26 March 2012

spring swim

having been indoors beavering away at the sewing machine from dawn til dusk for the last few days i was afraid i might miss the mini heat wave. i managed to spare a couple of hours to go for a quick dip in the helford and drip dry in the evening sun. very cold but my fingers returned to full life for more sewing......

23 March 2012

the hot pot cafe

i've just finished painting the signs for my friend's new catering trailer. keep a look out for it at events around cornwall! 
and while i was using the red paint these amazing patterns formed in the pot of green.

20 March 2012


just finished stenciling ten aprons and four tablecloths 2 hours before the opening night of 'tin'- phew!
'tin' is a new collaboration between the wonderful miracle theatre and the english touring opera:

"West Cornwall 1890. The shareholders are throwing good money after bad down their once glorious tin min. Just when they manage to hoodwink an outsider into investing in the failing enterprise, a troupe of windswept actors arrives in town to perform Beethoven's Fidelio.
As these two very different worlds collide, love stories unfold and melodrama spills over into everyday life as the villagers and actors seize an opportunity to transform their lives..."

i'm also in the choir and village scenes which means i get to wear my stunning but very fragile dress from the late 1870s/early 80s. it would be quite trendy but for 100 years! it's absolutely beautiful and i've had it since i was about 20. unfortunately the silk has become so brittle that you can tear it as you would a piece of card. i really hope it doesn't disintegrate on stage as that would be embarrassing!

detail of inside of bodice

19 March 2012

victorian cobwebs

 sun streaming in through the studio window 
i open the victorian cupboard
 and victorian cobwebs shimmer and dance in the morning light

13 March 2012

wanted! a dog cart

well, today was most frustrating. for years i've been looking for a strong base with sturdy old cartwheels from which to build a traveling shadow puppet theatre and also a stall for my work at handmade fairs. this has been an ongoing idea that never quite becomes reality partly because i can never find my dream wheels (old, rustic but in great working condition but without the cart bit- as pulling apart a beautiful piece of victorian craftmanship would be both heart-breaking and expensive). 
not only did i find my perfect wheels but i also discovered an old victorian food cupboard that could be adapted for part of the top. the only problem..... the wheels were on ebay and the cupboard was at an auction and they both clashed. i'm not someone who has the internet on their phone so i thought the best plan would be to go to the auction and then phone a friend and ask them to bid for me on ebay. the auction was exciting and in between watching lots i dashed out into the car park to conduct my phone ebay bidding (feeling like a pro) and frustratingly got outbid in the last second.....ggggrrrr. going back into the auction room felt like ebay was suddenly bursting into reality around me. that virtual little auction of little people running around frantically bidding on things inside the computer grew larger until it solidified into a life size auction with real people, real things you could touch and a real auctioner. no niceties here though. no "congratulations! you have won!" more "MADAM will you kindly keep your hands to yourself otherwise i'll take that as a bid"and "will the people at the back PLEASE kindly SHUT UP" and "sir, could you PLEASE hold your number in a way so that i can actually see it. you must realise that i'm looking through a forest of chair legs and YOU are not making yourself visible to me". 
after a disappointing five hours of items fetching well above anything i was willing to pay i was beginning to feel a little despondent. after all, the cupboard wasn't going to be much use without the wheels. i nearly called it a day but thought it would be interesting to see how much it went for. being right at the end many people had left and nobody wanted to bid on it so i happily took it home for £2. it will cost more in woodworm treatment but a bargain none the less. and the search for cartwheels continues. i found out that they were from a dog cart just like this one. maybe i need to get a dog too!

12 March 2012

.....a little bit fishy

i thought it would be fun to make an articulated fish using a similar design to one i have already. i was hoping it would be quite straight forward (which it would have been had i taken the time to mark it out before sawing!). it is satisfying to play with and moves in a very fish-like manner. more fish i think....

10 March 2012



i took my bike on the train and cycled in the glorious spring sunshine to mousehole. later, as the light began to fade i watched a lugger sail out of newlyn. i thought maybe i could race it back to penzance. the wind carried them speedily forward. i narrowly avoided a collision with a small child on a bmx. as i reached the promenade  i saw a tiny hazy triangle dissolving into the  distance. i looked down into the turquoise depths and watched waves collide as they bounced off the sea wall. they created underwater clouds in the dusky water.