Category Archives: Textiles

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Busy in the real world…

Apologies that it’s been a bit quiet here but we’ve been somewhat pre­oc­cu­pied with non-virtual activ­it­ies includ­ing (but not limited to) painting the outside of the café, repaint­ing the loos, tearing up the hall carpet and painting the floor, adding a sparkly light fitting to the hall, spring cleaning the kitchen and repaint­ing the store […]

What to do when the dogs insist on getting you up earlier than you’d like…

For some reason, the last few days the dogs have been waking me around 6.45am. Maybe it’s because it’s a little lighter in the mornings now, but I’ve taken to coming down­stairs to make coffee and then deciding that this little bit of time, like very late at night, is some­thing I can steal to […]

Do try this at home (Part 2 – re-covering drop in chair seat)

Even the less obser­v­ant visitor will have noticed that there’s not much new fur­niture in the café – even many of our Billy book­cases are second­hand. It’s a com­bin­a­tion of not having much cash and pref­er­ence, so when I was offered four oak dining chairs dating from around the 1930s for £25 last summer, I […]

Tools for the job

I’m feeling rather smug at both having finally got round to doing some­thing I’ve been meaning to do for months AND having saved myself about £25 in the process. I’ve made myself a tailor’s ham and a sleeve roll.  Don’t look too closely at the rather rough and ready stitch­ing.  The ham is three layers of […]

Head scratching design process

I thought I’d walk you through the sort of process that I go through in design­ing one of my pieces. How long a garment takes me can be very variable, but essen­tially it all starts with the fabric. I take a length of fabric and try to think what it would suit becoming. That will […]

Don’t throw that away!

One of the things left in the café when we took it over was a small pile of white cotton table­cloths, somewhat worn but in reas­on­able order. Too good to throw away so they went into the bottom of the big Art Nouveau wardrobe “pending”. Last year the only damask one yielded the white cotton […]

Do try this at home – doubled up shirt concept.

I hate having my picture taken but today had to set up the tripod and camera and do my first selfie to show off my latest concept.  Sitting on a shelf in my studio was an old blue linen shirt.  I bought it years ago in TK Maxx and lit­er­ally wore it until there were […]

Writing and why what you use makes a difference…

It seems a little odd starting to write a post about the pleas­ures of hand­writ­ing by sitting down to a keyboard, but then, as we all know, a good keyboard makes all the dif­fer­ence.  I like the keyboard on my old Dell Vostro, but I quite simply love the keyboard on my MacBook. It makes […]

Never too late to go to art school?

I got back to Skye on Christmas Eve from a trip to London to go on a draping womenswear design course at Central St Martins. It’s one of the most daunting things I’ve attemp­ted, and turned out to be one of the most exciting. I’d been research­ing pattern cutting courses, and in the end decided […]

Arts and Crafts?

I was listen­ing to Grayson Perry’s bril­liant Reith lectures earlier this week and in one he made a comment along the lines that his ceramics did not get accepted as art but were dis­missed as “just craft” until he won the Turner Prize. It sparked some­thing in my head thinking about the word “craft” and […]