Monthly archive: March 2013

Brighter days

You wouldn’t think that it was spring if you looked out the window this morning. There is snow on the ground and I can hear the wind howling, but brighter days should, hopefully be just around the corner and this weekend I have been taking part in an event at the Pie factory art gallery in Margate called just that- Brighter days. Jenny Duff  a designer/maker who runs a business producing beautifully designed melamine table wear at has got together 12 other designer makers for an exhibition and series of drop in workshops. Each designer/maker has produced a design for a series of table mats based on the theme of the Isle of Thanet.They look great as individual mats and as a complete set. Checkout the designs on Brighter days pinterest. I was making jumping jack paper toys which was great, the only problem being that I could not get around to some of the other workshops. I wanted to do them all! There are more workshops today until 3.00 and plenty of good things to look at.



My section of the exhibition included 3 robots made with vintage labels but more about those next week!

The12 designers are

Cath Deeson, Clare Youngs, Dawn Cole, Emily Tull, Esther Dreher, Jane Ellison, Jenny Duff, Lesley Gray, Lindsay Marsden of The Black Rabbit, Sarah Stanley, Soraia Almeida, Steve Asquith and Tracy Kendall

Folksy inspiration

Much of my work is inspired by folkart and in the next two or three posts I am going to show some of the inspiration behind my new book Folkart needlecraft. During the research for the book I spent 3 days in Budapest, discovering the wonderful traditional Hungarian embroidery. One of my first stops was the Museum of Ethnography housed in a huge neo- renaissance palace. There is a permanent exhibition of The traditional culture of the Hungarian people, featuring hundreds of exhibits from different eras of textiles, ceramics, handicrafts, clothes etc. I spent a very happy few hours there and amazingly had the museum practically to myself.

The following morning I spent in the 2nd hand bookshops and came across this beautiful book, which is in fact a collection of hundreds of embroidery patterns, printed on loose leaves, from the Kalotaszegi  region. I didn’t pay much for it and I love every page!

From the 2nd hand bookshops we made our way to one of the big flea markets held in one of the parks in central Budapest, where I found a stall selling antique, traditional embroideries. I bought one eventually, after agonising over them all. So much choice! Here it is looking perfectly at home on a 50’s wicker chair in our living room.