Are you like me? Do you look forward to autumn when it’s getting dark outside and people haven’t got round to closing their curtains? Their rooms lit up like exhibitions begging to be looked at. I can’t help myself. I love to see how other people live and make a mental note to myself, “Orr! I love their sofa/doors/bookcase/wallpaper!” or even “Oooh their tea looks tasty!”
Mr Dear Emma shares my interest and took it to the next level. Having driven past a particular house for months leading up to Christmas and reporting back to me each night on their fabulous taste and their incredible bookshelves, he finally plucked up the courage to actually knock on the door and enquire, gently, in a very non stalker/serial killer kind of way, “Sorry to bother you, but how did you make that bookcase?” Fortunately his question was greeted in a very enthusiastic manner and he was invited in to take a closer look and discuss the finer elements of carpentry in some detail.
Anyway… if you are like me, you might be mildly interested in the place where I spend much of my time cutting, pinning, sticking, sewing, staring out of the window or shouting at Jeremy Vine on the radio. My opinion is very valid when there is no one else to hear it or answer back. I have solved the problem of banker’s bonuses, the wrongs of illegal phone hacking and even whether it’s appropriate to share ones husband’s toothbrush! (It’s not by the way!)
This is where I can be found on a daily basis and, when I have a break from my ranting, this is where my ideas are born and, much like the best things in life, the good ones happen by accident.
My Blue Tit design evolved after spending far too long staring out of the window obsessing about a newly installed nesting box. Was it in the right location? Was there enough food available? Would there be any unsociable neighbours? Was there a good school close by?
The garden has many blue tits as visitors and, when a couple moved in, watching them was mesmerising. I liked their eagerness, their scruffiness, the way they fussed in and out of the nesting box and the fact that they looked like they were wearing black highwayman masks. This lead to doodles, to lots of bird books and then to templates of blue tits in various positions. Eventually, after many mistakes and months of hunting down just the right shades of yellow and blue, I can now embroider a blue tit in my sleep! Hey – now that would free up some time!
You can see more about my workshop in the 3rd issue of Mollie Makes magazine. Out in stores on 7th July.