Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dappled Dandy

Yet another talented craftswoman who will be at the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale November 12 at the Christ Church Community Centre. Visit the Swindon Suffragette facebook page for more information.
Seller number twelve is Dappled Dandy, with upcycled items for the home such as frames and trays, handmade candles in vintage glassware and upcycled furniture, who says:
Inspired by 30 years of designing and creating a home for the family, I have now developed into upcycling furniture, and creating one-off pieces, for the home. Using a range of self-taught decorating techniques, I turn old, unwanted pieces into something new and unique, but without losing their individual style. These are pieces I would love in my own home and would be honoured for others to want them in theirs.
You can see more by searching facebook:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Poppy Seed Kitchen

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale visit the facebook page Swindon Suffragette.

Poppy Seed Kitchen is our tenth seller providing handmade, bespoke wooden height charts; relaxation gift sets; delicate clay butterfly artwork, and personalised work.
Sammi told us: I started Poppy Seed Kitchen after having my first daughter, Poppy, and wanted to spend as much time as I could at home. I left my job in Clinical Trials, moved to Swindon and started Poppy Seed Kitchen as more of hobby than anything else. It’s now become more than a hobby and I love creating bespoke items for families all over the UK and coming up with new and exciting ideas. But more importantly, it has given me the opportunity to take control of my own life and given me a bit of ‘me’ time back.
If you can’t make our sale you can buy through etsy:…

Friday, October 28, 2016

Marilyn Trew

Latest update on the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale taking place at Christ Church Community Centre on November 12.
The ninth person joining us is Marilyn Trew who will be selling paintings, crafts, decorated stones, plaques and greetings cards. She most recently exhibited her work as part of the Swindon Open Studios.
Marilyn says: My inspiration comes from nature, I love colour and form. I like to experiment with different techniques just to test myself! I live in Wiltshire with my husband and I like gardening, reading, walking and seeing other creative folk at work.
To see some of her work please visit her website:

Stop press: Marilyn may also have some Edith New portraits painted by members of an art class she supports.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Big Draw

So what is The Big Draw? It's the world's biggest drawing festival from The Campaign for Drawing and on Wednesday it came to the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery courtesy of the artists from Artsite. 

Whilst in the art gallery I took the opportunity to talk to the conservators working on more than 30 paintings by Kate Tryon, an American devotee of Richard Jefferies. I was interested to learn that many of the frames were originally gilded but sometime in their history they had been painted over. A similar story to some of the portraits in Lydiard House whose frames received a coat of white paint, which has since turned grey from the smoke from open fires.

I very much enjoyed the ceramic exhibition From Where I'm Standing inspired by the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery collection. I found the work by Keith Varney reminiscent of Edmund de Waal's only to be told that SM&AG holds work by this prestigious ceramicist too. Is there no limit to the treasures contained in Apsley House?

So why no photos of The Big Draw? I'm leaving that to Artsite's Vicki Silver. But here is one of my little granddaughter Tilly getting to grips with hieroglyphics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Witchy Crafty

Our Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale takes place at Christ Church Community Centre on November 12. For more details visit Swindon Suffragette.
Here is a brief profile of one of the sellers who is taking part.
Witchy Crafty, our eighth seller says: This is the first time that I have ever tried to sell items that I have made. I have been producing art and crochet items for many years now so many in fact that I need to sell some. If my items prove to be popular then I will look into selling more. I’ve lived in Swindon and the Swindon area for over 30 years now. I have three children and am a reasonably active feminist.
She will be selling arts and crafts crochet, tea cup candles, jewellery and original art works so do look out for her stall on the 12th November.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ruth Wintle

Our seventh seller is ‘Crafted by Ruth’ and she will be selling crafts, jewellery, decoupage items and paintings. Ruth says:
I started painting on retiring from work a little over 3 years ago although sewing and beading is something I have always enjoyed. The decoupage items have increased over time and is very relaxing.
Ruth recently took part in the Swindon Open Studios and exhibited her work at Willows Counselling Service on Prospect Place alongside Marilyn Trew and Lisa Lane where they saw more than 60 art-lovers come through their doors on the first Saturday.
You can see some examples of Ruth’s artwork here…

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale see Swindon Suffragette.

Ceri's Cupcakes

If you have a sweet tooth you’ll want to check out Ceri’s Cupcakes, our sixth seller. We asked Ceri about her motivation and experience:
I have two passions in life; cars and cakes (apart from my gorgeous family of course!). I have come to the realisation that I will unfortunately never be a racing car driver so I have decided to concentrate on baking and decorating cupcakes instead (much to the annoyance of my waistline!).
I gave up my career as a Showroom Manager at a local sports car dealership after giving birth to my beautiful daughter Leah in May 2015. I really wanted to be with her as much as possible and returning to work full time was really not as appealing as spending all day with my little girl, watching as she develops into a bright, inquisitive child who seems to learn and develop new skills every day. I thought long and hard about what I could do to try and bring in some extra pennies and then one day I went to my local WI meeting where we had a cupcake decorating demonstration. I had always enjoyed baking but had never really thought about decorating, this was my light bulb moment. I’ve been practicing for family and friends ever since and loved it so much that I decided to take a chance and set up a little business. Ceri’s Cupcakes was born! My aim is to make people smile when they buy or receive my cupcakes (hopefully lots will be bought as gifts!) but most importantly to run a successful business to make my daughter proud of her mum.
Find Ceri on facebook to book your beautiful cakes:

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale visit Swindon Suffragette.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Artkore Mosaics

Artkore Mosaics is the fifth seller at the Women’s Exhibition and Craft Sale on 12th November and Lynette told us the following:
I have been making mosaics for around 15 years, mainly working on larger pieces but I also like making smaller quirky items to sell at craft fairs. I enjoy making themed teapots which I can also personalise for people. I belong to an arts charity organisation Artsite where I rent my studio (in the Shoebox theatre building).
The Swindon Suffragette team are thrilled to have our very own Artkore Mosaics teapot which we will be displaying on the day.
To find out more, including how to commission work, search facebook or check the website:

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale visit Swindon Suffragette

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nicola Cornick

Another update on the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale November 12, Christ Church Community Centre.

The fourth person joining us is international bestselling author Nicola Cornick.
Nicola is a writer and historian and since the publication of her first Regency romance in 1998 she has been shortlisted four times for the US Romance Writers of America RITA Award and twice for the UK Romantic Novelists Association Romance Prize. Nicola also acts as a guide and historian for the National Trust at Ashdown House and is a speaker on the history of Ashdown and the Craven family. She is Awards Organiser for the Romantic Novelists' Association and a mentor for their New Writers' Scheme, which critiques manuscripts for aspiring authors, and she has run several courses and workshops on creative writing. She also acts as a history consultant for TV and radio and loves the excitement of historical research as well as the friendships that the romance writing community has brought her.
Nicola will be selling and signing copies of her books (which are also available to buy in all good bookshops and borrow from Swindon Libraries). We can highly recommend House of Shadows, a fantastic time-slip mystery!
Find out more about Nicola and links to her books at her website:

Friday, October 21, 2016

WSPU Drum and Fife Band

This weekend we will be revealing our poster for the Women’s Exhibition and Craft Sale and in the Votes for Women newspaper published on April 2, 1909 the WSPU were doing the same.

‘A preliminary poster is being prepared, and will be ready as soon as this week’s Votes for Women is in the hands of the readers. The poster, which is 40 ins by 30 ins, is being printed in the colours, and will, it is hoped, be found very useful. Will all who are working for the Exhibition, or who are interested in it in any way, write for a supply of these posters in order that they may be exhibited wherever possible to make the Exhibition known. As this is a preliminary poster, it is important to get it out quickly.’

‘In connection with the WSPU, a drum and fife band has been recently organised. The services of an instructor have been secured and about twenty members are in training. There is still room for more recruits, who should be able to give Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings to practice. When fully trained the band will be asked to perform from time to time, and will, it is hoped, be a regular feature on official occasions. Miss Dallas has been appointed Secretary, and all inquiries and communications should be addressed to her at 4, Clements Inn.’

Votes for Women April 2, 1909

The Drum and Fife band, led by Edith New's rock throwing compatriot Mary Leigh, marched through the West End, advertising the Women's Exhibition.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cynara Jewellery

Another update on the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale November 12 Christ Church Community Centre. For more information visit the Swindon Suffragette facebook page.
Our second seller is Cynara Jewellery and owner Rosie Leather told us the following about herself and her jewellery.
I learnt silversmithing whilst living in north India in 2014 and I now work with many different materials including precious and semi-precious metals, epoxy resin and clay in my home studio in Swindon. In the past 18 months I have developed a style that is based on natural forms and textures. I enjoy recreating and capturing organic textures; playing with contrast to present them in an original way. For example in my collection of brooches, I have set foraged seaweed from the wild Jurassic coast in clear epoxy resin. The resin frames and accentuates the coarseness of the seaweed, whilst making it more vibrant and wearable.
In my metalwork, I hand forge rings, pendants and earrings from sterling silver. I use hammering and polishing techniques to create texture as well as copper and gold to add warmth and colour. I have recently started working with clay and have been experimenting with lustre glazes to give my pieces an effect of iridescence that compliments my metalwork.
If you can’t make our sale Rosie also sells her beautiful work at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery on Bath Road, Swindon Pulse Wholefoods on Curtis Street and online:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

White Flower Lei soaps by Virginia Hey

We are now on countdown to our Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale on November 12 at the Christ Church Community Centre. For more information visit the Swindon Suffragette facebook page.
In no particular order we start our list of sellers with White Flower Lei - luxurious soaps handmade using exquisite, extravagant ingredients.
White Flower Lei soaps are hand made by Virginia Hey, the award nominated Australian actress, perhaps most beloved as Zhaan in sci-fi series Farscape, currently living in Swindon.
Throughout her adult life, Virginia has pursued her passion for studying natural therapies reiki, nutrition, and homeopathy; as well as perfume and soap design. With White Flower Lei Virginia offers a unique sensual experience for the connoisseur of finest perfumed products; handmade soaps with the all-important vegan qualities that consumers crave. Her hand crafted soaps evoke an essence of elegance and natural beauty, to delight and pamper, still, add bliss and well-being to 'inner' environments, and charm and elegance to your home. Virginia’s couture fragrance designs are crafted and infused with exquisite blends of fresh, opulent blossoms, magical resins and jewels from Mother Earth!
Virginia also sells on Etsy and makes custom orders so if you can’t make our sale you can order online:

Monday, October 17, 2016

One hundred workers are wanted!

You will soon be seeing our beautiful poster (designed by Swindon Heritage editor Graham Carter) round town, advertising the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale on November 12.

And in March 1909 members of the WSPU were busy organising their Women's Exhibition too.

‘Just before her arrest and imprisonment for taking part in the deputation to the Prime Minister on February 24, Mrs Pethick Lawrence was at work on a beautiful piece of embroidery in the colours intended for the Woman’s Exhibition. And Mrs Pankhurst, having a long railway journey before her between two meetings, considered what she could do for the Exhibition, and, following Mrs Lawrence’s example, also plied her needle at embroidery.

With the leaders of the movement thus filling in every spare moment in working for the cause they have so much at heart, it is not surprising that the rank and file follow suit. And at the present moment, with one of its leaders and many brave comrades in prison, and, in consequence, addition responsibilities on their shoulders, members of the National Women’s Social and Political Union are once more responding nobly to the call of duty.’

Among the attractions planned for the 1909 Woman’s Exhibition was a pageant, but this was to be no ordinary pageant.

‘The WSPU pageant, however, will be something almost unique in the annals even of pageants. It will be on a miniature sale – in reality, a doll’s pageant, the nearest approach to it being the Doll’s Pageant held at Westminster some months ago. The WSPU Doll’s Pageant, however, will be of more educational value, for there will be represented, in addition to women famous in history, some of the political and industrial problems of the day, and – statistics! How apparently cold facts will be represented by dolls, we will not divulge at the moment; we will confine ourselves to making the strongest possible appeal to women of an artistic turn of mind (artists, art students) to send in their names at once to the Exhibition Secretary, 4 Clements Inn, and let her set them to work. Modellers are wanted; dolls’ dressmakers are wanted; artists are wanted to take charge of groups of models; and others to design and make scenery and properties, and to do miniature carpentering. The time is short – if you can give the help indicated above, write by return of post. One hundred workers are wanted!’

Edith's prowess with the needle, both sewing and knitting, is well documented.

The Museum of London hold a pair of miniature stockings Edith knitted from unravelling yarn from her prison uniform and her embroidered signature can be seen on a banner first carried in the 'From Prison to Citizenship' procession in June 1910.

And Elizabeth Crawford has even featured Edith in a blogpost she wrote on May 2, 2013.

Miniature stockings knitted by Edith New - Museum of London

'From Prison to Citizenship - Museum of  London