Friday, 8 April 2011

Oodles of doodles

Well hello my lovelies and how is life treating you, now that Spring has well and truly Sprung?

All is well in the Ditsy Bird nest, I'm pleased to say - I'm looking out at the lambs in the field opposite, and at the daffs in the garden as I write this, as well as the clear blue, sunshine-filled sky. Bliss indeed!

So what's new here at feathery towers I hear you ask? Doodles, I reply! Oodles of delicious doodles.

I've had a bit of a revelation and a change of direction since I hit the big Four-Oh on 13th March.

Not sure where it came from really - out of left field if I'm honest - but it is most welcome and has been invited to stay.

What's the revelation??? Machine sewing! I can do it! Well, erm, I have to qualify that statement a little by saying that I can do my kind of sewing but I've not yet tackled the sensible, useful, sewing that most folk do i.e.seams & practical items and garments. Ahem. Though, tackle it I will, over the coming weeks.

I booked myself on an amazing (& more amazing as it was free!!!) workshop with an incredible artist called Naseem Darbey - you can see her work here...prepare to be dazzled. - to do freehand machine embroidery. Now confession time: I had been hankering after having a crack at this for many, many moons. But, you know when there's something that you just absolutely want to be good at? Yup, that. So I hadn't tried it. At all. [stupid I know and for anyone reading as I say, not as I do and JUST DO IT. Go on! It'll feel amazing and if it turns out to be not quite your thing then, hey ho, at least you gave it a bash instead of sitting and a-wondering].

{Right, where was I? mmmmmmmmmm oh yeah}

So, in an effort not to look like a total loser on the day, I took out my trusty Minimatic* and had a bash. Dropping the feed dog is not nearly as scary or as exciting as it sounds! Which, it turns out, is a good thing or I probably wouldn't be writing this now :)

My first attempt was a blast! It felt like I'd come home! My mum gave me my *Bernina, which had previously been her Bernina for many a year before that, possibly 20 years ago (ARGH!) and I have to say that it has never been true love {to the extent that I collected a vintage Jones machine recently from a fellow Freegler in the hope that I would find sewing machine love there - oh the betrayal to poor Mini} but this is mainly down to my lack of love for the afore-mentioned seams and sensible sewing. But now I can confirm that I am truly, madly and oh so deeply in love with my darling Mini. And the reason? Because I can doodle with it! The joy. The free, hurtling-needle joy of just whooshing around the fabric, willy-nilly, to my heart's content, creating patterns and pictures as I go. I cannot express how happy this has made me.

I have tried many crafting techniques and mediums over the years and many have hummed to me & I've hummed along with them, but none have sung to me the way this does.

You see I am a born doodler. All my makes start off as a doodle - either in a designated sketch book or, more often than not, on a scrap piece of paper whilst my brain is supposed to be working on something else.

When I've translated these doodles into work before, into cards, onto canvases or via hand embroidering, they've always seemed to have lost a bit of their life and character. Does that make sense at all? But using the sewing machine, the doodles retain the same energy as they have on the scrap of paper they were inspired by. And that makes me a happy bird.

So there we have it, The Revelation. The Change of Direction follows thus - I am now using my doodles to make things and first up are my Doodle Brooches. My current designs have a hint of nostalgia about them...

childhood trips to Joyce's the sweet shop up the lane

family holidays at the coast

Rock Villa the ice-cream van man whose tinkly music marked the start of Summer on our cul-de-sac

countryside walks surrounded by flowers, insects and the beautiful North Yorkshire scenery

you get the picture...happy memories :)

This is the first time I think of my work as My Work and not having the urge to belittle it with 'oh just brooches and stuff'. I'm proud of it! and I'm happy enough with it to say that 'out loud' on here. I have big plans too - as in 'big' plans. The ideas are kind of floating around in my head and I'm just waiting for them to fully form and take shape.

Now for the sensible seam tackling - I'm hoping to take this a bit further by doodling on purses, pouches, bags and the like. But first I need to get myself some zips and attempt a straight line ;)

Thanks for popping by & happy Friday


  1. Wonderful and they have turned out fab! Kxx

  2. Present planners8 April 2011 at 21:18

    Well done-can't wait to hear about exciting plans!

  3. Love Love LOVE this, Sarah!! I love that you've come home, that you've found your lobster (hope you're a Friends' fan), and I love your textile doodles!! Having seen them in real life, they are truly scrumptious, witty and charming :)

    Now following your blog so I can keep up to date with what fun things happen next!

    Kirsten x

  4. These are amazing! I love the fact that they retain the quality of your original drawings. Fab x

  5. thanks for the super comments ladies :)
    they fairly made my day!