Sylvia Plath wrote ‘I would live a life of conflict, of balancing children, sonnets, love and dirty dishes.’

This project is about people who choose to live their lives in that conflict, balancing the necessities of life and love with their own drive to create. We hope that by collecting the voices of creative people we admire, we can create a resource for anyone who needs to be reminded: you can do this; and your doing has value.

Tempy and Beth have spent the last twenty years discussing this balancing act, as each of us has tried to hold true to our creativity while also giving energy to our relationships, families, and keeping the bills paid.

It’s time to open up the conversation. Because we have questions! And we don’t think we’re alone. On Sonnets and Dirty Dishes we put these questions to creative people we admire; painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, performers and makers of all kinds. We talk to people who make their living through their creative work, and people who live creatively in other ways. We hope this website is a useful and inspiring resource for anyone who needs it.


Tempy Osborne has always been an artist and maker. She is best known for her contribution to the ethical slow fashion movement under the name Grey Whale, an online business she built to showcase and sell her handcrafted bags. Tempy’s background is in visual art. She graduated with a degree in Fine Art Painting in Ireland in 2006 and, determined to be a painter, she went on to rent a studio and exhibit works nationally and internationally. Exploring the space where art and craft meet, Tempy has remained steadfastly loyal to what for her seems to be an innate drive to create.


In 2014 Beth’s short story The Oyster Catchers was the winner of the RTE Francis MacManus competition. This success gave her the confidence to finally start writing a novel. Since then, over the course of six years and in three different houses, together with all the usual demands of parenting two children, Beth has completed one novel and is in the final stages of her second.

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