At Sixes and Sevens

I’m feeling a wee bit fuddled this week and I can’t seem to focus on anything much. Among other things, we have a flat-pack kitchen and appliances in boxes in our dining room in preparation for what I’m calling Takeaway Week.

little ox marathon

I spent the end of last week and the weekend desperately embroidering my piece for the ‘Here We Are’  show at Little Ox Gallery. It was a proper BBC costume drama box set, internet-free marathon with breaks only for the taking on and jettisoning of cups of tea and Pilates breaks in order to counteract chronic embroidery flexion*.

blue plaque detail 1

Monday morning I sprang out of bed (…ok, more like a slow motion tumble) and prepared to face the week getting organised for Saturday’s Morningside Maker’s Market. But the Pilates batphone rang and I raced off to teach an extra class.

blue plaque detail 2

My conscientious side said ‘Never mind, I can always write a blog post this evening.’ But the rest of my brain apparently over-ruled that in favour of reading a Victorian novel** cover-to-cover. (I try not to read, especially when I have other things to do – like brushing my teeth or sleeping).

blue plaque detail 3

But I’m back on track now (I’ve finished the book and resisted the temptation to start it again) so if you’re in Edinburgh I’d love to see you on Friday evening at the Little Ox Gallery in Candlemaker Row and Saturday at the Columcille Centre! All details in this handy calendar.

blue plaques


**Oh dear, I’m slipping. I couldn’t work out what sparked my great urge to watch and read North and South. Until I wrote this post and realised that when embroidering the comings and goings in a Northern mill town you pretty much can’t read anything else.

Categories: The Work of My Hands, Uncategorized


  1. How did it go? Not the book, the event! Hope it all went well, the piece looks lovely. Good luck with the kitchen too… We’ve just had a completely new kitchen (floor, ceiling, everything) and it felt like it took forever. Looks great now, but…sheesh!

    • Well, there’s a bit of a story about that!

      Here’s the official update:

      As promised, and maybe later than it should be, I wanted to do a quick post about our “Here we are” exhibition which opened last night.

      First, I would like to offer a sincere apology to artist Misericordia who handed a beautiful piece in well before the opening date, but who’s work was not on display until later last night. This was 100% my fault. Please come by and see the piece which combines one of the vintage OS maps with beautifully embroidered lettering and a passage of text that could leave you with questions, wanting to know more.

      The show itself was a great success – Little Ox was packed out almost from opening, so much so, it was hard to move around and see all the pieces, please do feel free to come by and see the exhibition again tomorrow (Sunday) from 12 to 4 or over the next few weekends, where the work (that hasn’t sold already) will be available to view and purchase. The wine from last night has, sadly, all gone.

      I will try to pull together some pics that many people have been posting (thank you, everyone) and make an album of pics in the Little Ox page so you can see how the night went.

      Before I sign off I want to thank all the artists for taking part – it is a genuine pleasure to see how you took, what for many might be, a utilitarian piece of paper and through inspiration and hard work, turned it into something amazing, artistic and diverse.

      Finally, I need to say thanks to the whole Little Ox team who work purely as volunteers, opening the shop week-in, week-out, attending team meetings and guiding the work we do with enthusiasm and joy. Special mentions have to go to Jamie and Scott, who helped with the set-up yesterday, and to Joanna who looked after the youngest member of the team (Ingrid, 10 months, sick with the cold) all day, without Dad.

      Thank you, Derek

      So the opening night was a little strange, but we still had a nice time going out (all three of us, with the smallest one insisting on wearing his kilt, waistcoat and tie) on a Friday night for a change!

      I’m going to go this weekend to take some photos, but all the other pieces looked great so I’m quite excited!

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