Thursday, 25 October 2007


I have never thought of myself as a creative person. At school, the creative people were the ones who could draw or paint; I never moved beyond stick men. The creative people were the ones who didn't follow the rules but made up their own, better ones. I on the other hand was really good at languages because if you learn & follow the rules of grammar it all works; that was much more my style.

But over the past few months a couple of people have described me as creative, and after initially scoffing at the compliment I thought again. When a friend described me as creative I protested that I was not (she didn't know I can still only draw stick men I reasoned - she was just wrong). But in reply she pointed out that I bake, write, garden and do the occasional bit of sewing which are all creative things.

Jane Brocket's gorgeous new book The Gentle Art of Domesticity makes a very articulate case for creativity in the home. She argues that creativity need not be just the output of a best selling artist or a top fashion designer. Creativity can be making a batch of madly decorated fairy cakes or photographing back-yard flowers in the sunshine.

So I am starting to redefine my idea of creativity. Here is my list of recent creations around the home.


Last night I finished a little hand stitched quilt that I had made for O's dolls' bed. And it is one of the things I have created that I am most proud of. Mainly because I finished it.

I fell in love with quilts when I was at college in America for a year.

I was in awe of the beautiful, old quilts that students brought with them to college. When I asked them where they got them from I couldn't believe they had been stitched by their grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Beautiful family heirlooms being taken to college - how cool!

I bought a quilting book and spent many afternoons wandering around the quilt shop in Roanoke stroking fabrics and admiring the quilts on display. When I returned to the UK I bought fabric to make a huge king-sized quilt and started cutting and stitching. Very soon I was completely overwhelmed with the size of the task I had undertaken and I packed the partly made quilt away in fear.

But I've always wanted to make a quilt, so when I found myself with more time on my hands last month I thought I would have another go. But this time I sensibly picked a more manageable size.

I am so proud of it! Particularly the binding around the edge which I was not confident about, but which turned out to be easier than it looked.



To celebrate the end of the quilt I stitched a strawberry from Sew Pretty Homestyle last night. It needs more stuffing, the leaves aren't quite right, and I have no idea what to do with it, but its done. And it only took an hour while I was watching tele!

Hama beads

Aren't these gorgeous?

O got the beads for her birthday and the children and I have all been completely absorbed by them this week. You put the beads on a peg board to make your design, then when it is finished fuse the beads together with an iron and a piece of waxed paper and remove from the board. They're so colourful and I particularly like the randomness of the star and the circle.


C needed some more jumpers and said he wanted a Star Wars one. I didn't have the energy to hunt around the shops for one, so told him I would make one instead.


I used a £2 sweatshirt from Matalan, scraps of fabric and embroidery thread plus a Jedi font from the internet. C told me I needed to use purple, turquoise, green and orange as those are Jedi colours. I wouldn't have chosen this combination myself, but as I am not a control freak I did as I was asked.


Birthday cakes


Two birthdays this past weekend meant two birthday cakes - yum!


  1. You are so creative it hurts. I LOVE the strawberry in particular (I may not have been meant to say that, but I really do) and the quilt is fantastic. Still waiting for my slice of cake...Are you now moving onto the kingsize bedspread then?!x

  2. Hello,
    I found your blog with a random search for hama beads to see what people had been doing! I wonder if you've been a customer of mine as i think i am the only person selling the press butterflies you have - i run beadmerrily.

    Looks like you had a lovely time with them :)

  3. Hello Merry - yes I got all the Hama beads & boards for O's birthday from your website! Am a big fan of the website - you have such great stock - and am off to put it on my link list right now!

  4. i'm smiling with warm memories of your time in Roanoke! :) wish i could see you again, Nancy! and G, too. and meet C&O. {hugs}

    beautiful job on all of these creative items. and yes, you ARE creative!


  5. I made those strawberries this week too! My first one was understuffed, and I'm still tweaking the leaves (I'm pleased you found them tricky too!). In the end I added a seam allowance, and another one I pinked them instead of turning them inside out. Will post pics on my blog tomorrow. I also bought some yummy strawberry essence on Ebay


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