Hi there, I'm Cathy and welcome to the studio. This blog began as an Instagram account documenting the renovation of our 1930s terrace in Cumbria. It’s since grown into a creative project where I can explore crafts, vintage, art, photography and slow living ideas. If you like the sound of that then keep reading!
I’ve always been captivated by buildings. I grew up visiting National Trust properties and was always enthralled by the luxurious state rooms, those enormous beds with the cosy curtains around them and the cavernous kitchens with all those plates lined up on the dresser. I am slightly obsessed with how other people live, both in the past and in the present and you will find numerous living history books on my bookshelves. The stories of how other people have spent their lives in buildings is what drove me towards working in the industry that builds and repairs them. Because how you spend your days, is how you spend your life.
I am now a structural engineer and I still enjoy pouring over plan drawings, understanding how buildings have been designed and how the occupants might move around and use the spaces. I get to visit unusual places with stories very few people may have heard, as well as having a hand in saving some of these historic properties. We have also been in the process of renovating our own 1930s home for the past two years, and whilst its slow progress, I love learning about our home, it’s history and how it’s put together.
Crafts, vintage and art are passions that feed quite nicely into our renovation. I love handmade and second hand items, I feel like they have so much soul. All those hands that have made or used or passed them on, giving each item it’s own little story. There isn’t much I love more than spending a Saturday browsing round an antiques shop, crocheting on the sofa with the dog snuggled up to me or sat painting in the garden with a glass of wine.
All these things have led me towards the slow living movement. Making sure to appreciate the small rituals of our daily life, noticing the changes in the seasons, taking our time over the things we choose to bring into the house or wear or eat and being grateful for the things we already have. It’s such an antidote to the fast paced, fast fashion and disposable life we can easily slip into. It is so much more sustainable to take our time considering purchases, waiting for the right thing that will last us a lifetime, than the thing that will “just do for now.” It might mean our renovation moves a heck of a lot slower than others you see on Instagram, but even if this isn’t our forever home, most of the things we choose now will be with us for years to come.
So how about it? Will you join us on the journey to create the house that craft built?