Friday, 31 October 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Toby says.....

"I don't know what's going on but its very interesting.... hmmm interesting" Toby (age 6) on the Ashford Hijab by Grayson Perry at the National Portrait Gallery

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Seven Year Stitch

Well the October 18th can only mean one thing in the world of Boo, Toby's birthday. This year is one that feels slightly strange, age 7 in 2014 is like entering teenage hood and seven years is the same amount of time that we tried to get him here in the first place. 

Yesterday was my reminder of not only how long Thread Drawn by Tobyboo has been about but also what we went through to become parents to the real Toby. I know each year I bore anyone reading about our struggle and luck but maybe for some this is the first time hearing it all and in fact might be interested.... or I could as ever be talking to myself. 

If it wasn't for Toby I wouldn't be doing what I do, I started up Tobyboo as a hobby because I couldn't afford friends baby presents but had to make it work to earn me a living because after 7 years of not working due to disability what choice did I have?

I'm still disabled, I'm in a lot of pain but I am on a huge cocktail of meds that mean I can move and sew and walk - I consider myself so, so lucky - I am lucky. 

So this week it came out that the Welfare reform minster, Lord Freud, claimed disabled people are not worth minimum wage... not sure how to swear at that. Most people's perceptions of disability are 
a) something you're born with 
b) wheelchair 
c) it's physical 
d) if you can stand, see or hear you clearly aren't disabled. 
People need to be educated about what it means to be disabled and not go social media mad when they see someone get out of a wheelchair.
No one looks at me and thinks I'm disabled unless I'm in the wheelchair, if I use the stick most people think I've done something to my leg. Disability is massive umbrella which unfortunately means having to try harder than those that don't. As someone who was in full health before I work and try 10 times harder than I did before, I can't imagine what it's like to only know the struggle and discrimination all the time. The annoying thing is that as a self employed disabled person I do earn less than £2 an hour....

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Votes Were In....

Last week was a marvellous first for me I exhibited at the Museums Association conference and exhibition which was held at the rather majestical Wales Millennium Centre. Not exactly a trade show that buyers attend but felt it was an opportunity to meet museum folk all the same.

I pretty much was a soloist on the designer front but surrounded by some amazing gadgets and exciting tech that was more like magic to me; communicating paintings like something out of Hogwarts, apps that recognised images and could give you every ounce of info on the object in question and other apps that could give guides in the middle of nowhere.... I was all surrounded by such a lovely bunch people I'd do it again just for the fun of it!

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the museums association and yes of course there was a party to celebrate! Women 30 feet in the air doing synchronised dancing on curtains what else would yo expect at the Cardiff National Museum?! 

There were also 2 awards given out that were voted by the delegates that attended the event; best looking stand and best product. Now, bearing in mind how much money and gadgets the other stand holders had I didn't exactly have a shot, they were slick and techy and one even had  gorgeous looking pick n mix selection to entice and yet shockingly I won.
(me on the left there and Best Product went to Atlas AV with there amazing interactive magic table)

The following day I had such lovely comments from lots who had voted congratulating and telling me they had voted for me. I've not felt so proud in ages, so thank you voting types!

I know the competition within free embroidery artists is becoming greater, when I started I genuinely couldn't see anyone else doing it commercially and just because others use the same medium doesn't mean our work is the same - no one says to a photographer "I know someone that's like you" because they work with a camera. Anyway I've been getting bored of hearing from some people "oh I've seen artists that work like that" of course you have, I've seen lots of artists that draw with pencils and more than a dozen that use paint! Shocking I point is it gets soul destroying hearing things like that so last week was a fantastic one of recognition and I loved every second, well except the going on stage and photo part!