My Etsy Shop

Sunday, 29 June 2014

My First Stitches

It is September 1989.

I am walking down the little lane past the high brick wall that surrounds my school. The leaves are starting to fall from the large sycamore tree that stands in the corner of the playing field and which leans over the end of Baker's Lane. I can hear some of the crisp, brown leaves crunching under my feet. I am wearing a duffle coat and my Mum's red snood to keep my ears warm. My favourite top is a white sweat shirt that has a hologram of a wolf on it. I secretly want to be Kylie Minogue.

This year I will be in Mrs Habbershaw's class and it's my last year at Infant School. Every Friday we will write little stories. We will learn about how days grow shorter and longer as the seasons change. If we are lucky we will get to have a little go on the computer that sits in the corner of the room. Computers are really expensive and we are lucky to have one.
One day, a kind old lady will be our guest in the classroom and we will take turns to work in small groups around her and we learn how to make simple embroidery stitches. This is the first time I have ever used a needle and thread and I am immediately fascinated by the feel of the fabric and the bright colours of the threads. The lady has marked out the letters of my name on the pink canvas and I am working over them in cross stitch with an orange thread. The stitches are fairly neat, even if they are not all being worked in the same direction.
Next I will work a small flower with white and green threads. I won't work all of the stitches in the sampler myself but it will be treasured for many years to come and will begin a lifetime's love of embroidery. I will soon forget the lady's name but I will never forget what she has taught me.

Friday, 20 June 2014


Welcome to the official blog for my embroidery design and needlecraft shop. You can find my shop on where you can browse my portfolio of cross stitch and blackwork designs. I also have plans to make some items too but with just one pair of hands to run all aspects of the business this will have to wait a short while!


My designs are inspired by a huge variety of sources but my two main influences are Celtic art and the natural world. These are both combined in the symbol of the hawthorn tree. The hawthorn tree symbolises the joining together of numerous contradictions. Soft, fragrant blossoms flower alongside sharp woody thorns. The strongly perfumed blossoms were associated with female fertility in the spring and yet the tree was said to have a male energy.

My own Hawthorn Tree has many branches; my influences are quite diverse. I collect ideas from historical sources from ancient Celtic manuscripts and stonework to twentieth century art nouveau and art deco. All of my designs are inspired by interesting shapes and colours, whether it is stylised geometry or natural forms. So taking inspiration from history and nature, I have created designs for the modern stitcher. I don't mind at all if you stitch one of my designs using different threads and/or fabric, in fact I would encourage you to do so. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyable so find a design and make it your own. That way you will get more satisfaction from working it and you will have created something unique which can be cherished for years to come.

Do keep checking back and you’ll learn more about me and my designs. You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. I’ve just updated my Folksy shop with two new designs and there’s another one coming very soon so keep in touch.