When Jean makes her own paper canvases she sometimes stores the finished screens to use at a later date. Jean doesn’t make the individual paper sheets from pulp, but instead combines the ready made mulberry and/or rice paper using a papier-mache’ process to make her screens. Here’s Jean in her studio with two panels that…

Read More

Here’s a suggestion to keep all your Christmas cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and tags – because then you will have a great collection of supplies for next year’s Arts and Crafts designs. Here’s our list for next year’s festive ideas. Some are designs we’ve worked out and some will need to be invented. 1) Recycled…

Read More

We first got inspired by the Country Living Christmas magazines over the years that always had wonderful homemade wreaths. This year, we thought we’d create our own (see image), which is a combination of dried wisteria twine and two types of ivy. We were thinking of ways to decorate the wreath using upcycled materials and…

Read More

When it comes to what inspires Jean, some concepts are big, bold and obvious. An example happened this summer when Jean’s Linden tree, situated outside of her studio, was filled with humming bees, which then became a painting. Other times she is influenced in subtle ways. The story behind this painting of a “Warbler on…

Read More

We’ve created some Christmas crackers with a twist! Here’s how you can make your very own Christmas crackers… You will need: some crepe paper, wrapping paper and/or any other special paper; scissors; toilet paper rolls; ribbon and/or string; tiny gifts or chocolate to fill the crackers. Next, fill the paper toilet roll with your gifts.…

Read More

For our Christmas-inspired Arts and Crafts here is a festive paper chain idea. You will need: paper; transparent sellotape (Scotch tape); and scissors. You can recycle wrapping paper, paint newspaper, use coloured paper, or even draw and colour plain white paper. We used our samples of wrapping paper made by photocopying one of Jean’s cards…

Read More
Book pages of the Wizards and the Whale at KMS Litho

Printing our first book The Wizards and the Whale was an adventure. We knew that because of the extraordinary colours we were going to have to choose an amazing printing house. We found the “Dream Team” at KMS Litho in Hook Norton. The printing process was incredible. Working with the team all the way through to this…

Read More
Tulips in Amsterdam by Jean Tori

Inspiration comes in many shapes, experiences and mediums and stories. Jean’s tulip-inspired painting, Tulips in Amsterdam, is an interesting combination of these elements. Jean got ideas from tales of Amsterdam travels and photographs of heron-filled canals. Although tulips are everywhere in Amsterdam, they also grow in abundance in our garden in Umbria in the spring. So, bunches…

Read More
Purple Teapot and Red Sun by artist Jean Tori

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” wrote the insightful author, Annie Dillard. We think that goes well with how we use colour in our every day lives. How we choose colour represents how we surround ourselves with artwork and objects and designs. Colour Theory helps us combine the right colours,…

Read More
Blue Bamboo pattern design by Jean Tori

The colour of green bamboo is beautiful. The shape of the stems and leaves also provide a harmonious design. We love that this pattern was invented by nature. At dusk the bamboo turns a deep hue so that green is not the first colour that you see. It transforms into a deeper shade of aqua…

Read More