Saturday, 13 June 2015


Today was a rather special day.
For the last year and a half our Little Man has been attending art classes at The Creative Art Academy.
Its a fab place run by Marcia Buckley who rather handily is one of our neighbours. Marcia and Emma hold really relaxed sessions for children aged 5 -15, our Little Man loves it and counts down the days each week till he can go again.
At first we sent him to keep him occupied and to do something fun one afternoon a week. But it turns out he is actually quite good at it.
The paitent teaching involved at the academy has brought him on in leaps and bounds.
A local bar/ bistro was so impressed by the Academy's young students that they offered to hold an exhibition of their work.
We all went along to the private view this afternoon.
So much fun, so many happy children and parents, a truly wonderful expirence.
The Little Man had three pieces in the exhibition.
Here he is with his bird painting.


Third painting down is his magical tree.

And here he is with his beach painting.
I love this one.
I love it may be a bit too much.

He decided that my voice counted for nothing and he wanted to sell it. 
The lure of the filthy lucre was just too much for his 7 yr old mind!
It was gaining a lot of interest and compliments.
So here it is with a little red dot.

Thankfully Marcia knew how much I love it and so only sold to The Hippy who bought it for me.
£10 well spent I say. Both Mother and child went home happy!
Just so this isn't only a post about me bragging here are a few images of some of the other wonderful pictures in the exhibition.

I love the colours and movement in the top picture.

The perspective in the middle picture really reminds me of a colourful Alfred Wallis.

You do have to apreciate a girl who so loves her boots she paints pictures of them! 
And these last two I just liked because I can!

Right that is it. Bragging over. Back to the normal life from now on in.
What ever that is.
Love Nora xxxx

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Yesterday I promised you yet more end of year treats from my students.
Today is the turn of our first years.
This year somehow we managed to bag the black box performance space at the college for them to show their work in a kind of exhibition fringe. Smaller unofficial events running alongside the official college graduates exhibitions.
They have been working hard this term on an immersive theatre project, covering mask making, costume design and character exploration, 18th century costume construction, sound and set design as well as dying and painting into textiles.

The project was based on Howl's Moving Castle, drawing on both the book by Diana Wynne Jones and the film by Studio Ghibli.

Mo's Blue Calcifer.
They started with a series of mark making workshops with one of the art tutors, which involved them all crawling around on the floor drawing children's toys with neon chalks and a giant game of exquisite corpse.

Jess's Calcifer costume.
 The batton was then taken up by the design tutor with whom they developed the most amazing collaged designs for the characters in the story and strange and bizzare settings, whilst at the same time exploring mask making techniques.

Millie's Blue Howl

 Detail of Millie's mask.
Then over to yours truly for the costume construction elements. We decided to base the project firmly in the late 18th C, and so used historically accurate patterns form this book by Janet Arnold and this one by Norah Waugh.
Early on in the design process a strong element of U.V emerged

Jack's Witch of the Waste.
Wich meant it was over to our amazing technician for painting into the costumes and making them glow in the dark beautifully. The main lesson we learnt was what ever you think is enough U.V paint isn't!

Sheridan's Howl.

 Detail abstract smocking on Sheridan's Howl costume.

In between all this the guys in collaboration with Olli one of our set design students created an amazing setting, and recorded a some what surreal sound track that involved anongst other things kitchen implements and an old car horn.

Emma's costume for Old Sophie. 

 Details of Emma's U.V button print on the sleeves.
They worked so very hard and every moment of it paid dividends 100%.

Olli's setting for the piece.
It was an stunning experience, one I wish I could do justice to here.
Though it is probably going to be recreated as part of The Costume Games in Brighton in September.
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Well hello there!
I decided a little explanation as to why I've been absent quite a bit recently.
Tomorrow is my last teaching day of this academic year.
And as much as I love my students, hurrah!
The last few weeks have, as they are every year, been quite full on.
Actually this year may well have been harder, as our first years have also put on an exhibition running along side of the one for the graduating students. But more of that tomorrow.
So here are some edited highlights of the Costume Design and Realisation course exhibition for this year.
I am as ever immensely proud of my students they have all, even the ones who didn't make it on to here, worked so hard on their final major projects and pulled out all the stops.

 Alexia, is from Iceland and she wanted her final piece to represent the landscape of her home country and its legends.
Starting with the lava, which turns into basalt columns and finishing in a glacial flow into the sea.
The hem of the dress is encrusted with salt crystals.

Naomi uses feathers in every project she does. 
Here is a detail of her Grecian goddess.

Kirsty made a beautiful steam punk inspired tailored Mad Hatter's jacket,  but I fell in love with her embroidery.

Karen"s pantomime dame was wonderfully over the top, full of sparkle and a real crowd puller.

Hayley made a really technical transformation dress, it starts as an old hag in a rough hooded cloak but as she spins round it all falls away and transforms into a beautiful princess. 

Hannah and Sian designed the whole of Hairspray for a local youth theatre and made two of the costumes for it.

These final two are from the props course, but I just couldn't resist showing them off here.
Wall E.
How fab is he?

Cizzy made these magnificent Maleficent headdresses. 

Sorry to anyone who didn't make on here, not all the photos came out that well.
But that is the nature of taking pictures in a crowded, dark exhibition I guess.
So tomorrow I shall delve deep into to the world of Anime, Children's books and U.V paint.
Do stop by to see what the rest of the gang has been up to you will not be disappointed.
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 1 June 2015


We recently spent a few days in The Hippy's homelands of Norfolk with the whole extended family.
He walked into the kitchen at one point saying he had been out in the back field watching the Hares.
Evey one laughed at my astonishment.
But I guess if you grow up with Hares living in the field behind your house its nothing unusual.
I grabbed the binoculars and my camera and this is what I saw.

Sorry if they are a little blury, I had to use the zoom on my camera at full stretch and then crop most of the field away
Happy spring everyone.
Love Nora xxx