Leaning tower of books…

I feel like today’s post is a bit of an interlude (should there be a photo of a potter’s wheel here?!) but I am trying to get a grip on things at the moment, not in a bad way, but there are many things, in general, that I have been putting off and it’s time to get on with them, in order to stop me from feeling like this


In the last few days I have booked appointments with the doctor and dentist, finally bought soil needed to get the garden seedlings started and next on the list, I want to clear the piles of all sorts that cover the surfaces of my studio so I can properly get back to work.

There are:


books, many from my Birthday and Christmas that are waiting to be read or have been already, and need putting away;

DSC_0032(you may think these photos are staged, they are in that I cleared a bit of desk to photograph them on, but otherwise they have been sat here for weeks, just hidden under mountains of fabric and threads…and my desk really isn’t all that big!)

DSC_0037vintage jumpers and skirts, also dumped in my studio waiting for any needed repairs, or cleaning, and that probably need to be packed up for next winter now.

DSC_0039Vintage patterns waiting to be sorted through.  This is most of my stash, collected over many years and it’s in dire need of a good tidy.

I’m also going to decide, in the coming days, whether to change how I work.  Basically, I might skip summer sewing altogether and in doing so only work on autumn/winter products.  I know that in the professional world that’s how it’s done and I can see the advantages, how wonderful, come September (after the long school holidays when sewing becomes abandoned) to be ready to go, with work complete, photos taken and items already listed?


The downside is I am generally quite influenced by the weather, I’m not sure I can be thinking of Christmas in the balmy (yes, yes, this is the UK so I might be dreaming here) summer days and from a blogging point of view I would perhaps feel I should keep things hidden until the proper season before posting about them, which would feel restrictive as it’s never as much fun writing about making in retrospect.  It would also mean there wouldn’t be new items in the shop for some time, a problem as it’s quite important for me to keep it updated.  Ho-hum, one to think on there.


As it is, I am happier to have some more space around me now, both physically and mentally,  it makes me feel I can breathe more easily…if you ignore the air pollution warnings we currently have and resulting Sahara sand being dumped all over the place.  I was a bit amazed to see the plumes of dust rise into the air when a fat little wood-pigeon landed on the trees in our garden a moment ago, there was so much that I genuinely thought next door had lit a garden fire…most might have noticed the sand and dust on their car but ours is always so filthy I just considered that normal 😉 .

Lastly, I just pledged some money on Kickstarter for the wonderful project called ‘Lightcase’.


Which, to use the designers (Dominic Crinson and Brenna Jensen) own words, is:

“Lightcase is basically a mini photographic studio that gives you a quick, affordable and low-tech way to get clear, sharp and well lit photos. We designed it especially for creatives selling in the various online marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy, Made it, Zibbet, Ebay… but it’s also a great tool for bloggers and for social marketing on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and just about anywhere you need great photos of what you do.”

Fabulous idea…could do with being a bit bigger for me, but is still too good to miss.  If you fancy knowing more you can read about it here and pledge here.  Clearly I now have a vested interest in their raising enough pledges but I also thought it was a great idea generally for sharing.

Oh, in case you wondered, the little birds are typical of the random (but precious, to me) ‘junk’ that fills my world and I couldn’t resist photographing them before they were put away 🙂


13 thoughts on “Leaning tower of books…

  1. Hope you continue to feel happier and less cluttered – I always feel better if I have a good clear-up, despite loving to have pretty things (and books in piles too!) around me, it does feel quite ‘freeing’ to have space…….somehow it makes thinking easier. Why I wonder?!
    Thanks so much for the tip re the Lighcase kickstarter. fantastic idea – I’ve just made a pledge too.
    We wouldn’t notice on our car either but, so far, we seem to be missing the worst of the pollution. Juliex

  2. Its funny reading this post of yours Beth, as I have a similar list! Need to make a doctors appointment and go to the dentist. Putting it off as I hate the dentist but as you say its good to get it out of the way and feel better. Have also had a clear up of the sitting room this week only to dump most of my treasured ‘stuff’ into another room, hidden out of view, bad I know. Your piles of books and knitted goods look lovely, I especially like the beaded cardigans! I’m a terrible hoarder out of me and H, he gets very annoyed with all the stuff I bring with me when we move. Am determined to reduce it all if nothing else!!!
    Am also astonished with the amount of dust in the air at the moment, mind boggling that it can come all the way from the Sahara desert. That lightcase is a wonderful invention, just had a look and it would be perfect for so many sellers, well worth the money donated 🙂 Hope your having a good week Beth, I always love the pics of your studio, so many pretty things 🙂 safxxx

  3. Dear Beth,

    Your plan is great, and I completely see the benefits, and would love to do just that! A whole summer making things for stock, and autumn getting started without rush, and ALSO: the fall (maybe even winter) stuff photographed in summer light, wow! But as you said, shop left empty is not cool either (and in my case not economically possible either, I need some income all the time), but a GREAT idea! Please let us know what you decide, yours posts are often so inspirational, and they also give me ideas I might not have even considered – thank you for sharing. And best of luck for sorting, it wouldn’t hurt here either!

    Have a lovely day, and a happy weekend soon too!


  4. I can identify with a lot of what you’ve said. I’m very influenced by the weather.I think I would find it difficult to work on Christmas things in the sun too. I much prefer thinking about planting and growing something. I’m sure it’s a deep instinct to go with the seasons.
    Maybe the idea of printed items to avoid empty shop syndrome ( I know we talked about it before- I still haven’t done anything about my cards! It’s a time consuming thing) so you are able to work as and when, on winter stock.
    I also still write lots of lists of things to sort, so I don’t have any ‘to do’ things rattling around in my brain. Lastly I love to look at the piles of inspiration and reading! Flissx

  5. Hi Beth I would say do what you are happy with. I know I can make handmade cards for people so I feel pressure to so. But hey, I would rather sew for me and I am working full time now. So no more cards at least for a while. Interestingly I think I am more likely to buy items from you in the winter, so that would be fine with me. You look lovely all dressed up for your birthday by the way, in your previous post.

  6. Hi from a stranger, thank you for your comment on my sorely abandoned Blog :-). I think sometimes when it seems that there is so much to do its easier for me to just do one thing for 15 minutes and then walk away from it for a while then go back for another 15 minutes until its done. I’m trying to keep on top of my Etsy shop too and have just started making something for Christmas. I think I’m going to alternate though and make one Christmas thing and one thing to go straight into the shop. I’ll stop my rambling now… hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy the holidays x

  7. Love your collection of random photos! Intriguing piles of books, gorgeous knitwear and colourful birds… and ooo, your collection of vintage patterns! Your thoughts on seasonal makes are interesting, I can see that it would help ease some pressure, and surely that can only be a good thing! Hope the sorting has gone well…

  8. You’ll really be able to get to grips with it all now that you’ve had a clear up. That Lightcase thing sounds really good – could do with one myself! Will check it out. Thanks for sharing. xCathy

  9. Hello Beth, I hope you had a good Easter with your family. Very curious to hear what you decide about seasonal creating. Thinking of you….
    From very Springlike America,
    Anne D.T.
    PlumCreek Studio

  10. Hi Beth, did you resolve your dilemma over working practices?!? Sounds like a tricky decision! I tend to find creativity and trying to be strategic aren’t the best partnership… My biggest successes have probably been when I threw caution to the wind, which is not something I do easily. Thank you for your comments on my blog, unfortunately it won’t let me reply. You come up as a no reply blogger, which I doubt you are. Think it is an issue of using different blog platforms. Hope all is well with you. Fran

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