the end of the days of May......

and Summer has yet to arrive. Days are grey and gardens lush, full of flowers and greenery. A holiday in Holland has revived and rejuvenated my creative spirit enabling me to return to the studio with renewed determination. Kilns have been firing on full cyclinders and now the studio is full of rabbits and shrews, noses in the air drying, before lustres fired once again and turned golden.  Ears need making and costumes fitted, oxides have resisted high temperatures and so remain dark as are coloured slips created and used in the depths of Winter. Costumes  will reflect this stern  pared back style with just a smidgeon of minute floral only just creeping in between layers. I have delved in boxes, rooted through fabrics and lace imagining the outfits to be worn and hence today's post is all about inspiration. Photos of overgrown shop fronts in Holland, windows with fragile boxed frames, and piles of old fabrics with buttons and lace. The story is yet to unfold but will become apparent as my characters come to life an altogether different look for  creatures  from under the cupboard or round the corner.  Maybe they live in cultured oppulent cities with a history of a more elaborate age, with lace and fur to liven navy worsteds and fine checks...... follow their journey of discovery as they appear one by one in their splendid finery to adorn a shelf or mantlepiece...

a shop in Haarlem
velvet boxed frame

gilt boxed frame

swatches of cotton, buttons,  lace  and possibilities


  1. A friend from England (I'm in Canada) sent me a copy of the 'Embroidery' magazine that features your work and I immediately fell head over heels in love with your wonderful little creatures, which in turn sent me off to find out more. I will be subscribing to your blog so I don't miss any of your new creations!

    1. Hello Magpie ! thank you for you delightful comments and I am so pleased you enjoy my blog. I also have a facebook page karen shapley textiles and ceramics might find it ! Talking of new creations the kiln is being emptied today so new outfits will be the next thing on the agenda! best wishes


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