A mercifully brief history of moi

As a small child, I lived with my former-milliner grandmother in an East Anglian village stalked by windmills, the forest on the horizon.  These were the days before computers, before cable television (let alone streaming services), with just two buses a week heading to the nearest market towns.  We made our own diversions, and when the icy winds of winter swept in across the North Sea that, for me, meant sitting before the fire, learning sewing skills.

Tools of the Trade - The What & Why

One facet of my commitment to building a sustainable business concerns the hardware used to create my work.  After all, it is not only the obviously environmentally-impactful elements like fabrics that have consequences - everything we choose to buy has baggage, and I am trying to make myself a list of suppliers whose ethos aligns with mine. (Please note, none of the following are affiliates - this is an honest list of what I use and why)


Fragments of Alba - how they came to be

Rumour has it that some folks are interested in how inspiration strikes and a collection develops...

In this case, I was intent upon creating a group of burlesque-inspired figures and had got as far as trawling Pinterest for pictures to form a mood-board when I began taking a correspodence course with the fabulous Johanna of The Pale Rook.  An early exercise was taking a sheet of tissue paper, subjecting it to whatever folds, twists and pinches came to mind and see what it suggested.....Every last one of my experiments looked like a Victorian lady :


Tales from the Circus - Bombadil von Rammstein


To anyone who knows him now, Bombadil's performing life began in the most unlikely manner since he spent his boyhood years as a (somewhat reluctant, it must be said) choirboy.

His days of singing practice & surruptitious wine-drinking were brought to an abrupt end, however, one snowy Christmas Eve.  Whilst walking home from kirche still clad in his Sunday best lederhosen, young Bombadil fell prey to a press-gang & was bundled aboard a brig headed for Batavia, kept below decks for days until they were safely out of sight of European shores.

A Perfect Time for Alice

Well, what an interesting year this has turned out to be.... although by "interesting", I actually mean "unforeseeably crazy".  Maybe that's why "Alice" came to the fore?  Perhaps we have all fallen down a rabbithole...

Alice in Wonderland




Lewis Carroll was not the first to notice the craziness of hatters - apparently the phrase "mad as a hatter" was first used about one Robert Crab, an   eccentric Englishman who, in the 1650s, gave all his goods to the poor and lived on dock leaves and grass.

New Work in a New Style

Following on from my last post, when I was beginning to assimilate what I learned from Johanna of The Pale Rook...

Epona was my first real success at combining textiles, embroidery, and a little bit of painting into something that felt authentically "Bizarrium".

Magda adds some wire-work to the mix; iron wire will continue to rust and add to her texture.

Lavernia came next, with lashings of antique lace and a whimsical tail.

Just this week, I made Arunas with his quilted wings and tail.

Experiments (Courtesy of the Pale Rook) and Hints of Things to Come

So, a couple of weeks ago I drove from Somerset to Glasgow to attend the first doll-making workshop given by Johanna Flanagan (she of the Pale Rook).  Not that I am an inveterate workshopper (this was only my second, the other being wirework which helped in the development of antlers and fairy wings), but I do believe this was rather special. I am certainly happy with what I learned...


Firstly, a stuffed doll flat-patterned on the spot, adorned with scraps of antique lace.


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