Tag Archives: “We Are Open”

Maps and Legends

Well, I haven’t really been up to much this week  except for readjusting to life now that my little baby daughter has passed her driving test and her A level exams. Suddenly everything is quite different.

I got carried away the other night, making this scrap book page about my holiday. You have to understand I don’t have many holidays and will have to spin this one out as long as I can! I wish I had been doing this kind of thing for years with the kids, they would be so special now…instead we have a disorganized box of photos and drawers full of random “bits” saved from days out.(Thanks to R and Wainwright for the inspiration)

The garden has been steamy and grey today;too hot outside and too cold inside. The “Love-in-a-Mist ” is flowering near the door and I think, probably, they should be the seeds that go in my seed packet gift cards. As I write Jake is trying to sort out my printer problems, without a printer I am a bit lost.

Today I dashed down to Middlesbrough to get my work back from the We Are Open shop.Rachel was telling me about her Folksy shop where she has her eco fabric packs, and we discussed the perils of pricing and publicity. How on earth do you get your product noticed???!!!!

I’ve also been looking at the new blog by Helen from Designer’s Marketplace Surface//Philia will be definitely be getting added to my favorites. Now just time to remind you about the event in aid of Cancer Research at Carlton Outdoor Education Center on Sunday. I’m planning on being there to try and sell some stuff as well as supporting a good cause…its free and looks like fun for all the family!


Counting Crows

Its been a strange and unsettling time, if I was deeply superstitious I’d be getting worried. Driving to work on Tuesday the clouds were so low I could almost touch them. Perhaps disturbed by the approaching storm, I drove through the biggest flock of crows I’ve ever seen…a “murder of crows”? Ominous at the best of times but in such numbers against a gunmetal sky; as usual I didn’t have my camera.

Another odd thing… my “Nameless Chicken” has almost definitely turned into a cockerel. Apparently this does sometimes happen, but why? She/he is now called Lola because “she looks like a woman but walks like a man” ha ha!

So, today the power has been off which hasn’t been much fun ( I’ve got a cold and its been chilly and dark in my little house)Having a cold meant that I was actually awake, baking bread and wandering around the garden taking these pictures at 5am the other morning.Some would say this is an improvement on my normal lifestyle!

The brooch above is almost ready to be listed on Etsy and for those of you on Facebook I have made a Witchmountain page which will have lots of links to favorite blogs,events and so on. Talking of which, the We Are Open shop in Middlesbrough is currently a Pop Up Garden and while I was there I picked up the Autumn/Winter programme which is looking good…everything from designer cupcakes to record launches and costume design.

“In The Land of Grey and Pink…”

Another day in Middlesbrough; which cheered me up a bit.Almost the first thing that happened was that someone from CCAD bought a couple of my things! (goodness, too many “things ” in one sentence!) Kelly Louise Thackray is getting ready to graduate this year, and from what I can see on this blog she should soon be making her fortune selling her lovely bags and purses.

I was accosted by a small pair of chavs while taking this picture so they were treated to a short demonstration of knitting by Rachel’s mum before running off to start their paper round, aw, bless. I must admit, the passers by do seem a little bemused by the shop and probably wonder why there is a bunch of strange women sitting in the window knitting or embroidering bears…like some weird ,alternative house of ill repute!

So, I’ve been asked to pass on the message that this weekend is “re-cycle’ weekend and there’ll be a chance to re-vamp/customise /tart up any old t-shirts or other un-loved pieces of clothing you may have. Just turn up with the  poor neglected item and join in the fun! There’s only about two weeks left until the shop gets handed on to the next “curators” so hurry, hurry and don’t forget to walk round to Albert Road and see Helen at DesignersMarketplace too.

I’m thinking there hasn’t been enough news from the moors lately, so next time I will try to “get down with Nature” to celebrate the Spring Equinox and bring you tales of the Curlews, escaping ponies and emerging green things. For now I must go and washed my coat as I forgot there was an egg in my pocket…with obvious results ! x

“Kitchen Confidential”

Mmm, the kitchen smells of baking bread and coffee, two of the best smells in the world.Its raining like mad and I still haven’t heard a Curlew so it’s officially not spring, therefore ,officially I can stay indoors and not feel guilty!

On Wednesday I went down to Middlesbrough for my day at We Are Open. It was a bit quiet, but nice to catch up with Leanne , Rachel and Helen ( ooooh!!!! something weird just happened, when I put in that last link my trusty old Mac just burst into song, I nearly jumped out of my skin, I’ve put a different link for Helen just in case some of you have sleeping children or nervous pets!!!)

Anyway, Middlesbrough was fun and surprisingly scenic in the amazing March sunlight. Lunch in the Mima cafe was a nice treat ,despite the randomly opening and closing electric doors ( ghosts?) and the fact that there wasn’t masses to look at, apart from a wall of magnetic poetry which I could have played with for hours ( on the theme of dreaming).Next week I’ll be in the shop again and there is an embroidery workshop planned ,as well as others on natural dyes, weaving and knitting.I wish it was a permanent thing…but since it isn’t, make sure you visit soon before its gone!

Aaghhhh! the bread, I almost forgot…

(Reading: “The Cat” by Colette Listening to: the wind rattling the kitchen air vent and that random music that came from nowhere!)

A Break in The Clouds?

I think I’m coming out of hibernation;yesterday an uncharacteristic rush of energy saw me baking bread,cakes and pies, doing a little gardening, cleaning the bathroom and making some more brooches (and all this with a slight Jagermeister hangover!). By evening I was a grumpy monster but at least felt that some small things had been achieved!

Lindsey has been coming up to work on her Final Major Project on Mondays and is doing some really interesting stuff with re-cycled board, laser cutting and embroidery…have a look on her blog.I’m wishing I had access to some of that equipment ( although she’s had to go to another place for the laser cutting because CCAD won’t let the students use the machine!!!) and also desperately wishing I had a workspace that meant not having to put everything away at meal times ( pins in the pies, beads in the butter…not a good idea!).

My “Moo” mini cards arrived today, very sweet in their little box that acts as a tiny filing system.meanwhile I’m excited to see how Sara‘s portfolio book turns out. She has ordered it from Blurb with fingers tightly crossed that it gets here in time for her college interview.

Now I’ve got another brooch to finish before heading out to work, so I’ll take my leave. Tomorrow I’ll be in Middlesbrough at the “We Are Open” shop and I think there is still time, before the theme changes, to head over to Poppytalk Handmade .

Feathers, Beads and the Love of Butter

“Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Everything it seems I like’s a little bit stronger
A little bit thicker
A little bit harmful for me…” ( Rufus Wainwright)

Actually I’m getting seriously worried about my apparent addiction to butter; if my trusty Mac gives up the ghost it’ll be because its full of toast crumbs and dripped with butter and Marmite, mmmmm!

Yesterday I decided to do something a bit different, finding myself at a loose end, since ALL my finished stock is either in shops, galleries or listed on Etsy. I made this colourful hair-slide and photographed it today in the bright spring sunlight that is making me want to paint everything white and make a fresh start.

I even ventured outside today and began the slow slow task of making my garden feel loved again after a year of total neglect .

Some good news from “We Are Open“..apparently some of my things have sold! I will be helping man the shop next week, probably Wednesday and maybe Tuesday, so if you’re in Middlesbrough pop in and say hello.I’m also hoping to get along to see the “DesignersMarketplace Pop-up Shop “on Albert Road …Oh the joys of Middlesbrough! ( I’m not being sarcastic…Teeside has always been a little known hotbed of creative talent…I’ll write you a list later to prove it!)

Meanwhile, the moon is peering through the gap in the curtains and telling me that I really should start going to bed at a more civilized hour.So until next time x

“O Tell Me The Truth About Love”

Who thinks I need a better camera?Yes ,me too, although a bad worker always blames their tools! Today I have been horribly lazy and apart from eating almost half a Camembert I have achieved nothing ( doing nothing and eating cheese is bound to lead to trouble).

Anyway todays offering is mostly about name dropping some of my creative friends and doing a bit of altruistic promotion….

At the “We Are Open ” shop yesterday the sun was pouring through the windows and highlighting the ample bossom of the model with my t-shirt and necklace on it! Behind her ,on the wall you can see some of Sarah Ford’s embroidery. She was at CCAD with me and it made me wonder…how many of us are still trying to do creative stuff and with what kind of success?

This stunningly beautiful portrait is by Penny MacBeth and I had to share it with you because I love the way she’s used fabric, print and painting to create a really unusual take on the traditional family portrait.This is Lally her daughter and the niece of Jane Thorniley-Walker who makes wonderful mosaics, paintings and pastel drawings like the snowdrops below. Calling round for a coffee in Osmotherley leaves me both inspired and ashamed of my lazy cheese eating ways!

Now apologies again for the terrible camera work;I think I must atone for my bad habits by running ( walking) down to the post box to send that Hearts for Haiti brooch to its new owner, Thank you so much Jayne.

( Reading: “Staying Alive, real poems for unreal times” Ed. Neil Astley. Listening to: “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” Rufus Wainwright)