Friday, 30 January 2015


And so it would appear two things have happened. 
I have reactivated the Ninja Knitters facebook page and the Ninja Knitters seem to no longer knit.
Its all about the crochet these days.

New members have joined the ranks and have chosen their Ninja names. 
T.N.T Ninja, Ninja Fiddle, Luna Ninja and Ninja Sashimi are all now working hard creating beautiful little hearts to adorn the seafront on Valentine's day.

I am missing all the original Ninjas, but I know I will forever carry a small yarn bomb in my heart with their names on it.
So in answer to the question, "Who loves ya Baby?"

The answer is of course
Ninjas do.
Love Nora xxxx

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


For a while now I have been collecting bit of old rusty metal every time we go wandering in on the beach.

I've also been collecting the nails that are left in the ash pail when the fire is raked out.
One of the perks of living with a carpenter is that he brings all the wood off cuts and discards home at the end of the day.
This is our second winter with a wood burner and we are yet to buy and fuel for it.
Currently he is working in an old house, so the nails from the rafters are a couple of hundred years old and have a really pleasing hand forged shape.

Last week I spent and enjoyable time wrapping the rusty bits in fabric scraps and soaking them in a water and vinegar mix.

I had made something special for the nails.
Crochet ric-rac. 
Yes that's right.
Crochet ric-rac.
Very exciting.

 After a couple of days steeping out in a very damp garden, I'm afraid the pong of vinegar got too much for even me in the end, I could wait no longer.

 They were then soaked in salt water, washed and dried I am rather pleased with the results.

Some bits worked better than others

And I do think the ric-rac will need a second rusty treatment.

I am thinking I need to practise this skill further as a row of rusty nail imprints in a would look really rather spiffing as a edge to a skirt or pocket or something.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 23 January 2015


I was all fired up after the mammoth efforts on the blogging front before Christmas to post at least twice a week.
Ho humm, the best laid plans and all that.
Christmas was fantastic, New Year was great. I went back to work on 2nd January, 17 days later  I emerged bleary eyed from the workroom. 
Hence the rather patchy presence here.
I was making costumes for "The Changeling" at The Globe's Sam Wannamaker playhouse in Bankside. Once they were gone I had a ridiculously quick turnaround on a couple of costumes for Lion King in London's glamorous West End.
Once the last costume had left the building I was somewhat spent, and have been sitting on the sofa drinking cups of tea and catching up on all the T.V programmes I have missed recently.
I have been partaking of a little light crochet, but more of that another time.
So today I thought I would share a couple of pics of the costumes that have been keeping me away from this lovely shiny place.
Its all about the period detail.

Diaphanta's bodice detail

 Isabella's bodice
Sorry I didn't manage to get any shots of the whole costume in all the rush.
So there you have it, a couple of good excuses!
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 18 January 2015


Yesterday was a special day.
Who knew Seven years could flash past so quickly.
How did we get from this


via this 

and this



and this

also this


 to this in the blink of an eye?

It was an amazing day full of friends, sweeties, cake, balloons and a new bike.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


In November last year I did a spot of crochet for remembrance.
A small yarn bomb project on the sea front in St Leonards.
Time passed and I became very busy.
I went down to see the installation a couple of times when it was first put up and was very pleased that most of the poppies had been taken.
But I actually hadn't been down to that particular spot since then, until Boxing day.
There were still a few windswept poppies left.


I decided to take them down, there is nothing worse than a forlorn looking yarn bomb that is past its sell by date.
What to do with them though?
Currently they are in a pot in my workroom.
Then my friend Sally told me what she is up to and I just knew what to do.
Sally is one of the original Ninja Knitters, a yarn bomb group we founded in Streatham almost exactly four years ago.
It was so much fun while it lasted, we achieved some amazing things, a knitted full size car to name but one. The link to our film made by Cristina one of the Ninja Twos is in the side bar.
But eventually it was all too much. The Sally, the other Ninja two, moved home to New Zealand, Jane, Ninja Three, ran away to a new life in Venezuela, I, Ninja One developed a bad case of tennis elbow and had to take a year off. Other Ninjas started new jobs, became too busy, wanted to do some knitting for them selves. 
It was time to call it a day. 
I stopped posting in our facebook group and hung up my hooks.
Recently I have started hooking again and even took part in a big project during the summer, but it was a little too much. The remembrance poppy project is just about at my level these days I loved it.
Back to one of the Ninja Twos, Sally, she has been keeping the flags flying on the other side of the world and has been more productive than I.
The other day I saw this on facebook.


An old army blanket covered in poppies to commemorate the 100th anniversary on Anzac day.
So my windswept ex-yarnbombed poppies are soon to be winging their way to NZ to take part in this new project.
And in the mean time a new Ninja or two has joined the ranks down here at the seaside, I shall introduce you to them in due course and we are slowly starting work on a new project.
The long winter nights shall fly by!
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Tonight the moon shines bright over Hastings.

Night night sleep tight.
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 5 January 2015


As ever I am a little late to the party with this post.
You may or may not be aware of the fact that this past year I have been taking part in Lola Nova's stitched journal project.
Each month I have tried to explore another textile or stitching technique that has piqued my interest.
I put my hands up to say some months (most) it has been a bit of a kick, bollock, scramble to get it done. 
There have been months when winging it would be a generous term to use for my artistic process.
Then there are months like this one when the idea is in place, even research has been done (check out my pinterest board if you are interested), but time is just not my friend.
Earlier in the project I was planning a piece based on a Barbara Hepworth sculpture.
It didn't happen.
But the idea of holes had taken root some where in the back of my mind.
Holes in the fabric of reality.
Holes in the fabric of time.


 Hiding the holes in life out of sight in an old 1/4 llb tobacco tin.
As each hole happens it nearly heals over before another hole appears.


In the end the density of the holes and the fragile filigree of healing mean you can hardly notice the original holes, three tiny punctures.


Pass through them and where do you end up?
In the dark.
The first layer a rough heavy canvas, the second a stained calico* the most basic of fabrics the one we use for pattern making and tote bags it has little beauty only functionality, the third a heavy workaday ticking traditionally used to cover mattresses a fabric not made to be seen but to be covered by finer fabrics, the fourth a linen well used, old and greyed with age.


Each layer casting shadows on the holes that came before it.
All hidden safely away in the old 1/4 llb tobacco tin.


Love Nora xxx
P.S: please do check out what every one else has been up to by following the link to Lola's blog here.

* Muslin in America

Sunday, 4 January 2015


What would this torn scrap of canvas tell us? What adventures has it had? What sights has it seen?
If I leave it on my cutting table and pretend I am not listening will it start whispering its history?
There is so much to say about this scrap I don't really know where to start.
Hopefully very soon it will start to tell some new stories, embark on the next adventure in its tattered life.
Once again becoming useful, an essential part of something.
Rambles on the beach are part of our routines these days.
The whole family mooching along eyes down scanning the shingle for treasure.
From the smallest  piece of seaglass ever glistening like a jewel sitting on a fragment of coconut husk.

Or a painted pine cone in a rusty tin.

One for the collection I think.

Love Nora xxxx

Friday, 2 January 2015


Happy new year every one!
Here's hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and a spiffing New Year.
I know we did.
Although Christmas was spent at home, from the 27th onwards we did a lot of travelling about celebrating birthdays, seeing family and then having friends here to stay for New Years.

Frosty walks with Nana in the wide open skies of the Hippy's ancestral homelands of East Anglia were one of the highlights of our days away.
The ruts in the field up the lane had turned in to a mini ice rink.

The ice was very thick and took a lot of stamping to break it.

It was good to let off steam and breath the fresh air after all the eating and drinking.

 Much Love Nora xxx