suddenly a billy goat appeared and the space between ideas and action

billy goat rag doll

Suddenly a billy goat appeared. A very distinguished goat. It was not my plan, he is not on my list or schedule and I probably should have been doing something else. But I felt a strong spiritual directive to make a surly goat. I had the impulse and I followed it immediately, that hardly ever happens and I think its a good thing to do. I usually have quite a lot of time between my ideas and when I do something about them. Sometimes they get stale – resistant to action. Maybe too much time lets doubt creep in or I get stuck in an endless circle of overthinking. There is huge value in diving right in, creating the first iteration, maybe making a mess but also getting a feedback loop going. I’m pretty sure there is some actual brain chemistry around this but I haven’t looked it up yet – I was busy making a goat.

billy goat rag doll

I made my gray goat rag doll from an Edwardian skirt. I used the aristocratic lamb pattern with some adjustments to the head. I’m working on another in black now (and I do plan to release this as a sewing pattern).

billy goat rag doll

small art

Goats have been on my mind, turning up in my little paintings often (by the way I’m adding new small paintings every Thursday – including the goat above). And I’m working on some tiny goats for a project I’ll show you this fall. I love their expressive, humany faces. They always look like they are silently judging you.

This goat  be in the shop next week – I’m thinking Tuesday – with some other recently finished things including some Sri Threads songbirds.

You can sign up here if you’d like an email when the new things are available.

bird, hand stitched from japanese textiles

bird, hand stitched from japanese textiles

Update: If you’d like to try making your own songbird you can find the sewing pattern right here.


  1. Yes! I know the “endless cycle of overthinking” and allowing an “Oh wow!” inspiration to go stale.

    The inspired Billy Goat is awesome!

  2. Joan Raines

    Love the goat and the birds and and… My favorite is still that surly Grey Owl. lol. I would like to see a mean Biily goat on 4 legs too, I know you could do him justice. Great works all with character and soul.

  3. I love the Billy Goat! 3 Billy Goats Gruff was one of my favorite fairy tales as a child. The evolution of creating always has a strange path, twisting and turning until you create what you were meant to do. Enjoy the process!

  4. Like the goat, love the owls. Waiting for a pattern for Vivienne, just really love her.

  5. Like the goat, Waiting for a pattern for Vivienne, just really love her.

  6. Going with the flow means at least something is achieved, whereas I with my butterfly brain just flit around looking at this and that and never settle on anything and achieve nothing.
    When I grow up (haha) I’m going to be focused and disciplined
    Thank you for another super blog post. I really enjoy them all

  7. I’m always doing this. I’ll have a plan for the day and what I’m going to be working on, then I’ll spot something in the garden or start day dreaming and start work on something completely random and feel a little bit guilty that I’m not sticking to the plan!

  8. I love when spirit Animals appear…. here you are.. reach Ann reach 🙂
    Goat Symbolism

    If Goat has climbed onto your path;
    It is letting you know that this is a time to begin new climbs and new endeavors. Take your time and plan your course. Look closely at what is ahead so that you can be surefooted along your course. This animal can also be letting you know that perhaps its time to stretch and reach for new heights. Are your goals high enough? Do you deserve more?
    Alternatively this creature can be letting you know that you have to trust your own ability to land on your feet. Having faith in yourself and your own abilities is a very powerful tool that is available to you at all times. Move forward one step at a time.

  9. Tamara Lohn

    Oh my goodness, as a goat breeder and maker of stuffed things, I HAVE to make this wonderful goat! Please make a pattern!

  10. Thank you for this little ray of sunshine each week! Your emails always make me smile 🙂 so super talented x

  11. Brenda L.

    He is adorable!!! I can’t wait to get the pattern!

  12. I am sooo looking forward to this goat pattern! Hope it won’t be long!

  13. I your work’ may I have a patent and diagrams how to join.each it?

  14. Goats are definitely my spirit animals. I’ve had dogs, horses and goats, and have never felt more peaceful than when sitting in the pasture with the goats. Sigh….I miss them. You big gray Billy is wonderful; he’s got a great expression.
    I did want to mention one small thing: sheep tails go down, goat tails go up.
    I am in awe of the order you keep in your studio. I aspire to that. Love your work.

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