Megan Dowsett is a creative consultant working in museums, galleries and the arts, an illustrator who is finding her voice through personal and local projects, and a parent to two young beings who can't help but influence her creative journey.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

30 October 2012

Finger Puppets

IMG_1076 Given my working life, it was pretty much an essential that, in the midst of wedding preparations, I wanted to devise something crafty, creative and open ended for the children, from the 3 year olds to the very big, grown up ones. And so, quietly, so as not to give my husband-to-be the anxiety that we'd never be ready, I gathered together the materials for making finger puppets and spent a glorious evening building a mini puppet theatre. _S070041 Photos thanks to Andrew Mason (above) and Pete Stevens (below)

24 October 2012

Felting around a ball

IMG_9971IMG_9974IMG_9973IMG_9966 Thanks to new funding from Richmond Community Learning, I am leading new 'Make and Create' workshops in Richmond Old Town Hall. We are coming to the end of our first block, in which we've been exploring the possibilities of wet felting. This week we ventured into new realms, by felting over a ball to make hats and bowls. It was a thrilling experience to watch the transformation! Photos show Nuala, Fi, myself (on Eileen's behalf) and Laura displaying our masterpieces.

20 October 2012

DIY Cupcake Stands

IMG_1055Returning to the wedding theme, it's time to address the question of cake. Our friends and aunt, Kirsten, Natalie and Joey, generously agreed to make cupcakes, which would happily tide our guests over until dinner. But it seemed shockingly expensive to find attractive cake stands to hold 140 cakes! So I gathered together the plates on offer at local charity shops, along with the eternal selection of glassware they seem to provide, and made my own. IMG_1057Warning - using cheap superglue worked well enough to get through, but they are not the strongest items in the kitchen!
Photos credit to Andrew Mason.

17 October 2012

From the Sketchbook: Cambodia for the last time

A brief moment amidst rice paddies and enormous palms, outside a broken down bus in Cambodia.

13 October 2012

From the Sketchbook: Cambodia again

008The magic of Angkor Wat ... For me, as I'm sure is so for many, one of the most mesmerising and incredible features of Angkor Wat is a 60m frieze carved in stone and depicting the story of the Ramayana. Present me with a gift as bewitching as this and the only way to appreciate it, to take the time to look at it properly and somehow absorb it in all its complexity, is to draw it. 009

10 October 2012

Lambeth Open - Warrior Studios

I enjoyed a thrilling visit to the Warrior Studios in Loughborough Junction, as part of Lambeth Open.  It's a long time since I've found so many overlaps with what I'm already doing, in one expedition!  I'm not sure if this is all a good thing, but it's left me feeling incredibly inspired, nonetheless.
In particular, Federica Dalla Vecchia is fascinated by many of the same things that I'm currently exploring.  This stunning quilt is made from envelopes.  And then, she has taken a host of disposable cups and created plaster moulds from them, playing with the variety of shapes, textures and patterns in objects that we usually throw away without consideration.
Jane Campbell is playing with plaster too, and reminded me that I can find potential even in the crumbled disasters.  Her work challenged me to think more widely about what I'm doing at the moment, which I will share very soon ...

7 October 2012

From the Sketchbook: Cambodia

011010We took a boat from Battambang to Siem Reap - an incredible way to travel, bugs and all! And the mutual curiosity, warmth and friendliness between the tourists and the locals allowed manifested itself in my sketchbook. Children, always, are easiest to draw as they remain absorbed in their own world. The girl, above, was profoundly curious about my drawing and so I only managed to draw her as she gazed overboard. The boy, below, was not nearly as angelic as he looked and disinclined from staying still for more than a second!

4 October 2012

A Workshop with Annette Bolton

I joined my Mum in a workshop hosted by the Andover Embroiderers' Guild, with textile artist Annette Bolton, who created the books above and below.  Mostly, I looked forward to a day of indulgent fabrics and threads, beads and stitches.  I didn't expect to come away with a project to fill my train journeys for the next term and numerous thoughts for further fabric books to follow!  Watch this space for some finished pieces .,.