Shake it up in 2015


There are lots of reasons to hibernate until spring comes but that would be boring and who likes boring?

I’ve found a few creative ideas that might tickle your fancy that are happening in January. Most are in Scotland but if anything inspires you why not start something in your town. Warning: there are a lot of links in this post so grab your mug of tea and notebook to start planning.

Try something new or rekindle an old passion. At Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts they don’t just have studio space but run various workshops from bookbinding to weaving, silk printing to carpentry. If you’re not sure of committing for a long course then why not dip in for a day or weekend? I’m quite interested in the bookbinding classes run by Allison Downie in Glasgow. Lots of museums run free classes for both adults and children so it’s worth checking by heir websites or just ask the next time you walk by I know Glasgow’s museums certainly do.

Pick a project and do it every day for a month. It doesn’t need to be time consuming. A timed 5 minute sketch every day, knit that jumper you’ve been promising yourself or go for a walk with you camera. A thanks must go to Helen Shaddock for highlighting the fun-a-day project to me. This project which started in Philadelphia has now crossed the Channel and Dundee is embracing it.

Start a pictorial diary with Blipfoto. Take a photo a day on your phone or DSLR upload it to Blipfoto with or without words and challenge yourself to doing for 365 days. It’s a brilliant way to become more aware of your day as well as improving your camera skills. Oh be warned it can become addictive and you’ll find yourself dipping into the lives of other blippers from around the world.

Be curious. You might remember way back in 2011 I took part in several fun projects by The Curiosity Project, well they’re back with another one off idea. This time you have the chance to send a box filled with a story. With a limit of £20 you tell your story with only your imagination to limit you and in return you’ll get a story from someone else. You can find out more on their website.

Of course there are also lots of free things to do like get out for a walk and really look at your surroundings, find out what art exhibitions are on in your area and GO to them and of course volunteer. A good place to start is the Voluntary Arts website which covers the UK and with Voluntary Arts Week coming round soon now’s as good a time as any to shake away those winter blues and get creative.

So? Anything take your fancy? If so let me know & please leave links in the comments if you know of other creative things we could be getting up to.

More embroidery on the radio


Insomniacs like me might have already stumbled over this wee gem of a radio series  but if not its worth seeking out Amanda Vickery’s A History of Private Life. It’s on BBC Radio 4 Extra in the UK, each episode is only 15 minutes long and looks at life in people’s homes. Being nosey I find it fascinating, yes even when she reads lists of pots to be mended in an 18th century home.

The episode I thought you’d love is the one on embroidery, cross stitch and tenting and how it not only occupied young women but saved them for awkward silences – in the days before you could stare at a TV screen – and even helped their mental wellbeing.

Here’s a link to the episode called Ornamenting the Home which I believe is available for the next 4 weeks.

Happy listening.

Knitting to keep warm

December and someone’s switched off the lighting and hear ting :-( After a crisp autumn it always comes as a shock.

Luckily I popped into Gold Thimble on Monday and bought some lovely wool mix and knitted up some fingerless mitts. Perfect for my commute but also to wear while continuing with my never ending crocheted granny square.

Talking of which it’s now the width of a double bed so I think I’ll start making it longer after I finish a lovely band of bright pink.


The pattern for the fingerless gloves can be found on Creativeyarn’s blog

A needle pulling thread

Thanks to DStitched I’ve just listened to a fabulous wee programme on BBC Radio4. Talking to a variety of people who use needles – from farmers (I kid you not) to tailors – this half hour programme is a delight.

One part I really liked was when the prisoner talked about how embroidery, as part of Fine Cell Work, has made him more calm.

For Uk listeners you can get I to the IPlayer and for outside the UK try this link to the internet site ->

PS you can meet DStitched on Thursday at The Glad Cafe, Glasgow this Thursday when she talks about the St Kilda’s Project. I’ll be there too ;-)


Winter Wool Fun

Can my last post really have been at the beginning if summer? My, my I’ve been naughty. In my defence I’ve been working long hours and not a lot else. To get my sparkle back I took a trip to … Continue reading

Granny Squares for a special #yarnbomb

Finally getting all my granny squares and knitting together for Scattercraft’s yarn bombing around Hampden Park, Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. If you’d like to donate some knitting or crochet please contact

PS they are also looking for some lovely people to help install the work on the 21st & 22nd July.20140628-092606-33966067.jpg




I wish…

This gallery contains 6 photos.

I enjoy embroidery for embroidery’s sake but sometimes I’ve used it to express my political (with a small “p”) feelings. So I was really pleased to find out more about a movement called craftivism. I’ve been reading about this slow, … Continue reading


Olympus om10

This gallery contains 5 photos.

If you’ve seen my Flickr page (link just over on the right if you’ve not noticed) you’ll know that I like my photography, especially lomography. Lomography is the buzz word for the old-fashioned taking photos with film as opposed to … Continue reading


Embroidered label

I finally got round to asking for a locker at work & needed a label. Well, why just use a sticky label when I can get my needle & thread out?

Knitted Lace Christening Shawl


Words fail me at how beautiful this shawl is. A wonderful family heirloom.

Originally posted on makeitglasgow:

Knitted Lace Christening Shawl

This took two months to knit and it was a total pleasure to make. It was made for a baby’s christening and his grandmother wanted the shawl to include a traditional ‘oak leaf’ lace motif. She sent me an image of the motif, so all I had to do was draft it out on graph paper as it didn’t quite match any of the designs in my pattern library, then get knitting! It’s surprisingly hard to find lace motifs based on deciduous trees, possibly because of the popularity of Shetland knitting (not many oaks on Shetland!). I was thrilled to discover a new design called ‘Boscobel’ by Michaela Moores (published by and adapted it for this shawl

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