Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dry Spells

When there is a lot going on it is the creativity that takes a back seat.  We have had a traumatic couple of months for a variety of reasons and I'm not very good at talking about it.  Here's one high spot!  A lovely card sent to me by Pam who is also a member of teambrittania on Etsy.  Thanks Pam, it made my day and cheered me up.  I have hardly been at home, but hope that things are sorting themselves out now.  I need a holiday!  Maybe someday soon.... LOL.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Something to do

To say that there has been a lot going on is putting it mildly!

I needed something I could do in a small amount of space, and at strange times!


I took some hand dyed vegetarian silk that needed some attention

Sorted it a bit

And stretched it out
Then it wasn't long before it became.....
A rather interesting textured yarn.  Just right for the embellisher!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

New Series Continues

Here's the second in the little series that I featured the other day.

None of them are mounted.  I'll continue in this vein until I make up my mind what to do with them.  I have an idea, but it needs time to come into fruition.  If you missed the other one you can find it here.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

First of a new series

I don't have time to stitch as often as I would like.  However, I've started a new body of work, and this is the first piece I've finished.  It is made using my hand-dyed silk fibres, scrim and threads.  I'm starting the second piece shortly, it will also be hand-stitched, but I may use the machine too. 

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Life Goes On

Good News!

New Grandchild!


Born today 5 weeks early!

15.58 hrs

5lbs 12ozs

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Variations on a Theme

As far as I am concerned March is Journalling Month!  Etsy Bloggers are taking part in a Journal Swap which means composing a page a day, following a series of prompts.  The only page that is preprescribed is the first - here is mine, and you will see that it follows the theme of the one posted here

I have to admit that it isn't quite finished, but it's getting there.  The paper is one that was coloured in the way that is described here

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Importance of Keeping a Journal

From This

To This!

Or even this

More about the last one coming soon here.....

Friday, 26 February 2010

Work in progress

I'll show you more tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

In the stew pot

Sometimes concepts have to sit and ferment for a long time before beginning to work on them.  I have had an idea in my head for ages.  It will be hand-dyed and will include stitching.  However, the main ingredient was something that I kept forgetting to buy. 

Fortunately I met up with some this weekend!

This is Mud Cloth.  It is hand woven and in theory has a specific purpose which is detailed here.   I'm going to begin by dyeing it with rust, but I have a few other ideas too.  I'll say 'watch this space', but don't hold your breath.......

Saturday, 13 February 2010

What a surprise!

This is a relatively new blog, so I was surprised, but delighted, to receive this award from Purplume.  I've been following her blog for a while, and always find something interesting there.  Following someone from another part of the world opens up so many new ideas and interpretations.  Thanks for keeping me interested, Purplume, and thanks for the award.

As always this award has to be passed on, and that's difficult, because it is to be passed to 5 people, and let's face it, we all know more than 5 bloggers!  There aren't many other rules, in fact, here they are:

The rules for accepting this:
Put the logo on your blog or within your post (right click and save),
Pass the award onto 5 bloggers,
Link the nominees within your post,
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

So, I've done the first, the logo is above!
Now to nominate:

Firstly I'd like to nominate Jan.  Her blog is full of cheerful chatty bits and pieces, and she includes pictures of all the things she is working on, and those that she has received.  Jan is really prolific.  I warn you, be prepared as she accomplishes so much it makes me feel really lazy sometimes! 

Next I'd like to award it to Kim.  Her blog is always worth a read, and I have to admit to being tardy at leaving comments there.  Thursday's post was of a fun project.

If you follow my friend Pam's blog you will be assured of the sunshine, too.  She is the most considerate and thoughtful person, a truly lovely friend.  This post will inspire you.

Three down, and two to go.  This is really hard, how does one choose?

How about another textile blog!  Gina is an inspirational artist and tutor.  She is great fun to know, too, and I'm looking forward to catching up with her next week at Textiles in Focus.  We've promised to share a coffee break or two together!

This last one is really hard.  Some of you will know that I have a very accommodating 'hat' from which I take items when I can't make a choice, well, here's the fifth one to appear!

Amanda is a Twitter friend.  We discovered that we had more than a little in common, and if you look at her blog you will see why.  This post could be a picture of something in our garden!

When it comes to sunshine, in reality there are many more of you out there - but I hope you will be inspired by following the above links.

Talking of surprise - what a great subject for inspiration, so, if you are looking for some today (inspiration, that is) why not take a short walk along the road - say 5 or 6 steps beyond your boundary - stop - look down.  I'm sure you will find a shape somewhere very close that could be the starting point of a design.  You see, design is all around you......

Friday, 12 February 2010


I am often asked where I find my inspiration - and the answer is difficult.  It comes in a moment of time, and is always unexpected. 

Sometimes it will be a view as it flashes past during a car journey

Or from delving into the history of a landscape and combining elements in an abstract way

Sometimes it can be just a single shape that attracts

and sometimes finding the right materials to interpret can take a while

But sometimes - you just throw a piece of used paper down, and inspiration is instant

All I need now is time to interpret it in the way that I want.....

Look for inspiration - it is all around - and comes at the most unexpected moment.  It's at times like this that keeping a journal becomes very important.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Feeling Scrappy?

Sometimes, when inspiration doesn't strike

You just have to go to your scrap bag,

Grab some bits and pieces (and a glue stick)

Choose a blank page (who says it has to be the next one?)

Throw your pieces on and glue them down.

Slosh on some colour

Take a pencil and write the first thing that comes into your head.

It doesn't matter what you say

After all......

...... this is just a journal......

G O   F O R   I T ! ! !

(If you found this interesting you might like this too.)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

And another......

The components for the next little book are all ready to put together.

Still a 'little pink' - I'm working on other colours.

What do you think of the fabric?  Goes well with the paper, doesn't it.  This one will be pink and blue, I'll show you the finished result tomorrow.

I will definitely be offering some on Etsy at some point.  After the giveaway I suspect.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Yes, I've managed to finish one of the new bookies.  I'm only showing it here, it will remain a secret from the other blog until I have drawn the prizes.....

Here's the work in part progress:

Covers and pages almost ready.

Starting to go together.  This one has partly foiled edges, can you see?

All wrapped up and nowhere to go ....... yet!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Lots to make

If you have been watching the progress of One World One Heart you will know that my second giveaway is not yet made!  Today I have been preparing some papers for the pages of one of the books.  I thought I'd show you what I've done so far.

Shall I use these?

or these?

Then again

I might use these (in fact, one of them might make the cover - and possibly not the one that you think, LOL)

These look interesting too.

I've put together some other bits and pieces too.  I may have one finished by tomorrow........

But then again I may take a little longer.

If you haven't taken part yet pop over to this and this to find out more.

Friday, 29 January 2010

From that......

This is another selection from the 180 colours.  However, they can also be converted into a design source, so here's a quick 'from that'

'to this'

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Decisions, decisions!


We've already established that I like playing with colour!  I had so much fun with these little tags.  They were coloured using a technique that I love,  and apply in layers.  It involves pressing them onto a prepared surface time and time again until the result is pleasing.  Now I have to decide whether to pop the little book into my handbag to collect ideas as I move around, a sort of mobile journal, or to list it in my other Etsy shop which needs lots of tender loving care.

What do you think?

Don't forget that One World One Heart starts tomorrow.  I'll be blogging and listing something on this other blog, so make a point of stopping by.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Time to relax?

It's been a busy week.  You can read about it here, so I won't go into details, but I'm planning on a relaxing weekend.  We aren't out selling this week, so not up at the crack of dawn, and no babysitting, so hopefully I can go to bed earlyish.....

I might even do something textiley!  If I do I'll post a picture tomorrow, but today I'm just going to 'chill out' as much as I can with maybe a glass of wine with dinner tonight.

I felt so laid back this morning I needed two cups of coffee to just feel able to open my eyes properly!  Oh, yes, and I'll be getting ready for One World, One Heart.  Are you taking part?

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 22 January 2010

It's done!

More about this on another blog tomorrow, however here is the culmination of a weeks stress!  A quick shot of the filming of a dvd.  I'm resting today, I need it.  Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

How to get it all wrong.

First - go to the hairdressers.
Next, come home beautifully coiffeured!

Later, go to the salon for a rare indulgence.......

........ only to find that it also includes a head massage

Come home looking really tousled!

Who cares!   I enjoyed it.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Time to read again?

Memory is a funny thing. An internet group of which I am a member currently has a theme of 'A'. I have been meditating on the letter in the hope of 'extreme' inspiration, even though I don't really have time to do anything yet. In the midst of all this there was one word that continually came to mind - 'Axel'. It seemed to come from somewhere deep inside and I rejected it several times before realising that it actually had some meaning. Many years ago - far more years than I would like to admit - I was recommended a book by a very good friend. Although I haven't read it for a long time it is one of the few books I have read time and time again. At the time it opened my eyes to a new world and today I was surprised to discover that it was written almost 100 years ago...

'The Story of San Michele' was first written in 1929 as an autobiographical account of the life and work of Axel Munthe. Written in English, even though its author was Swedish, it has continued to be published and is readily available even today(scroll down and read the review). At the age of 18 he visited the site that he determined to make his home. The book describes an almost idyllic existence that is more than tinged with reality. Reading the names of some of the people with whom he associated and by whom he was influenced is amazing. The house and garden that he created is open to visitors and, judging by the pictures on this site, worth more than one visit.

I am still hopeful that one day I will visit Capri, it has been an idea that has lain dormant for a very long time..........

I'd be interested to know if you have read the book - or if you decide to do so now.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Mid-month catch up (a couple of days late)

 There were a few things that I promised myself at the beginning of the month.  How am I doing?  Well, not everything is accomplished yet but:

1  Eat more vegetables
This was easy.  I love vegetables, so I've been adding a homemade soup to my lunch menu.

2  Comment on at least one blog a day
Yes, I've managed this too.  I couldn't do it during my enforced absence but I'm hoping to increase my commenting. 
3  Take a walk at least 3 times a week
I've even been doing this, except on a couple of days when the snow made it unrealistic.  I'm trying to walk just before lunch every other day.

4  Keep this journal
You can judge me on this one

5  Take more photographs
I certainly managed to take a mountain of photographs during the snow, want to  do more when I'm walking now.

6  Update at least one of my other blogs each day
Yes, so far - so good - except during my computer problems

7  Keep up with drawing practice

Well, something had to go!  I've done a little but not as much as I intended.

8  Make at least one book
Yes, I've made one, and want to do more.  I have an interesting journal idea, if it is a success you will see more, but not until March.

9  Recycle more

I want to use more  of the 'rubbish' that I would normally recycle.  Some of this is going into my books.  That's a start

10 Write a book for my grandson
Yes, I managed to do this too!  I wrote him a book about Christmas.  I included pictures of everyone that joined us on Boxing Day.  I must photograph it next time we see him.

So, that's my resume of the month so far.  Hopefully I can continue for the rest of the month.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Something from the past and looking to the future

I thought that I would show you a few of the 180 colours in more detail.  I think that you will get a much better idea if you click on the picture.  This shot shows 15 of the colours.  You will see that they are all different, although some of them are very close to each other.  I have been asked if I spin or weave.  No, I don't spin.  I can weave, but it isn't something that I do very often.  Having said that I may well incorporate an area of weaving into a larger piece of work.   As an artist my current preferred means of expression is textiles.  This includes fabric, threads, stitching using both hand and sewing machine and also the embellisher machine.  I'm currently working on a few landscapes, these are beginning life on the embellisher, but it is important to me that they are taken further with stitches that are appropriate.  I can't show you one at the moment (work in progress for later in the week,,,,!) but here is one I prepared a lot earlier.

I promise to show you more when I have worked out this computer a little more.  Still no software - but the snow is going and surely there can't be many more excuses for non delivery......

Friday, 15 January 2010

How many colours?

Just how many colours can you get from one small measure of dye?  The answer is - many!  This is just part of one dye sequence that resulted in 180 different colours from one measure each of red, yellow and blue.  None of the colours shown here are from the neat dye, all are mixes and everyone is different.  I may well be sharing more about this sequence at some point, but that's all for now, folks!

Thursday, 14 January 2010


Written during my enforced internet absence

When snow comes I hibernate.
Not for me the rides on sledges;
Snowballs aimed at laughing friends
Enjoying as they miss and shatter!

Snowmen rise above the snowdrifts -
Noses made from orange carrots.
No walks of pleasure just to view them,
Friendly chats with passers by.

Scarves and hats don't compensate
For cold and shiver, fingers blue.
Frozen milk and heat bills soaring -
Close the door and stay inside.

Rather just ignore the season
Slush and mess will come too soon
Spring is just around the corner
Life is promised then, anew.

(If you want more info on why I was missing in action follow this link)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Time for Colour (or even Color!)

What is the point of a journal if there is no colour?

Colour brightens the day, and if this was a paper journal I'm sure there would be colour on each page.

This is a piece of paper that is a 'work in progress'.  Eventually it will be the cover of a little book.  It may even be the cover of a book which will be part of a giveaway. The jury is still out on what exactly the giveaway will be, I've made one book, but then I had another idea for it (watch this space) so I will have to make something else.  As for this paper - it still needs more colour, but I want to think carefully before adding more.  Should it be more of the same, or something to unify?  Let's wait and see - often the best policy.  Sometime, somewhen, inspiration will strike and it will be just perfect....

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Thank you

10 things for which I am thankful and not listed in any particular order!

  1. Family
  2. Colour
  3. Warmth
  4. Health
  5. Friends
  6. Life
  7. Blogging
  8. My place in the World
  9. Space to create
  10. Inspiration
Some of these may sound trivial, but they are only part of the great number of things for which I can give thanks.   I am indeed blessed.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Things to do

Things I want to do this month (not neccesarily in this order!)

1  Eat more vegetables
2  Comment on at least one blog a day
3  Take a walk at least 3 times a week
4  Keep this journal
5  Take more photographs
6  Update at least one of my other blogs each day

7  Keep up with drawing practice
8  Make at least one book
9  Recycle more
10 Write a book for my grandson

Friday, 1 January 2010

What's it all about?

So what is a journal?  Is it a diary?  Is it a place for random thoughts and ideas?  This is where I plan to find out.  It may not match your idea, but surely that's exactly how it should be!

So who am I?


These are just some of my facets.  Let's see how many more you will discover.