Doors open days !!!

Last week was Glasgow dod  (Glasgow Door open days) a week long festival part of a huge international movement which consist in opening doors of historic buildings who are normally not open to the public. It’s a huge thing in Glasgow, a week long festival with  heritage talks, opened buildings, guided tours, and douzains of people walking around the last week end head down in their pink little book ticking all the venues they have done. Ahhh ! #ilovedod

This year was a bit different though. I decided to take part, this time not a spectator eager to learn but as one of the #intheknowhow one of the knowledgeable speakers of an other time an other place and by God it was so much fun… I have met so many interesting people and at the end of the week I was so tired…

Glasgow doors open days 2016 program

The House for an Art Lover’s is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and I though it was time to give back to the venue that has been so good to me over the years in providing me with great work. I offered the venue to give two “heritage talks” about the making of the stencilled scheme in 1996 and I went to dig out my 20 years old stencils, drawings and old photos. I took around the Mackintosh rooms two groups of visitors, from Glasgow but also from Japan and China, explaining the sources for this design, the technique used and finally demonstrated stencilling as it would have been done in Mackintosh’s days. How difficult is it to recreate something that has never existed… where do you get sources for this… what technique do you use… does everyone like your result? Talking about the process made me remember so many good images of past times when up a huge ladder I was stencilling The House. The dust of the joiners finishing last bits of woodwork, hard hat and hard boots. The smell of paint and the satisfaction of the job well done… until… the new tenant decided to paint over one of my friezes but that is a different story … it was interesting to discuss with complete strangers how you come to terms with the loss of a design you have just worked on for several months. The Mystery frieze had a lot of success.


The Glasgow Guild opened their doors this week to a number of artists/artisans “jacks of all trades” and was holding talks and demonstrations. I was one of them…


Karen Beauchamp talked about recreating “historic walpapers” and highlighted the importance for businesses to keep well organised archives. Her 200 + photographs were stunning scenes of pattern books and past designs, vintage views and new recreations for sophisticated French compagnies such as Isodore Leroy for whom she has re-edited a collection of wall papers from their archives at Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Rue de Rivoli in Paris. How very stunning. Karen has spent a lifelong working on wall papers and fabric re-editions and I worked along her during my last project…. At the Ault Wharrie house in Dunblane she re-created a wall paper from some old scraps found in a forgotten back room. A complete stunning piece of work. Karen is an artist and leaves in the North of Scotland where she runs workshops and lovely painting holidays…


Helen McCook is a stunning embroiderer a graduate from the Royal School of Needlework, I have seen some of the work she did for The Glasgow Guild Mackintosh cabinet, delicate poetry with a needle and a silk thread. Her talk about the myth of the embroiderer was fun and full of deep comments about the traditional task of a modern day embroiderer. Her work is stunning and varied. In a few sentences she modified the impression I had of the task of an embroiderer. Modern, focused, creative but traditional and so very serious its a great craft… or should I say Art Form ? Helen has embroidered for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress and Kate Moss party dress … does it get any better? will all left to go home and look for that tumble .

But the best of the celebration was the week end when I got to share that very special space that the Glasgow guild have in Renfrew street only a small step away from the Glasgow School of Arts… Wilma MacKenzie  the glass engraver (the very last of the kind) and I were to spend two days marvelling visitors with tales of past jobs, hands on demonstrations and talks about theories on job well done. As for me  My talks were about “colours and shapes in recreation of historical stencilling” and I would then get the public to try their hands at stencilling a George Walton border and a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Rose. It was so much fun. Wilma seating at the wheel was demonstrating how the little diamond was engraving the Crystal glass with delightful shapes. Lucky members of the public were allowed to have a go.

The tables were bursting with old stencils, large brushes, bottles of pigments, metallic objects unknown to the common passer’s by.

Sunday arrived so fast but we were so tired, so full of the excitement of sharing forbidden knowledge with visitors eager to hear secret tales of a life they dream about… the creative one.

My head full of the excitement of the past week I packed my treasures in the boot of my car Sunday night promising to take part next year again… I missed every single talk I wanted to attend to and I have not discovered a single new building this year… But giving is so much more enjoyable than receiving…

I need to email Rachel tomorrow morning to offer to take part next year. That was so much fun…

Here are the photos and the films I took during the week… enjoy… make sure you book to come and see us next year.

In the meantime, us the artists and the Glasgow guild we are putting together a program of very specialised classes for 2017… if you want to be kept in the loop email your details to … we will keep you posted.



Photography competition – Glasgow DOD Win Glasgow Style Stencils

Between the 12 and the 18th September I am taking part in the #glasgowdod and I will give talks about stencilling Mackintosh but also about Historic stencilling . Glasgow DOD is a great celebration of Glasgow architecture and Scottish Style.

The Lansdowne House of Stencils will be offering the prize of 3 stencils in the Glasgow Style to one of the winners of the Photo competition organised that week by Glasgow DOD.

So dont waste time, get your phones and cameras out and get photographing between the 12 and the 18th of September… and see details of the competition here

Love  Betty xx


Glasgow sees every Mid September a great number of its historic buildings opened to the Public for the very awaited for #DOD (Doors open days). Those which are normally closed to the public open their doors for a few hours… Those who charge an entry fee welcome free of charge many visitors and experts of all sorts talk for hours about their expertise to a public avid to get more and more knowledge on historic architecture and design.

Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw Stenciller

This years is the 20th anniversary of the built of Mackintosh wonderful “The House for an Art Lover” in Glasgow. Many decades after he designed the great project, a group of Glasgow enterpreneurs, experts and artists had got their act together in the early 1990’s to build Mackintosh’s dream house and I was part of this great project.


This year I want to make sure to spend time to reflect on this fantastic opportunity for a young stenciller, this great chance to research in the work of the great man and put my little touch in that building. I want to tell the story…


What was it like to approach the project, how did I research to find sources to create the design without “Charles Rennie’s supervision” how did I make sure to coordinate with other craftsmen/artists. How could I be sure my scheme would be what he wanted… Was I ever sure that it was? Have I had any regrets? Would I do it differently today? What did I use? What would I use????

I feel lucky to be able to visit again 20 years later and compare and contrast. I still have no certainties… I would still be happy if the Master popped out of the woodwork to guide me and reassure me but I feel very  confident after 20 years that I did my very best at the time the house was built.

I am so lucky to be a hoarder… none of the stencils have gone they are still in my workshop and I will bring them along to share their view with my talk’s listeners. I will explain and answer questions. I will not be the expert I will be who was entrusted for a short period of time with the task to try and create.

But I hope you will visit next tuesday the 13th at 2pm or Thursday 15th at 10am to look, listen, prod and try your hand at stencilling. It will be my pleasure to share my story with you.


See you then….

Love   Betty xx

Get in Style for a Tenner :)* #UpcycleFurniture for £10 à week 

So you have been dreaming to take on an evening class for ever and September is just around the corner … You have this old battered small chest kicking about and not much money in your pocket due to expensive holidays activities with the family ! 

If this suits you to a T then take a look at the classes I will be running with The House for an Art Lover this Autumn… They are for you…

From Up cycling furniture full hands on to the very creative Art is the Flower via the Stencilling week end we have kept the focus on Big creative achievement for small cost ! 

For one you don’t have to be an artist to do crafts ! And you don’t need a large bank account to do those classes ! You need some time, some desire to meet nice people and to be creative in their company and a little … But very little cash !

For £10 each week you can join the Up Cycling furniture class and spend 2.30h a week in perfect bliss of distressing… Chalk painting … Stencilling… Printing … For 10 weeks ! 

Enough chat ! Why don’t you take a look yourself ! 

If you have any questions email me on 

See you soon 

Betty xx

* classes are booked in block of 10 for The Upcycling Furniture – 10 weeks of 2 hours 30 that is £100 for the block , £10 per week and £4 for an hour.

This course can not be purchased as a weekly drop in as there is a progression in the tuition of all the various techniques 

UP CYCLING AS A WAY OF LIFE – a new up cycling class this Autumn – in Glasgow

Many years ago this trunk caught my eye in a “around the corner” charity shop, I remember vividly buying it for £10… that was in the days when you paid “normal prices” for things (that does make me sound a little old but really it was the good times and not so long ago when your £ went further…).

a beautiful shape
lovely shabby chic look once finishes

That one had a huge drawer at the front and a wee cupboard underneath with a double door opening … a real beauty and I had loads of plans for it but somehow life took over and part from being a toy holder for my little girl the trunk never graduated to anything else until now…

But I have recently decided to try my hand at #chalkpaint something I must say i have rubbished in the past for being too expensive. And the bright blue trunk has now graduated to our master bedroom where its seating proudly under a vintage suitcase in the window corner. My husband loved it so much that he has taken it over as his… thats to say !

before waxing
after waxing

This time I used a combination of normal emulsion paint and chalk paint together with a #beeswax and a soft-cloth. I had a small paint sample in a grey linen colour and I used a cream emulsion as a contrast. All together with a dark wax it has transformed my trunk into a lovely old looking piece and highlighted all the little lovely features of the piece including all the various signs of wear and tear.

detail before the polishing
lovely technique highlight the wear and tear love signs

It is just now a lovely “shabby chic” piece which will make me proud for a long time to come.

TOTAL COST £10 trunk + £ 3.5 chalk paint + a wee drop of left over emulsion and wax = £15 plus my work

This is a technique I have been teaching in my furniture up-cycling classes but I will add the chalk paint aspect to my autumn class starting on the 22nd september at The House for an Art Lover. This is a run of 10 evenings of fun and creativity on a thursday night. A really very relaxing activity and what best that to create something unique and artistic at a very low cost.

completed piece in my workshop

For information about this class and booking see HERE

If you have any questions about this class email me @

See you there may be.


Betty xx







You may have heard about the Art Project I am working on for the Mackintosh Festival next October. It will involve stencilling carpets of Glasgow Style roses outside some of the Mackintosh venues. I will involve the public and some school children in the venture. The idea is to show great design and learn new skills while showing a great deal of Scottish Hospitality.

To make this a great project I need to secure some funding and what better than help from friends … If you would like to help this project happening please visit my crowd funding page on Indiegogo and purchase one of the perks available. From ready to use stencils to stencilling courses and multimedia prints you will find a good deal of good design there.

If you would like to take part, keep your eyes on the program of the festival. It will be live shortly on the Glasgow Mackintosh Festival Website or send me an email @ and let me have your contact details.

Thank you in advance.

Betty xx



Doors Open day talks #GlasgowDOD

For many years now September has brought a treat along with the doors open day #DOD for a whole week end with a week end crescendo a great number of buildings all over Europe open to the public free of charge. A great chance to discover local history, enter secret places and lean a great deal about magical places. This has been going for a good number of years and I was delighted when I arrived in Glasgow to see that this great Festival was vibrant with lovely venues and events.

Along the years I have discovered little by little most places and I am looking forward to this years festival. But for one good reason, this time I will be taking part. I will be joining the #heritagetalks of the Festival to share my knowledge in #heritagestencilling with the Glasgow public. I will talk about my experience with #Thehouseforanartlover 20 years ago this years in rebuilding an authentic #mackintosh scheme. I will also talk about more recent work I have done in #victorian and #turnofthecentury buildings at #TheGlasgowGuild

my work at The House for an Art Lover

Two of my most favourite venues have agreed to host my talks:

  • The House for an Art Lover built in 1996 but designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the early 1900’s. I realised the stencilled scheme. It is a beautiful building open to the public today. I will talk and demonstrate about Mackintosh stencilling. I will give talks
  • The Glasgow Guild a specialised furniture restorer, uphoslterer and polishing workshop. I have worked with the Glasgow Guild on some occasion in refurbishment of listed buildings. I will talk there about historic stencilling and running workshops.
a George Walton dear i dtencillednin the foyer of The Glasgow Guild

If you want to browse through the program click here  But if you want to hear about the Open Days in Glasgow then look here

And if you feel adventurous you could take part in the photographs competition and win 3 of my Mackintosh stencils… See the program cover for details.

I hope I will be seing you there. Its great fun to learn new techniques… Come along.


Best wishes … Betty xx

Stencilling Mackintosh – June 2016

Stencilling and Mackintosh have been the great loves of my working life for the past 25 years… I was lucky to be running a stencilling workshop in his very own church in Glasgow during the West end Festival, 25 years after I had run my first workshop there.

The Church is a very special building, It is the headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and as such it promotes the work of the great architect as well as helping with its conservation. They run events, have members and publish magazines and newsletters. I recently wrote an article for the Journal number 100 on the refurbishment of Ault Wharrie.

The workshop was set in the beautiful church Hall. Beautiful wooden ceiling/roof… very similar to that of the School of Arts. Wooden panel up to 3/4 up the walls, a stage where a display of reproductions chairs of Mackintosh design by Bruce Hamilton the Scottish furniture maker…. and a Baillie Scott piano in a corner. Little did I know we would have a great treat in the middle of the workshop.

Most of my workshops are run locally, most of the time with local participants but this time as this one was promoted as an event from The West End Festival we were lucky to attract some “international” participants from Denmark and Italy… with a French tutor it felt like a completely “European” experience. Great fun.

From time to time I run a social media competition offering a free space to one of my courses and this time a very local lady won the space. How exciting to have an additional participant who knew nothing about stencilling and spent the day meeting new people and discovering a technique she had never even looked at before. I have learned that since then she was taken with how much she could achieve and has decided to join my “Up-Cycling furniture” class this autumn.

The program for the day… discovering stencilling, perfecting the dry brush technique, stencilling Mackintosh roses on dry paper, on painted paper with dry and wet paint and to finish on fabric. Did you know that with the same stencil everyone will have a different result? What you take for granted, someone else will come up with a very different look, colour scheme. I always make sure to use similar designs in my basic courses as I think its really interesting for new participants to see what other participants will produce. “Compare and contrast” is an important part of learning.

So we stencilled, learned to dry our brush to obsession… and then we went for lunch.. the options : A newly refurbished pub around the corner for a posh meal or… the local Italian for fish & chips… Guess which one we chose. Hardly knew each other first thing but by lunchtime we shared a lot of fun and chips… and on the way back it turned out that our young participants from Norway was a piano student (a very good level I may say) and one other participant was a piano tutor from Scotland… They played this great duet on the Bailly Scott. Now that made everyone’s day if learning stencilling was not enough…

A few more go’s, a couple more cups of coffee and some truly Scottish short bread and the day was over having achieved so many tracings of THAT rose… we all parted so happy about our day.

I for one was so happy the day had been so successful…

My participants were pleased about their results…

I am sure Mackintosh was delighted to see his designs being practised in his own church…

And the CRM Society was delighted to have its Hall used for such a “Mackintosh” inspired use.

I will be running a one or two days stencilling workshop in the autumn this time for The House for an Art Lover but all through the summer I am demonstrating Mackintosh stencilling at The Hill House

I hope to see you around sometimes soon… I have to show you that Rose and get you to try it.


Betty xx




Glasgow Stencils available at The Hill House

Today I made a delivery of Glasgow Style stencils to the shop of The Hill House, the property that Mackintosh designed at the turn of the century for the publisher Blackie.


The Hill house features beautiful examples of Art Nouveau stencilling designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the early 1900’s. It is run by The National Trust for Scotland and welcomes the public for visits. It also runs exhibitions in Decorative Arts and has a great shop.

9 of our stencils are now available in The Hill House shop.


If you like Mackintosh’s work then make sure to visit. If you can’t make it to the property and would like to buy one of our Glasgow stencils then visit our shop “The Lansdowne House”

If you want to learn to use our stencils we run workshops in stencilling on a regular basis. You can find details about them here

Happy stencilling.

Betty xx


Art is the Flower… Multimedia class for The House for an Art Lover’s 20th anniversary – October 2016

Mackintosh talked about “Art is the flower” many decades ago, and it is true that the Glasgow Rose so loved by turn of the century artists and architects captured the heart of many people. I myself fell in Love with one specific rose which I have used in a few projects. That rose is stencilled on the fire place of the beautiful “House for an Art Lover”.

I want many to enjoy that rose and what it means for time to come. I want that rose to unleash the creativity that many have in themselves. For that very reason I have put together a workshop in four evening classes where I will encourage participants to create multimedia artwork, collage, drawing, mono prints, photographs, etc… with that rose as a starting point. You will also have the option to make greeting cards.

If you would like more information about the class email me at

To book look here

I hope to see you there.

Betty xx