Saturday, 22 December 2012

with love

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year, full of love and laughter!

Monday, 10 December 2012

The tin

The tin
Suprise tin, secret love, stolen kisses
This a collaboration between two people who believe in the truest kind of love patchworkbutterfly and my dear friend alabamawhirly. We have collected the most beautiful vintage tins and boxes and filled them with the hope of love and kisses. A gift of love with knitted eternal mistletoe and a hand embroidered heart with the words kiss me quick, squeeze me slow underneath the mistletoe.To give to those you love, or those who don't know you love them yet, or those who you just want to kiss.
You can find these tins in my shop

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

who cares about the microwave and the table

Where do you start in trying to sort through a lifetimes collection. Over the past few weeks this is what we have been trying to do. Making sense of another persons life through the things they have collected throughout their life time and now left behind. From the everyday, mundane, junk to the precious stuff.
Its a bit like what do you take from the fire?
You have a life, how much of another's possessions do you want or need in your world?
Where do you start? 
Well for me it was the places where people put things that they may not want found. In the secret drawers in the ottoman at the bottom of the bed which seemingly looks full of blankets then you look and you find diaries, things they have made and photos.
It turns out most of the things I have kept are the precious things, they  are seemingly the  mundane things but  for me they hold the most meaning as they were the things that had been kept for years, like a beautiful vintage stapler and hole punch they look so beautiful, the tea service used on high days and holidays, your button box, the diaries, the roses dug up from the garden as they hold a very dear and special place, the sewing box all ragged and just as you left it the day you left this life, half sewn things, little bits of lace, threads and scraps of fabric, your little tins of stamps. I didn't give a toss about the table or microwave I left that to the people who care about that stuff, but they miss the details of what makes a person who they are. You look so beautiful in your photo I would love to have known you then!

Friday, 21 September 2012

There is no beauty without strangeness

Thankyou to Medusa Apothecary one of my favourite little places in the world, has yet again introduced me to something beautiful, astounding, challenging  a book of perfume. Each perfume by ETAT LIBRE d'oRANGE a chapter in a story for the nose. They have created remarkable and unusual scents that have a timeless potential, they talk of their scents being "luxurious and daring elegant and subversive honest and mysterious"
Forget ostentatious packaging they are all a about simple elegance, and then there are the scents, they took me to so many places, they are not for the faint-hearted, they  challenge, evoke deep forgotten feelings and bring about spontaneous urges.
You just want the stories to scent the air as soon as you stumble across ETAT LIBRE d'ORANGE, with over 25 perfumes to choose from you are spoilt for choice, some of my favourite for their scents or just pure devilment are Delicious closet queen, Jasmin et cigarette, Secretions Magnifique, Vraie Blonde
Fat Electrician -  which I love, this scent is of beauty lost.
His beauty would have been his greatest asset. A midnight cowboy, his splendour was consumed in the service for others. Now, a fat electrician in New Jersey, he is cursed with the memory of his glory days. Because all beauty carries within itself the knowledge that it cannot last...
Vetiver, chestnut cream, olive leaves, vanilla, opoponax, myrrh...

and this well.......... just a brilliant name and story for a scent
Don't get me wrong baby I don't swallow

It begins with a hand on the nape of a neck, a hand that demands a fresh caress. An embrace reveals a bouquet of white flowers, and unfurls on accords of amber solaire, almond, sugar cane and marshmallow. There is the chocolate taste of a tender mouth, and then a whisper: Don’t get me wrong baby, I don’t swallow..
Jasmine, lily of the valley, orange blossom, amber, patchouli, cocoa, musk, marshmallow...

As I said not for the faint hearted thank goodness! These are exciting, refreshing, challenging, liberating and scents that give you freedom to play. I love them! 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

its all our responsibility

 As any responsible or un-responsible adult knows, its our job to make the best memories for children. My childhood was beautiful along with my treasured brother and sister, full of fun, laughter, camping under the stars, swimming in the river, drawing, making and our heads full to brimming with family stories and  legends told to us by our dad. Who is now still one of the best story tellers I know of course matched only by my sister. So we as a family carry on the traditions making up stories filling the children's heads with magic and proving that make- believe can be real. So on my 40th birthday party at midnight these blanket 1970s monsters came into being in the pitch black chasing  my nephews and nieces around the garden, them screaming, laughing slaying ghosts until their hearts content. This memory will be a treasure forever, these memories shape us and make us who we are however young or old.

Friday, 7 September 2012

something for you!

To celebrate the launch of my new range of hand embroidered cushion’s “Women in conversation with birds. Each cushion is lovingly hand embroidered with a few thousand stitches on the finest quality cloth.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to win one in our giveaway. All we ask is that you become a friend on Facebook by pressing the like Patchworkbutterfly’s page and leaving us a little comment about a conversation you might have with a bird. We will notify the winner via Facebook on the 27th September. Patchworkbutterfly's facebook page
Good luck!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hello Mr Sparrow

Just finished this hand-stitched little sparrow cushion inspired by drawings of sparrows I made in my garden with an original verse about their beautiful song. This has just gone into my shop. Patchworkbutterfly's shop

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

There is nothing common about you!

A little drawing inspired by the not so common sparrow, these days. I love there funny little song a chirp,chweet, chrrup and a chirrup. Beautiful!

Friday, 13 July 2012

a few stitches later

You start with one stitch then a few thousand later you have the beginnings of a new set of designs to be launched in August so here is a sneak peek. To see more visit my patchworkbutterfly facebook page or follow my world via twitter

Monday, 9 July 2012

dilly dally

I have just been out in the garden in the pouring rain, to pick the lavender. The flowers still think its summer even if we don't. Picking the lavender always reminds me of that little rhyme I learnt as a child, Lavender blue dilly dilly, the thing is we have always said dilly dally past on by me by my Great grandma. So its stuck!  I can remember being at her house one summer, bunching up the lavender, whilst watching the wrestling, eating bon bons, learning the rhyme what a heady mix.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thursday's inbox, Friday's outbox. Hopefully!

Thursday's inbox looks like Everest, if I work hard keep my mind on the job rather than the many distractions ahead of me, I may just make it to the other side of Friday's outbox! All work makes me very dull.

Monday, 2 July 2012

a bit blue

My first hydrangea of the year has bloomed. I love them simply because my Nang (grandma) loves them so much and over the years her love for them has become infectious. I will always remember planting new ones with her as a child, adding along with the soil just the right amount of measured out rusty nails to achieve her perfect blue. She always throws in an extra one for luck. Her little garden now, is still full of them, all blue and very much enjoyed!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

dreaming of sleep

I have long been fascinated at the point where sleep happens. That moment when reality slips away into another place, a place of sleep, that wonderful place where the dream-time happens. A place where you are whisked off into other worlds, where you stand at the top of high towers or the ever reoccurring dream where the tap starts dripping the river starts rising or the sea engulfs you, at the point where you might just drown, then you wake and realize it has been another night where you drowned in your dreams. Tell me, why is it that in those beautiful dreams, that you don't want to wake from, you wake at the crucial moment and the dream has gone and as hard as you might you cannot go back in to the book-marked place where you woke. I am not disclosing those dreams!
 I have sketchbooks full of people sleeping, friends, loves, people on streets, I am fascinated by the moment that we let go and sleep overtakes us and we are vulnerable and free to travel anywhere with anybody and do anything.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

kiss me swiftly

I found this beautiful chair with the most horrible years and years of  brown varnish in a junk/treasure shop.  I have stripped it, painted it, re -upholstered it and hand stitched a design from one of my drawings. I am just finishing the last hand stitching bits, where all my pins are. Hopefully it will all turn out ok!

Friday, 8 June 2012


This Bank holiday was Reading carnival which I have visited for as many years as I care to mention. 
This year I walked a different way to the carnival and saw something I hadn't noticed before. The grey concrete of the tower blocks on a grey rainy day juxtaposed with the vivid colours of the carnival, seemed to make them all the more electric. Love those contrasts.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

carry on regardless

The rain fell a little then the sun came out, then the rain fell a bit more, but in good old British style, people turned up in their wellies and carried on regardless to venture my open garden this weekend. Beautiful day of  sharing with friends, family, cakes and wine.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


I am a good thrower outer, I can be brutally un-sentimental about stuff that others would probably lynch me for throwing out, like photos, sketchbooks, old diaries, first drawings, love letters even my wedding dress. But that is how I have always been I always think if I hold on to old stuff, new things won't have space to come in to my world. This got me thinking about collecting stuff, and defining the word collecting and collections and am I a collector? I always think of collections being hidden away in cabinets or in pristine boxes untouchable objects, hidden from the world. Well outwardly some people would say I am, maybe my collection of old china all mis-matched well used and a bit chipped around the edges, my beloved collection of books, that are shared lovingly battered, torn, full of war wounds, read, loved and some held together by a wing and a prayer. Then there is my plant collecting which is off the scale from shrinking violets to an orchard I have been planting for the last 15 years. I don't define  any of these as collections, as collections for me are about collecting one thing and that particular thing only. So here as I write I start to look around and I am a collector, a collector of Vogue, Feb1987 - June2012 so far, every issue except July 1996 because I lent it to my sister, she read it in the bath and it drowned RIP. This collection is not immaculate, they are torn from, ripped, drawn on. They take up a lot of room. So why do I keep them?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

bird talk

For the last few weeks I have been working on a series of drawings about birds in conversation with women.
They were inspired by a morning in my garden back along, when I am sure this blackbird was chirping away to me. It was really quite lovely and it made me think about this series of drawings.
I will be exhibiting them at  Reading Contemporary Art Fair  this weekend.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Inbetween the April showers

Spent the weekend out in the garden dodging the April showers, and then sometimes just enjoying the fresh, energy giving rain. My favourite things this week are the delicate violets and the un- furling ostrich ferns.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

pulled a stitch

A Saturday afternoon listening to the radio finishing all the details and trying to do a bit of gardening in between the beautiful April showers.
To see more of the details Patchworkbutterfly

Friday, 13 April 2012

3 sides to my story

I have this thing about red shoes, it started as a child when I used to go shoe shopping always falling for the red ones they always shone out from afar. As I became older the obsession remained. I remember as a 7 year old me and my friend of the time, Amanda Scott used to spend many a playtime seeing how high we could kick of our shoes to see if we could reach the clouds. Until that fateful day when my brand new shoes, the ones with the red ribbon laces and red bead on the end, the ones I loved so so much were  kicked up in the air so high that one landed on the church roof. So high this shoe travelled, it may have well touched the clouds. Well suffice to say that I went home that day with one shoe missing with a tall tale about a shoe and a dog chase. Aaahh good to share that guilty secret. Nothing has changed I still love red shoes and have a fine collection. These shoes in the photo really do tell the three sides to my story!

Monday, 9 April 2012

poking around in my studio

Things I am making, stuff that inspires me and lots of tidying up that needs to happen as you can see!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The shed

I have fallen in love with the contents of this beautiful 1950s shed at Basildon House in Berkshire when I visited the other day.
I want that wheelbarrow it is a true handmade beauty, made from bits and pieces!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

frog watch

This time of year I become a little bit obsessed with frog watching in my pond. I love their little croaking noise just as the sun goes down. The other evening there was this magical light show from the reflections from my orange rod sculpture in my pond it was if by magic.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Topiary heaven

This week I was lucky enough to go to a photo shoot at Danesfield House which is near Marlow. It is a beautiful Manor house which was originally a Danish encampment. The house that is there now was built in 1899 and it is a beauty. From it's beautiful oak panelled great hall, the most intricate plaster cornices throughout  and topiary gardens that made me want to weep with their beauty and then the most stunning views over the Thames.  And then there is afternoon tea in the orangery. Heaven!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

curious minds

A peek into the studio of the wonderful Clemens Steigleder. I love his work, studio and curious mind. His studio at present, is awash with thousands of cavorting frogs as part of a new series of works.
Clemens Steigleder

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

weekly sketch

 I draw everyday and I thought I would choose one every week and post it on to my website for all to share, instead of hidden in my millions of sketchbooks, sketches on the back of envelopes or the doodles on my studio walls. They are just random drawings from that week, no rhyme or reason just the fact that I couldn’t imagine my world without making them.
To see them so far  - weekly sketches
“Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.”
Keith Haring 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

On a mission

I have been gardening all year, but this week it started in earnest, anytime I could I have been out there and anytime when I should have been somewhere else. I apologise in advance that over the next few months my time keeping will be rubbish, as there is always one more little thing to do in the garden.
My garden is one of my favourite places in the world, it is very possible that if some accountant looked back on my life's spending a fair chunk of my money earned would have gone on plants, flowers, trees.
The garden smells beautiful at the moment the candy sugar pink Hyacinths send perfume out on the breeze and one of my favourite plants Clematis Armandii wafts a beautiful vanilla essence.
 This week I was in a florist and I saw something new a, Eucharist Lilly. When I first saw the Eucharist Lily, I had to lift the beautiful bloom to look at it . The shy lily seemed intent on hiding its glorious beauty from the world. It's so delicate!
It looks like very like a daffodil; only the petals are pure white and it has a pale green corona. Each fleshy stalk carries up to eight blooms.
Eucharis (from the Greek word ‘kharisma’) means ‘grace’ or ‘charm’, and in Latin, it means ‘elegant’. I think the flower has been aptly named.
So I am on a mission to find some!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

things you never knew you needed

This is the place for all the things you never knew you needed. It's De Danann antiques in Dorchester, its a treasure trove of curiosities.  I have just bought the most amazing merchants wooden seed crates, which will be perfect for my new window boxes. Such a great place for mooching and finding.

Monday, 12 March 2012

It's a secret...........................

This last weekend I spent down with my family who live in Dorset, it is such a beautiful county, and always restores my faith in the world. I went  to Dorchester and stumbled upon a place that I so want to keep a secret, but everyone should know about. A little piece of treasure in and amongst the everyday! You know, those places that you walk into and they transform you to another world. This place caught my human magpie eye with its glinting chandeliers, wonderful sculpture and beautiful bottles of potions and lotions called Medusa Apothecary. We could not resist but to go in and are noses taken on a wonderful journey to every corner of the world. From frankincense to heady jasmine, blood orange to the beautiful zest of Sicilian lemon, a buzz of incense and then their are those dry woody aromas It was heaven scent! The decadent shelves lined with the most carefully chosen items, and then there was the wonderful service, so warm, friendly and knowledgeable about everything from  face creams, to the sharing of the ingredients that make up the layers of the perfumes. There is also a beauty room for the ultimate indulgence. It is so wonderful to go to a place where the products are so lovingly sourced and there provenance is paramount. I love Medusa and defy anybody to go in and not failed to be impressed by every detail and also not to buy anything. They have also just won The Telegraph small shop of the year in the health and beauty category which is so richly deserved. Just beautiful! 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

pouring you heart out

Pouring your heart out - monoprints

I was sat this week enjoying the sun, when I looked over and saw a girl sitting on the wall crying, her face looked so beautiful with tears yet contorted with sadness. She stopped crying and sat for ages just looking down. I drew her from afar and then came home and made a series of monoprints, to try and capture that moment. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Spring's Song

When daisies pied, and violets blue,

  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
Cuckoo, cuckoo!” O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
Cuckoo, cuckoo!” O word of fear, 

Song, from Act V, Scene 2 of Love’s Labors Lost by William Shakespeare (1598)
clr gif
Spring's song is happening, it's started in my garden!
The frogs are busy, the muscari,crocus, paperwhites and violets have appeared as if by magic over night. It's all going on and makes me very happy.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

nearly finished

The walls and floor are finished, the boring glossing done, now just to start adding all my things that I love back into my new space.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

just needed white

Newly painted bedroom just needed white and my Great granf's crocheted blanket that he made when I was very little. It has travelled with me to every house I have lived in to university and back and I still love it as much as I did then!

Friday, 10 February 2012


Plans on hold, just stop and contemplate at what could be!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

an ocean apart

As we trot through life people come and go, some stay forever, some are those 15 minute chatters on the train, where you share your life and then gone never to be seen again and some come along and they make your world a much better place for knowing them. So here I find myself feeling sad as one of my gang goes off to start a new chapter in her world. And I am happy because it's time and I believe in fate, but sad as it just won't be the same because you are not here in my everyday world !

Thankyou B for being part of my world here, and I will see you over there!