Tag Archives: Lindsey Murray

House of Cards


The big news from Witchmountain this week is that I have now got a proper domain name ,courtesy of my lovely brother, and have made a new home for everything at www.witchmountain.co.uk. Here you will find links to Etsy, Facebook and this blog ,all in one place.Its not an actual website yet but was built using Flavors.me  which so far seems pretty good and makes me feel a bit more organised! ( Virtually organised… my real life is all still like a cupboard that won’t stay shut and has old pans,boxes, jumpers and magazines spilling out of it whenever you open the door)

So, its June on the North York Moors which means I am sitting in the kitchen with the stove blazing, wearing two pairs of socks and a woolly jumper. The garden is a bit confused but generally thankful for the torrential rain. I’ve been busy this week making the card stands I’d bought and sorting out a few things which a good friend in the village has offered to take to an event tomorrow. “Roots Farm Shop” is holding a charity open day  where you can not only buy my cards and Fran’s jewellery but also have a ride in a helicopter or a tractor . So if you fancy playing at being in The Archers, Roots is the place to be  on Sunday!

I’m really pleased with these flat-pack card stands which should make future events a lot easier. Trouble is I printed out the front of this one before the birth of  Witchmountain.co.uk . The new batch of cards has now been listed in my Etsy shop which I am slowly re-stocking. I want to get rid of some of my old stock which doesn’t fit with how I want it to look now.

Ooh, I just had an idea!! My friend Lindsey of Nakupenda has been trying to promote her new business in Tanzania “Touch Africa Adventure“. Visit her fantastic website and leave a comment here telling me which “adventure” you would choose. The winner, picked at random on June 21st (Midsummer) will receive one of these purses and another mystery gift ( not a plane ticket I’m afraid!). So spread the word and good luck.

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Looking Back,Moving Forward

Goodbye crispy autumn leaves,Hello winter! Tonight I was meant to be going out on a hot date but plans were foiled by the snow which is still falling quite heavily as I write. It always seems too early but really it pretty much always snows this week or the first week in December ( I just looked at posts from the past two Novembers and have lost my train of thought in remembering and comparing)

One similarity with last year is that I am busy trying to make as much stuff as possible  for a market on Sunday. The event in the village last Friday was so successful that I have almost no kids t-shirts left and not enough time to re-stock. Instead I’ve been making more purses and brooches as well as some metal collage badges with some hand stitching which I’ve really enjoyed making; I’ve even bought another adapter for my badge press so I can make different sizes.

So, perhaps its a good thing that I am trapped in my kitchen with only the radio and the stove for company; I need to sew all night in the hope of making my fortune on Sunday at the Designer’s Market! Slight panic though… my hot date was also meant  to be bringing the shopping ,so coffee is on short rations just in case I can’t get any tomorrow!!

Lindsey Murray will be sharing a table with me and I must say I’m getting really excited about it; even if I don’t make a million I can’t wait to see everyone. I bet I spend more than I make!! I only hope the weather doesn’t cause problems .

Right, I really must get on with something.Oh, but before I go, here is a link to a website I read about in the Guardian at the weekend. YouThoughtWeWouldntNotice is a site dedicated to naming and shaming companies and individuals that have stolen others’ design and artwork.Its really very worrying to read some of the stories (designs stolen from Etsy shops and then mass produced on the cheap), especially after the Claire’s Accessories story I told you about, and almost puts me off publishing any images of my work on the net.

Goodbye for now. x

Autumn Blues

Autumn is probably my favorite season; I will say this in Winter, Spring and Summer too I bet! Nothing compares to the scents and sensations of an Autumn walk through crispy leaves though. I just had to go down to the postbox to get some air and stretch my legs after a morning sewing and listening with slight dread to the Government Spending Revue …

Yesterday I went down to Middlesbrough to meet the people at Zap Creatives who are  a company specializing in laser cutting. I’m hoping to do some work experience with them as well as getting some of my designs cut. I first heard of Zap through Lindsey Murray who has some lovely laser cut brooches in her Etsy shop. Looking at their Facebook page I was interested and infuriated by the news that Claire’s Accessories had “stolen” the artwork of an independent  designer and put it into production; with a tiny alteration. It saddens me that big companies feel the need to do this; even as a freelance designer I was told by one agent to “visit Top Shop and change their design slightly”!! Celebrate originality, buy handmade.

Just look at that BLUE, the colours are amazing and the burnt orange of the dead bracken almost exactly matches the laces on my new shoes!


Well, its nearly time for me to drag myself to work now and hope that my poorly neck holds out during a night of waitressing and bar-tending…

Reading : “The Handmade Marketplace”Kari Chapin, “The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven” Alan Warner.

“Meet on the Ledge”…

The sun came out yesterday and taunted all those who had returned to work after the weekend. August Bank Holiday… cold,wet and windy;so much so that I was driven outside with a roll of gaffer tape to seal up air vents that were rattling wildly and making me crazy. Nevermind, yesterday was so beautiful it almost made up for it. The air was full of Lilies and Sweet-Peas, bees on the Lavender and those Swallows I waited for in April, now gathering on the wires ready to head South.

I’ve been making some sketchbook pages for no reason in particular; drawing,collageing and stitching. The Swallow looks a bit odd, but they just don’t stay still for long enough!

Recently Witchmountain has been living up to its name and talking about real mountains. These pictures were taken from the top of Blencathra in the Lake District where I was all of these things :- cold, wet,tired, terrified, angry, laughing hysterically,elated,emotional and dizzy. We crossed Sharp Edge which felt to me like a cartoon mountain top, all jagged triangles and swirling mist.Luckily it wasn’t until we got back that I realised just how many people had slipped and fallen from the very place I was sitting “a cheval”, like a fool in a pair of ancient green Doc Martens with rainbow laces.

Higher than a passing plane, both literally and metophoricaly, these mini adventures in the beautiful North are the best sort of medicine for a still fragile heart. Ok, enough soppy introspection! if anyone would like to give me a big parcel of money I would very much like to attend this…

I’ve mentioned Nick Bantock before, he lives and works on Vancouver Island and both Lindsey and I are big fans of the Griffin and Sabine trilogy.This exhibition is in Denver so maybe I won’t make it… but one day I will go to that island to meet some bears,do a collage workshop and exorcise some ghosts along the way.

I’m going outside now.

Gathering Moss

Today I am celebrating having running water again on Witchmountain. All the problems with the rams and pipes have made me really appreciate basic things like flushing toilets and drinking water.I felt inspired to look at the Water Aid website, a charity which I think I will be supporting from now on; my week of discomfort was nothing compared to what millions have to put up with every day.

As well as whinging about the water I’ve been visiting beautiful places and being inspired by lovely people.On Wednesday we went to Sledmere House where this sad looking girl was standing in the walled garden gathering moss.The house had an amazing library and a “Turkish” room all done in blue and white tiles. The adjoining Triton Gallery was showing the work of Kane Cunningham whose work is inspired by his house in Scarborough which is gradually falling into the North Sea!

Hmm, this picture is a little blurry, a bit how I feel today!I was meant to be finishing off these brooches and purses but some customers left a rather nice bottle of champagne on their table last night,so…. ( anyway who on earth pays almost £40 for a bottle and then leaves half of it? Goodness!)

So a lazy day but I will get these things done later and also have a go at following Lindsey‘s instructions for preparing a file for the laser cutter.She came up yesterday and showed me her lovely new brooch designs;amazing the tiny detail that the laser can cut out, I really want to have a go as soon as possible.

Until then I am still sewing and using my favorite heat transfer techniques. New greetings cards have been ordered from Moo and I will be giving a set of 3 away in a givaway to be announced in the next few days…

Listening to : Mumford and Sons “Little Lion Man” and 6Music. Reading : “A Tale of 12 Kitchens” Jake Tilson and “My Secret History” Paul Theroux (still! its very good and I don’t want to reach the end)

Typical

Just a quickie today to show you a little corner of my kitchen pin board and express my disappointment that CCAD aren’t participating in the AA2A scheme this year…typical!

On the board you can see the lovely brooch that Lindsey Murray made for my birthday; its laser cut cardboard and I think she’s putting some in her Etsy shop.Beautiful isn’t it? Its got me wanting to do some laser cutting…which I could have if I’d got on that rotten non-existent AA2A thing, grrr.

You can also see a late night doodle of my imaginary dog and a packet of sugar with a useful instruction! x

“These Things Take Time”

I haven’t written for a while, partly because everything technical still seems to be on a go slow and I just haven’t got the patience, partly because that rotten “black dog” got me by the neck and wouldn’t let go. Anyway, who would have thought it would get to be May so quickly! My favorite time of year for flowers, with the woods and hedge banks full of violets, primroses, wood anemone,and lush wild garlic ( bear garlic).

I’ve been busy in the garden trying to make amends for last year; planting vegetables, replacing the rose arch and saddly realising that a lot of things didn’t survive the bad winter.On Beltane Eve (Oidhche Bhealtaine)at about 4am I made a fire and danced about on my own listening to the Essential Mix which is as near as I got to any sort of pagan ritual!

These photographs show two of the sketchbook pages I recently had framed…I’m pleased with them but really really need to do something new and get some confidence back. I saw Lindsey’s blog today and was really impressed by the way her final pieces are coming together. I was also pleased to hear that Carl has been working on a new project as well as doing some work as a technician.

So, thats all for now.Thank you for reading xx

(Reading: “Love etc.” Julian Barnes. Listening to: “Sorrow” The National, “Rubber Ring” The Smiths, “Sweet Disposition” The Temper Trap)