Coffee anyone?

Was sent a press release from MacMaster Design and read with great interest all about their coffee tables:

The ‘Expose’ coffee table…

The ‘Nest’ coffee table…

Doug’s coffee table…in our house!!

Does anyone else notice any differences or similarities?

I quote from MacMaster Design:

‘The dictum ‘minimal waste for maximum output’ informs an ecological awareness that permeates the design and production cycles. The challenge, is therefore to create impactful and strikingly beautiful furniture and lighting that adheres to ecological values and principles. The products, whilst technically challenging, are hand-produced using exacting techniques learnt and adapted from the world’s finest traditional craftsmen.’

Gosh I could not have put it better myself!

I think ‘Nest’ and ‘Expose’ are sort of ‘tidier’ versions of our coffee table…

This year MacMaster will be showing their award winning Lighting and Furniture at Tent London, and would love to welcome you to their stand. It looks like an absolutely brilliant exhibition…would so love to go!

Very, very best of luck to the two young directors, Alex and Limahl…

Tent London, 20-23 September 2012, Old Truman Brewery London, E1

Black is Black

My earlier post about the still life drawing at Tantallon Studios reminded me of this apartment in Edinburgh…every corner is a still life…

A conversion of an old primary school, the owners, Mr & Mrs Black, have added a garden level extension with stone ‘vertebrae’ steps leading down:

Their home is now beautifully connected to the pretty garden.

Their relaxed sense of style encompasses a touch of Japanese, vintage, retro, but they always seem to make it work.

Light pours in through the large classroom windows

Luxe, elegant finishes are timeless.
This is another property that can be hired as a location through Location Scotland

Back to the drawing board

Esther Cohen is offering a weekend workshop, 15th/16th September, aimed specifically, but NOT strictly, at teennagers wanting, or needing, to brush up on their drawing skills. So if anyone, in the North Berwick area, has children studying for Standard Grade, GCSE or Higher Art, who could do with a boost to their skills, now is a great time to send them along – honestly – it would set them up for the rest of the year, enabling them to prepare for this surprisingly tough exam, as effectively as possible.

Find out more at

The workshop is £110 for the two days and, yes, if you wanted to do one day you could, but it would have to be the Saturday as, on the Sunday, they apply the Visual Language exercises that they learn on the Saturday, to a still life set up in the studio, on Sunday.

Anyone doing the course would learn more in 2 days than they would probably learn in taking a whole term of courses elsewhere, that is how good the Visual Language approach is ! 🙂

The workshop runs from 10am to 4.30pm and is therefore very good value.

I think as parents we are very used to shelling out for music lessons…maths, french tutors, but somehow we seem to think that Art is a subject children can just learn themselves…?

As if being able to draw is so easy…then we wonder why so many adults bemoan that they cannot draw…!

I guess it is very comparable to singing – yes there are people who can naturally ‘sing’ – but often they have parents who can sing, who encouraged them to sing, and who were inadvertantly passing on loads of singing tips throughout their childhood…those of us who cannot sing or draw so easily, I assure you – we just need a few tips and pointers…go along, or send your children along, to a workshop at Tantallon Studios near North Berwick

Watch out too for a series of workshops called iPad Art School! The first being on landscape.

More details at

Loch Ness

Well, he did it! Finding a thick and heavy mist when we arrived at 8:30am was a bit worrying…

Oh dear!

The low point being ‘realising that the rescue boat was called DELIVERANCE

However, things did improve…shafts of sunlight soon started poking through and the day cheered up no end.

Hundreds of pink hats helped hugely…you will notice that there are one or two people who ‘have not bothered with wetsuits’ – definitely the cool ones – in every sense of the word!

And they’re off!

Could not help but notice how incredibly ‘Des Res’ the shores of Loch Ness are…to be explored soon I am sure…

A traditional ‘medal biting finish’ – 1 mile in half an hour…!

The rest of the day was idyllically whiled away in blazing sunshine enjoying the BBQ the event organisers provided and drinks from the Dores Inn…I mean ‘How brave! What hardship…and all for charity!’

Any additional sponsors would be very gratefully received

Back to School

Oh no…summer’s over in Scotland…all in the blink of an eye…that’s what happens I guess when it rains non-stop, you spend quite a lot of time glued to the olympics, don’t go on holiday and work all the time – summer does just disappear rather…
What happened to all those picnics and bike rides we were meant to go on?
I had privately planned to get up early every morning and work, work, work while my children had a long lie and then, in the afternoon, we would all do something lovely together…beach walks, sketching…movies if it was raining…lovely idea.

Matthew & Eva on Eva's first day at High School

The only problem was that my children are 11 and 14 now, and they really have lives of their own – they both just want to get together with their friends…I am afraid the thought of going out sketching with their mum just is not an option…I did manage a couple of games of tennis, but even that is a bit embarrassing now and they would really rather play with their friends.
And as for all that ‘brushing up on maths and spelling’ that I had also envisaged – you can forget it!!

Doug and I have always wondered if Eva, our daughter, ‘might be dyslexic’ (how do you spell that??)…we have actually been wondering this for years, not knowing anything about dyslexia, we were a bit unsure how to progress with this thought…lots of our friends are dyslexic, we did not really think it was a big deal, but did wonder, nonetheless…Eva of course, understandably finds this possibility absolutely infuriating…and gets really cross whenever we mention it.

In the end I did book an assessment with a specialist in Edinburgh, just wanting her to be prepared for High School and I said to her as gently as I could

‘Eva, I have made an appointment for you with a lovely lady to help you with your spelling’

To which she replied, ‘Well Mother, I have made an appointment for you with a lovely lady to help you with your wine drinking’