Monday, 25 February 2013

Finding Illuminate in the best bookshop ever

Browsing  the design bookshop at Salts Mill with the smell of lilies in the air and the Hockneys gracing the walls is a very pleasant way of spending a morning. 

Seeing my very own book nestled in amongst the design and pattern books really topped off the experience.

It's the first time I've seen it in a bookshop so you can imagine how exciting it was!

I realised I'd not had a day out of Hebden Bridge since December...goodness me so busy! About time for some re-filling. We bought some nice books and magazines and read them over a lunch in the diner. Perfect.

Monday, 18 February 2013


I LOVE this photo that Sarah took last week when we were doing a studio photo-shoot (for a new magazine...more of that to come). The studio is sooooo sunny which is great for playing with silhouettes. The windows are like a giant light box which proves really useful in my line of work.

 It has been useful while I've been playing with my new Fritillary design.

This is one of my favourite flowers. I couldn't believe the chequered petals were real the first time I saw them. I drew some in my sketchbook last year and wondered how I could possibly describe this intricate pattern in light and shadow. It puzzled me so much that I left the drawing in my sketchbook to come back to later. 

Last month Helen who owns the Willow Garden, which is my favourite florist in Hebden Bridge asked me if I could do a Fritillary design so I rose to the challenge and got the sketchbook out again.

After much drawing and cutting and re-cutting (very fiddly) I decided that if I did the chequered pattern behind the flower head silhouette it softened the effect which I liked. 

I let some bright white light out from the inside petals like the light was coming from inside the flower head

and lastly added the spindly fly-away leaves.

There. The first new lamp design from the new studio. I hope it's the first of many more.

Atelier Stella

 I'm loving my bright new studio and so are the plants. I bought this little smiley guy from Atelier Stella after I saw Jurianne Matter write a blog post about her work. 

It's just fab. I just had to have one. He's my new studio friend.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

What stile!

So many stiles to climb on our walk today.

Old wood, weathered and worn,

warmed by the sun

and smoothed by the touch of many hands.

Some had their own miniature garden.

They guided us on our merry way from Jack Bridge to Jumble Hole

on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Everyone loves a Snowdrop

(photo by Sarah Mason)
Every now and again I do a giveaway exclusive to my mailing list (click here I'd love you to join too) and last month I offered one of the Snowdrop candle covers that I made for The Simple Things feature. All people had to do was tell me how it would light up their life. Wow! Snowdrops really do bring out the poet in everyone. I had so many lovely entries. Here are a few.

'It would light up my life by bringing joy, both in the beauty of the handmade, and the optimism that the snowdrop represents, synonymous as it is, with the first sign of spring!'

'I am always awaiting expectantly this time of year to see the first of the snowdrops appear, pushing their way valiantly through the soil. In time and with exact temperatures, the stems extend and those most wonderful of flowers unveil and drop their exquisite shapes which I feel convey purity, clarity and hope.'

'Snowdrops are my favourite Spring flower, as their
perfectly formed little nodding heads seem to say 'Spring is round the corner'. Shining like a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. '

And we all need that light at the end of the tunnel at this time of year don't we. I was looking out of my studio window today at all the bleak bare branches against the sky and willing it to be all green and luscious again. I cannot wait. I'm craving it now. 

Anyway, it was ridiculously hard to choose a favourite but I do love the image this one conjures up.

 'On the 'still very dark ' Scottish mornings here in Inverness, at 7am when I have to push myself out of bed I can light the candle while I eat my porridge, prepare for the day and remember to check on the snowdrops in the garden that are pushing up through the ground ready to blossom in new life - and I must do the same.'

So, one Snowdrop candle cover will be winging it's way up to Sarah in Inverness to light up to the 'still very dark' mornings.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Your emails brought me as much joy as the first signs of Spring. x

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