Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pop up shop

An overview of the pop up shop and a closer view of my little area. The enterprise has been extremely successful and a good showcase for artists in our county.
We have had such encouraging comments from customers many of whom would like us to be there all the time.
Last day is this Saturday.
I have been reading blogs, many people are so busy producing beautiful work, experimenting and doing a lot of thinking. I am having a little time out at the moment but still stitching quietly on pieces for next year.
I would like to wish my followers and those whom I follow a happy Solstice, Christmas or whatever you celebrate.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pop up shop

My little area in the shop, not very good photos as taken on my phone. My camera chose that moment to run out of batteries. The beautiful bulrushes are by Hayley ? I must check her surname, her work is beautiful. The ceramics are by Renee Kilburn, these are also very beautiful but difficult to see. When I next go in I will try to get some decent photos.

Back in the studio

Sea washed shells

In progress

Waiting to be washed, purple carrot dye
I am so pleased to be back in the studio, we have had a heating malfunction and it has been very cold in there. I am making a few small pieces for the North Somerset Arts pop up shop.
As you can see I have also been doing a little dyeing, we only get purple carrots in the shops at Halloween though I did try and grow them recently without much success. A vast difference in colour, the darkest blue is nettle yarn, the palest silk and the purple/browny colour is wool. I am hoping they will keep their colour once out of the washing machine.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Pop up shop

I was behind the counter on our first day, it was an amazing day and although totally exhausted had a great time. It was extremely busy with a constant flow of customers all day, most of whom were very complimentary.
Although I didn't sell any of my own work it was great to see individual artists work selling so well.
I was so busy I didn't get a chance to take any photos but I am there again on Thursday morning so will try to take a few then.
In the mean time I am producing a few smaller pieces that usually sell well, just to cover my costs.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014



This is a piece I am working on at the moment, I am still experimenting with eccentric weave and now with slits combined. When this come off the loom it will not lie flat, how exactly it comes out I will not know until I release it from being tensioned, I am very much enjoying doing these types of pieces and using up lots of small lengths of yarn at the same time.
I may have to put this on one side for a while though as I want to start on a larger piece. I have been invited along with my good friend Liz Hewitt to put on an exhibition at a disused quarry near where I live. It is now a nature reserve with artists studios and a cafe with gallery space. However this piece has been a fortuitous and invalable experiment into the style I wish to use for the larger piece which will be based on the cut face of the quarry.

Monday, 27 October 2014


It is time to stop procrastinating, stop reading blog posts, blow away the cobwebs and DO SOME WORK.
I am putting it off, why, because I collected my work from Ilminster on Saturday and hadn't sold anything, not even a card, it lowered my confidence in my work, which is never high in the first place.
I don't specifically produce work to sell but it still feels good when you do and bad when you don't.
Anyway I have to get over it, I am taking part in a pop up gallery which opens in two weeks, so I need to pull my self together and get going.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The dyeing time of year

 I haven't posted for a while as I am quietly working on pieces for an exhibition next year which I can't really show but now autumn has arrived and the leaves are turning. Unfortunately it is also wet and windy so we may not have them for long.

These are dyed with Sumac leaves, which just happened to belong to a branch lying by the side of the road. I would liked to have been able to collect more but I could sense I wasn't very popular with other road users.

The colour is slightly brighter than these pictures but I haven't washed them yet.

I also have a bag of oak leaves which my mum and aunt collected for me and I am hoping to do some prints on paper with rose leaves.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ilminster exhibition


A walk in the woods
 Sorry about the dreadful quality of the images, my camera decided to develop a glitch so these are taken on the other half's phone which is coming to the end of its life.
Anyhow my work and a few general views of the exhibition.

Add caption

Detail of A walk in the woods

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Peek preview


Whilst not blogging I completely forgot to mention that I made a skirt out of fabric I had dyed a while back. Its not perfect, its a long time since I have done any dressmaking but I am quite pleased with the result. The pattern is a Vogue pattern designer Marcy Hilton.

Silk skirt using eco dyed fabric
 It is mainly machine stitched but I top stitched all the seams using a running backstitch which I learnt from one of Jude Hill's online classes. Its a very useful stitch as it looks like running stitches but won't pucker or pull. I am hoping to wear the skirt to the preview of the exhibition by South West Textile Group in Ilminster on Monday evening.

Close up of handstitched top stitch
There will be a seperate entry with just a peek of my two pieces both of which I hope will be hung.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Next exhibition

Welcome to a new follower, and I haven't even been posting.
Next weekend I will be taking my work to Ilminster for our new exhibition, then at last I will be able to post some images of the work.
I am now working on the pieces for July next year. One piece will be approximately 4 metres long so I am sitting stitching every evening, I think I have nearly done a metre, it is completely neutral in colour, off white on off white so I am hoping it will work.
I have so many ideas in my head they are toppling over but I must concentrate on work with deadlines as well.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


 We have just got back from a few days in Dungeness, Kent. This is a unique area that has something like 30 per cent of our native flora, the whole area is a nature reserve, and yes it does also have a nuclear power station. I fell in love with it at first sight though I do realise that miles of shingle may not be everybody's cup of tea.
The photos are just a small selection of the ones I took just to give a flavour of the area. It is also rust heaven. Its just laying about everywhere and there are loads of rusty old boat winches at intervals along the beach.

Sea cabbage 

Tracks from the lifeboat cradle

This is still an active fishing area

Derek Jarmans house
The tradional houses are more like overgrown sheds and would have belonged to the fishermen. They are mostly painted black and there are still some beautiful modern versions with picture windows being constructed. This one belonged to Derek Jarman the film producer, he made a beautiful garden which the current residents are keeping up. Most of the houses don't have boundary lines so it is difficult to know if are intruding on to somebody's land but some of the other gardens are very attractive, hard to acheive in such a hostile landscape.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Proud Mum

If you have been watching The Mill on Channel 4 in the UK or are interested in industrial history or textiles watch The Real Mill on More4 at 9pm tonight. I am shamelessly promoting this as my son was involved in the making of it.
He also has two films showing at the Venice Film Festival next week.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

I think its over

Rust on silk

You may have noticed that I work in bouts of activity. I think this one may be over. I have finished all my little projects and probably will be having a break from dyeing experiments.

I will be working in the background on various on going projects but may not be blogging for a little while.

Dyeing yarn

Well who would have guessed that dead buddleia heads would produce this beautiful mustard yellow.
from left to right silk, white wool, the thread that India Flint uses, off white wool and off white silk no mordant was used. 
The recipe for this came from Jenny Dean's new book, A Heritage of Colour.
 I haven't washed to yarns yet so they may lighten also they are not very evenly dyed as I had too much stuff in the dye pot but I don't mind that.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A little something I have also been working on.

Wall with ivy

Close up

Close up
Evening sewing with various scraps, gifted, dyeing experiments and old clothes. The ivy is cut from a favourite skirt that literally fell to pieces.

Woven cloth sampler

Sampler of cloth weaving techniques from
 Jude's class

Close up

Close up

I tried to post two of these on the Forum over at Jude's but they wouldn't send, to big for my email I think, so anyway now they are here.
I had fun doing this though didn't have an embroirdery hoop so the thread weaving is a bit wonky.
I may even get round to turning it into a cushion cover one of these days.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Some more results from our fun day.

Rose leaves and fushia flowers in silk

Top wallflowers and onion skins, left wallflowers in copper bath
right euculyptus print overdyed with wallflowers in copper bath

detail wallflowers on silk

detail euculytus overdyed with wallflowers on silk

all of the above metal objects bundled with day lilies in wool
Not bad results from the bundling, very pleased with the wallflowers, you can't really see the full effect from the photos, these have not been washed yet but if the colour holds I think my flowerbeds may be full of wallflowers next year. These were frozen, the original colour was a very dark red, which turned purple when bundled and predominately green when cooked, interesting.
and some rust dyeing as well


houses and a moon?
One rusty piece is still in the garden, the cloth was soaked in salt water and then brushed with tea once bound up, put in a plastic bag and left outside for a week. They have all been hand washed, even the paper, Khadi paper is very strong.
These are odd small remnants of cotton.