Wednesday, 26 December 2012


I was delighted to find a much wanted book under the Christmas tree yesterday. "Mark Hearld's Workbook" is a fabulous collection of his rich and textural art. I love the way he uses collage and linoprinting in particular, and after 3 weeks of complete creative lethargy I feel inspired to get back in my studio and make some marks! Hopefully I'll have something to show quite soon.

I've also returned to this blanket after weeks of shameful neglect! I've managed to track down all the colours I need to finish it and am aiming to complete it before term starts again in couple of weeks!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Small changes

I used to make a lot of my own clothes, but haven't done so for years. I recently bought some lovely fabric with the intention of starting up again, so naturally I turned to the blogging world for inspiration. I discovered two blogs in particular which have fired me up to not only make my own clothes, but to refashion old clothes. Refashionista and Charityshopchic both take charity shop finds and turn them into  stylish, original clothes. I have therefore decided to make an early New Year's resolution and not buy any new clothes for a year (with the exception of underwear and shoes!), and instead make my own, or alter old ones.

I made a small start yesterday by taking this plain but well worn cardi and adding a little embellishment.

Ages ago I bought some crochet cotton and a teeny weeny hook but couldn't then decide what to do with it.

I decided to add a little crocheted hem to the cardigan.  I started by doing blanket stitch along the bottom and then did two rows of double crochet followed by a simple scalloped edge. The stitches were tiny and took longer than expected and by the time I finished I had abandoned my plan of going up the button band and around the cuffs as well!

I'm now looking for some little green buttons to replace the existing ones. Very small changes indeed, but it's a start!

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Inspired by Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse and her stripy mug cosies, I have been looking for things to cover in crocheted stripes. First up was the jar that holds all my hooks...

I already have a stripy case for my iPad (husband also has a Celtic inspired green and white case for his iPhone, which strangely he seems to have lost!) and I am now looking for anything else that doesn't move that can be given the crocheted treatment!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Little wren

I've just delivered this painting of a little wren to its new owner.

I should be taking Mabel out for a walk now but it's pouring with rain and she's looking very coiffured after a visit to the groomers yesterday, so we'll wait for the rain to stop so she can keep her 'salon' look for one more day!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Christmas craft fair

I took some photos of the craft fair all set up. Please excuse the poor quality pictures - my iPad didn't like the low lighting! It all looks very festive, and the beautiful handmade soaps means it smells lovely too! It's open tonight, all day Saturday and Sunday morning at 92 Nunney Road in the lovely town of Frome!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Map bird paintings

These are three new paintings called rather imaginatively Map Bird 1, Map Bird 2, and Map Bird 3!  I've used some old ordinance survey maps as background and was aiming for a weathered look, rather like my garden bench!

They're painted on chunky wooden panels and include many layers of ink, acrylics and varnish, with each layer sanded back before being worked over. I think they're finished, but will have to decide soon as they're off to the Christmas fair tomorrow!

For anyone in the Frome area, the Christmas craft fair is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 92 Nunney Road. I'll take some photos when I set up tomorrow to show the range of goodies on offer.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


A couple of weeks ago I bought some felting wool to experiment with. Working with a size 5 hook suddenly felt very clumsy after working with a size 3 hook all of last week. I wasn't sure how much shrinkage was going to take place so I started with a very large, floppy flower. I wasn't terribly hopeful that this would turn into anything usable.

I stuck it in the washing machine with a load of old towels and then forgot all about it. When emptying the machine I suddenly noticed a small curled up, shrivelled thing that bore no resemblance  to the flower above! After a bit of stretching and teasing into shape I ended up with this...

I think with some beads sewn in the middle I can turn this into a corsage. I've now made another flower and some roses to see what happens to them..

I think the small ones might disappear altogether! For once, I'm looking forward to doing the washing!

Saturday, 3 November 2012


This half term has been all about making piles of colourful motifs ready to be crocheted up into bunting.

The Christmas craft fair is less than two weeks away so all housework has been suspended and sparks are flying as I hook up cottons as fast as I can!

A new delivery of Planet Penny cotton means a basket full of loveliness and lots more ideas to be worked on.

I have plans for corsages and hair pins, not forgetting paintings and Christmas cards (next week's focus).

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Planning ahead...

With a Christmas craft fair fast approaching I'm trying to finalise some festive bunting ideas.

However, I rapidly got bored of using just red and green so started playing with colours instead!

Not at all festive! Maybe I can be even more organised and start making some Spring garlands! I've also got a lovely commission to paint a wren so I'm going to get some sketches done. If only I could finish one thing before starting another!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Nearly there!

I decided to join the flowery motifs of  the baby blanket with some simple stripy squares.

I've blocked it and done a simple edging although I may add something more decorative once I've stitched on the backing fabric. I'm just waiting for that to come out of the washing machine, and then hopefully I can get it all finished today!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Triangular bunting

I've been using a triangular motif to make more bunting with the colourful Planet Penny cotton.

As you can see the motif is much bigger than the heart one so I've used fewer of them.
I'm going to experiment next with making some Christmas bunting - it may only be October but I'm determined to be organised this year!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Baby blanket progress...

I love this fabric and I'm wondering if it would work as a backing for the baby blanket. I haven't decided yet how to join the flowery motifs - I want to achieve a vintagey look. I really enjoy this part of the process - so many possibilities!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Trying to focus!

I've finished messing about with the butterflies.

Trying now to focus on the birds again. I've got lots of ideas in my head but need to get to get some down on paper.

Trouble is, I've also got lots of crochet ideas I want to try - must focus!

Thursday, 27 September 2012


I have put the bird painting aside for now and continued instead with the therapeutic pastime of painting butterflies! I decided to try and age the look of the painting by giving it a wash of burnt umber. I'm now working on a partner for it.

I also managed another row of the blanket last night. I have to sew in all the ends before I start the next row as I can't bear having them all to do at the end.

No time to do any tonight, however. I'm off to the lovely Marmalade Yarns to help with their crochet class.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Struggling with the bird painting so distracting myself with a butterfly..

and a spot of crochet of course!

A baby blanket in the making.

The ironing remains untouched, running out of clothes to wear!!

Monday, 24 September 2012

On my desk today...

Working up some ideas for a new bird painting whilst listening to the rain outside.

I also finished the heart bunting.

The huge pile of ironing remains untouched!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Where I work...

A view of my workspace - I'm lucky enough to have a room I can call my own. We converted an old, stone outhouse into my studio a couple of years ago and I love it! It's so much easier to do work every day when you don't have to tidy everything away when you've finished.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Blanket progress

More hexagons waiting to be joined. This blanket may take a while but I'm enjoying the process. I'm using Debbie Bliss cashmerino DK which is gorgeous to work with. Sadly, they appear to have discontinued lots of shades, including some of the ones I'm using. Fingers crossed I've got enough to finish it! The pattern I'm using is 'Rita' by The Natural Dye Studio .

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Little hearts

These little hearts are ready to be blocked and made up into some bunting. I've used Planet Penny cotton to make them - such lovely colours and it feels really nice to work with. I'll definitely be getting more when my current supply runs out.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Introducing Mabel...

This is my canine companion who sits at my feet as I work. She has been known to eat entire bowls of fruit and even a couple of crocheted blankets. Just as well she's loveable!