This is the end, Beautiful friend, the end.

It’s with some sadness but also huge relief that I have closed the door on the small craft business that was ‘Cherry and Cinnamon’. (You may have noticed it’s been quiet here for a while.) It’s been a challenging experience and I’ve learned much, but perhaps the most important lessons were these:
1- I tried on craft blogging for size and it didn’t fit – it’s just not me at heart. And
2- Rather crucially I couldn’t find a way to make this work pay a living wage. Sad, but true.

Cherry & Cinnamon August sale  discount codeMy online stores are closed and I will no longer be posting to this blog. Ever Since I decided to focus specifically on textile crafts came to represent me less and less, and it became a kind of candy coloured cage. I’d written myself into a corner and began to lose my sense of self. To remedy this I’ve moved my non-craft related book reviews and content over on to my new home online where I will write about whatever I fancy whenever I see fit. It will be good to have a blog that is not ‘work’ for a change. I never fell out of writing.

So what’s next? I still love embroidery and I’ll sure I will make art with it again sometime in the future. I’ll be exhibiting my textile portraits and other works at Thought Bubble this November and debuting my new personal project: a collection of short stories with accompanying images. You can read more about it here.

Stitched selfie cherryandcinnamon

Thank you for being a reader or follower of this blog and thanks to all my supporters who bought artwork and patterns from me. It was a thrill every single time and I hope you will treasure the pieces I made for you, and that you stitchy folk will continue to breathe life into the patterns you bought. Perhaps some of you will join me on to see what I get up to next. But in the meantime I bid you fond adieu!

With love and best wishes,


My old studio workspace

I’m currently undergoing some ‘big’ life changes and I’ve just moved house which has prompted me to document my old workspace for posterity.

My drawing table

I  worked between these two desks. One for drawing , stitching / making and the other a computer desk for writing and my digital work, like photo editing, digital colouring,  etc. My drawing table was lit by natural light from a skylight window, while the computer desk was tucked under the shade of the slanted attic ceiling.

My computer desktop

Pinned up around my workspace were postcards and images that inspired me, reminding me of favourite places and people.

Postcards and wall art

The back of the door was covered with cards,  prints,  and gig mementos. Like my tins all these biz cards , postcards and greetings cards remind me of who and where they came from.

Door of my studio

Boxes of paperwork, personal mementos, old letters and the remnants of tape cassettes collection and a stereo player I kept stashed under my tables. But my guitar was on show in front of my bookcase of  reference books, technique and art books, and all the magazines I’ve ever appeared in.

My guitar & shelfie

On top of the book-case my old friends: the Crow and Edward Scissorhands, ponies and pumpkins. This little tour has reminded me of all the things I hold dear; music, people, places and memories. I hope whatever my next workspace will be is less cluttered, but I really don’t think that’s me somehow.

Edward Scissorhands and friends

As the post goes live these walls are blank and this room empty. I’m looking forwards to my change of scene for so many reasons- but the process of moving is still very stressful. Sometimes I forget to eat and have been keeping cereal bars on hand to keep me on an even keel.  The Nakd bars are my current favourites btw,and they are worth considering if you are planning going on a wheat free diet for a while, as I sometimes do to help with my IBS symptoms. (These are not your usual bars as they are made from cold pressed fruit and nuts, yummy, but I urge caution if you are sensitive to fiber).
I expect this blog to become a more personal space in the coming months, and I’m not sure yet what new shape it will take.  But I do hope you’ll wish me luck with all my changes! B.x

Things I collect- Pretty Tins

I’m not sure when this started exactly, but it seems that I collect novelty tins. The smaller the better, and I incorporate them into my crafty and creative life. I discovered them housing everything from jewellery and make-up, to needles and pens, as well as being project containers for embroidery works.

Pretty Tin collection

I love that these tins remind me of who or where they came from, the Ghost Busters tin was a recent acquisition from my friend Dave, the strange manga style needle tin from my brother Robert, the Nautical But Nice tin I nicked from Clare. Others are souvenirs from other people’s holidays like the chocolate tin from Bruges, and even the odd one from my own (I picked up a cute Breakfast at Tiffanys tin in Edinburgh recently).

Pretty Tins- and their contents

I’ve even been known to buy make up for the container. Here’s a recent example from my dressing table, the Benefit Groovy Kinda Love set. What I didn’t realise is the power of suggestion it had over me.  Just look at the hand mirror I bought as a joke! And it turns out the image on the tin itself was subconsciously reminding me of  this poster I photographed in Harlem.

Benefit make-up tin and mirror

I’d say at least half of the tins in my collection have been gifted to me , (like the Bagpuss tin a leaving present from 2001), but it looks like I bought the rest of them myself. Like these cute Hello Kitty tins I got from the local discount bookstore and pound shop respectively.

Hello Kitty Sewing tins
There are so many more tins that didn’t make it into this post. Enough for another ! And something tells me I’m not about to stop collecting them anytime soon. I guess the moral of the story is: Sometimes you don’t realise you’re a collector until you’re packing things up to move! Do you have any odd collections, something you’ll always compulsively just pick up?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

90s leather chokers

Leather Jewellery – 90’s Style

I’ve been craving some 90’s style leather jewellery and  decided to make some for myself. I experimented with various thicknesses of leather from 1mm to 5mm making everything from bracelets to necklaces and choker style pendants. To stop the bracelets looking too plain or a little to A-ha I wrapped them with Krenik  1/16″ metallic ribbon floss.

90s style leather braclets

I bought the leather thong and ready-made clasps from the Bead Shop Online. I have fond memories of visiting their real life store in Afflecks Palace, Manchester in my student days. For the most part I was just messing around, recreating the types of accessories I liked as a teenager. I didn’t  have any pieces pre-planned but I had a couple of items I knew I wanted to include; like this heavy metal skull bead.

90s style Skull bead choker

And my fossil pendant  originally bought in Cambridge, which has been used in various necklaces over time. I probably have it around 15 years and I always think of it as my little tribute to the Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral. (One of my all time favourite records).

Fossil and leather necklace- downward spiral

I even made some earrings using found and repurposed charms. (Notice my little nod to my embroidery practice there?)  I’m a terrible magpie and I have a tendency to hoard shiny things that I then never use!

Charm earrings


I’ve come to the conclusion that Jewelry making isn’t the best hobby for me. It fills me with guilt when I look at my lovely stones that I can’t bear to split up to work with, and I get stressed out in the middle of making a piece when I discover I don’t have all the pieces I need,  (like the wrong colour findings, or I don’t have the right bail for a pendant, or extension loops ). So it feels like I’m always having to buy in components. I have plenty of ideas for pieces but unless I make them straight away they don’t get made.  This recent flurry of actively was spurred on by a sense of ‘use it or lose it’. I’m moving house soon and I’m considering handing over my supplies to my sister for a while- to assuage the guilt of things bought but not made.

So do you think I’m being crazy, or am I better off letting this stuff go to someone who might make a better go of it that me? Do you have any hobbies that drive you nuts? What did you do about it? Tell me about it in the comments.

Tula Lotay- Dirge- Art Book

Inspiring Artists – Tula Lotay

Tula Lotay is the nom-de-plume of comic artist Lisa Wood. I’ve been following her work on instagram now for sometime and when she announced a collector edition art book of prints I knew I had to have one. I was heart broken to have missed her limited run of Blade Runner prints so I can’t tell you how pleased I was that this was the postcard she chose to include with my book ! The art book is small, about the dimensions of a CD, but its a beautifully produced  featuring a lovely selection of  over 40 sketches and full colour works.

Tula Lotay- Dirge- Art Book

I first became aware of Tula Lotay in her capacity as the originator and organiser of the Thought Bubble  Festival Leeds. (One of my favourite comic festivals which sees its 5th year this November and I’ll be in attendance- but more about that another time). Lotay is also the manager of comic store Travelling Man and an all round good egg, but more pertinently to this blog post a fantastic a comic artist in her own right.

jane- tula lotay

Lotay’s work really caught my eye – it’s hardly surprising that her pop culture portraits would speak to me. But I also love her unique blend of digital and traditional technique, which leaves one wondering if the final work is pen and paper or wacom tablet in origin. I’d hazard a  guess that Lotay sketches by hand and then transfers to the computer for colouring and further manipulation.

Scarlet-Tula Lotay

She has a keen eye for design and her work never takes on that ‘too perfect’ look that digital techniques can bring, preferring instead to emulate brush and paint, and using the digital element to play tricks like pixellated backgrounds and ‘double exposure’ style tricks that computer manipulation is perfect for.

Tula Lotay Illustration

As a lifelong comic reader growing up it could be a bit of a boys world.  Things are different now, its much more common for girls to be involved in comic fandom and making, but they are still a little underrepresented in the industry.  So I’m proud to see a woman like Lisa so prominent in UK comics, not only for raising awareness through one of my favourite cons, but  as an influential up and coming artist herself .

Louise Brooks- Tula Lotay

Tuta Lotay is currently working on two comic book titles,  Supreme Blue Rose with Warren Ellis & the ‘Bodies’ miniseries for DC Vertigo. I’ll hazard a guess that these are two of the best looking comics in print right now.

supreme blue rose- tula lota with warren ellis

You can visit Tula Lotay’s site here , follow her on instagram here, and buy prints and art books here. All images in the post are copyright of Tula Lotay and are reproduced with kind permission.  I’ll leave you with another of my favourite Blade Runner inspired images, this time of Rachel, with a rather ghostly looking Deckard behind.

Rachel and Deckard- tula lotay

Have you discovered any great new artists recently? I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to give ‘em a shout out in the comments below.