Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Blog Hopping

At the moment there's a thing called a blog hop going on, bouncing from blog to blog to find out more about the how and why we create.

I was asked if I'd like to join in by Jacqui over at Living with Ethel and Claire at Mrs Brown Makes
two very lovely blogs you could hop backwards too if you fancied, although I'm supposed to being hopping you forward really. I think hopping back and forth is far more fun, don't you. 

Oh and before I go off chatting away, a few of you thought I might have meant I was going to stop blogging. Well no that won't be happening as I love it too much. So there you go, you're stuck with me.

First thing to think about is What I'm working on Right Now?

Well there's just no way that could ever come down to just one thing. Like most creative people I'm a flitterer. I love to knit, crochet, sew, make clothes, cushions, bags, quilts, toys, brooches - whatever I'm in the mood for really or what has been niggling away in my head waiting to become a real thing. When I get new yarn or fabric I get excited about working with it so everything else gets dropped.

So right now I'm slowly adding a row here and a row there to a large stripy blankie.

I've forgotten about my pink flower cardi for now, but I could get the urge again any day now, who knows.

Instead my needles have been working away at more of these beauties. I realised I just don't have enough and that won't do at all.

Dressmaking has become my main thing at the moment. I'm really trying to push on my skills and set myself new challenges with this. There's so much to learn and as I'm self-taught I'm really proud of all that I've achieved. That said I have a huge pile and bag load of half made things to finish and then a long list of requests also. 

So you see, I can't settle easily on anyone thing. For me it really is about what I'm in the mood for and also what's practical. I can knit and crochet anywhere, but when I sew I take up our huge table where we eat and the girls craft or do puzzles. A crafty room all of my own would be bliss, but then I also love being here in the heart of it all too. We're a creative family and it's a huge part of daily life to be making a something.

My big job right now is a commission for a patchy blanket of floral happiness. I've been asked again and again and have finally said yes. As I have the summer off this year I knew I could fit it in.

Now for the next question - How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

This is a complicated one. I guess we all like to think we're original and certainly not copying others, although we can't avoid being inspired by what we see around us. I used to organise and sell at at vintage fairs and makers markets until a couple of years ago when I decided I wanted to focus more of making without the demand. My dad had just died and I needed to slow down I guess.

Now I'm ready for taking it all up again. I've been selling a few of my Annual Tops and accepting a commission or two. I have plans, just need the oompph that goes with it now.

So to answer the question I'd say my work stands out by the way I put my colours and prints together. I know I've got a good eye for balancing up colour and I think the ones I'm drawn to have become part of my style. I also think it's the little touches such as contrasting facings and bindings on clothes, the spotty strips sewn on patchwork along with the colourful rows of stitches. 


Next thing for me to consider is - Why do I write and create what I do?

Simply put I just feel I need to, I can't not do it. Whatever I'm doing, wherever I am I have ideas playing around in my head, I look forward to getting home and trying these ideas out. I get a surge of bliss in a yarn store or rummaging through piles of vintage fabrics and trims. It relaxes me and makes me happy and that's what life should be I reckon. 

I write my blog for so many reasons, but the main part is to attach a story around what I do, connect with like minded people and to think my thoughts through properly.

I also write stories, one day I might even be brave enough to send them off.


Mixed up with that is my love of vintage. I've always loved old stuff, kitsch stuff and childhood happy stuff. It's all part of being creative to me. A friend said the other day that it must really P*** you off that how you've always been is trendy now so you just look like another follower. I've never  quite seen it that way. I love that there is more of it about and that I can now share it all with more people. My tastes have just evolved. As a teenager I wore 1960's coats with Victorian petticoats and bloomers, now I seem to wear 1970's bedsheets and make my older colleagues laugh at work seeing their bedding mobile.

Last question I have to answer is - How does your writing and creative process work?

My first thought is, it doesn't. It's all a haphazard affair really. I find it easier to be creative when no one's at home as I can really lose myself in the moment. By that I mean no distractions so I don't feel guilty for grabbing my time. Otherwise there's the demands to clear the table, the school run (which thankfully is no more until September hurrah) household chores and going to work when I'm in the middle of something. 


I used to struggle to balance my teaching head with all the stresses of highly vulnerable teens where it's demanding, full on and sociable with the solitary flow needed for me to be creative. 
Simply put I think it's because I surround myself with creative things, I write my ideas down and go with the flow grabbing the creative moment as it arises. 

Hopefully that wasn't too much of a long read for you. 

Now it's time to pass the baton on and send you off blog hopping to two lovely ladies out there.

I'm meant to choose three blogs to join in next week, but I chose two. Rules bring out the rebel in me.
 I'm blog hopping over to Letitia at the Bloggings of Mrs Bertimus and Ada Bee at Vintage Sheet Addict.

I found Letitia's blog a while back now and just felt I was meeting her in person every time I read a new post. She writes openly and straight sharing her passion for art (she's an amazing painter and needlestitcher, along with being an art teacher). We've become bloggy friends and one day I might actually get on one of the workshops she's running at Hope and Elvis to meet her for real. 

This is what she has to say to say hello to you:
Mrs B loves stitching, painting and charity shopping. The kettle's always on and the bissy tin is open for anyone that wants to pop in and visit. There's also a mad Chihuahua in the mix and charity treasures ready to be snuck into the house.

Next up is Ada Bee who is a lovely lady to have in blogland. I was touched and suprised when she wrote to me years back, before starting her own blog, to say how reading mine and Jane at Teawagontales
had kept her happy during tough times. Through her blog Ada shares her passion for life, bringing colour into her home, her love of family and friendship. She shares lifes ups and downs, but there's no misery here it's simply a sharing of life's realities and how her family deals with it. At the moment life has taken a change of direction so although Ada may not be able to take part next week? I still wanted to send you off to read a lovely blog in case you haven't visited there already.


  1. Well I shall certainly look at those blogs and if they are as colourful and entertaining as yours, then it will be worth the trip! As ever a great post to read, I appreciate your taking so much time and trouble and it always brightens my morning to see you have a new post. I only follow a handful of blogs these days due to lack of interest really, the ones I do follow I read regularly, leave a comment if I have anything to say that's positive and most of them inspire me in some way or other. Thank you.

    1. As ever your words are a pleasure to read, thanks so much Edwina. X

  2. Great post! And a fun blog hop. Eleanor xxx

    1. Thanks so much Eleanor. It was good to have to think about the answers. X

  3. Very interesting indeed - especially writing your own stories and juggling many different things/ideas. Keep on being colourful!
    Best wishes

    1. I juggle too manny thing s really Jenny and then don't finish half of them. I won't turn to the dark side I promise. X

  4. Thanks for hopping over to my little old blog!
    I'm starting to ponder about those questions now!
    Cup of tea time methinks!
    Lovely post and photos chuck x

    1. Thanks m' dear. Looking forward to reading yours. X

  5. What a great read!! I especially like your description of flittering from one thing to another, I called it my scattergun approach when I answered the question, but your words are so much nicer. Love too the wearing the bed sheets and giving your colleagues a surprise. I keep looking out for some myself - sheets, not colleagues! - but not to wear, but to put back on the bed again!! Someday I will find what I am after. I loved reading what you had to say here! xx

    1. When you do find what you're after it will be all the more exciting for the hunt. Good luck and thanks for your lovely words Amy x

  6. Great post! Lovely to read about your creative process. I will think about you flittering about, bit like my butterfly approach. Thanks for picking up my baton and running with it.
    Jacqui xx

    1. Thanks Jacqui, it was a pleasure as I really enjoyed doing it. X

  7. Yay for blogging...
    I love your honest style of writing you are a joyful fun read.

    I also love our Mrs B and have been lucky enough to meet her in person. she is such a special talented lady I love her!

    Ada's is always a colourful place to visit.
    bestest DJ x

    1. Awwww thanks Miss Daisy. Blush! X

    2. A joyful fun read. I like that very much indeed Madame. I agree blogging so all right. X

  8. Hello! I've been hopping here and there following this lovely blog hop, and what a joy it is to have found yours! Hip hip hooray for lots of WIPs I say, glad I'm not the only one with all sorts of craft projects on the go (and I've been doing a fair bit of dressmaking of late, too). You have a beautiful, happy space here! Chrissie x


Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. I read all of them and really appreciate you taking the time to say hello.
I always try to get back and reply, but sometimes this may take a bit longer as pets and children always seem to need attention around here.

Bobo X

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