Monday, 5 March 2018

Children, Chimneys and Chocolate!

After a week of being "snowed in" it was great to escape to a magical world at Sudbury Hall this weekend.

I had been contacted by The National Trust to run children's book workshops at The National Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall as part of their World Book Day weekend of events 3/4 March 2018

I ran four children's book workshops over the weekend attended by eager and enthusiastic budding young writers and illustrators.

I think it was in 2005 that, as a mum volunteer,  I went on a school trip with my son and daughter's class at Lea Primary to Sudbury Hall.

I needed to write a story inspired by Sudbury Hall so I asked my two what they remembered from their school trip and both came back with the same answer...... the chimney!!

The National Museum of Childhood has had many changes since and new interactive features but the chimney experience is still there.  It enables daring young "sweeps" to take on a chimney climb and crawl into the darkness to get a feel for what it would have been like for real life chimney sweeps in days gone by.

image courtesy of NT Sudbury Hall website

I decided upon a short introduction to a story called The Museum's Magical Chimney to inspire them to create their own story plot, invent their own main character and write what happened to them after they went up the chimney but didn't come out the other end as planned!!

After I'd read out the introduction it was great to hear their imaginative ideas as we all sat in a group and disappeared into other worlds, parallel universes and went back in time when servants busied away in the kitchens.

I have a vivid imagination myself but was blown away by the worlds they took us all to and it was funny that chocolate appeared in quite a few of the stories!

I do hope I get invited back and can highly recommend a visit .... if only I could have got up that chimney!

Karina xx

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Not just for kids!

My new Children's Art Clubs are aimed at pre-school and primary school boys and girls, but parents and grandparents are welcome to book too and join in the fun! 

DBS Certified

These are running over half terms and the Summer holidays on selected Wednesdays at Tansley Village Hall near Matlock (where we hold our Derbyshire Art Group

As a writer/illustrator of children's books and a real book worm a short story will be read at the beginning of each session to inspire creativity 

The first one is on Wednesday 21st February and kicks off with one of my current favourites  "Stickman by Julia Donaldson" 

There's already a nice mix of boys and girls coming.  Places are still left but booking essential so please email me  . 
more info on

So looking forward to this.......

Love Karina xx

and Bruno 🐶

Friday, 26 January 2018

Well what a surprise!

I think it was in 2005 that, as a mum volunteer,  I went on a school trip with my son and daughter's class at Lea Primary to Sudbury Hall's Museum of Childhood.  Another mum (my pal Sue Proffitt) and I were "responsible" for a lovely group of girls and we had a fab day exploring, enjoying, giggling and picnicking.

Imagine my surprise when, 12 years later and completely out of the blue, I was contacted by The National Trust to run children's book workshops at Sudbury Hall as part of World Book Day weekend 3/4 March 2018 😮!

It seems my decision over Christmas to focus more on my writing was the right one.....

So today I'm not venturing into the studio but going to snuggle up on the settee with a mug of hot chocolate, and Bruno of course, to write a short story set at Sudbury Hall for these new writing and illustrating workshops.

A very nice surprise indeed.  Keep you posted...

Love Karina xx

and Bruno 🐶

Saturday, 13 January 2018

After a slow start....

Following a lovely family Christmas, a New Year road trip to the coast in Freddy and now guests have headed home I'm slowly getting back into things, with the emphasis on slowly!

First day back in my studio was a bit nippy but a productive one prepping new work for a new stockist

One of the things I love about January, apart from starting a brand new diary, is knowing Spring is round the corner, that nights will slowly get lighter and the days longer.

I do love being snugged up in Winter though and I'm writing this in front of a roaring fire with Bruno curled up next to me on the settee   

pic from a previous zzzz session

they say it's a dog's life and they're not wrong

I have decided that this year I am going to give more time to my writing and the illustration side of my business.  I'm hoping to finish the book I started this time last year and I've also started another one.  Both are children's books set within the Peak District featuring new animal characters, some being distant relatives to Hippity Hop!

New for 2018 is Hippity Hop's Holiday Art Club which I will be running during school half terms at Tansley Village Hall for children and families. please email if interested    (DBS checked)

I will also be co-running a programme of Art Workshops this year at Tansley Village Hall kicking off on Wednesday 17th January with Lunch a Learn - Still Life and Soup.  Booking essential more info here

I'm looking forward to the Art Group starting again on Wednesday 24th January. We meet 10.30 to 12.30 at a cosy and warm Tansley Village Hall on a regular basis and new members are always welcome.  It's open to all creatives who want to spend time with like minded people and work on their own project.  It's £5 per session and you can drop in at any of them with no need to book. more info

anyway Bruno has woken and is ready for a run in the woods so catch up soon...

Love Karina xx

and Bruno 🐶

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Christmas Events

It's been a busy November with printing orders and getting ready for my two week Christmas Exhibition as part of Medley Group at The Gothic Warehouse, Cromford (next to The Wharf Shed Cafe)

The exhibition runs for two weeks 1-15 December and I'm looking forward to seeing friends and customers old and new

and I will be here on the following days 10-4 ....there's a cafe next door and across the road at Cromford Mills complex

Saturday 2nd
Sunday   3rd
Tues       5th
Wed       6th
Thur       7th
Sat         9th
Sun      10th
Mon     11th
Wed     13th

They are a dog friendly venue which is fab so I will be joined on these days by my studio companion, Bruno, who is looking forward to being surrounded again by art, jewellery, pottery, glass and Christmas gifts from other Medley members and his Secret Santa Surprise Boxes should be fun!

I will be introducing some new framed mini prints too which make affordable gifts or a collection 

There's lots of other Christmas events going off at Cromford Mills during our exhibition which can be found on their website  #dogfriendly 

For those that aren't local I have three online shops

I hope you can find time to pop in.. be lovely to see customers old and new

Love Karina xx

and Bruno 🐶

Thursday, 26 October 2017

2018 diary getting messy already

I've always loved the excitement of starting a new notebook or diary but this time my shiny new 2018 diary is already looking rather worn and tatty as lots of stuff planned for next year

As some of you may know about 14 years ago I ran a Saturday Art Club for children and I loved it. Some of the girls now have their own children, have grown into beautiful young women and some still wave as they pass me in their cars as they go off to work. My own daughter has gone on to qualify as a Montessori Teacher now working in London.

I love working with kids as I’m still one at heart and enjoy being around them.  Whilst my kids were at pre-school and then primary I was employed by Notts County Council as a Pre-School Playgroup Worker and then Derbyshire County Council as Playground Supervisor and After School Club Assistant at Lea Primary School.  Happy days indeed.

 So I’m really excited that for 2018 I will be running an art club for children and families during the school holidays  Places will be limited so I am letting you know so you can express an interest

Hippity Hop Website

Also as part of Purple and Grey's 2018 Art Workshop Programme I will be running three workshops which also include light lunch.  The full programme to go on the website soon

2018 events and exhibitions planned too as well as our regular Art Group which is open to all and no need to book.

So another busy year planned.  Thank you for your continued support.  Really appreciated thank you.

I am now taking bookings for both Painting Workshops and Hippity Hop's Holiday Art Club as places are limited so please email me if you are interested 

Look forward to seeing some of you soon

Take care

Love Karina x

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Autumn News

Since my last Blog our Cornwall holiday at the beginning of September seems a long while ago.  So much has happened and been planned since then and I've got lot's to tell you.  I promise to keep it as short as possible and not to rabbit on!

Diary Date (notice I haven't mentioned the "c" word)

I have redesigned my website adding some new features and products.. here are just a few changes

We snuck in a weekend away in Freddy too as Autumn is my favourite season and some days the sun is still powerful.  Bruno is loving his adventures in Freddy and here he is checking we've put his food in!


some more changes to my website

 Home Sweet Home
NEW FOR 2018!

some exciting new for children and families during school half terms....sign up to Hippity's newsletter to hear of the dates first  

These will be held at Tansley Village Hall near Matlock where I hold our Derbyshire Art Group 

This week I had a great day at an International Big Draw Event which Purple and Grey had organised and held at Creswell Crags near Worksop... a lovely site full of history and artists all dotted around sketching!  A great place to walk round the lake and Bruno loves it


I've also been working on our Purple and Grey 2018 Programme with even more dates for Art Groups, new Workshops and some fab Networking events.  Sign up to Purple and Grey newsletter

It's been a busy few weeks admin wise but I have managed a few days in the studio and have just finished my Christmas Card commission for a local business... can't show as yet for obvious reasons

anyway, there's still more cracking off but that is enough for now I reckon.  

hope to catch up with you soon

Love Karina
and Bruno of course xxx