‘Little Spotty Jug’ or ‘Happy Holidays’

Photo Dec 21, 3 03 01 PM


This is me signing off until after Christmas. Just wanted to wish any readers out there a very happy holiday season.

The picture above is of a very lovely little, spotty jug that was given to me at my last holiday fair.
I struck up a friendship with a potter, who had the booth behind me, and we spent the day chatting, and keeping each other’s spirits up (it had been a very slow day). She happened to notice that I liked the jug, and gave it to me as a gift.

The jug sits on my kitchen table every day, makes me smile, and and reminds me that I am not working in a vacuum. After all, one of the (many) motivating reasons for me to keep designing and making things, is to have a connection with others. I always hold hope that the work will spark off a little smile, and intrigue somebody every once in a while.

With that in mind, thank you to anyone who has read, followed or commented on my many rambles about projects, ideas, and non-ideas so far. You have put up with much!

Happy Holidays!

Coloring in the gaps

Okay, okay, I admit it. I have been coloring in my six year old’s coloring book.
I couldn’t help it. The unfilled outlines just looked too inviting. I was clearing them away, and then they started whispering to me
“you need a break, why don’t you sit down and fill us in? Use those new markers that you bought from the Art store. Go on.”

I find coloring to be a  therapeutic exercise, a luxurious way to waste time.  I rarely get to indulge in it, but now it has given me an idea for a future project.

I have always been a sucker for coloring books. I recently found a particularly complex one from Usborne books full of graphic patterns that remind me a bit  of my own black and white drawings.
In fact, my six year old thinks that  my black and white prints are perfect for coloring in, and has on occasion attacked them with her Crayolas (which is why I hide them away in a box). Now that I think about it, a  lot of kids end up coloring in the printed tags that I attach to my T-shirts.

I recently made some greeting cards, which my enterprising six year old suggested that I should market as color-in-yourself cards. Noticing a pattern here??

A  very lovely potter, whom I met at a recent craft show, sent me a email with the famous quote from the poet, Rumi  – ‘Let the beauty we love be what we do’.


I think I need to make a coloring book.

Saving the world one shirt at a time!

After my last fair of the year, I decided to take stock of the mess that I had made during my frenzied season of printing, embroidering, ironing and champion- tea drinking.

It was pretty considerable, so I decided to get cleaning straight away.

Here’s the thing about mammoth cleaning  projects, they tend to start off scary and promise hours of boring, repetitive tasks, and days of drudgery; but they aren’t really that bad actually, and they always, always, yield big rewards.

I’m not talking about the obvious reward of having a cleaner house, although that is nice.
I’m not even talking about surprising little rewards, such as finding your glasses, and the toddler’s mini school-bus under a pile of shirts (that was nice too).

I’m talking about uncovering big, sparkling  ideas that have been hiding under all of the piles of fabric, paper and printing equipment. Ideas that can lead to an epiphany.

Now that the debris has been cleared away I can see the big picture more clearly….

I have too much stuff.

Too many bits of unused fabric in strange shapes and sizes, too many printed shirts with smudges and mistakes that I can’t sell, too many little snippets of thread that have been left lying around after a sewing project.

Waste not, want not. So I have started my own little recycling project, and have been using all of these left over bits and pieces to make new shirts. I have only just started, but it is really rewarding to be able to make something beautiful out of what used to be a mess… and watch the mess magically shrink away.

It’s my new superpower.

The Ring

With the markets out of the way, it is time for me to buckle down and finish all those commissions before the year ends.

I don’t know if you have heard, but I do have an Etsy page (that’s the shameless self promotion out of the way!).
Recently I got my first (and only) commission through Etsy, and it was a truly wonderful experience. I work by myself so much, that I really relish having to answer to someone else once in a while.
My customer saw a drawing of a sunflower that I had made, and commissioned me to design a ring based on it  for his girlfriend, who apparently loves sunflowers. I have never designed for jewelry, so I was fairly terrified by the prospect; but as it happens, the challenge of working to someone else’s specifications and tastes was just what my tired, old brain needed.

There is almost nothing more rewarding than a happy customer. Why ‘almost’? Well, I used to teach at a middle school, and it takes A LOT to beat the satisfaction of successfully getting a seventh grader to fall in love with a project. When it comes to rewarding experiences, teaching is a hard act to follow, but this comes pretty close.

Here are some images from the whole process: