Friday, 30 December 2016


Ah, almost 2017. 2016's not been that great overall and there's a day to go....

My dad has been in hospital the last few days, he's got pneumonia. He's been in and out of hospital for as far back as I can remember and somehow has been unbreakable but his luck is running out. For someone who's had a history of heart trouble, strokes, kidney trouble, diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and who knows what I've left off he's done pretty good for an 83 year old.

Before I we got married I remember being in tears that I wouldn't have my dad walking down the aisle because I thought he'd be dead, I never thought he'd see a grand-child from us - he did. We are incredibly lucky - he's lived to see his four children as adults and have children of there own there's not much to be sad about. So well done dad, I've no idea if you've got minutes, hours or days left but what is there to be sorry about? 55 years ago today my parents got married, we need to change the way we see old age and life - we need to hear more "well done" instead of "I'm sorry" or "I hope he improves".

My nephews didn't have the luxury of knowing their father as an adult, friends never knowing their children for more than minutes, and children not knowing their mothers so what's to feel sorry about for someone getting to the end of the game; which is pretty much the point of life isn't it?

Well done dad. You played a good game but chess has to end sometime.
Happy Anniversary Mum & Dad.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Sew Proud

Toby has been asking me for over a year to teach him to sew... I've been slightly rubbish and put him off. I've got two machines and I always said he could start no the domestic machine that works at normal speed. Last week I was thread drawing at the Golden Lane Estate Christmas fair and when put on the spot by him I couldn't say no and I had the faster semi industrial machine with me.

I thought I'd have to go through lots with him, turns out he's seen me so much he took to it like a duck to water.... I was hugely proud!

Toby age 9, very first attempt at thread drawing

second go - this is Bloo 2 - his favourite bear

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Another Brick in the Wall

This week has been very exciting if you live in London and like Lego and Harry Potter. On Thursday both the new Lego Store in Leicester Square and 5 minutes round the corner Minalima opened its doors to an exhibition of the artwork featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (but more on that one later this week)

Leicester Square has been quite a dull crowded part of London unless that is if you like M&M's so much that you want to have all senses drowned in them at M&M's world (why? yes why?), it's not bad for collecting Pokemon and obviously tip top for the most expensive cinema tickets in the country but now there is one reason to go above all others - that of the plastic brick.

The world's largest Lego Store has opened up! I went on the first day of opening which meant thirty minutes of queuing to get in but honestly worth every second - every detail of the place is fantastic and feels more like a theme park than a shop. The only thing missing was everyone had their arms filled with boxes to pay for and no shopping baskets! Surely you'd have giant brick shaped baskets, or giant head ones? Come on Lego!! Exclusives in store was a fabulous London skyline set - 9 out of 10 - would have been a 10 if it had St Paul's Cathedral but oddly had the National Gallery.

 Lego Store mascot - Leicester (do you think he voted leave?)

 A shocked Toby - a Lego tube with Shakespeare?! 

 Huge excitement when he saw the tube map made from bricks
 Obviously you'd have a red ringing phone box, you can't walk around London without seeing them!

Well done Lego - there was something for everyone but more so for middle aged men who seemed to dominate the shop!

PS: Dear Lego, why is are there no Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sets? Surely its not just me that wants a Lego Niffler in a jewellery shop set?!

+44 (0) 207 839 3480
Store Hours
Mon-Sat: 10:00-22:00

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Our Cursed Child

The Toby in the Boo turned 9 this month, we celebrated by seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I shall not mention except to say it 100% lives up to the hype! #keepthesecrets
JK Rowling got Toby through so much, he used to have night terrors and extreme misery, at 5 he started reading Harry Potter and didn't stop but the night terrors did and he felt like he had friends in the pages. His love of reading continues to grow.

I've been working on pieces inspired by our own cursed child. 
He's been through so much misery in the past and maybe its worse because he can express himself really well - the other week he said "I feel like I'm in an olympic race and someones put 100kg weights in my shoes". 
He is profoundly gifted and feels held back and trapped because he wants more challenging school work, I started doing this embroidery and explained to him about Bonsai trees how their roots are cut to stunt their growth. He liked the concept and said "if you feel like putting the roots wrapped round my neck I think it might be an idea" 
Bonsai Boy 2016
Too much crammed into one tiny brain (and I don't mean mine)

with huge thanks to Denise at Potential Plus UK and Lyn at Mensa - we are so grateful for your advice and help and to JK Rowling for helping a 5 year old find friends in books when he couldn't in the playground.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Design Dieslexic

Last week saw the end of the London Design Festival,  I was lucky enough to be involved for the first time as part of Design Junction in Ab Rogers and Jim Roko's red Dyslexic Design house.

Award winning designer Jim Rokos happens to be dyslexic - since I've known him he's been passionate that having what some would call a problem is actually an advantage, that having dyslexia means your brains work in a different way, a more creative way. By the reaction to the DD house, he could well be right, a massive majority of designers that came through said they were dyslexic and so many recognised the 'thinking differently'. I'm not a fan of labels at all but to look at one as a positive light was no bad thing at all.

For more about each designer please have a look here  because it's genuinely a pain having to look up spellings for names!

Rokos wobbly vases that have a life of their own

Sari's ring nails and Kristjana's beautiful London collage

Ab Roger's ladder

Jim & Fay from the British Dyslexic Association

Shakespeare Plays teaset

Sebastian's egg decanter

Tom's scribbly chandeliers
(Photos by Ruth Ward)

Massive well done to both Jim and Ab, the collective was so diverse and yet had a common thread (no pun intended) and worked incredibly well together. Each designer involved wasn't just a good designer but somehow had a really topsy turvy look at the world that seems normal - until you speak to those that aren't....

On the Friday, I was live sewing (yes yes rather than not live but you know what I mean) really enjoyed talking to everyone that said hello so thank you if you were one of them. Even though you could see me making up what I was sewing as I was there I still got asked if I drew it first - NO! all 100% made up - no idea what I was doing! Hire me for live sewing and see!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Wales of a Time

In need of rest and inspiration Tobyboo took a well earned break this week and went to Pembrokeshire. We stayed in a cute barn cottage that we found through Air BnB surrounded by a gorgeous view in St Davids. I can't recommend it enough - stunning part of the world.

  • Ice cream cafes - there are way too many places to choose from so I can only suggest trying them all. 
  • Allow extra time when asking for help or popping into shops - the people were incredibly friendly and you can have gems of conversation that can lead to lovely things to do (for example the National Trust seal walk). 
  • Bats! try not to get one flying into you. 
  • Beaches! stunning just stunning.
  • There are lots of small galleries, studios and workshops to pop into in St Davids ceramics, glass, textiles all worth popping into. 




View from Marloe

St Davids Cathedral

St Davids Cathedral

Seal watching walk - National Trust

View From Marloe

The birds


St Nons

Friday, 22 July 2016

Girl from Croydon

When thinking about doing something that says Croydon, there's quiet a few things that jump to mind but one thing that has been a constant is Vermeers classic Girl with a Pearl Earring (yes, like the film non art loving folk) - I've nearly always seen her with a long pony tail and something about the way her mouth is painted screams south London... so what better way to tribute this by embroidering it the way I see it... innit.
Girl with a Pearl Earring - by that Vermeer bloke, innit

Girl with the Croydon Facelift 

hosted by Rise Gallery a celebration of summer, fun & Croydoness mixed in St Georges Walk

I think you'll agree Harry Hill knows how to celebrate Croydon the best....

Sunday, 17 July 2016


20-30th JULY
E1 7LE

Leyden Gallery is a lovely tucked away space near Spitalfields Market, 2 floors and a bar surely thats worth a visit and you can see Tracey...

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Dissing Dyslexia

A while ago I wrote a post about 'isms' and 'exias' while I was diagnosed dyslexic as a young adult I still maintain that I was just a lazy reader and things never got better. I got a few messages pointing out that I was just dyslexic and to stop giving reasons against - but in denial or not the fact that I have difficulties is completely tied together with my creativity. I couldn't read so my outlet for my imagination came out in drawing, now sewing. I withdrew as a teenager when all around me were my peers getting on at school and I just thought I was disorganised - I thew myself into art as a result.

During my art degree I had panic attacks hearing there was a dissertation to do - and I found I had a voice, a speaking one all I had to to was write as if I was saying it - and the subject? Teenage fans, I got to research Take That fans it ended up in being my favourite part of the three years. By absorbing myself into art, it filtered to picking a subject I could have fun with and got to play with rather than write.

Jim Rokos the brains behind Rokos is so passionate about how his dyslexia has effected him positively that Dyslexic Design has been born, a collective of fellow creative types all suffering from 'reading this is doing my head in'.

I strongly feel that not knowing as a child helped me, I did feel thick - and still hold my hand up that I am but by feeling that it gave me more fire to use my brain in a different way. If someone diagnosed me at 10 I would have used it as an excuse to not to anything - I never would have had the determination to make art work for me.

There are positives to blips in our make up, we live in a world trying to iron out differences. I became 'disabled' (another label I hate as most being just see wheelchairs) 16 years ago and am so grateful for it - its made me what I am, I never would have found my thread drawing I'd be working in TV with no external life trying to fit in. Blips are good, sometimes not fun but 100% the making of us.

Dyslexic Design will be exhibiting at Design Junction  this September.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Better with the Threads Uncut

I'm thick, never claimed not to be thick and have no problem being it, but after hearing some people on youtube I feel like a ruddy genius. 

The depressing thing about the referendum is that it never should have happened - why would you ask people like me a question that involves the global economy? don't do it because all each person will do is scale it to what our tiny brains can take which isn't much how on earth is your average person mean to think 'exiting the EU' without half following what friends have said or going with what the local people around them have said influencing them? Just a thought but I don't know anything about economics but I do know that we have one world and the general idea of actually getting on with other countries I thought was priority apparently not.

It was obvious what would happen if there was a 'leave' win, obvious - and I'm the stupid one remember. The pound would drop, businesses that deal with the rest of Europe will have to relocate or at least have mammoth changes (so thats most of the centre of London then), arts and culture would suffer because no one over here cares and everything arts/culture based seems to be EU funded, same with science goes without saying.... security - why on earth is your ex going to help you? all I knew of the EU was common sense, they've put things in place to help us and sometimes it might mean compromising but on a larger scale I'd like to be part of that room in the party not crying alone in the toilet. If I heard anyone utter the word immigration my brain switched off. I'm not saying it's not an issue but we should be looking to help anyone that needs help. My parents came in the 60's, my mum had a job to come to so they see it as invited as a result my dad has turned into Alf Garnett. What happens when something happens here and we need help and we need somewhere to go? does everyone just think this tiny island is immune? 

If immigration was your one point that you looked at, did you not think without EUs help there could be a chance that they might say 'sod these controls' we're just looking after our own borders? We're in a mess at the moment; forget the big stuff I don't understand the small stuff that effects people like me. The fact that I'm scared to go out now because I've heard the 'p' word that I've not heard in a while used,  people are describing children as vermin and vermin are screaming at people to 'go back' and no ones treating humans as other humans. No one seemed to think maybe the EU has rules and regulations in place to help. The fact is the world was a better place a a week ago. It's been a week and already look whats happened - I keep thinking I'm watching clips of 'This is England' on Facebook. Oh and just incase anyone cannot see the link the last time I heard someone get called the 'p' word for being brown was when UKIP were gaining support. The 'Leave' has given the green light for anyone insecure to blame whatever they want on not just anyone from Europe but anyone they think is an outsider - which to them boils down as colour. As far as they are concerned the majority is with them and they never felt so powerful. 

This country used to be a collective of the world it colonised and the mix that that then evolved made it a great country. I don't know what utopia some had in mind, from the mindless reactions of some recently it's clear their utopia is. 

It's sad that we've got a playground and some kids thought it would be better for everyone if they just stayed in the corner and didn't mix with the other kids because in school the only person that misses out is that kid that things it doesn't need friends that everyone gives up on in the end. But I am thick so what do I know.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Wearable Art

Sweeney Todd, silk velvet


detail, skulls

detail, roses

silk velvet

Roses, silk velvet

all one of a kind, original pieces to be worn, loved and hung.
£165 only available from this weeks Pop Up store, Craft Central 33-35 St John's Square London
6-12 June 2016

thank you to Viv & Herita for modelling 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Pop in


MONDAY 11-7pm
TUESDAY 10-7pm
FRIDAY 11-8pm
Do come and see my new fine art embroidery scarves, its the first time on show or on sale 
prices from £125