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Friday, 22 April 2016

little mouse.....


Little Mouse Finds a Safe Place is a children's storybook designed to help professionals support children who have experienced and witnessed domestic violence and abuse, and also contains guidelines on the key issues and how to use the story with individuals and groups.
Little Mouse is confused and anxious. He liked his new Dad and his Mum says everything is OK, but Little Mouse is seeing things and hearing things that make him feel really worried. Little Mouse doesn't know what to do, or who to talk to. When things get even worse, Little Mouse suddenly finds himself needing to make a decision. What will Little Mouse do? Will he and his Mum get away? Will Little Mouse ever feel safe again?
When children have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse and violence, they are frequently left with many confusing and worrying emotions. They can feel responsible, guilty, ashamed, angry with themselves and their parents, frightened and insecure. They need to be enabled by empathic adults to safely express and understand their experience, and to work through and make sense of their feelings.
'Little Mouse Finds a Safe Place is a children's storybook designed to help professionals support children through this process, written by therapist Ann Dix, who has more than 20 years experience of working with children and families who have experienced domestic abuse. Beautifully and subtly illustrated by Jacqueline Quinn (herself a therapist), the book is designed to be read with children; it also contains guidelines and resources for professional and parental use. Both a genuinely thrilling and moving story for children, Little Mouse also concisely conveys many important psychological messages which will be evident to professionals working in this field. It has been approved and 'road-tested' by both groups of children and individual children, who have helped develop the story. Little Mouse genuinely conveys the tension and anguish of children in this situation, as well as providing a safe and contained ending that can open discussion with children and enable them to begin their own journey of healing with the adult alongside.'
If you are interested in being on our mailing list about Little Mouse and his travels please e mail me at
Available to buy from and all the others.. Waterstones, Blackwells, Smiths, Amazon.......

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


I don't consider myself to be an abstract painter...but maybe I should think about it!

In March, on what felt to be the first day of spring I taught a group of women in their local village hall in Northumberland how to construct intuitive abstract pieces, using layers of paint and graphite, pastel, stencils, hand carved stamps and almost anything else we could lay our hands on

If the amount of mess made and paint on hands is a measure of pleasure....then we had a good afternoon!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ive been caught up in collage......

I learned a technique last year with Seth Apter who has a great blog called The Altered Page its worth having a look at.

So I at last got around to using it on a set of old playing cards to make some daily prompts for myself and then started playing around with collaging in the surface and liked the results.

So here are some images and a step by step guide to doing it yourself.

I'd love to see your makes...

Come over to my facebook page and visit and post :-)

And find lots of other gorgeous makes on

Ready, steady.....Collage.
Here are step by step instructions for making this collage.......would love to see your results smile emoticon
I learned the background technique in a workshop with Seth Apter who has a great blog which is worth following
Give a piece of cartridge paper or card a coat of white or black acrylic paint or gesso and let it dry thoroughly.
Layer up with a thin coat of contrasting acrylic and let that layer dry too......hairdryer, heat gun or a a cuppa!
Another layer of acrylic and splash onto this layer some small spots of water.
Wait a few minutes until you can see the colour seeping up into the water. Blot with a paper towel.
Allow to thoroughly dry and repeat with contrasting colours until you have a background that you like.
Make sure that the surface is thoroughly dry and cut out the image that you want on your collage.
I used matt gel to adhere my image, but you can use a glue stick....any glue that isn't water soluble.
Spread the glue onto the surface of your layered work and also onto the back of the image and place on the piece.
Make sure that all air bubbles are pushed out....use an old credit or store card to do this.
Throughly dry.......lots of cups of tea or your hairdryer!
Put a dot of either paynes grey or black acrylic onto a paper towel and gently rub into the piece.
Work fairly swiftly here as acrylic paint dries quickly.
Using a wrung out baby wipe, gently wipe away the paint until you have an effect that you like.
The dark paint settles into the cut marks of the collage, the acrylic of the background and the dried glue marks.
Finally I used water soluble crayons, Caran d Ache around the image itself, gently blending with a baby wipe or finger tip around and onto the image.
I finished my piece of with the word 'love' as I'm going to send it to a friend and I used polymer medium to give a high gloss finish...which is unnecessary.
Come on then....get creative!

 Acrylic/gesso or emulsion surface.
 First layer with blotted water drops
 Second layer
Glue background
 Glue image to background and cover with glue
 Spot of paynes grey or black acrylic
Cover whole piece
Gently wipe away with a baby wipe
 Highlight with soluble crayon
 Gently wipe away
 Add words and gestural marks
Final coat of polymer medium if you have it.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New year resolutions.......

I'm in the English Lake District this week and loving the winter starkness of the landscape....and looking forward to getting back into the studio and building up a collection of collograph prints to share with you.

Pebble prints......