Saturday, 15 October 2011

Books and Bits

I have just had a kinda eureka moment. Something that fills you with energy even though you're tired and fills you with ideas that you cant write down fast enough. After a grueling 12 hr day at work I have come home and decided to focus on how my work can work for me. As you may have seen a few posts ago, I want to be an art therapist. I have been working for young people with autism teaching life skills for 3 years now so with my fine art degree background I am going to try and make both worlds collide. I have joined an activity committee and have sat down tonight with an "Expressive Arts Activity Book" to get some ideas of projects.

I think  first of all i need a kit. The BASIC kit needs to contain:

  • Collage images (words, magazines, textures, colours)
  • Paper (lots of)
  • Pens (Millions of)
  • Glue (sticks and PVA)
  • exciting things! Stickers, glitter ribbon etc etc
So I have text my colleagues and friends and told them I am from now on collecting images and words from magazines on any theme. Travel, animals, children, words, photos and they can give them to me or leave them for me at work. The book suggests that I should cut these out myself so that participants with less dexterity can still join in. This is a great idea and I pile of images can be so inspiring! Also the book suggests as an ice breaker to make image cards, plain card with an image stuck on it so that it can be used as a basis for a piece of work for those daunted by an empty page. Genius! Once I have a good collage selection I will make a whole heap of these and carry them with me. 

Sessions I could do that I have thought of include:
  • Make a city (drawer on the walls covered in paper, drawer around people and use collage)
  • Book making (sketch books, story books, concertina books...)
  • Drawing and Painting to music (Even a live band)
  • Paper mache (bowls, masks etc) 
  • Drawing on the floor (covered in paper, hands knees and feet)
  • Then there is the obvious, cards masks etc etc 
  • Still Life Drawing, for the more high functioning and arty types amongst them who get the bug... Draw their favorite items. 
So I have just ran round my room like a nutter sacrificing items of mine that I have collected to use in collage, examples of books I have made (prototypes) and generally great things. Tissue, postcards, adverts and collage material. I have a carrier bag full of sacrificed materials and it feels good. Next step, go and buy a big box to keep it all in and maybe research book making activities...........

Excited x) 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Greece - Roadside Shrines

So, I've just had a lovely week of all inclusive wonderfulness and 30odd degree heat (LUSH!) but I am now back and don't worry my little shrine obsession didn't go very far. I remember many years ago when I visited Greece being fascinated by these often ornate little boxes by the side of the road. Co-incidentally I had decided to E-mail a friend of mine who I met when I was last in Greece about these objects for some more information. 

She informed me they were memorials for people who had died and were often tended to by family members lighting candles and sometimes even writing letters. The boxes seemed to be full of images of Byzantine Icons (Saints as I understand it) and personal items. I felt a bit weird about photographing them so I saw far more than I photographed. As you can imagine they're all placed in dangerous places as they are accident sites so not the easiest things to get to and when they were in towns I was worried about seeming disrespectful by the local community with less than no knowledge of Greek! 
So these are the images I have collected of a few I saw. 

This was the closest memorial to my hotel on the side of a busy road. As you can see there are various images of byzantine icons and burners to be lit by relatives or friends. The plastic bottles often contained oil or flammable substances to fuel a flame. 

This second example seemed a lot more personal to me with less bought for purpose items and was far more accessible so an enclosed front had been included. This was less ornate in appearance. 

There were many many examples that I drive past or saw at a distance that I just think are beautiful and intriguing items that I would love to know more about. There were some great shops in Rhethymnon which was the nearest town to where I was staying selling fab Byzantine items which I think would be for the purpose of these shrines. I bought some and did get some very strange looks lol When I get chance in natural light I will put them on here to look at. There were also large roadside shops selling the empty memorial boxes in all shapes colours and sizes in brick and wood mostly. They looked very grand. 

I also visited a Monastery in Margarites where I lit a candle for my late father and enjoyed the beautiful imagery on the walls. 

 I have never been particularly religious myself but have a particular interest in religious imagery and I have some old bibles mostly for their history and the messages to love ones inside the front covers always intrigue me. It seems to me that the memorials by the roadside are stunning examples of memorials and tributes to a love one. It struck me how they didn't seem at all depressing or tampered with in any way by the roadside. Unfortunately, such a think in Britain would probably be vandalised. Their is a great sense of respect in the Greek culture and this is a ritual as part of their nationality that I greatly admire. 

I wish to learn a bit more about the Byzantine icons and what a few of them mean and I will post some of my icon pieces on here soon. 


Wednesday, 7 September 2011


shrine (Latinscrinium "case or chest for books or papers"; Old Frenchescrin "box or case")[1] is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deityancestorheromartyrsaintdaemon or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idolsrelics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated.[2] A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar. Shrines are found in many of the world's religions, including ChristianityIslamHinduismBuddhismWiccaChinese folk religion and Shinto, as well as in secular and non-religious settings such as a war memorial.[3] Shrines can be found in various settings, such as churchestemplescemeteries, or in the home, although portable shrines are also found in some cultures.[4]

nicho is an object of Latin American folk art. Nichos are made from mixed media and traditionally combine elements from Roman Catholicismmestizo spirituality, and popular culture. Characteristically "nicho" objects have different names throughout Central and South America: they may be called retablo or by other local names. Also see article onPeruvian Retablos, a style that encompasses several different portable forms not discussed here.
In South America, it is common to see decorative boxes called "nichos" set upon tables and pedestals to display religious icons. These boxes may serve as a religious altar (to mark a significant religious event) or to honor a patron saint.
Nicho art originated as a popular adaptation of the Roman Catholic retablo tradition of painting patron saints on wood or tin. Unlike the large, flat panels of retablo, nichos are small and built in shadow box style. Common structural conventions include hinged doors, carved borders, and multiple panels. Within the box there is a key object or central figure for whose honor or memory the nicho has been created. Nichos are usually painted with striking colors, often contrasting bright and dark, and tend towards garish. In addition to painted designs, nichos are decorated with all variety of images and objects from religious and popular culture, especially depictions of the Virgin Mary, saints, the sacred heart, figures from loteriaDia de los Muertos characters and objects, and folk heroes.

Quick research on Wikipedia. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Quirky Little things I own

Well I'm in the bat cave and I'm hungover so I thought Id get my blog on and let you know about some quirky kewl bits and bobs I've come across recently. Some of which I have NO idea what to do with. My Aunt and her fiancee run a Medieval Festival in Lanark which in turn means they go to all sorts of fairs and trade shows and have fab old authentic traders that every so often have great pieces of kit for you're average joe!  

 Rosalind found me these buttons from Tinkers Tailor. Which I have decided I'm going to find maybe an old black cardie of mine or raid the charity shops and find a cardie and substitute these buttons in. They will look awesome. I was also thinking maybe they could be used in a little Nicho or Shrine memorial box. What do you think?
23x16mm 60pence each
Pewter large Skull Buttons

Next we have some stuff purchased in Angel Islington vintage market some time ago. More through intrigue and imagery than anything. 

A Jesus Tag - Got damaged in transit on my way home :(
Really liked the imagery on this tag. Wording says, "*I Will Bless Every Place* Where A Picture Of My Heart Shall Be Set Up And Honoured" Just thought it was interesting could be used in collage.

From the same stall I bought 

Three slides of diagrams. As some of you may know ~I have a morbid fascination with anatomy and old medical books and I purchased these slides due to an echo of anatomical diagrams within my books. They are however diagrams of parts of plants. I rooted through a whole box and picked these three due to similarities with male and female body parts :) See Close ups below. 

All of the above (3 slides AND the Jesus tag) cost me £9. Which i thought was a bargain. I want to try and scan and enlarge and print the images and maybe collage or draw over?

Last but not least my recent purchase from the Worcester Flea which is a small vintage market in the town centre. 

As you may have seen in my previous posts I've been thinking about new small art projects and one of the themes I'm going to look at is shrines and memorials. I have been thinking about small portable pieces of art that can be carried by a person than are filled with mixed media images to remind of beliefs and strength and past memories.  

 I found this hinged tin at the Flea for the bargain price of £8. Its a very old toffee tin. I like the way its worn a bit on the front. The hinge fits well and its a snug closure. I was thinking of maybe lining this and   filling it with some contents a bit like a collage with a 3D centre piece possibly or maybe a photograph?

Thats all for now. I will post some research into shrines and memorials soon. 


Friday, 2 September 2011

Thoughts and general ramblings

I've decided (I've been thinking about this for a really long time but really tonight has made me certain) that from this September i.e NOW, I will start working towards many little arty projects some through work, to make myself more prepared to apply for Art Therapy next September 2012. I turn 26 at the end of this month (this is not a midlife crisis lol) and when I originally graduated from DMU in Fine Art in 2008 I applied to study Art Therapy at Derby university. I was told at the time that I was too young in my feedback and I would be more prepared come 25 or so. Although I did not necessarily agree at the time I could see where they were coming from. A lot of the other applicants were older than me (considerably in some cases) and had a lot of work experience. Although coming from a degree I was strong in my Art background and had a consistent body of work. Since this set back I have almost scrapped the idea, due to the fact that in full time work (48hrs a week 12hr shifts) I have struggled to see how I can create conceptual  work to a consistent standard in my spare time whilst allowing myself down time also (needed!). I have decided its time to work towards it and allowing myself a year in which to do so is plenty of time to prepare and also raise some effort in funds towards this.

The universities that offered this course when I applied were few and more have probably taken on the course since. SO, as well as tattoo flash type art work (that I enjoy and have an interest in but have not much substance behind them) I will be doing small projects covering varied periods of time, some involving the service users that I support at work. Thus providing a varied base of work over a year long period.

This is the theory anyway :S I have put together a brief photography project through work fairly recently for the young people to have cameras and take pictures that they want to take to see what we get and using the results to do collage and drawing work from. (I will post the full brief further down the line) I have had a positive response from staff and young people who want to take part (I should say I work with 16-25s with Autism and challenging behavior) and am waiting on some disposable cameras being ordered. I have chosen to do it this way to remove any materialistic value from the camera to encourage it to be taken and carried more freely with them. Also limiting the exposures and making it more personal to them, they can be left with complete responsibility of the camera.

Anyway after this epiphany (caused by a small amount of alcohol and a colleague leaving for pastures new in "that lahndin"). I shall start to think of themes and areas of interest I can work on through photography research, pen, ink and collage. Its quite exciting. I also have friends setting up life drawing in the area which I will think about going to and some tattoo/pen and ink work thats been on the back  burner for a while which needs finishing so time to get off my ass I think...............



Also I will be blogging my way through all this don't you worry. Second Burlesque show on Sunday too! Miss Hilton Presents is going well :D

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Back in Black

Jeepers. I've been busy. The highlights and the Low lights follow. 

I have moved.... I have got better Internet and am Therefore back trading again on click HERE to check out my wares in a tattoo ink original art kinda way. 

Also I now promote Burlesque nights in the local area of Worcestershire too! I decided I wasn't busy enough doing painting in my spare time and working full time so I'm now doing bi-monthly burlesque shows in Worcester at the Pig and Drum in Lowesmoor. My first show at the art house in July was a great success. I compare them myself and bring all the great acts that I have come across to the masses (of the home counties lol) So that's exciting too! 
Poster by Tilly Mints Graphics
If you are interested in finding out more head to my Face Book page for Miss Hilton Presents

I'm hoping to do some act reviews in the next coming weeks from my show and also an offer Sunday - Sunday  on my original art works now my shop is up and running. So stay tuned! 
I also in the next few weeks have Hen nights, Weddings and Medieval Festivals, so never a dull moment! 

Me and Rooster my DJ

I'm on Twitter @misshiltonink
Lowlights - Brixton Urban art was a washout! Absolutely threw it down so I was glad I'd hedged my bets and only done one day. Still a good weekend!

In other news my sister has started to make vintage cake stands from odd crockery so I should blog about those soon too (we are a clever pair!).

Art work soon to be going up in my new venue and Burlesque classes on the cards? Stay tuned :) x

Saturday, 7 May 2011

London Burlesque Festival 2011 - Highlights

What a weekend I've had! What a bank holiday indeed. LBF 2011 finally came around and as promised it was a blast.

I was going to do reviews of the all the shows I had seen but really and truly Ive decided to stick to the best parts due to the fact Ive got a lot to say about some acts and not much to say about others (I'm sure you know what I mean ;) ). I saw 4 Shows in a whistlestop tour of London's venues in Madame Jojos, Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush and The Coronette in Elephant and Castle.

British Bombshells
There were some very entertaining acts for the first of my many shows in the upcoming week and although I had every intention of avoiding the royal wedding there were the first of many wedding/royal britannia themed acts to be had. Compere Lady Beau Peep was entertaining introducing such acts as Kate Middleton,(Obviously not but quite a good likeness!) otherwise known as Agent Lynch.

Kate Middleton (Agent Lynch)

Closely followed by a Royal Guard in the form of Alli Katte with a rather impressive weapon! I must admit at this point that I did stop taking photos at a fairly early stage due to the intimate nature of the venue and low lighting the photos didn't appear to be  of a very legible quality although now I have then on my laptop they're nearly not as bad as I thought (But still not great).

Eliza DeLite was incredible. I loved the concept of a coal miner bored of working wanting the glamorous life with diamonds and pearls. The outfit was very impressive and I know she stitched a lot of it on herself. It was a nerve wracking time for us all knowing her as we did and knowing Momma DeLite was in the audience but it has to be said (If i didn't say it before) she did the Leicester Demon Belles proud! she was without doubt one of the most impressive acts and dare I say some of the other acts did leave a lot to be desired.

Eliza DeLite - On the big day

This show prompted a mass discussion between the Belles and I about facial expressions as some seemed to be lacking any reality and just doing what they felt they should do. Buuuut I'm all for a bit of cheesy cheescake.

Twisted Cabaret
Tbh I was expecting more from this show. I'm not sure if its because they were leading me up a blind path with the term twisted although at times it really wasn't watchable! The compere I thought was really quite good a rockabilly guy by the name of Benjamin Louche, quite dark and quite funny. I particularly liked the song about getting fucked up! Low points, a man with his mohawk on fire (that smell was WRONG) and a man snorting a condom through his sinus cavity (that I could and SHOULD have gone the rest of my life without seeing!) but there were also some acts that were incredible. The best of which had to include the following 2:

Vivi Valentine
Did a stunning dance in an amazing 300 Esq costume as a high priestess with Romanesque theme. General glamour and hypnotism awaited the audience and then from nowhere there was water, poured out of urns by loyal subjects and then......*spoiler* she threw a large amount of gold glitter into the air and walked through it coating herself. It was a fantastic show with equal focus on costume and talent. One of the best things all week.

Trixie Tassels
Well, I don't have much to say about this one apart from, if you thought fire eating and general fire dancing was impressive check out flaming nipple tassels. Never seen anything like that. Considering a lot of girls with tassels didn't do a lot with them, this certainly made up for it! Awesome.

NewComers Competition

La Fille
I have to say that this was the most delicate and emotive of all the acts in this show. It was sooo fragile and bought back childhood memories to me of the wind up jewellery boxes that used to play a song to you as a ballerina twirled around and round. This was definitely the best entrance and exit being static both times and placed and removed off stage by a helper in a fireman's lift with rigid shapes much like a mannequin. This act cant help but give you goosebumps and wasn't your average burlesque act.

Aurora Galore

Photo Taken From:
This lady was breathtakingly bold. Although impressive to watch I can see why she (narrowly I'm sure) missed out on taking away an award due to the fact that the act was a fan dance involving impressive fan moves, some incredible lighting but she was however already in pasties and pants from the beginning. The act tho was really really impressive, those fans aren't light but she made it look effortless but FIERCE! The rock edge in the music and black outfit was very much my thing. And would you believe matching thong and shoes! Wowzers. As the final act to this show was a very fitting climax.


Photo taken from:
If I had to pick one thing to see again every day for the rest of my life it would be this gorgeous thing. Her name is Tank, and I was slightly dubious when I heard the name however the display was so skilled, controlled and generally brilliant i forgot this almost instantly. I have seen aerial acts perform before but there is something so captivating about this lady. If aerial doesn't impress you (are you insane) but not only does she do aerial she also managed along with all the acrobatics to do a very good job at striptease down to Pasties. She's very striking in pose and look, her costume was really beautiful. I cant tell you enough how stupidly talented this woman is. If you ever get the chance to see her snap it up quick. She's an international treasure.
In general all of the newcomers did a fab job there was no hiding behind expensive costumes, pure talent. 

All in all I'm sure you can see by my gushing review that amongst the good and the (incredibly) bad the highlights really where something else. I'm really hoping to go next year and take the highs with the lows just to see anything of the same standard again would be a pleasure.

Me and some of the Demon Belles
One more thing.... Thanks to all my girls of Leicesters Demon Belles Society for a thoroughly entertaining weekend. Love u all xx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Workspace - Sneak Peak!




Watch This Space!


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

London Burlesque Fest 2011

As I mentioned previously I am going to be going to London Burlesque fest this year. The various shows are in different places but in general its a week staying in Camden with all my lovely girlies. I have dabbled in a little bit of burlesque myself and have been to some very good................ and very bad burlesque shows in my time. Although it is a thoroughly mixed bag of tricks as to whether the show is organised well and the acts are good I would still risk it every time. When its good its very very good!

Eliza DeLite
This stunning lady is Eliza Delight who is a friend if mine from the Leicester DMU Demon Belles society and a thoroughly mind blowing performer. The skill in which she entertains her audiences with so many different props, themes and situations are incredible. Her costumes alone are creative and a lot of things she uses as part of her performance are hand made. Every act it different but thoroughly stunning and she hasn't disappointed once when Ive seen her. I am really hoping to get this lovely lady to Worcester really soon and organise mt own event with some of my contacts and hopefully prove burlesque isn't just a fad! Some of her concepts for her acts are so beautiful and its a very delicate mix of grace and skill, the classy end of burlesque and the high end of skill and quality entertainment. She is going to be performing in the British Bombshells, best of the UK show on the 28th of this month but mark my words. You'll see her very soon I'm sure.

"Eliza DeLite is a UK performer based in the East Midlands. Although her acts span a variety of styles including both neo & classic burlesque, her speciality lies with cheeky comedic performances inspired by her love of the 40′s pin up era and black and white funnies. Her goal is to entertain her audience with acts which are both funny and sexy." Taken from London Burlesque Festival website. 

Another of my favourite performers is 

Joe Black
Hes hilariously funny completely different and sometimes down right wrong. Ive seen him twice before and he really was the highlight. His Lady Gaga cover is brilliant and his show brings a whole new premise to the term Cabaret! 
"An entertaining and inspiring cabaret artist, he has been voted a favourite of public and industry alike, with a constant stream of theatrical endeavours up and down the UK, Europe and internationally. Joe Black is a well seasoned and well endowed performer (or so we hear). From the smoky underground clubs of Paris, to the dimly lit cabarets of Berlin, even to the gloriously esteemed historical treasure that is the British library…
One of the pioneering personalities in new Variety, he is the unmistakable Vaudevillian Villain." Taken from London Burlesque Festival website

As you can probably tell I'm so very excited! I cant wait to see all of the shows especially "Twisted Cabaret". If any of you are in London, in the area and like a good fun night out with a bit of a sexy twist then you should make a trip to this for even just one show. I've heard this is the last year this year and although I hope this isn't the case I want to make sure I make the most of this year. I'm sure that the audience will look just as impressive as the performers and i will be attached to my camera all week. 

Toodles x

Sunday, 3 April 2011

2 things from this week?

Sorry I've been poo. Lots of exciting things happening in the wings. Moving to a new flat at the end of this month with a new studio space so should be able to get back to drawing soon, its been killing me I don't have enough space! so at the end of this month is the big move. 

In the meantime I've bought the big plastic baroque frame and I have dreams of filling it with a crow and arrows and gold leaf.... watch this space. 

To keep you entertained thus far....

2 links I've come across this week:

Milly Pilly seen on Hexotica blog post this week. 

Awesome little fascinators and stuff!!! Loving skulls and net!


The finest Burlesque geekery! I <3 it! These Diamonds are my favs, and the bats, and the bows! Actually If u wanna buy me a prezzie they're ll a winner lol AAAAND incase I hadn't mentioned it already (not sure I have) I am going to London Burlesque Festival this year, at the end of this very month infact, and I'm getting mega excited! I will do a post about one of the girls that dances with my old Burlesque group too who's performing in the British Bombshells category. I'm so proud of her.

be bak soon x

footnote: Leicester tattoo convention was a massive let down, found an amazing Tiki Bar though! Swings and roundabouts xD

Saturday, 5 February 2011

First of many Minis!

"Haus Wife #1 and #2" Picture size 5" x 3" frame size 6"x4" 

Did these a while ago but don't think I ever blogged them? This is what has inspired me to do some more minis. I really like this pair in mini apertures and everything! Perfect for Valentines don't you think...... x

Etsy Treasury - Acey Deucey

I liked this treasury and it had me in it :) x

Friday, 4 February 2011

Skulls: Visual scrapbook

Wowzas, Friday again! where does the week go! Well I'm about to embark on my loooong working weekend so all work and no play for me but heres some things that caught my eye this week. 

Charmaine Olivia I <3 this! and want one!
toodles xx

All images taken from If any of these images belong to you and you would like to be credited, or if you wish the image to be removed please contact me.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Collage: Visual scrapbook

Arsenals Barking

Arsenals Barking

Greg Gossel

All images taken from If any of these images belong to you and you would like to be credited, or if you wish the image to be removed please contact me.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Handiedan - Pin up collage

Stumbles across this work today, Wow! What an inspiration. I <3 this. and I wish I could draw filigree better. Check out this website, well worth a look ------> Handidan. Ink and collage and tattoo imagery! I've died and gone to heaven! *swoon*

Queen of Hearts No.2

Toilet / Jane Stone No.2

Valkyries No.3

This last piece imparticular reminds me of the work of Dan Hillier.I like the mix of pattern, collage and defined layering in the above and the print I own of Dan's below.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Hard Candy: Visual Scrapbook
@Booooooom vancouver
art+photo blog with a soft spot for hand-made work by unknown people.


All images taken from If any of these images belong to you and you would like to be credited, or if you wish the image to be removed please contact me.