Hello and a warm welcome to you! Thank you for visiting my blog where I love to share a little of my life and my passion for textiles, I hope you will enjoy what you see and read here...do also visit me on Facebook and say hello...or check out my workshops and come and get creative...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Take Six Make Christmas Easy

it's over...we did it! Another lovely event where we pooled our resources and energy and our passion for our art or craft, and lovely people visited and looked and admired and bought...and then said 'we'll see you next year!' We had the added joy of being in Phil's delightful new workshop in his restored byre, so were able to showcase our work in a beautiful clean white but characterful venue.
So have a browse here if you didn't make it this time...we were even filmed setting up, by Freya from the 'That's Cumbria' team and appeared on Channel 8 on Freeview (a mysterious place!). That's Cumbria is part of a BBC venture to produce local films about local people, and I have to say if you'd like to watch an antidote to the 'real' news, check out your own locality version! So many heartwarming projects and people doing good and interesting things.
Check it out on utube here and get a 'behind the scenes' sneaky peek!

you may even spot the artist herself in the above photos...that pink coat is my favourite!!

have a creative Christmassy week....and stay warm in this frosty weather!


Sunday, 19 November 2017

mind the gap...

well where did October go that's what I'd like to know? My apologies for lack of appearance here, but cunning plans went all asunder as family events took over. The passing of a loved one, even after a long life well lived impacts on every aspect of daily life, the heart carries many memories, the threads of 'another' woven into the fabric of who we are, stitched in place with every smile and joyful moment remembered, every kindness felt and recorded. Family ties are strengthened by connection and reminiscence as we share sorrow and laughter mingled. There is only love at the end of the day.

Tempest fugit...not half! Suddenly November is upon me and the date of our Christmas 'show' grows ever closer. I am back in my studio, with renewed heart for my work. I have been quietly making, new work has emerged and I am pleased with the outcome of the process. Old work has been cut up and juxtaposed with new in a pleasing and exciting manner! Sketches, photos and feelings start to merge into new ideas and compositions, as fabric play leads the way.

First off is brooches, small and fun, each one unique! Individually created from upcycled fabrics, needlefelted and stitched then beads added by hand...so they become a mini work of art. Inspired by the theme of stone, heather, sea, earth and rust...starting
off with sea and stone...

wishing you a peaceful and creative weekend...

Sunday, 3 September 2017

To South Uist...and home again

if you've been on your own Hebridean adventure...this will be familiar territory to you, if you haven't then drool and imagine...and then book your own trip soonest! 

If you love crossing the sea on a ferry with your car stowed below, with nothing to do for perhaps several hours but look at the appearing and disappearing islands and the endless sea and seabirds, if your heart is in simplicity and empty spaces and a quietness you just can't imagine...this is for you. Heaven indeed...stunning white beaches and turquoise to indigo seas, rocks, seaweed, shells, sea treasures and rust and wild stormy weather and fresh fresh air...and sunshine.. a place where the washing you hang out blows mainly horizontal...if it stays on the line at all!

a prefect place for a family holiday, freedom to roam, lots for me to draw and photgraph, lots of birdwatching for my daughter...and the chance to learn to drive on tiny single track roads with only a sea loch to worry about driving into as there are few cars and you rarely see other people...

I was tempted into The Hebridean Woolshed (several purchases were made!) and a drive up through North Uist on our last day yielded even more delights as not only did we revisit the island we spent our honeymoon on...but I found Uist Wool and a lovely ceramics studio, Shoreline Studio both inspiring and so welcoming...

enjoy this little journey...

back across the sea to Skye (only 11/2 hours sea journey compared to 31/2 on the way out but we end up much further north)...and the long drive home awaited...

I am home inspired...and now my studio is all beautiful ready for C-art Festival and Open Studios so I may not be here for a little while

I would love to see you in my studio if you are visiting the three of us...

otherwise I will return after it's all over and I've had a lie down!

enjoy the last of summeryness as we head into September...

Thursday, 27 July 2017

now it's all over...

and life is settling back down, it seems working for the exhibition and setting it up and taking it down was all just a pleasant dream!

A big thank you to Florence Arts Centre at Egremont for hosting us. I was so inspired by taking part, it really got my creative juices flowing, not least because of the venue; Florence Arts Centre is such an interesting place to visit, with all the history of the iron ore mine it once was, and has exhibitions and musical events all year round... 


It was just so lovely to participate in a joint event, with the chance to collaborate with other artists...even just a cup of tea as we made plans or chatting as we set it up was as valuable a part of the whole thing as actually showing my work.

...and Diversity will be back next year, with another show! How does it get even better than that?!

Thank you too to all those who came to see the show, and perhaps booked a workshop. That was the other wonderful thing; I ran a workshop and we had people wandering in from seeing the exhibition, which meant they could see 'making' actually happening, linked with the exhibition. There were also demonstrations by some of the artists, and altogether it made for a lively 'alive feeling' event, with lots of connections and inspiration!

So if you didn't get to see the work , here's a little taste of what the group had created:
work by Jenni Payne, Susan Denham Smith, Jan Cottam, Diane Standen, Ruth Moore, Maureen Hogg and Sue Cosham 

Apologies for the long gap in my blogging, just been focussing on workshops and various other life affairs...and I am delighted to say some of my work has been selected for the
at Rheged near Penrith, 9th sept - 5th November

...and now C-art Open Studios is looming (8th -17th Sept) so I'm back off down to my studio...

have a creative weekend!

Friday, 2 June 2017


apologies for my lack of blog posts of late...this is what I'm doing! The exhibition is drawing closer and I am slowly creating enough pieces of textile art to fill my alloted space. I have found that my desire to create has been taken over by this current work to the extent that taking and processing photos has been very much put to one side. As if all my creative energy, and my creative focus, and rightly so, is in my stitching for the exhibition... so I will see you on the other side when it is all set up and I can go 'phew'...and see what is next!

trust you are creating too!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

workshop delights...

all you need is boxes of fabrics, imagination and enthusiasm...and this is what you get! I had 2 talented makers for this new fabric bowl workshop...and we all had fun! I watched and helped and they just played and produced these fabulous textures and colours!

May I introduce the stitching crew today...Andrea and Heather, and their wonderful sewing machines...and that magical embellisher...

pink glorious pink! Andrea tackles a very adventurous bowl...

icecream colours....and a rich glorious mixture make for 2 very different bowls from Heather

Heather's on the left in rich purples and turquoise with a streak of pink, Andrea's in sea blues with lovely yarny textures, and a flash of pink again!

I love the contrast in colours between Andrea's bowls, and that fantastic shape she cut in her pink bowl...

all in all, a wonderfully creative day with a beautiful outcome as I'm sure you'll agree!

as it says in Heather's pastel bowl, Dream Bigger! I think that says it all!

have a creative weekend...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

fame and fortune...

I can't tell you just how excited I am! If you haven't already seen it I have an article in the wonderful and inspirational Be Creative Magazine (May/June issue) which has just appeared on the shelves in the newsagent...

I just love this magazine for the full colour deliciousness, textures and ideas, it's a "real people" magazine with fab articles by textile makers from all around the world. And I am in it! How does it get even better than that? There's NO housework being done by this artist today I can tell you!! I just keep fondling the magazine and drinking tea and thinking 'well I'll go to the foot of our stairs' as they say!

meantime I am back into the studio as the exhibition is getting closer...and I have a talk to prepare and all sorts of other yummy things on the horizon. Really I am so truly blessed and lucky to be able to live as I do, choosing my daily activities and spending so many happy hours creating. I love my blog and facebook and instagram and making up my newsletter...everything I do has a creative element and therefore does not count as real work! I love sharing what I do and hopefully cheering up someone's day and maybe inspiring creativity in someone else.

My brand new recipe for creative happiness... 

1.go and do it
2.do it often
3.go and do it even if it's only for 10 minutes...      
4.just start and the inspiration will find you...

Ingredients: threads, fabric
cut pieces of fabric, play with them till the idea develops, embellish and stitch until finished (haha!) ...then start again. Important not to get too distracted by new ideas that come along as you play. That's where a sketchbook or notebook comes in, write them down for another time. Enjoy and Repeat as desired.

Here's my current work in progress, making a new seat and back for an old chair from a skip, part of my 'Objects of Use' theme for the exhibition...

 Like you I'm sure, there are often so many things I think I 'should' be doing...and then creative things get to the bottom of the list. SO my new way is do the fun or creative thing first..and then the jobs will just happen, or not as they may seem less essential after some 'headspace' creating. 

More soon...

yours creatively


Sunday, 19 March 2017

New Quilting exhibition..

What a joy to visit this fantastic quilt show last week at Rheged, in Cumbria. I could go again and still see more to relish in all the details and variety of the stunning work. It's so good to see a high quality textile exhibition, in the North and so close to home! Hurray for Rheged and The Embroiderer's Guild! If you haven't been yet do go. 70 quilters from the UK and Cumbria are represented in a wide variety of styles and materials, traditional and contemporary.

There's so much more to see and enjoy when you see the actual work in front of you, you can almost feel the makers' hands as they handle the cloth, and stitch and create. Here's a small taste of what's on show...


Sarah Impey painstakingly stitches her text letter by letter, the text being part of the design, her choice of fabric and words making social commentary. I love the rhythm and feel of this piece. And this scroll of work by Elizabeth Brimelow intrigued me with its form and flow.                                  

Some of Kate Crossley's complex creations stand tall, challenging the notion of a quilt being something you put on a bed! And I love Maddi Nicholson's work created with Levens' Quilters, of these Cumberland Wrestling outfits...celebrating the first Women's world championship for Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling was held at Ambleside Sports last year.

Cas Holmes is one of my favourite textile artists, it was a joy just to be in close proximity to her work and see the stitches and marks so close up and personal. Here her work is next to the intricate and beautiful work of Marijke van Welzen.

Alicia Merrett's beautiful quilted maps stand out with her use of colour, and the simple lines and shapes and textures which make up her distinctive work.

More of Elizabeth Brimelow's thoughtful work celebrating fabrics and life's connections. This is "461 Days: A slice of My Life" with a piece of fabric to suit each day.

In a small exhibition space in the centre of the gallery is a special exhibit of four quilts from the Hellbeck Collection, loaned by the Blackett-Ord Family. The quilts were originally collected by Rosemary Blackett-Ord from 1950 onward, and the quilts themselves date from as far back as the 18th Century. Here I have placed details of the old quilts alongside work by Janice Gunner(top right of this photo) as I liked the juxtaposition of new and old, all hand stitched, old fabrics recycled.

Another fascinating piece is this huge shirt by Eszter Bornemisza, the question arises is it a quilt or not (2 layers of transparent fabrics with a layer air in between!)...I just loved the piece, for its scale and the way the fabrics were used.

so much to see and enjoy...its on until 23rd April so plenty of time to go again!

and later the same week I visited Tullie House in Carlisle for their exiting and thought provoking exhibition 'Radical Craft'. 

A mix of media including textiles, and some very interesting creations. I was especially interested in the way fabrics and textiles were used, and the pieces on show from the Nui Project, where garments are massively overworked with stitch, making very different surfaces.

"This touring exhibition from 'Craftspace' and 'Outside In' highlights the work of 34 international and UK artists who express their creativity beyond the bounds of taught convention, revolutionising the way we see modern craft. The featured artists are either historically renowned and associated with the 'Outsider Art' genre or contemporary artists, many of whom are self-taught and see themselves as facing barriers to the art world for reasons including health, disability, social circumstance or isolation."

altogether a grand week with 2 trips out providing me with lots of inspiration and food for thought.  

Spring time...new growth in all things!

hope you've been as inspired as I was!