Sophie, originally uploaded by gilfling.

The final character now available in The Edge Gallery, Sophies story is below.

Sophie – Amongst the ruins of her ancestral home there is one room that remains intact with hand painted wall panels and billowing velvet curtains. Candle-light cast’s soft shadows and appears to bring the illustrated birds and butterflies to life as they dance on the faded leaves that cover the high walls from floor to ceiling. Outside there are broken down walls and stairs that end in sky with nowhere else to go.

Grand arches mark the places where previous generations once walked. But Sophie is content to while away the hours in the warm and cosy room, writing long winding stories inspired by the heavy trunks which are full of photographs of her distant relatives.

It is a quiet saturday here where I am enjoying catching up with some work on the computer with the patio doors open to the sunshine and seeing a couple of huge bumble bees drifting about the garden. I have some work to do on a commission this afternoon but then will catch up on a wee bit of vegatable gardening and repotting some seedlings which is always a lovely break and a chance to be outside.

I am new to gardening and very much a novice in an experimental phase to see what I can grow and what I should leave to the experts! But it is lovely to see green seedlings breaking through the soil where it had previously been bare and hopefully we shall have some fresh vegetables to enjoy in the coming months. Interestingly the vegetables that Mark strongly dislikes (carrots, beetroot and cabbage), are currently working out the best in my wee potted garden! But with a few other vegetables still to plant, hopefully we shall have some variety which we can both enjoy.

Eve – embroidery detail

Eve – embroidery detail, originally uploaded by gilfling.

I do love creating the detailed embroidery on my characters. I do not make life easy for myself as it the last thing I do before the arms are hand sewn on. The haracter is machine sewn, stuffed and then the head is hand sewn on to create the pose and there is where the personality begins to emerge. Each character really creates herself with each step revealing more . The face is then hand-painted and then the dress/cloak with either one colour or a few layers of colour before being aged with an antique stain to get that muted and uneven look that is so characteristic of my work. Then comes the final illustrating or hand embroidery which may take a while to appear as I like to live with the character whilst she reveals her own story and therefore the image that will reflect this. The hand embroidery is rather awkward to stitch onto a 3d shape but I don’t like to make life too easy for myself!

Anyway the story is always the last addition to complete the character and here is Eve’s.

Eve fills her ancient stone cottage with wild flowers both real and as decorative embroideries which are stitched onto panels which cover each and every wall from floor to ceiling. Every waking hour is spent either wandering the surrounding countryside filling her basket with delicate blooms, or sitting by the fire patiently creating meandering lines of intricate stitch work in gentle aged colours onto the softest antique linen sheets which have been handed down through previous generations. Each panel holds sweet memories of gentle times gone by and the simple beauty of the flowers that grow in abundance in hidden places.

Eve is available at The Edge Gallery in Lancaster (one more doll in the gallery to show you and then I can get to the ones I have currently available from my studio!)


Caris, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another character shown at the British Craft Trade Fair and now residing (temporarily I hope) at The Edge Gallery in Lancaster.

Caris spends her days painting the meadow flowers whose colours fade in the warm midday sun. She knows that nowhere is more beautiful than the meadows and streams that surround her home in the countryside and is content to rest amongst the sweet smelling grass and smile at the bees and butterflies that fly and flutter from one place to another.

A busy day here today. Although I am catching up on some admin and ticking lots of things off my to do list – I really just want to be painting and creating. I have more characters to get ready for an exhibition at a new-to-me gallery in Scotland so best get busy with those soon!

This is very exciting to me as although I am a scot now living in England (and pining for scotland it has to be said) the Fotheringham Gallery will be my first stockist north of the border. I do take my time with some things ………

I do have some characters currently residing in my studio which are available – I just need to get them photographed and stories written and then shall be showing them here soon!


Annet, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another character now residing in The Edge Gallery in Lancaster.

Books and bracing cold seas. Annet’s interests are diverse and she is equally happy bravely meeting the challenge of an early morning swim in the freezing ocean as she is curled in front of an open fire in the evening with a book of the most epic proportions. The perfect beginning and end to each day. It is only the hour’s in-between which leaves Annet feeling at a loss as to what to do!

I fully intended to blog my preparation progress for BCTF week by week before going to the show but became so caught up in the preparations that this did not go to plan atall! Hopefuly I will be able to write a bit of an ‘after the event’ post instead at the beginning of next week!

Will have more characters to show you in the coming days.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. x

Ada – the noble one

Ada – the noble one, originally uploaded by gilfling.

I have a whole new selection of characters and dwellings that I will be detailing here over the coming days. Some are in a new-to-me gallery and some are currently available.

These were created for The British Craft Trade Fair – so many photos to upload and edit and I am slowly making my way through them!!

Ada – the noble one- is a nocturnal soul. Spending her nights watching from her lighthouse dwelling, she ensures that the light that passing ships depend on, never wavers. The peaceful sound of the waves chants a melancholic rhythm and the inky blue darkness is a comforting blanket only broken up by the rolling mists coming from the sea.

Ada is currently available in The Edge Gallery, Lancaster, Lancashire.