Christmas cat activity centre!

Caroline and I were sat in front of the fire yesterday drinking tea. I had mentioned that I was a bit fed up with having such a huge cardboard box in my living room and Caroline suggested the following inspired idea: To cover the box in wrapping paper and tinsel ready for Christmas! As someone who is far too excited about Christmas already, I was on board like a flash. We got our coats, boots, hats and scarfs and ventured out into the snow. Wilko’s bound we purchased very cheap wrapping paper and tinsel and revamped the cat activity centre. What a wonderful way to spend a snowy Saturday!

Even the monkey had a tinsel scarf!

First Wednesday in the Studio

Today has been my first Wednesday in my Studio after starting my new hours. I am hopefully going to have every other Wednesday off work to do with as I please. This is what I have been up to today:

  • Writing
  • Researching mechanisms that turn
  • Playing with cardboard boxes and tubes
  • Drinking huge amounts of tea
  • Reading about book making
  • Eating a halloumi and vegetable baguette from Greek restaurant Yiannis
  • Making a sketch book
  • Remembering ideas that I had forgotten about

Lettuce (one of my cats) is not happy at the idea of me cutting up her boxes so is having a sit in protest. The cardboard tube and two half boxes is the start of me making a turning mechanism. It is a lot more tricky than I thought but I am enjoying the challenge.

I am extremely pleased to work in a job that has this kind of flexibility and I’m glad I have finally found a way of using it to my benefit!

Cardboard mechanics




I have just found a super great video of  Cardboard Mechanics which is made by 4 students of the Utrecht School of Art and Technology, Saskia Freeke, Fin Kingma, Davy Jacobs and Sonja van Vuure

Print screen from video ‘Cardboard mechanics Installation.’

I would like to create a mechanism that makes my time pieces for me for two reasons. 1. To regulate the wrapping time, because a regular rhythm from human hands can differ depending on lots of factors. 2. I have developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which means that repetitive actions using my wrist are currently far from ideal.

Last weekend I made my living room into a cardboard cat city as we had six cats in the house. Too much fun was had! It reminded me how much I like making things out of cardboard. I think using cardboard boxes, tubes, string and maybe some metal as a pivot could work. I am going to start with drawing such an invention right now!

Chairs and tubes

On Sunday, after a huge Sunday lunch I spotted a chair with a cardboard tube on it. This was a joyous combination for me!

I think I would like to show these photos as a collection or give the image a new lease of life by printing it on other things that are viewed as useful. I would like to complete my map too so you could see where they were located.

Circumference, Width and Length

I have gathered most of my cardboard tube collection and decided to order them. I’m still not entirely sure what I find so attractive about cardboard tubes but I really do like them.




My house is my new studio space and it is working a treat so far. Just in the process of sorting out the spare room too.

Dee Dee

I have just realised after some serious sorting that Dee Dee, my Grandad was without evening knowing it, a huge inspiration to me. I have just found a cardboard tube from 5th January 2006 which I have kept. It has been with me throughout at least 4 house moves.

Written on an orange piece of paper it says:


Hope that you can make use of some of these. They seem too good to put out in the re-cycling bin!!!

Lots of love from Dee Dee and Grandma’

That has been my ethos to this day. I have recently been collecting cardboard tubes without a lot of reason, apart from I like them. When I found the first edition again, I was so happy and it all seemed to make more sense.

I used to love receiving packages or letters from Dee Dee as they were so meticulously created. There would be no room for error; always return to sender information. He also had millions of screws, nails and the like in his garage and kept them all in jars which were labelled. Somehow he had made something not initially interesting to me, fascinating by the order and sheer variety. By categorising and collecting different types, it somehow made them seem worth more like they were precious.

Discarded furniture – Out and about in the city

I have worked by socks off this weekend and it feels great!

Idea 1 – Pack of prints

Idea 2 – Book of photos

I am so excited to have produced two ways to display my discarded furniture photos. I think I am in favour of Idea 2 because I think a book is more practical. I am hoping to make enough of them to sell them at Hockley Arts Market next weekend! Even if I don’t manage to make many, I have that feeling of finishing something and ticking something of my ever-growing ‘To do’ list.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

First things first, why is it always the most obvious place where things are found when you deem them lost. My camera was not on a field trip to the football but instead having a snooze in my handbag. Apologies for the slander Al.

After a lot of thought and confusion about how I could make my work more environmentally conscious, I had a plan. I moved house last weekend and it felt as though it was taking over my life. I decided to take this experience as an example of an everyday happening where there is potential for waste, especially with protective packaging.

I timed parts of the day e.g. tea break, conversation with the removal men and building the bed etc. I had the aid of Katies casio watch and got timing. The results are in and i’m going to make a visual bar chart of these timed events.

I did a test in the studio for 4 minutes with some cardboard:

Cardboard tower - 4 minutesCardboard tower - 4 minutes - detail

I am going to cut the cardboard/bubble wrap and other materials into squares using the length of the scissors blade. This will ensure the time is as even as possible and also the squares are the same sizes.

New Artists

Christian Frosi

Christian Frosi

For my train journey to Birmingham I decided to look through the yearbook for ‘Frieze Art Fair 2007-8’. It was interesting to see how Artists are described in one paragraph. I found 6 artists I want to look into and realised I haven’t done this for a while.

At the moment I am looking at Tara Donovan ‘magisterial sculptures, made from found materials’, Gabriel Kuri ‘explores what might be called ‘commercial ephemera’- items left over from commercial exchanges and Christian Frosi ‘creates environments that address the potential of objects and images to lose their meaning.’

I also had a chat with my friend Jo about the idea of art being sold and how I cannot get my head round it. At the stall in our Sherwood Arts week event I am thinking about selling cm rulers for measuring items smaller than a cm and include some suggestions of things which are smaller than a cm. I would like the items for sale to be a sellable extension of my work but we shall see.