Friday 21 November 2014

Christmas Shopping

I'm really excited to announce that I'll be taking my "Dotty B" stall to the "Off The High Street" Christmas Market at Castlefield Market on 5th, 6th and 7th December.

My sewing machine has been smoking, my rotary cutter has blunted and I have to keep cleaning fusible web from my iron as I've been busy, busy making lots of goodies to sell.

The Christmas Markets in Manchester are wonderful and the Castlefield events will be a great addition, full of gorgeous food,vintage and quality handmade goods. If you can get over then I'm sure you'll find lots of lovely Christmas presents as well as having a fabulous, festive time. It's indoors and there will be plenty of cake!

The markets will be held at Uppercampfield every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 28th November to 21st December.

Be there or be square!!! :D

Saturday 1 November 2014

The 3 Rs- running, rest and relaxation!

This is so very appealing to me this afternoon.....might even attempt a bit of stitchiness.

 The reason? Mr Dotty and I completed our first 5km Parkrun this morning!!!! Let me put that into context so you can see what an achievement that is for me. I've never liked sport. I was quite an uncoordinated, studious (nerdy) child and I was the one that got picked last for team sports in P.E.lessons. I was on occasion called out to demonstrate athletic activities and then have the teacher tell the class "that's how not to do it"! I spent most of high school PE lessons playing table tennis with my disabled friend (ie waiting till the rest of the class had gone outside, then plaiting each other's hair and gossiping!)

I've tried various physical activities over the years - cycling, aerobics, step aerobics, badminton, golf, bowling- and I've been pretty rubbish at all of them. I just haven't seen myself as sporty. Nowadays, I swim, walk the dog and do Pilates to keep my chronic pain under control. Oh, and I've always said I'd never run- runners never looked very happy to me!

So what happened? Well, during the summer I was feeling a bit better, I kept feeling like I could  jog a little. I expected my physio friend to tell me it was a bad idea, but she was really encouraging. Mr Dotty and I got ourselves some running shoes, embarked on a "Couch to 5k" programme and gradually built up our stamina and strength. I'm so pleased to have finished today and in a reasonable time...WOOHOO!!!

In other news, my Mum is reasonably content, though she has lost a lot of her speech and some understanding. We are gradually coming to terms with what is happening to her and trying to make the most of time together.

Hope you are having a good weekend. My armchair is beckoning.....xx

Monday 8 September 2014

When Everything Around Us Falls

This last fortnight has been a very painful time for our family. Our beautiful Mum had a stroke which has impaired her speech and to some extent affected her ability to carry out everyday tasks. Thankfully, she has no physical weakness and is still mobile. Mum is home now and is still smiling through it all!

My Mum has a lovely smile and I see it in my own children  - one in particular-when they smile.

                                      Mum and I last Christmas

IWith everything that has been happening, it has been quite poignant to have been working on this piece of work for the next Ten Plus Textiles exhibition which will be at the Platform Gallery in October.

                    "When Everything Around Us Falls"

I was inspired by some of the words of this song called "Shelter" by Ray Lamontagne.

Monday 18 August 2014

York Memories

 York Minster
                          Pretty pink caravan serving tea......
                                       ...and cake...
                                ....made me feel like this!

Thursday 14 August 2014

Zipping though Summer

This week Mr Dotty has gone back to work for a rest. He had a mostly sunny week off last week and we packed in so many family activities it felt like we had been away.We started with a trip to York. I haven't visited there for many years and I had forgotten how lovely it is. We wandered along the Shambles, in and out of the lovely shops, gazed at the impressive architecture of the Minster...

We had tea from a lovely pink caravan and sheltered under the trees in a torrential shower.(I do have more photos which I will show you if I can get the phone and the computer to communicate with each other a bit better! My technical know-how seems to be letting me down again. Either that or we have Gremlins!)

The next day we headed out to Go Ape at Buxton. Mr Dotty and I went a couple of years ago as something different to do and I don't mind telling you that as soon as we got into the trees onto the practice crossing I was terrified! I got around the course, the fear never really abated, but the sense of relief and elation when it was over was amazing!

So, for some mad reason I decided it would be a good thing to do as a family (even with a son who isn't too keen on heights!). "I can do this," I told myself.  "This time I am going to be braver!"

Everyone else went up first and I got up onto the practice platform and the old fear came flooding back. I got around some obstacles fine, others were a real feat of controlling the fear. I even managed to conquer my fear to step off the "Leap of Faith"- a high platform where you drop before the harness catches you and swings you into a big cargo net. (It did take me three and a half minutes to step off- I know because Mr Dotty was filming it!)

The kids were fantastic- even the son that doesn't like heights grew massively confident and tackled a lot of the crossings hands-free! Mr Dotty's strategy was to hold the harness ropes and leg it! Only my youngest managed to land on his feet off the zip lines- the rest of us came in backwards and got bark chippings down our trousers.


 I spent over 2 hours filled with pure adrenaline and finished sore and bruised, but I DID IT and weirdly it was great fun!!! And maybe next time I'll be braver!

Monday 28 July 2014

Sticky with Treacle

What an amazing and busy weekend. The weather here has been really hot and Mr Dotty and I spent a rather sticky day under a gazebo at Middlewich Food Festival.

(please excuse the photos- they were taken on my phone & I haven't quite got the hang of it yet)

I set up my "Dotty B" stall as part of the Makers Market. We had a fun day chatting to people in the sun.
Next to me was a lovely young lady selling interior decor- Kiki Interiors and behind me was a man from Vanilli's cafe wafting the smell of the most amazing chocolate fudge cake in our direction. (I'm not telling whether or not we resisted!)

We arrived home with tired legs and hot feet, so we sat in the garden with a cheeky drink to recover!

On Sunday we went back to the Treacle Market at Macclesfield and had a lovely day out. It was buzzing- lots of sun, food, music and stalls selling beautiful wares.

We hadn't been there long when I spotted this little fellow...

I think he was hoping for some cool water in his bath. Lying in the basin just to the right was his friend...

I have quite a few collector's teddy bears, all traditionally handcrafted and I had decided that my collection was complete, but there was something about this little guy. I knew straight away I needed to give him a home. He looks like he'll make a great sewing assistant.

The pads of his paws are very worn, so he won't be doing any walking. The stallholder thinks he may have been made in the 1920s and he came all the way from France.

I'm going to find a comfy spot for him to sit and think of a name. Any ideas?

Oh, and Vanilli's had a stall at the Treacle Market too so we did succumb and shared a Manchester Tart (the ones on the right with a cherry on top). It was delicious and no mean feat to eat it on a bench in a public place- we had cream on our noses and jam dripping down our wrists, much to the amusement of the passer's by! Very sticky, but worth it!!

Hoping for a quiet day today. have a good week.xx

Friday 18 July 2014

Middlewich food Festival

I am very excited to be taking part in the Maker's Market at Middlewich Food Festival on Saturday 26th July.

I will be taking lots of stitchy goodness including some fabric postcards like these...

I suspect it will take some resolve not to spend all my money on the delicious food on offer!
If you are nearby I'd love to meet you!
Have a great weekend. xx

Friday 11 July 2014

Treacle Market

I have been very tardy about this post, partly because I couldn't work out how to get my photos from my phone to the computer. It's not too difficult, I know, but sometimes where technology is concernes I just have a mental resistance!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we visited the Macclesfield Treacle Market, which is a regular treat for us.

There is a great range of stalls selling handmade goods, vintage goods and food.

I love this stall- Shabby Cheek- it is full of curios

and unexpected objects!

We haven't taken Alfie yet as I suspect he'd get really over-excited, but dogs are always welcome

and there are usually lots of dogs of all types

(and penguins and owls and horses...)

I dream of having this beautiful hut in my garden and every time I see it I wonder how they get it there!

This weekend we may visit the Vintage Village at Stockport.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Do you have plans?

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Beards, Bears & Beds

Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather that June has brought us. My strawberries are ripening nicely so we get a good bowlful each day.
We had a busy weekend with a visit to Holmfirth Art Market on Sunday. There were so many talented artisans there and it is on again next weekend- I can highly recommend it!
On Saturday I spent the day with my son at a music festival....woohoo! He had a stall as part of the Teenage Market at the Headlander Festival. All his artwork is hand drawn.

He had lots of interest and several sales and it was a fun day.

This week I am working on a commission for a very generous gentleman who has already purchased two pieces of my work as he and his wife really connected with them.

The previous works featured armchairs, this one has an old-fashioned bedstead. I have still to add text and machine quilting. It is going to be a busy week. We have two Uni Open days to visit- thankfully fairly local and should be interesting as my son is looking at illustration/art courses. I think I'll be wanting to sign up for something myself!
Hope your week is good and creative.xx

Tuesday 20 May 2014


I have been getting back in touch with my love of graffiti and text and making use of Mr Dotty's prolific photography.

I printed images of torn posters and graffiti onto cotton fabric.

The colourful image is from the Lennon Wall in Prague. I love the ephemeral nature of graffiti and the feeling that the messages have been captured in a photograph before someone else comes along and paints over them.

 I love that if you look closely you can see a snapshot of a thought that was important enough to someone for them to put it on a wall, a stranger that I will never meet. This piece even includes a proposal of marriage- how romantic! I wonder if Jane said "Yes".

I have listed this item in my new Folksy Shop
Have a great week.xx

Monday 5 May 2014

Dotty About Docs!

 Remember these?

Product Details
I loved them when I saw them, but I couldn't really justify buying them. Well, I'm quite pleased that I waited because today Mr Dotty "persuaded" me to buy.....THESE.....

Do they remind anyone else of Minnie Mouse?

Friday 25 April 2014

Daydreaming on Friday

I've been sitting here dreaming of my holiday, so here are a few more of my memories.

My favourite dog!

A tasty "snack" he found on the beach!


A neighbour.

Wishing you a very happy weekend.xx