shed plan

Shedloads of gifts

Lordy, you Kraken lovers are a nosy lot. You see, last week I published my first vlog. Now, not only were you all gorgeous about seeing me blather on your various screens (THANK YOU) but loads of you were fascinated by the walls of the sewing shed behind me. That’s not all, though. Over the weekend I received a parcel of 100 Jaffa Cakes from the most glorious customer and it all made me think about how you have contributed to my shed as well as how my shed contributes to Kraken Kreations.

So to start with (she says, pointing at exhibits with her metre rule) I’ve come up with this ultra geeky graphic for you:


A) This is a print of La Muchacha en la Ventana by Salvador Dali. I first saw it in the Reina Sophia in Madrid (and blubbed for some reason) and years later, cooped up after one of my facial surgeries, I reproduced the outline of it with black thread on calico. So my love of embroidery was born from a mix of eccentric Spaniards and mahoosive surgical intervention. Nothing odd there then.

B) These posters were a bloody steal! I got them from the Simplicity website in for just £3.50 each (you can see the other one on the right-hand edge of the pic). This one is a selection of cocktail dresses through the years. The illustrations are stunning even if the chances of me getting into a nip-waisted number are not.

C) When my mum-in-law had to go into a nursing home Conjugal Kraken and I had to empty her house. We found that she had kept every birthday, Crimbo, anniversary and postcard ever sent to her. Some dated from the 40s! I was lucky enough to have a fistful of them, thankfully, because their styles and colours are so representative of their eras it’s impossible to not love them.

D) This little card reminds me of our clifftop static caravan. We spend so much time there though the half terms, holidays and summers and it is always gorgeous, even when it is wild with wind and rain. The image on this card is of the teeny village and cove at the base of the cliff.

E) A couple of years ago Conjugal Kraken got me the Mr X Stitch calendar and it inspired the shit out of me. Once the calendar was out of date I tore out all of the images and dotted them about the shed. Whenever I have a coffee (and Jaffa Cake) break I look at the walls and these always challenge my perceptions of textile art.

F) Back when I converted my shed from a place of journalistic excellence (!) into a sewing shed I had bare walls. This teeny cartoon strip, by Denise Dorrance, was the first thing to go on a wall. I was recovering from PND, PTSD and a breakdown and pulled apart by what I thought a mother should be. The cartoon depicts three women. The first is a working woman reading a newspaper telling her that mums should stay at home. The second is a stay-at-home mum with a newspaper telling her that mums should go to to work. The third is a relaxing woman reading a newspaper that reads, “Babies should make up their own minds.” It reminded me that women can apparently never get it right when they choose who they want to be and it helped me keep going.

Then there are the items that friends and family have bought for the shed because they know I spend a thousand hours a week in there. I have a million cards, a sign about my shed being a sanctuary, a sign about compiling a ‘fucket’ list and this Hiliary Clinton bumper sticker brought for me, from the US, by one of the coolest women I know (I STILL want Hils to win!). They are all angels.

The fact is that the loveliness of you customers never fails to astound me the most. I’ve received all manner of handcrafted wonders and I adore all of them. There’s the little felted skull, the crocheted pin cushion and poem (in KK colours), the hand-dyed hankies, the Fabulous as Fuck wooden heart and the Kraken card, all received in the post as a complete surprise. One day I’ll film what I look like when I open these unexpected treats but be prepared to see a 46 year old woman do a mad hop around her house. And, of course, there are the Jaffa Cakes which are already showing signs of serious scoffage.

Which concludes, for now, the tour of my shed. And if that lot doesn’t scratch the whats-in-her-shed itch I don’t know what will, but you know me. All you have to do is ask if anything else grabs you and I’ll tell you all about it. In fact, don’t get me started…

What about your workspace? Do you like the minimalist look or is yours as frantic as mine? And what’s your favourite piece?