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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

Arts and Crafts

'Night' of the Garter

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How on earth did I end up sewing a burlesque garter? As a member of Mossley WI I was super thrilled to be asked by our President to represent our group in a competition at The Cloud group meeting. Of all things, I was asked to sew a garter. Any excuse for a trip to my local market and a sneaky market coffee. Read More…

Fête Fatale by Sharon Bill Cover Artwork Time-lapse



My debut novel, Fête Fatale, has been a collaboration of effort. My husband, Billy, has excelled in producing such fabulous artwork!

It's been a real joy to work together with my husband to produce this book. Just as the characters in the story pool their resources to get to the bottom of the mystery my husband and I have teamed up to create all the aspects required to make this book a tangible reality. I enjoy watching him at work and now you can watch it too!

Make Do and Mend

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Make do and mend, rationing of supplies, ‘cutting one’s cloth’ - none of these fall into our vocabulary much these days. However, if I’m honest I wish they were. If truth be told I wish I lived in a world where we still needed to patch our knickers. Read More…

Priceless or Worthless?

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Christmas shopping can be a depressing business, especially when everybody already has what they want or need. I hate just buying a perfunctory gift - it feels like throwing your money to the wind. I’ve taken to making gifts more and more and I’ve always understood that these gestures have been enjoyed and appreciated. I certainly love to receive handmade gifts but I’ve recently had a crisis of confidence as I’ve discovered that not everybody thinks this way. Read More…

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery

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'The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery' David McGillivray, played by Audley Theatre was the funniest play I've ever seen! As a member of the Women's Institute and also being involved behind the scenes in amateur dramatics I could appreciate this play on many levels - it was a little too close for comfort! I laughed like a drain all night long. Read More…

Damask Designs

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I've always had a thing for Damask, whether fabric, wallpaper or artwork in general. It reminds me of the William Morris designs that I love so much. I know it isn't considered trendy but it keeps on finding a place in my home.
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Christmas Baking

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The traditions of Christmas, baking Christmas cake, mince pies, buying presents and decorating the home are things that don't particularly move me. In reality, I think it's something that I do enjoy when the mood strikes but I balk at the pressure to conform, particularly when time and budget aren't conducive. The expectation to do certain things and failure to comply resulting in disapproval (real or imagined - there's little different in these matters I find) is what causes me a problem. However, once I've shaken off the shackles (which take some shaking, believe me) I find that I'm actually in the mood to indulge a little. I've never made a Christmas cake before and my mince pies have always left quite a bit to desire. However, now that I'm a member of the Women's Institute, help is at hand and already I'm thrilled with the results.
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Shop Local

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The benefits of shopping with local retailers are many and varied but, for me, the most overwhelming argument is that of maintaining a sense of community. Although I heartily dislike shopping of any sort, particularly food shopping, I quite enjoy our weekly trip to our local market. I inevitably buy more than I intend as I get waylaid from the veg and cheese stalls to the wool stall, but I'm always surprised by still managing to remain within budget - usually. The budget of time is another matter, we always spend longer either chatting or sitting drinking market coffee (Mmmmm) and a sticky bun! Read More…

Busy Bees

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The book 'Little Women' inspired me to create a "Busy Bees' group of our own. As wives, mums and homemakers there's always something to be busy with and it's nice to be busy together sometimes. In reality our little group is just a few friends who meet together with a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach to our evenings. We have corporate literature, membership badges and keep a log book of our meetings, which makes some interesting reading as we look back and verify it with our official bee stamper. The only requirement to join our group is that, whatever you do, you must be busy.

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Textile Tribute

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The Whitworth reflects the textile heritage of the City of Manchester, so if you’re in need of a fabric fix it’s an obvious choice.
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The Joy of the Written Word

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Calligraphy, penmanship, writing and scribble in general, I just love every aspect of the written word. Read More…

The V&A Museum

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Within the Victoria and Albert Museum (The V&A) is my favourite place on earth. I find William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, arts and crafts from the Medieval and Renaissance, tapestry and metal work - all that my heart can desire. I find that it both depresses me and makes me regret my laziness and the mediocrity that often surrounds us, but then it inspires me to do better and to raise my head from the mire and to try again. I always come away uplifted and encouraged. Read More…

The WI at The Royal Cheshire Show

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The Women’s Institute hold stringent competitions each year which are judged very strictly. The standard of workmanship is exceptional but I’m sure that it’s really important to have a receptiveness for constructive criticism and also to bear in mind that its ‘just for fun.’ The same advice is true for all the arts, “Be resilient to rejection and keep on trying.” Read More…

William Morris - Birthday Tribute

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William Morris has inspired the Arts and Crafts movement for many many years. Today I celebrate his 182nd birthday - with scraps and remnants of fabric. Read More…

True Grit - Little House on the Prarie

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The American Pioneering spirit has fascinated me for a long time and I've recently become deeply interested in researching more about the details of the lives of these courageous people. I'm particularly interested in the domestic details. If I ever think I'm working hard and have to grind in the domestics each day I only have to compare my lot with theirs.
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In the dog house!

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I fell in love with this roll end of wallpaper found stashed in the airing cupboard when my parents moved into their new house. I've been determined to make use of it somehow but it's not really the sort that is appropriate for many places in our home - and there was only a tiny bit left. It's taken me twelve months to find it the perfect position - in the dog house!
I love it so much! Read More…

The Bear Necessitites

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Jane Walker Florists, home of "haute couture" floral arrangements and gorgeous gifts, kindly offered a Facebook competition to win a bespoke Suki Bear - and I won! I'm afraid that I lowered the tone by concocting multiple cheesy poems to accompany my Facebook shares - but it did the trick and we have a new addition to our family. Read More…

Hope is 'Suspended' ...

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Hope to gain the Annual WI Competition Trophy is slipping away (unlike my stocking) as the garter I made didn't gain any points at all in this month's challenge.
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Fascinating Stuff!

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This month’s Women’s Institute competition was to make a Fascinator. The speaker was a lady who ran a modelling agency and the talk was entitled "Making the Most of Yourself." Read More…

If At First ...

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The last of the Unfinished Projects - The Book of Kells detail worked in stem stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch and french knots is nearing the finish line! It would have been finished much sooner if I'd checked that the new batch of thread was the correct shade. Forgetting to do that I then had to unpick a large section, which was heart wrenching. Read More…

UFOs - UnFinishedObjects

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I've discovered that I'm not one of nature's knitters! I think I've had to knit every square about three times because of little mistakes and my inability to unpick strategically. I'd resolved not to begin anything new until all my unfinished craft projects were completed - and so I've finally finished it!
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Fancied a New Skirt ...

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Eat your heart out Great British Sewing Bee! I fancied I needed a new skirt. Three hours later - voila! A cosy evening dressmaking whilst listening to "Lord of the Rings" audio book (unabridged, of course!) Read More…

Arty Solutions to Jewellery Clutter

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Here's my solution to the problem of knotted necklace storage. Read More…

Make do and Mend

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One of the nicer domestic chores - I love mending clothes! Read More…