Shine up your buttons with Brasso!

Since my last post I have hardly had time to draw breathe, it has been such a busy time. As any of you who are self employed know, it is usually a case of feast or famine. Luckily, the former has been the case and I have had the luxury of working on Christmas projects in December, so much more inspiring than July. I have promised to keep this work under wraps for now so you will just have to take my word for it!

I am otherwise very late and disorganized regarding Christmas; not a single Christmas card sent and no decorations hung. I have, however, been doing lots of clearing, sorting, cleaning and polishing. Oh, the joys of Brasso! There are few things more Christmassy than a brass candlestick shone to perfection.

We have had some lovely joyful events including a 30th birthday celebration of our eldest son, now that does make me feel old! When our boys were little I had a bit of a craze for cross stitch and managed to complete two samplers celebrating their births. Well, guess what, I eventually got around to framing them, better late than never, and now have them hanging in my newly tidied and sorted “office corner”. When I took my prints and things into the framers I noticed a shop selling hand made custom furniture at very reasonable prices so I had a desk made to fit my small alcove. I am so pleased with myself for getting around to a mammoth tidying and sorting, a place for everything and everything in its place. Well that is the theory anyhow!

Still on the cross stitch theme, I was contacted by a Turkish company who have made some of my designs into cross stitch patterns. They have promised to send me copies and I am very intrigued to see their interpretations. It seems that everyone is asking for cross stitch again and the more I think about it the more inspired I feel to do some more. It lends itself perfectly to cosy firesides on winter’s evenings.

We also had an invitation to John Rylands library in Manchester, to see their annual exhibition of Designer Bookbindings, always a treat. Manchester looked particularly festive with Christmas street markets in and around Albert Square. All in all, it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas, I really must get a move on.


  1. Just lovely work. Have a great Christmas.

  2. Don't worry you'll have it all done. I don't believe in panicking over Christmas x

  3. It all looks great to me already! Brasso - that brings back memories of my childhood. Exciting news about your stitching kits - Cross stitch is getting a lot of coverage again and your beautiful work would be very popular to stitch up!

  4. Valerie, everything that you've written about in this post struck chords with me.

    Brasso. Just the idea of polishing either brass or silver will always be associated my own childhood memories of helping my mom get ready for Christmas. As I look around my little apartment tonight, you've reminded me to add that polishing bit to my other Christmas preparations. Time is moving very quickly.

    I love the idea of cross stitch, or needlepoint, or knitting, since all adopt grid patterning so well.

    Hoping that your designs will be well adapted.

    I've been using this day off to finish off a few needlecrafting gifts, and have just mixed up some butter, brown sugar cookie dough, that will chill overnight in the fridge before being rolled out and cut into star shapes, sprinkled with red sanding sugar and baked tomorrow.

    Oh what else...got to address the envelopes for the cards I've painted, pack up those gifts and get over to the post office...and lots more.

    I do love this time of the year. xo

  5. Thanks for sharing another wonderful illustration. I understand the feeling of overwhelm. Good luck with getting things wrapped up in time for Christmas.

  6. Self employed, and understand completely. My problem is that after exhibiting in art events for months and months, and listening to Christmas music for the last 3 months (at said shows), my Christmas spirit is KAPUT.
    I love cross stitch and always carry one along to work on... while my husband does all the driving.I think I've been working on one of them for about 20 years!
    Your designs will be gorgeous on cross-stitch. I didn't know it was making a come-back, but if it's anything like the knitting craze, I think you'll have great success with the kits.

  7. Yes it seems that all of the old crafts are coming back, with new twists...my daughter will be 31 this 20th of December...how time flies! The photo of the lights in the tree is so lovely and reminds me of late day shopping.Happy Christmas and all the best for the coming year...keep those wonderful drawings happening...magic!

  8. Cross stitch is so much quicker and easier, cheaper and more accessible than tapestry, I'm not surprised it's having a come-back. The tradition of using it to mark a moment in time - whether being a child or having one - also makes it special. Glad you kept it safe to frame. Thus, it enters history.

    (Glad you are busy too!)

  9. Ah, Brasso - I remember sitting at the kitchen table helping grandma clean the brasses! Your new desk looks lovely and tidy and new. I remember learning cross stitch at school but have never thought about it since then. Like you I'm behind with all things Christmas - just posted the last cards today and managed to find a few presents at the weekend so I'm getting there:)

  10. What a lovely post! I love your Christmas design! Your little alcove is so inviting. I could get lost there as in your beautiful library. Happy Holidays!

  11. I picked up a copy of the Turkish magazine that adopted your designs into cross-stitch. Quite lovely! I got interested in your work because of the charts and found you online. I'm an American writer and illustrator living in Turkey, and an avid stitcher. I look forward to seeing more of your work in stitch!