Tuesday, 14 October 2014

'so long at the fair

   I'm considering taking a couch with me next year so that I can lounge at the back of my stand ! In a small space you always feel a bit in the way so I hide at the side of the big plinth with the show piece on !! ( and eat chocolate bunnies from the truffle stand nearby ).  I had a lot of return visits from regular customers which is always very heart warming and many kind words too. Thankyou to everyone that visited me ! 
  Some more work will be on show in London soon, plus one piece up for auction !!! I will post about them soon.
   I will be teaching in March too so check the link in the side bar .

Friday, 26 September 2014

Knit and Stitch 2014

   It's back ! It must be nearly October because my studio is overflowing with bits of embroidery ready for 'the show' (stand no.TGi7).
   I am delighted to be showing the lace jabot and cuffs I made early last year too. Below is a description of all the symbolism in the lace for anyone visiting the stand who wants to know more.

Lace jabot for the High Sheriff of Cumbria,2013
This lace jabot was made in 17thC. style 'picture' needlelace.All the symbols in it are relevant to the Sheriff who is a J.P.and architect.
Cumbrian rose: requested by the Sherrif the rose and leaves form the basic structure of the design.The five pointed star in the centre of the rose is also a traditional cowboy style sheriff badge.
Briar: Used in order to reference prison the briar features in a series of paintings by Burne Jones which are held in a local Cumbrian Arts and Crafts house.
Eye: An eye for justice with a question mark in the centre. The most densely stitched area with a separate eyelid which has a picot edge. The ? is a separate piece.
Bow: to symbolize the Sheriff's namesake,Diana,the bow has a proper string which is pulled by the ?. The clients initials are interwoven between bow and eye.
Squirrel and Moth: To represent criminals the squirrel here is actually a red and he holds a needle.He has a tufted tail, a proper 3D ear and was the most intricate to construct. The moth also has a furry body and has moons on his wings for Diana as goddess of the night.
Scissors and Wool: A direct reference to the clients daughter, a textile artist, spinner and knitter who owns local Herdwick sheep and also to me ! The knitting needles are wired to stand out .
Snails: a term used in Honiton lace, children often were employed to make background filler shapes which were referred to as snails.
A mixture of fine cotton perle,viscose and an ivory coloured cotton was used.The edging is wired and the stitch density goes up to 900 per sq.inch.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


    It's that time of year again...getting ready for the Knit and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace, London. The dates have been extended this year so we start on Wednesday the 8th October and go through to Sunday the 12th..........which means I'm buttoning away ! One new line are the lucky clovers, part of my 1930's range.
    I am also going to revamp some older lines after spending the afternoon gathering all my designs from the last five years worth of sketchbooks into one new one  (oh the joy of a new sketchbook). I found this lovely long thin khadi paper book whilst teaching at West Dean over the weekend and it's perfect for my button designs. As a consequence I will bring back Goblin Market in particular.
 What inspires all this ? Have a look at my Tumblr page......

Sunday, 10 August 2014


'just finished embroidering some runes for buttons. There are three in this set, the runes for love, protection and luck. Each has a garland edge with symbolic herbs and flowers associated with each rune so love has violets, comfort has lavender and luck has thyme. They will be on Etsy when they are complete.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Studio stuff

..the state of my studio desk at the moment, making wallflower butttons

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Lacrimae rerum

...the tears of things.This is still in progress, more moths to come and some other things to make.Essentially a pile of old books with embroidery !

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Art is Unity

'just got back from a trip to Cumbria with the Art Workers' Guild. We had been invited up by Grizedale Arts to be involved with their long running community project with the Conniston Institute. There was little in the way of a brief as it was a 'go see' kind of mission but never the less, being artists, we did stuff ! The public were invited to come and learn or just observe the various master crafts people there and many did ! I teamed up with Rachael Matthews of PYF and we decided that various aspects of the institute needed attention. The Ruskin museum is situated at the back of the main hall and there is a large collection of Ruskin lace in it. It was developed as a form of income for local people and combines drawn thread work with needlelace techniques. We took the idea and started developing some ways of making lace that could be printed with . Rachael had a huge roll of jute with her and we made various pieces to explore simple ways to improve the floor and chairs !The above photo shows how I turned a chair into a loom and then made a strip of needlelace on it . This was then wrapped around a roll of masking tape and made into a printing roller by Daniel Heath , another member of the team.

The complete story can be found on the Guilds' Tumblr


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