Hello from the “inside”

Well this is a newsletter I never imagined I would be writing.

The reason it’s taken me so long to get in touch is like everyone else, our lives have been turned upside down in an instant and it’s taken sometime to adjust.
I have gone from having an epic year planned for H & E, new look studio, a superb line-up of Artists and Makers sharing knowledge and creativity to locking the door of my much loved studio and putting everything on hold.

I have become teacher to my girls; I’m just about managing with Beau’s work! (she’s 8) but I stand zero chance of being able to offer anything to Poppy and Kitty (13 & 11); thank goodness for the tremendous efforts of the school and the wonders of the internet!

Then there is the Husband! at home we share a studio/office space which when we are both in together presents its own issues mainly as I am very messy and he’s very tidy. It has us both reaching for an alcoholic beverage at the end of the day!

But our challengers are tiny in comparison to what’s happening in the world and I feel incredibly grateful we are safe and well.

I wanted to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all my Hope & Elvis family, I’ve received so many messages of support and kind words….you have been truly amazing!

Hope & Elvis will ride this storm and come back better than ever; in the background the workshops affected by the Coronavirus pandemic are being re-scheduled and new ideas are evolving for later this year and into 2021!!

I know many of you will be facing this shit of a virus in many different ways…. whether you are an NHS or Key Worker or are separated from loved ones at this time; my thoughts, appreciation and love goes out to you all.

I am thrilled to have been involved in “The off cut project” initiated by The Print Block.
14 editions of my textiles piece have been printed and will be for sale very soon via the The Print Block website along with lots of other prints from great Artists.
A proportion of the money from each sale will go to food banks via The Trussell Trust. For more information on the project visit the Website
As always the Hope & Elvis Website is up and running for bookings on future workshops. You can also keep up to date with goings on and share what you have been up to via Instagram and facebook; I would love to see what creative projects you’re working on.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you all on the other side.
Sending Love & Positivity
Stay Safe

Louise x

Workshop With Elizabeth Shorrock

Hi, I’m back!

I’m giving my blog much more attention (as i have completely ignored it 😳).

I think the best idea is to share with you the shenanigans of workshop days, so here it goes……..

Welcome to H&E Elizabeth Shorrock

Elizabeth is a mixed media Artist specialising in the creation of handmade books and the art of paper folding.

Elizabeth travelled to Hope & Elvis with her husband Keith (also an artist working with wood) from the beautiful Lake District where she lives and finds inspiration for her work.

Elizabeth had a pretty standard storage box which turned out to be the Mary Poppins of storage boxes!! A HUGE collection of the most beautiful examples of folded books , stitched books, amazing sculptural pieces that were truly stunning.

A few of my favourites

On day 1 Elizabeth had us straight to work and even before lunch we had produced a pretty comprehensive range of samples complete with concertina book to keep them in. After lunch by Mega Magie we extended what we had learnt in the morning to produce a piece of work, this is when the most beautiful papers appeared, papers that had been saved as to precious to use, but now seemed like the perfect time. Lots of oooooooo’s and arrrrrrrr’s. The most difficult decision was which one of the incredible techniques to use!

The sample books are works of art by themselves

Day 2….. Who Knew!

Bloody hell! I had no idea of how many different folds/ways of creating books, every one we did became my new favourite. I love how everyone’s interpretation is so unique. Fantastic results from a wonderful group of women.

Elizabeth was such a generous tutor, sharing her extensive knowledge and was always on hand with encouragement when our mountains and valleys went tits up! (Technical term)

Thank you everyone who attended, you were ace. keep an eye out as 🤞🏻 Elizabeth will be back in 2020

Next workshop is mixed media wall hangings with Emily Notman still time to Join us

I will leave you now with a few images from the workshop

Until next time , Louise xxx

New Year, New Apology

Saying sorry for the lack of posts is becoming a habit, that stops now!

I’ve not made any New Year resolutions as I believe they are easy to ignore and usually last about 3 days, so this year I’ve jut decided to sort my shit out!

So first on the list is ‘get organised’ at this point Emma (admin queen) is doing a happy dance I’m sure & Mr A is thanking a higher power, I’m not dis-organised on purpose it’s just not something that comes naturally and to be honest I’ve managed 40 years without major incident but for the sanity of the others around me and for the sake of Hope & Elvis I’m going to try really hard…. New note book, new me (any excuse for more stationary 😉)zip note book from anthropology, ring note book from pop press www.pop-press.co.uk.

Second and last thing on the list (small steps and all that!); I love shoes, especially trainers, not the exercise kind ooooo No! They have a thick layer of dust and quite possibly house cobwebs. I see my husband full of energy when he returns from his daily 5a.m run (yes he’s one of those daily a.m runners 🤢) he’s filled with positive endorphins, and that’s what I’m looking for, so I’m going to exchange my cup of tea, biscuit and catch up on Instagram for water, sports bra and potentially a paramedic! I’ll let you know how it goes.

So over in H&E world, which I have missed massively over the Christmas period it’s January sort out, a good tidy and maybe a furniture move around ready for the workshop year ahead.

First up in 2019 is the mega Jo Waterhouse on the 2nd February. If your not aware of Jo’s work go check her out on Instagram @jowaterhouse her collage work is superb and she’s a pretty amazing human. A workshop not to be missed if you can make it.https://www.hopeandelvis.co.uk

I’m still adding to workshops for 2019 so keep an eye out, it’s shaping up to be an epic year.

Don’t forget to talk to me! I love to hear from you, I’m always around on social media or at the other end of an email for a chat.

So until next time (which I promise won’t be long)

Bye for now …… Louise x

Feeling Happy


So last Saturday morning at 10am you blew up the website 😂 which makes me think I’m doing something right!

It’s a year since I took over the H&E Crown from Louise the first and have to admit I was shit scared (they is a big pair of boots to fill)

Hope & Elvis has for some time had a very special place in my ♥️ which has made me all the more determined to do it justice 💪🏻

Although it is my face you see when you visit and me ranting on about all kinds of crap on social media Hope & Elvis is a Team

So a bit about Team H&E


(I’ve nicked image from Emma’s social media, she’s tricky to get a pic of!, here she is with her hubby Nick)

Emma is absolutely the engine of the administration and finances of the business and without her it would be chaos!. Super calm, mega organised and 1 of the nicest, kindest people I know an all round pretty special human.

Magie (aka Mega Magie)

An all round creative genius not only a talented artist but produces food to die for!. Lunch is such a treat on workshops days and Magie never fails to deliver, I am so lucky to have her on the team, but not just for the food but also a great friend.

Ruth & Emma

Ruth aka my mum and Emma work there socks off on workshop days keeping us topped up with drinks and sweet treats (essential for creative energy)

Ruth has also been known to offer a cheeky shoulder massage to keep you stitching!

Ruth’s shoes are always cool too!

me & my mum Ruth

Beautiful Emma

Last but Certainly not least, You.

You lot are absolutely Team Hope & Elvis!

A huge thank you for all your kind words and support over the last year, together we make a shit hot team (going to get us all a badge, do love a badge)

Come and say Hi

Next weekend 23rd-25th November sees the Welbeck Winter Weekend a wonderful event that’s well worth a visit, all the studios are open as well as loads of Artists and Makers tempting you with wonderful stuff, pop in I’ll have the kettle on …

Until next time Team xxxxxx

Bit of this, Bit of That!


Hope you enjoyed Magie’s carrot cake post……. have you made it yet? Don’t forget to share any pics as I love to see your makes, you can use the hashtag #hopeandelvisfinished or tag me in on your posts.

Magie has kindly offered to share more delicious recipes so keep an eye out on future posts

So, what’s happening at H&E HQ, well it’s all a bit busy at the moment, November 10th see’s more workshops go on sale via the website. These include;

Jo Waterhouse. Cath Ray. Richard McVetis. Emily Jo Gibbs. Jessie Chorley. Claire Wellesley Smith. Matthew Harris. Leah Halliday. Anne Kelly. Elizabeth Shorrocks

Bloody Fantastic Line Up (if I do say so myself!)

November is our Open Studio event as part of the Welbeck Winter Weekendit’s well worth a visit, it includes a food market with 30 artisan food stalls and an art marquee featuring 75 artists and makers, the icing on the cake is that all the Harley Studios are open to showcase what an amazing bunch we are! Come along to say hello, would love to see you, nearly forgot to tell you it’s the 23rd-25th November.

Last weekend I managed to escape to London again as I was desperate to see the Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate

Myself and Mr.A left a chilly Retford station wrapped up for Autumn, Jeez that was a mistake! Wool tights, vest, Jumper & a coat was way too many layers! Boiling-Ada! Anyway hot and a little red faced we made it to the exhibition…. Wow it was ace!!! If you get chance go see it, I actually didn’t want to leave,

I will leave you with a few of my fav’s from the exhibition …. speak soon, Louise x

Magie’s Carrot Cake @ Hope & Elvis

Happy Friday to you all…

This weeks I’ve handed over the blog to Magie Hollingworth aka marvellous, mega Magie!

Magie plays a crucial part in making a workshop at Hope & Elvis a truly wonderful experience, not only is Magie a very talented Artist but the food Magie cooks is a masterpiece in both looks and taste.

A firm favourite is Carrot Cake, this recipe was given to Magie some 30 years ago via a friend (original source unknown)

I will warn you, some readers may find the following deliciously disturbing!!!!

A word from Magie

Of all the carrot cakes I’ve sampled over the years this one is my absolute favourite.

It’s dark, moist and not overly sweet. I’ve never found the nuts essential as it’s great without, and they are an added expense, but if you like nuts then do use. The combination of cake and cream cheese topping is beautiful and the amounts given when increasing the recipe ensures a good balance.

I’m sure the cake will keep for a week in the fridge, but actually it’s never lasted more than a couple of days! Yum!!!

Freezes well, even with the topping (open freeze then wrap, or freeze in the tin), but suggest adding any final decoration, fruit etc. after it has thawed and on the day of use.

I’m sure it’ll become your favourite too as it can be an everyday cake or, with a little imagination, a real show stopper! and liked by all ages.

Here comes the Recipe!!

 6 fl oz. corn oil

6oz dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teasp. vanilla extract

8oz grated carrot

6oz wholemeal self-raising flour

1 teasp. Bicarbonate of soda

1 teasp. Baking powder

1 teasp. Ground cinnamon – mix all dry ingredients together

Pinch of salt

4oz walnut pieces (optional) – and I don’t use nuts


Whisk eggs and sugar until pale, thick and creamy.

Add the oil, vanilla and all dry ingredients- beat again to combine.

Beat in the grated carrot.

Pour into a 22cm spring form tin, bottom lined with baking parchment, sides oiled and flour dusted

Bake for approx.1hr @ 160 Fan – Check on it as ovens vary. Leave to cool in the tin.

Topping –

41/2oz full fat cream cheese

3oz butter, just melted. Don’t let it frazzle! I use the microwave.

3/4 teasp vanilla extract

6oz icing sugar

Whisk butter and cream cheese until blended then add sugar & vanilla ess. Beat until thick, pale and creamy. Spread over cake whilst still in the tin. Smooth or fork, then leave to set in the fridge.

Notes –You do need an electric whisk (I have a Kitchen aid stand mixer but a hand whisk will do). Leave the cake in the tin and ice the top. Make sure it is spread right to the edges, filling the cake shrinkage gap. Before turning out run a knife around the edge to ‘cut’ the filling loose from the sides of the tin. I usually decorate with finely grated chocolate but anything goes!

For a large cake use a 27cm spring form tin and 1 ½  times the cake mix but use 5 eggs -3 lg & 2 med Double the topping.

For a tray bake (I use the Mary Berry tin 9” x 12”) use 1 1/3 amount cake mix + double topping. Line with baking parchment along the bottom and up and over the narrow ends of the tin so you can lift out

HUGE thank you to Magie for taking the time to share the recipe, I’m off you super market to buy ingredients!

Lots of amazing Artist & Makers joining us in 2019, go take a look and come and sample mega Magie’s lunch.. Workshops at Hope &Elvis

Speak soon

Louise & Magie x

Blogging Nora!

I take my hat off (and everything else for that matter) to all the amazing bloggers out there!

Completely underestimated what goes into planning a post, keeping it relevant, interesting and basically not shit.

Getting stuff out of my head via my gob comes perfectly naturally to me, out of my head and onto a keyboard is a whole different ball game and I’m not afraid to tell you it’s a little scary.

So I’ve got a new plan……

Firstly I’m going to send out a monthly News letter. You can receive this by subscribing via the website www.hopeandelvis.co.uk , it’s at the bottom of the home page. This will have workshop availability updates, news of new artists and makers and any up coming events

Then to tackle this blog, This is where I will share all the other goings on at Hope & Elvis and some other random stuff I’m sure!

Aiming to blog fortnightly on a Friday starting 12th Oct (not aiming, I WILL)

So I’m off to write interesting and informative stuff (after a cuppa)

See you on the 12th , I will leave you with images of a tidy Hope & Elvis HQ

Louise x

Fab Day Out (and a small apology)

I’ve discovered starting my blogging journey during the school holidays wasn’t the brightest thing to do!

(This is my excuse for not being consistent, sorry x)

What I really wanted to share with you is about the ace family day out we had at the weekend, I’m embarrassed to say this was my first visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, It certainly won’t be the last.

WOW what a place!…. the park is vast, the grounds are perfectly manicured and house the most wonderful inspiring art (take your sketchbook)

Ours fav’s were the bronze Chinese zodiac signs, we got on google to check out what we were

Tree in a tree

All schools should be art schools 💛

Our main purpose for the visit was the Wishing Post exhibition by Mister Finch & it certainly didn’t disappoint

If you get chance to visit allow yourself plenty of time, we took a sarnie but there are lots of places to eat and to get a cuppa.

One last thing, the shop is fab! And I spied work for sale by our very own Linda Southwell… gorgeous


Have a great rest of your day, speak soon

Louise x

Child Free & Loose in London

It’s not very often myself and Mr A get a day without the girls so we try to pack in as much as possible.

We boarded the 09.39 train from Retford to London Kings Cross armed with a volcanic Costa and a bag of minstrels to share (we know how to live the high life!)

First port of call was the V&A, very excited about visiting the Frida Kahlo “Making Her Self Up” exhibition. It’s on until Sunday 4th November.

Just time for a quick selfie in the glass outside the V&A before we went in

Armed with my flower headband (a little nod to frida) we shuffled in a line though the entrance to the exhibition.

WOW!!!!…. Photographs, letters and drawings, orthopaedic corsets together with paintings and of course distinctive blouses, skirts and shawls. A stunning curation that is a must see, came away feeling totally inspired and full of girl power!. I could talk about if for hours but;

1. I’d bore you rigid

2. Don’t want to spoil it for those still to visit

Quick stopover in Covent Garden for a swift Refreshment and a little retail!.

Back on the tube to

Columbia road is where you’ll find the very beautiful and talented Jessie Chorley and her Magical shop, another must visit to add to your list

A spot of street stitching

Jessie is back at Hope & Elvis in 2019, keep an eye out as Jessie Visit next year is going to be a little bit different (Oooooo exciting)

Just enough time left for a quick dinner before heading home

Thanks Frida, Jessie & Mr A

I write little notes in my book made by Sam (available to buy at H&E) they mostly involve a swear word so I apologise in advance

Bye for now ….. Louise xxxx

1st Blog Post Hello!

So here it goes!, 1st blog post (apologies in advance for grammatical errors, I tend to write how I talk)

I’m Louise. I have three girls, two dogs and one husband. A mixed media artist with a passion for weave and doll parts.

I want to share with you my life being at the helm and the goings on at the magical place that is Hope & Elvis.

I will be blogging about the fabulous people involved in making H&E so bloody ace, together with some pretty random stuff along the way Too I’m sure.

With the help of some great blog planning sheets designed by Leah Halliday I’m determined to become a proper blogger (it may take a while be great to have you come along for the ride)

So that’s it for now! My aim is to blog weekly on a Friday , off to write more stuff this is already a little addictive (who knew!)

Talk soon

Louise (wanna be super blogger, ha)