Sunday, 15 February 2015


Well I'm in bed with the lurgie and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to touch base with my blog ! It's ideal as I am actually still and in one place with some time on my hands , so today is a day for resting , knitting , blogging as well as blowing my nose endlessly and taking cold remedies and feeling slightly sorry for myself !!
January has passed me by in a busy blur and my hands haven't stopped creating .
My Yorkshire mill mice have been the order of the day and the odd Mr Fox .

I was so excited some weeks ago when I found Mr Fox a little brass watch to adorn Mr Fox's plus fours .
I've being doing lots of tiny knitting too , Mrs mill mouse shawls .

In fact I've been keeping an eye out for little pieces that are interesting and help create the narrative of the little characters I make ,the aim of these little extras is to add interest or evoke a memory or feeling to my little textile sculptures.
 I really fell for these miniature replica brass scissors as soon as I saw them.

But when I took a trip to a local antique and collectors shop about a week ago I couldn't believe my luck !!
There I was pootling about the place I stumbled across a small chest on the floor tucked under a table , I nearly walked past it . A chest half full of old wooden textile bobbins and shuttles , I enquired to the price , hoping all the while that they would be a reasonable price .
When the lovely lady confirmed the price I was as giddy as kipper as |I could afford some , however I kept a cool calm exterior I didn't want her thinking she had a mad women in her shop . I had enough money on me to  purchased 10 , then I  left . However I did venture back with more cash in hand and went  back  to buy the lot . I just knew they would be perfect to accompany my Mill Mice . I was absolutely buzzing with excitement when I got them home but my find just got better ! I took the bobbins out of the bag to give them a good once over and I couldn't believe it . They had Salts. Saltaire engraved around the base of the bobbins. Well this could only mean one thing , that they were originally in use at Salt's Mill ( an old Victorian Textile Mill) in Saltaire just down the Valley , a place I love to visit often . I was so happy to have found some local history in these bobbins . I'm sure Sir Titus Salt would have approved of his bobbins accompanying my Yorkshire Mill Mice

I love these bobbins ......the way they look, the way they feel and the way they smell of old Industry .
I do think it's my own families ties with this industry that makes me so excited about such items ,
This week has been my mums birthday and it is her and her side of the family that have a long history with the wool Industry and I thought it would be apt to make her a Mr & Mrs Mill Mouse dedicate to her long departed mum and dad.
Come meet the family .......may I introduced my maternal Grandma Muriel ( she was my nana ) she is in her early twenties in this photo . My Maternal Grandad was Herbert , we think he is in his desert uniform in the photo , it was a picture sent home from when he was doing his army service in the second world war  . Muriel worked in the wool mills of Bradford as a spinner and weaver as did her daughter my mum and my Grandad was an engineers pattern maker so worked in a different sort of mill. My mum helped pick the mice and I'm going to pop some family history into the pieces for her , my mum also chose the sage green as she always remembers her mother wearing a sage green fitted suit , my Grandma made a lot of her own clothes as did many of her generation , she was always well turned out .  My Grandad always wore smart trousers a shirt and a cravat and he never left the house without his flat cap . This special couple will take a bit of time to finish and thank fully my mum is a patient person . But I will come by and share them with you when they are finished.

I am at the moment I am working on  my biggest batch of mill mice to date  , 22 in total production is taking a while .

As you can also see my work area is very full , in fact I seem to be taking over more of the house as the weeks go by .
So Mr P and I have agreed I need a room dedicated to being used as a workshop/ Studio and as we have a dry very good sized cellar we have made the decision to covert it into my studio . This will be a lot of hard graft and we have to do most of it ourselves as we are doing it on a shoe string  . Hard work doesn't bother me though and I truly enjoy doing rooms up . As you can see there is a lot of clearing to do before we can start knocking it about and making it a nice space to be in .
My inquisitive nature got the better of me yesterday , so with a chisel and hammer in hand I started investigating the arched chimney breast and unearthed the Victorian brick work .
I love living in an old house . I can't wait for us to start putting our mark on this room .
It's been lovely to have the time to pop by today but now I'm wacked , it's lemsip & sleep for me now .
If your on half term hols have a fab time with the kids .
Thank you so much for calling by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx


  1. I'm not surprised you're whacked, you've had a lot on! I love the picture of your half-made mice all resting on their fabric beds, and your grandparents' mill mice are such a lovely idea. I think having little tiny scissors and watches and local bobbins is wonderful, it really brings them to life. Hope you feel better soon! xx

  2. Sorry to hear you're ill, hope you're feeling better soon. All the little details which you put in to your makes add up to make such wonderful creations. Good luck with your studio, it will be so handy for you to have a good sized working space at home.

  3. Your creations are as stunning as ever. Hope you feel much better soon x

  4. Was just wondering how you were. Lovely lovely mice, and so exciting to find the bobbins! Hope you feel better soon x

  5. Your utterly lovely and cute mice deserve a studio of their own :-) !! Hope you feel better soon !

  6. It's so wonderful to hear from you and what you are doing. I love your mice they are so beautiful, you are knew very clever lady. Hope you will soon be feeling better. xx

  7. Hope you're feeling better soon, and can get to work on your lovely new craft room. I love your gorgeous little mice - they are works of art, and I would've been just as excited at finding the bobbins.I bought some on a holiday to Yorkshire years ago, and they are displayed on my shelves, a little piece of history. I'm sure that your mum will love her mice :)
    Cathy x

  8. Take care of yourself.

    Loved the story of those bobbins & love your mice too. Gorgeous family photos too. Many thanks.

  9. That looks like a wonderful space to renovate for your work place. The chimney and the "found" brickwork will be beautiful when fully revealed. How exciting! A lot of work to be sure but fun also in the process of changing things around to suit yourself.

  10. What a splendid post. I'm sorry you've been hit with a cold. But yay on being well enough to craft. Your mice are so dapper!

  11. Hope you feel better soon. You will have a fantastic studio in the basement when it is finished! That's a lovely idea to make those mill mice. My mother worked in a linen mill before she trained to be a nurse.

  12. I do hope you feel better soon. The mice are adoreable and what a great find!! Take care of yourself. x

  13. I hope you feel better soon. Your soft sculptures are such wonderful creations.

  14. I hope that you are feeling much better very soon. You have a lot of mice on the go right now don't you, I think that you most definitely need your own space to work on them and keep all the mice in a row! Look after yourself. xx

  15. Your little mice are so sweet! It sounds like serendipity that you found those bobbins in the antique store that day. Good luck turning your basement into a studio: it looks like you will have some lovely light down there too.

  16. loving the new work place you have and you are producing some lovelies!! Love the story of the bobbins and will watch the new studio transformation with interest. Hope you feel better soon xx lots of love Joy xx

  17. I'm going to really enjoying watching as you make that space into your studio - and this batch of mice are adorable

  18. Sending you an armful of well wishes. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous creations in the making and the little treasures you have collected. What fun a new studio. Can't wait to see what you do.

  19. what wonderful creations you make. I too am struck down with the same lurgie. As I keep saying to people keep away as I am a walking germ factory.

    Your newest flower, Gill in Canada

  20. I love the little scissors and the old bobbins- your mice have got so much character. Hope the cold is better soon.

  21. Love the new room idea and will watch as it grows. Get well soon x