Who we are and what we do

Furniture with a story to tell

Each piece of furniture has a unique story hidden within. The story waits to be found by the curious and creative.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Random words - tumble, behold, accident, squares, neslte, embed, lavish

I tumble through the days, not stopping to ask for directions. Moving through rooms, bumping gently into walls, careening absently. My arms encasing my precious cargo.

When she cries, the people of the world stop and turn, eyes wide, shocked at the sound. I am amoung them. The noise prickles my ears and back. She is an angry sight to behold. Red faced and furious at the confines of her tiny baby shaped prison. We shush her gently, the people of the world and I, reassuring in our clucks and croons. Singing "Old MacDonald" gently as the fury abates.

I find, by accident, that the baby is calm outside the house. Our ghosts sulk on the stairs, frowning and muttering to themselves. The weather is warm and I place her beneath the washing line. Her eyes follow the white squares of muslin floating prettliy on the breeze. A small frown moving accross her face when I pause between verses of her favourite nursery rhyme. 

Our days become longer, but less routine. Sleep is snatched when we can find it. One day I am nestled cozily in a rabbit hole, the next between the drain pipe and the wall. I don't mind. It's a good skill to learn. My grandmother calls to say she used to sleep on a washing line and the image floats around my mind for weeks.

When the baby begins to sit up we truly stake our claim on the outside world. We take our blanket to the grassy part of the garden, near the burgandy bows of the acer tree and embed ourselves in the afternoon sunhine. She plays with ice cubes, lavishly exploring them with her mouth and toes. Frowning furiously when they melt until more are plopped into her cup by a passing seagull.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

More creative writing sessions for Autumn

We're pleased to announce some new dates for Creative Writing sessions hosted at our studio in the beautiful Victoria Works in Chalford, Stroud.

The dates are;

Monday 7th September to Monday 12th October (six weeks)
12.30pm - 2.30pm

Wednesday 9th September to Wednesday 14th October (six weeks)
6.30pm - 8.30pm

The cost is £65 per person for the six two hour sessions

Booking is essential via the blog or clevermonty@gmail.com or give me a call on 07791 129718

Happy writing :)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Random words - conspiracy, shade, collide, honey, bleak, tease

The trees are in a conspiracy. Their green leaves rude with chlorophyll, mocking we mortals below who rest gently in their shade. I squint up at them, languishing in the whispers of the wind. I catch words as they collide, creating poetry from the shivers I can hear. I sigh and they sigh back. I rest my head and close my eyes so I may hear them better. Honey coated words, some brash like dropped saucepans, others deep and milky. I lay with my palms against the ground, hearing their stories for the first time. The elder howls a bleak reprise. Scorned by her lover, lamenting her loss through the earth and wind. The oak teases her, singing sweetly of summers past and springtimes to come. I am lost in their echos. A leaf on the breeze.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Random words

I've set myself a daily challenge to write something everyday (aside from my moring pages - more on that to come). The best way to fall into the creative flow for me is to begin writing from random words. There are numerous websites which throw out random words for writers. My favourite is; http://www.wordgenerator.net/random-word-generator.php

I propbably won't post one every day, but perhaps one per week (I'll pick my favourite to share).

I'm intregued by the different tools people use to step into their own creative flow. What's yours?

Thursday, 19 February 2015


So if this works *crosses fingers* I should now be on the awesome app 'Bloglovin' 

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13692685/?claim=z6vwht3gnab">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Friday, 30 January 2015

Hidden histories - Interview with SIT Select

So last week the talented Charlotte Abrahams came to my studio to interview me for the SIT Select online journal. 

It's the first time I've been interviewed for a feature and to say I was a bit nervous is a massive understatement. 

Luckily my nerves didn't render me incoherent and Charlotte's article is just fab. 

Read it here; http://www.sitselect.org/journalfeatures.html

Friday, 21 November 2014

So how do I make this work?

After a year of stumbling about a bit, falling in and out of love with my business and spending rather a lot of my own money, I decided that this Clever Monty malarky needed to start contributing towards the rent. When staring out of the window and sighing a lot didn’t help, I decided to face facts. My blog wasn’t particularly popular, my commissions for furniture weren’t coming in as fast as I wanted and my social media was a little sporadic at best. I read A LOT of other interiors/writing/craft blogs to try to be inspired by their seemingly endless stream of thoughts and posts. But ended up wondering how on earth they did it. I ended up pretty downbeat about the whole thing.

What I realised though, from beneath my duvet (yes I retreated to bed, it got that hopeless), was that all of these people with successful blogs, creative businesses and social media savviness all had to start somewhere. Unless you’re already famous, starting a business is hard (and actually, even if you are famous I bet it’s pretty hard; imagine having all your mistakes on show to the world, eurgh). It seems to me that the ones that make it past the three year anniversary are the ones who are doggedly determined.

So, I rolled up my sleeves. I posted more blogs, I retweeted the things which inspired me and I kept my eyes open for guest blogging opportunities which would (hopefully) encourage more people to look my way. Eyes down. Laptop on. Distractions OFF.

Then one day a dear friend and cheerleader for all things Clever Monty suggested I start a creative writing group. I made a face and told her I couldn’t possibly do that (my learned response to any suggestion which takes me outside my comfort zone), but it sowed the seed.

Before I could over-think and therefore find a million excuses why not to do it, I wrote a six week syllabus of exercises I use for my own creative practice. It ranges from suggestions I found online from other writers, to little games I do by myself to get my pen working a little harder.

I printed some flyers, handed some out to friends and fellow artists, and ran a small social media campaign about #creativewriting (see I’m getting it aren’t I?) And to my utter surprise, people signed up. So many that I had to create more sessions for next year. Who’d’ve thought it huh?

So for a small charge each week my merry band of writers and I spend two hours together, writing, doing little exercises, reading our work out loud and supplying that all important encouragement for each other. It’s given me so much food for stories, and developed my own sense of confidence in what I do. And the small charge pays for the space I rent, as well as some nice chocolate biscuits to nibble on.

I’m not saying that everyone should start their own creative writing group (well I am a bit, it’s a brilliant way to stay focused and develop as a writer), but I am saying that if you want to write and you want to succeed, listen to your cheerleaders! 

Cheerleader Image used from the305.com blog