Go big or go home

Hi, I’m PickingupEllen, teacher of the fundamentals (English, maths, social skills…), fanfic writer (I have a website), musician, artist and crafter, and  I have an issue with keeping my crafts small…

When Karin invited me to write a guest post I accepted with a wave of excitement at getting to show off the things I have made, but as time went on and I started to gather my thoughts I realised that would be difficult. You see, I have this tendency to work on giant projects that I then have to give away to avoid being trapped in my flat by a wall of fabric and wool. And so, I present a post filled with pictures of half finished things!

I love to make things that are highly textured when you are done so when crafting I mostly stick to:

Wirework, I create trees and other plants – (to give you some scale the bundle of wires that make the trunk of this tree is roughly 15mm wide and the branches spread over an area just shy of a foot in diameter. It is tied to a lump of quartz larger than my head, each gem/glass chunk is about the size of a thumbnail and it is worked with 18 gauge wire.) DSC_0020 copy

Crochet, the photos here really don’t do justice to the textures going on. This is the first quarter of a UK queen-sized bedspread.

Quilting with reclaimed fabrics, I wish I had photos of my patchwork leather quilt to show you (made from reclaimed leather from sofas I found over several years on street corners and that the kind gentleman at the tip would keep to one side for me, all of it worn to the perfect state of softness) but it was given away as a housewarming present to a friend who had always wanted to steal it. Instead, I dragged one of my first quilts out to take photos of.


I tend to collect materials obsessively with no project in mind until one day I turn to my stash to discover that I have collected so much of something that I have no choice but to make a thing. This process of collecting and hoarding means that when I’m struck by inspiration and set to using it all up I end up with an end product twice or three times as big as I originally planned.

When I’m not wrestling with overgrown, half-made, crafty things or teaching you can find me with me writing fanfiction or reading.

I’m currently reading (re-re-re-reading to be more accurate) – Race_the_ace’s Becoming Connor Davids (You can find this story here!) It’s one of those stories that hits you a little oddly and just sticks in your heart, or at least it is for me. I wrote a… thing? on this story, a while back to explain why it meant so much to me and a lot of it still stands. I’m still a little broken, still a little lost and it remains that the ease Connor shows, as he comes into his own is this ethereal, chimerical ideal that I have always felt I have no hope of ever reaching (embarrassingly for me, if you google this story my website often comes up before the actual author’s page which was never what I intended).

My bedtime books (got to avoid that blue light!) at the moment are Garth Nix’s Aberhorsen series (Author’s website), he’s started to release some more books in a follow-on series so I’m taking the opportunity to have a re-read while I wait for the next book to come out.

My favourite story… what a cruel question! I have always thought of favourite things as the thing you go back to time and again, regardless of where you are in your life or how the world has treated you. If I stick to that philosophy then my favourite story must be Lord of the Rings or the Dragon Riders of Pern. I’ve read both an equal amount of times and I go back, over and over, to be absorbed in those worlds without skipping a word or flicking through the sections I know a little too well (Except for Shelob’s lair! I read it once and that was quite enough to give me nightmares).

That’s kind of it for me, so with heartfelt thanks to Karin for inviting me, thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Go big or go home

  1. Hi sweets, thanks so much for being my guest. A leather quilt? I’ll bet that was a sight to see. I’d never have thought of doing that. Denim, yes, but not leather for some reason. I have a few denim quilts going as well. One of these days they’ll get finished 😉


    1. It was a beast of a thing, it weighed a ton and was a pain to clean but it was also fabulous in the few years I spent in shared, furnished accommodation. Joining the corners was the hardest part but I used my old fashioned Singer and we got there in the end! I have a half-hearted plan to make another, but perhaps on a smaller scale…

      Liked by 1 person

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