Where did it all begin? Well, let me tell you a story...

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, three children filled their bicycles' saddle bags with crucial supplies - sandwiches, apple juice, cake, and empty jam jars.  Thus prepared to face all and any adventures, they set off along the lanes edging fields of golden wheat, past the dark wooden village hall which had hosted many a birthday party, the ancient flint-built square-towered church whose Sunday school was famed for plentiful biscuits, the creaking windmill that marked the edge of their village.

The whir of their wheels barely disturbed the quiet of the morning, which was otherwise broken only by the chirp of grasshoppers, the crow of an occasional alarmed pheasant, and the mewing of buzzards cruising aloft in search of doomed rodents.  Until they reached the edge of the forest, when that whir became fainter, and yet the only sound in the world.  A thick carpet of fallen leaves and pine needles quashed all noise.

Reaching a particular wooden rail, its top marked with blood-red paint, we dismounted and left the bikes, took those empty jars from our saddle bags and set off into the dappled darkness to fill them with treasure. Small fingers rooting through the forest floor in search of strange insects, fragile bones, slivers of arrowheads. Alert always to cracking twigs signalling the approach of....what?

A proud stag, or two small green-skinned children?  We were brave and free and magic was possible...




I'm Penelope O'Gara, and in those long-gone days before the pandemic I was a theatrical costume designer - researching, drawing & building all manner of outfits for stages from Bath & London to Los Angeles & Singapore. And although I had been making dolls for a few years, those long months without theatre gave me time to explore my own story-telling, blending it with my penchant for textile arts to develop a new world of creatures more deeply rooted in the land, in folklore, in the realms of the otherworld.


Outside the studio, I am lucky enough to live in a barn on the edge of the beautiful Somerset levels with an array of chickens and ducks, plus felines Barney, the big gentle forest cat, and Bugaboo, the eternally grubby fluffball.