Friday, 31 December 2010

My Etsy Shop is back up and running...

After setting it up this time last year, I had taken my eye off the ball, and let items expire, failed to update or maintain my Etsy profile...

So! I've re-populated it with some new items, and I promise to keep uploading new things every month!

I've already made one sale since re-instating my shop!

Phil and I are also working on a new G-R-A website, Small stories site + lots more plans for 2011...

and we promise promise promise to get the typefaceaweek CD done and dusted this year (only a year late).

don't forget, we've got a Small Stories facebook page too, where you can also access new images of my work and comment (please do!)

Monday, 29 November 2010

ME~IDEA (by Phil Thompson) - PVA photostream on Flickr

Peacock Visual Arts have uploaded a selection of photos from the opening night of "ME~IDEA" - Phil's first solo show.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Phil @ Peacock Visual Arts

Phil's show exploring opinions, relationships with media & information (ME~IDEA) is now open at Peacock Visual Arts and will be on until the 22nd of december. Phil has also set up a microsite to document some experiments, texts and drawings :

gabi @ lovely pigeon

We've sent a few items to lovelypigeon for their pop Up Craft Fair in East Neuk Open Studios, St Anns, Fowler Street, Cellardyke, KY10 3HW... Gabi's had some amazing feedback from them about the new work, and lots of stock has sold even before the kick off! (so has sent more). Here's hoping we can meet up with the Lovely Pigeon Peeps sooon! keep your eyes peeled for a pop up event near you!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Phil's solo show at Peacock Visual Arts

Artist Philip Thompson continues to explore and question our relationship with ‘the news’ and how information gained through personal /collective experiences, social, historical and geographical contexts ultimately informs our understanding of how meaning is constructed and “opinions” are formed.

Me-idea will transform Peacock Visual Arts gallery into a sculptural experience by combining found objects with digital and documented correspondence.

27 November - 22 December
opening night Friday 26th Nov 6-8pm, all welcome

Monday, 8 November 2010

Small Stories featured on Baffie Blog

We've had a lovely, glowing review of Small Stories (and more specifically, Gabi's hot hot hot skills!) on Baffie - A fantastic online shop for Scottish Crafts.

thanks Baffie!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Gabi has been accepted for the Lovely Pigeon Pop up!

Nice one! Gabi will be showing with the Fife's lovely - Lovely Pigeon! at their Festive Pop Up, which will take place in the Murray Library, Anstruther from Friday 26th November to Friday 24th December ... full details can be found here :
Lovely Pigeon

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday 19th (NEOS day 9)

The End.

OK... I'll fill you in, before the last bit.

A slow start... drizzle (a theme). BANG. over 100 people today. Once again, happy NEOSers lapping up everything on display - "a Joy to go round", "just fantastic", "it's so lovely to see how many talented people there are in the north east of Scotland", "how long did it take you to do that?"... (ok, scrub the last one... he he).

What more can I say? - This post, is just a thanks to all the fantastic people in the Wyness Hall, not just the visitors, no, in fact, the members... John, Suzanne, Elaine, Lox, Monica, Renee and of course Gabi.... A big "get well soon" (from everyone) to Lynne, who sadly couldn't be with us during the week - missed you.

I've talked about the "finer points" of joining NEOS... some people just "get it", other, just "use it"... It'd be nice to see people in the creative community truly work together, letting the public see what a force" we are"... I've heard so many fantastic stories this year, form newbies, veterans... it's an absolute pleasure when you hear how people use NEOS for their own progression, a joy to see their benefits fruit. Keep up the good work all you hard working, creative and self sufficient people!

We ended up visiting Susie Hunt's studio for the sad "end of NEOS" bonfire... good spread, tired faces, but happy banter.

see you next year? of course!... remember... just keep checking the NEOS website for updates and news... email isn't the only way to know things are going on... ok?

cheers for the red Rod. Mucho Gusto!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Saturday 18th (NEOS day 8)

Quick! get some coffee down your neck, lets get to the Wyness Hall... ground hogs day? That's a little unfair, as every day we've had a varied and different audience come and see our work at the Wyness Hall. We once again open the doors on a Saturday morning... with over 20 guests within the first 30 mins... slowly but surely building to well over 100 by the end of the day.

During a wee lull in the numbers, Gabi Poppy and I skedaddle off to see some other venues (we give ourselves 2 hours... a drop in the ocean, really)... we head of to Susie Hunt's place - fantastic, lots going on, Alan Florence, Anne Thomas, Sarah E Thomas, Magnhild Hauge, Ane Smith...(live sculpting, Painting, printmaking, photography, jewellery, ceramics, lace...and a whole lot of banter.)

We head off to the Bothy (Ruth Simpson) fantastic - a lot of lovely art (Stuart, amazing prints... but you really should join NEOS to get the full benefits of being in one of Scotland's best Artist, Maker and gallery Directories).. I think that goes for the other 9 or so people in the venue, under one entry (wink wink).

We end up at the Don View Studios, with Lorna Purvis...(oh, and a lot of other people that don't have a NEOS entry either, but benefit from hundreds of people coming to visit thanks to NEOS happening). I think you can see a trend here...

remember folks, NEOS isn't just for September, it's for the whole year round... Scotland's best Open Studios? Certainly the Largest, certainly a professional and well sought after directory... imagine if everyone participating had an entry? we'd be able to get 50,000 booklets printed...

just a thought.

We head back to Wyness Hall (where 8 out of 9 participants have a NEOS entry) and we'd missed the "rush"... gabi had some fans in.. and sold some works... doh! just like NEOS, you never know who's going to come and see your work, and... you're more likely to get people coming to see you, if you've got an entry in the catalogue.

just another thought....

Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday 17th (NEOS day 7)

Once again... miserable weather.. bah! Freezing too... what's that? Hoards of NEOS fans streaming in the door for the first hour or so?! (20 in 20 mins again!). It appears that there are a lot of groups of "NEOSphiles" - lots of happy faces, making trails, going out with friends, talking to artists, generally having a fine old time thanks to art and creativity on their doorsteps.

We only have slight problem today, a group of kids appear (no mum / dad to be seen), which we're promised "our mum's just coming"... 40 mins later... hmm.. someone thinks we're a free after school club. The brave Suzanne lets mum know it's a bit unfair, as well as worrying for us... it all got a bit tense... not sure how we can deal with this one if it happens again? Should we turn kids away? (Especially if the Mum's just done an A-Team stylee "open the doors, spill the kids out and off to freeeeedommmmmmmm!") Be warned NEOS peeps... don't be too kind and open when sharing your skills and materials! some people can take that offer a little too far...

Anyway, we end on a nice note, Aurelie popped in to see us all again, after the networking last night, and helps us write a very last minute press release...

We'd also heard from Dave Officer that he's got the BBC interested in NEOS... it's great to know that we've got that help - even care, from fellow participants... super helpful.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thursday 16th (NEOS day 6)

Doing a little Creative Cultures Scotland work, I don't quite make it out the house at the same time as Gabi and Poppy, but when I get to the Wyness hall at 12.20 or so, it's jumping! seems like we've had about 15-20 visitors in the first 20 minutes (again).

The weather's a bit on the cold side, sun peeking through some steely...and quite positively wintry clouds... but it's not keeping the NEOS peeps away! More people fascinated by art ... real fans of creativity - it's a pleasure to talk about your work to people that are generally interested in your approach to making artwork, confessing they have not artistic bone in their body (I doubt it).

Just before 6pm, we've had 71 people through the door today. Rud, Morag and Gabi sold work today, so that's a bonus! We'd also had a massive giggle at some internetz tingz... and morag's fantastic "50's stylee product modelling" for the worlds worst toilet paper. I've not cried whilst laughing in a while!

Apres 6pm, we had the Creative Cultures Scotland networking night, where Saskia Gibon & Aurelie Bureau were talking about funding (Aberdeenshire / City crafts and visual arts awards, and the service that CCS provide to help people find funds for "big projects" (over £10k)), gabi and Morag talk about NEOS, and their work in context to networking and cross pollinating practices... interesting stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed tonight, and I think everyone that came, certainly did - everyone seemed to get stuck into in-depth conversations, and met some new people, and hopefully started to think about applying for the grants on offer!... and perhaps putting the wheels for those big ideas we all have, into motion... we'll see!

Thanks for everyone that came, especially Heather, my boss, who's not feeling too well, but came to help as ever.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Wednesday 15th (NEOS day 5)

I (Phil) looked after the Itchee Wasp show from 12 - 2 at the lemon tree today...................................................... so after that I ...oh, sorry, 2 people came in for a piss...... so after that I headed back to the bat-cave the wyness hall... Apparently, a bustling start to the day, poor Rud had to deal with 20 visitors all asking for tea and coffee, and wanting to buy stuff!... he he... Always dependable.

I got back at about 3pm, to a brisk trade! Several people in talking, pointing, eating, drawing... good signs. Suzanne, Rud, Morag, Gabi & Poppy and Elaine are all there. It's a lovely atmosphere, it's a pleasure to share a space with them all.

We've had some lovely comments again today, and gabi seemed to do pretty well sales wise today. At the end of the day, we had 70+ people through the doors. we're close to 500 so far... amazing. See you soon?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tuesday 14th (NEOS 4th day)

It's a lovely day today, should add to the enjoyment of one of the North East of Scotland's cultural events... the North East Open Studios!

We took a gamble today, when Poppy was at Nursery, gabi and I sweeechled off to venue 24 ( Beech tree Studio ) Some fantastic recent graduate print makers from Dundee, showing in a sweet wee bespoke out house... lovely prints, amazing bird woodcuts... fits that? oh, the dreaded "Phil will talk forever about culture in the North East syndrome?"... we leave at 11.10am... we need to pick up Poppy at 11.25. 15 mins? shuold be fine... if...only...we....don't....get....stuck....behind.... a pensioner driving at 40 MPH on the windy back roads. Oh... we did.

We get to the School at 11.30 and... as if by magic, the kids were 5 mins late getting out! yay! As mr Kinnock once said..."We'reallright! We'reallright!"... well, perhaps that's not the best comparison!

So, NEOS in Wyness Hall, tuesday... It's another steady day, (59 at the last count at 6pm). We've got all the kids, and what fun it is, it's a busy, loud and fun day, playing chase, making, drawing, playing... fantastic (well, that is, if you are not some grumpy sod*).

Not too many sales today, but, a lot of lovely compliments, and a lot of fun. Time flew.

* - yes, you two grumpy farts that ran out clutching your ears in a weird strop stylee humpf. You know who you are.

Here's a slice of the fun today... aye, I need a lie down.

Monday, 13 September 2010

monday 13th (NEOS day 3)

We'd opened at 12 noon today, it's a dreich and drizzly day... nae fine. But wait! pretty much as soon as we open the doors, we've got a steady trickle of people coming in, some sales here and there too! (We've even sold oor tea & cakes for a £1.50 donation!).

I (Phil) am also working from the Wyness Hall for my Creative Cultures Scotland work... I love wireless internet access and the ability to work from anywhere.

John Rutherford has done particularly well today, meeting a professional photographer full of praise for his work, even recommending he approach the Royal Institute of Photographers... very complimentary!

Gabi sold well today too, she's sold one of her favourites, a wooden carving of a fox. It's 17.49 at the time of writing, and we've had 61 visitors today, I think the most we had at one time was 12 people. Pretty amazing... oh, and the sun is coming out!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

NEOS day 2 (3.15pm)

slow start to NEOS's 1st sunday at Wyness Hall... a fine chance to sneak out and nab a bacon roll (om nom). Saying that, Gabi sold a few pics this morning... around about 2pm, things have been picking up! A lot of people stopping and talking, some interesting stories, and it's really heartening to see people feeling comfortable to speak to artists and makers... A lot of nice compliments about the booklet for me too.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

NEOS first day at Wyness Hall

After last night's lovely opening night for our NEOS event 2010, we scurry in to the Wyness Hall bang on 10am.. oops! (we needed to get the massive tea urn on!)

Pretty much straight away, we've got a few visitors trickling in... we've got a steady stream of couples up until about 11am - then we're hit with a crowd, and with kids too! "Fire up the Craft table! We've got Incoming!" Several cats, butterflies and backpacks later we have a lull. (time for a coffee and a cup cake (£1.50 donation, if you please, thank you very much).

The afternoon had a steady stream of people too (at the end of the day we'd had about 80 visitors all in)... but at about 3pm or so, nearly all visitors stopped coming... works out that someone had a bad crash, and the roads to Inverurie were chokka... the police even turning people away from Inverurie, apparently... (hope it's all OK!)

Needless to say, I had a chat with some old friends, and some new ones... it's what NEOS is all about for me. If you make art, and want to see what "the public" think - join NEOS, it's a blast, and bloody good value, getting in a world class booklet / directory...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tea Cosy Carousel this weekend...(sat 24 - 25th July)

Tea Cosy Carousel is an alternative art, craft and design fair celebrating Scotland's finest in a local setting. It takes place in Aberdeen city centre - The Academy (in the old Pier Unit), Belmont Street, Aberdeen.

Gabi will be showcasing some new work... Babywear! (very exclusive!) - as well as her and Phil's "oor monsters" prints for sale.

check out the Olympiad website for full details!

or check out the tea cosy facebook page

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Just to let you know (and also to test twitterFeed!) Gabi has created a twitter account ( so she can tweet good news to one an all! We've also hooked up this news feed from Blogger to twitter and facebook... post once, see it all over the shop.... excellent! So, there are now more ways to keep track of what Gabi (and Phil) is up to... There is quite a lot lined up over the summer... so eyes peeeeeled!

In the meantime, check out the "Oor Monsters" show at the Beautiful Mountain.

Small Stories featured on Bags of Ethics store

Gabi's Avian Alphabet tea-towel has been used as a button for the "Bags of Ethics" website, the suppliers of fine ethical merchandise.

There are only 12 Avian Alphabet tea-Towel's left from the original Ltd Edition of 200.

The new "Owl and the Pussy-cat" tea towel is going strong too... If you fancy purrrchasing one, they are £8 + £2 pnp. For contact details, check out

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Oor Monsters - New work from Gabi and Phil

Gabrielle & Philip have made 12 new prints each for their show at the Beautiful Mountain (Belmont Street, Aberdeen).

Join them for the opening on Tuesday 29th of June 6pm - 8pm. The Show runs till mid August.

Massive thanks to Anita Stewart & Chris Whyte (for organising the show), the Beautiful Mountain (for letting us show there!), Peacock Visual Arts - for the Screen printing Facilities, Ewan MacDonald (for being very understanding!)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Gabi wins the Spider and Fly competition!

Gabi entered the "design a logo for the spider and fly" competition for magpie market in Edinburgh! They'll be running a craft / design pop up shop in Edinburgh over the summer, so please visit them, and check out Gabi and other amazing Scottish creatives...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Coast Festival

For this weekends Coast festival Small Stories Gabrielle will be creating an evolving multimedia piece. You are invited to get in touch this weekend via text message to 075057910147 to tell her what kind of creature to create, whether real or made up, bird or beast or indeed any piece of nature.. Looking forward to hearing from you! I will upload the results to the Small Stories Facbook page after the event.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Small Stories will be at Made In The Shade (Edinburgh)

Gabi will be showcasing a lot of new work and products at the fantastic craft fair - Made in the Shade. Check the website for more details.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Small Stories FaceBook Group

We've set up a faceBook group - especially for Small Stories - you can joing, and find out more - see new work etc on . Tell your friends!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Save UTG... more!

This is cut and paste from Dave Officer's heartfelt email - but we share his sentiments 100% - so I don't think he'd mind the direct copy!

Ok after a week of fairly outrageous propaganda from the City Square camp and Aberdeen Journals, the petition to Save Union Terrace Gardens is still outperforming the rival City Square petition.

Please if you want some information on the current situation go to: and read Fraser Denholm from I Heart UTG's blog at:

Most importantly we need signatures, so please please please sign the petition:

If you haven't already taken part then please also take a moment to register your view on the city square consultation:

if you're against it then just scroll straight to the end and select 'no' as your answer where it asks if you support City Square.

If you could please forward this onto as many people as you can and try and persuade friends, family and co-workers to sign that would be amazing. The only way to get compromise is to persuade Sir Ian and ACSEF that his 'vision' of destroying the gardens forever is not what the people of Aberdeen want.

I'm really sorry to keep harping on about it, and I know people are getting fed up hearing about it but all we have is our ability to shout. ACSEF and City Square have millions and almost £300,000 of public money to spend on persuading people to say yes to it, plus the chairmen of some of the areas biggest companies putting pressure on their employees and business partners to support the square. There's more of us though and we can shout louder! This will decide the future of our city for generations and we need to have our voices heard. We can't be bullied into letting them create real estate on our last city centre green space.

We've been told City Square will bring jobs and prosperity but everytime we've asked one simple question, how? It's never been answered.

Thanks folks

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Save UTG (Union Terrace Gardens) Aberdeen

There's a bit of a stooshy going on in Aberdeen at the moment. Some people want an elegant, world class arts centre that will re-energise and invigorate the sadly dilapidated Union Terrace Gardens (to the cost of £13 million pounds - 75% of the funding is in place from many sources).

Some people want to concrete over the 6 acre site and "create a civic square to be proud of" - yes, Aberdeen's only central green space (without dead people in it!) has been earmarked to be turned into something we can't describe - as there are no solid plans for it yes - just artists impressions of slabbed expanses, unreal mature trees etc.

There are some people who don't want anything - and are happy to not have any progress in re-vitalising the gardens - a real travesty!

We are obviously on the side of the Arts Centre - after all, Aberdeen is woefully under provided with artistic venues (per capita) - not quite the same can be said for Oil related business ventures! - no wonder people think the Arts don't contribute "financially" to our economy (not that that is even a valid point, as life doesn't always have to be about profit and money and spend spend spend!).

Anyway - make up your own mind - check out the comparison site on the "facts" that we do know - after all - the ACSEF plans are still being visioneered and consulted on - as opposed to the PVA plans that got full planning permission and were about to be built last summer (2009) - until ACSEF & Sir Ian decided to put the breaks on that one.

New work at The Lemon Tree with Itchee Wasp

Gabi and Phil are showing new work at the group show "10 Architects" in the Lemon tree.

Architects and artists unite in an inspirational exhibition at Art @ The Lemon Tree. 10 architects, members of the Aberdeen Architects Network Group, are showcasing their designs, drawings and photographs of commissioned works in an exhibition at Art @ The Lemon Tree. During the exhibition members of the public will be able to have a one to one surgery session with one of the architects to discuss ideas and possibilities of extensions, conversions or even a new house! Architects will be available at designated times to discuss your individual planning/design problems for a small fee to be donated to charity.‘lucky dipped’ an envelope and was asked to create an artwork in their desired medium in response to the image they selected. The result is a stunning, diverse exhibition of contemporary artworks and architecture that is truly inspirational.

Don’t miss your chance to view this unique exhibition and have the chance to speak to an architect in the inspiring environment.

The exhibition previews Thursday 21 January 5.30 – 7.30pm and continues until Sunday 14 March 2010.

The exhibition is open daily 10 – 4. For details of the architect’s surgeries please phone the Lemon Tree on 01224 337652.