Friday, 20 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

 From the Northern Hemisphere,
                                                                                                                        (c) Becca Thorne for YSC UK

and from the Southern Hemisphere!
                                                                                                           (c) Becca Thorne for YSC Australia

 I created these Christmas ecards for YSC London on behalf of YSC's UK and Australia offices. Merry Christmas, one and all!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Pig Mugs on Society6

Printed mugs are now available on Society6; I haven't done much by way of making my designs mug-ready yet, but I've sorted one or two. My magpies linocut and swan monoprint are both good to go, but I've also just uploaded two of my little piggies so that I could turn them into mugs for a couple of relatives. And that means you can get your hands on them too!

Society6 are running a different promotion everyday in the run-up to Christmas, so there are deals a plenty to keep an eye out for. Mugs are $15 (approx £9) each.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Tudor Beasts for BBC History Magazine

I recently created a series of period-specific prints to illustrate a BBC History Magazine article called Deadly Beasts of Tudor England, written by Steven Gunn and Tomasz Gromelski.

The article catalogues some of the everyday animal-based accidents that could prove fatal for 16th century people, so I was asked to create dramatic illustrations with a distinctly Tudor feel.

Amazingly, while my home-county manages to sneak a little mention in the story about bears that accompanies the illustration below, it's not the bear story locals would expect.

As well as these four reduction prints, I also produced three black-and-white spot illustrations featuring bulls, pigs and birds.

The article and all seven illustrations are published in the Christmas 2013 issue of BBC History Magazine, out on the 5th December.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Special Housewarming Present - Block Printing onto Textiles

I've been trying out Speedball's new Fabric Block Printing Ink (not sponsored, I bought it from with my very own pennies) and, thus far, I think it's brill.

My younger brother recently moved in with his girlfriend and turned a ripe old 29, and I combined the two happy events to make one big fat present. I'd originally planned on making a printed lampshade for him and his lovely lady-friend, but then I realised that I had no idea if they even own a lamp (I would also have had to learn how to make a lampshade). I do know, however, (thanks to our mum's covert intelligence) that they bought themselves a swanky new king-size bed, so I decided that a handsome, hand-printed duvet set would go down well. My brother's always loved pigs - he had one called Dotty when we were growing up - so a porcine theme seemed appropriate.

I went for a simple repeat pattern of four piggies on the duvet cover, plus a couple of little piglets for the pillow cases. They're some of The Bro's favourite breeds; Saddleback, Gloucester Old Spot, Kune Kune and a wee Tamworth piglet.

The ink took about two full days to be touch-dry, hanging on a make-shift washing line indoors, and if I hadn't already been late sending the parcel off I would have left it another day or two just to be certain. Speedball state that the ink doesn't need heat-setting like most fabric inks, but that you should give it at least a week before you do any washing. For posting I folded it up with plenty of tissue paper to make sure no residual ink messed anything up.

I hope they like it!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Prickly Print and Some Sneak Peeks

Here's a little wood engraving I've done for Rowan's mum's birthday. She'll be in the Italian mountains on the big day, where these crested porcupines are quite common. I used four practice off-cuts of similar height to make a tetraptych of sorts and, as the outline was going to be so jaunty, I thought I'd roll with it and make him kinda jazzy too.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently; I've been working on a long commission and I'm afraid I can't really show you anything from it yet. Here's a wee snippet though, to tide you over:

Recognise the three cities from those little crops? There are plenty of others besides, of cities all over the world, hopefully coming soon!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet - The Book

I've been meaning to write this post for ages, but I've finally taken photos and here it is - better late than never! Mail Me Art Short & Sweet: The Book....

It's been beautifully designed by the multi-talented Beach and is packed-full of all the fabulous mail art from 240 artists in 24 countries around the world. Some of it's listed as MIA, but most actually made it and is listed on the MMA website for sale as originals or prints, with proceeds going to Animal Aid, the Teenage Cancer Trust and WaterAid; three very worthy causes. Every piece has been hand drawn/painted/printed/collaged onto a CS envelope - nothing's been digitally manipulated - and it's all been posted uncovered; some pieces have post marks or stickers over the work, some are a bit wrinkled or creased, but they all show a little bit of their journey, making them extra special.

Here's my page, alongside the very Klimtesque Kai Schuttler:

It was very hard to do, but I've picked my some of my favourites. So much loveliness:

As well as all the gorgeous work the book also contains quotes from some of the artists, photos of work in transit and instructions for entry to next year's postcard MMA, Open All Hours, including the postcard you'll need to customise to enter. You can buy it at

The final Mail Me Art show, at Croft Wingates Gallery in Market Harborough, ends tomorrow and, sadly, I haven't made it to that or either of the previous two (at Framers in London and Factoryroad in Hinckley), and from the photos and videos of it all on the Mail Me Art Facebook page I've missed a treat.

Monday, 12 August 2013

A Wonderful Wedding, Full of

Two of my favourite people married one another this weekend, in a lovely ceremony and fabulous celebration in Somerset. I decided that there was no way they could start their married life without a linocut of Lovejoy, because what's a marriage without Lovejoy?

For the card Rowan requested that I do this: 

                                                                                                                                                                          (c) Becca Thorne 2013

It's based on a game he and the groom are fond of, which involves making this shape with your hand, placing it surreptitously below another person's eyeline and hoping they look at it. If they do, you can punch them. Chris never stood chance.

Two slightly silly wedding presents for two very special people. Happy Wedding, Ellie and Chris, have a fantastic honeymoon!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Coming In Your Ears

It was my marvelous friend Helen (of From Little Seeds)'s birthday recently. I was going to give her a cake, or some gooseberry jam, or maybe some homemade gooseberry wine (we had a lot of gooseberries this year), but I didn't get round to making any in time. Then I saw a trailer for the new Alan Partridge movie, and I knew just the thing:

(c) Becca Thorne 2013

I'm assuming it'll give her strange dreams.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet - Pre-order Now!

Mail Me Art 3: Short & Sweet is now available in book form to pre-order.

The book is a showcase of all 240 pieces of art that were received, and in some cases lost, in the post. 

For a limited time you can even have a whopping £10 off (that's nearly half price!) when you use the discount code POSTBOX. To pre-order your copy now, go to

The show itself will be up in the Framers Gallery, 36 Windmill Street, London W1T 2JT from 10am on Tuesday 30th July until 5pm on Saturday 3rd August. Go see it!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wedding Belles

A couple of my very good friends are getting married soon, and this little bit of whimsy is for them. I'm particularly pleased with this one for the registration - spot-on where it needs to be, around the boat and sails and their initials on the flag, and just slightly off in the waves, just the way I like it. It was a very satisfying reveal.

                                                                                                                                                                   (c) Becca Thorne 2013

Friday, 17 May 2013

Goose Fat And Garlic Cover

I've just received my copy of Goose Fat and Garlic by Jeanne Strang. I was commissioned to create the cover illustration earlier this year, by Kyle Books (with whom I previously worked on Chickens by Suzie Baldwin).

Goose Fat and Garlic is a collection of traditional recipes from south-west France, originally published in 1991, and this revised edition still features the beautiful original illustrations by Tony Gregson, like these on the cover pages:

                                                                                                                                                                                         'Scuse fingers

It's packed-full of wholesome and hearty recipes, featuring a lot of potatoes and cheese, that I'm quite eager to try out (with a few veggie-friendly tweaks!).

 It's available on Amazon, but as you know they are very naughty mega-rich people who refuse to pay their fair share of corporation tax in the UK, which - along with all the other fat cats doing the same - has no doubt contributed to all the cuts to the arts, libraries, the NHS, disability allowance and countless other wonderful things that shouldn't be cut. So why not wander down to your local bookshop and see if they've got it. I'm sure they'd be very happy to order it for you if not (as would your local library if you want to try before you buy) and who knows what other treasures you might discover while you're there?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stereohype Sneaker Badges

I've just received my batch of AFOMFS badges from Stereohype, snazzily displayed on their very own Stereohype/AFOMFS/Art & Sole shoelace. The badges look awesome, if I do say so myself. After seeing how jazzy and cool a lot of the other designs were I thought that maybe mine would be a tad boring, but actually they look clean and simple and I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.

If you'd like your own badge, or a selection, head over to They also sell T-shirts (a surprise badge comes free with tees from their Fl@33 range), prints, books, cards, magazines and a huge range of button badges.

I've got 9 of these beauties to give away, so I'll be popping them in with orders over £5 from my Etsy store.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


A couple of years ago I was asked to contribute to Art and Sole blog's A Few Of My Favourite Sneakers (AFOMFS) series and created a linocut of my knackered old Connies. The series has now been realeased as a range of button badges by Stereohype, available on the site for £1.50 each or £72 for all 48. See the whole range at

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mother's Day Earrings

Today I discovered that this Sunday will be Mother's Day. I only realised when I got an email from a shop telling me there was still time to buy stuff and have it delivered by SuperMegaFastPostieWizards. I'd had big plans to clean the house today - we've got friends coming for the weekend and I want to find the source of a weird smell before they arrive - but I decided that making a present for my mum would be much more fun.

So I knocked up these little beauties. I'm rather pleased with them - I think I might have to make some more for the shop. And myself.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Mail Me Art - The Arrival

Just received an email from Darren over at Mail Me Art confirming that my piece has arrived. It's quite a relief to hear it got there safely, with only a tiny, barely noticable rub in the print (on the middle book). Here's the scan he sent for me:

Hoorah! Thanks, Royal Mail! There are new images going up on the MMA site all the time, click here to see the most recent.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Mail Me Art 3: Short and Sweet

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been invited to take part in Mail Me Art 3, the third of Darren Di Lieto (of the Little Chimp Society and Hire An Illustrator)'s mail art projects in which an international community of artists and illustrators turn envelopes into art, post them to Darren, and he makes them into an exhibition and book. This time round it's limited to just 200 artists and invite-only, so it's very exciting to be included.

This is my main image. I'm hoping these guys will feature quite heavily in my personal work in the future.

I printed three and managed to get ink all over the back of each one. I think I'll blame the mice...

The exhibition will be in late July; you can find exactly where and when on the MMA website or Facebook page once it's all announced. You can also log your interest for participation in Mail Me Art 4 on the project details page of the website.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Captain Crochet!

I've spent the last month or so designing and creating crocheted goodies, learning new stitches, making myself a shop banner and getting some green business cards from Moo, and in the last couple of days I managed to photograph all my new creations while the sun graced my little photography corner. So now, here it is:

My new Etsy crochet shop, Captain Crochet's Craft Emporium. I've started with just a few key items, but now I've got some patterns down I'm going to make lots more in different colours. If you like the look of anything in there, but don't see a colour you like, please let me know - I'll happily make things to order.

In illustration news, I was invited to contribute to Mail Me Art 3 and am now just waiting for the ink to dry on my print before I can scan it and post it off. I'll show you once it's ready to go!

Friday, 8 February 2013 Voucher Code - 10% Off

Thinking of placing an order with MOO? Want money off?

This link will give you 10% off your first order (includes MOO Business Services) and earn me referral points to get money off too - Hoorah!

 MOO produce fantastic quality printed business cards, greetings cards, stationary and accessories in various finishes and sizes, using their templates or your own designs. They come highly recommended (by me, and by all the other people I know who've used them).

The link will take you to MOO's homepage and your discount will automatically be applied at the checkout.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Anyone For Cake?

I've been a bit quiet recently, but I've been busy I promise. I've been working on a book cover for a new edition of a delicious-sounding (but no doubt meat-heavy) recipe book as well as doing a lot of crocheting. I've opened a new Etsy store specifically for my crochet, to keep things separate and not confuse matters too much (I'm sticking to this one blog for now) and should have it stocked soon. I'll provide links and nice pics once everything's ready, but in the meantime, here's what I've been doing today, for a birthday card.

(c) Becca Thorne 2013

Monday, 14 January 2013

New on Society6

I've spent all day uploading loads of new products to my Society6 shop. Most of these are available as prints, iPhone/iPod cases and skins, laptop/iPad skins, hoodies/tees, tote bags, stationary and cushion covers. Here's a little selection to whet your appetite:

There's plenty more besides, so pop over to to see the whole collection.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Crochet Slippers!

Here they are, as promised, my snazzy new slippers, made entirely by my own fair hand!

I made the slippers I'd started in a previous post, but I wasn't hugely pleased with them; they were a bit large and quite lumpy where the soles and the uppers didn't quite fit together because I thought I knew better than the pattern and made made the soles bigger than I was supposed to (silly, silly Becca). So when I saw this free pattern by Priscilla Hewitt I unravelled all my previous work and started on these. Yes, I am a wally.

As you can see, they need a liner - I'm thinking a thin fleece would do the trick - but they're double thickness on the sole so they're nice and warm on the ground. They're a little bit scrappy (I obviously didn't finish off one of the hexagons properly and it's started to unravel; easily fixable though) but I'm rather proud of them! I think I might need to cover the soles with something so they don't wear out too quickly; I've seen people use silicone sealant, and I was considering PVA or the glue gun, but both of those have their drawbacks (PVA's water soluable, glue gun glue might be too stiff and isn't easily spreadable). So if anyone's got any bright ideas, please share!

This Youtube video by Bethintx1 helped me figure out the sole stitch (which is tedious but actually very easy once you've gotten past the fiddly first few rows) and I followed this video from websyarnstore to join it all together. I was a little concerned about how the sole would attach to the hexagons, as it's a straight rectangle, but it worked - I added a few double crochet (single crochet US) rows in the heel area to give enough stiches to fit, but otherwise it's a doddle. 

Heron Wood Engraving

I've been a tad unproductive with my drawing and printing so far this year, mostly because I've spent a lot of time crocheting (I've made a snazzy pair of slippers though, which you may have seen a wee glimpse of if you follow me on Twitter - I'll post a photo here later), but I have been out along the canal taking photos of the beautiful old warehouses and factories. A lot of them are derelict, some of them aren't, but almost all of them are beautiful, and they're surrounded by wildlife - buddleia, bullrushes, willow, swans, ducks, coots and these handsome chaps:

(c) Becca Thorne 2013

It's just a quick wood engraving for a birthday card, to try and get me back into things. The blocks I'm using are all off cuts, because they're cheap (as am I), so I ended up using two tall, skinny ones for this and making a tiny diptych.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 blog folk! I trust you all had a thoroughly wonderful Christmas and New Year-time?

I don't make New Year resolutions as such, but there are a few things I plan to do more of this year, and one of those is crocheting (particularly to finish my afghan blanket, but also because I love it). I recently had to acknowledge that my beloved Cotswold Outdoor slipper boots had walked their last and despite searching all over town I couldn't find any decent replacements - even Fat Face and M&S came up short. So, I thought, why not make my own? And thus it came to pass that I spent all the John Lewis vouchers my aunt gave us for Christmas on a mountain of wool, and spent yesterday scouring Youtube for crochet slipper tutorials. Thanks to the very talented Lucille Milo and this tutorial I'm now part-way through crocheting my very own pair of slipper boots.

The soles differ ever so slightly from one another (I went a little off-pattern because my wool is thinner than suggested), but I'm rather pleased so far. I'm about to start on the blue. I'll keep you posted on my progress! Any suggestions for easy but sturdy sole reinforcements to make these beauties last the next five years?