Much and more

One of my favourite phrases from the Game of Thrones books is “much and more”. It seemed an appropriate title for this blog post because it is so long since I posted here that I have much and more to tell you.

I successfully completed the HND in Fashion and Textiles at Northumberland College in June 2018, and achieved a Distinction. Here I am at the end-of-year exhibition with my final major project:

My FMP was called “Be More Wabi Sabi Savvy”. I was inspired by the issues of fast fashion and textile waste, and the Japanese tradition of wabi sabi which is in direct contrast to our culture of throwing things away when they get damaged. After much research and sampling I finally chose to give this make over to a denim jacket I got in a charity shop for £3.00. I was delighted with how well it turned out, and by the feedback I received. By the time I graduated I was exhausted and needed to take a break – my MS fatigue caught up with me!

Just as I was beginning to feel better and about to tackle a long overdue clear out of my workspaces things in my extended family took a turn for the worst. My father-in-law died on 19th November 2018, my parents became ill and both required hospital treatment for an extended period, and my father died on 16th May this year. All of this took a toll on my mental and physical health. MS and stress do not make a good combination, and it has been a struggle to regain my creative mojo.

My father was 78 years old and had smoked for 64 of those years. His death was due to lung cancer which had gone undetected due to COPD. By the time the mass in his right lung was discovered it was too late to treat the disease. My heartfelt plea to anyone reading this who smoke: please stop, lung cancer is an awful way to die.

The only good thing that happened, once the cancer had been discovered, was his transfer to the local hospice unit. I cannot commend them highly enough and I’ve set up a Just Giving crowdfunding page to raise money for the Macmillan Unit at Antrim Area Hospital. If you would like to help me raise my goal of £500 here is the link to give a donation:

I’m also selling some beaded embroidery pieces created especially to raise some money. They are my in my signature abstract beaded style

This is the largest one and costs £45 plus P&P.

These two are smaller and cost £25 plus P&P each. If you are interested in buying any of them please let me know.

When I say “signature abstract beaded style” I mean the style I developed while working on my FMP. I adore working with beads and sequins, and layering them to create texture.

These photos show what I mean.

The one piece of embroidery I did manage to get excited about during the whole crisis period was this appliqué I created for my friend’s mother of the groom coat:

The coat is a gorgeous vintage tailored men’s dress coat so I chose to trace off the shape of the lapel onto two layers of fine black tulle and do the beadwork onto that, then I cut it out and carefully hand stitched the beadwork to the coat. It worked perfectly and my friend was delighted with the outcome.

Next week I’m finally going to achieve my dream of teaching a workshop at a local gallery. I love using hand carved Indian woodblocks to transform fabric, and I believe it is a super simple way to upcycle textiles, both garments and household linens like napkins. Here are some examples

If you would like to book a place contact Gallery 45, Felton, Northumberland. This is the link to their website:

Coming up next, I’ll post about my visit to the Dior exhibition at the V&A last week.

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