Monday, 31 December 2012


I am reading a book at the moment whose whole being is imbued with sadness, a sense of loss and desolation, it is a beautiful book I would recommend it to everyone to read. The books title is The Winter Vault and is by Anne Michaels, I am about half way through now, she is a poet and you can see this in every page that you read. I read a great deal and I think this is one of the most beautiful books I have read.

Saturday, 29 December 2012


Weaving using nettle, silk and two Habu yarns
 My latest piece of weaving in progress, its an extremely loose weave and might not work once it is no longer under tension, we shall see. I should have taken the photo with a solid background as the weaving is a bit hard to see.
Umbrella swift
My two most useful and long awaited christmas presents, an umbrella swift and a ball winder, I would never have managed to wind this very fine silk any other way.
Yarn winder

Friday, 28 December 2012

Full Moon

I don't sleep well around the time of the full moon, as I get older I feel her force more and more, she is drawing me in.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Seasons greetings

What miserable weather still I'm cheering myself up wrapping presents and filling stockings, well bags, for my adult children. I hope they don't read my blog!
Hoping to get round to marzipaning? the cake later, late as usual, and then we will be decking the halls, making mince pies and icing the cake whilst having a tipple of ginger wine at the weekend when my daughter arrives.
In case I don't get round to writing again before the merriment begins, seasons greetings to whoever pops by.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Busy, busy,busy.

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks, have been very busy. My two open weekends went OK but not brilliantly we had lovely weather but not enough visitors, felt very despondent after the first weekend. Of course we are a little off the beaten track, anyway everybody sold something which always helps and I sold two large pieces just before we were closing on the Sunday which made my day.

I visited an exhibition on Sunday by iD artists, a group that covers many different disciplines and have been invited to submit some images so I can join their group. Just when I had decided to withdraw a bit from deadlines I decide to join another group!!!

I have also been buried under paper and emails to do with North Somerset Arts. Next May we are having our biennial arts week, registration closed at end of October and we are still dealing with queries, missing images etc. Oh for artists all being practical and submitting information on time, still I suppose we just represent in a small way how different and individual people are.

Amazingly enough I seem to have bought most of the presents and have a turkey languishing in the freezer. Not that I am sure that its not warmer in the freezer than it is outside. I had to break the ice on the birdbath this morning with a fireman's hammer, they have a pointy bit on one end and even then it was hard work.

I wasn't going to add any images but here's a couple of the exhibition in my studio.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Open Studio Weekend

It is a beautiful day today and my studio is open this weekend and the next with a broad of local range of art and craft, including textiles, ceramics, photography and painting. You can browse in comfort and walk by the sea. If anybody out there lives in North Somerset come and visit we are in Sand Bay.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Eco print notebooks

My notebooks are now finished. I have managed to make three in time for my open studio weekends, I am very pleased with them the covers are woven and the paper was bought from TKMaxx so not sure what sort it is, it looks handmade.

 These were my first attempts at eco printing and I think quite successful, they are quite sparsely printed so that they can be written over. Below are birch leaf prints.
 I can't remember what the large leaf in this book is. The smaller ones are Blueberry leaves which were red but have printed in shades of green and brown. It would have been lovely to have been able to transfer the red pigment as well.
 On this one I used rusty nails, this was the first printing I did and goes with the brown cover.
 Also some cards, I was quite surprised at how pale the ginkgo came out and wasn't sure whether to use the prints from these but actually quite like the ghostly look that now that its mounted.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Travels round exhibitions

We've been a bit touristy this week. I was stewarding at the South West Textile Group exhibition at Birdwood House, Totnes on Monday. We travelled down via a bit of Dartmoor and Bovey Tracey, had a good look round Totnes, lots of narrow streets, hills and fantastic individual shops. The exhibition looks great as well we had over a hundred visitors on the first day and lots of great comments.
Forgot to take any photos of the exhibition or Totnes.
 We came back for one night and then were on our way to Stratford-upon-Avon, visiting Tewkesbury on the way. Lots of old buildings and an abbey.

 To Stratford which also has loads of old buildings, below is Shakespeare's house
 More old buildings

We had lunch in the building below. In the evening we went to see The Merry Wives of Windsor at the RSC. Very funny done in modern dress. The scenery changes were amazing, there must be trapdoors all over the stage.
 Next day we went the see Weaving the Century at Compton Verney. This is work by Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. The tapestries were beautiful, amazing and lots of other adjectives. I had a short chat with the curator and even the largest tapestries were all attached to battens using velcro. This the method I use when mine are hung on battens. No photos allowed but I did get this one in the grounds. I love this artists work, especially her willow weavings but have never seen an actual one before.

And travelled back via Stow on the Wold and Bourton on the Water, I love the way Cotswolds villages have such descriptive names.
I think from now on I will live in Sand Bay on the Beach.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Experimenting with eco prints on paper

I have been experimenting with leaves on paper following the brilliant notes of Cassandra Tondro on this site I have not used many leaves on each page as I am intending to make notebooks our of them that people can use. The paper was bought but I may try making my own again soon.

The rusty prints below were done using the same method except that I sprayed each piece of rust with vinegar first.
They will be going into the notebook cover below when they are fully dry. this is A6 size.

Hoopoe again

I looked out the window and there were all these men standing outside with binoculars and telescopes and giant cameras so I got my binoculars to watch the watchers, they were tracking the hoopoe again and I managed to see it in flight.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


We had a hoopoe on the beach yesterday, unfortunately the only pictures I have of it are copyright as they were taken by a professional photographer. Apparently they stop off on the south coast of England occasionally on their way to warmer climes. Not sure the Bristol channel counts as the south coast but its near enough.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


I am having a break from weaving apart from a couple of small pieces I am working on in short spurts. I will have to get dug in soon as I am having two open weekends at the beginning of December.
 We have had some lovely weather this week so I have been out in the garden dividing plants and trying to get on top of the couch grass that is taking over my borders. The golden rod had spread loads and needed an axe to dig up, sounds a bit dramatic I know but it was the only way I could get it out. I was making great progress but now I have a cold which has sapped all my energy so I can only look at the garden and despair that I don't feel up to tackling any more at the moment. Hopefully this lovely autumn weather will last until I am feeling better.
The blueberry leaves are turning beautiful shades of red and I am collecting them as they fall in order to have another go at eco dying. If anybody is reading this and could advise me on what natural mordant would be best I would appreciate it.

Monday, 15 October 2012


I don't often write personal stuff on here, I've got a diary for that, though since I've started blogging the diary has remained strangely un written. But I have to say that apart from odd times away my life seems to have become boring. As I have got more involved in exhibitions, groups and creating, the rest of my live has felt very mundane. I find this strange you would think as I'm doing more that the rest would become more liveable with not less. Sometimes I get up on Monday and can't face the fact thats it bed changing and cleaning day and that Tuesday is veg gardening and the rest of the cleaning. I used to be a very meticulous housewife, now I can't be bothered but I do bother because I don't like living in a dusty, messy house. I seem to be a mass of contradictions at the moment. Maybe its getting older I don't know, maybe its living the same sort of life for so long or maybe I am finally suffering from empty nest syndrome. It didn't bother me when the children moved out, I liked having more time to myself but I miss them now we live further away.

London with Mother

I have just got back from a trip to London with my Mum, we were both a bit apprehensive about it as she hasn't been up to town for about ten years and I was worried she wouldn't cope with all the noise and people but worries were unfounded and we had a great time. I did however do a lot of planning beforehand. We stayed at The Strand Palace Hotel were coincidently my parents had stayed for their honeymoon sixty years before. My Dad unfortunately didn't live long enough to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary. We visited the Selvedge shop, disappointing, very small. We went to Covent Garden, Spitalfields and Leadenhall market, which is very pretty, my Mum remembers when they were respectively veg, meat and fish markets. We had some great meals and spent time with my son and daughter.

My Mum in Leadenhall market

 We walked through the city

and visited the John Soane Museum which is crammed full of architectural pieces which his students used for study. It also houses the originals of The Rake's Progress by Hogarth, well worth a visit.

We also went to see Cabaret, a must see, if you don't like Will Young don't let this put you off, if you can get to London go and see it, great choreography and great songs and a different approach from the film with Lisa Minellli.  Its raunchy, funny, sad and disturbing.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Eco dyeing

I have recently come across India Flint, obviously a few years after many of you. These are my first attempts at eco-dyeing and as you can see they are a bit rubbish though so is the photography. Below is my first attempt, beetroot stems, leaves and some peelings sprayed with vinegar and steamed. A lot of colour came out when I washed it. I will redo this piece at some stage.

The next lot I did whilst on holiday with a few fresh eucalyptus leaves I found, they were each left for about 3 days in the sun the colour change happened when I added a rusty washer to the mix, the last one was soaked in mineral water, the proper funny tasting stuff, with the remains of the dye.

Close up of first soaking, leaves bundled and soaked in water

Leaves bundled and soaked in water with washer added

This scrap of cloth was an accident, I tried a bit of solar dyeing at home with berries from lords and ladies, unfortunately we haven't really had any sun this year. Anyway I put them in a jar with some odd scraps of cloth and a pebble to hold the fabric down. The pebble went mouldy and this is the result, my favourite piece.

Close ups of above

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rock Structures, Sardinia

 How many figures and faces can you see. Isn't it funny the way we humanise inanimate objects.