June recap, a Labradoodle health warning and what’s happening in July?

Hello all.  I feel the need to apologise forPeony making the good weather go away with my smug optimism in last months post.  It’s the 1st of July and it’s raining.  Urgh.     

Anyway, what a great month June has been.  Our garden bloomed, the diva that is our peony kept us waiting for weeks and then exploded into spectacular colour for about 7 days before bleeding petals all over the garden.  Our veggies have shot up with the perfect combo of sun and rain and the mysterious feathery blooms that appeared, turned out to be alliums which I am thrilled about.  I can’t wait to see them again next year.

It’s been a fantastic first month for Baere, I think I have a handle on what’s popular, fabric and product wise.  You lot love monochrome and you certainly love a wash bag, a storage bin and a baby bib!  It’s been fun to see my products all packaged up and heading off to their new homes but the most enjoyable thing for me has definitely been doing my first stall. stall   

It was a small gig which suited me perfectly as it gave me chance to assess what I need, how to set up etc but it also gave me the chance to talk one on one with my customers which was fantastic.  It made a huge difference to see people picking the products up and inspecting the quality.  I got some great feedback, made some sales and came home inspired to do more.  I think having a stall is the way forward for me so that I can interact with my customers face to face.  I love faces!   

The Farsley Community Weekend took place last weekend and it was a roaring success.  I hope I haven’t clogged up your Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds too much with pom poms and Farsley frivolity but for me and the rest of the team of volunteers, it was totally worth all of the posting, liking, sharing and tagging.  We raised a lot of awareness of the event and we brought huge crowds out into Farsley on Saturday and into the park on Sunday.

The theme of the weekend was textiles which is obviously why I couldn’t help but get involved.  When one of the team suggested making as many pom poms as possible and hanging them from the church tower, I knew I was in good company.

I had more ideas about fabric bombing and yarn bombing the village and therefore have spent every spare minute over the past few months chained to either a pom pom maker or my sewing machine.  I held workshops with local community groups like the brownies and the beavers, another member of the team helped by getting the schools involved and between us, the rest of the team and our fantastic community, we made well over 1000 pom poms, over a hundred flowers and some pretty random bench, tree and lamppost wraps.  Even the Husb got involved although he typically had to go too far and made two pom poms that were bigger than his head.  Anyone who knows him will appreciate how big they were!

town st garden 1 garden 2 garden 4 Garden 5poms


On the Saturday, the community came out in their droves to explore the village.  Starting at the farmers market with the mesmerizing drum extravaganza, Drum Machine, the day was filled with activities and exploration around Sunny Bank Mills, Springfield Mills and the rest of Farsley.  The ethos of the festival was that a family could come out for the whole day and be engaged and entertained without having to spend a penny.  We achieved that and are so grateful to the businesses of Farsley for making that happen.

 On Sunday, we held a picnic in the park with inflatables, a brass band, craft tents, food, ice cream, and more exploration and activities.  The sun came out for us and made it the day extra special.   Families and groups of friends spent the whole afternoon chilling in the park with us and everyone had a fantastic time.  We really couldn’t have asked for a better day.  Here are a few things I did to bring some colour to the park and to echo what we did on Saturday on Town Street.  The wonderful photo boards were painted by local artist Mel Davies.  We just pommed them.

the park 3 the park 1 park 5 the park 2 trees







June also brought a little bit of drama to our little family unit.  Our Labradoodle Albert, decided to show his greedy lab side and raided our kitchen bin, eating some corn on the cob husks.  We didn’t realise he’d done it until he started being sick every day for a few days in a row.  He was eating grass and vomming which although isn’t unheard of, it’s unusual for him.  When we spotted a piece of corn on the cob husk, we knew he might be all blocked up inside.  Poor Doodle.  A costly trip to the vet followed, Albs was sedated, shaved and x-rayed and scanned and we were given the all clear.  He had obviously been trying to dislodge that one piece of corn and had finally managed it.  He was feeling very sorry for himself, coming round from the sedative.  We obviously did what any good dog parent would do and took pictures of his cute little shaved belly and made him wear a comedy t-shirt so he didn’t scratch.  You have to get some joys when you’ve just spent hundreds of pounds on your silly mutt because of a piece of sweetcorn.  Right?

Albs tummy Albs volunteer Albs voting

SO, June was great, the sun shone briefly and until the whole Brexit fiasco (which I can’t talk about, we’ll be here all day) we had fun, I made stuff, sold it and made more. 

July brings a holiday for my little team.  My husband is out in Mexico for a week, his sister is getting married and I am gutted not to be there, but I’m incubating a small human and the risk of Zika virus is too high for me to even consider risking it, no matter how much I love Mexico, and more importantly, my sister in law.  Anyway, we have a holiday cottage in Wales booked for when he gets back.  I can’t wait, we’ll take the doodle on the beaches, eat ice cream and play silly games.  I’m looking forward to a bit of down time.

 Have a great July everyone, that’s an order.  Tell me what you’re up to, holiday season is upon us!








Me time – life drawing and community spirit

We’ve had some great weather over the past few days and it’s really put a spring in my step.  I’ve found any excuse to work from the garden and take a wander down into the village, mostly just to indulge in an ice cream.  The weather, and the sugar, have given me a burst of energy which I’m loving.

Every Wednesday, I attend a life drawing class in the Spinning Mill at Sunny Bank Mills.  This building has mostly been let to creative companies and on the top floor, there are open studios where a number of artists and small businesses work every day.  I would love to work in the mill, surrounded by creativity.  In fact, it’s my goal to be able to move into one of the open studios one day.

I get mixed reactions when I tell people that I go to life drawing classes.  Most people are surprised  and intrigued, some people look at me as if it would be the last thing they would want to do.  I enjoy getting out on weekday nights and doing something that is just about me.

life drawing 1 life drawing 2 life drawing 3


Drawing, exploring form and technique makes me happy.  Even though I do this as part of my job every day, this somehow feels different.  I think it’s because it touches on my college and uni days where it was all about the process.  I expand on why that’s important to me here, in my first blog post – Starting a new creative business

Stepping away from my work to create something different keeps me inspired.  I never know when something I’ve done in my day job will influence my life drawing and vice versa.  It’s good for me to keep things going and keep those creative juices pumping.

I’ve done a number of different courses over the past few years.  Learning new skills keeps me motivated.  Some skills are directly relatable to my job, but others, I just do for me.  My favourites have to be:

Silver jewellery making – Pink Butterfly – Farsley obviously

Ceramics (I am terrible at ceramics), printmaking and a digital print course where I learned how to do my thing on photoshop – Leeds College of Art 

I would thoroughly recommend both of these places for a little bit of learning.  The next course I would like to do is dressmaking but I need to find a short course near me, if anyone has any ideas?

As well as the weekly life drawing classes, the husb and I have recently become involved in our local community festival – Farsley Community Weekend.  It has taken place for years in Farsley and has become incredibly popular.  In fact, so popular that the format has had to change this year because numbers were getting dangerously high.  We have signed ourselves up to help ensure that this event runs smoothly and is as inclusive as possible for all members of the community.  There will be comedy, choirs, theatre, exploration, food, drink and music.  As well as all of this, the theme of the whole weekend is….textiles.  Now you can see why I couldn’t help but get involved?

I am hoping to bring as much colour and texture to the streets of Farsley as possible.  With the help of the rest of the volunteers and the community, I am helping to create two installations.  The first will be made of pom poms.  For weeks now, I have been holding workshops with small groups to make as many pom poms as possible.  The location of the installation is St Johns church tower on Town Street, I’ll share pictures once it has been set up.  It should have a pretty big impact on the high street.

pom pom 2

pom pom 1

The second installation is fabric bombing.  I have limited knitting and crochet skills but man, can I patchwork.  The fabric bombing will decorate trees, benches and railings around the village.  It’s a huge task but it will contribute to the overall feel of the weekend and will hopefully give everyone something fun to look at and look for as they move between venues.

So these are just a couple of things that I do over and above the day to day designing and making.  If you’d told me this time last year, that this is what I’d be spending my time doing, I wouldn’t have believed you.  I am loving it and am very grateful for the opportunities I have had around me.  Farsley is a very creative and inclusive community and there is so much to do here.  I am thrilled to be a part of it.

What do you do to unwind, create, switch off or contribute to your community?  Is it enough to feed your creative urges or are you dying to try something different?  Let me know.