Where actually did it go? Another year is coming to a close, and the good intentions of writing a new blog post for well over a year have fallen by the wayside. At least Instagram regularly has my patronage, a snapshot here and a few words there, it's honestly the quickest way to find out where I am and what I'm up to!! However, actually finding the time to sit down and write has lately felt like a luxury. As usual I get to the end of the year and berate myself for not having achieved enough; that 'I could have done more' feeling. Is it the curse of self employment or an innate emotion that I've carried around with me all my life? I would say that it's definitely the driving force behind what I do actually manage to pull out of the bag each year as likely to the onlooker, I'm working at full capacity! My brain actually rarely switches off from the creative aesthetic; If I can visualise it, then surely I can make it, right? My unwavering belief to succeed somehow sees me through, and all deadlines are met and delivered, and yet that niggle .... let's call it procrastination, catches up with me by the end of the year, along with the Tax return! During a recent trip to Scotland where taking the sewing machine was not an option, I branched out (quite literally) with some Watercolours which ignited my desire to make a little book. And if I promise myself not to procrastinate, next year, I may just have the time to actually make that happen!
Here's brief summary of this year's highlights......
This, one of my favourite little pieces, got shipped off to the USA along with 9 others in the Autumn, and is now in the home of a lovely lady and 'super fan' collector. I know if she reads this, she won't mind me giving her that title! I occasionally receive a very heartfelt email from her which always puts a little skip in my step knowing that I've made someones day a little brighter through my work.
I am incredibly lucky to be given such wonderful opportunities to create really special and relevant embroideries, I don't ever take that for granted and am fully aware that so many other talented artists do not get the kind of gigs that I get.
Being on BBC Countryfile in the summer was a gift! When the email pinged through inviting me to be on the show, I joked with my husband that this would be my chance to meet presenter Matt Baker, who, along with his family, is our family's favourite, but alas, no presenter, just me and the camera crew. And despite the editing team having to cut out a massive amount of my babble (I'm such a TV amateur) I really enjoyed the day and had some lovely email responses when the show aired in August. Our dog Frank, was the obvious star, sitting when told and walking to heal. Many of my friends suspected that I must have drugged him as his usual mode of operation is 'lunatic' but he's becoming used to the camera and drone work and knows how and when to put on a performance! I'm sure the producer at one point was heard saying 'good smiling Frank!'
(Filming in the studio, Peaslake)
Some other embroideries also had a BBC
appearance, this time on one of the Gardening world's most prestigious stages at Chelsea Flower Show. Joe Perkins invited me to be a small part in his gold winning Meta Garden, Growing the Future. It was the herculean effort of Joe and his team to produce a really beautifully thought provoking garden, which we were all incredibly proud be part of, and after the event Joe very kindly sent me one of the gold medal certificates which now sits proudly on my desk. Here is Joe Perkins with Joe Swift discussing embroidery on the BBC, what a joy!!
So, along with a show in Devon, some large private commissions, some preparations for up coming exhibitions, and a couple of magazine interviews, the year has flown by and I've been riding the crest of the wave, occasionally dipping below the surface but most staying upright! I want to thank you all for your continued support and following on all the socials, because when I'm working away in my little studio, headphones on and machine clattering away, it reminds me that there is a World outside that appreciates the effort, the fun, the beauty of nature, the preservation of the sometimes overlooked, and the nerdy life of a procrastinating embroiderer. THANK YOU
(screenshot from BBC Countryfile Surrey Hills episode 21 August 2022)