Pastures New


I haven’t updated since my graduation. I do apologise. A lot has been going on over the summer months.

Graduation : I was so pleased to graduate my course with a distinction ! It was really heavy going at times, and sometimes, I considered giving up. I am so glad I stuck with it. I’d have been happy to just pass, but a distinction was beyond my wildest dreams. I am giving serious consideration to returning to top up my foundation degree to a fully fledged BA (Honours) Degree in January 2018,but I may yet defer for a year. My reasons will soon become clear.


After a bit of a break, I found myself getting together with a wonderful group of talented and like minded ladies. To cut a long story very short, we decided that we wanted to open a bricks and mortar shop here in Leek.

After looking at various options, a fantastic opportunity dropped in our lap and a small shop in a beautiful cobbled shopping spot became vacant. We decided to take a huge leap of faith and take it on.

The planning stages have been long and at times complicated, but the result is that as of last Saturday, we are joint owners of a wonderful new art gallery in the pretty market town of Leek !

Our new venture is called Gallery Twenty (we’re at number 20) and I am but one of a group of 9 fellow artists and makers. We have a huge variety of skills and specialisms and I really do believe it’s going to work !



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As you can see, it’s a beautiful little shop ! We will be selling a wide range of goods, from ceramics, to glass … textiles to fine art.

My contribution will be a range of glass beads, wire woven jewellery and my original paintings.


And my final piece of news …. I am moving house in a couple of days ! I have found a place in town, much closer to college, gallery and studio. I am in a state of chaos at the moment, but I am really looking forward to settling into my new home and a new working routine, just in time for the run up to Christmas.

I won’t be able to update again until my new home’s broadband has been activated, but I figured it’s about time I showed my face on my website.

I do hope to become much more active on my site, with shop news and news of local events and exhibitions, etc once I have settled into my new life.

For now, I hope you all enjoy the coming weekend … please spare a thought for me, as I’ll be living out of boxes and losing anything and everything for the forseable future, heh.

Please do call in at Gallery Twenty if you are in Leek … we are open Tuesday – Saturday and the 1st Sunday of every month.

Gallery Twenty

20 Getliffes Yard



Bye for now




Exciting Times – Our end of year foundation degree show

Hi there … well I did a bit better this time, didn’t I ? Just a few weeks between posts instead of a few months (gold star for moi) !

Well, after a flurry of print making, reflective journal catch ups and sketch book annotations, I managed to get all my work in for assessment … phew ! I can’t quite believe that I’ve completed year two of my foundation degree. It all seems to fly by so quickly !

There’s not much let up in busy-ness though, oh no ! We now need to get the end of year show up and running. Planning and exhibiting is the main focus of the third year on our course.


Our graduating third years are doing a marvellous job of  planning, logistics, inviting, hanging and launching the exhibition. We have to do it all next year …eep ! Anyway …while lots of squirrelling is going on behind the scenes, here’s a sneaky peek …. a few pictures of our graduates’ exhibition pieces :

Ilsa Elford’s  wonderful banners


Jon Green’s lighting installation


Cathey Yardley’s fused and slumped glass dishes.

(I am yet to see the final ‘reveal’ of her finished piece!)



Its all go at the moment ….


Our Private View is on Thursday … not long now ! I must remember to polish my dreads, locate my dress and pick the paint from under my nails !

Wish us luck!

In the meantime, I’d better get a wriggle on and paint more artwork for our Take Ten Exhibition in Buxton, Derbyshire over the bank holiday weekend.

No rest for the wicked, eh

Busy Busy Busy – Getting ready for the Christmas gift Buying season

Wow .. we really do seem to be hurtling towards the busiest time of the year for us makers and designers ! It’s the one time of year that we can pretty much guarantee a few sales, at least !

Well … what have I been up to ?

Making lots of new beads … not as many as I’d like to, but time is at a premium at the moment. If I don’t pencil in some bead time soon, I’ll miss my Christmas buying window .. eek !

Here are a couple of my recent makes though 🙂

Sugar Skull Focal Bead by Mad Cat Glass on Etsy
Sugar Skull Focal Bead by Mad Cat Glass on Etsy
A recently commissioned clowder of kitties
A recently commissioned clowder of kitties

I have also reopened my etsy store … there’s not a lot of stock in there just yet, but if I do get a couple of beading days to catch up, there soon will be. You can browse for Christmas gift ideas by clicking on my Etsy tab at the top of the page.

Anyway … beads is only part of my reason for being so busy ! I have a couple of art exhibition events coming up at the beginning of December, which I am frantically making art for, but more on those events to follow in new blog posts 🙂

I do hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the unseasonably mild November weather ? I hear it’s about to change and get a bit cooler. I’ll be glad #sorrynotsorry. I love frosty mornings and wrapping up warm !

Anyway … catch you soon … very soon … about 5 minutes actually, as I’m about to write my next blog post 😀

Stay warm !

SEO Stress

SEO Stress 

I know that blogging is just one of a myriad of ways to get ‘out there’ on planet social media, but, boy ! I am feeling like a tourist in an exotic country and being utterly lost for words !

Oh my word !!! What on earth have I lined myself up for ?


seo stress
SEO stress

Is not optimising my SEO content the reason I never show up on google searches ? Probably.

Do I understand how to use SEO ? Probably not.

Will I ever figure this out ? Doubtful.

Jetpack ? Squirrly? Help !

Hello !

Welcome to my first blog post.

Hi … I figured I should start my shiny new blog with a short introduction … My name is Lesley .I am a lampworker (I make hand crafted glass art beads for jewellery designers), and I am currently studying for a foundation degree in Art at Leek School of Art (part of Leek and Buxton College).

I have always loved being creative for as long as I can remember.

After many years spent living in the city, I finally relocated to the highest village in Britain, in the Peak District a few years ago. It was to be the best move that I ever made. It was also the most interesting move I ever made … especially in the winter !

My career has taken on a whole new direction since the move, so alongside my glass work, I am now studiously training to become a fully fledged fine artist.

Here’s my artist statement … It all sounds very grown up !

I am a mixed media artist, based in the Peak District.
I am influenced and drawn to  mood and colour within my surroundings.
I mostly work with acrylics, but also love to explore using charcoal, collage, textiles and printmaking.

Wild Peak District Moorland

Some of my glass work

recent painting

Recent artwork