Friday, 27 September 2013


Today I am the mother of a teenager! 
I know! It's shocking that I could possibly be old enough!! But 13 years ago today the big one burst into the world. Three weeks earlier than she was meant to. She just made squeaky noises for the first 3 days. Like a supermarket trolley with a dodgy wheel. Then she learned how to cry. A lot. She cried for a whole year. None stop. People would look at me like I was doing it wrong. They would say "Give her to me" in a smug way. After 10 minutes of constant screaming they would hand her back. We discovered that the only time she would shut up was when we put her in one of those battery operated indoor baby swings. On full speed.  One night we were so exhausted that we carried the bloody thing upstairs with her in it and she "slept" in that all night. Fifteen minutes at a time cos that's how long it worked for before you had to press the remote control thingy to start it again. 
She sleeps like a brick these days. Can't get her out of bed some mornings.
But she's still giving us sleepless nights...

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Yay!! I won a giveaway! Woohoo! I am a WINNER!
I won a copy of Ronnie Walter's new book License to Draw!
So when it arrives I will become an expert in the art of licensing. I will be one of those overnight success stories you read about in magazines. (If you have time to read magazines.) You will soon be sick of seeing my designs plastered all over every product you buy. In every shop in the land.

For now you'll just have to make do with my design here...
This is me doing my happy dance.... courtesy of Jeego! New out today, just in time for a celebration! Go download their app and you can get as excited as me!!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Grazia magazine

I have a subscription to Grazia magazine. I haven't managed to actually find time to read it lately but I live in hope so I won't be cancelling it just yet. 
I do, however, have time to play a most exciting game with my sister... Every Tuesday when the postie comes I grab the mag and guess who's on the cover. Then I text my sis. Like this "This week....Jennifer Aniston" She replies with "Cara Delevingne" or "Kate Moss" and I open it to see if either of us is a superstar champion. (TBH it's not very difficult, it's usually one of the above or sometimes Katie Holmes and the odd appearance by Kate Middleton. Or Katie Perry. Anyone called Kate or Katie is pretty much a safe bet.)
BUT for the last 2 weeks Grazia magazine have decided to do a "special exclusive subscribers' cover". Today it was a lipstick print by Giles Deacon!! How the hell are we supposed to flipping guess that?!
Come on Grazia! I'm all for a bit of Giles...but not on the cover ta, you are spoiling our game!! 

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Friday was Jeans for Genes Day at the little one's school. I couldn't help noticing, as I sat in Celebration Assembly, that some of the teachers looked somewhat uncomfortable in their denim. They looked like they only owned a pair of jeans to drag out once a year for Jeans For Genes Day. And they looked like they'd owned the same frumpy pair since 1997.
So this got me thinking (Celebration Assembly is mostly pretty dull). I wear jeans every day. Like every single day of the year. Including Christmas day. (Well not including the 3 warm days we get in summer or on my jollies if I'm somewhere hot, but every other day.)
When I was an arty student I used to look down my nose at people wearing jeans. And now here I am looking down my nose at people who don't!
So I decided. Must try harder. I went out yesterday and made a purchase. A pair of trousers that aren't jeans! 
Radical, I know!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

used to be a robber...?

My friends came round on Friday night. 
I had an hour before they arrived to rush round like a loony and clean the entire house. Not very well you understand. But enough to make them think we don't live in a complete tip all the time (which we clearly do). Mostly I just picked stuff up and threw it in my studio. Then locked the door. Good plan! 
Until Saturday morning that is. When something terrible happened to the lock and I couldn't get in. Bearing in mind that my 'studio' is a bit of a shed-like structure that Betty and Geoff (previous owners) constructed themselves in 1985 it is unsurprising that the lock finally decided to call it a day. It was just traumatic that it decided to do it on the day the ironing pile - and therefore my entire wardrobe - was locked inside!
I had nothing to wear and was meant to be going out with the kids. So I did what any girl would do in these tragic circumstances. I phoned my Dad.
He arrived with his tool box, took the handle off and fiddled a bit. Then scratched his head. And fiddled some more. Verdict: knackered!
Just as I was trying to work out which old and ugly outfit would be least offensive to put on, the other half arrived home from work to save the day. He's not well known for his DIY skills so I didn't think for a minute he would come up trumps in such spectacular fashion. But. He took a wire coat hanger. Bent it in a very accurate looking sort of way. With pliers. And he picked the lock! Like a robber! 2 minutes and I was reunited with my clothes! Nice one darling!
I haven't delved too deep into his past but I suspect that before he met me he may have been a professional robber...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

madam floss

Look what I did with GTS girl....
I printed her onto fabric... gave her some extra pops of colour...
then chopped her out and made her into this for the big one...
Her name is Madam Floss 'cos that's what the mother-in-law calls the big one. Better get on with some proper work now...

Friday, 13 September 2013

one of those mornings...

This morning I:
Sorted the kids' breakfasts.
Made the little one's packed lunch.
Made the other half a sarnie too 'cos I'm kind like that.
Fed the dog.
Packed the big one's cooking ingredients for school. (spag bol - she handed me the list at 7 o'clock last night resulting in a mad dash to Tesco) (That was me doing the mad dash. Not her. She carried on watching icarly)(I hate that programme)
Remembered the little one's buns for Bun Day.
Filled out the form giving the big one permission to have some vaccination or other at school. (Form due back last Monday)
Stuck a tenner in 2 cards for 2 twins who are friends with the big one and whose birthday it is today.
Put all the correct buns/cooking stuff/forms/cards/homework/lunch in the correct piles for the correct kid.
Had a quick shower and made an effort to look half decent. (Failed)
Raced downstairs.
Bang on time to leave the house with the little one.

The little one said "Where's Bob?"
He doesn't have a "hat" any more. He has "Bob". The bloody hat has got a name and it has become an obsessive comfort blanket type thing. Wears it all the time. Even in bed sometimes. He looks like the kid from East is East. It had August off but now it's cold again Bob is back. Only not this morning. 
No Bob. 
After a frantic search I decided the sodding thing must still be at Cubs. 'Cos I didn't pick up from cubs last night. I was doing a trolley dash in Tesco. But really it could be anywhere we just didn't have time to look.
So we had to go to school Bob-less. And of course it was all my fault. Because I didn't have time to look. Never mind that he'd been playing Minecraft for the past half hour while I rushed round like a bloody lunatic. Look for your own hat child!!

Is it too early for wine?

PS.. Thanks for all your kind messages about the end of my dream. I'm coming round a bit. I'm working out Plan B. It will be loads better than Plan A. When I get my head round it....

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

not a winner :-(

Well big thanks to everyone who voted for my tote bag. Much appreciated people. But sadly I didn't make it. The judges said "Thanks but no thanks". 
So my big dream is over. The dream I've had for like the last year. No Lillaland for me folks. I'm off the list! The fact that I've got so much work on at the moment and actually would have had to go without sleep for two weeks to do the final assignment is of no consolation to me. I'm gutted. And I know it was a big dream for the other semi-finalists who didn't make it either. But it was my dream MORE ok!
Unfortunately, thanks to the clever marketing people, everyone who voted is now on the Lilla newsletter list...which means they all got an email about the finalists today. So any hopes I had to just slope off, lie low and forget about it have been scuppered. No hiding for me. I've been getting messages of condolence all day. Cheers for that!

The finalists were announced yesterday when I was in London meeting with lovely new clients. I'd like to say a massive well done to them all, they're all fantastic and I wish them the best of luck...especially my lovely friend Lizzie Mackay who now has to win for both of us!

Soooo...back to the drawing I have to come up with plan B.  
Ideas on a postcard...

Friday, 6 September 2013

holiday...what holiday?

Well we've been back from our hols for 3 and a half days and it feels like we never went away. Apart from the enormous amount of dirty summer clothes sitting there waiting for someone to deal with them of course. (No point, don't need them till next year)
We now have to get out of bed on a morning when it's still practically dark. I've got more work than I can possibly do. It's freezing cold and chucking it down. And I have a list as long as my arm of boring stuff to remember. Like pay for school lunches online before school writes to tell me off. And buy new trousers for Alf's Cub Camp cos the ones he's got look like pedal pushers and the other kids will laugh at him.
Will somebody please transport me back to my spot under the palm tree next to the pool. In the sunshine. Thanks.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

vote dawn machell for a better world

I feel like I'm on a campaign trail! I'm not really one for loads of self promo and I hate being all 'look at me look at me'
BUT...there are loads of fab people on the GTS page with loads of mates getting loads of
Look at me look at me!! Vote for me! Do it now! You know it makes sense. I promise a fairer world and peace on earth. Just vote now :-)
Thanks people xx 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

global talent search semi finals

Hi folks, I'm back! We had a lovely lovely holiday in hot and sunny Spain. I wanted to stay longer. Or forever. But real life forced me to come home...just in time for the voting on the second round of the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. Convenient eh?
You may recall that I got down to the final 50 with my journal cover
Round 2 involved designing a tote bag that could be sold at a farmer's market. Based on Autumn activities. You didn't have to include people. Or handwritten wording. But both were mentioned in the brief. So... you know....
My problem wasn't coming up with ideas. It never is. My problem was selecting which marvellous idea to use. Always is. Good at ideas, rubbish at deciding. I got it down to two options. My lovely new mates from the MATS course helped. Well not really. Half liked one, half liked the other. But they tried.
So in the end, after boring myself and everyone else I know to near-death, I went for this one...
Here's the one that nearly made it but didn't...
Not sure now I look at them again if I made the right decision. But too late to be worrying about it. 
Anyway. Voting's open people. Here. Please be a darling and get your lovely self over to vote for me. Just ignore the other fabulous designs. I know... They're ace. But don't let that concern you. You're MY friend not for me :-) 
Thanks soooooo much xxxxx Love you forever xxxxx