Wednesday 5 August 2015

Keep Calm and Carry On....

Hello my lovelies!
I hope you don't mind but I'm offering something a little different today...
It's taken me a very long time to consider whether to write this post but hopefully you'll understand the reasons to why I have?
Earlier this week I received the best news ever..
Two little words....
"all clear"

A year ago my world turned upside down, inside out and completely off balance when my hubby was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
For a year since, our lives have been on autopilot, both for different reasons... hubby to face all the treatment thrown at him and me because I was the stable one in the equation as often us ladies are...

Every one has their own set of troubles lurking behind the smiles we all offer to each and every one we meet each day...
Some people are very vocal and will tell all and others like myself are very quiet and just get on with things in a stoic true British spirit.

So why am I telling all now?
I want to let everyone know how crafting is so very good for keeping you grounded when all is not stable at sea...

I have crafted since a young child.
It is part of me.
I learnt a long time ago that
I need to dabble each and every day to keep my soul singing...

Up until the diagnosis I had been running my own workshops, craft sessions, offering 1:1 lessons and supporting local schools.
Eventually I have had to put all of that on hold.
My priorities lay elsewhere. 

The same week we found out about my hubby I was contacted by Create & Craft TV to attend a screen test with the view to becoming a Guest Presenter.
Complete pants for timing!
Despite the many pleas from family and friends especially hubby, I put it on hold until eventually I caved in and agreed to give it a go... 

I continued to sit for hours and hours looking at sterile hospital clinic decor whilst accompanying hubby during his chemo sessions and re-designed in my mind each and every corridor Tilly Rose style!
After I had read every crumpled old magazine provided and tackled many books on my Kindle, I decided I needed to take action.

I started to fill my little wicker basket with a riot of colour threads, needles, various fabrics and loads of embellishments. 
I soon began to get a reputation as 'the lady with the basket'!

For every hour spent sitting in hospital armchairs I stitched my little heart away!
I needed to stay in a happy place for part of my day despite the surroundings.

I'm a firm believer in creativity being so good for the soul...

Nurses began to show an interest in my projects, other patients asked questions on how to do something and I even managed to show a young girl how to start embroidering whilst waiting for her Nan!

After hubby's chemo, we faced major surgery, followed by many sudden dashes in ambulances to our local casualty unit never knowing the outcome

Each and every time my little basket accompanied me with some crafty delight nestling inside to keep me busy.

Whilst all of this was carrying on I had started guest presenting..... to say I was a bag of nerves the first time doesn't even hit the mark!
But I persevered, trying to inspire others to 'give it a go' hoping I would eventually work out what to say at the right time and look in the right direction at the right time!
(not sure I'll ever look the professional!!)

Roll on a year...
With the wonderful news that hubby is now 'all clear' we can now look forward....

The reason for this post?
It is simply to say...

"Walk Your Life Towards Well-Being"

Allow creativity in your heart and you will always have a smile


Saturday 1 August 2015

Inspired by Seaside Photographs - FREE TUTORIAL

Hello my lovelies!

At this time of year I know many of you will be like me, returning from your summer holidays with loads of seaside smiles and a host of ideas which hopefully will give you some inspiration for your next sewing or mixed media project...

As a textile artist I am continually being asked how and where do I get my inspiration
for my own designs?
Mother Nature always provides me with such gems and is my greatest source of inspiration.

It doesn't matter where you are visiting or for how long. 
Each region will have it's own special sights, sounds, smells and treats.
For me, Cornwall always delights.
I love visiting and soak up every little jewel I come across.
I carry my camera with me where ever I go and photograph snippets of my day using my lens as my creative eye.

I thought it would be a nice idea to give you all some tips and ideas as to how you too can get started using a photograph as your inspiration source and capture those treasured memories.

Inspired by Seaside Photographs -Tutorial

So where to begin....
First, what project do you have in mind?

Notebook Cover
Special Bunting

Whatever the project, using a favourite pic can always help you to get started...

So, how?

If you are not reproducing an exact copy of a snapshot how can you use it for inspiration?
Here are some tips that hopefully will help to give you some basic ideas....

You may want to draw out your design copying the photo to help with dimensions or scale. To do this simply print off your photograph and use either tracing paper or greaseproof paper to out line the main elements.
Don't be afraid to exaggerate the details. remember it is your design. there are no rules!
Also don't worry if your dimensions don't match exactly... 

Try and create a mood board for your project. I know many of you may say why bother if it is only for a cushion but believe me it is definitely worth it!
I love collating loads of ideas from alsorts of resources...
Attach them to an old picture frame, write them down in a book or simply doodle on scraps of paper that you have to hand.
Believe me when I say they will all come be handy to refer back to.

Use your photographs to help with colour schemes...
They will give you an idea of how to blend colours for backgrounds or individual elements of your overall design.
You may be using various fabrics to build up your design or colouring them in with free motion embroidery, or perhaps you want to make your design to have a 3D effect?

Of course you need to think about adding textures and patterns...
maybe to represent shells, rocks, beach huts, rocks etc

Don't forget to add in those extra special details that will make your designs more individual...
All those little memories you have can be added into your designs...

And talking of textures....
use Mother Natures box of jewels to help you decide what elements you may want to stitch, crochet, embroider or sew on as embellishments...

I hope this quick tutorial has helped to get you inspired to give it a go...
Just remember it really doesn't matter what your design is going to be.... it may be a cushion cover that you want to use applique on or you may decided to have a go at a mixed media collage.
Start small and then run with your ideas...
We are all creative in some way or another.

As so many people have asked about designs and ideas I have decided that I am soon going to be selling my own inspiration kits via my blog.
I will also be offering online tutorials alongside them with ideas for your projects.

I would love to know your thoughts on this, so if you have five mins do please drop me a message at the end of this post or an email to 
You can also find me via my Facebook page 

In the meantime Happy Stitching my lovelies!

Enjoy your weekend...