15* Potential Projects :)

I thought I would just share with you my stash of gorgeous antique lace and crocheted doilies. Over the next lifetime few months I will be transforming these fabulous fabrics with embroidered art.

Why yes, I am keeping it real with my excellent brand of camera-phone photography. You can see in most of these my foot-long ruler which gives you an idea of all the different shapes and sizes I have to work with.

It’s true that some of these aren’t really doilies. We also have some antimacassars, place mats, handkerchiefs I suppose. I’m not fussy. They are all however pretty old (1940s-1960s), all very fine linen or cotton, and all hand made/embellished with a variety of traditional techniques – Mountmellick work, crochet, hand lace…

This one in particular I’m really inspired by – 9 teeny panels to do embroideries on, all linked by beautiful crochet. What do you think I should do? I’m thinking either a series of tiny poisonous mushrooms and plants, or a series of anatomical studies? Framing this one up is going to be an absolute bum hole though.  Any ideas any of you embroiderers? I thought maybe I’ll need to tack the whole thing to another piece of fabric and put the whole thing in a slat frame, so I will be stitching through two layers of material?

Nice cross stitch on this one. I remember reading a blog of someone I admire a lot who was berated quite rudely by some commenters who felt it was absolute arrogant sacriledge to ‘defile’ her collection of vintage embroidered tablecloths, by cutting them up and making them into patchwork quilts. She quite rightly in my humble opinion said firstly they are are rotting in a drawer and this way they have a new life (I hate the word upcycling), and second – really? there are far worse things in the world to get upset about.

Not sure if I can or will do anything with this little one as the panel is kind of embellished itself.

First up this weekend I think I am going to do a full skeleton on one of the long thin ones.

*17 really as I have doubles of 2 of them. I may do a pair!

Who is Mother Eagle?

Hello all,

Just a quick post to invite you to check out the new ‘Who is Mother Eagle‘ page on this blog. I have had this story rolling around in my head for a few months really and she has finally become fully formed, a muse for my embroidery work and a thread to tie all my creativity together. I hope you enjoy.

Also, as coincidence would have it, you can also read more about the Mother Eagle business over on Etsy, as those clever people have just created a new feature available for all sellers. So do please take a look.

Finally, I have had my March Hare piece featured on the lovely &Stitches blog…so go there too.

Off for egg and chips now.

First day

First day

I can’t remember where I read it recently but it was about genii and how they are mischevious and trapped in the lamp because of this. When you get them out they are so relieved they grant you three wishes but always find a loophole which allows them to cause more naughtiness. So, in this version, the farmer says ‘I never want to work again!’ and the genii removes his legs. That sort of thing. Careful what you wish for.

Today was my first day *officially* working on Mother Eagle.

Tougher day than I thought. Gonna have to get really good at being disciplined about what I need to achieve. I feel like this time I have carved out for myself is so precious and I don’t want to waste a second. Not that I haven’t done a thing all day that hasn’t been Eagle-related, it’s just that there’s so much you can get wrapped up in and suddenly an hour has gone and your ‘to do’ list is still no further forward.

Here’s what I did get done:

Set up my workspace.

Set up my inspiration board. And stuck up my pod-washing line!

I also experimented with taking photos of my latest makes, found some free photo editing programmes to polish up my crap photography skills, joined a couple of Etsy teams, and tried to understand what tumblr is and should I have one (should I?)

I also listened to a lot of Nicki Minaj, stared out the window a lot, and got quite cross and feeling like I am not being productive with my scattergun approach to working. I always thought discipline is something I was quite good at but it looks like I need to get better. I then got dismayed at the still zero sales in my shop and the fact that I haven’t done any fine embroidery work for ages too. AND need to blog.

So, this isn’t so much a roundabout way of saying ‘careful what you wish for’ – I am SO happy to be in the position I find myself today (especially as I have a technicolour throat infection ad LOVING the fact I’ve been able to sip hot tea and gargle thyme oil all day) – more that, like all the best gifts in life, it will take a heap of commitment to master my new lifestyle I think.

Not TOO tenuous a link to Aladin is it?

Oh, hello. Let me tell you all about it.

Oh, hello. Let me tell you all about it.

Dover Images


I’m back. I’ve been blogging a lot more lately after a nearly seven months gap since you last heard from me. There is a reason. Let me get a cup of tea and tell you all about it and what I’ve been up to.

So, I finally finished my Aromatherapy diploma case studies back in April and sent off the whole 18-months-worth of work to be marked. Which it was, and I got my shiny (not really shiny, papery really) certificate, insurance and all that aromatic jazz. But some spooky timing was afoot and, without going in to all the details, I had the opportunity to go for a job at the place I worked that I had always quite fancied. Now I was in a little bit of a pickle because although I USED  to quite fancy it, at this point I was fed up with working for someone else and felt ready to be more of a self-employed person. So this chance came along at a weird time.

Nevertheless I went for it anyway and got the job, knowing that unless I tried it I would always wonder ‘what if’.

Well, I tried it. And you know what? I didn’t like it.

Not that I couldn’t do it. Not that I wasn’t good at it. Not that I couldn’t cope with it. Actually some days I couldn’t cope with it.

I just didn’t like it.

Here’s what changed when I took the job:

  • Monday’s I’d leave for London, come home on Thursday night most weeks.

  • Stopped blogging

  • Stopped sewing

  • Didn’t do aromatherapy for anyone

  • Stopped eating healthy

  • Stopped cooking and eating dinner with my husband

  • Stopped feeling inspired

It’s not that anyone else stopped me from doing these things. I stopped myself from doing these things. By the choice I made to do the big girl’s job in London.

So I quit.

And you know what? It was the most empowering thing I ever did. I felt really powerful. Because I wasn’t giving something up, I was making a positive choice in my life and taking control.  I realised I hadn’t felt in control for a long time.

Here’s what else I learnt about me:

  • I am ready to be self employed.

  • Doing something ‘important’ only makes you happy if it’s important to you.

  • My family and friends really really believe in me more than I believe in myself sometimes, so I should listen to them.

So,  I’ll be spending a lot more time with you, including telling you all about what my little craftiness has been up to (not completely idle).

Here’s my new daily ‘to do’ list to keep my inspired:

1. Read my blogs.

2. Read at least one ‘Give Up Your Day Job’ post on Etsy blog.

3. Come up with an idea for a blog post.

4. Make something.

5. Take a photo of something beautiful and inspiring, or pin it.

6. Ask the Universe for help.

Here’s some inspiring words. 

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” — John Lennon