Category Archives: sample work


International Yarn Day 2018

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Well hello there. Sorry for the absence which was slightly longer than I’d been anticipating but I’m back with a bang. As you know I’m a big fan of shopping local and love my local wool & fabric shop Gold … Continue reading


Week 1: #the100dayproject

I thought I’d show you my progress on the 100 day project the I mentioned in my last post. So far I’m enjoying the challenge of creating different circles every day although, as I work irregular hours, it can be … Continue reading


Sew happy

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A quick entry to let you see some of the flowers I’ve made since learning how to make them the other week (see last blog entry). If this ice & snow doesn’t let up soon I think my home might … Continue reading

Book Binding Taster

There was a wonderful book event held over Friday and Saturday this weekend in Glasgow called Glasgow International Artists Bookfair ( where art met bookbinding in an amazing way.

I love the feel of a book and am definitely sold on the way one is presented compared with another but never really thought about how they are put together.

This weekend was an eye opener as there were so many styles of books on display. From tiny to huge, journals to novels. Like most visitors I was drawn to the large books with creatures coming out of every page like an adult version of a pop-up book. The Jacob’s Ladder style is also fascinating.

So it was with a bit of in trepidation I booked up for a taster workshop on basic single book binding. The session was run by Owl & Lion of Edinburgh ( and the hour & a half just ran away.

We were taken through the process of preparing the book (we made mini notebooks) and then shown 4 different ways to bind them. It was amazing to hear that when learning their art a master binder will make the students cut paper all day to learn the technique; this can last years and only when the master is happy can they progress to book binding machines!

As I enjoy sewing this was fun and we ended up with 4 small booklets and I think I’d like to learn more about this craft. It would be lovely to give friends personal notebooks, play with materials and threads as well as to use for displaying sample work.

So I’m going to look at my pennies and seriously think about doing their short course as it would be lovely to try some of the other techniques like Japanese Stab Binding and traditional leather binding.

The dark art of crochet

You know how it is… it’s a long, long winter and you’re itching to do something… anything… and along comes a friend (let’s call her “Ashley”) who promises to teach you to crochet.

“I can handle that!” I say to myself

Oh how wrong I was. Crochet you see is a dark art. Practiced (and learnt) in dingy corners of coffee shops around the world.

So there I was with other people waiting to be converted by “Ashley” and learn the ancient dark art. What I wasn’t expecting was to be hooked, if you pardon the pun, and now I want to learn more. My first effort was sad to say the least

But undeterred I took a hook home and played with some wool. This time I felt a bit more confident… yes the dark art was starting to affect me 

And now I’m trying out another piece which might become a scarf. Admittedly one with wonky tensions and with no variation in style as I only know one type of stitch.

 So what now? Well I’ve been in touch with “Ashley” again and I believe my next lesson it to make circles and squares, but only if I buy her a large pot of tea.

I’m excited but scared as this dark art might take over.

Don’t do it kids!

inspiration for circles

As well as blogging about my work as a way to work out what I want to do next I also enjoy getting inspiration from other bloggers, artists and crafters. Once I work out how to add a list of blogs I love I’ll add them to this and share them with you.

There are two who have inspired me for my latest sample. The first is a Glasgow based artist called Helen Shaddock. She has done a series of work with circles and I love the way there is a structure but within it is some randomness. In July she put some of her rough drafts for the work on her blog

The other person is Karen Ruane who is an amazing embroiderer. She is based in England and her cut out work (and puffs!) are sublime. One entry on her blog I love is

So back to my sample. As you probably already know I really love texture as much if not more than shapes and have combined both in a piece of sample work I have just finished which I’ve just entitled circles. Through simple manipulation of the material by using different stitching techniques the piece is transformed.

circles 1dcircles 1

Here are some close-ups of the work

circles 1bcircles 1ecircles 1a

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out especially as i had a bit of a nightmare trying to stop the voile from fraying too much before I finished.

Right…what’s next?

cut out sample work

Apart from getting hot & bothered about M&S I’ve been beavering away attempting some material manipulation. I’ve never tried cut out work before and thought it was about time I had a go.

My first attempt was a mix of even weave material with ribbon under it. I wanted to see how everything would fit together and thought using the even weave would be the best as a trial.

cut out 1

 I then got a bit more adventurous and shaped the material below while embellishing the top with hundreds of french knots (yes I have got a bit obsessed with french knots).

cut out 2

I then wondered what the effect would be to use material and threads all of the same colour. The close up below shows how the top material is almost  as tight and curly as a sheep but even using the same colour through the use of texture it creates depth. The photo below that is of the full sample to me it reminds me of a treasure island map…or maybe that’s just my imagination.cream 1cream 1c

And now I’m getting more adventurous. 3 circles in one strip of material. I’m still not sure how it will end but am having fun just letting it take shape as I work it.cut out 3

cut out 3a