Beautiful needlework and antiques

Look at these beautiful naive pieces of needlework . . . 

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I recently had the pleasure of perusing the website of Robert Young Antiques after I was sent a nice picture of one of their pieces by the ever wonderful Madeleine. (I was lying in bed with Maggie the marmalade cat asleep on me if you need a fuller picture)

Aren't these needleworks wonderful? So very inspiring: the sense of flattened perspective and the meticulous attention to detail in very specific and unexpected areas. I love that an artist might spend a long time picking out every single rope on a ships rigging but then show the see as a plane of blue: it shows where their interest lies. I will pop these images in my visual memory bank and see if some new cards might pop out.

On a moderately related note: I get really cross when creative people steal visual ideas from their peers, it's so counter-productive and anyone who does it is only putting themselves at a disadvantage. My advice if you ever need a little visual inspiration is to go way back, get historical on it, I like to look at medieval imagery: things were just better then . . . actually that's probably not true, what with the plagues and pestilence and feudal society and all that. For an example of what I mean by 'better' you simply have to look at an image search for 'mermaid', then adjust it to 'medieval mermaid' - see, much better.

Can you see a slight medieval vibe in the prints in the shop now? 


jo waterhouseCreativityComment
A look around the studio

I'm not a tidy studio worker: I often leave designs laid around unfinished for ages, I need to have things out where I can see them or they never get finished but I think there's a certain beauty in busy studios.

Here's a little sneak peek of the brain of the Hadley studio in case you're interested.


My Granny's collection of Indian nesting baskets crammed full of random sewing bits. I like to have things of sentimental value where I work.



Paste! For making paste paper. I'll upload instructions on how to make it soon.



Very low quality block printing ink, I love the goopy quality of it



BOXES. I can't throw a little box away - they're so handy! It's a curse



My glue shelf - because when you make collage you're basically a professional glue spreader, there's a real art to gluing things right.



My Mandrake print - got to have a reminder of the end point: what it's all about.



Very expensive Gouache! A real investment set there - from AJ Fitzpatrick, I love gouache, it's the most supreme paint, you can use it in so many different ways. Maybe I'll go in to that a little more in another post too.



The pretty pot graveyard. I have many pots for brushes, rollers, pens - you name it. If a pretty pot gets a bit broken in the kitchen it I snaffle it for my shelf and if I'm at a car boot and find a useless but pretty pot I have the perfect excuse to buy it. Perks of the job.



These drawers are incredible, everything goes in them. I know that's not handy because they were such a brilliant find that isn't replicable. If only Ikea did their Moppe drawers in a massive size it would be the perfect piece of studio furniture.

jo waterhouseCreativity
A sweet gift for a child

If you're looking for a really cute gift for a little person I would really recommend a tiny boiler suit from biz-e-kids - they're so, so sweet and really perfect for any child who likes to keep busy all the time (that must be all of them right?).

And if you'd like to pair it up with a card with have a large range of cards for sprogs.

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jo waterhouseFamily
It's here!

I now pronounce this website LIVE!

May the Lord bless her and all who may come and purchase handsome paper goods within her.

And with grand pomp and ceremony I smash a champagne card over her bow.


If you're reading this: you're an early adopter! One day you can tell your grandchildren that you were here to witness this momentous blog post. To reward you I have made this discount code: CHAMPAGNE, enter it at the checkout to receive 15% off. It lasts until August 10th.

Thank you so much for visiting,


jo waterhouse