing brocante finds, and suffering from cracked skin on my fingers, a sore back and bruises from I don’t know where….I love it! Somehow it seems to have manifested a French red, white and blue… Continue reading Thistle Cottage Studio

All Posts · Fabrics and Ceramics · French Life · Guinea fowl · Making and crafting · Thistle Cottage Studio

Fateful Fabrics

From way, way back as a child I loved fabrics. My mother’s wooden chest in the hallway provided hours of fun for me exploring the Colefax and Fowler, Laura Ashley, Cole &Son and Liberty prints, feeling their textures, weight and mesmerised by the pattern repeats and complex layers of colours. My mother rarely sewed but… Continue reading Fateful Fabrics

All Posts · Fabrics and Ceramics · Thistle Cottage Studio · Writing and Illustrating

Busy Country Bees

I adore bees, their characters, their hard work ethic and over the years I have studied beekeeping, imported raw honey from Germany and Transylvania and can tell a good honey from a false honey.. a sly mix of sugars added to many sourced honey’s. Pure unadulterated, raw honey is amazing. You should be able to… Continue reading Busy Country Bees

All Posts · Animal tales · Animal welfare · Chickens · Ducks · French Life · Geese · Guinea fowl · The farm · Thistle Cottage Studio

Pipi found me

I haven’t posted for a while and wanted to catch up with a few updates. It’s a longish post but bare with me…I promise over the next few weeks they will be shorter and very varied. A lot has been going on and I have exciting things happening. But it had to start somewhere….. In… Continue reading Pipi found me

All Posts · Animal tales · Brocantes and reclaimation · Chickens · Thistle Cottage Studio · Writing and Illustrating

Sharing support

As you probably know by now, I am crazy about poultry. Not only do these guys bring me daily joy and a sense of worth, but they have been the catalyst in finally finding my new vocation in life, illustrating and story writing. They are the source of my inspiration, the bedrock of my day… Continue reading Sharing support

All Posts · French Life · Garden in the meadow · Landscapes and trees · Renovation work · Thistle Cottage Studio

Front of house

Finally the front of the Farmhouse looks respectable. It’s taken over a year to renovate my studio externally, repair the well and install the ancient well winding gear and repoint the wall. We put in the picket fence, pruned the roses and removed layers of plastic bags in the flower bed, supposedly put there to… Continue reading Front of house

All Posts · Animal tales · Guinea fowl · Making and crafting · My Company Projects · Thistle Cottage Studio · Writing and Illustrating

From sketch to tea mug

A few posts back I mentioned my dream of drawing and designing fabrics, characters and products. As an accountant, very embedded in my toils of tax and statutory accounts, I still scribbled in sketch books and jotted stories on ever growing bundles of lined and plain paper. Over the years I had completed half a… Continue reading From sketch to tea mug

All Posts · Thistle Cottage Studio · Writing and Illustrating

The bee suite

A couple of years ago I begun sketching characters for a book about a pig and a goose. The quandary was that the book would probably take years to write and the illustrations even longer. After a few jaunts to London to see traditional publishing  houses, I knew self- publishing was the new route to… Continue reading The bee suite

All Posts · Geese · Guinea fowl · Making and crafting · Thistle Cottage Studio

Tapestry time

I am very lucky to live near Aubusson, https://www.cite-tapisserie.fr/ the famous tapestry town in France. Felletin is just another twenty minutes further south and our brocantes are full of notions, wools and tapestries to snap up as bargains. I collect pre-loved tapestries too, always birds as they are my passion. Thistle Cottage studio will eventually… Continue reading Tapestry time

All Posts · Animal tales · Chickens · Geese · Guinea fowl · The farm · Thistle Cottage Studio

Pipi Pintade

Last year I was given a box of baby guineafowl. They were supposed to be banthams. Billy Bantham my adopted, feisty cockerel needed girls. He had adopted the role of deputy to Ronnie roosters flock of Rhode Island hens as Ronnie had an amputated toe and found rounding up the girls at sunset difficult. But… Continue reading Pipi Pintade

All Posts · French Life · Making and crafting · Thistle Cottage Studio

Crafting and shipping

This week, after a quite stressful start from loosing a little guinea fowl, to finding French postage is way more than UK postage, I felt I needed to go into print. I have successfully printed all my mugs, toiling with the foibles of sublimation heat and time settings, ink ICC colour management codes and a… Continue reading Crafting and shipping