I was sewing a seam one day -
just this way -
Flashing four silver stitches there
With thread, like this, fine as a hair,
And then four here, and there again,
The seam I sewed dropped out of sight...
I saw the sea come rustling in,
Big and grey, windy and bright...
Then my thread that was as thin
As hair, tangled up like smoke
And broke.
I threaded up my needle, then--
Four here, four there, and here again.

Hazel Hall

One, two, three.

The Book of Fragilities

I love this book. It's one of those rare, trembling, tactile, expressive books that folds into my hand. It has a curious animation, which I sometimes try to stich into the books by removing the stiffening of the spine. It makes for a curious exchange: this physicality of vulnerability and strength. The book is secure, but it gently shifts the weight of itself in your hand, as if, on opening it, an understanding of itself moved too.Further away, or closer. A strange animation, for a book.

I had this book out for sale, for a time, and then I withdrew it, and it now sits in a box in my workshop. It contains broken things, discarded things, all the things that have been destroyed, stitched again, held together by tenous links made by thread and needle.

No man could have made this book. And that is one reason why I like it. This book is a Woman's Book. It permits of no male voice. It is heritage and future, strength and wisdom, breakage and repair. It is my book.


The Gentleman's Confidential

Tough leather, brass clasp, silk pocket. Discreet and purposeful stitching. Supplied with tie pin. Suits a gentleman's library. I wonder what you keep on the shelves?

The Book of Curiosities?

One of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland series I'm planning as one of my summer fancies, but this gorgeous book I'm foolishly selling at the Handmade and Vintage, Central Milton Keynes, February 28 and March 1.

 I have spent hours playing with the Curiosity lens. It tells me that sometimes we only need to look with a different eye to find the normal, curious. Fantastic fun.

With cards, so you can keep a record of your Curiosity findings.

And a bottle of curiosity, just in case you ever find yourself worrying low.

(What they said about the cat was wrong. Curiosity only ever advanced human knowledge.)


Ravish me with your words

What a gob-smacker. No wonder Henry fell for Anne Boleyn. Here's a book to indulge the mood.

Tough black leather, delicate lace, fragile papers. If you buy this book, boxed in tissue paper, then drench the textured heart in perfume. xx


Travel with Me

The solution to all the stuff you bring home from travelling: coins, bits of ripped papers, receipts, broken shells, pebbles, scrapings of sand, paper napkins, journey tickets, maps and the odd item you never needed but from which you cannot be parted. Book and box to store them. Seal it up, store it in the trinkroom, relive the journey again, in a different time.


The Book of Trees

I'm finding out about Ramon Llull, particularly his tree diagram for the organisation of knowledge (1295). I think there's a commonplace connection to be made here in ways of organising the pages to reveal and conceal the ideas that you enter; but one thing is certain. The books I make in response to this topic have to grow: leather bark that forms new shapes of wraps and twists; sticks that twine from the covers; wood as carriers of text; leaves that sound as they gently touch your fingers.

And chains. I'm afraid these books must be chained. It's a traditional way to control access to knowledge.

Walk through the winter woodland

We walked through a flurry of snow last week, across fields with deer and through woods where the sunlight streamed to melt the ice. I came home, dried my feet, and made this book.