Thursday, 1 December 2016

A wedding

Back in the summer, I had the chance to make use of some of that shibori I mentioned in my last post. Remember those bits I bundled up; a silk scarf clamped with tool packaging and another piece of silk scrunched into a mesh laundry bag with a marble or two for extra interest? Well, the scarf came out like this


with lovely flashes of turquoise 


little inadvertent birds, where the crescents were clamped at the edge - excuse the lack of ironing!


and the other piece of silk was transformed into a ring pillow - with a pocket on the front made from a piece of my Mum's wedding dress when she married my Dad


and some Celtic spirals in silk velvet for the back - not the easiest of material to sew - I nearly got rather cross after the n'th time of unpicking .......


All the angst was worth it though, as it meant that my daughter and new son-in-law's rings could be transported safely and presented to them at their wedding at the end of August in Bodiam Castle


The day was beautiful in all sorts of ways, the weather was glorious, the location so very right for them, the guests were terrific fun and the rather lovely medieval attire that some of us wore gave the whole ceremony the perfect atmosphere. 

Here's Jen with her groom, best man and her Dad looking proud


me doing my mother of the bride bit


the ring bearer, bridesmaids, man of honour and Jonathan's sister looking properly medieval


and Jen and Jonathan exchanging rings and looking very much in love


What a wonderful day it was, and what a pleasure that I could contribute with  little bit of hand dyed, hand stitched frivolity to hold the symbols of thier vows. Something new and blue, Jen's dress - something borrowed, the chaplet of flowers kindly donated by our neighbour, and something old, that little bit of wedding fabric, folded and stitched into a pocket so that Jen's much loved Granny Rose could be there in spirit.

Today it is her birthday - 30 years since she wriggled and slid into this world. Ganna and Mum used to recite this slightly twee Victorian poem by George MacDonald to each other, adn me - twee but heart warming - I can still hear their voices, smiles in the reciting - poetry was a great love of thiers

Baby

George Macdonald (1824–1905)


WHERE did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand strok’d it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-corner’d smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs’ wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?

God thought about you, and so I am here.



Friday, 28 October 2016

Her Ladyship's trousers - update

What with all the travelling and a very significant wedding, of which more later, I've not been updating as much as I should. So, there will be an update on the tool packaging shibori, but first I have finished "Her Ladyship's Trousers". The shibori dyeing on the hems went really well. As I'd hoped, bundling them together allowed the dye to wick upwards in some wonderful wiggles that echo the shibori patterning. This is achieved by regular lines of running stitch pulled up tight; the way the stitches relate to one another determines the pattern, so all in a line would have given me a grid pattern, but here, where I have staggered the placing, I get a lovely irregular ripple


obligingly, (and of course, due to careful placement of trousers in bucket) these have stayed pretty well level across both legs


so I now have a lovely full pair of comfy casual linen trousers to wear around the house, with a graded dye effect from the hem upwards - oh, and a couple of incidental rainbows from the crystal which hangs in the window


Even more pleasing - I had to shorten the elastic round the waist; I'm slimmer than I thought :-)

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

South Africa

Oh my goodness, we've been away! Away for almost two whole weeks in South Africa, and it has been extraordinary. I'm not sure what I can tell you, there is so much to say; the thoughts, words, memories still tumbling around in my head. We were visiting my dear heart's neice Jenny and her husband. His daughter Kerry and her husband came along too, to celebrate a significant birthday, so six of us have been travelling around seeing both wild Africa and big city Cape Town. The contrasts have been immense in so many different ways that I think I am still processing them, and will probably do so for some time to come; we packed so much in.


So, wild Africa. We stayed a couple of nights with Jenny at her home and took the time there to visit the Lesedi Cultural Village taking the tour around the village and hearing about the main tribes who comprise the original peoples of the area. We also visited the Cradle of Humankind museum, with it's fascinating displays on the history of our origins in Africa


Then we visited the elephant sanctuary at Hazyview, where elephants are cared for and in turn provide we humans with the opportunity to experience close up these dignified and imposing animals. As we were sitting in a clearing, listening to our guide tell us about the sanctuary, I turned to find the two resident elephants being led by their handlers into the space where we were sitting. My whole body tingled with awe as they quietly moved in before us and stood patiently while we were allowed to come up close and touch them, and be touched by them in an elephant "kiss". Later we were able to "take them for a walk" two by two, holding on to the tip of their trunk while their warm moist breath washed over our hands, and then most exciting of all, I was able to mount onto a great broad back, perched behind the handler, and feel the immense power as I was taken for a short walk in the bush, his inbreath and outbreath and rolling shoulders rising and falling beneath me.


After all that excitement it was time to set off on the long drive north to the Kruger Park. There we stayed in two areas; to begin with, a night in the Kruger itself, then two nights in the lovely Nkorho Bush Lodge, where we were fed delicious food, housed in delightful accommodation and taken on drives in the bush to see such a range of animals, so close, that I was breathless. I can't possibly show you all the photos I took - there were over 1,000 of them, but here are a few to give you a taste of the African Bush - unforgettable

Elephant crossing - with friend


 Zebra


 Giraffe


 Buffalo, of which we saw many


a very little elephant


Rhino from the front


and behind


 a beautiful leopard, just out for an evening hunt - tracking him caused much excitememnt


and some very bored lions, who had had buffalo for breakfast


just chilling in the shade - they were there the following day as well


Such beauty


Autumn skies dyeing

Another recent bit of dyeing, kept until now as it was intended as a gift for someone.  A silk scarf for my dear heart's neice who did so much to make our recent holiday a fine and full one, with so many excitements!






Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Shibori Mandelbrot

Remember them? The wonderful joys of fractal generation on early PCs!

Els, you'll like this one


And a sneak preview of the other - Autumn skies shibori



Sunday, 2 October 2016