Tag Archives: Lyndsay McBean

Little Bessie and the History of March


I’m listening to some late night 6music and looking back at five years worth of writing in and about March. Patterns emerge and there are constant threads, dreams and hopes. So as this year’s vernal equinox heralds another spring on Witchmountain I can see that March has traditionally been a bit of a monster as well as a thing of great excitement and optimism.Pick me up and shoot me down seems to be the constant refrain! This year I have been told by the estate that my long running fantasy of running a small business from the roadside building (see previous March posts) is “not viable” but today I have also been offered a greenhouse on Freecycle so it seems that the glass is neither half full nor half empty but precariously balanced in an uncomfortable limbo on the edge of the bar.


Meanwhile I am becoming Charlotte Lucas from “Pride and Prejudice” . My little flock of bantam chicks now includes three new little people… one of whom I had to fashion corrective boots for as it had “spraddle” legs. I cut a bright pink sticking plaster up and made a kind of splint to hold its silly legs in the right position – it worked thank goodness, but the poor thing did spend a couple of days falling flat on its face like a drunk. So, there you are, the perfect Spring thing for Spring Equinox 2014.


I’m still busy making all sorts of festival things including these feathery, flowery crowns and hair accessories. Some of the fabrics are from a bag of lovely print and dye samples my college friend Carl brought me when we met up earlier in the week. We spent a good few hours drinking green tea in Costa ( sorry but I’m a bit down on independant coffee shops in Northallerton at the moment…the feeling is mutual I’m sure), putting the world to rights and planning our belated takeover of the surface pattern design world….keep your eye on Fold Creative. , Carl is very talented and deserves a break.


Lyndsay McBean was there too,taking a break from design work to be a mummy to her super cute baby Noah. I feel like an honorary granny, and even dusted off the old baby boot pattern to make him a pair out of a rather posh woolen throw that I’d accidentally felted in the wash! It’s been a good week for keeping in touch with old friends and meeting little new ones.


So much to write about, but it’s nearly tomorrow and I need to test the apricot jam I just made ( with a hot buttered crumpet) before going to my nest to read and find another dream to replace this one. Oh, before I forget…an artist friend is doing something similar here in the North York Moors. Opening soon, the Lockton Tea Rooms and Gallery looks like it will be wonderful so if you get a chance to visit, pop in and say Hi to Janilaine and Kevin. Good luck with the new venture you two.


If anyone knows how Little Bessie did it please drop me a line … x




The Elves and the Shoemaker

As I write this I am still doped up on Ibuprofen and and wearing a very cozy heat pack on my poorly neck.Its been frustrating to be physically hobbled just as I was starting to enjoy a bit of fresh air and exercise( actually I blame the exercise!) . But being unable to go to work at the pub has also freed me to be more creative.I’ve been getting carried away making these little baby slippers which are cute as pie. I wish I had had the time to make some for my own babies before they grew giant feet!

I’m now starting to worry that my supply of old cream wool blankets is running low and the grey (fake) lambskin was given to me by a college friend, so I will have to go on a materials hunt soon. I want to make the soles non slip without using leather, any ideas?

This week I’ve also been listing a few new things on Etsy. Trouble is there is so much I want to make but I don’t think my workspace (or my mind) is organized enough! I wish I had a spare room so that things could be left out without the risk of a pin in the pasta…

Anyway, at the moment I’m feeling quite energetic as far as the creative side of things goes; just annoyed that I will soon have to down tools and drag my aching neck/shoulder/arm to work lifting plates of steak and kidney!Time to become more disciplined and make a huge effort to earn some money through my little stitching fingers! Oh that reminds me, Rachel Powell has just set up Thread which is a new site for members of the North East Fashion Network. Have a look and get signed up if you want to be part of the “happening” scene up here in the North!

Just time to thank Lyndsay McBean , talented poster and card designer, for her kind blog post about my little boots!Spread the Love ( as it says on Marmite jars)  x

Heavy Skies

Last week I got caught in the most amazing storm as I drove home across the moor, the light was fantastic…rainbows and sheets of hail in a sky that looked like an angry bruise.As usual I curse my poor photographic skills; it would have been impossible to catch the beautiful, translucent mountains of clouds with my phone’s camera and I really shouldn’t have been looking at them while I was driving anyway.

Talking of photography and phones though, I have been getting very jealous of the pictures Lyndsay McBean has been taking with her iPhone. Apparently its an application called “Hipstamatic” that makes everything look a bit lovely and vintage. Here is her picture of Saltburn Pier (© Lyndsay McBean 2010)

Meanwhile, although things are slowly springing to life outside ,the inspiration and self confidence is still at an all time low, so yet again, apologies for having no new work to show you.Instead I will point you in the direction of Cork Street for part 3 of “Tillyer Season”… Watercolours. I’m looking forward to seeing this exhibition on Thursday at the Private View, and will be adding a copy of the beautiful book by John Yau to my birthday wish list !

(Listening to: “Lost and Found” Steve Mason. Reading: Last week’s paper)

Kitchen Confidential

Here is the corner of my kitchen with pin-board and wine crate bookshelf. Sometimes it feels as though my whole world has shrunk to just this room and the ever changing view from the window…today mostly obscured by misty condensation. This time last year it was getting ready to snow but hopefully this year it’ll wait awhile…at least till I sort out why the car is rattling and find some hay for the ponies!

Today I have been catching up with Lyndsay McBean and wondering yet again if we’ve all been heading in the right direction. College now seems SO long ago.Lyndsay has been working on her online portfolio at Carbonmade so lets hope lots of job offers come flooding in :@); I particularly like her nightclub promotion posters…

The Zillah Bell Gallery e-mailed me yesterday because they had been sent a piece of my work by Les Prince. A nice surprise and beyond the call of duty ( he really is a remarkable man). So anyway, I think its going to be in their Christmas exhibition which opens with a private view tomorrow night. I also finally got around to contacting a few other galleries ; so I’m kind of hoping that in the new year things may start to look a bit brighter.

Well, the stove is almost out and the last dregs of coffee have turned to syrup in the pan so I’d better head up the apples and pears to bed. I finished reading “About a Boy” by Nick Hornby this morning ,which means I’m heading back to the magical world of Tove Jansson and “The True Deceiver” . Then what? Any ideas?

Yes, But Is It Art?…

Its a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky, but the man on the radio says its going to get “disappointing” later.Oh well, its a good job I plan to spend the day working on some more designs and embroidery samples; the jungle outside will have to wait.

Here are some drawing sheets inspired by the Wiener Werkstätte. I love the textiles and jewelry of this period , and of course the painting of Gustav Klimt…is the Liverpool exhibition still on I wonder?

Talking of painting, next week sees the opening of William Tillyer’s new exhibition “The Cadiz Caprices” at Bernard Jacobson Gallery,Cork Street, London. It runs from September 12- October 11 and we’re all looking forward to the private view and a family weekend in the city to celebrate! The paintings look great, imposing creations inspired by a summer spent in Cadiz. I will try to get hold of an image to show you but until then have a look at www.Tillyer.com.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to Tigerprint for putting a piece about this blog (and my friend Lyndsay McBean‘s) on their blog which meant I got loads of visitors yesterday and I’d like to say how much I appreciate people taking the time to look. Its especially welcome living in a place like this which could easily feel very isolated!

Sorry about the quality of the photograph, I took it with my phone, driving home one day, because the cloud was so heavy you could almost touch it and there was a patch of sunlight lighting up the distance.Amazing…but a lesson to always carry a decent camera!

808 State

I’ve been trying to get enthusiastic about Illustrator by printing out my feeble early attempts on to silk and then stitching into them. I’ve also bought a book and had a little lesson from my brother who directed me to Veerle’s blog which has some tutorials by an artist/graphic designer specializing in Illustrator.I’m looking forward to seeing what Lyndsay McBean has been up to at Hallmark, she sounds like she’s been having a good time and learning some new stuff so I’m starting to be quite excited about my week there from the 18th of this month.

Digging out some images to post I can’t help thinking “handmade” is a much more satisfying way to work…if only there were money in it. I think I need to find a way of expressing the subtle qualities from my hand-done pieces in CAD work, this probably involves YEARS of practice and makes me even more amazed that we were never shown Illustrator at college.

Here’s my chair in the garden, just waiting for a sunny day and a big pot of coffee.

What Now?

Goodness how time flies; I can’t believe its only just over a week since the end of Final Major Project. Already quite a few people have had job offers, including Lyndsey McBean whose work you can see on her blog and also at deviantART.
I went in to college today for a talk on “Intellectual Property”, so now I know all about Starbuck’s logo and why Coca-Cola changed their recipie but I’m still pretty much in the dark about what to do about finding some work and paying the bills! Anyway, I took advantage of the college computers to upload some pictures which means I can keep writing this blog for a while longer.( Anyone still out there???) I’ve also joined a group on “Ning” called Stichin Fingers which has been set up as a discussion forum for textile people…it may be interesting, too early to tell yet.
Bear of the day is my favorite print sample which I had originally intended to make up into a dress rather than just a “garment shape”…I now wish I had done that because then it would be possible to sell it in the future, perhaps on Etsy.This image shows the print before the addition of some raised embroidery in bright greens. The other image is another portfolio board showing work from First Year based on carousels, maps and caravans.