I have been feeling jubilant and positive for weeks, months even. Certain of the juicy moment when I celebrate point 0 debt with a glass of champagne and a night out. Then I peer at the bank statement! I don’t like  them. I have to force myself to look and even then it’s usually with one eye and a sort of all over tension like one might feel peering over the side of steep ravine. This time I half thought a busy  Christmas period might have nudged me closer to financial freedom . Not so…once again some came in and a lot went out. Not on living or food or anything fancy like that. No…on fabric, interest on loans, overdraft facilities and bank charges, telephone bills and electricity, trade fair booking fees and advertising, buttons and trimmings…

I feel like a bird building a rare and beautiful nest,collecting and gathering and weaving, but I’m building on a delicate branch and every time the wind blows it falls and smashes and I need to start again and again.

I’m feeling all of this most keenly right now as I am aware that in two months time I am going to have to support the family as Yorick stops building for clients and starts building our barns. It seems as though, no matter how much money I make, even more goes out on business tittle tattle. How do I break through? HOW DO I BREAK THROUGH?

Well…enough of that and on to real nest building…


A group of nests pre cut. Looks a little like an egg carton don’t you think? Interesting effect but rather time consuming.

and in these nests I get to lay eggs and fasten them firmly in before the wind blows.
and in these nests I get to lay eggs and fasten them firmly in before the wind blows.

Apologies all for my moment of gloom. Tomorrow I will be full of cheer you’ll see. On a positive note I found an agent today who will sell my wares throughout Scotland…yip yip yipeee!

Posted by:mogwaii

Born: 13th March 1969 in Edinburgh Star sign: Pisces Where do I live? An beautiful island called Lismore Who with? I live with my gorgeous man - Yorick, and my beautiful boys Ruben (currently 14) and Tom (10) and we also have cat poppy, cat Bashy and cat Spyro. What do I do there? Water veggies in the polytunnel, loads of mopping up, picking up clothes, cooking and washing dishes. The rest of the time I'm in a blissfull state in my studio making things out of wool and designing the next must have (in my head!) and a lot of cycling to and fro My favourite Books: Right now...empowerment books like "The power of now" and "The Secret", but also John Fowles "The Magus" and "The kite runner" and I love the "Tao of Poo" My Favourite films: Babettes feast, Wings of desire and The colour of Pomegranites. My favourite music: Bach cello suites for designing, Dolly parton for making (especially her album Little Sparrow), Teddy Thompson and loads of other stuff! What did I do before moving to Lismore? * Went to school in Edinburgh (South Morningside primary then St. Mary's music school and then George Watson's) * Went to Brazil for a year, fell in love, learnt Portuguese and spun a lot of wool * Studied foundation in visual arts in Manchester poly and then went on to study BA Hons in textiles at Goldsmith's college * Made felt hats, sold them at Camden market and then eventualy Liberties and had Ruben in the midst of it all - moved to Pathhead * Tom came along and I stopped making hats. sung lots of Jazz, taught Brazilian and samba singing, recorded an album and started singing with La Boum * Tom went to school and I set up Mogwaii * Moved here in 2006 There you go!! xx Sarah (from left) Ruben, me and Tom (from left) Ruben, me and Tom

6 replies on “Building nests in precarious places

  1. Have that moment of gloom Sarah. You only echo what so many makers feel. I am so new on the learning curve but could see this coming long before I started. Thank god for blind optimism eh? Your work is so beautiful and your talent just amazing. You WILL get there xx

  2. are you having your Mr Micawber moment?

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    Pipany is right, you are very talented and your work is FANTASTIC…..but saying that maybe you need a little bit of financial advice from someone sensible

  3. I think all makers are optimistic, desperate to be able to make a living doing what they love.
    This year, having built a workshop and acquired debt,I am having to take a hard look at what I buy for the business and decide whether it is actually needed or whether it is something I want personally. I am very good at doing displacement shopping on the business account.
    Gigibird will recognise this from labels – which I bored her with pre-Christmas. I started off wanting 1000s of very chi-chi mother of pearl labels and now have none . . .and to be honest it hasn’t made a difference to the product.
    Good luck with working out what has to go.
    Thanks for your advice about the wool fabrics –
    J x

  4. You make beautiful things, Sarah. I think that (esp. with this new agent!) your deals from the fair will continue and you’ll find new markets as well. You’ll get there, just be careful along the way!

  5. “Behold the birds of the air Sarah they neither reap nor sow etc etc etc” and look how much sewing your little birds are doing. Keep up your wondrous creating and reporting. I felt as though I had been to Celtic Connections after reading you.

  6. Thank you for sharing this with us, Sarah. I have only started selling some of my work, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t quit before it’s late – for the same reasons as you mentioned. I often thought of you and other established makers, how you are doing on this front. I wish you lot’s of luck!!!

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