Blooming good business advice

It’s not every day you go to a business meeting and find a packet of wildflower seeds on the table in front of you. With this, I knew the Bumble & Bloom Media marketing workshop was going to be something special. MD Chloe Hall appealed for people to get involved via The Inspire Network, a networking…

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Art teacher continues to inspire

Great Wave off Kanagawa

I’VE been channeling my 16-year-old self for my calligraphy class project this term. When we were given the theme of water, I was transported back to Mr Wincop’s art class circa 1998, when I was introduced to the work of Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849). Part of our GCSE art coursework was to create a street…

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Hartlepool Festival of Illustration

CHRIS RIDDELL was named the Children’s Laureate this week, just days after I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Hartlepool Festival of Illustration. The author and illustrator was one of the high-profile guests invited to speak at the symposium launching the month-long celebration of illustration in the town. One of the things he…

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Happy Birthday Creative Calligraphy!

birthday cake

BRING out the birthday cake – Creative Calligraphy is one year old today! After months of careful planning and preparation, I took the plunge and started trading on May 27, 2014, and now’s a good time to take stock of the last 12 months. I’ve got almost 30 orders in the book – that’s at least…

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Katie’s Garden deserves to grow

WITH evening dresses hanging outside the bathroom and a shimmering penny pathway, Katie’s Garden has got glamour in spades. The vintage crafting tearoom has just opened in the Sunniside area of Sunderland and is run by mother-and-daughter team Kathryn and Rachel Meadows. As well as the tearoom, the couple run a range of workshops and…

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National Stationery Week

stat addict

There seems to be a day or a week to celebrate anything and everything and when I worked in a newsroom, we got press releases about them all. But this week is National Stationery Week (NSW) – and I’m happy to admit I’m a stationery addict! I literally cannot walk past a stationery shop without…

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Letters from region’s industrial past

KGV telegram

Anything with a bit of fancy lettering is always going to catch my eye, so when I saw this on Twitter I just had to share! The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) is exhibiting pieces of the region’s business history as part of its 200th birthday celebrations. Items on display include a letter to…

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Durham Cathedral is an Open Treasure

No other heritage organisation has embarked on anything like Durham Cathedral’s Open Treasure project – and I feel privileged to have been given a behind-the-scenes tour. A massive £10.5m is being spent on transforming some of the cathedral’s hidden spaces into a state-of-the-art museum and exhibition gallery. The major development is expected to attract an…

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Tyneside Cinema: Letter of Complaint

letter 2

A FRIEND has very kindly pointed me in the direction of an intriguing new exhibition opening at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle. Rachel Reupke’s new video installation, Letter of Complaint, is billed as a witty and stylish celebration of the art of the complaint letter. It presents three characters putting pen to paper to express…

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Exploring Chinese Calligraphy

year of dog

I’ve been reading up on Chinese calligraphy since giving it a go myself as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Newcastle at the weekend. In fact, the whole family tried it, with my son James, five, using the brush and ink to practice his ‘tricky words’ rather than Chinese characters, while his sister…

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