Sunday, 5 April 2015

my home in print... Maker Spaces

Almost a year ago to the day an unexpected email was delivered from the lovely lady - Emily Quinton - photographer/stylist/blogger/tutor of Makelight (like all of us she has many decorative avenues that guides her through her creative day-to-day journey)....
An email asking if I would consider being one of the featured makers in her first book 'Maker Spaces' . A book that would discuss the current  'maker movement' - their individual passion for their cottage industry and how this fits into 'the home' and 'home-life'.  13 designer/makers from around the globe were selected and I still feel rather giddy/humble/proud/not quite worthy/inspired/blown away ....can't quite believe it has happened .... that I was chosen as one of those 13 and that it is now finally in print.
This post isn't just about the final viewing of the pages.  This post is about how I felt/feel about the experience of letting someone into your home to display a very private pocket of your world to anyone and everyone who happens to purchase the book.  Don't get me wrong, I am one of those people who love walking the streets in early winters evenings just so I can nosey into peoples windows - I am fascinated by how people decorate their nests and I am intrigued how the same style of a 1930's semi detached can change so dramatically from door to door, street to street....
 After saying Yes with great enthusiasm....I'll be honest, this soon faded to absolute panic as I stood in the middle of my living room...washing drying on the radiators,  lego carpeting the floor......

I love my home........
I remember on our first viewing of No.17 -
half squinting about the over-use of woodchip wallpaper (that I now really love).....
..... an over-pruned garden to an inch of each poor individual plants life (that is now in full bloom).....
.....carpets badly fitted that flooded the floor and ran just over the skirting boards onto the wall (the first detail we removed).....
....... this house hugged us both like an old friend...I felt a warmth...sensed a smile...that was unexpected... this house loved was to look after 'us' as much as we would begin our journey in looking after 'it'....13 years have passed and this house has helped us nurture two pets...two children...has witnessed sadness, happiness, chaos and calm....celebrations,uncertainty, and so many wonderful moments where you look at your family and beam with pride.

5 years ago I gave up a part-time lecturing post to indulge in working from home focusing on my business and being in a very indulgent position of always being here for the kids.  So my home is more than just a home.  I have taken over the living room - 'the thirties parlour', as my studio... a big cramped sacrifice to the family downstairs dwellings but in the warmer months the house feels enormous as we open the back door to the garden and spend more time out there than inside here.....I even turn the bottom section of our garden into my studio on calm, breezeless summer days (breeze and sea fog come more regular than one wishes in the summer months when living a 5 minute walk from the north east coast).

So...anyway...what was I saying...yes....the experience of letting this lovely lady Emily and photographer Helen Cathcart into my home was an orchestrated challenge.... one that makes me giggle now til my cheeks are crimson...but I had to move the husband, two kids and our American Airedale into our touring caravan for three days just so I could keep the place tidy - you can only keep a place tidy, in my experience,  if there is limited movement 'by anyone' - 'hu-man or dog'....

I always have flowers in my home...the house is bare without vases filled with while I dusted and straightened and hoovered and breathed into a paper bag, the day before the 'big day', my lovely friends 'darling and green' came over to help me fill all my vases with hand picked gorgeousness from my garden and snippets from theirs too were sneaked in....

...and do you know 'wonderfully what'...I look through the book now and my home is exactly the same...equally as decorative...'work in progress'....a little more unstraightened than the images here but my family build memories in this home from day to day and that requires chaos, mess, movement and the odd broken plate from the plate-rail and the bloomin' covers are never that straight on the settees after the kids have chilled/lounged/played in there.....home-sweet-gorgeous-home

A massive heart felt thank you to Emily for not just selecting me as one of her 13 but for the opportunity to experience the whole exciting journey - I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this treasured book...a book that is beautifully considered, well written and is composed from the heart.

I will be exhibiting at Emily's UK book launch 
(a US launch will be held later in the year) 
on Thursday April 16th 
10am - 8pm
at the department store 'West Elm' 
on Tottenham Court Road, London 
- selling florals from The Linen Garden 
alongside the fabulous creatives 
who also feature in the book 
and Emily too of course who will be there to sign your book .... 
You are 'all' invited and it would be lovely to see you.... 
more details can be found here
and purchase the book here

(Emily on the day of the shoot)


  1. What a lovely home you have. Think I might need to purchase that book.

  2. Beautiful story and I love your house.
    I hope to meet you in London at the booklaunch of Emily!
    best regards, Inge from Holland ( Ingevilt, also in the book)