I think it’s time I reminded people that I do parties! That’s right, why have a boring party, when you and your friends can learn to make sock monsters instead? I can do children’s parties (generally over 9’s only, but I can be flexible, so get in touch) and grown up parties.  They’re much the same, but I’ve found the grown up parties tend to involve more wine 🙂  Also hen parties, stag parties (you know you want to), and whatever-other-parties. Parties!  I will bring all the materials, including worksheets, and remain on hand to teach and talk you through every stage of making your very own sock monster. It’s amazing fun, and your guests will love you for it.

Creativity with socks - the best party fun ever

Creativity with socks – the best party fun ever

I also run workshops, for schools, community groups, festivals, anything you like really.  I can teach monster-making, or other sewing skills, or a creative tie-in with something you’re already doing (an example of this was a ‘Make Do and Mend’ workshop I ran with a class of Y4s, to complement their studies of life on the ‘home front’ during WWII). Please see my Workshops page for further details, and/or get in touch via the contact page.

Sock-monster-making workshop at 'Festival at the Edge' storytelling festival

Sock-monster-making workshop at ‘Festival at the Edge’ storytelling festival

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Goodness, 2011 already (and still no jet-packs), how did that happen? I hope y’all had a great holiday season, and gave and received lots of handmade presents. I started to teach myself (well, with books, obviously) embroidery last year, and I must say I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far. You’ll find some of these in my Etsy shop:

Some cross-stitchery

and this is what my eldest sister got for Christmas (I can’t show you what my other sister got, because I haven’t even posted it yet. Very bad)

For the curious, there is more embroidery to be seen on my Flickr stream.

Anyhow, I am determined to make this a year of working. I attended some training in December which means I am now qualified to offer accreditation on the Arts Award scheme, to Bronze and Silver level. I’m quite excited by the possibilities this opens up, so I’ll let you know how I get on. I’ve also got my first workshop of the year this weekend – a birthday craft party for someone who came to my workshop at Festival at the Edge back in July! How cool is that!

Created at workshop for Dronfield Library

I’m going to be updating my workshop pages and publicity this week, so do check back, or get in touch, for more info. I’m CRB checked, fully insured, and sensible 🙂 so if you fancy a crafty birthday party, or a workshop for your library/community group/staff, you know what to do!

Wow, I’ve just got back from the most amazing weekend! I took my monsters to Festival at the Edge, where not only did I get to experience some awe-inspiring storytelling, but also got to show lots of enthusiastic people how much fun it is to make a sock monster. Even my designated ‘Artist Liaison’ (yes, I had my own Artist Liaison, I’m still showing off about that) and event steward got involved, they just couldn’t resist!

Doorkeeping and monster-making, high-vis vest optional


From just three basic patterns, people somehow made each monster different – this release of imagination is what really gives me a buzz about running workshops.

Homeward bound


One person made a cat-monster, another a snail. I even saw one monster (from a young lad who enjoyed the first workshop so much he came back the next day for another go!) dressed in a dinner jacket, with brass buttons, carrying a white rose, because “he’s just on his way back from a wedding”.
If you were at one of these workshops, please send me a picture of your monster, and I’ll post it on here. Sorry to those who missed all the fun, but I’m sure you ended up doing something just as brilliant 🙂

Horace

Big love to the festival organisers, I had so much fun both teaching and learning.

A couple of weekends ago (yes, I am a slack blogger,  sorry)  I ran another workshop for the fabulous Craft Candy, teaching people how to make their very own sock monsters.

Hard at work

Tee hee.  I can report it went brilliantly – I had great fun, and I hope the participants did too.  I totally love seeing what kind of monsters other people come up with.

Mr Tickle? Mrs?

I give people a choce of just two patterns, yet every monster turns out different; this to me is why I love monsters so much 🙂

The creators of these two lovelies used exactly the same base pattern.  Twins? Or partners in crime?  You decide.  Whatever, I think they rock.

If you’d like me to run a workshop for your group/workplace/party,  check my workshop page, and get in touch!

Well, I got to do my first ever Picky Miss birthday party last weekend, and it was great!  I had fun, and I’m pretty sure the partygoers did too.  “A Picky Miss party?”  I hear you say, “Is that a bit like an Ann Summers party?”.  Sadly (or not), no it isn’t.  It’s your own personal sock-monster-making workshop, in your house, for your friends.  I even bring the socks.

Anyway this was Philippa’s party, and we had Fun.  The monsters that emerged from the sock pile that evening were, in my opinion, just brilliant.  I was particularly impressed by those who claimed, at the beginning of the evening, that they couldn’t sew, and would never be able to make a monster.  Guess what? They did! (Guilty as charged, left of photo)

finished monsters

Monster-making as a social bonding activity.  There were periods of intense concentration, but mostly it was a good chance to chat (and eat delicious home-made biscuits).

concentration

chitchat

I encourage people to stitch first, and cut out later, so making a start with the scissors marks you out as someone who has successfully negotiated the first challenge!  And it’s when you get to the mouth, that your stuffed sock really starts to look like a monster.  Very exciting.

pout

When you’ve finished sewing, and stuffing, your monster, it’s going to need some eyes and embellishments.  And you thought choosing a sock was hard 🙂

choosing buttons

Finished monsters, happy sewers!  A birthday party like no other.

happy sewers
If *you* would like to treat your birthday guests to a workshop with a difference, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  Your guests will get a new skill, their own sock monster, and a party bag full of goodies; you will get more kudos than you know what to do with, for throwing the most fun, most unusual party ever.

sewing the eyes

I am based in Sheffield, but may consider travelling further afield.

Yes, irresponsible though it may sound, I have been teaching people to make sock monsters – more sock monsters! – at my Craft Candy monster making workshop. I love the way everyone’s monster turned out different, even though people were working from the same pattern. You see? Every monster is unique, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise – this is the beauty of them, and why I love sock monsters so much.

I’m happy to teach more workshops – frankly I think everyone should make sock monsters – so do get in touch if you’d like me to run one for your group or organisation, or even birthday party. I am also fully CRB checked to work in schools.