Wednesday, April 25, 2012


A long time ago, I realized that out-of-control consumerism is probably a road to ruin and in my own way I have always railed against it. To me, the idea of endlessly unlimited growth on a finite planet just doesn't add up - at some stage there must be a clash and a crash. I feel that we are near that point.
We have always made do, done it ourselves, resisted buying "stuff" just for the sake of having the newest "stuff" and tried to grow much of what we consume in the way of food. Our home is comfortably furnished with a rather eclectic mix of hand-me-down, home-made and cast off furniture and I don't own many gadgets. I don't see any need to change any of that just for the sake of changing it.
It's a good feeling to produce a meal when you know it came fresh out of the garden minutes before it was cooked. Here's what we had last night: spinach souffle; oven baked pink fir potatoes; corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes. Our summer garden is almost at the end of production, but vegetables to carry us through winter are either stored or quietly growing away in the garden.

As far as possible, I try to carry this anti-profligacy message through in my work as well. I don't throw much away (anyone who has seen the inside of my studio will attest to that!). I can always find a good use for something that others might pass over as useless junk. For instance,  a while back, I devised a way to make an excellent sculpting material from sawdust and glue and made quite a few dolls using it - I even won a recycled-materials design award with these dolls.

And just this week I have been knitting up a storm using scraps of leftover wool - even the tiniest bits can be used. The mouse is of my own was fun and quick to make!

I'll climb down from my soap-box now, but will conclude by saying that you don't need to be spending bucketloads of cash on fairly useless stuff in order to be happy - you can live very well on considerably less that what you think you need and if more of us did it, the planet would be the better for it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Mixed Bag

Here are a couple of "Sukeshi" dolls I made as a special order:

And shaping the head of the knitted rabbit I made last week made me think it would be possible to quite easily knit a sphere and make a soft ball.......wonderful baby toy! Here are two I made very quickly on four needles - it worked a treat. One is very fluffy and the other has two bells inside, so it tinkles sofly when rolled, shaken or thrown.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beautiful Autumn

Despite some recent unseasonably warm weather, Autumn is definitely here. I love this cooler time of year when everything is slowing down to take a deep winter breath and prepare for renewal.
I took these photos right out of my front door yesterday when it was all soft and misty moisty.

And here's a yummy poppyseed plait I baked. Cooler weather seems to bring on baking desires!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


The one thing I really love about the Internet is the way you can happen upon something unexpected and delightful, simply by poking around and following a few links. That happened to me a few weeks ago when serendipity lead me to the sites of a knitted toy designer based in the UK called Wendy Phillips. I'm a bit of a sucker for a well-designed knitted toy and I found these irresistable! Because they are available as PDF downloads in Wendy's Etsy store, almost instant gratification is possible. What was difficult was deciding which one to buy first, since they are all very appealing, but in the end, I decided to get "Mother Bunny". Since much of what I do is quite complex and time-consuming, occasionally I like to make something purely for the fun of it - this project fitted the bill perfectly. Wendy's patterns are very affordable - she has lots of different doll patterns as well as animals and even one for baby shoes. If you like to knit and want a few projects that will only take a few evenings to make, you couldn't do much better than ordering one or two or ten  patterns from this wonderful designer. Here's how my "Mother Bunny" turned out - the only things I did a bit differently from Wendy's pattern were the eyes and a little needle-sculpting of the face. I really love those shoes! Well, that's enough fun - back to work today - but I'm already thinking about which one of Wendy's patterns I'd like to tackle next!

You can also visit Wendy's blog at

What's This?

What's this, then?

To find out, come back and have a look tomorrow!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Home Baked Goodies!

There is nothing quite as comforting as the house-filling warm scent of freshly-baked bread.....while I don't bake all of our bread, I do it quite often. Here's some oatbran bread (my own recipe) that I baked last night as well as some peanut cookies for the biscuit tin. They won't last long! Mmmm-mmm!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Janus Egg

Here is a piece I made for an online art swap: had to keep it under wraps until it reached it's destination. Mixed media piece made from paperclay, string, cotton fibre, mulberry paper, fabric, and echidna quills.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Remember the baby in my last post with the apprehensive quivery-lipped look? Well..........THIS is what was giving her that look of "......will I laugh or cry?.......Glad you are right there, Mama!" This very scary new toy that pops out of his box with a squeak when you wind the handle. Here he is : Jack-In-The-Box! The baby is around nine inches seated height, so the Scary Toy is only around five inches or so. The box is two inches square.

Oooh! Scary Toy!

Friday, April 6, 2012


This doll is finished except for the little something that has made her look so apprehensive - that's still a secret! As you can see, she ended up with painted wispy baby hair, rather than a wig - it didn't look right. She's "borrowed" this cardigan from her older sister until she gets her own. Hat and shoes crocheted and her dress is stripy seersucker cotton with a little pink embroidery..

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Makin' Babies!

Here's the baby head I showed you a couple of posts back - today I made the body and put it all together.......the painless way to have a baby! Tomorrow I will paint - that will be fun - I love painting faces! This baby has joints at the shoulders, hips and neck.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Here's Puddin'

She's quite a homely-looking little thing, but I had such fun making her!

She wears a premmie-sized grow-suit, a nappy, a crochet bonnet and jacket and shoes made from mauve fleece.
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