open studio

It is Cambridge Open Studios time of year.  The first four weekends of July, I will be at home and open. Do come and see me, there will be cushions in abundance, some zippy bags and cake. I will be stitching on the Bernina industrie 850, the whippet will be in attendance and we will have tidied up.

I am number 205 in the COS guide, please note the change of address from last year. we are now back at home. Hooray!


cos 16

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” ― W.C. Fields


Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

Edward Thomas

Taken from Collected Poems, Edward Thomas, pub. Faber & Faber 1936.

October 2011, I had trapped everyone in the kitchen to help me name my new Etsy shop.   A pile of books on the table and on top was The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes, a good contender we thought but turned out to be in use on Etsy already.  After listing a variety of beasts and the places they might hang out, none of which rolled lightly off the tongue, I picked up the second book in the pile and Edward Thomas offered the perfect solution.

Naming can be tricky. When I was not much taller than a parrot standing on a bulldog’s back I was particularly fickle with the names I handed out; apart from Suzie and Cuddly made by my mum, I would happily change the names of all my toys as and when I felt necessary.

When it came to babies the staff in SCBU became increasingly astonished during our two week stay as Baby 1 and Baby 2 remained anonymous.  In our defence they were 6 weeks early and I didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of my youth. Baby 3 arrived 30 minutes before his due date and was named in our own time.

Pets have been named in a variety of ways, the first was after a painter, the most recent was renamed, by me, as we pulled away from his previous home. Harsh I know but a much better fit.

Thank you Edward Thomas.


finger shut in car door… typing tricky

Open Studios are upon us.





A team effort!

Lovely people from far and wide, finding me… not always easy I am told. Negotiating the unsophisticated green bungee securing the wrought iron gates, wondering whether to retreat on encountering the expanding foam wolf… it says Textiles in the directory… and braving the friendliest whippet in East Cambs.



Come in people

you are most welcome.

checking in

Things are busy, hectic in fact surrounded by an air of the mildly frantic.paint1

If I were ahead, and no-one was waiting for cushions, fired clay work*, photographs of lampshades or embroidered fabric for upholstery with open studios just 10 days away, it might mean that there wasn’t enough going on.  In fact there is a lot happening, the seat of my pants is thin but intact. Just.


Hold on blog reader I will be back with the odd annecdote, photograph and offer of cake throughout the rest of 2015.  This is a year of change and during the next 6 months I will establish a rhythm and regular blog posts.


*Recently, while working in primary schools producing clay panels, I was asked ‘what had the clay done that was so bad it needed firing…’ I feel lucky to have days like this; to drop in with a group of 4 – 11 year olds and watch them working with a material I love


and there is always time to photograph peeling paint.

It’s your life but only if you make it so ― Eleanor Roosevelt

With so much change in the air it seems like a good time for a Rook to really spread her wings. Time to concentrate on supplying orders, try out new ideas, prepare for open studios, a collaboration and an exhibition!

This is my last day as an art technician in a Village College, I have cleared out the virtual and physical detritus,

technician brain

packed up the model of my brain and am off to celebrate this milestone in a suitable way.

Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying any attention to you. It’s your attention to yourself that is so stultifying. But you have to disregard yourself as completely as possible. If you fail the first time then you’ll just have to try harder the second time. After all, there’s no real reason why you should fail. Just stop thinking about yourself.”
Eleanor Roosevelt,

back on the wing

After an enforced break I am back in business and it feels very good.  Much has happened in six weeks, we have temporarily relocated, I have almost mastered the aquisition of digital music, there is a new sewing machine, the cat and dog have bonded and I have thanked the gods many times that we are all safe with a roof over our heads, even if it hasn’t always been the same roof.

One day, when we were out, the washing machine caught fire.


We came home, turned off the electricity and went out to buy lots of cleaning products.  We spoke to the insurance company and realised this was a bigger cleaning job than we thought. We arrived at the most helpful, understanding Bed & Breakfast in East Anglia and ate the tastiest breakfasts for 11 days.


The loss adjuster visited and realised it was a bigger job than he thought, the cleaning company visited and said all would be well.  The second loss adjuster visited and told us to find rented accommodation for six months…

A lot of other things happened and we are now in our temporary lodgings which are very good but not our home and this can be hard.

But our landlord has agreed to me continuing with Cambridge Open Studios,

Esther watches over us in the evening,


this isn’t Esther but she is just this beautiful,

the slack line is a perfect fit,


and the Lime trees in the garden are home to a parliament of the best kind.

I think the cleaners are right, all will be well.

To any Osbornes reading this who are feeling less than okay, it will pass with time I Promise.

something about which I feel very strongly and a bee

Autismcon happened last weekend and I found it inspiring and revealing.


The people who work for the NAS, the volunteers, the speakers and visitors combined to create an occasion that will stay in my mind. fen7

Roles were reversed and I felt like an outsider, welcome but different.


I am a parent of children with ASD and there are many things in life that I would like to change but my family’s character isn’t one of them.  I want more awareness, less abrasiveness and no questionnaires.


We have met some wonderful people through Aspergers and made new friends but bureaucracy makes it a struggle and this is not how it should be.  To clarify that is no questionnaires!

Now here is a bee made with sari ribbon, barkcloth to die for and vintage blanket.


I am planning to update my etsy shop over the weekend.


Sometimes, when things aren’t looking pretty


and you are in the middle of total technological meltdown,

the most sensible thing is to find Mimosa


consider a new dress with bateau neck line and birds all over


look at paintings


observe the grim reaper meeting year 10


stitch some hens

grey henhen

and remember that it is January and it will pass.