an artists' view

an artists' view

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Sometimes......I just don't know what's going on.
Last year my mum died; 2 good friends died. The year before, my long-term relationship ended. It's been a tough couple of years. I've tried to keep on; get through it all, and hope that things will get better.
Keep faith, and hope, and love.
And today; an e.mail from another good friend; she's got breast cancer. Massively intensive/invasive treatments ahead. She's a fantastic woman. Loving; caring; compassionate; committed to making a difference in the world. My heart breaks for her; for her family, and her friends. What a bloody, horrible day. I am so tired of all these deaths.
All my friends who've had/are having serious, life-threatening illnesses. Oh when, WHEN will there be good news?

Saturday, 17 May 2014

tree dressing

Yesterday I went out with my friends, Gail and Emma, to some local woods, where we did some simple tree dressing. Gail and Emma had been on a day workshop a few weeks earlier, and thought they'd like to do something creative in the countryside. They invited me; so I did a quick stitched piece that included a heart-shape (seems to be my current theme!) and decided to include an acrostic poem; one which spells out a word made from the beginning letters of each line). 
 Here's the oak tree I attached both pieces to; either side of the trunk.
Last winter I made lots of these small fabric decorations, instead of xmas cards, for friends and family. I have some left, so thought it would be nice to take one for this outing. After all, they were designed for (xmas) trees!
 Gail did this; tissue and flour and water glue; TRUST.
 Emma took a simple and effective red ribbon. Tucked away, discreet.
And this is the landscape I visisted on Wednesday, when I went on a 'Wild Drugs' walk with Sue Salmon, a medical herbalist. She talked about the many different herbs and plants which grew wild, that could help to heal us. We've been using them for millennia; so they work very well with our bodies. They are compatible with us. Some of the plants she mentioned, nettle, plantain, dandelion, all grow in my garden. I was moved to consider using them. So if anyone complains about the weeds in my garden, I shall explain I am cultivating them for a purpose!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Fragment of one of my small samplers. Top right, some tweed from my dad; top left black cotton discharged with bleach; bottom; a lovely old hankerchief which has original embroidery on it that I've embellished. It was put into an avocado, and put into the compost heap last year. The blotches come from that process. This is one more work in progress........ 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

dyed threads

Those wooden stirrers that you get in cafes; the ones that have inbuilt disposability; replacing spoons, to stir our drinks. Those things....that I can't bear to chuck case they come in for something!
Well......they've come in for something!
I save them, and then all the thread I use to wrap up my cloth bundles, or odd bits I drop into dye-baths, I wind around the wooden slats.
The more earthy tones I've got from the plant dye-pots I've done. The brighter colours came from when I was using dyes on the course last year. But the central 'yellow-y' colour comes from thread dyed in pomegranate. Very different result from the silk I dyed in pomegranate, which came out much more brown.

Ps; what's wrong with spoons?

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Standedge Tunnel Marsden

 Withy tunnel, of willow, at Standedge Visitor's Centre, Marsden.
 Standedge Tunnel, Marsden.
Up high in the Pennines, on the border, between Yorkshire and Lancashire.
The river at Marsden, tumbling over the weir. We went on Easter Monday, a couple of weeks ago. It was a gorgeous sunny day....surprising for a bank holiday! And now we have another bank holiday, so I'm in the garden, tending.
And stitching!

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