The Second Magpie

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Celebrating International Zine Month: Tea Zine

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2011 at 02:24

Anyone who has been reading my blog over the past year or so may remember an artist’s book I produced on the theme of tea:

Last summer I created mini versions of these, similar to the ones shown above. They were very popular but take so long to create that I didn’t make many. I decided, as July is International Zine Month, I would make some more of these for sale on Etsy when I get that started and available to pre-order here, just send an email to 

The zines are completely hand stitched, bound, cut and (finger)printed. The pink one is made using strawberry or raspberry flavoured teas. The labels are coloured using watercolour but the labels on the tea-coloured zine are tea stained, as is the string used to bind it.

Making and binding books is something I want to do more of and I am planning three other zines for August when I get my studio cleared out and my screenprinting back to normal.

Above is the view from my studio and the perfect excuse for being a recluse.

Chewing Gums

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2011 at 00:32

I’ve recently started to paint with watercolours again, I have allowed far too much of my time to run about elsewhere when I think it really suits watercolours. I’m currently working on a large installation of paintings similar to these for one of the high street clothing stores so we shall see if magic happens.

Also a much needed update to my portfolio happened, imagery, the text stays the same because writing about yourself is just too ridiculous:

Tricks With Scissors

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2011 at 23:55

I can make a disaster from a molehill with a pair of scissors. I make collages because I love puzzles without clues. If I lived in the real world I would probably take up detecting.

These are the results of the past few months of puzzling.

Mountains, Beaches and Hand-Made Wings

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2011 at 04:48

Over the past few weeks I’ve spent quite a lot of my time in the Mourne Mountains where my aunt owns a house and lets her adoring relations stay provided we don’t cause it to tumble around our ears.

Spending time away from phones, internet and all forms of communication apart from the odd pigeon makes life seem so perfect. I packed three bags of ‘art stuff’, including a sack of cuttings for collage, my perpetually packed suitcase, a lot of shoes and headed north.

My time spent there almost always seems to involve sunshine, the view from the back of the house shown in the first photo and upstairs, on a clear night, the moon makes a shiny pathway across the sea. I tried to walk it once.

I sketched, took photos and of course spent hours on the beach collecting anything that caught my eye, like a proper magpie. When I wasn’t doing that I walked towards the mountains collecting flowers for pressing, how very Victorian of me.

Seaside towns always seem to have the strangest things to offer, I picked up a Polaroid camera for a quid, a book called ‘Mr Middleton Suggests’ from the 1940’s which I plan to turn into an altered book and Rudolf Arnheim’s ‘Visual Perception’ for 50p. My greatest find was perhaps the box of buttons which I found in a thrift shop, now I just need to find something to embellish so they don’t end up sitting in my studio for 50 years.

I’m currently making a zine inspired by my rock finds and I hope to have it ready in the next couple of days so I can celebrate International Zine Month before July runs off into history.