Curiouser and curiouser…

Posted on April 6, 2019

Standing on the original deck planking of Scotland’s oldest preserved ship Frigate Unicorn my research compass started to point north. Launching my crowdfunding sponsorship campaign to Tell Tales on Ten Tall Ships last weekend I spied a silver long boat in a glass case with an intriguing inscription… This Viking Ship is dedicated as a souvenir to Bell & Sime Ltd. Dundee Who sent me forth on my romantic mission to Scandinavia in ...

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Setting sail for 2019

Posted on December 31, 2018

Here’s to 2019 a stellar year of sailing stories and adventures at sea! ‘Thrawn’ in Scots or ‘Trass’ in Norwegian translates as stubborn and to create strength separate skeins of ropes are thrawn together. Earlier in 2018 I orchestrated an afternoon of ‘Thrawn’ story and song at Leith Dockers Club with two choirs: Trass Male voice choir from Norway and Newhaven Community Choir. Norwegian storyteller Hilde Eskild and I shared ...

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Motherhood, Loss and the First World War

Posted on November 8, 2018

Since 2014 I have been working alongside diverse communities across Scotland to enable them share their own stories. As part of local campaign Growing Stories at The Scottish International Storytelling Festival - I recently ran a workshop for storytellers where we paused to reflect on the power of memorial and the legacy of loss. The project title was daunting: Motherhood, Loss and the First World War. How should we tell the stories of a million ...

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Bags full of stories!

Posted on April 18, 2018

This Spring I have been working on an intergenerational project that combines my love of textiles as an artist and my love of storytelling. Commissioned by Newhaven Heritage Society, who together with Judith Crabb had successfully bid for a grant from the HLF, I have been working with P5 classes from Victoria Primary School in Newhaven in North Edinburgh and with the wonderful Haven Group who have kindly shared their stories with us. ...

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Life’s a pitch!

Posted on April 11, 2016

A couple of weeks ago my project bid was selected as one of the final 6 in a very competitive field. I was given a half hour slot to present our bid to three of the Trust's board that came to visit The Thrive Archive project. The Thrive Archive works with diverse communities to help them tell their story in innovative ways. The story goes that there was once a willow tree in Fishermen’s park. It supplied the raw materials for creels, ...

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Stargazey pie

Posted on March 10, 2016

Earlier last month I had the pleasure of visiting two care homes in Falkirk with Mrs Mash the wonderful storytelling cook to chat to residents about how to feed the bairns on next to nothing!  As Reader in Residence at The Scottish Book Trust this was an extension of a previous project with P6's at Grangemouth Library to see how creative projects can become intergenerational. We told stories and sang lots of fishy songs and asked them to share ...

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Are you sitting comfortably?

Posted on February 2, 2016

A story is like a cat – it finds you, jumps into your lap, curls up and starts to purr. I remember having stories read to me every night as a child and I read to my own son. The joy of reading aloud and listening to stories was the main reason for writing 10 stories from both the German and the British perspective for my latest WW1 project Lone Wolves.  Based on historical accounts of sailors and submarines as well as weaving Greek myth, ...

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The King of the Cats…and other stories

Posted on January 13, 2016

Using the festive break to write 10 new stories was a great challenge. As Reader in Residence with The Scottish Book Trust at Falkirk Libraries my next project is to work with Primary 7 ‘reluctant readers’ in beautiful Bo’ness to create a Graphic Novel. Inspiration came from a trip to Kinneil House last summer and the ever-supportive Falkirk Archive at Callendar House came up trumps with an unexpected photograph. Imagine looking ...

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The Thrive Archive project – empowering community

Posted on November 18, 2015

I dreamed up The Thrive Archive project 18 months ago following an amazing 2 weeks of collaborative arts training with XO Sco. After a year of fantastic opportunities including a residency at St Margaret's House with Edinburgh Palette The Thrive Archive is literally doing what it says on the tin! The Thrive Archive was set up to empower diverse communities to use their local creatives to produce innovative arts events and on our recent project ...

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From the horse’s mouth and other stories…

Posted on September 30, 2015

A Kelpie is a mythical water spirit that changes form to lure you to your death. It often appears as a large black horse or a handsome stranger but if you can manage to bridle a Kelpie you gain its power! In the past few months I have spent many a pleasant hour on Falkirk’s Forth and Clyde Canal under the watchful eye of their mythical beasts. Radio 4’s Ramblings came along on one of our Walking With Words events and despite the rain we ...

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