Thursday, December 31, 2015

So here I am at the threshold of another year, with a half finished book and a bag of legless sheep.. fun times ahead I'm thinking.

Nearly the end of another year, a year that seems to have had quite a sheep theme... 


It's strange how things take on a life of their own sometimes, I started out writing cat stories, and then out of the blue wrote a bedtime story featuring counting sheep, that led to knitting sheep to take to book signings, and now I get sheep themed presents from family and friends, and find myself talking about sheep to random strangers at book signings...

So here I am at the threshold of another year, with a half finished book and a bag of legless sheep.. fun times ahead I'm thinking.  :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Another Christmas fair season survived at Lost in a Book


Well that was a busy Christmas fair season, the thing with Christmas fairs is that they all come at once...

And what am I left with? Well apart from an aching back from lifting boxes of books in and out of the car, and a little flock of legless sheep - who are now destined to remain legless till after Christmas... very festive.

What I do have is a stock of books for my online bookshop, waiting to be posted out for that unique Christmas present. So, if you're too busy or too tired to hike around the shops, why not give yourself  an easy life and order online.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ever wondered what 32 sheep's legs on a knitting needle look like...?

How do I get myself into these situations...?

I always seem to be rushing to finish something with barely enough time...
Ever wondered what 32 sheep's legs on a knitting needle look like...? Well, no, not many people have, and as it turned out this was only 28 legs - so one sheep would have still been legless without a bit more knitting... arhhh
But all is well - all the sheep have legs and will be heading out to fairs this week 
And what about that Christmas garment I hear you asking... come on work with me here. Well it's a Christmas poncho, and hopefully I'll add a few more festive bits to it as the season goes on - if I have a minute...
#Lostinabook #sheep #Christmas

Friday, November 20, 2015

Oh yes, there'll be books too...

There was a time when getting ready for a fair meant a battle with the printer as I tried to pursued it to print another batch of bookmarks, but now I always seem to be doing emergency knitting...

This time it's the Basils that are in short supply, but I still have some finishing touches to add to my new Christmas garment... no, it's not a Christmas jumper - everyone's got one of those... I'll post a pic of it here after the weekend, but if you want to see what it is before then you'll have to come down to Skelton garden centre, York this weekend.

...oh yes, there'll be books too!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Feeling like a swan - a knitting swan... desperately trying to keep up with my imagination

This is my calm before the storm, even though there seem to be a lot of storms going on around me.

My first Christmas fair of the season was a success, and I only had one minor scarf calamity... There was a time when a scarf was a big woolly creation to keep out the winter chill, but now it seems to have become the must have accessory for every fair, wrapped around at the last minute before battle commences.   

I am known for my scarf calamities, from dunking the scarf in my coffee as I talk to customers, to breaking a chain on my necklace... but I've been doing quite well recently, until, the addition of the Christmas hat!

The hat is obviously an accessory too far - I managed to knock it off with my scarf at the beginning, and again at the end as I was packing up...

How is one supposed to have spatial awareness of a springy hat on a headband? Maybe I'll get better at it as the season goes on - or just accept that hats and scarves as indoor accessories are going to cause trouble...

Lost in a Book 

Monday, November 09, 2015

First Christmas fair of the season

Christmas seems to be taking over in the shops and on tv and radio already, and on Friday I'm at my first Christmas fair of the season... time to dig out the Christmas hat and round up the sheep.

Skelton School York Christmas fair Friday 13th Nov. 6 - 9pm 


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Sheep... zzzz

I'm trying to be a bit better prepared this year to avert a sheep crisis... 
I have a little flock ready for the start of the Christmas fairs, they're already overflowing into the boxes of books, and there's more to come. 
I hope stocktaking doesn't send me to sleep - counting all those sheep... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Well I'm sorry, but if I'm drinking an Eggnog latte I'm going to have a festive outburst - even if it it still November

How soon is too soon...?

I was in trouble last night for having a festive outburst, and saying it's nearly Christmas - well we were drinking festive drinks from a coffee shop. What does anyone expect when I'm drinking Eggnog Latte...?

So how soon is too soon? Next week I'll be at my first Christmas fair of the season, and plan on wearing my Christmas hat! I know it's only November, but surely this is a big month for preparations for Christmas - if we all left everything until December we'd end up in a big Christmas meltdown. I've already had to pass up on several Christmas fairs because so many of them are clustered at the end of November and beginning of December, so a few early Christmas fairs are very welcome.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Handycrafts and books - side by side at the book signing

Row of Basils waiting to escape the knitting bag and go to the fair

 The latest busy book - busy Christmas... packed and ready for the fair tomorrow at York's Guildhall.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Exclusive to book signings

Where did the busy books go...?

I've taken my busy books out of my website shop until after my run of Christmas craft fairs. This is to avoid the risk of one being ordered from the website that I've sold at a fair.

Because they are unique, I can't just get another one out of a stockroom. So for the time being they will be exclusive to my book signing events.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Not how I imagined spending my time as a writer...

OK I'm still fighting technology, and I'm not sure who's winning... bits of equipment that are meant to talk to each other are refusing to do so.
Oh well, I'm about to go on a sheep mission anyway - I have a bag full of sheep parts that need assembling before the weekend, which is not how I imagined spending my time as a writer, but we all have to diversify, and sheep have proved to be an excellent crowd puller at book signings, not to mention an excellent outlet for procrastination when a certain book is stubbornly refusing to get over its final hurdles...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fighting technology one day at a time...

It seems that making  a busy book is easier than getting photos onto the laptop. 
I've managed to get this one here via instagram... it seems my phone is quite happy to talk to instagram, but it's not talking to my laptop, who know why... maybe I need to shut them in a room together and hope they can sort out their differences...  


Luckily my sewing machine has been behaving better than my phone and laptop, so this little festive collection is now neatly bound into a Christmas busy book, ready to go to a fair at York's Guildhall on Saturday.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book signing in York's Guildhall

The dates are filling up for book signings, the next one being on 24th October at York's Guildhall - I can feel another sheep emergency coming on...

There'll also be some new busy books, I've made a start on a festive one - I would show you the pic of the book in progress, but my phone is refusing to talk to the computer today.

Right, and after all that, I'm retreating into my book in progress for a while to do a bit of tinkering...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Touch and feel busy book - because babies need books too

Because babies need books too
A chunky button and cord fastening open to reveal a treasure trove of textures and colours... 
 There's a furry bear, with a shiny button nose, and satin ribbon bow tie...
 There are balloons with colourful cords,,and a button and ribbon to feel and pull.
 There's a handy zip up pocket for little treasures, or just to play with the zip...
 All bound up in  a soft cover from Lost in a Book.
Now exclusively in my website bookshop

Friday, October 09, 2015

Not your usual stocktake

Counting books is distracting enough, but when a stocktake involves counting sheep, I'd better be careful...

The sheep continue to be my woolly ambassadors, attracting lots of attention at book signings, and filling up my knitting bag, as well as much of my time - they are a clear example of characters taking over; and in this case they've even escaped the page and taken on knitted form, to rampage about...


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The calm before the storm - craft fairs and book signings

This month is the calm before the storm, no book signings this month, but plenty of planning and preparation going on for the months ahead...

Right now I'm procrastinating when I should be making a poster for one of my forthcoming events... Oh yes and there's that book to finish, sheep to knit, plums to harvest - yes I know plums have nothing to do with my books, but I can see the tree from the window - and they need picking... arghhh!

But meanwhile - here's a poster that I get a billing on...

I'm looking forward to this one, I might even start my Christmas shopping while I'm there...

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Sheep are more unruly than books...

The sheep?

These are my little woolly ambassadors...  

They are the characters from But I'm Not Sleepy, which is my bestseller, but they are in danger of taking on a life of their own. In the lead up to a book signing I'm far more likely to be in the middle of a sheep crisis than having trouble with the books - sheep are more unruly than books...!

What I need next is a sheepdog to round them up... just like Downboy the sheepdog in the story.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Am I the only one being kept awake by sheep... ?

Remember these little guys?

They were knitted up quickly when I had a sheep crisis recently - I ran out of sheep altogether! 


And with a book signing fast approaching there's been a bit of mass production...

First I knitted a bag full of sheep bodies - I just knitted to the end of the ball. But then, ironically the sheep were disturbing my sleep - I kept waking up thinking about all the sheep I had to finish. So yesterday I was batch knitting sheep parts... 


If you look carefully at this little flock, some of them are legless - but fear not they all got their legs before they rolled away.


Now they just need rounding up, ready to hit the town this Saturday.  

Book signing Belfry Hall, 52a Stonegate, York 10.00 - 16.30 



Monday, August 17, 2015

Building a book

The scanning went well, and even the picture editing didn't give me too many problems - mainly just removing backgrounds from the illustrations.

Book building has begun, inserting pictures and playing around with formatting, then the words will be added - let the magic begin...


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Building a book... construction has begun.

Scanning of artwork has begun ready to format into a book. 

When I'm at book signings I often look at my book display and think back to these early stages when I had artwork strewn around the kitchen table - happy times.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Writing back to front... or just lost in a book?

Normally when I write, I write a story first, and then illustrate it - but not this time...! 

It's not the first time I've sat down to write one story and ended up writing something completely different, but that usually happens at the writing stage, this time it happened in a sketchbook.

At the beginning of the year I sat down to illustrate a story that I'd already written and polished, but as I started on the illustrations I just couldn't seem to get them how I wanted, and that's when I started drawing giraffes...

Now it's not the first time I have drawn giraffes, but I hadn't had a story in mind, or book planned. This was an invasion of giraffes from somewhere in my imagination, and suddenly the illustrations were flowing and the story was taking shape. I now have several outlines for this story, and several working titles, but mostly I have a lot of pictures which almost tell their own story, so I'm thinking that this book doesn't need too many words...

This is still a work in progress, and you could say that I'm very happily lost in a book!


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Plenty of noise in the library...

Coffee morning

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I had a lovely morning at the coffee morning and story time at Clifton Library in York. I remember when libraries were very quiet places, but this morning there was plenty of noise from a new generation of book lovers, getting involved in books and stories.

This is my view from the back of my table, enjoying a coffee and biscuits... :)

And what of the sheep crisis I hear you asking...? Well, I managed to get 2 made last night - with a bit of help from my daughter who did the stuffing.

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If you missed all the fun this morning, I'll be back at Clifton Library on the first Tuesday in October.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Sheep crisis... :)

August at Lost in a Book

Sheep crisis:

Does anyone else outside of agriculture manage to have a sheep crisis...? I doubt it... 

My little flock of 6 sheep all went out to new homes on Saturday when I took them to a craft fair at the Guildhall in York, leaving me sheepless for my morning at Clifton Library tomorrow - knitting needles... where are you...? I really should get organised enough to start knitting sheep at craft fairs...

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#LostinaBook #Sheep

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Sheep in York city centre?

Getting ready to take my little bookshop out and about - tomorrow I'll be in York's Guildhall with books, sheep and Basils... it'll be like a popup bookshop! 9.45am  - 5pm


Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Monday and it's raining

It's Monday and it's raining...



Friday, July 24, 2015

Rounding up the sheep for book signing in York

Book signing in the centre of York - Lost in a Book is looking forward to being back in theGuildhall in the centre of York on 1st August at a food, gift and craft fair admission is free, so come on down and check it out - there'll be refreshments available too...

I'd better round up the sheep again... 


Monday, July 06, 2015

Local author at Clifton Library in York 7th July

Lost in a Book goes mobile tomorrow at the coffee morning and story time at Clifton Library in York. There'll be books, there'll be sheep and a few Basils... what's a Basil? Well why don't you come down and find out... 

But I'm Not Sleepy

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

So hot we went into Fahrenheit

It's July and we're in the middle of a heatwave! In fact it's so hot that the weather report went into fahrenheit last night - have you noticed how that happens? We pootle along in celsius until it gets really hot, and then we're suddenly in the mid 80s - that's a bit of a leap from mid 20s...!

The perfect day for a spot of painting - illustrations that is, not the house... it's far too hot for that! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lost in a Book book signing at Clifton Library

Lost in a Book will be out and about on 7th July - at Clifton Library in York from 10.30 - 12 noon at their coffee morning and story time... books and coffee - what better combination could you get! 

I'll be displaying my books and yes a few sheep and cats... and signing books for anyone who'd like to buy one - with 20% of takings going to the library funds! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tomorrow never comes... really?

People who say that tomorrow never comes must be asleep before midnight and miss seeing it sneaking up, regular as clockwork... these are probably the same people who, when tomorrow does come, are awake and ready for it... or maybe they just lack a good book to read... 


Thursday, June 04, 2015

Why is it that I find a storm more motivating than sunshine for writing...?

The sun is shining at last - have decided that digging the garden is quite good exercise, ok so the main motivation is to dig out the weeds that threaten to smother the strawberry plants... just thinking about dishes of strawberries and cream that will follow - hmmm

Why is it that I find a storm more motivating than sunshine for writing...?
There's something about a storm raging outside that seems to inspire all sorts of images, mostly of rough seas - I can imagine myself sailing away on the high seas, my house turning into some sort of houseboat - not sure what the people in the other half of the semi would think. Which begs the question: would I drag them along in their house, or rip away from it, risking leaks where the two separated... ?

There's thunder storms threatened for tomorrow - loading up with provisions and ready to set sail...

Monday, June 01, 2015

Confessions of a picture book writer

What is it about picture books that is so appealing?

Everyone likes pictures right?

I get people of all ages who are drawn to my picture books, many lament that their children have grown out of picture books and they no longer have anyone to buy them for...

So buy one for yourself...! I do, well, you know, from time to time. I used to call it market research - just to see what's out there. But in truth I am drawn to picture books, there it is I admit it: they're fun and colourful and their characters make me laugh - if they go so far as to make me laugh out loud in a bookshop then the odds are I'll buy that book.

My picture books - judge them by their covers, and if one grabs you - go and check it out in my online bookshop. 


Friday, May 29, 2015

Cats in boxes

Outnumbered by Cats: the book that emerged from kitten diaries with chewed edges, written as kittens climbed over me, when trying to work on the computer was not really an option...


Boxes seem to be a big feature in a house full of cats - no box can be discarded until every last scrap of play value has been ripped out of it.
I now have a stack of boxes forming the kitchen island I never wanted...

 I'm not sure if he's king of his castle or an engine driver... 

 ...and I don't think this box is quite big enough.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

lavender sheep... whatever next?

OK this is what happens when I let my imagination run away with itself... but what secret is inside these mini sheep...? 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


But I'm Not Sleepy gift pack

What is it about sheep...? 

These cute little characters have been a great addition to my table at book signings, and now due to the attention my knitted sheep have been getting in my etsy shop I've added this brand new gift pack: