Why I Chose the Name Spindle Tree Studio

Image from Familiar Wild Flowers Volume 1, by F. Edward Hulme

I had a friend discuss with me how to name her business. It reminded me of why I chose the name “Spindle Tree Studio” as the name of my business.

I looked at loads and loads of names to start with. I wanted something quirky and different, but something that somehow tied in to what I do. A big part of it for me though was to pick something which wouldn’t be limited to one art form. I know it’s often suggested that you describe what you sell in your business name, but, rightly or wrongly I decided against that.

So I started off writing a list of ideas for names. I thought it might be good to have an interesting ‘thing’ and then a descriptive word in front of it, however everything I was coming up with had someone else already using it. I would have to go more off piste!

I adore vintage and antique illustrated books and I was in the middle of an eco printing binge so I started going through my set of books on British wild flowers for name ideas. Now clearly a lot weren’t suitable, I don’t think ‘Fleabane’ is a very attractive company name (apologies if that’s your company name 😮), but eventually I came across the ‘Spindle Tree’ page. I’d never heard of it, but it turns out my parents actually have one in their garden.

The book which describes it has some lovely information about the history of the Spindle Tree, which is actually a shrub rather than a tree. It has delicate white and green flowers in the Spring and lovely red seed capsules with round orange fruits in Winter (however the fruits are poisonous). I love that it’s quirky and different. The wood was used to create spindles and for artists’ charcoal (or sometimes it was used in the fabrication of gunpowder!) I thought this was great to represent my love of mixed media – referring to cotton or wool, wood and charcoal (and explosions when one of my trials goes badly wrong). The other thing that sold it to me was that the berries were supposedly used in dyeing (although the book author does not recommend it 😂). Also, the proper name Euonymous Europeus comes from Euonyme in classic mythology (mother of the Furies).

I’m still desperate to get hold of some photos of the berries, which I can use to do some sketches. I agreed with a new friend I was going to go and take some photos of her Spindle Tree, but the weather was terrible and now all the beautiful fruit has gone, so I will have to wait.

I’ve have even bought some ‘Winged Spindle Tree’ seeds to grow in the garden. I really ought to look at how you actually grow them!!

So hopefully you think I made a good choice. I would love to hear your stories for how you decided on a company name. I bet there are some great stories out there!



I’m Still Alive

One of my latest Instagram images.

To be fair in this current climate, I probably shouldn’t joke about it. Covid deaths are at a record high (over 1600 today) in the UK. It’s terrifying. 

What I mean is that life somewhat got in the way of my blogging journey. Since I last posted I’ve moved house, started a new Instagram account (actually 2) and opened an Etsy shop selling digital downloads. Find my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/spindletreestudio/

My Etsy shop is: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SpindleTreeStudio

So, I may be changing the purpose of my blog a bit. My new goals are to continue sharing my experiments with different crafting techniques, but I’m going to attempt to either use more of my own designs or make extra efforts to give details of the products and stamps I’m using. I might also talk a bit about my work and how I created it.

Welcome to my exciting new creative journey.



Disclaimer: from today as I will now be posting about designing products for my shop and about my other work, I will take extra effort to credit to products I use. All posts prior to this point were created as an amateur crafter and not as someone selling craft supplies.

Bursting Birthday Card

birthday card

I made this card for my best friend. His birthday was yesterday. It actually took a while to make. I sprayed some tissue with water, added brushos and then saturated it with water and left it to dry. Once dry I added it to the front of the card blank, sprayed it with water again and left it to dry. Once dry, I peeled the tissue off so it left a subtle impression.

Then I stamped with lots of different stamps and added embossing powders to small areas using a clear ink embossing pen.

I love how with brushos, each background comes out differently.



A Super Sticky Stamp Solution

I bought some Woodware ‘Seashells’ stamps recently. They are beautiful, but I had a really hard time using them to begin with, because they are so sticky. I used the stamping platform, but the stamp stuck to the paper and when I lifted it off, it ripped the thin paper I was stamping on to.

I got some advice from the place I bought them from (Loobi Crafts) and they suggested I try Versafine ink. Well wow it really worked!

sticky stamp prints

The print on the left is black Archival and on the right is navy blue Versafine ink. Both are one print using the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform.

After years of crafting I think I’m going to swap ink. From Archival to Versafine!









As I was testing out the new stamps I got free with the June Issue of Making Cards and Papercraft magazine on a dictionary page and I thought what a shame it was that I’d used a page containing the word ‘alchemy’ rather than using it for something ‘alchemy’ themed. That then gave me an idea for this Cattitude card:

cattitude card front


cattitude card close up curiosity

cattitude card close up manipulatecattitude card close up pleasure

I love cats. I actually like that you have to work for their affection. I can’t have them myself at the moment as I rent a second floor flat. I love to visit my parents though. They have two crazy cats. The cats are currently in the dog house (not a sentence you hear very often) as it’s baby bird season and unfortunately their wild side is coming out :/ I was tempted to use ‘killer’ or ‘master’……but maybe I’ll use them on a later card.

I  would like to enter this card into the May 2018 Be Humorous Country View Challenge.

Does anyone else have these stamps? If so, what did you do with them?