Sketchbook. Les crayons de couleur de Helen Stephens

1, 2 Drawing at The Bowes Museum 
3, 4 "I love to draw old shoes. They are strangely sad, I can't quite work out why. I drew these gorgeous shoes at The Bowes Museum in Teesdale. The last ones are paper shoes that I drew at The Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. They are so small & delicate, I love them." © Helen Stephens
5 Old Shelves from a junk shop painted in turquoise
 6 The Penny Lodging House in Berwick

Every Helen Stephens' new book starts with a drawing from life in a sketchbook. "The Big Adventure of the Smalls started with the title. I didn't know what the book would be, but I knew that was the title. Then I went drawing at The Bowes Museum, not thinking it might be useful to the book. The Bowes Museum has a collection of baroque furniture, huge guilt harps, gold musical nymphs... I drew lots of ordinary people in jeans and anoraks, walking past this hugely ornate gold furniture. The drawings made me laugh, and I knew then that I had to do a book about two small ordinary children living in a stately home."

I have just discovered English author and illustrator Helen Stephens' world of wonders. As usual when  discovering a new blog and a new world I spent hours browsing through her website trying to figure out who was the spirit behind it. At the end I got a funny feeling of knowing her as in real life and probably even better  than  after an afternoon tea. And believe me I felt very lucky with this chance meeting on the web. More on her blog Oh I forgot to say.


  1. I love her work too and how she started the Smalls. I think those shoes would be perfect for you.
    It turns out that she has also illustrated for Bayard magazines and will be doing a Belles Histoires story too this year, just after mine.
    Perhaps we really will all have tea together one day!

    1. Oh Bridget I would love it, together again in East End London! I am waiting for you now, the potager is radiant.

  2. Hey Katia it's Joe. Me and mum are keeping up with the blog on a regular basis, really enjoying it but for some reasoon I can't follow you from my blogger account.Anyway we're enjoying the posts just wish we could have updates sent to email. Oh and I also thought you should try looking into tumblr, linkedin, digg so on so forth. Link machines for those exploring the internet, get your blog on there and your page views will sky rocket. ;) keep writing Joe and Jenny x

    1. Hi Joe and Jenny I am happy that you like it. Thank you for this lovely note. Hope that you cand find inspiration for your creative work.