Monday, 29 November 2010


Cold dark nights. But the kittens are loving the real fire, laying out belly up on the cushion, no work for them in the morning. They like climbing in the log basket too, picking out tiny bits of stick to chase around the room and kill.

Today I went for a walk through the snow across the park to Headingley and the wool shop... so many lovely colours and textures and I wish I had more money. But Christmas making is a good excuse to spend half an hour choosing 3 balls of wool and now I just need to find a way to knit without cats thinking its play time (what am I saying, it's always play time!)

Some winter trees, with sun as big as it gets. I walked home through the woods at dusk, orange sun shining across snow.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

bit of a catch up

I've been making lots of books recently, and even taking photos of them, but I've been really rubbish about actually posting them on here. So...

Lots of herringbone books and custom concertina albums...

Custom guest books and albums for weddings (I like doing these, but it makes me wish I was doing it for mine. Must get organized on that one!)

And fancy books and forest books (among other things) for the Presence exhibition at The Manor House in Ilkley. The Manor House is a really beautiful venue, I'm really excited to have my work there. The exhibition is on until the beginning of January next year and if you're near Ilkley its worth look.

I'm also running a workshop at the opening on Saturday. Its one of lots of drop in workshops and I'm going to be making these pop up trees. The perfect alternative to a real tree if your house has kittens that like to climb ;)

Maybe see you there? x

Monday, 15 November 2010


10 weeks old and they've been here a week. I'm amazed how fast they've made themselves at home, showing me that I'm crazy to worry about such hazards as the gaps behind furniture, the stairs, the shelves, the curtains... they are the best toys. Or the best race tracks at least. And how they love the fire!

I wanted cute close up face pictures, but turns out they don't stay still long enough for that, but I think these suit their personalities perfectly...

Coco on the left and as yet unamed 'stripey face' on the right. Both have sharp claws :)

And I wonder if they're trying to tell me something when they walk calmly over to where I'm sat typing and put a paw down firmly on the delete button...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


One side and the other. Thinking about leaves falling, covering the earth in my garden. Covering my desk.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Wind outside. Its been dark for hours already. Coal tits on the feeder out the window in the sunshine today, great tits, a robin, a nut hatch.

And I know I'm putting off sitting down and making a start. Knowing it's the hardest part doesn't make it any easier.

Monday, 23 August 2010


The making frenzy continues but I've been really trying to focus and not let myself get distracted. I currently at this moment only have three things on the go at once so I'm getting better... And I'm pushing myself to finish things when I start them. Not always successful (!) but I'm trying. Small steps.

So, I've had a few things waiting patiently to be listed in my shop for a month or so now, photos taken and everything (which is normally the stumbling block for me, getting the photos to look good and not blurry and washed out etc. Perhaps I need a new camera, the one I have is 10 years old... ) Anyway, these note books have drawings of weeds screen printed on the covers, weeds I dug up and then felt sorry for as they sat drying in the sun, so I drew them. I like these drawings. And I'm hoping this listing isn't just procrastination for the things I should be doing. I'm telling myself it's just finishing a job...

Monday, 16 August 2010


Thank you for your kind words yesterday, it means lot to me to know I'm not just going crazy on my own. I've tried to slow down, or at least slow my brain down, and finish one thing at a time. And make sure I finish it too. Because jumping off on tangents is what gets me wound up I think, trying to hold too many things in my head at once (I think that's why I don't like chess either, or mental arithmetic, I think my brain works best in linear...)

Anyway, I've been out in the garden digging today. Turning over the soil. Trying not to slice worms. Teasing out roots. It's been sunny.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Sometimes I wish I didn't make things. I think about just coming in and sitting down on the sofa and not feeling like I should be doing something with my hands. Not thinking about if the shade of red on the box is wrong and perhaps it should be grey. Or if the dimensions are right at all. Right. And I should've cut that paper because now I'll have to fold it tomorrow and I won't have time to sew it. In fact now I've seen all the folded up bits in a pile on the floor I'd like to sew them all together into to maybe a big circle, look how the fold lines line up. But then I'd have to cut and sew them all again because I need them for something else too. And I have 10 of the same books to make (the covers half prepared) but theres a sewing pattern growing in my head and I try to experiment but mess it up and I should've been sewing the books. I try to do too many things at once and none of them turn out right because of it. Or they might be right but I don't feel its the best they could be. I wonder whats the point.

I know you're right to tell me to just get on with it. I hate the sound of myself.

Tell me you feel like this sometimes too?

Friday, 13 August 2010


Words don't seem to come easy these days. Have some birds instead (they're better anyway)

Sunday, 8 August 2010


Back to work tomorrow after two weeks away. A bit of sunday folding...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Note to self: Hand woven Indian cotton may look and feel beautiful, and bring back happy memories of that trip to London, but even after a pre-wash in the washing machine it will still bleed purple dye all over your quilt. Don't use it in a quilt back again! (Unless trees with blotchy pink backgrounds are what you are after...)

A baby chick picture to remind me there are more important things in life. Anyone got any good tips for fixing it when the colours run in the wash?!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

more folding

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


and thinking...


(There's a big thunder storm outside, water running in sheets down the window. I opened the door just to peek and it was like someone chucking a bucket of water at me. Its good to be snuggled up inside though. Hope you're safe and warm.)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

more trees

I've been working on this quilt for a while now, a tree here, a tree there. And today the top is finished!

And I've been thinking about what the back should be like... perhaps solid white, with the quilting in colour so the stitching makes a pattern on its own, or patchwork in different shades of white, or maybe random patchwork of all the colours of the trees (a bit like this). It's hard to decide.

As for the quilting... follow the patterns of the tree outlines like last time? Or maybe an all over pattern. I like the idea of something more compact, maybe just straight lines, straight across. Or a grid. Would that spoil the trees, or would they speak for themselves anyway. And green quilting thread? White? What about red?? I saw some really beautiful quilts at the V&A exhibition, just lines of varying thickness of stitches on a flat background. Perhaps I'm getting mixed up, trying to put too many ideas into one thing, perhaps that's quilt number three instead...

And. I've decided to try and hand quilt it. I don't think it will fit through my old machine and I don't have a quilting foot, and I think I quite like the idea of sitting with it on my knee in the evenings. We'll see how I feel a few thousand stitches later...