“We must do creative work for the inside of us, not the reaction of the outside world.” – SARK

I am needy. I hate to admit this, I’m embarrassed to admit it. But I am. I crave approval. I want pats on the back, and congratulatory speeches and kudos. I want a Princess crown and a seat of honour and a best in show certificate.

And I want this at every single thing I do.

This is not good. It stifles you. It weighs heavily upon creativity and slows you down.

I have read, and reread the words of SARK, quoted above. I get it, cerebrally, but I don’t get it emotionally. When I create something, I want it to be recognised and praised. To me, that’s the whole point.

And yet it is so NOT the point.

I dabble my toes in the water of many different forms of creativity, and never get any further than that with any of them, and this is why. I give something a go, and then sit back and wait for the crowds of well-wishers, the trumpet fanfares, the bouquets flung onto the stage.

And they don’t come. It’s mortifying. Worse still is the next stage. I go, needy and slightly whiny, to my desired audience, and request feedback, in a gently passive aggressive way. Sometimes, I will seek the opinion of a loved one on my work. We both know I don’t want their opinion really, I want a gold star, but you can’t come right out and ask for that. There are certain protocols to being an adult.

But it doesn’t work, they never say the right thing, or they don’t say it enough times or with enough emphasis.

I sulk. I abandon the project and refuse to talk about it ever again.

Or at other times, if my creativity has found an outlet in some form of crafting, I may offer to make something for a loved one or friend.

Heaven help you if you are on the list of my potential crafting recipients. It’s a weighty responsibility. 

The first hurdle to be got over is your reception of my offer. If you are very very clever, you will pick up on my initial hints, dropped like bait into the water. If you are wise and compassionate, you will immediately seize upon these hints, and fervently beg to be allowed to receive one of my pet projects.

But sadly, not even the closest of my loved ones, who know me so well, tend to pick up on my hints. I am forced to come out into the open, and make an Offer. I do this casually, of course, because, y’know, it’s cool if you don’t want my crafting (it really isn’t). This is probably your last chance. Jump at it, if you have any love or pity for me. Seize it eagerly. It allows me to leave with some shred of my dignity. We can both pretend it was your idea.

Or you could be quite honest, and say, no thanks.

There are certain advantages to this course – primarily, I will never ask you again.

I may never speak to you again either, so you’ll have to weigh that up too. I may even tell everyone, with hot indignation, how you spurned me.

(They will sympathise with you, don’t worry.)

But let’s assume you said yes. You might even be genuinely excited about it. Let’s hope so. You will need that to get you through the next few stages.

  1. Planning. I will bug you, to the point of madness, about what I am to make, and in what colours, and which style, and what exactly do you want, and are you sure? Are you sure???
  2. Making. You will need progress reports and photos/show’n’tells at every stage. Every half stage. There will not be a step along the way that you will not share with me. You will feel that it would have been easier to make the thing yourself. You may be right. But we’re in this together now, and don’t you forget it.
  3. Giving. This is the most critical stage. Much depends on how you receive this project. My nerves will be strung out. I have already made up my mind that this things Sucks, and that you will Hate It. I will be in a state of bitter resentment, directed mainly at you. Why did I agree to this? Why did I think I could do it? Whatever you do, do NOT be honest about how you feel or what you think of it. Even if I set a crafty trap for you, by pointing out its flaws and mistakes myself. Coo. Squeal. Make little moaning sounds. Hold it to your chest. If you can produce a few tears, better still. 
  4. Maintenance. Oh yes, you thought this was over, but it’s not. I need you to tell me, every time I see you, how amazing it is. How much you love it. How and where and when you are using it. How much you appreciate my work. How talented I am. How I should really sell/exhibit my work. Bonus points if you can get your friends/family to mention to me how much you love it and how amazing it is. 
So, there you have it. I am a High Maintenance Creative. How you go from that to creating just for the fun of it, just for your own satisfaction, I have no idea. If you know, do tell me. 
I might even make you something, as a thank you gift. 
You’ll love it, I promise.


It may only be February, but there is nothing stingily winter about today’s sunshine. It is flooding the house, making the birds trill, and lighting up the moss on the path to a luminous chartreuse.

I would like to knit myself a sweater in that green. It wouldn’t suit me – I would look washed out and pasty in comparison – but I should love it in any case.

I lay down on the path to take these photos, and seen up close, the moss looks like the landscape of another world. I would like to shrink myself down accordingly, and wander through it, and maye roll around a little bit on its cushion-y surface.

Today marks the start of Week Two in solitary confinement. I’m enjoying it, in the way you enjoy the pain of stretching a muscle a tiny bit further than is really comfortable. I can feel myself expanding. There is so much more to me than I ever let myself believe. As deeply attached as I am to my husband (18 years today!), my boundaries do not begin and end with him, as I have always believed.

Admitting that makes me feel guilty. Where did I get this idea that devotion must also mean dependence, exclusion, and the blurring of personalities into one whole? Perhaps because people talk of true love as being two halves making one whole. Although to be honest, I’ve always felt more like a quarter than a half.

Perhaps we are more like salad dressing. Such a romantic comparison! But I can’t think of a better one. Oil + vinegar. Very different components, that brought together make something quite necessary and wonderful. But even then, they maintain some separateness. And taken apart, they both have a function and a completeness all of their own. They are not necessarily better or worse, alone or together. Just different.

I am so the vinegar in this scenario……..!!


I just wanted to take a few minutes on this Monday morning to remind you how very much we love and appreciate you all. You show up for the shop updates, week after week, month after month, year after year. You show us immense loyalty and support us in every direction that the business takes. You are patient and understanding when there are hiccups. You are our own personal cheerleading squad, in good times and bad.

We are proud to know you, and humbled by your loyalty. Everything we do with Posh revolves around you, our lovely gang of customers, friends. We’ve got to know so many of you, and that makes even the dullest aspect of our daily tasks enjoyable. I would be miserable if we had a faceless business, with no real contact with customers other than filling orders. I can’t imagine that. Thanks to you, Posh Yarn is a living, breathing, growing thing, with a personality and a place in the world. You’ve made that possible.

You also make it possible for us to work together, which we love, from our home, which we also love. After years of reluctantly splitting off in different directions to earn our living, we now get to stay together. Thank you for that. We never take it – or you – for granted, I assure you. We treasure each and every one of you.


I’ve been asking myself lately, can you be a writer when you spend the majority of your time inside your own four walls? are you going to find anything interesting to say, anything that pulls readers in and makes them want to come back again and again? do you have a story to tell???

My life is, by necessity, very quiet and mostly solitary. I live in a remote village. I don’t drive, so excursions tend to be few and far between. This is my choice – I’m not complaining, I love my home and my lifestyle. But when I read the stories on other blogs, and see photographs of beautiful places and noteworthy events, or read about family life, socialising, celebrations, travel, achievements, and so on, I do wonder. Is my life too dull to interest anyone else? Am I too dull?

There’s no doubt about it, the more you do, the more you see, the more you have to talk about, the more to show. I sometimes think, if I lived in a big city, I would have so many things to photograph, so many opportunities, so many stories nudging in on me every day. If you live a gently same-old life, you have to dig a lot deeper to find beauty and interest. It’s possible – but harder. More challenging.

But just look at writers like the Brontes, or Emily Dickinson. Quietly domestic, cut off from the world, restricted in body, yet world-roaming in soul, and creators of poetry and beauty and fire and passion. Their writings are, perhaps, the more compelling because of the contrast between them and the women behind them. I wonder if things would have been different if these women had lived more traditional lives: married, had children, run a home, moved in Society, travelled, etc. Perhaps their creative genius would have found outlet in more conventional ways, and we would be the poorer for it.

After all, each of us have a rich and extensive landscape inside of us, waiting to be explored and mapped out. Perhaps living a very quiet solitary life gives you more of an opportunity to do that. And more incentive too. For when you are dreaming dreams, telling stories, allowing your heart to speak to you and through you, you can never be alone, or isolated, or empty, or unfulfilled.