Don’t Look Back in Anger

So I’m thinking … all those promises that we made to ourselves last New Year – can we look back and think that we did what we said we would do?

Did you stick to your word ? Did you do things for a little while and then maybe you ‘diversified’ your plans ( I don’t like to say failed!) Did you do anything memorable that wasn’t planned? Did life throw you a big fat snowball in the face that you had to deal with… and despite the odds you’re still here to tell the tale!

Looking back , What did you do in 2012 that was worth saying – “YES, I DID THAT” ?

Well here’s my reflective moment -

  • I said that I’d start doing some interviews with inspiring and creative people for the DappledSky site, I did that!
  • I said I’d do a creative share project – and in February I co-ordinated “Made to Exchange” on DappledSky, which was a challenge in some respects and rewarding in many other ways with international participants.
  • I said that I’d put my own creative plans into action and that I’d put my own creations into a fair or show of some kind. Well – I made some more of my characters, I wrote stories for them and I did some private commissions too. I dabbled in the local Pop-up Emporium, showcasing some of my brooches. Two of my characters were selected by Craftspace and MadeByHandOnline for the brilliant Unit Twelve Craft Open exhibition in November and I also showed my brooches and three figures at two great craft exhibitions locally in November and December. I didn’t sell any characters ( they are expensive) but I enjoyed making them and I’ve had more ideas on how to move them forward into other areas but I’d still like to get them into some galleries.

Here are some faces from since it started …

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On a more personal level…

  • My husband and I had a wonderful anniversary holiday and I’ll never forget being on the island of Simi, eating gorgeous food, sat next to crystal blue waters. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
  • I ended one full-time job and started a new part-time job – which came with the challenge of re-learning how you use Windows and other programmes I’d not touched for years.
  • I’ve met lots of new people and made new friends.

Not too bad! … I plan to keep this creative stone rolling for 2013 and see if it can gather some speed. I’ve been asked if I’d like to curate and exhibition and will start to discuss that in the new year. Next year I need to get the house sorted and get the studio room back into action. I want to make more leisure use of our camper van and have lots more fab homegrown holidays in the British summer sunshine …. now that plan might be a little more difficult to orchestrate!

What plans are you hatching for 2013?

You show me your’s and I’ll show you mine! (Made to Exchange results – Part 1)

18 artists and makers from UK, USA and Italy registered to become part of the “Made to Exchange” opportunity. On St. Valentine’s Day they all received a surprise email , telling them who they would be exchanging their wares with. Over the last few weeks their special objects have travelled miles and miles to new owners.

Let’s see who took part and what happened….

Most participants have put the results of the exchanges on their own websites, blogs and Facebook sites. I’ve uploaded any located images for you to look at and there will hopefully be a Part 2, when there are more images and comments located or emailed through to us here…

There have been some lovely comments and people have enjoyed the experience … Please take time to browse through any creative blogs and sites provided by people taking part … it all helps to share the love!

Enjoy…… (PART 1)

  • Sheena McDonagh (Stoke on Trent, West Midlands, UK ) and Beverley Holland (North West ,UK)

Please take some time to look at the pages and read comments and see more photos, they exchanged loads of items with each other………

Check this page link from Sheena and this link from Beverley showing some fab photos … don’t miss Beverley sporting a snazzy beret

Here is Beverley’s other website


  • Michelle Hunter-Grey in Stoke on Trent (Beadmouse) and Julia Harding in Derbyshire (Dotty Monkey) exchanged with each other – Just by chance two people with animal pseudonyms !

Michelle sent Julia a pretty beaded necklace and Julia sent Michelle an applique bag – they both seemed to choose similar colour themes which is great.

“This was my fab swap item, sent to me by Julia Harding of Dotty Monkey – Great fun :) Glad I took part.” – Michelle.

Michelle shared her news on her personal facebook profile and on her Beadmouse page – Here is Julia’s “Dotty Monkey” page link for facebook, where you can also find a link to her Etsy shop and links for stockists in Glasgow :


Nicole received a beautiful notebook – hand-bound, stitched and printed by Fiona. Here are a few photos of the book cover in inner pages… and what a gorgeous lampshade Fiona received from Nicole …

“It was a really lovely Made to Exchange experience, thank you for the idea and the opportunity x x x” – Fiona

This is the fab message that Nicole sent to Fiona on her Facebook page as she was opening her exchange parcel

“Uhh how exciting, opening your parcel LOVE LOVE LOVE it and surely will be filled very soon….THANK YOU” – Nicole

Nixie Clothing has a Facebook page a website and a blog Dappled Sky ran an article about The Cultural Sisters in November 2011.


  • Deborah Rogers – also a member of The Cultural Sisters, made a swap with Scott Dare from San Francisco.

Scott is an actor and is currently on his travels around Europe. So Deborah sent her creation to his home and we’re just waiting to see what arrived in his mailbox, maybe when he gets home from his travels !

Scott sent Deborah a print of a photograph he shot in Rome on December 31st, capturing the moment when the rain finally stopped and people began to take down their umbrellas, just as the clock began to chime in the New Year.

(this is) “My fabulous exchange artwork from Scott Dare – loving it! What a great project, thanks.” – Deborah


Other exchange news we’re excited about and just waiting to see some updates include :

  • Zoe Best, living in Stoke on Trent and Paula Sharp – in Telford, made their exchanges and although I’ve not seen any photos yet, here is a lovely comment sent to Dappled Sky by Zoe

“I got mine, it is beautiful, really glad to have been involved, she said she liked mine too, so it was a successful exchange! Glad I did it.” – Zoe


  • Melanie Stace and Tom Prospero. Melanie – yet another fabulous member of The Cultural Sisters arts organisation in Stoke on Trent – was scheduled to exchange with Tom, who lives in Venice. Tom is also on his travels at the moment and sent us a email from Singapore to say he’ll be home soon and will get on the case – so we need to wait a little while and see what happened with that exchange.
  • Denise O Sullivan (Denise O’Sullivan Ceramics) and Heather Sproat (Woodchild)


  • Ceri Roberts (Whizzy Knitwits) and Clare Griffiths (Clarabella Miller) who have posted news ( I just can’t find it, so we are getting some pics by email soon hopefully)


  • Dee-Ann Sheerin and Amanda Fisher … really looking forward to seeing what they have swapped too.


Thanks everyone, the exchange was all about you guys.

Check back here soon to find out the latest news on exchangers … it’s an international thing! If you want to take part in the next Made to Exchange – watch this space for more news of the next opportunity.

It’s In The Post

Wow… It’s exciting to think that 18 people from UK, USA and Italy (mainly Stoke on Trent, London, Staffordshire, Cumbria, San Francisco and Venice ) have been sending each other some hand-made and unique artwork through the post over the last few days … today was the estimated last day for people to get their lovely stuff in the post.
Over the next few weeks we should see what people have swapped appearing on their own sites, blogs, social networking pages and profiles. I’ll do my research and pop some news on here soon… So watch this space!

Also look out for an interview with Hannah at Yellowstone Art Boutique during March.

Countdown -11pm 8th Feb 2012

It’s getting really exciting now… you have until 11pm (GMT) Wednesday 8th February

Really pleased to say that there has been an extra little flurry of people registering for the Made to Exchange opportunity in the last few days, including UK, Italian and American participants.

You still have time to get involved. Come and join in the fun and exchange some of your art/craft with a fellow artist. It’s free to register and very easy to do. It just requires you to answer 7 simple questions about yourself :

Check out this link if you need more information about Made to Exchange

Made to Exchange – what a good idea

Would you love to receive a free, handmade piece of artwork, craft object, a photograph, a painting, accessory, an item that is creative and made just for you? You can if you take part in Made to Exchange.

To receive for your freebie all you have to do is make, craft, draw, photograph, create something lovely that you can exchange in return. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time making it.  Get your friends to take part too and you could even be exchanging with  somebody you know , or it could be an exciting exchange opportunity with someone in another country.

Just click on the picture above to find out more.

Closing date to register your interest is 8th February and just involves a quick email.

See instructions to get involved  :)

Made to Exchange – join in the fun

The Made to Exchange opportunity is closed for now … we’ve just completed our first exchange (February 2012)

Dappled Sky will be looking for friendly folks who would like to be part in our next exchange of handmade gifts or artwork. So, if this idea tickles your fancy then please read on and email Dappled Sky with your details and we’ll keep them on file until the dates for the next exchange is announced.

You don’t have to be a professional maker. It could be a photograph that you send to someone, a drawing, some knitting, sewing, paper, wood, wire, painting, anything you think would be lovely and wouldn’t cost you too much to send to someone.

It’s simple to register in Made to Exchange. You just email the following information to … and then when we start our next exchange we will send you instructions about what is happening and when. 

“Send Your Seven Secrets” …

  1. My name is …
  2. My email address is …
  3. My blog address is … ( or social media link where you will share your gift news – you need to have an online page somewhere, it makes life easier at this end if we can see a link where you will eventually post the photos and news about what you receive)  
  4. I think the best thing about what I make is …
  5. My favourite materials/ art medium/ artforms to work in are …
  6. My favourite colours are …
  7. My postal address is … ( Your exchange partner will need to send your exchange gift to somewhere …. please give us a valid address wjhere you can collect your lovely exchange from)

You will be partnered up with another makers or artists who has sent in their details too. 

Read this article to see what happened during the last exchange

  • Dates when your items need to be posted and other tips will be announced closer to the next exchange event. For now , just register by email and await further instructions … this message will self destruct in 3 minutes !!!!!

:)  x Deborah @Dappled Sky

Made to Exchange

We would like to hear from friendly makers, photographers, artists etc … would you like to be part of a friendly exchange of handmade gifts or artwork? You don’t have to be a professional maker and you don’t have to spend a fortune. It could be a photograph that you send to someone, a drawing, some knitting, sewing in vintage fabrics, something made of paper, wood, wire, ceramics , a painting … anything you think would be lovely to receive.


To participate in Made to Exchange …


Please email the following info to before  Wednesday 8th February 2012:


  • Your Name:
  • Your Email address:
  • Your blog URL or social network link (like facebook) where you will share a photos of your gift news : 
  • Tell us the best thing about the things that you make:
  • Your favourite materials/ art medium/ artform:
  • Your favourite colours:
  • Your postal address:

Rules of the Exchange:

  • There is no price range – just use your judgement, please send something of quailty that you would expect to receive something well made, thoughtful, but it could cost zero materials.
  • Make friends – I’ll try to match you to people who sound on your wave length , so you might make a new friend
  • Fill in the questions and send to the dappledsky email address.
  • Please share this post – the more participants there are in the exchange the more fun we will have, more variety of gifts and even new friendships in other countries – how exciting is that.
  • Package things well and think how long it will take to arrive – it would be a shame to receive a smashed gift or something that goes mouldy etc.
  • Stick to the exchange dates please so the exchange runs smoothly.
  • Play nice! – make it a nice gift to receive. Please be  thoughtful towards the other person in your exchange , they may’ve taken quite sometime making your gift.
  • Share news of the gift you received on a blog or social media site –  with photos,  so we can all feel jealous about your lovely gifts.Dappled Sky and the author take no responsibility for the items received, the condition of packaging, damage etc or for exchange partners pulling out of the exchange last minute.


Wednesday 8th February 2012This is the last day for any emails,  Send to Before 11pm UK time. Remember that by sending the email you are agreeing to take part in the exchange and agreeing to pay for the postage of your gift to the other person ( They may live in another country)

Tuesday 14th February 2012I’ll let you know who your exchange partner is (how romantic!) and what they like, you might want to make something to their tastes, or you might just like to send something you’ve made already.

Tuesday 21st February 2012 - Last day to post your exchange.

Through out March 2012Share your news. What did you receive? Post on to our own blogs with a link to dappled sky or email me some text and a photo and I’ll share on here.