Posted in Making

Blog Hop

Marceline tagged me in this blog hop, which is nice. It’s a window into the world of how us creators create. It’s nice to read how others work, especially when you’re a lone wolf, working away at home with no-one to bounce ideas off. So, without further ado…


Well, interestingly enough, given that I recently “retired” from my creative endeavours, I have actually got a very long to-do list.

  • Finish Grand Budapest Hote charts and get them online.
  • House-warming gifts for a couple of friends.
  • Stock for Red Door Gallery.
  • Christmas!



Umm, I don’t know. Does it, really? I suppose it’s designed by me and my  unique take on the world, so it differs in that way. It’s not twee as fuck. It’s not overly sweary (though it’s what everyone automatically associates me with). All my patterns are tried and tested by me, which is something that definitely sets me apart from a lot of Etsy shysters, who bash out patterns by the dozen and sell them for like a dollar each. Ugh.

My ready-made pieces are all made by my own hands. I frame them all myself. I source everything myself. I post them all. I pick the dog hair off each and every single item that makes its way out the door. DEDICATED.


Regular readers of this blog will know that in the past few years, this is something I have struggled with on more than one occasion. The thing is that now I don’t know if I create things because I enjoy it or I am just now deeply institutionalised, ie, I can’t sit down without doing something with my hands.

I still have a need to create and to produce something that I can’t explain. Ceramics is something that has been rolling around in my head for a few years now, but I’ve never had the opportunity or time to scratch that itch. But, I may have just purchased this on eBay…




Mostly, it starts with an idea. I then carry it around in my head with me, and if it sticks for a while, I transfer it to my list in my phone of things to make. When the muse strikes or time allows, I sit down and usually chart it out by hand. If it’s a large-scale piece that’s more involved, I will chart it out on my charting software on my rickety laptop that only gets turned on if it’s vitally necessary. I could really use a new one.

Then, I basically sit down and stitch it. I take note of any changes on the chart as I go, and then go back and amend it once finished. Et voila. It’s not really that ingenious at all.

I do tend to scribble down ideas at work, too. Sometimes in a notebook, sometimes on a meeting agenda, or on my hand if it’s a good un. I’m always getting ideas, but it’s the ones that stick that tend to make it into production. Sometimes, I run them past a friend or Lee to gauge their reaction. I’ve scrapped whole collections before because no-one else “got” them.

I’ve probably burst a few bubbles with this info! I don’t work very scientifically or with much organisation at all, because my life is fairly hectic and I just fit in creating when I can!

I’ll tag Claire of Claireabelle Makes and Kim of Finest Imaginary to write a little about their creative process.



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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