Friday, 2 June 2017

Joyous, joyous, joyous colours

Times continue to be troubled, so pleasure must be found whenever we can. Glorious colour in a beautifully subtle installation at Weaving Magic by Chris Ofili in collaboration with the Dovecot Studios at the National Gallery.

Image result for weaving Magic
I now realise, seeing these colours, that this tapestry was on the loom when I last visited Dovecot. The translation of the original watercolour image in to the woven tapestry is a remarkable testament to the skill of the weavers. Free and on view until 28 August.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Good omens - spheres, hemispheres and almost circles

In these uncertain times, I am seeking good omens wherever I find them in my life. Yesterday, a charity shop find of beautiful yarn from Fyberspates, top, and Posh Yarn, 4 smaller balls. Bought in hanks and a meditative half hour last night spent winding them into balls.

Eight yolks from 6 eggs this morning (pavlova in the making)

Gloriously scented James Galway rose in bloom in the garden

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Unexpected outings, part 1, Manchester

I am working intermittently in Manchester until September.  This week, I discovered that the Whitworth Gallery is 5 minutes walk from where I am working. What a lunchtime treat.  The curators may have known I was coming - steel sculpture, intricate drawing, two textile artists, tranquil space, wonderful gardens. As I did not expect to be taking photos, I had no camera, only my phone, hence some wonky horizontals and verticals.

Tranquil spaces, and amusingly, labels on the walls giving details of the Little and Green paint colours used on the gallery walls


Garden glimpses


Steel sculpture by Anya Gallacio


Fabulous drawing by Deanna Petherbridge


and then Lucien Day


Followed by huge lengths of the astonishing printed fabric by Barbara Brown


Time after work, for a walk around Piccadilly Basin, along the canal. Great patterns in the ribs next to the lock gates to give grip while pushing


ribs of a different type.


Round the corner, some public murals - unexpected bluetit


and a calligram ( shape poem)  by the remarkable Lemn Sissay. ( Joyful things are found when looking up, rather than down at the phone or the map, when one is in an unfamiliar city)


sunset over the city rooftops


and so to bed.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Buried treasure

Not much time for stitching, as I am digging out a garden that has had no attention for over 20 years. Rubble pile so far
from these areas
has led to the discovery of rust dyeing treasure
The rest of the family think I am mad as I exclaim over rusty bits of barbed wire, broken horseshoes, rusty nails, steel wall reinforcing - rust dyeing plans are afoot!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Tulip flamboyance

I have been watching this tulip since the beginning of April as it becomes more and more extravagantly wonderful.  This may be the last photo as predicted rain and frost may finish it off this week. What dress inspiration this is.



Sunday, 16 April 2017


Weeds are flourishing in my garden, so I am obsessing over the shapes and colours of the tulips that I planted in pots in November. I can really understand how these flowers bankrupted so many people in the Netherlands in 1637.
These joyous colours keep me motivated as I dig out dandelions, alkanet ( longest root so far = 60cm, but I am not saving any of them for dyeing ) ground elder, buddleia, bramble, ground ivy and creeping buttercup.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

April journal - turning to fresh water

Blue-green algae

Journal quilt Apr 2017 Blue-green algae

Algal “blooms” form in both salt water and fresh water, but I wanted to focus on a microscopic form that grows in fresh water, hence blue-green algae.  While algae are needed and are beneficial in many aquatic ecosystems, excessive nitrogen and phosphorous, caused by farm or industrial run-off can cause overgrowth and “blooms”. These can be toxic, particularly to animals.

Hand-dyed fabric, experimenting with bobbin work, gathered ribbon, and chain stitch embroidery by machine ( great fun).