DIY Cultures

I'm still buzzing from tabling at my first ever DIY fair at the weekend. My dear friend Hannah Hill invited me to share a table and give her a hand at the second ever DIY Cultures Fair at the amazing East End cultural space, Rich Mix, and I was only too happy to oblige.

Hannah was selling a variety of her wares, from stickers to her Ghoul Guide patches to little ghostly brooches (I just had to snap one up at the earliest opportunity!) as Hanecdote. I joined her as Poesie Grenadine, displaying my pop feminist/body positive lino patches for sale.


I must say I think our products looked very cute together, in their colourful array. And, if it's not too smug to say, we looked pretty darn cute too, Hannah in her sugary tough girl get-up and me in my Ghoul Guides dress, bedecked in patches.


Even if I hadn't sold anything, I still would've had a lovely day; it's always a pleasure hanging out with Hannah and her hilarious boyfriend Gerrard, and Pip came along to watch the stall whilst Han and I listened to a talk about anti-capitalist fashion. The talks were really interesting and varied; from "De-colonize It Yourself" to alternative mental health care and the difficulties of trying to shop ethically. Lots of varied views to listen to while we presided over our produce!

Uber-cute Poesie Grenadine business cards that I gave out at the Fair.


It was great to meet other makers and have some chats about mutual interests. I've been watching my pennies a bit lately, but I picked up two zines; the first issue of Hysteria: A Collection of Feminisms, partially for the name and partially due to the fascinating conversation I had with one of the women running the stand, and Poems Underwater: essays and photographs from mermaid haunts around the east of England. I've been reading this zine today, whilst bedecked in my Caitlin Shearer dress, and it is quite unlike anything else I've ever read. Very inspiring.


One of the babes who picked up one of my most popular patches (Thunder Thighs Are Go, of course!) posted a picture of their haul on their Tumblr.
How fab does all that look?!

Speaking of fab, my adorable little Ghoul Guide takes pride of place on my Suzy Bishop dress.


A wonderful day of positivity, with a really strong, engaged female presence; I felt proud to be a woman, and an artist and maker on Sunday, and it's good to hold on to and remember that when there have been such atrocities committed against women recently, from the Nigerian school girls to the women gunned down in sheer misogyny in America over the last few days. If we can, through the phrases on our hand-crafted creations, engender pride in one's womanhood, if we can motivate, come together to create and talk and protest, then we are in some small way standing up to such horrors. We are women, and we will not be silenced.

Independent Women - selling my wares at the DIY Cultures Fair this Sunday

I've spent all day printing over thirty five lino cut patches from the comfort of my loft, with 6Music playing, bedecked in my pyjamas so my pretty dresses didn't get covered in ink.

This is all in aid of the DIY Cultures Fair at Rich Mix in Shoreditch on Sunday, where I will be sharing a table from 12 - 7 with my dear friend Hannah Hill, the designer/artist behind Hanecdote, an indie label that produces everything from silk screened feminist tees to badass Ghoul Guide embroidered patches. It's fair to say I'm a little bit excited about this opportunity. Below are the linocuts I will be selling at the event. Hope to see you there!










Ghoul Guides


Back in September I bought myself a 50s Girl Scouts uniform with the intention of covering it in handsewn patches that were gathering dust in a ruby slipper sparkly box on a shelf in my room.

These patches were made by fellow artists and crafters, or "crafty babes" as we say on Tumblr. They include patches by Hanecdote, Milk Lake, and Dany Reede. Hanecdote is the Etsy alias of my dear friend Hannah Hill, who has vowed to create an "international club where it is now your duty to kick butt with sass and attitude" through her Ghoul Guides patches. Hannah creates dozens of designs from the cute to the saucy, stitching up alternative merit badges to be worn with pride. And, fingers crossed, she should be re-opening her wildly successful Etsy shop today!


Milk Lake is Rachel Parent, lover of growing her own and gardening, folk art, music and culture, and Joanna Newsom. Her hand-stitched wall art and patches are so charming in their soft tones and floral patterns; she puts a lot of detail into each piece and each stitch. As she's such a Joanna Newsom aficionado, I just had to commission her to make me a "poetaster" patch, which is displayed close to my heart on my dress. I consider myself something of a poetaster; not a master poet, by any means!


Next to my poetaster patch is a Girl Scouts Walthamstow Division vintage badge. I had to pay homage to my hometown somewhere!

I think this is my favourite Hanecdote patch. So punny.


Dany Reede makes a whole plethora of art, from painting and drawing to printmaking. He also makes the sweetest of broken hearted hand and machine embroidered naive patches. The "Lonely Hearts" one in particular is inspiring me, with my obsession with moons, paper or otherwise.



Thanks to Katrina Bautista for pictures. I will wear my Ghoul Guides dress with pride, and try to do Hannah proud too by kicking butt with as much sass as possible!

Crystal Ball

You might remember a number of posts (spanning from all the way back in February to more recently) all about a certain quilt I was (mostly failing at) working on.

Well, now that Big Teeth is finally finished I can set to work on The Constellation Quilt. This quilt is more of a story book or comic strip, telling the tale of the fortune-telling but unlucky in love witchy siren Polly Kettle (a performative alter ego of mine).

As well as spelling out Polly's name letter by letter in square patches, the quilt has a narrative, typewritten below:


In between the narrative and letter patches will be illustrative, playful patches portraying Polly and her accoutrements (crystal ball and all!) Here is one below. It's stitched on to hand screen printed linen by Room39:



And the first (though not chronologically) of the narrative patches, complete with iridescent sequins for shading:


I haven't quite decided which patch to stitch up next; possibly an appliqué of Polly herself. The quilt may have to take a bit of a back burner once again, however; I'm starting my training at the Royal School of Needlework next week, and imagine I'll get fairly busy fairly quickly! A post on that to follow.

Neighbourly Patches

I taught a Neighbourly Quilt embroidery workshop earlier in the week, and yesterday a couple of my friends joined us at the Significant Seams Hub to work on their patches.


Lucy's patch is based around the sharing of cultures in Waltham Forest, with a Diwali-inspired "henna" design.

Nathan's patch features Awesome Games, his favourite shop from childhood, in Walthamstow Market.

Here's a selection of completed patches:


They're coming in thick and fast!