Embellished sewing tools

I’ve recently completed a small series of works for sale with the lovely Beyond Measure shop. I don’t make a lot of things for retail so these are pretty special.

The darning cards are £36.50 and you can find them here. This scissors start at £49 and you can find them here. Beyond Measure also stock the very last of my Patchwork Colouring Books.


The darned darning cards and embellished scissors ideas both started life in this exhibition piece I made
in 2018.

I inherited my grandmother’s sewing box over 40 years after she died. I never knew
her, yet we share a thread of textile inheritance.
I spent several years pondering this box of embroidery threads, unfinished projects, tools
and bits and pieces before I worked out what I wanted to make with them. I started by
unravelling, tidying and sorting her threads and tools and then once I could see everything
clearly, I decided to make small embellished pieces. I only used threads that were already
started, short lengths and scraps and only used the tools and other things found in the
same box.

Wrapping and embellishing scissors and functional things makes them even more
precious and turns them into miniature works of art which resonate with stories and past
lives. I collect old darning cards with wonderful old graphic design and scissors which have
been used over decades and love to select threads and stitches which give new life to
things which have languished in sewing boxes for years.

I’ve made a few commissions using these techniques too, details below and worked some boxes full of these kind of sewing tool treasures (I have one or two of these left, please get in touch if you would like to see images).

photo of red silk lined box of victorian sewing tools with stitching and embellishment by Ruth Singer.

Email inboxes can be full of all kinds of tedious and boring things. Work. Bills. Adverts for things you don’t want. I’d like to brighten your inbox with a couple of emails a month full of inspiration, ideas and ways to see and share what I’m doing. 

Joining my Studio Stories email list is the best way to keep in touch with what I’m doing, more blog posts about creative business and about my work and projects. I’ll share courses and workshops too as well as behind the scenes studio stuff.

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My new Find Your Focus course starts in January. It covers core values, a realistic review of your year, looking at what matters most and then working on how to build in more of the good stuff and less of the stuff that’s not taking you forwards. The course is delivered through 5 video lessons starting on 3rd January, fresh and ready for the new year.

Monthly Reflections

One of the most useful habits I have developed over the last couple of years is to review my work & life every month. It’s such a simple thing to do at the end of each month but for me it has really helped me focus on what is and isn’t working in my business (and life) and has empowered me to make the changes I need to. It’s a little like having a mentor or coach to check in with every so often. It reminds me to think about what I’m doing and why I am doing it, rather than just getting on with the things I have always done or the things I feel I ought to do. I’ve used other people’s monthly review documents and found them really helpful in asking some difficult questions, and above all, giving myself a little bit of time to think and reflect before just ploughing on with the endless to-do list. Late last year I decided to create my own reflection sheet with questions that were specific to me and the way I work & live – so there’s a question about health and balance which I can so easily forget about until I’m ill and it’s too late.

This kind of reflection and writing about how things are going is fundamental to a lot of the mentoring, membership and courses that I run including Gentle Goal Setting which starts on Monday 10th January. I find it an incredibly powerful tool in my own growth and in supporting others to find their way and I want you to be able to use this to help your business or creative practice grow this month too so there’s a link to download the file for free below.

This is just a taster of what my Gentle Goal Setting workshop covers. The workbook for the course includes a thorough but empathetic review of what has been going on for you over the last year. There’s no judgement and no right and wrong, just reflection on what you have learned about yourself through what did and didn’t happen. From that review I encourage you to look at what success really means for you, not what society or your own self-criticism expects. We consider what is really important to you in making you feel good and how to make those things part of your goals. The goals we then create are more like guiding lights, principles of how you want to be, live, work and create, not hard, target-based things that you must push yourself towards, no matter what. There’s no setting yourself up to fail here, just creating gentle goals that empower you to feel expansive and excited about what you do, whether that’s a creative business or an art practice that’s just for yourself.

When you download the Monthly Reflection, you will get a discount code for the Gentle Goal Setting workshop and for mentoring too. Find out more about Gentle Goal Setting too here.

Isolated Moments

I have created an embroidery project for Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, inspired by my time in lockdown (which I am still in!). The project is based around negative space embroidery and using leaf-shapes to create the design. It reflects the isolation of lockdown and the connection with local nature which so many people have experienced this year. You can find the activity here.