Entries Tagged as 'Blogs'

‘Found Some Paper’ found me!


I really do think when I write my blog that no one reads it, I’m not one for looking at analytics all the time or even ‘optimising my seo’ which to be honest, I don’t know what that really means. The one thing I do know know is, sometimes it feels nice to write things down, to share good news and to record and acknowledge my recent work and work of others. As a freelancer who spends an awful lot of time on her own, its good to connect to other people too and feel part of something bigger.

So I was more than happy for Uli from Found Some Paper to nominate me to help you find out a bit more about me

What’s your favourite movie of all time? In the Mood for Love directed by Wong Kar-wai is probably the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen, I’m a sucker for art house films and this one is particularly special.

When was the last time you sent a postcard or letter? Last week, to my friend Ellie in New Zealand. I love snail mail and actually if someone asked me what I would save if my house went on fire apart from people, it would be my drawer full of mail, cards, hand drawn sketches on envelopes and postcards.

What’s your biggest achievement? Oh this is hard, possibly one of my open water swimming challenges – circumnavigating the Scilly Isles or crossing the Bosphorus, Asia to Europe in force 5 seas.

Who is your regular inspiration? I love blogmilk and design milk both of which have beautiful aesthetics.

Which Instagram account should I follow? My friend Lizzy or her Sunday name Elisabeth Barry, shes a potter and has a love of circles, grey with flashes of red ebceramics.

What flowers would you send a friend? Anything by Swallows and Damsons.

What’s the best Pinterest board you followed and why? I have to say I don’t do pinterest very often, I find it dampens my imagination and I end up lost in trying to make something look like something Ive seen before rather than using my eyes to really see.

Which app would you recommend except the usual social suspects? Stellar or Headspace.

If you compare yourself with a city which one would it be and why? I have to say Glasgow, its my home town and well it has everything you need and doesn’t cost a small fortune to live there. Its rough around the edges a little like me, I miss it now I don’t live there but I know its always there.

What’s your beauty secret? I don’t do make up but look after my hair and have used the same shampoo and conditioner for years, I buy litre bottle of Alterna Caviar Moisture, sounds very posh and probably is but I don’t spend money on make up or any other beauty product.

Where in your home country should your friends travel to?
If you want to find a little piece of hidden paradise you have to visit the Ardnamurchan Peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, white sand beaches, very few people, great wildlife. You would be hard pushed to find anywhere more beautiful.


Image at start of blog post is a found image, taken by unknown, written by unknown but loved by me as soon as I found it!


Kirsties Handmade Fair – Part iii

Tilly Jenome

I feel a little sad that this is the final Handmade Fair post this year. I won’t say much as I hope you can see by the pictures that there was lots of teaching, above is Tilly demonstrating the most amazing Janome machine helping everyone create one of the patterns from her book. Below is the lovely team from Mollie Makes and Craft Asylum demonstrating crochet and paper crafts. As well as the Etsy makers school for selling online.

Mollie Makes, Craft AsylumEtsy UK

Finally a little story when I was leaving the Fair, I tend to always talk to people, when you have a camera around your neck you can sometimes see people running away, but in this case a lady approached me to say if i could pass on a message to the team behind the Handmade Fair she said ‘ Kirstie started something a few years back which we’ve all known for a long time, that craft is good for the soul’ I said to her that the Craft Council had recently used that same slogin on one of their promotional pieces. She said ‘ but we’ve joined the dots this weekend, the crafters, we’ve joined the dots and made each other happy.’ I walked away from that lady thinking WOW god crafting really does make people happy just being themselves.


Jane Means

Kirsties Handmade Fair – Part ii


I love these images of Kirstie and Lou Gardener, they make me smile inside. I’m not sure if its the statement ‘Freestyle Machine Embroidery is the crack cocaine of crafting’ or the infectious nature of Lou which has Kirstie smiling or maybe its the freedom which this craft allows. Kirstie will say herself that she is a perfectionist, someone not averse to finalising projects for her shows at home as she wants them to look great. In this craft masterclass it was inspiring to see both Lou and Kirstie just let go, from drawing with their eyes shut to using their machines with gusto to dance music, it was a hoot from start to finish!

VIP tent Handmade Fair

Oh I do like a wee glass of bubbly at midday as did many of the VIP ticket holders. One of the benefits of these tickets was a Q&A with Kirstie each day at lunchtime and as you can see some of the questions were a little more personal than I had expected by all the hilarity. One VIP had traveled all the way from OZ, I had seen on facebook earlier in the week a name and picture and when I saw Sheena, who was a total delight thrusting a book to be signed towards me, I took her by the hand and ran after KMA, obviously Kirstie told her to ‘jump in’ the little golf cart which was helping to keep time in a incredibly tight schedule. I hope Sheena your trip round the world was worth it, it looked like it by your smile.



Oh the wonder of Annie Sloane paints! I do think I may put too many exclamation marks in my posts but I do like to make a big point about Annie Sloane. The masterclasses she gave were full to brimming and everyone loved them. Have I told you that Annie Sloane was one of the people who I was star struck by, isn’t it strange. I did hear a lovely story from a lady who was in the same boat as me, a little star struck although she said that had disappeared when they met one another at the toilet washing their hands, then had a right old natter on the way to back and now has some big plans with a wardrobe she has at home. Ha the thrills of the fair.


Kirsties Handmade Fair 2014 – part i

Kirstie Handmade Fair Hampton Court Palace

What a magical location for the first Handmade Fair, Hampton Court Palace shone brightly over the 3 days, well really Friday was a little too warm for my Scottish skin and inappropriate clothing but WOW it looked beautiful! It was a wonderful weekend of making, baking, crafting, smiling and chatting, everyone I spoke to and I spoke to a lot of people, were all so positive. There was a big top where Kirstie was in conversation with so many lovely people, my highlight being Cath Kidston and Annie Sloane. I do always get a little star struck but like Kirstie, everyone was so down to earth and I hate to say it, so nice and approachable.

Cath Kidston in Conversation with Kirstie Allsopp

Cath was a mindfield of information about growing a business slowly, and understood that growing meant having another freelance job, in her case designing interiors of super yachts which financed her passion. There was no big bank guiding her as she had earned the money in advance to evolve each idea. It was amazing to hear her speak about the challenges she faced but also how she still plays an integral part in all the design and layouts of her shops.


There was a amazing west and east village filled with finished products, books as well as tools and materials. I was in awe of some of the things on display and made one very impulsive purchase of a Welsh Blanket on Sunday night, although I had had my eye on so many beautiful products. The wonderful Mandy Shaw who has helped behind the scenes in supporting the makes on Kirsties shows, was there, shes is a mind field of information and by looking at her most recent book, I may have to visit her house as it looks beautiful.


The most important thing for me was how many smiles I captured, its a hard thing to do when people are concentrating on craft, often I see the wrinkled foreheads but over the 3 days whichever tent I stopped by, I found myself drawn into peoples laughter. Most of them were sitting beside complete strangers but still there was always that crafting comradery of ‘oh i’ll help.’ New skills were learnt and new ideas shared. I don’t like to gush on the blog but god it was a wonderful 3 days.




Williams Handmade


WOW! I think Sarah probably hears that quite a lot, when you walk into her studio/shop. Sarah makes Williams Handmade bags, briefcases and luggage in the most incredible colours and shapes, I was sold on them the first time I saw them online but in real life they are even more beautiful. If you’ve read my blog posts before you know I’m fascinated with makers and crafters, and this year I made a pact with myself to meet more of them, and spread the word of some incredible talents.


Sarah has been on my radar for a while, and during our conversation she told me a little about her background, originally studying at Herefordshire College and then London College of Fashion, where she honed her skills in accessories and leatherwork. After graduating in 2010 she has gone onto be finalist in, The Modern Craft Project, winner of Best Newcomer at the British Craft Fair, one of twelve Selfridges Bright Young Things as well as collaborating with Womenwear Designer Kirsty Ward. A busy year and I have the feeling that her star is rising and I’m so incredibly pleased that it is.



If you have a spare Saturday and want to see beautiful craftmanship take shape please do visit Sarah at her wonderful studio, its a real treat. Thanks for making me feel so welcome Sarah and I’m thrilled with my purse, I had a hard time picking a colour and look forward to seeing your new colour ways and designs in the future.


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