Sunday, 30 December 2012

tote bag

Merry Christmas everyone! I can reveal a couple of things I made as presents now that they've been given. I got this lovely fabric from The Sewing Shop in Canterbury with an idea to make a few gifts. Always less guilt felt buying yet more fabric when altruism is involved!

I made two reversible tote bags with some linen on the other side. A made up pattern heavily influenced by the lovely makesomething blog and flickr site, and by Hiroko's beautiful embroidered bags.

Happy New Year!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody. Hope you have a wonderful festive season. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Windy Winterland

Windy Winterland is this Friday. If you are in the Whitstable area, come along to Windy Corner for a festive Christams Market. It was so much fun last year!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Pop-up Christmas shop

I'm just finishing off some work for this Pop-up Shop I'm taking part in. If you are in Whitstable over the next couple of days, please pop in for lovely handmade gifts... ceramics, jewellery, paintings, vintage textiles, embroidery, knitting, baubles, mulled wine and mince pies!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

timber for knits

My friend's son Adam is about to become a dad for the first time. He's a landscape designer and is always off loading leftover materials at his mum's place. I was eyeing up some timber planks and we struck a deal... a car load in exchange for some baby knits.

This is another sprinkle... such a lovely pattern. It's from the Juju's Loops knitting book. I made another one a while back.

I have in mind to build a wendy house up at the allotment for Betty. It should keep her occupied, giving me a little more time for digging. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

liberty babycord dress

We headed to the beach this morning for a chilly photo shoot... a little dress hot off the sewing machine.

It's Burda 9503, and the fabric is some beautiful Liberty babycord I got from the Fabrics Galore stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show. Their stand (or stands, as they had two this year) was amazing! The most exciting fabrics at discount prices. They have a shop in South London too.

There aren't really that many long sleeved dress patterns around. I hadn't used a Burda Pattern before and found it a little unclear at times... I ad-libbed a bit on the button placket and I messed up the sleeve cuffs, but hey, I don't think it looks too bad! I've already cut out another version in some different fabric.

(Don't worry, we headed indoors for hot chocolate straight after).

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I have a new workshop! Or just the shell really. Before I can move in and get making it needs insulating, lining, wiring up, painting and equipping.

It takes up a considerable chunk of the garden but it will mean that my current workshop which is the conservatory, will become part of the house again. 

I'm planning on installing a 'living roof' on the section facing the house. It's the only bit of the garden you can see from upstairs. Wouldn't it look lovely planted up with sedums and thrifts?

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

happy halloween

Carving our home grown pumpkins. Maggoty cupcakes. Squirrel suit made by tracing round her all-in-one rain suit and adding tufty ears and a huge tail. The rather unnerving Professor Pan, resident all week at Windy Corner. The kids seem unfazed by him but the builders working round the corner coming in for their bacon butties looked a little unsure. Halloween shock of the day: thinking your daughter is on fire, before realising there's a dry ice machine under her chair!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

there's a profiterole shaped hole in my life

I wonder what's going to fill the hole in my life now that The Great British Bake Off has finished...? Maybe some profiteroles!! Totally inspired by the baking talent, I made choux pastry for the first time and created this croquembouche for my friend Julie's birthday. Filled with creme patisserie, dipped in chocolate and stuck together with caramel. I can't help but want to go bigger and higher!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

drawstring bag

Betty's first day at nursery was this morning. She was remarkably unfazed by it all and although she didn't join in everything, she managed not to hide her head in her hands and groan as all the other children danced away to a nursery rhyme cd.

To prepare myself for the momentous day, I made her this drawstring bag. She's incredibly pleased with it.

I used this free online tutorial, and appliqued a cat on each side with some Kaffe fabric scraps.

What did I do with my two free hours? I did some digging on my near by allotment, whilst obsessively checking my phone. 

Monday, 17 September 2012


Yeah! Sacrilege came to town!

Jeremy Deller's bouncy Stonehenge arrived for one day on Tankerton Slopes as part of the Whitstable Biennale. One and a half hours of glorious bouncing fun. There were lots of tears as we left, followed 30 seconds later by a deep, deep sleep.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

paralympic utopia

We spent Monday evening and Tuesday at the Paralympics. What an incredible and humbling experience! We watched the athletics in the stadium on Monday: I screamed myself hoarse cheering on Mickey Bushell as he won gold in the men's 100m T53. The men's F42 (amputee) high jump final was unbelievable, and we saw the men's 1500m T11 final (visually impaired runners running with guides).  

the velomdrome

We walked into the park in the evening, carried along on the flow of excitement coming from the crowds and from the wonderful volunteers. Unsentimental and cynical as I am, I was surprised to find myself welling up, as I glimpsed a kind of wonderful utopia where ability/disability, race and age were immaterial. 

The following day we explored the park... beautiful planting, lots of space to flop down in the grassy shade, clean spacious toilets with no queues! Plenty of alternatives to MacDonalds, stunning architecture... Another pleasant surprise was the music, both in the stadium and in the park... The Cure, The Jam, The Kinks, The Pixies, Teenage Fanclub and Joy Division. A refreshing alternative to anthemic rock and Hey Jude!

All in all, a wonderful experience!

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Oh! I do love swapsies! And I've done particularly well with this haul! All from my friend Jade who lives in West Wales, and is a forager and creator of amazingly delicious preserves and food stuffs made with the produce she finds. She passed by on her annual visiting spree yesterday, and in return for two wonky mugs I got all this!

Elderflower and Wild Rose Cordial, Rose Petal Syrup, Preserved Crabapples, Wild Garlic and Laver Salt, Rose Petal Vinegar and Pickled Marsh Samphire.

Have a look at her website, Wild Pickings. I would love to go on one of her foraging courses. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

last night's pictures

Show of Hands private view

What a lovely evening! Lots of great people, delicious food and drink and the rain held off!

Thank you to everyone who came and made it such a great night!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Open for business!

We are open!

What fun, setting up shop with three such lovely girls!

 Looking forward to our private view on Friday evening!

Friday, 17 August 2012

yellow bobble bowls

I'm pleased with these intensely yellow bowls fresh from the kiln.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

pop-up shop

I have a lot of work to finish! We have a Pop-up shop for a week starting next Wednesday. There'll be four of us. Myself, Karen, Hiroko and Zoe. It's in the Show Off Gallery on Harbour Street in Whitstable, and we shall be having a private view on Friday evening. Come along if you can! I'm really looking forward to it. If I could only manage to make things without a last minute panic! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

oddment granny square blanket

I always have a bit of a problem getting the last bits of a project finished. I was steaming ahead with this blanket at a rate of 4 or 5 squares a day... Should have been finished within a month. It ground to a halt once I had joined all the squares and was faced with weaving in all the ends. It's been languishing in a basket for weeks. I finally tackled it over a few evenings, and this morning I was able to block it. Done!

The project was originally conceived as a way to use up some of my huge stash of oddments and half balls. It's mostly double knit (with a little bit of 4 ply doubled up), and machine washable. The off white border colour is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino dk.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

scissor skirt

Another skirt for myself finished. I cut the pieces out over two years ago and they've sat in a drawer ever since. Spurred on by the success of my cloud skirt, I cracked on and got this one completed.
The pattern is New Look 6594. (It's hard to ignore the revolting picture on the front of the packet, but do). Again, a very easy one to follow. I do prefer the cloud skirt pattern (Simplicity 2226) to this one though, mainly for the fact it has pockets.

The lovely border print fabric I got from Superbuzzy. Bit naughty, as it costs so much to have it shipped from America.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

camping... and the British summer

We've been camping in Devon for a week.

Surely the wettest, coldest July ever...

But we stuck it out, and really did have a lovely time.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

liberty blouse

I made this with the intention of keeping the sun off Betty. Have we had any sun? Nope.

It's a made up pattern that closely copies a favourite top of hers. I simply drew around the bodice pieces, enlarging them to make a template. The sleeves are slightly tapering rectangles with elasticated cuffs, and the main body is also two rectangles with gathering at the centre. I made my own bias binding with a rather handy little gadget . All we need now is some sun!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Columbia Road

I've been super busy these past few weeks. Lots of pots to make for various orders. Here are some drying in the studio.

Today I delivered some work to the Columbia Road Gallery on Columbia Road, Hackney in London. I fancied going along on a Sunday as that's the day the street is transformed into a flower market. It's a bit crazy but an incredible site to see. Dozens and dozens of plant and flower stalls line the narrow road; the barrow boys chanting "everythin' a fiver!" People squeezing onto buses with armfuls of peonies, and attempting to cram 10-foot banana trees into taxis. There are lovely independent shops of all descriptions along each side, antiques and vintage clothing, cafes, bakeries, skiffle bands. Every inch of space utilised; take away food stalls crammed into stairwells and galleries popping up in corridors. 

Here's the Columbia Road Gallery which is run by hannah Ludnow.

After I had off loaded my pots I thought I deserved a visit next door to Beyond Fabrics, and chose some fabric for a skirt.