Sunday, 3 June 2018

Exciting plans!

As some of you may know I’m a bit of a van nerd.  I can talk about  van conversions and campervans all day long.  I am lucky to drive Stan our VW T4 campervan everyday and now go in holiday in his big brother Freddy. 

An exciting project lies ahead which I wanted to share with you. 

Stan’s Story

Once upon a time, in a land of peaks and meadows, lived a little white campervan called Stan

He was loved so much by his family taking them on amazing adventures, chugging up hills and tootling along lanes down to the sea with them all singing and his engine humming. 

Many years passed and one day Stan found himself feeling very sad indeed.  His mum Karina drove and chatted to him daily but he missed hearing the laughter and chitter chatter of children coming from the empty space in the back.

One sunny day, along the banks of Cromford Canal, his mum was exhibiting with her artist friends when she had an idea that made Stan’s headlights shine with delight.

As plans were explained to him Stan suddenly started to smile and gave an almighty honk on his horn!

He loved that the old school desks under his bed were going to be used, his walls were to be filled with books and tears ran down his windscreen when he heard that children would once again be jumping on board creating memories!

So the project begins.....

Stan the Story Van

Writing and Illustrating Workshops for children in Stan the campervan classroom, covering The Peak District and beyond.

outdoors - wildlife - community groups - schools - private events - festivals 

Keep you posted

Karina and Bruno 🐶 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

More than words

I woke early this morning, still feeling unsettled knowing things had to change.

Yesterday was spent with a group of writers.  We worked outdoors in the meadows and on the banks of Carsington Water using nature as our inspiration and words as our tools.

I can't remember the last time I really listened to what surrounded me.  Yes I can hear the birds, the babbling brook that passes the studio and the rustle of the trees but that is just hearing.  Listening takes it to another level.  Listening and transferring to words takes it higher still.

It made me realise that I have been neglectful.  When my artist friends talk about being a child always drawing and painting I envied them as painting came to me later in life.  I realise now that as a child I always had a pen in my hand, my left hand, always writing, making up stories, writing poems or with my head in a book, often told off at the table for bringing my book to it. I used to tap out my stories on my old typewriter which now sits in my studio.  So realising this now I feel less inadequate but sad that it's took up to now.

The results of keeping a diary as a child has resulted in a loft full of them, none making a fascinating read but nevertheless if tells the story of my childhood.  There's also books of poems and stories up there too.  Must dig them out.  I continued to keep a diary until about 10 years ago and again these are filled with mundane ramblings about school trips, dentist appointments, brownies and scout camps, children's parties and holiday memoirs.

In January I opened my new 2018 diary* eagerly filling it in but not expecting that feeling to last, but it has.  I have continued to write in it, not always daily, but regularly enough to go back and reflect on my week, my life.

Yesterday's workshop made me realise that I need to allocate more time to my writing.  I have two children's stories on the go as well as illustrating, but they seem to get pushed to the back burner whilst painting for exhibitions and events takes precedent not to mention the other stuff going off ie children's workshops, purple and grey, art group, printing business

So I have decided that when I open my 2019 diary and block out "studio days" this will mean some days will spent just writing and it's not all about the painting.

I have a lovely area already to sit up the window overlooking the woods so there is no excuse, unless I can't get a seat!

I will still be painting because I have to but I'm hoping more words and stories will feature in my work and in my life.

Keep you posted.....

Love Karina xx

and Bruno 🐶

*Journaling it appears is the new "keeping a diary" so I'm more "with it" than I thought.

Whether you use words or art,  journaling is way to help reduce stress because you are focusing on the here and now.

Tomorrow, as Purple of Purple and Grey, we are delivering an Art Journaling session for The National Head Office of the Youth Hostel Association to support Mental Health Awareness week.

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 🐶