Welcome to my new website! This is how I got here…

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Hallo you gorgeous things, and welcome to my shiny new website! Do you like it? I’m pretty gosh darned pleased with what the fabulous team at Nobody on Fire have come up with, but now that it’s down to me to maintain it, I’m all ears if you have any suggestions for improvement.

This site is the result of over a year of working and learning and growing, myself and my business, to get to the point where I was ready to launch into the wide blue yonder and really believe in what I do. I didn’t do it alone, I couldn’t have done.  I think trying to go it alone has been what’s held me back for so long.  My first butt-kicker (in the nicest and pinkest possible way) was Gala Darling.  Her Radical Self Love e-course (Dare Dream Do) got me believing in myself and my art again.

Screenshot of silly-face selfie, with Instagram comments
Radical Self Love even got me posting daft selfies on Instagram. Hmm.

So when I found out about Leonie Dawson‘s Shining Year book, I was in the right place to take up that challenge and get moving.  And wow, it’s been brilliant, I cannot recommend it enough (as you can tell, because this isn’t the first time I’ve done so!). And she led me to Jennifer Lee and her Right Brainers in Business annual video summit, which then led me to an enormous wealth of amazingness and inspiration which I’m still working through. And then I read Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking, which is Truly Most Excellent. Phew!

'Meet Amanda Palmer' sign outside Waterstones bookshop
I totally did. My book is now signed. Squeee!

 

I’m telling you all that because I want you to go and check these people out, and see if they can help or inspire you in your turn. Maybe, maybe not, but it is the human prerogative to point and show when we see something we like (no really, it is – as far as we know no other animal does it, yet human babies do it as soon as they can control their fingers), so *POINT* look at these shiny things!

Close up of two chicken figures, one wearing a bow tie, the other a lace veil. Of course.
Philomena and Count Emil. You’ll see.

So, anyway, here we all are. I have some really exciting projects lined up for the summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you – I promise there will be lots of pretty pictures 🙂  In the meantime though, off you go and check out those links 🙂  Especially Gala Darling, because she is glorious.

 

All change!

Cross stitch golden carp, with the words 'Carpe Diem'

I’ve decided to shuffle things up a bit here at Picky Miss, and I’m excited to announce that the wonderful folks at Nobody On Fire are crafting me a spanking new website to match.  This year I want to put greater emphasis on what I can do for you. This summer will see me collaborating with masterful storytellers and anarchic gardeners, as well as (finally) completing a five-part commission of 3.5m high embroidered wall hangings. Add in an art fair, a children’s festival and a storytelling course, and you can see that already I have lots I want to tell you about!  And while this may sound like a lot, I really want to shout about it because I want people to book me to do more.

Do you want a fabric craft workshop at your festival this summer? An artistic collaborator? A hand-embroidered wedding gift? Stage backdrop, marching banner, geeky cross stitch? Crafty hen party?  Just drop me a message.

Keep your eyes peeled for a new site, with new pics, and exciting new… new stuff 🙂  And while you’re waiting, check out Festival at the Edge Storytelling Festival, where I shall be working with the inimitable Peter Chand, creating masks and flags for the children’s parade. Because if you’ve never been to FatE, you really should try it. It’s such a lovely, fun festival.

Spring clean, Spring sale!

spring clean spring sale

spring clean spring sale

I was recently invited to bring some artworks to join my amazing friends Grace Kaya and Sarah Smout at their gig.  I wasn’t sure what to bring, but I knew the venue was small, with no real space to display or hang stuff, so instead of gathering up my carefully framed pieces, I rummaged in my box of unframed ‘things I have created just because I wanted to create’.  This made me realise that I really need to have a clear-out of these bits and pieces, because hoarding them in a box serves no-one. Art is not meant to be hidden away in boxes, just as boxes of hidden art are not meant to clutter up my precious and limited workspace!  So anyway, for many reasons (it’s nearly my birthday, I’m totally skint, I need to clear some space), but mostly because I think these creations want to be shared, I am having a Spring Clean Sale!  Below are all the pieces for sale, with dimensions. If you like the look of one (or more), just use the contact form and make me an offer. Seriously, you decide what you think it’s worth, and what you’re willing to pay. It’s first come first served, and I’ll mark items as sold as they go.  Postage is just £2 flat rate, no matter if you buy one piece or all of ’em.

Grumpy monster
Grumpy Monster 28x26cm Chain stitch (mostly) on stiff cotton.
monster
Hug Me monster SOLD
carpe diem cross stitch
Carpe Diem, with sparkly carpe 🙂 21x9cm on pale blue Aida cotton
carpe diem
Same stitching, different view
mario
Ey, Mario! Stitched area 15x6cm Cross stitch on even-weave linen.
Well ain't that a bitch embroidery
Sympathy. Stitched area 25x11cm. Cross stitch on evenweave linen.
scraptreepink
Purple scrap tree. 38x38cm Appliqued fabric and machine embroidery on cotton. £30 ono.
Blue/yellow scrap tree. 38x38cm. Appliqued fabric and machine embroidery on cotton. £30 ono
Blue/yellow scrap tree. 38x38cm. Appliqued fabric and machine embroidery on cotton.
large monochrome tree, drawing on fabric
Large monochrome tree 38x47cm. Pen on fabric.
Green tree. 18x27cm (at widest point). Pen on fabric. £10
Green tree. 18x27cm (at widest point). Pen on fabric.
benjaminbunny
Benjamin Bunny. Not my design, just something I stitched. Stitched area 12x15cm.
tree on slate
Slate tree. 12x20cm, pencil on slate. Local (Sheffield) pick-up only, I don’t want to post this.
pen on fabric, tree
Not quite so large monochrome tree SOLD

With muchas kudos and thanks to Warren Draper for the last two photos. Way more professional than mine.

Live Long and Prosper

Live Long and Prosper

One of my very first attempts at making my own cross-stitch pattern resulted in a rather lovely (I think) piece of traditional redwork. Traditional Vulcan, that is.  My first rendering was very poorly executed, on teeny tiny even-weave linen. This reworking is somewhat larger, and neater, and hey, it’s for sale! You can own this for your very own, and help me pay my bills at the same time! What a very logical exchange.

Live Long and Prosper

Work in progress – winter tree

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So, I’ve been snipping and stitching, and I’ve nearly finished the Winter installment of my ‘exceedingly large wall hanging trees’. I’m keeping this one much more muted, trying to stick to black and white as much as possible.

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I asked the client if there was anything in particular they’d like, and they sent me a picture of two metal bird sculptures they have in their yard.

birds_02

They said it would be nice to try and get the birds on the hanging, as it would feel like they’d been able to ‘bring them in for the winter’ 🙂  Not quite done yet, as I ran out of embroidery thread, so am waiting on an Ebay delivery before I can finish off, but here’s one to be getting on with.

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I am really enjoying making these, and am more than open to many more commissions – large or small.  So get in touch if you might be interested, and let’s have a chat about what can be done 🙂

Things to do, people to see! How I’m planning to kick 2015’s butt.

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What are you going to do with yourself this year? We’re halfway through January, hands up who has a plan…

I have tried so hard, on so many occasions, to Get My Shit Together, and back in December I decided to stop trying to pull myself up by my own shoestrings (laces, bootstraps, whatever you call them) and get some help.  Not boring, corporate, pull-yourself-together ‘self help’ books, or well-meaning ‘this amazing woman manages four children, her elderly parents, her own law business, a petting zoo and a homeless charity – she’ll show you how you can too!’ websites (gods, do they make you sick? They make me sick) – no, I wanted something more… me. Check this out. I mean seriously, Check. This. Out.

2014v2-buy-table-printed-headerPretty hippy, yeah? Perfect. And let me tell you, it is uh-maze-ing. I love it!  Check out Leonie’s website for more about her, and about how this workbook works.  I spent the Christmas hols curled up with this book and a stack of coloured pens, and I worked out what had gone right, and wrong, in 2014.  What I wanted to carry forwards, and what I wanted to leave behind. I scribbled and drew and coloured in, and I now know what I need to do this year, what I want to do this year, and how I can make those things happen in Real Life. And I am planning my week in advance, which means it’s easier to stick to (I woke up in a fug this morning, but have still completed all my to-dos because I didn’t have to think about what they were, I just did as past-me told me to 🙂 )

This covers my business (woohoo!) and just life (again, woohoo!), and makes sure you stop to review how you’re doing at the end of every month. It’s like a gorgeous rainbow kick up the arse. Or something.  So far this year, having and *using* this book has meant I have regular space in my diary for fun stuff (what luxury!), I have signed up to learn Danish (having spent the last four+ years meaning to do so), I have submitted “art” to an exhibition (as opposed to leaving the browser tab open to remind me, until such time as I can close it again because I’ve missed the deadline), and hey look at me! I’m writing a blog post!

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My “100 Things To Do In 2015” is great, because I’ve never set myself such a challenge before – I usually just think ‘oh that’d be nice, one day’ and never do it. I’m only up to 58 so far, but that’s OK, I’m sure I’ll think of more. It ranges from ‘Take my daughter to Copenhagen’ to ‘Drink a White Russian’ (because Dude) to ‘Clean the damn windows’, but I’m really looking forward to having fun with it 🙂  Go on, what would you put on such a list?

Pretty pictures

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Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/festive period. Winter isn’t over yet, not by a long way, so I thought to cheer you up in these cold months I would encourage you to come and follow me on Instagram, where I promise to post lots of nice pictures of Stuff for you to look at.  Brainpower not required, just eyes to look at pretty things with.

sparkly
Sparkly messy bookshelf. I love Christmas 🙂

Not-so-happy Monday

Snow Angels!

Well I got a nasty surprise last week, when I checked my stock and found that the mildew we’ve been fighting round the house had got inside a sealed plastic box and taken up residence on my embroideries. And all my sock monsters smell damp, too 🙁  So, that knocks any Christmas fairs on the head, unless I get a run of extra hours and manage to go on a mad making binge. But, things can be washed, and reframed, so it’s not a total disaster. Sigh.

On the up side, I have a batch of Christmas decorations all ready to go up on Etsy. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Hello Monday

springdetail

Well, I missed last Monday’s ‘update on last week’s crafting’ because I was away, so sorry about that. I was away making things, but I was making things out of food, so it was a bit different.

Homity Pie
Homity Pie anyone?

But one thing that happened while I was away, was that the second of my large wall hangings successfully traversed the Channel to arrive with its new owners in Belgium. More details on the ‘making of’ later, but for now… The Summer Tree:

Summer tree wall hanging

It doesn’t really have a big crease on one side, that’s just the way the wind caught it. I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out 🙂