Friday, 16 March 2018

Haberdashery & Other Delights Down Under

Vintage threads from Harold & Maude, Melbourne

I have recently been on a most excellent trip to the Antipodes.  Whilst hanging out there I did stumble across some rather fabulous places so here's just a little taster of the haberdashery delights I discovered, with a bit of art thrown in.

Wooden buttons from Otekah

I happened to be in Hobart, Tasmania, on a Saturday for the Salamanca Market (which is truly huge). These cute bird buttons from Otekah called out to me because I do love buttons!  While I was there Melanie Roach was exhibiting in the Studio Gallery at Salamanca Arts Centre.  I really liked her work -  capturing the Tasmanian wilderness through abstract shapes...

The Road - Melanie Roach
After Hobart, we headed to Melbourne, Australia.  Near Flinders Street Station, I found some really cool places.  There were some beautiful marbled papers in Il Papiro in Degraves Street..

Marbled papers from Il Papiro

which I just can't wait to use!  Then upstairs in the Cathedral Arcade on Swanson Street I found Harold & Maude (see top pic) with all manner of vintage, recycled, remade and slightly spooky goodies.  And there was the wonderful l'uccello with lots of vintage haberdashery and loveliness too...

Goodies from l'uccello

Among other things, I bought some great Liberty goodies (coals to Newcastle or what!)  Next I found the Kimono House and couldn't resist some thread and papers...

Japanese thread & papers from the Kimono House
Kimono House

The Kimono House also had an exhibition of Tenugui - The Japanese Handtowel.  Widely popular from the 16th century these cloths had a myriad of uses - towel, food cover, gift wrap, collar or cooling cloth.  Recently there has been a resurgence in popularity and there are lots with modern prints. Often given as gifts or used as marketing tools with companies names emblazoned on them, Tenugui range from the mass produced to the more individual, artist's version...

Tenugui Exhibition at the Kimono House

L'uccello recommended I also check out Curtin House, on Swanson Street - another vertical treat of independent places.  I loved Metropolis - great cards, books and other printed loveliness.  I found work there by Alice Patullo  which I couldn't resist. 

Lovely Metropolis Bookshop

And the Rooftop Bar at Curtin House had great views!

View from Curtin House Rooftop Bar

After Melbourne, we spent some time in Napier, New Zealand and discovered The Department of Curiosites and Fine Things, selling all manner of New Zealand made goodies.  I'm sorry I can't show you what I bought as it's a present that hasn't yet been given!

A great shop in Napier

But do look at what you could do outside...

Yarnbomb in Napier

Did you know that in Australia they call charity shops - Op Shops (Opportunity Shops).  In my last few minutes before leaving Sydney I nipped into one and bought some vintage lace, a little bit of which I have already used here ...

Vintage lace from a Sydney Op Shop already in use.

Hope you've enjoyed this whistlestop tour.  More another time...

Monday, 29 January 2018

Handmade Notebooks & Embroidered Postcard Workshops

I am bringing two new workshops to Olive's Nest in York this spring.  

Embroidered Postcard - Wednesday 11 April 2018
On Wednesday 11 April from 18:30 to 21:00 I'm doing an Embroidered (Stitched) Postcard workshop.

You will learn how to make stitched postcards, working on a bird design in your choice of colours using a range of different stitches.

All materials will be provided.  Pop into Olive's Nest if you want to see an embroidered postcard that's been through the post. 

Handmade Notebooks - Saturday 12 May 2018
On Saturday 12 May 2018 from 14:00 to 16:30, I'll be showing you how to make handmade notebooks.


You will learn how to make at least 3 different types of notebook using paper and card. 


We will be painting, folding, stitching and sticking.  All materials will be provided.

Pop into Olive's Nest if you'd like to see some examples of the types of notebooks we will be making.

Workshops cost £20 each.  Contact Olive's Nest to book a place:

Pop in: Olive's Nest, 4 Scarcroft Road, York, YO23 1NB
Phone: 01904 670052

Minimum of 4 people needed for workshop to run 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

A Very Merry Christmas To You all

Wishing you a fab festive season and a fantastic 2018!  Thanks for all your support this year - it really is appreciated.  I'm signing off for this year now - see you in 2018! 
(Makers' work featured in the pic above: Fiona Wilson, Heather Dawe, Hippystitch, Julie Arkell, Lily Stone, Sophie Smith, Woodwyrm, with interesting finds from St Leonard's Hospice Shop, Brixi, Scaramanga & more.  I'm loving all the trees.  I've been making some of my own but they aren't quite ready to be revealed yet - could be a theme in 2018....)

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Craft-y-Crawl on Sunday 12 November 2017

Handmade by York Makers

The Planet South Bank Craft-y-Crawl takes place this year on Sunday 12 November from 12:00 to 16:00.  Tour the area in and around South Bank, York where local artists & makers will be selling their handmade items. 

At 33 Wentworth Road, York, YO24 1DG - as well as tea, cake and mince pies - you will find some new goodies from me including... 

New Liberty Print Fabric Necklaces

People & Place Brooches including lots of bikes!

Colouful Resin Button Brooches
Button Hairclips

and a limited number of wood and metal domino brooches...

New style Domino Brooches

and of course some Christmassy reindeer brooch cards in 5 different colours...

Reindeer Brooch Christmas cards

and then there's

Buttonholes, Brooches & Bookmarks - By Helen

Christmas Decorations - By Helen

By Helen - Helen Bachelor will have her beautiful flowers made from yarn & fabric,

Cards - Lucy Monkman Illustration

Lucy Monkman Illustration - Lucy Monkman's colourful & contemporary cards, stationery & prints are sure to please, and...

Children's Dresses - What's To Be Done With Her

What's To Be Done With Her - Alyson Cowen's handmade children's clothing would make a super present or a fab outfit for the party season!

And next door at number 35 you'll find Sue Dennis, Ruth Merriman and Meredith Andrea with cards, prints and more.

Do call in - we'd love to see you! 

Maps of all the artists and makers taking part are available at Sainsbury's on Bishopthorpe Rd, York from Thursday 9 November 2017 or for an online map take a look here.  (A full list of those taking part is available here.)

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Neutral Colours and Textures


Whilst flipping through the photos from my travels this summer I was struck by how many of my photos of interesting textures were all neutral colours whether from the man-made or natural world.  I thought I'd share them with you...

Lichen on rock

Brick Wall

Wood shingle


Rock surface

I'm organising my texture photos at the moment so I might be sharing more soon.  Inspiration for new work don't you think?

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Brilliant Birds Raise Funds for St Leonard's Hospice

Brilliant Birds Installation in Rowntree Park, York - Summer 2017

Just to keep you up to date - the #BrilliantBirds yarnstorm had raised almost £400 for St Leonard's Hospice by the time the flock flew out of the St Leonard's Hospice Shop on Scarcroft Road, York.  We hope the birds will fly on to raise funds in different stores across the local area.

Thanks to everyone who took part - making, buying or donating.  We couldn't have done it without you!