I knew a girl at school whose birthday was the 6th of January, she said her parents had considered naming her Epiphany. That would have been a quirky choice, it's funny how you get used to quirky names once you're used to the child they belong to, they really do make a name their own. When I was a teenager, I had very weird name choices listed for my future childen, a favourite was Eucalyptus Tree... Tree was going to be 'her' middle name. I ended up with very conservative name choices when I did have the boys and I do love their names. They're both fairly consistent 'top ten' names (James and Oliver), again, with common names like these or classic names as I like to call them, the child makes the name their own. We had loads of lads named Chris at school, lots of Davids too and I never remember thinking how plain their names were or anything, even now.

So I was going to write a post about Christmas but it feels a bit weird writing about it now, you know, it's January and we've all moved on and all that!

Here are some photos of my new series. I am completely besotted with these little crystals, I want to put them on everything!!! I remember an episode of that Gypsy weddings programme on channel 4 where a couple of ladies were embellishing objects with crystals and selling them on ebay. I can suddenly see the appeal, these little paintings make me smile the moment I look at them. They're sort of kitschy in a way, certainly not destined for the John Moores painting prize or anything high brow like that, but actually, in terms of home decor, they're lovely. I made a decision to try to simply please myself this year with what I paint, I am 100% in pursuit of personal gratification from my work and this is where I am going! Sparkle Town. Sparkle Zone.

My first three Swarovski embellished paintings are named Jennifer, Edna and Maisie and are available through international art site Art Finder (keeping track of multiple sales platforms is very time consuming so I'm having this series on Art Finder only!). I know my photography's not up to much but I'm going to work on that this year.

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