sarah campbell

February 26, 2014, 5:22 pm
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Lately I have been teaching as well as making, but not textiles… music.  However, I am having to fit an increasing textile workload into a decreasing amount of time since Mondays are spent amongst gaggles of small people channeling their vitality and infinite ideas into song and clappy, slappy rhythm. Yesterday I sat in one of two lines, a giant in Lilliput, rowing an imaginary Viking long ship and chanting our fresh composition, a rousing and at times random rowing song complete with actions and seagull sound scape. Another class devised a song of the ancient Greeks with a grape stamping chorus and verses of wine swilling and Spartan posturing. Today I embroider wrens, sew buttons onto cormorant nests and draw curlews. ‘Tis a bizarre but fine life indeed!


Next time I’m cross I’m going to remember Spartan posturing. The P3’s  instructed me on how it looked and it is quite similar to warrior pose but with fists up. Good intimidating stance for a domestic me thinks.




Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you do, but I can’t help musing as I sew the fourth “clucky egg cosy” of the morning that these who spend well earned, precious finances on tweed fancies to keep eggs warm must be bonkers! I mean Yorick (my other half), was up well into the night watching environmental documentaries about the poisoning of  waterways and devious, self interested politicians and then I spend my morning making egg warmer’s with squiffy eyes and tartan wattles. Perhaps that’s the point, right now there’s so much gloom and doom hovering that the appeal of something silly that makes us laugh can’t be underestimated. OK, I’ve convinced myself…how noble of me to make such tittle tattle. By the way I need a number of small, nimble fingered children to sew them as they’re so damn fiddly, leaky bus accommodation, plenty of gruel and Shetland sheep for company.


Colour and Choir
February 6, 2014, 12:23 am
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Today I was sewing small fragments of coloured felts together to make the central panel in a strip blind. It has been some time since I’ve made one and the combining of many colours to create impact and vitality was a refreshing diversion from birds and linen.


Then evening and the meet of Lismore Choir and I muse on my return as I stride through mud and moonlight of the parallels. The choir, a combination of voices and personalities, each with a distinctive colour or tone which we combine in a special way to  to create impact and hopefully beauty, or at least that’s the aspiration.


Eclectic is an understatement for our group of songsters and the music we absorb ourselves in. Tonight we discovered that A long time Traveller by the Wailin’ Jenny’s is so much more tender and potent if sung like a mother to a tiny child. Our sea shanty’s  led by Arthur need oomph, energy and possibly a good shot of whisky and O magnum Mysterium…well that just needs a lot of time, attention and love but Oh boy, it is SO so beautiful!.

February 4, 2014, 9:03 pm
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I did know that various hats would be worn as a sole trading textile designer, but I didn’t reckon on a lab coat. Yes, of late science has come into play to discover why the valencia linen was bubbling on some lampshades. Various experiments had to be carried out with small samples stuck to various bits of laminate with scribbled tags: with spray glue, scrubbed, scrubbed REALLY hard, left alone etc.
I was most proud and relieved to discover that both scrubbed samples showed no sign of bubbling and so, I have been scrubbing each band of linen before it becomes a lampshade. A drag in some ways but worth it for peace of mind. As well as a good scrub the lampshades are also steamed and air dried as an extra precaution. Banish the bubble!!

Ahh for a paddle!


Gliding on a mirror.

The last two weeks have left me with little doubt that what goes around most definitely comes around. Oh yes,  my teenage strut, swagger and lip has come back to wallop me square in the face in the form of my 13-year-old son.

To be quite honest I find the comments, in the main, hilarious because they’re so bonkers and well… hormonal. However, they don’t half get you thinking about the generational divide. Yesterday I said to Tom “What do you reckon we go for a paddle today?” 

 “MUUUUM, Don’t EVER say PADDLE .  WHAT, are you trying to be COOL or something…Yeuuugh?”

“What? What am I supposed to say?” I ask with a grin slowly spreading from ear to ear.”It’s not FUNNY Mum. I mean just don’t TRY AND BE COOL ’cause you are SO not. “”Well what am I supposed to say then?””KAYAAAAAK””Oh alright then, Do you want to go Kayaaaaking?”” Uuuuugh”

 Anyway, we did go Kayaking and it was  beautiful. It was slightly marred because we coincided with a spring tide on the out  and had to carry our kayaks on a journey that would have made Shackleton proud.Apart from wet exploits and teenage banter life offers me the opportunity to make lampshades and brooches for faceless customers with interesting names.

CHAOS TO …less chaos.

In a frenzied cloud of creativity

There’s quite definitely a recurring theme about my life. It has to do with order and chaos and how I constantly seem to be on a quest to turn the former in to the latter be it with a hoover, sewing needle or Sage accounts.

Does everybody tangle with this issue in such a  pressing way – or is it just us creatives? You see, what I’m wondering is this. Are creative people just actually very chaotic people whose lives are consumed with the process of trying to establish some order from the bomb crater of a brain that they have been born with?

Today I felt, for a moment, the satisfaction of a task achieved, chaos calmed and commitment attended to in the preparation and completion of fabric samples for a potential client.


Fabric stitched in to cherry blossom and honesty samples

However, 10 minutes later the cycle begins again but this time with linen and Bondaweb.

Perhaps if I shuffled out of this mortal coil and found myself ever so ordered I might not feel the compulsion to create, and that fills me with dread. I wonder if this is why so few artist run financially sound

enterprises? – because they are fearful that their creative urge will drain from their brain with the onset of filing systems and storage boxes.


Stitched Samples in their File, ready to post to customer

…just a thought.


Oh so orderly!

April 20, 2012, 8:41 pm
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Last year Roger showed unbridled delight as he proudly demonstrated a small leaf peeping over the top of his tree guard. Whilst making all the outward signs of being most impressed I quietly wondered what all the fuss was about. It’s a small tree … they grow!

Now, every morning I find some excuse to wander over to the croft. I usually mumble something about feeding the perfectly fat hogs or walking the dog, however foremost in my mind is the pressing desire to watch saplings.


Every day I walk measured and astute, like a judge at crufts, up the fencing line of our newly installed shelter belt.  I monitor the shine of the leaves, the hue of the bark, the form of growth, but mostly I revel in the inner glow that comes from just watching my babies tentatively reaching out to the elements and flourishing.