'Sunny Days' cyanotype exhibition June 2023

A blue cyanotype lampshade showing dandelions and grasses
a display of three cyanotypes pieces , one rectangle and two in tapestry round hoops. Plants and flowers are sunprinted onto the fabric
A wall is covered with cyanotype prints showing plants sunprinted on the blue fabric
Three pieces of fabric are pegged on a washing line. The blue fabric has grasss and flowers sunprinted on

This June I've taken part in the Highams Park Arts Trail and have displayed my cyanotype (sun-prints) in the Hale End library. Last year I also displayed cyanotypes - prints in tapestry hoops and lampshades - but this year I added some larger pieces. For these pieces the organic cotton was stretched across wooden frames (made by my husband) and then hung on the wall. They make a very striking display and each one is unique. I've called the exhibition 'Sunny Days', not only becuase you need sunny days to make cyanotypes, but because the botanicals and florals, captured by the sun, remind me of sunny days.

I first made a large cyanotype (over a 1 metre long) for my kitchen last year, so it was this that inspired me to do some other large pieces of the exhibition. In the image below you can see the plants all laid out on fabric that has been treated with cyanotype and is ready to be exposed in the sun. 

Buttercups and grasses lay against fabric that is treated with cyanotype
A large sunprinted cyanotype of hedgerow plants and Agapanthus rests against a blue wall. The blue fabric is stretched over a wooden frame.
A sun printed image of a Agapanthus made by cyanotype in a wooden tapestsery frame

Strawberry Delight April 2023

Last summer I took part in the Make it in Design Summer School. During the online school, the designers are given two trend briefs to design to. There are three categoies, beginner, intermediate and advanced. I took part in the Advanced brief where one of the trend briefs was 'Vintage Daydream'. I did think I'd be all about the florals, but I was on holiday in the Lake District and we had a big punnet of strawberries, were having picnics and the idea of 'Strawberry Delight' popped into my head! I thought gingham and vintage vibes. 

So, that's what I drew. I used watercolour pencils and liked the hand drawn feel that they gave. I also gave the gingham a bit of  a hand drawn feel, rather than very straight lines. Originally, the strawberries were in vertical lines but once I was going to print into on fabric I decided to make it more random. I usually buy metres of fabric and then make products with that, which means that each purse is slightly different. However, this time set it up so that each purse was the same and was guaranteed to have strawberries and flowers. My favourite is the tea towel, though, I can imagine this being used at picnics, so it's come full circle to what I have originally thought of. I hope it met the brief too!  

The photo of the fabric in the basket is a mock-up (which means it's being photoshopped to look like that). Once it's the summer hopefully I'l be out with my picnic basket! The mock-up is by The Indoorsy Project. 

A handrawn image of strawberries and strawberry flowers against green leaves
Three small zip purses lie on top of each other. Two purses are green gingham and have strawberries and flowers on while the light blue purse has small white stawberry flowers on
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Cyanotype inspired fabric February 2023

Last year I got my first ‘proper’ design commission. Up until then I've made bespoke orders with fabric I'd already designed but loved it when a customer asked if I’d design some fabric as a memory of their holiday.
We started with the customer coming over with 3 Fern leaves which we sun-printed using cyanotype. The ferns had been gathered from near the customer's holiday cottage in Wales, which they'd stayed in with about 20 member of their family. Once printed, the fabric was left to dry.

Fern print against a blue background

Once the fabric was dry, I scanned each leaf and used Adobe Illustrator to clean the images up. The file was huge and my computer really creaked and crashed! It’s probably a Photoshop job but I love how Illustrator pulls out all the different colours so I’ll continue to use it!

Once I had digitised the cyanotype print, I changed the colour. Cyanotype is only ever blue but by digitising the print I could change the colour and used my Swatchos to help my customer choose the colour she wanted. Once the colour was sorted I arranged the leaves and used a layered design to add depth and shadows to the print. Then it was off to the printers for a sample. It’s slightly nerve wracking, waiting to see what the print is like. We chose Melino Linen for the fabric, which has a nice texture to it and was just as I hoped it would be. So after the sample, the main fabric was ordered. 

Digitally designed

Fern print on a laptop monitor. The sections of the fern leaf are white.

Fabric sample

Close up of a fern leaf print against a green background

Fabric ready to cut

Green fabric with a fern print on and a pair of scissors is laid on the fabric

 Finally a finished product! I’ve missed out the actual making part to move along a little more quickly but after cutting, sewing and then filling with lavender some very personal lavender bags were made. These are 1 of 2 products that I made with the bespoke fabric. The blue fabric is the original cyanotype that the digital print came from.

Not only were the ferns from the family’s holiday cottage the writing on the lavender bags helps remind the family about the holiday.

Each with a hanging loop, stuffed with gorgeous smelling lavender the bags are not only a lovely reminder but also useful to scent clothes and help soothe.

4 lavender bags made from green fabric with a fern print. The bag has 'Family in Wales 2022' printed on it.

As well as the lavender bags I also made tea towels. Each towel had a hanging loop and a matching belly bands.

Finally, I used the original cyanotype fabric print to make lampshade, which the customer kept, while the rest were gifted as Christmas presents. Such a thoughtful gift. 

I loved working on this project. If you have any plants that you would like immortalised in a print please message me. I’m always open for a chat.

A green tea towels with fern print is folder on a blue background.
Three green tea towels hang off pegs. They are green with a fern leaf print
A 20cm drum lampshade is a side board. The lampshade is blue with a fern print.

Halloween Pumpkin bags October 2022

Ever been Trick or Treating? When you visit your neighgbours and shout 'Trick or Treat' and they either ask you to do a trick or they give you a treat? Around where I live everyone just gives out treats! The kids all run around with bags full of sweets and I thought it would be nice if the bag for the sweets was personalised and could be used year after year. So here's the bag! 

Handmade with organic cotton, using a Craftee Fox original design, the bags will fit lots of sweets! They're personalised so are extra special - particuarly if you have a child with a name you don't often find on items. They're also washable. 

And there's a matching Halloween Pumpkin lavender bag too. I love lavender bags - they're great for adding an extra touch to decor and can be used throughout the year to scent clothes in drawers and wardrobes. Also handmade, they're full of Yorkshire lavender. They're also great to gift to someone who isn't eating all the sweets.

Eco-friendly t-shirts June 2022

For a while I've been thinking about getting my designs on clothing. A couple of years ago, I had some fabric printed up and made myself a top and some shorts for my daughter, but given my limited time for Craftee Fox, I decided that wasn't going to work if I had more than 1 order at a time! So this year I started looking at outsourcing the making of t-shirts and cushions ...and flip flops! The cushions and flip flops are for another time though.

So, the t-shirts are made from recycled polyester. I have to admit I was slightly wary of this as sometimes polyester can make me feel too warm, but I really like the eco-credentials of it. The fabric is made from post-consumer recycled materials and is super soft. It has a lovely drape and is so comfortable to wear. 

Bright pink ladies tshirt with big, bold pale pink and red Dahlia flowers. The t-shirt has a rounded neck, short sleeves. It is worn by a 40 plus year old woman, who is wearing jeans. Surrounding the woman are images of the Dahlias. A cricle reads 'Pink Dahlia' t-shirt

Personalised Lavender Bags February 2022

Lavender bag sachet with 'Arya' written on in yellow
Lavender sachet bag with 'Best Teacher Ever' on
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If you've read much of my blog, you'll probably be able to tell I'm a bit of a lover of the humble lavender bag. It's simple yet clever! I find the scent of lavender very soothing and the bags look so pretty. I thought they'd be perfect to carry a little message. Either keep them for yourself or gift them - letting someone else know you're thinking of them and they can be reminded of you everytime they smell the lavender. 

My new organic cotton bags have a range of messages on for different occassions, but really, any wording can be included on them. I'm looking forward to making more of these and finding out what customers would like.  

Christmas 2021

Lavender bag with Christmas picutres on against a fabric personalised Christmas advent calendar with pockets

Christmas 2021 has been and gone, and in fact it's now February! Last October/November I was busy adding to my Christmas products, with a new range of festive lavender bags and postcards.

The lavender bags come in four colours - red, green, yellow and brown - and have a variety of images, all taken from the fabric advent calendar I launched in 2020. Nearly all the bags have different, cheerful images on each side and they make great little stocking fillers and Christmas decorations. And, once they've been gifted and used at Christmas, they can be used throughout the year - scenting wardrobes and cupboards and some people also find the smell of lavender can help with sleep.

Each bag is made from organic cotton and were printed in the UK. I handmake every bag and it has a hanging loop with matching ribbon. I know from doing market stalls that customers love the smell and the little bags are very tactile too - they feel great to hold. 

My other new make for the festive period was this cushion cover. Now this was as a result of a slight mistake when I sent my design to the fabric printers to get more advent calendars printed. I may have made the design 100% too big! Each of the squares that have the 'Ho' on should be an advent pocket (see image above to see a pocket!). But I didnt' want to waste the organic cotton so made it into a couple of cushions. I'm actually really pleased with the way they came out and a great addition to Christmas decor. I didn't know Christmas cushions was a thing until my daughter asked me if she could make some for her bedroom! 

Christmas cushion in dark blue with green holly leaves and red berries. There are large coloured squares with Ho on each

Bee happy May 2021

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Little happy bee!! This Bee happy range all started with a bee that my daughter drew for her friend. We were making her friend a t-shirt that had 'Bee happy' on, and I loved the bee so much I knew I had to use it in a design. I put it together with Daffodils and Primroses, both flowers that are out in the spring when we first start seeing the bees. 

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 This range consists of three pouches of different sizes (mini, small and rectangular), lavender bags, hair bows and notebooks (A5 & A6).  All the fabric products are handmade by me and the fabric is organic cotton, while the covers of the notebooks are recycled card. There are three different designs on the fabrics - bees, Daffodils and then a bees and daffodils! The lavender bags have one side that was designed just for the bag - which is filled with Yorkshire lavender - and features a large bee surrounded by flowers. I do tend to add things to my ranges - I like the idea of reusable face wipes in this fabric - so maybe that's next. 

May 20th is World Bee Day. A day that aims to raise awareness about the role bees have as pollinators with such an important part to play in our ecosystem. On this day in 1734 the pioneer of bee-keeping Anton Jansa was born in Slovenia, and it's a day that has been celebrated for the last four years. This year the theme is 'Bee engaged: Build back better for bees'. This year I've bought some 'Bee Bombs' to scatter around the garden, in the hope we'll have lots of wildflowers to help the bees. And I'm donating 50p from every product sold in this range to the Bee Friendly Trust, as they also have happy bees!



Bunny love April 2021

Rabbits! This spring I decided I wanted to try and paint a rabbit. Anyone who follows me will know that I've been learning to paint. I don't think I'll ever feel like I can actually paint so maybe I'll always be saying I'm learning to paint. Anyway, I painted a rabbit, and I was surprised that it actually looked like a rabbit! Then I painted another and a chick. I added some flowers and decided I needed to make a pattern with it. 

While out running one morning I thought it would make a cute personalised Easter egg hunt bag (lots of ideas seem to come while I'm running!), so I designed it as a pattern placement - so like a little scene - and then a repeating pattern. I originally made it in two colourways, yellow and pink, but after asking my followers on social media, added a light green. When thinking about developing an Easter collection I hadn't actually looked at when Easter was, and it was only after sending off for samples did I realise that I really didn't have much time! As soon as the samples came back I made up the egg hunt bag, little scrunchies with ears and lavender bags and asked if anyone wanted to buy any. I got a lovely response, and then sent off the order for the actual fabric. Once the fabric was back I made up the orders, and added a little sheet of rabbit stickers with every Easter Egg bag order, and off the orders went! 

While I thought about the bags being good for Easter, they aren't just for then, and would make cute little party bags or toy bags. Made from untreated organic cotton, they aren't as vibrant as designs that have been printed onto treated fabric and have an almost vintage colour about them. I really want to use organic cotton where I can and happy with how these came out. The repeat design would look good in other products, such as hair accessories and purses and I'll make some soon (I seem to always say that and then never quite get around to it!). I'm also wondering about making more of the lavender bags with the little scenes on - the hedgehogs and foxes I painted last year would look cute! As always, I'm open to ideas so just let me know if you'd like to see something made in this fabric. 

Festive fabrics November 2020

Christmas is such a busy time of year as a small business, with lots of Christmas markets (this year they're online) and the buzz (read: stress!) of getting gifts made on time and hoping that they arrive before Christmas. One item in particular that needs attention a bit earlier than others is the advent calendar. No waiting for December 25th for this one, as it needs to be all ready to be hung up on the 1st December. 

The last few years I've bought fabric advent panels and made them to sell. They sell well and they are such a great product as you can use them year after year. They can become part of your family Christmas tradition and help count down to the big day. Early this year I decided I would design my own fabric advent calendar and by the start of summer I had painted my images, designed the calender digitally and had sent it off to the printers. I also wanted to have a calendar that was printed onto organic cotton as there aren't many available and I like organic cotton, so had it printed onto unbleached organic cotton and non-organic cotton. I was a bit slow in thinking that I could use the images from the calendar onto other products or should do another colourway! In early November I designed. one Christmas card - and may design a few more before the end of November and designed the calendars in paler colour. One has a dark blue background in the middle with holly leaves and a red border, while the other is more neutral with the flecks in the unbleacked organic cotton being obvious and a border of holly leaves. 

Additionally, I made another design, this time with red and white numbers and little pegs with wooden Christmas characters. The little pegs move around the pockets and are very cute! The fabric for this calendar is organic on the front and red with white polka dot cotton on the back. All calendars can have the numbers sewn on randomly. or in sequence as I know some children, and parents, prefer them in order.

As well as advent calendars I also have stockings made from my Holly and Hedgehogos fabrics and unique stockings made from my shop bought fabric stash - I have to use it at some point! Like the advent calendar stockings can have names added. Little holly lavender bags make great stocking fillers, as do Christmassy hair accessories and button earrings. And lastly, my Christmas elephants are back, this time in a few more colours and can also be personalised.

To shop the Christmas collection click here! 

Summer Bliss September 2020

When lockdown happended on the 23rd March 2020 life took on a different pace. Both my husband and I were working from home and the kids (11 & 13 years) were doing the school work they had been set (which sometimes wasn't much). While it was complicated working from home and trying to keep the kids amused, life took on a much slower pace, and I liked that.

No more getting up and leaving the house at 7am to commute for 1.15 - 1.30 minutes into Central London and then race back to make sure I wasn't fined by the school for picking up later than 6pm from teatime club. Kids activities stopped and we had movie nights! One other thing that I found time to learn to paint. I'd had a set of watercolours but really am an amateur! Earlier this year I painted the images for my Christmas Advent Calendar, but had always wanted to be shown how to paint flowers and botancials. Last year I was due to do a botanicals drawing session at the William Morris Gallery but sadly the teacher never turned up. So when I saw that the very talented Natasha Gulliford (Flowergirl Studios) was holding a watercolour bootcamp on her Facebook group I knew I wanted to take part, and I signed up along with my daughter. Sunday's became our day for following the tutorials and learning to paint. Each time I would carefully follow Natasha's tutorials, who made it look so easy that within a few strokes her image looked like a delicate flower, yet my 'exact' same strokes didn't look like a flower and always lacked depth! Week after week we painted and enjoyed it (with some frustrations). By the end I had a pile of paintings, none of the same calibre as others taking part, but enough that I was happy with that by scanning in a number and mixing them up, I was able to design my Summer Bliss fabric. 

When I design I scan my images into Illustrator, it picks up every stroke and small mark. I often wonder if I should do it in Photoshop but I can only afford one programme at the moment and I have invested time in learning this one - plus I can make images bigger without losing definition and make fabric swatches. With this design each brush stroke shows and I love that! On the smaller products you can't necessarily tell its a flower and I wanted that effect, although I wil be printing it onto fabric slightly smaller so the flowers are more visible for those that prefer. All in all, this is currently my new favourite (I'm not sure I'll ever replace my Blue Chive as my favourite - also because it was my first design) and would also make lovely girl's dresses and bedding.

Lampshades July 2020

The Christmas before last I asked for a lampshade kit as a present -  I ended up getting three! It took me over a year to get around to making the first but when I did I realised how fun and satisfying the process is.

My first lampshade was a large drum shade that I screenprinted a navy Ginkgo leaf design onto organic cotton.  I later made three small candle lampshades for a central ceiling lamp that hangs in the centre of the room and hadn't had lampshades since we moved into this house 7 years ago!  

A lampshade of the same size, and using the same organic cotton, was also made to match the curtains the lamp stands next to. I made a linocut and printed the fabric in the same browns and blue of the curtain leaves.

 This fabric is called 'Cotterell Cottage' and is based on a Victorian wallpaper that a friend found in their sitting room when they were redecorating. This design was first hand drawn and then digitally designed and printed. This results in a consistent design, unlike the handprinted designs which will always be unique. Other products are available in this design including, including cushion covers, purses and had the design printed on mugs and coasters. 


My most recent lampshades have been made using fabric that was first printed using the cyanotype process. This process involves treating the organic fabric with two chemicals and then placing the items you want to 'print' on the fabric, in the sun. Where the item is the fabric stays the original colour while that exposed to the sun goes blue. The above image shows the process for the large drum lampshade, with the ferns laid out on the fabric to process. It's a magical process and one of my favourite ways of designing fabric. 

Spring April 2020

As well as being a fan of foxes, I also love hedgehogs! A couple of years ago my husband bought me a hedghog house for my birthday. We cut out a hole in the our fence into next door's garden (thank you lovely neighbours) and then took our a brick from the back of their back wall. We all have garages at the end of the garden but their's doesn't got all the way across, so this way we could have a 'highway' for hedgehogs. It wasn't long before we started seeing them in the garden. The year after I got a night camera for my birthday (my husband gives great presents!) and now we can see what's happening at night. We can see all the foxes, cats and hedgehogs that visit and have some lovely footage of a fox cub in the garden stealing food from the hog house, and a fox swiping a hedgehog out of the way! The last few weeks I've had to take two hedgehogs to the local rescue centre as they've been out during the day, which is often a sign of being unwell. One had a broken leg and a bad case of lungworm, while the other appeared to be blind. I am hoping that once they are better they can be returned to our garden. 

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With the onset of spring, and hedgeghogs coming out of hiberation I wanted to add them into a design that felt fresh and bright - like spring. The pictures of the hegdgehogs, foxes (my logo), daffodils and snowdrops were all painted first and then scanned in and designed. I complemented the animal design with a pinky stripe on the same yellow.

I had the design printed onto fabric as two different sizes and onto two different fabrics. The small bags are made from cotton with the images in the larger size while the purses are made from organic cotton. The organic cotton is textured and heavier than the cotton. As its unbleached cotton the colours are also different. Its always interesting to try out different fabrics and why it's always important to get samples. I think this design would make a cute girls dress!

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Vines January 2020

When I first contemplated designing my own fabric a couple of years ago I was very hesitant as I have no art background and aren't particuarly skilful at drawing. But I really wanted to design my own fabric, so I bought some drawing implements, which mainly included a drawing pad and sharpies! This design was a very early one which has sat in my drawing pad for a couple of years. Working out how to make the repeat pattern in Illustrator was putting me off.

The design itself isn't based on anything. I love Art Nouveau style, and living near the  William Morris museum has been a bonus for understanding how he made his designs. I love patterns with lots of florals, stylised, bold repeats and plenty of colours. This was my first attempt at that. After designing the Cotterell Cottage design (see blog further down), I found some time to have a go at the Vines (I did try and come up with a more imaginative name but this does sum it up!). After drawing the basic pattern and scanning it in, I used Adobe Illustrator to develop the repeat and worked it into a design. I am sure there are quicker ways of doing it, and I still find Adobe Illustrator difficult - mainly because I don't use it very often and when I do I have to try and remember what to do. Once the design is made I sent it to be printed - both onto fabric and other merchandise.

The Vines was released in November 2019 in two colourways - yellow and green. It makes striking purses, lavender bags, make up remover pads and earrings and I've had the print put onto mugs and coasters. While I've printed onto waterproof fabric in the past for bags, this was the first time I made brolly bags out of my own fabric. They are more expensive than my usual brolly bags but the few I had at Christmas markets sold so these will become a staple of my shop.

Ginkgo leaves September 2019

We're about to enter a fabulous season where the colours around change to the reds, yellows and browns of autumn. Last autumn I walked down a road I don't usually go down and came across amazing fan shaped, yellow leaves. I collected lots and in my ignorance had no idea they were Gingko Bilboa leaves. The Gingko tree is thought to be one of the oldest living trees, dating back more than 200 million years. Since then I've become a little obessesed with them! The shape and structure of the leaf is just beautiful, particularly in autum when the yellow really shows the ridges.

Like many of my designs which start with a linocut, I made a couple of linocuts of Gingko leaves. I scanned the linoprints into the computer and made a digital pattern to be printed onto fabric. This was done in three coloursways - my favourite is the aquamarine and green. I also screenprinted fabric and for the first time used a home screenprinting rig and light that I was given for Christmas last year - it's take a while to get around to using it. The first try wasn't very successful for fabric printing, although it made nice card, but the second attempt was just right. So now I can stamp and screenprint lots of items with Ginkgo leaves! 

Tiles June 2019

Last summer I visited Portugal and fell in love with the tiles - they are beautiful and often intricate. Whole front of buildings are covered in them and old historic buildings have handmade tiles, each slightly different. I had taken lino and tools with me so carved a quarter of a tile, with the hope that all the four quarters when put together it would look like a whole tile. I didn't take into account that one side has to reflect the other, so I cut a new quarter when I got home. Once I was happy with it I made it into a digital pattern in three colourways - yellow, terracotta and blue and white. I also designed a complementary fabric for the yellow and terrcacotta and made the blue and white into a smaller tile.  

Cotterell Cottage December 2018


Cotterell Cottage is the name of my new design that is based on some old wallpaper. I first saw this wallpaper when I visited a friend for a night. My friend and her family live in a house that is hundreds of years old and is slowly being renovated. One of the oldest rooms has been stripped back to the original stonework, although one wall has been left with some old wallpaper that looks like it comes from Victorian times. It has no colour but reminded me of a William Morris pattern and I got my friend to send some photos after we’d left as I thought it would make an interesting new design.  I have no idea what the plants are in the picture! I would have loved to have seen it in it’s original state.

I then drew my version of the wallpaper.

I still have no idea what the plants are, and they are probably even more unidentifiable than the original, but not everything has to be real, right?

Quite sometime later, I finally got around to designing the pattern in Illustrator. I’m still very much a beginner with Illustrator, and because I don’t use it as much as I should I forget how to use it and have to get out all my notes from the course I did last year, and look up tutorials online. This was my most complicated design and it’s still not perfect, but it’s workable, and I love it!

The first lot of fabric I had printed didn’t have the colour of the background that I wanted, more purple that dark blue, but I was still pleased with the way it came out and the stationery tins were far nicer that I thought they would be. As a big fan of stationery, having my own design on a tin = big smile!

I have ordered more fabric from a different printers so it will be interesting to see what the colours are like, including waterproof fabric. I get too inpatient to send for samples, and as it was so close to Christmas, I just wanted to get the fabric. I’m really hoping it arrives this week so I can make a few items for my markets next week and add it to my existing products. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Somerset Blooms is a collaboration between my Mum and me, although a collab is probably over stating it a bit as my Mum had already painted the four watercolour pictures and I asked if I could use them. I scanned the images into the printer and then played around with them until I was happy with the design. There are two different designs - one that has all the flowers on and features a large cluster of flowers and another with just little buds. The two work well together and were also perfect for the dress I made my daughter for a family wedding. Seeing her wearing the dress with my Mum's design on was both lovely for myself and my Mum.

Somerset Bloom July 2018

Flip Flops June 2018

Last month I launched my latest design and it’s all because of a pair of flip flops. These flip flops in fact.

These are my daughter’s flip flops and while we were on holiday last year I drew them and added other flip flops.

This year I worked them into a design on the computer and now have flip flop fabric and am making it into lots of items. Its different to my other fabrics – and not a flower in sight – but it does have similar strong colours. I made a complementary fabric for linings and after a mistake in the size of my image now have flip flops in two different sizes and three different colours. The larger size is good for bags.