Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lost in the Landscape

I'm working on a wall hanging for a converted barn. Looking for inspiration I gaze out of my window at Haworth and the surrounding Pennine fells. Mostly when I look out I am checking the weather but when I really open my eyes I see an ever-changing landscape of textures and colours: dark peaty browns, lush mossy greens, the yellow ochre of lichens and the vibrant purples of bilberries and heather.

I notice how the dry stone walls define and shape the land. These 500 year old monuments provide a tangible link with our predecessors and much needed shelter for a myriad of creatures and plants living there today.

This will be my starting point.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Fruitful ideas

Wondering what I've been doing since January? Well here it is..... The Bilberry Tree is the name that my friend Helen and I have given our new creative partnership.
We want to share the fun we have making fabulous goodies and gifts with the rest of you. Craft parties are our thing... get together with your best friends and have a day making, sewing, cooking. It's much better for you than a spa day!
Why not take a look at our web site We're also teaching workshops at Texere Yarns for more details go to

Friday, 15 January 2010

My Creative Roots

A number of things have happened recently that have set me thinking about my creative roots. Firstly my friend and creative partner, Helen wrote a moving piece in her blog about her mother's hands and of all the skills that she has taught her. More recently, my local branch of the Embroiderer's Guild challenged members to search for some textile-related family heirloom so I started digging around in various boxes and bags that I have inherited from both my mother and paternal grandmother. Amongst the collections of buttons, safety pins and assorted needles, I found some vintage lace rescued by my grandma and some hand turned straps left over from my wedding dress that had been made with love and skill by my mother. I felt an intense connection with both women who had taught me so much.

So when I was asked to design and make a wall hanging for a home with a very strong sense of family my thoughts immediately turned to my own family and how they have influenced and supported me on my creative journey.

My family have strong tradition of craft skills: cabinet maker, upholsterer, seamstress, engineer. From them I have been imbued with a love of making things with my hands, a curiosity for unusual materials and desire to create beautiful objects. These people have taught me, encouraged me and allowed me the freedom to make my own choices.

Follow my journey as I explore these themes and see where they lead me.