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.


Castelsardo was built as an impregnable castle, in fact it turned out to be so secure that the owners found it so difficult to access that it was abandoned. In time the town became the main centre for basket weaving on the island and you can still see little old ladies making baskets on their doorsteps. I hope their are some younger women who are taking up the craft as well or it will die out in time.
 The photos below are of some of the baskets that are housed in the museum in the castle. There are also plain purely functional baskets for bread making, farming and fishing.

I have enhanced some of the colours to make them easier to see as they were all behind glass.

There a large variety of beautiful designs many of them quite intricate.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Over the Rainbow

Just a quickie. This is my latest piece, needle felting and weaving 30x80cm and is off to an exhibition taking place in Totnes in November. It is called Rainbow bridge and is based on Norse legend. The rainbow bridge is the bridge between the world of humans and the gods.
Rainbow Bridge

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Back from holiday.

I have been silent for a while that is because we have been away in Sardinia for a significant birthday, not mine I still have a year to go but the other half's.

Sardinia is lovely haven't downloaded many photos yet but here are a few of the local town Castelsardo.
We seem to have had some terrible weather while we have been away, on our return we opened the front door and the alarm went off and wouldn't stop, the house was in darkness as most of the trip switches had tripped. Luckily our electrician lives close by so we were able to get the alarm fixed, have had to have a whole new circuit board and we have also been without broadband for five days.
We were the lucky ones when you look at some of the devastation around the country and the world for that matter.
Are we causing the worsening weather conditions or is all part of the natural order? I reckon its mostly down to us but we will never defeat nature it will always have the upper hand. Mother Nature embraces and punishes with equal impartiality.