Featured in LandScape magazine

Hello friends,

I hope you are all well today?  I’m really feeling the joys of spring today, I’ve been on the allotment this morning, digging weeds up and planning out where I might plant different veggies and flowers (pure bliss).

Landscape magazine Beetroot Press Sarah Papworth low res

I also got a feature in the Spring issue of LandScape magazine!  Very exciting to see indeed, so I thought I’d share here. It’s the Garden Birds tea-towel in turquoise in my Beetroot Press range I sell on Etsy and Folksy.

Landscape magazine spring 2016 Sarah Papworth Beetroot Press


I’m thinking of printing some more soon in a new colour way…hmmm what to choose, I might post on the Facebook page to see which colours everyone would prefer.  Here’s the link if you’re not already following me on there: Beetroot press FB page.

Flower seeds beetroot Press blog

I’m now off to choose some seeds to buy – yay!  Have a great week everyone.


Watercolour and fine-line little British birds. Originals on sale tonight.

Today is the day these little birds are potentially flying the nest!

British bird illustrations by Sarah Papworth Beetroot Press

It’s been so nice to draw a series of paintings all together.  Quite often I may do one drawing, then another a few months later.  But these birdies were all created within about 2 weeks.

Each bird is created in mixed media; watercolour and fine-line pen for extra detailing.  And painted onto Windsor and Newton Artists Paper, 300gsm.  Paper size: A5 (6 x 8 inches), landscape.

I tried to paint them to their real-life scale, apart from the blackbird, who I had to shrink down to fit on the A5 page.  Each print is also numbered as part of the series of 8, named and signed.

The whole gang includes; Great-tit, Robin, Bullfinch, Blue-tit, Chaffinch, Coal-tit, Blackbird and a Tiny Goldcrest.  All British garden birds (yay).  Have a look below for a bit more info on each painting.

Great Tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

Great-tit.  Number 8/8.  Beak to tail tip 5.5 inches:  I really love the colours and contrast in this little chap.  As he was the last one I painted, I found I perhaps enjoyed painting him the most.

Robin illustration by Sarah Papworth

Robin,  Number 1/8. Beak to tail tip 5.2 inches:  This was the first painting, I knew I would be painting a robin as they are one of my favourite birds.  I often see them at the allotment waiting for worms to be dug up!

Bullfinch illustration by Sarah Papworth

Bullfinch.  Number 7/8.  Beak to tail tip: 6 inches.  I love the painterly texture of the watercolours on his tummy and the combination of the soft grey with the pale orange and contrasting black.  A chilled-out happy chap.

Blue Tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

Blue-tit.  Number 2/8.  Beak to tail tip: 4.5 inches.  I also knew I would be painting a Blue-tit, another one of my favourites, these bright tiny little birds nested in our small patio a year or so ago.

Chaffinch illustration by Sarah Papworth

Chaffinch.  Number 6/8.  Beak to tail tip: 5.5 inches.  This is a very happy birdie, I love his wing pattern and blue cap and lovely happy expression.

Coal Tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

Coal-tit.  Number 3/8.  Beak to tail tip: 4.2 inches.  I love that this Coal-tit is in a different position to the others, having a closer look at what’s going on.  I also like the amount of detail on his back and wings and his softer neutral tones.

Blackbird illustration by Sarah Papworth

Blackbird.  Number 5/8.  Beak to tail tip: 6 inches (not his correct real-life birdiness size).  I really love this fella, I would keep them all to pin up around the house, but this one I will really miss – which surprises me because he’s the least colourful!  He’s just got a lovely rounded shape.

Tiny Goldcrest illustration by Sarah Papworth

Tiny Goldfinch.  Number 4/8.  Beak to tail tip: 3.6 inches.  This really is the tinyest of the gang.  I wasn’t 100% sure about him to start with but now he’s really grown on me and is one of my favorites (perhaps they are all my favs)!  I love his shape – if you haven’t seen one of these before, look up a Tiny Goldcrest and be amazed by their tiny roundness.

These original paintings will be on sale tonight on my Beetroot Press Folksy shop.  They are all on there waiting to be released at 7pm GMT this evening (Sunday 1st November 2015).  (NB: for those international viewers, remember our British clocks went back last week).

It will be a first come first serve basis.  I’m hoping it will go smoothly, but as I haven’t done this before, (please be patient with me if they don’t come up right away).  I would imagine you might need to refresh the page a few times after 7pm to ensure they all show up.

You will need a PayPal account to purchase goods on Folksy.

POSTAGE: Please note that if you are local and want to collect in person, then I will refund the postage costs.  I have made a note on the shop listings that I will post these via ‘Signed for’ First Class Royal mail, so ensure the address you add is one where someone can sign for it.

POSTAGE British bird illustrations by Sarah Papworth Beetroot Press

Also, I have added a Special delivery listing (image will be as above), where you can ‘top-up’ your delivery option so you can ensure a safe journey.  I highly recommend this because if the painting does get lost in the post, there won’t be another to replace it due to them being the original paintings (only one of each)!

(Please also note these are non-refundable paintings).

I hope you enjoy the sale, and get a bird you hoped for 🙂

Kind wishes, Sarah

Tea-towels: Little pieces of art for your home

I’ve added a link to a blog post about my fav –  the humble tea-towel!  (it includes one of my designs, plus other UK artists).  How gorgeous is this Curious green Cacti print by Melanie Chadwick.  Shop her tea-towels here.


And here’s the link to Melanie’s lovely blog post: http://mellybeeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/6-reasons-to-give-tea-towel-this.html

I’m so very happy to be amongst my fav artists such as Jane Foster, Lucie Sheridan, Butterscotch and Beesting, Particle Press, Stephanie Cole, Stormy Knight, Sianuska and Mellybee (Melanie Chadwick herself)  Happy days!

Original British bird paintings

Hello everyone,

It’s almost time you can bag yourself some original birdie art to hang in your home (or give as a Christmas pressie).

The 8, mixed media watercolour and pen, bird paintings will be posted and ready to go on Sunday 1st November 2015, at 7pm GMT in my Folksy shop.  Here’s the link:  Beetroot Press Folksy shop.

As this is my first time selling my actual paintings, I’m going to sell them for £25.00!  (wow I hear you say)



I’ve scanned the paintings in, so will be adding them all on here later on so you can have a good look before they are added to the online Folksy shop on Sunday.

Birdie drawing update

Hello, I hope you’re all having a great weekend?

I’m just popping in to say; I haven’t finished all the bird paintings yet, so the date for them going into the shop will probably be 2 weeks from now.  Im doing a little poster with the dates and times on and will share on here soon  🙂

Bird paintings for sale by Sarah Papworth Beetroot Press copy

Remember if you’d like to see daily updates, pop over to Instagram where I put a new picture on more or less everyday of the birdies I’m drawing, and what I generally get up to.  The snapshot above is of my Instagram feed. Here’s the link to my page:  Beetroot Press Instagram.

Birdie warm-up sketches [part: 2]

Hello folks, I’ve been sketching away again this week, doing more little bird warm-up sketches.

I wanted to try a few different ways of drawing the birdies and get a feel for the direction I wanted to take when painting/drawing in neat – which I will make a start on this following week (exciting).  As some of you will know, I love little birdies, and I’ve really enjoyed drawing the sketches so far.  I’m a little scared about starting the final drawings – but in a good way!

Bearded tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

This is a Bearded-tit, I drew him at the beginning of the week.  I like his friendly face and little smile.  Although I liked the sketches from the week before, I wanted to try using the fine-liner pens to add more colour and texture through their mark making – and perhaps to be a bit more stylised.

Sparrow illustration by Sarah Papworth

Here’s a little Sparrow, here I’ve used the watercolours but then used the pen on top.  I don’t have much to say about him, I like him, but prefer others more, (sorry Mr Sparrow)!

Blue tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

I knew I would be drawing a Blue-tit in this series, so I thought I’d do a practice run.  I like the brighter colours, using brush pens and fine-liner pens.  There is a subtle layer of watercolour paint underneath, but perhaps too subtle, as you can’t really see it – not in the photo anyway.

Great tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

And this little chap is a Great-tit.  He’s the last one I drew and I like the contrast with the black and the softer and brighter yellow, which has the texture/mark making that I like too.  I think it’s time to start drawing some birdies in best now!

I’ll show you how I get on, and I’ll be posting more frequently on Instagram, and Facebook.  But will try to update on here as often as possible.

I’m aiming to get the final original drawings finished by the 16th October ’15 and in the shop that weekend (17th/18th Oct), but I will give you more specific times nearer the time.

Thanks for reading and see you again soon!  Thanks, Sarah.

Little bird warm-up sketches

Hello again!  I’ve started doing warm up sketches of little British birdies.  Im planning at the moment to do 8 drawings to sell the originals on Folksy before Christmas.  I’m really excited about this as I haven’t sold the originals before.  I just hope they actually sell!

The sketches are to help me decide what sort of style I want to do them all in.  I’ll post a few more once completed, Im doing one a day at the moment and posting on Instagram.  Please let me know which ones you like or aren’t so keen on, plus if you have any favourite little birds you’d like to see.  It all helps with final decision making!

Coal tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

This was my first sketch, a Coal Tit, I used watercolour for the colours, then a bit of acrylic white for the highlights, then fine line pen on top.  I do really like him but am wondering if he’s a bit too traditional for my liking? – maybe I should go more stylised…

Tiny goldcrest illustration by Sarah Papworth

This chap is a Tiny Goldcrest, as you can see from my scribbly notes he is also created in watercolour, fine line pen then white acrylic on top.  I went a bit more scribbly on him, again Im not sure, but I do like his character/facial expression.

Bullfinch illustration Sarah Papworth

This grumpy chap is a Bullfinch, I drew him with brush pens (if you haven’t used brush pens, you must – they are so fun).  Then I added the white acrylic on top for detail.  I actually preferred him without the acrylic, he was a bit more graphic looking and simple – but he needs to cheer up a bit!

Robin sketch illustration by Sarah Papworth

We have a little robin that has been tapping at our window for a 2 days now (which is getting slightly annoying on this, the 3rd day), I think he wants to be included, so here he is ;).  I like the simplicity of him, I used a brush pen for the red breast and a black fine liner for the sketchy drawing.  I like the leaves added, perhaps I’ll use leaves in all of them…hmmm, decisions decisions.

When I’ve created the final drawings, I’ll upload them all at the same time to Folksy and go live with the shop, so it will be a first come first serve basis. I’ll let you know in plenty of time when that will be.

I’m usually a bit slower at updating the blog, so find the most recent updates on Instagram, also on Facebook and hashtag #bpbirdies.  But I promise to let you know when they are uploaded to Folksy 🙂

On the allotment – September

strawberries allotment Beetroot Press blog

Im very excited that for the first time the allotment looks like a proper allotment – things are actually growing everywhere and there are yummy things to pick and eat for dinner.

Growing runnerbeans Beetroot Press blog

I put more work in at Springtime this year, and even before that I started growing seeds at home, whereas last year I got off to a slow start.

It’s been hard getting to the allotment since end of July, August and beginning of September due to recovering from my recent surgery.  But I’m now back on track and excited about getting on the allotment more regularly again.  I feel a lot better when I can get a daily dose!

Borage herb allotment growing Beetroot Press blog Growing borage british allotment Beetroot press blog

Bees are everywhere on the plot, which I am very pleased about.  They love the borage I sowed.  You can eat the flowers and I’m planning on drying some of the leaves to make tea!  Apparently it’s good for internal inflammation, which would be great for my Endometriosis.

allotment produce courgette spring onions potato Beetroot Press blog

We are over-run with courgettes, I kept leaving them and picking them while they were pretty large.  But now, I’m desperately trying to pick them when they are still small, so there is less to eat, plus, they are more tasty when tiny.

I found a courgette cake recipe from My Goodness website which is wheat and dairy free (but includes eggs).  I don’t eat too much sugar these days, so it was sweet enough for me, but my other half wasn’t too keen!  Here’s the recipe if you fancied giving it a go, it’s got a really nice soft texture, and is pretty healthy as far as cakes go, I’ll definitely be making it again this week.

allotment strawberries Beetroot Press blog

I’m still eating the strawberries picked in early summer.  I froze the ones we couldn’t manage to eat, which I’ve used in smoothies with bananas, coconut milk and mint leaves.  Plus, you can freeze the smoothy mixture to make a sugar free sorbet – yum!

allotment shed Beetroot Press blog

We up cycled this wooden palette with netting on the back for squashes to grow up (bit of a strange experiment), and added these recycled bottles to grow salad out of.  It also added a bit of height to a very flat plot earlier on, and a little feature for pots to live on.

Growing autumn raspberries Beetroot Press blog

We have Autumn fruiting raspberries on our plot, my Dad gave me some canes the year before last I think around September.   Last year we had maybe a handful of berries, but this year there’s been loads – enough for us and the birds!

I want to make another section for these raspberries to replant some of the new suckers coming up.  I found this RHS post on when to move the new canes, which is a good guide.

growing sweetcorn clay soil allotment Beetroot Press

I’ve tried growing sweetcorn this year.  I didn’t do well with the seeds, until I was told to soak the seeds first, then sow them.  I only have about 5 plants!

Growing beetroot on allotment Beetroot Press blog

The beetroot has done really well this year, particularly as I almost killed the young plants.  Really they are too big now, but they are lovely roasted (our fav).

broad beans allotment Beetroot Press blog

I was quite disappointed with broad beans, again first time growing them, but they got black fly, and even the younger plants got decimated.  I did spray with a more organic treatment (watery washing up liquid) a couple of times, but they were quite far gone already.

tomatoes Beetroot Press blog

Unfortunately the tomatoes haven’t done well quantity wise, I’ve only had a bout 6 cherry tomatoes and they are only just turning orange.   Last year there was some sort of blight going on.  Fingers crossed for next year!

Pumpkin allotment growing Beetroot Press blog

Pumpkins have done a lot better than last year, and Im quite proud of this one, the biggest in the gang.

Potato growing allotment Beetroot Press blog

I still haven’t dug up all the potatoes yet, Im hoping they will survive not being dug up for a little while longer – all the leaves have rotted down now, so I think I need to dig them up very soon.

onions allotment growing Beetroot Press blog

First time growing onions, and loved the ease of growing from sets.  I will definitely get some to overwinter.

Purple french beans allotment Beetroot Press blog

French purple beans, these haven’t grown as tall this year, but theres still quite a lot to pick.  I like how they magically turn green when you cook them.

Rhubarb british allotment Beetroot Press

This is the first year for the rhubarb so I have tried to not pick much.  I did have some stewed the other day though with a tiny bit of maple syrup and it was divine!

ladybird runnerbeans allotment Beetroot Press blog

Growing runner beans Beetroot Press blog

Runner beans are doing very well – here’s Juls getting stuck in to hunt out all those that are hiding.

Jobs to do now are:  Weed weed weed!  Tidy up the strawberry patches and plant new runner plants in a new patch, build at least one more raised bed, dig a row/patch for new raspberry canes, dig up all the remaining potatoes and harvest the veggies.British allotment sunny Beetroot Press blog

Here’s a shot from earlier on in the Summer on a very beautiful day.

I hope you enjoyed this allotment update, if you have any comments or advice on growing any of these better, please do comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks and bye for now, Sarah x

Folksy Eco-Friendly Gifts and Home Accessories

Hello there friends,  I’ve just popped in to say Folksy added my Beetroot Press ‘Blackberry Jam’ tea-towel to their email newsletter, which is always a joy and nice surprise to see.

Folksy eco friendly gifts_Beetroot Press

It’s worth checking out the link to see all the beautiful hand-made eco-friendly items there are, made by British crafters.    Folksy eco-friendly nice stuff.

vintage napkin_tea towel_ hand printed by Beetroot Press jams preserves tea towel print_by Beetroot Press

And here’s a few close ups of the Tea towel/napkin Folksy selected.  It’s printed on a vintage white napkin which has a subtle weave pattern, and has little initials sewn in the corner, (which I love).  It has a loop on the back so you can use it as a napkin or a tea-towel.

alloment blackberry jam t towel_hand printed by Beetroot Press
Hand-printed by me (as per), with lots of joy!  Here’s the link to the vintage napkin.  This design also is printed in ultramarine blue on an organic cotton tea-towel.

Happy days 🙂


I’ve been drawing a lot more recently, I’m trying to just get into the practise of drawing a little bit everyday – and I’ve been really enjoying it.  Most are smaller sketches, or perhaps drawings to go towards a print/illustration.  Practise makes perfect!

IMG_2248I love to draw with just a fine line pen, but also love the ease of watercolour.  Ive been wondering if I should try branching out a bit and use some new materials.


This one is a lot looser, and I like working in this style as it’s a bit more unpredictable.  But I tend to go back to my more careful, tighter way of drawing most of the time.  It would be good to find a happy in-between level!


This one above was created for a friends wedding, I drew the little icons to go on their wedding time line.


I bought some brush pens the other week, and have fallen in love!  I have already run out of the grey, so will need to re-order.  So easy to use and a perfect in-betweener for using a pen and a paintbrush!  I really like how this sketch turned out with the brush pens.


This one I painted with watercolours, scanned in and adapted slightly on Illustrator.  I like it as is, but feel I need to add something to it, and am just deciding what that is!

So that’s the end of the drawing update for now.  Hope you’ve enjoyed!

See you next time,  Sarah x