Ouseburn Open Studios starts tomorrow

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

It was great today to finally get both my portraits of Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, both poets who died during World War One, up on the outside wall of my studio, number 11 at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne. It’s been a busy couple of weeks tidying, cleaning my space as well as getting everything finished off.

Inside my studio - cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Inside my studio – cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Opposite my studio, there also a number of rather fabulous jewellery makers whose studios I enjoy popping into when I get a chance.  inthesilverroom is contemporary silver jewellery by Michelle – check out her fabulous website for distinctive designs.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

'Matriarchal Trefoil' and 'Caretakers of the World, UNITE!'

‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ and ‘Caretakers of the World, UNITE!’

Both of the pictures above have been made using ‘hooky’ mat technique. I finally framed up the ‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ yesterday, as it had been tricky to source someone to cut me an oval board to mount the heavy picture on. You can see a link to the stages of this picture here.

Embroidered Love Birds

Embroidered Love Birds

Really pleased with these two little fellows! So cute! I do enjoy embroidering, very relaxing and again, another job finished. A deadline is always good to have and the Ouseburn Open Studios, is a great one!! I am so looking forward to getting down there now as it’s a great opportunity to meet people, show what you’ve been working on, get feedback and maybe even sell some things!!

And just a reminder for anyone in the area: it’s on this Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm.


Animal floral silhouettes.

Open studios horse 2                                              Open studios horse 1

As you can see, I have been having lots of fun making animal silhouettes using pretty fabrics which make a lovely contrasts. They are going to be placed in simple, white frames ready for my ‘Open Studios’ in a couple of weeks.

Open studios horse 4                                                      Open studios horse 3

Besides horses, I have also been making more schnauzers!

Open studios schnauzer 2

Mini ObsesivCreativ’s birthday present

Kitty's Fox cushionToday, my middle daughter, aged 9, decided that she needed to make a present for her friend whose party it was this afternoon. So, within and hour, she had chosen a pre-made cushion to decorate, a design silhouette she wished to cut out, I ironed on the Bondaweb which we had bought at 1st for Fabrics, in Newcastle, to the chosen fox fabric, cut out the stencil, then ironed it onto said cushion. She then finished her fox with a running stitch, which technically isn’t needed but does give her cushion a finished look. We did give it another good iron before it was then wrapped for the party. Hopefully her friend will love it!

We are beginning to realise that our middle daughter is even more obsessive than I am when she gets an idea into her head. So, I feel it is time that she and her sisters have their own section in this blog, which I shall call Mini ObsesivCreativ!


FREE workshop tomorrow at IKEA Gateshead

ZZZ pillow case

Fancy making a fab ZZZ applique pillowcase yourself? Then pop along to Ikea, Gateshead tomorrow between 11-5pm and I will be in the bedrooms department to show you how! And you don’t have to leave it there! To get a goodnight’s sleep, why not also make a pretty lavender bag as well! Sewing is not just good for the soul, it can also provide you with a restful night’s sleep!

Lavender bag 1  Lavender bag 2

All the equipment you will need, will be provided and as long as you can sew a ‘running’ stitch, you’ll be able to sew these lovely and relaxing creations! Hope to see you there!

How to: Simply applique and ‘bling-up’ a cushion!

You will need:

1 plain cushion or pillow

Assorted fabric

Needle, thread and pins

Scissors, ideally pinking shears

Buttons, beads, sequins (I found these in Poundland!)

Paper and pencil


Step 1:

Autumn cushion 1

Draw out on paper a simple bold design of your chosen idea. If you do not feel confident doing this, search Google Images for a desired image, which you can enlarge if needed on your computer. I have chosen to create an Autumn tree as we are now reaching the last days of Summer and Autumn is my favourite time of year.

Cut out the picture, pin it onto the fabric you wish to use and cut it out.


Step 2:

Autumn Cushion 2 

Once you have cut out all of your design from the fabric using pinking shears, pin it to the front of the cushion. This may sound stupid, but do remember to place your hand inside (try not to stab it with the pins) to ensure it doesn’t get pinned through to the back. if it is a large image, try and position it centrally but if it’s a smaller one, sometimes placing it in the corner or at an angle may look much better.


Step 3:

Autumn cushion 3

Use a simple running stitch to sew the fabric to the cushion. This technique of layering fabric is called applique. Once you have done this, you can have fun and further decorate your cushion using beads, sequins, buttons and ribbons. Again, when sewing the beads and sequins on, I have stuck to a simple running stitch, sewing the beads or sequins into place in the ‘up/right-side’ position of the cushion.


Other cushions I have made like this in the past include fun gingham and floral reindeer as well as other woodland creatures, many of these using IKEA fabrics. The beautiful Floral Fox below was made by a crafter who visited one of the workshops I ran at IKEA Gateshead last Christmas.

Gingham reindeer          Floral reindeer  Floral fox

How to: Customise your Doctor Martins

My lovely red patent leather Doctor Martins had finally begun to look a bit desperate, the patent was peeling away and no longer could nail varnish patch them up any longer. The actual boot itself was fine, just didn’t look too cool anymore. So rather than put them in the bin or turn them into a clock like a previous pair of mine have been, I decided to have a go at customising them.

My first attempt was with fabric paint, thinking this will cover the exposed suede and the leftover patent, but it wouldn’t stay put and would rub off easily.   So, I tried super gloss outdoor spray paint which has worked wonderfully!!

You will need:

1 pair of old Docs

Masking tape

Assorted super gloss outdoor spray paint


Stage 1:

Doc 1

Peel off any patent from your Docs that is flacking away (this is not a quick job!). Then cover any areas you do not wish to get the spray paint onto e.g. the rubber sole, fabric tops.

Stage 2:

Doc 2

You must spray your Docs outside, or in a very well ventilated area. Place your Docs onto some newspaper and start spraying, one colour at a time. Try not to add too much spray paint at each stage as the paint will get too runny and dry with drips (unsightly.) When spraying, dry and layer up your colours slowly. Leave to dry for at least four hours or whatever the spray paint recommends. Repeat this step a couple of times, until you are happy with your look.

Stage 3:

Doc 3

Once dry, take off masking tape, treat any areas where the paint has slipped through the masking tape – even a permanent marker pen might just do the job of touch-ups to the rubber sole. Lace back up and enjoy!