I still haven’t worked out what to do when I grow up! I’m mainly a writer, an artist, and a fairytale dressmaker with various crafty hobbies! Here (and on YouTube) I share bits of my life, thoughts, and what I’m learning along the way. Let’s find magic and inspiration; join me for this creative living adventure!


About Me

Ten Things About Me:

1. I lived in Tonbridge in Kent for most of my life, but recently moved to a gorgeous village near Wells and Glastonbury in Somerset where I am bonding with our neighbouring herd of cows and learning various building skills in the renovation of our ancient house.

2. I live with my husband Chris and our two lovely daughters Rain and Jude.

3. We have a Neapolitan Mastiff called Loki, cats Tinkerbell, Rafiki and Lyra, and chickens Ginny and Lavender.

4. My favourites: Red; Kinder Buenos; Sleepy Hollow; Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; Summer evenings; Family; Christmas; VW Campervan; Gin & diet bitter lemon; Johnny Depp.

5. I spend far too much time wondering what I should do when I grow up.

6. I wrote a book! Be In The Place, a teenage adventure romance set at Glastonbury festival was published by Andersen Press (Random House) in 2005. Since then I have written two more teenage novels which I may polish up and put on the internet one day. I write with my local writers’ group and sometimes post here what I come up with. I completed the NanoWriMo challenge in November 2014 with an alternative history novel for adults and will hopefully have that finished soon.

7. I have a real passion for creating things and gorgeous fabrics and make alternative clothing, costumes, wedding dresses and accessories. The business is called Threads of a Fairytale and I sell online and at a few festivals.

8. I love drawing and crafting and have become a fan of pyrography – heat engraving on wood and leather. I sell personalised unique gifts and art at my Etsy shop called ByHelenHobden.

9. I have far too many hobbies. I’m always running out of audio books; I love painting, but rarely have the time; I enjoy photography, but I wish I knew photoshop better; I have an electric guitar, and can play Celebrity Skin by Hole very slowly; I enjoy wondering round the garden making great plans for it, but can’t keep on top of the weeding; I help the local youth club and amateur dramatics group, and sing with the village choir.

10. I go through phases of ballet, zumba or street dancing to keep fit, or not at all; I love Cornwall, and when I’m not falling off, I can surf on a mini-mal. I was once given a skateboard as a Valentine’s present and got quite good (though not so good that I could drop into a half pipe), but recently have developed a fear of falling off and hurting myself. I’m a purple belt in kickboxing and am learning to do a backflip at gymnastics, as that was my ultimate goal in life when I was thirteen.



Emily Close

Hi its Emily u know the one that says don\’t mind all the time =] your webasite is awsome got to go im at school and am about to be caught because im ment to be doing German but instead im on here =D bye bye for now x


Kate Denley

Helen I met you at Glastonbury 2005 when you and Rain were in front of me and my daughter Tish to make fairy wings in the Kids Field and you gave me a card about your book. Later that year I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and my life turned upside down. I did get your book as a xmas present that year and it has been very well read. Tish is now 12 and just finished reading it…she says you simply must write another! Time takes it’s toll but it’s little rays of sunshine that keep us going…thank you for supplying one of these rays. I would be grateful if I could ask you some person issues but away from this page? Kate


Christopher May

Hi Helen. Saw your Glast pics on google images. The new building near kidz field you didn’t recognize is Goose Hall; Fab Crew canteen. At bottom of KIDZ CREW Camping.Previously thatched, reroofed about 4 years ago. Now you know. Love n Light Chris (Dragon Maker)



Thank you Chris! What sort of dragons do you make? Not the big one that sadly left the sacred space this year?



Hi(: i have a really random question. how many pages are in this journal http://www.etsy.com/listing/89071185/travel-journal-sketch-book-holiday-diary?ref=cat3_gallery_16 ?



Hi! Sorry for the delay in replying – wading through hundreds of junk messages. There are 24 pages ie. 48 sides. Thanks!


linda grieve

Hi I’m wondering if you can help me. I am searching for a fabric which is called cotton gauze in the USA. I found your blogpost in which you say it is called crinkle cotton in the UK. Do you know where I can purchase this fabric – I am needing a smallish amount for an online art doll class and it is proving difficult to track down. I have been having a quick look at your blog and shop and I like the clothes you are making. ANy help would be appreciated .Thanks Linda



Hi Linda, I find ebay useful for fabric – particularly small amounts as you can often get end of rolls and offcuts at a reasonable price. Also, Etsy.com has supplies for sale as well as handmade items. Hope that helps 🙂


Anne Grange


I stumbled across your blog the other day while I was looking for information about faeries. It was a very strange coincidence because in 2005, I found one of your flyers for ‘Be In The Place’ on my windscreen as I was in a traffic jam to leave Glastonbury Festival.
To cut a long story short, I bought the book and really enjoyed it. Since then, I’ve completed an MA in Writing and published my own Young Adult novel which also features travellers and Glastonbury festival – and the characters start their own alternative clothing company! I’m not stalking you, honest! But the signs all seem to be there for me to contact you. I enjoyed your Glastonbury review for this year. Mine’s on my blog – it’s a bit long-winded, but that’s just the way it came out!
I’m now a freelance writer and editor, after years of being in a soul-sapping corporate job. I’m based in Sheffield.
So – “hello”! and I hope you enjoy looking at my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed looking at yours!
Lots of love,
Anne xxx



Hi Anne,
Thank you so much for leaving your lovely message. And thank you for buying my book – I’m glad those flyers worked! Congratulations on your own novel. What is the title?
I just had a look at your Glastonbury review – how do you remember all that detail? There’s something about Glastonbury that means I generally forget everything – and I’m always completely sober too! I’d love to steward with Oxfam and go to all those festivals I can’t afford to go to. Unfortunately I have too many commitments at home at the moment, but I’m hoping to take my clothes stall to more festivals in future.
Hope your writing is going well. I also struggle to find the time to keep up with it – but I am determined to go back to a book a wrote years ago and finally finish updating and editing it before the end of the year. We’ll see… !


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