Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A Royal Tea Party

Like many places in the UK, our village is having a Jubilee party. We're holding a big village picnic on our recreation ground on Monday with music, games, a crown parade and a big raffle to raise money so that all of the children in the village will receive a souvenir of the Jubilee

So I made a tea cosy as a raffle prize...

well, actually I made two tea cosies. One for the raffle and one for my shop

I thought that after my desperate plee to get you to buy my Jubilee books (Thank you so much... only one left!) I might add some other items... starting with a tea cosy.

So here it is... still going with the Jubilee theme, a pretty pink and blue tea cosy.

Fully lined and with a thermal inter-lining it is perfect for bringing a regal touch to your afternoon tea. It is one of only two that will ever be made and it is in my shop now and you would have to come to our tea party and buy a raffle ticket to stand a chance of owning the other one!

On a different note, thank you all for the lovely messages about the phone box and the exhibition! I'm back there again all day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


It was a long day in London yesterday most of which I seemed to spend at the top of a ladder with a screwdriver in hand.

My phone box was delivered and assembled in the morning by Greg and his son from Retrospective Displays. I cannot recommend this company enough for the swift and professional service they have provided... not to mention the totally amazing phone box!

Freshly painted red and looking just like the real thing (but a fraction of the weight) but unlike the real cobwebs or lingering smell of wee!

My work was quickly installed and then the rest of the day was spent with an great team of people hanging other work and generally getting things shipshape for the opening this morning.

There is an amazing range of textile inspired art on display as well as a fabulous range of goodies available from the shop.

Hidden Places - Hidden Spaces
29th May - 2nd June from 10am daily
The Mall Galleries
The Mall, London SW1

Private View is from 6 - 9 pm this evening.
Maybe see you there?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Buy my Books!!!

Six little unique jubilee books listed this week...

but only one sold!

Come on you guys....

There must at least five of you out there who would like one of these unique little souvenirs? Or one one person who would like five?


Because I don't want them... even though they are very special and unique and beautiful etc. I made them for you!

It's been a super weekend so far, teaching machine embroidery at Missenden Abbey (yeh!! No books!) and I'm about to get ready to have breakfast before our final day. It would be lovely to come home and find these books have sold. Have I achieved the right tone of desperation here???

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Pink Stars

Tomorrow sees the last class in what has been a six week run of twice weekly book making classes.

I've really enjoyed teaching book making which has been a pleasant diversion from machine embroidery, although I admit that when I signed up to teach these classes I had no idea that I would be embarking all the miniature books at the same time.

As a result I'm a bit "booked out". But we are finishing the class with an enjoyable little book structure... a star book.

Made with multi-coloured nesting pages that open out...

like a star!

This morning I set about making another one.

Pretty pink and purple pages

nestled inside covers decorated with roses and held together with a silk ribbon.

But what the photos don't show is that this one is barely 3cm x 4.5 cm and fits inside a matchbox.

One more closer to my target!
Don't forget those jubilee books are still up for grabs... with another one added to the shop each day until Monday!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


I'm feeling very virtuous today after my healthy breakfast of homemade muesli with fresh fruit, yoghurt and sunflower seeds...

Which is just as well really... because I also made a huge stack of pecan brownies of which I have eaten rather a few too many.

Today's book is listed in my Etsy shop so maybe if it sells I'll have an excuse to walk to the post office and burn off a few calories...

before I have another brownie!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Flying the Flag

In just one week I will be in London to hang my work in the PRISM exhibition "Hidden Places, Hidden Spaces" which opens at the Mall Galleries on Tuesday 29th May. The telephone kiosk has been hired, the work is ready to hang and for three months I have been making and selling miniature books to help fund this venture. Even if I get to my target of a total of 100 books I will not have completely covered my costs! But it will be very exciting to see it all come together at last.

So fund raising has not finished yet. In addition to the original edition of 50 books I am also making 20 Jubilee books, half to sell in the exhibition shop and half to sell on Etsy - some of which you will already have seen. This weekend I decided to have a marathon effort and finish off the Jubilee ones.

And here they all are... stitched books with beaded spines.

Flag books with folded envelopes and coloured pages.

Folded blizzard books. Each one unique.

And each one encased in its own unique matchbox.

And as a result each day from now until the start of the exhibition I will be listing a new Jubilee book for sale in my Etsy shop. Today's book is there now*. And if you miss one of those, there will be another ten books available at the PRISM shop next week. As for me, I'm cracking on with the rest of the custom orders for miniature books, planning what form the final 30 books will take and dreaming of the day when I wake up and don't have any more to make!

* This one has now sold but come back tomorrow for the next one!

Saturday, 19 May 2012


I always relish the chance of a train journey into London. A chance to do a bit of knitting...

... And catch up with some reading, which was all the more enjoyable now my Kindle has a beautiful new case from Rebecca. I always feel guilty if I take time out to knit or read during the day as they both feel like evening activities but a train journey eliminates that guilt.

And of course when that train journey leads to meeting friends at the V & A, tea and scones in the members room and a chance to see some rather amazing ballgowns...

... it makes for a perfect Friday.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Although it is wonderful to have another project to look forward to (and thank you so much everyone who has either given or sent me embroidered linens... it has made the job so much easier) but there are still a fair number of books to be made first. It was inevitable that some would be for special occasions such as significant birthdays.

There are a couple that are for fabulous fifty year olds.

Blizzard books, silk covered boxes, embroidery, ribbon and lace.

and another for a sensational sixty year old...

with more silks and ribbons and lace.

But I've only been asked to make one book to celebrate a wedding, although it my be my new favourite so far.

A lace covered folding book with pockets to hold little tags with
 "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" encased in a lace covered matchbox with its own bouquet of flowers.

And should you by any chance want to own one of these little books of your own there is just one more in the etsy shop

Monday, 14 May 2012

A New Project

Much as I am enjoying the challange of creating all the little matchbox books it is good to have a new project to work on. Last week I met with some people from The Folk Museum in Cambridge to discuss a project to coincide with both the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic torch passing through the city.

The people at the museum are collecting memories of street parties from Cambridge residents and I have been asked to help turn those memories into bunting. I decided that using old embroidered table linen would provide the link with the theme of tea parties and I would embroider snippets of each memory onto the flags.

Each one will have the date and the place and a few other key words to capture the essence of the memory.

But I need some help. My supply of table linens is quite sparse, the charity shops etc have next to nothing, I have a limited budget and I know that it is in high demand... so I'm on the scrounge again! If any readers have any scraps of old embroidered table linens that I could use could I make a plea that you send them my way. I don't want your treasured heirlooms or anything of any value sentimental or otherwise but any pieces or scraps, in any condition, whether stained or in holes will be perfect as I will be piecing them together. I know you have always been so supportive of my projects in the past... so I've got my fingers crossed.

It's been a busy weekend - teaching on Saturday and then a large part of yesterday spent making the bunting samples to show the museum so there hasn't been as much book making as I might have hoped. Just one...

My brief was Blue and Green... Sea colours

So I made an embroidered cover for the box and the book is a tiny flag book with folded envelopes to hold the pages. I've a couple more to make with blue as the theme so I might work on those next... as well as some more of the Jubilee books. The ones in my shop have sold (thank you!) so I'll try to get some more there by the end of the week.

And last but not least... Su has been picked to receive "The Fine Colour of Rust". All I ask Su is that is you also pass it on when you've read it and make your own list of Pleasing Things for us to read!