Pretty Puppies

The Guardian Cartoon and Family Art Day 2018

This workshop is a slightly different take on ‘Splatty Bats’, which went down so well last year. Using coloured A4 card, we created an array of designs and textures with paint based pens and collage. Then we cut out our puppies using a template for the body and ears. Finally we added googly eyes and hey presto - a pack of ‘Pretty Puppies’ all ready for a party!

What I really love about this method is how individual and freeform all the patterns are, even though the materials being used are all the same. Mark making is something I think we humans have always done, which perhaps explains why this kind of activity is so appealing. The grown-ups were just as absorbed as the children, if not slightly more! We all need time just to doodle and play. Maybe you could try it for yourself? I’ve included instructions and templates at the end of the showreel.

Splatty Bats

The Guardian Cartoon and Family Art Day 2017

For this workshop, we used two pieces of A4 coloured cards to create designs and textures using paint based pens. After that, using templates, we cut out wings and bodies from these patterns and assembled them into ‘Splatty Bats’.

Prema Arts Centre

I held this mini-theatre family workshop at Prema Arts Centre, not far my home town. First I prepared sheets coloured card made from rolled ink, then everyone got on with the task of creating their own little worlds. It ran for several hours and by the end, each person went home with something really unique and beautiful.

Angel Droppings


My other half is slightly addicted to marzipan. My kids hate it. So, for this years’ birthday treat I made him some handcrafted marzipan balls, dipped in dark chocolate, safe in the knowledge that no one else in the house will scoff them (except me). I created a bespoke logo, boxed them up and called them ‘Angel Droppings’. The kids quickly renamed them ‘Devil Dung’. Either way, I think I might be onto something! 

Odd Socks


This year a friend taught me how to needle felt. It’s a really satisfying medium, somewhere between painting and sculpture, as the wool needs to be built up then decorated with colour.

So, with my newfound skill, I recreated two of my favourite woolly characters - Suki and Sosh, from Odd Socks. They now dangle together, hearts forever entwined in Michelle Robinson’s kitchen.

How to Train the Perfect Parents


This is Mimi Lee. She takes the quirky leading role in my most recent, self-penned book  How to Train the Perfect Parents (Templar, 2018).

I’ve had a good time trying to recapture her character in 3D. Working like this suits me as I love collage so much. I didn’t have pattern or plan - just sketches and drawings to refer to. I did end up feeling a bit like Frankenstein, what with the inevitable amount of trial and error (and stitching of limbs), but she came to life in the end!