Red Brick and Yorkshire Stone – What’s not to love?

Getting my head around all the changes took some time I can tell you but now we are over 3 months down the line I am finally feeling confident with our new look gallery as it starts to take shape.

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This is a sneaky peek at the exposed red brick and stone column in the main shop space.

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This is a sneaky peek at the exposed Yorkshire stone walls now in our main gallery and also in our two picture galleries.

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What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you. x

The Sand Saga!

The week before last was a stressful one …. this arrived with a small team of guys to sandblast our stone and red brick walls!

The wagon arrives early morning to get started

I just didn’t realise how much sand there would be!


Or how dusty it would be!


Patch tests had to be done first to make sure that the right pressure was used.


Once I agreed on the right finish then the rest of the walls could be blasted, all of them had to be done in a day really so as not to be too disruptive to our neighbours!


There was far more sand and dust than I had expected and as a result I ended up with a rather large cleaning bill!


However, I hope you all agree that this was worth it … the final results are amazing I think, I am so excited (more sneaky peeks to follow in another blog post next week).


This is one of the walls when they’d finished – what do you think?

Design Factory

This last week I was invited by the Design Factory to be a guest speaker at their Preparing For Trade day at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford.

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I had stayed in Lincoln the day before with my hubby as it was my Birthday (what a lovely city break that was, thoroughly recommend a visit if you’ve not been before) and the weather was perfect for the short trip to Sleaford … just enough time to quickly go over the notes I had made the night before!

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This is only the second time I have been asked to speak to designer/makers so I was pretty nervous actually. The last time was to about 300 at the BCTF breakfast meeting 2015 and I had ten minutes, this time I had 40 minutes but I was only addressing 20 creatives … don’t know which was more nerve wracking!

I did gain my stride and actually really enjoyed it in the end … the Design Factory members there were a great bunch of creatives and very kind asking relevant questions as well.

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I was in good company with another Gallery Proprietor, Antonia from Focus Gallery in Nottingham. Although we were both passing on information about approaching galleries and what to expect at trade shows etc Antonia and I brought different information to the room for the Design Factory members and gave them lots to think about.

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Two very experienced Design Factory members, Myra Hutton and Jayne Childs, spoke after lunch about exhibiting at trade shows both in the UK and in Europe which was extremely informative for all.

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Hayley Banks had put a great programme together for the day which was informative and interesting but in a lovely relaxed and cosy setting and the feedback from the Design Factory members that attended was very good indeed so I think we all did an amazing job, pats on the back all round!

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The drive back home to sunny Yorkshire was just beautiful too!

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To find out more about the Design Factory and the benefits of being a member then do visit their website here. I can’t wait to visit the Design Factory stand at BCTF this year, they are a talented bunch.


Well it’s March now and what a start to the year for so many of us here in Hebden Bridge! If you’ve been following this blog you will know what’s been happening at Heart Gallery so thought it was time for a wee update my friends.

My hubby couldn't resist chipping off Gallery so that it said ALI for me!

My hubby couldn’t resist chipping off Gallery so that it said ALI for me!


The building was officially declared dry nearly two weeks ago so it’s frustrating that our insurers have yet to appoint the contractors despite tenders having been in to them on time. In the meantime the only person doing any work on site is my lovely hubby, Bart.

Bart dismantling our internal shop window

Bart dismantling our internal shop window


Because some structural damage was found that could potentially have been fatal resulting in the house upstairs perhaps ending up in the gallery we’ve had to make tough decisions.

The bay window waiting to go to its new home on Tenterfields

The bay window waiting to go to its new home


One of those decisions has been to remove the internal shop front so that a new retaining wall and buttresses can be built once work eventually starts.

going, going, gone!

going, going, gone!


We are happy that we managed to get it out in the right sections ready to head to its new home at Radiator Renovator in Halifax as we will have unlimited visiting rights!

The space from the back of the building now looks huge

The space from the back of the building now looks huge


Please dip back into the Heart Gallery blog soon for another update on how we are stitching Heart back together again, thank you. x


Collaboration, Connection and Co-Operation not Competition

One thing that has been obvious recently (apart from the pennies in the bank falling through my fingers like fine sand!) has been the support that I have seen since the awful events of Boxing Day. This is not just on a personal level from friends and family (I still have a much needed back neck and shoulder massage to cash in – thank you Ruth and Julia!) but on a business to business level as well. For instance, Mike and the team at Print Bureau provided free banners to affected local businesses as soon as they could even though they themselves had also been badly hit by Storm Eva’s decision to relentlessly batter Calderdale. This was made possible in part by Apogee coming to their rescue too.

This is one HEART that just gets stronger x

The amazing artwork for our banner was done by one of our much loved artists Angela Smyth. She just wanted to use her skill set in any way she could. This was a beautiful gesture and was done for us in the New Year so that we could hang the banner outside Heart Gallery to let everyone know we were stitching ourselves back together and we would be back as soon as we were able.

LOGO for PRThen the Calderdale Rising campaign for businesses began. This has now ended with a really decent stash of cash in the pot for those businesses involved. This was launched by Kirsty McGregor and backed by CFFC who are behind the amazing flood relief fundraising for residents of Calderdale that has now topped the 2 million mark! Without Kirsty’s involvement and the collaboration of 103 small businesses from Calderdale getting behind her and promoting via social media etc I think I would have gone slightly insane sitting at home in my own little bubble of misery getting washed away by my tears!


After a long overdue catch up and much needed brain storming session with Kate Lycett once she had launched her fabulous Lost Houses project at The Bankfield Museum in Halifax I approached Vince at Abacus Framing in Mytholmroyd. Heart Gallery needed a little bit of space to pop up with Kate’s work and also Clare Caulfield’s work – two of my much loved artists also much loved by my customers.

Dec 21st Kate Lycett

Like many other Calderdale based businesses Abacus Framing have been indirectly affected by the Boxing Day floods despite not being flooded themselves if that makes sense. Footfall to our lovely valley is down so the visitor economy is suffering. This collaboration with him will help not only Heart Gallery have a presence by creating a little gallery space within Abacus but it will also help Kate Lycett and Clare Caulfield continue to sell their work locally and Abacus Framing to offer a very fine service too.

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This pop up Heart Gallery with Kate Lycett and Clare Caulfield will be in Abacus until after Easter (perhaps longer so please do keep an eye on this blog) so please do visit, come and say hello, purchase framed or unframed prints and browse the other prints and artwork Vince has on show there too … including two personal favourites Jenni Murphy and Anna Wright.

Jenni Murphy - The Romantic Gardener available at Abacus Framing, Mytholmroyd

Jenni Murphy – The Romantic Gardener available at Abacus Framing, Mytholmroyd

Love Birds by Anna Wright available at Abacus Framing, Mytholmroyd

Love Birds by Anna Wright available at Abacus Framing, Mytholmroyd


After successfully selling work by Pippa Dyrlaga to raise funds for the flood appeal for householders the lovely ladies at Fleur De Lys asked me if I would like a window in their florists on Crown Street, Hebden Bridge to showcase more work by Kate Lycett.


We did the display together at the beginning of this week. The window looks really cheery and bright and has been making passers by stop and smile which is so lovely to see right now.

POP UP at Fleur De LysThis is a little montage of the work that is on display and available to buy down at Fleur De Lys and at Abacus Framing by Kate Lycett and Clare Caulfield.

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Vince at Abacus Framing has the whole back catalogue of Kate’s for you to look through and order from as well. You can pay by card at Abacus as the Heart Gallery card machine is down there but it’s CASH ONLY at Fleur De Lys.


I’ve known that these connections and collaborations are so important since I first opened Heart Gallery as collectively we make Hebden Bridge just amazing. A huge, heartfelt thank you to all my friends and family helping me through this but also to Vince and Claudette for helping out whilst we try to stitch Heart Gallery back together again! Don’t forget, with Mother’s Day fast approaching order your bouquet from Fleur De Lys whilst you are down there feasting on Kate’s work and Vince has plenty of sweet cards for you to choose from!

Collaboration image



Welcome my friends to another little blog post relating to our journey since the Boxing Day floods as we stitch Heart Gallery back together slowly!

After a few little hiccups (well massive ones actually), including finding this cracked wall hidden behind some shelving, we were finally allowed to start to dry out the building.

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It’s still really hard to imagine the gorgeous hardwood floor that was once covering all this rubble. Now Heart Gallery is totally stripped back it feels like its former beautiful self is such a distant memory sadly.

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But the visqueen membrane now covers the cleaned out floor and the big machines have been brought in to do their job. (They took me right back to sitting with my daughter watching the Teletubbies as they look a bit like Noo Noo!).

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We are hoping it will only take 3-4 weeks now to achieve the dry levels we need for our certificate and then the reinstatement work can begin finally.
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I can see the building is still pretty wet nearly 7 weeks on but these walls are big, thick ones, built to last so they will take time to dry.

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But inside, with all 12 blowers and dehumidifiers doing their thing it is starting to feel dryer and most certainly warmer!

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The ‘RIP OUT’ team

The thought of having Heart Gallery ‘ripped out’ is really making me ill and perhaps this team should not really be called the ‘Rip Out’ team but anyway here’s the first update I promised you my friends.


Meet Len and his boys!

These guys turned up this last week a month after Heart Gallery was filled with over 3ft of dirty, sewage flood waters when our lovely town was devastated by the awful Boxing Day floods that hit Calderdale. We had spent the last 4 weeks emptying all our rooms to clear the way for them so we were actually quite glad to see them believe it or not!

So sad to see our reclaimed wooden floor gone!

Our lovely reclaimed wooden floor had to be removed throughout as their first job and the saddest bit about this was knowing a wooden floor could not be put back down if we wanted to be more flood resilient moving forward.

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The Picture Gallery looked very odd without its floor but then pretty strange once the boys started to knock off the plaster all the way round as well….just the lovely hand printed banner by our local artist Julia Ogden was a reminder of how it was when we locked up at 4pm on Christmas Eve!

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The artist Studio where Heather Wilson had her studio for over 8 years looked grim too with all the meters and pipes exposed and the floor joists in a sorry, soggy state.

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A few skips later and the boys leave Heart Gallery so they can hand over to the ‘Drying Team’ who will hopefully arrive on Monday. If you think this pile of wood looks big you should have seen it before!

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Just waiting now for Calderdale Council to collect this so at least it will look a little tidier in our garden!

The worst news we have had this week is the discovery of a structural problem that may or may not be connected to the Boxing Day floods and we won’t find out about this until we’ve taken some advice this next week so please keep your fingers crossed my friends that it is something that can be easily rectified thank you.

LOGO for PRPlease look out for our next update and if you are wanting to help in anyway then we are part of this Crowdfunder that has been set up to help us and many other small businesses in Calderdale … lots of those are in Hebden Bridge too. Hebden Bridge does rely on the visitor economy and so our town needs to be back on its feet soon and although I know I will more than likely be one of the last small businesses to open this year I also know you will all be back to support me so thank you from the bottom of my heart x

Heart Gallery