Sunday, 16 April 2017

I've been mulching

Which makes me sound like a ruminant in a field. Actually, it's just spreading stuff on the ground to feed the soil and suppress the weeds. Should be done in Spring and Autumn. 

I garden in little bits, it suits my state of health to do, say half and hour, then stop and rest, then go back and do a little more. I've had this on the go for the past two weeks I think; I dig a little bit, pull out as much weed as possible, on hands and knees, working bare hand if necessary, round those delicate things you find when you are close to the ground, self seeded thises and thats, which need careful fingers about them to ensure that encroaching grass doesn't grab them too, as you pull it out.


The mulch is a mixture or garden centre bought stuff, dark rich brown and very most; then some leaf mould collected a couple of years ago, stored in a plastic bag to rot down until ready; add some ground up prunings that have been sitting in a black bin for a couple of years; stir in some birdsong and fresh air and there you are, a lovely soft brown blanket to snuggle around the plants and keep the moisture in.



In this area I haven't even finished the weeding, 


but I've cleared round Mum's tree and the azaleas and given each a good spread of the brown stuff. I'll tackle the weeds again tomorrow


Lovely

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Some garden for Els

Els does the most wonderful stitching, and felting, and drawing and knitting aaaaaaand gardening. This post caught my eye, as I had just come in from taking photos in our garden, hundreds of miles away ...

here they are Els

fritillaria


green



the old dears


moist and mossy


full of light


and shadow


Monday, 10 April 2017

free flight

buzzard and seagull vying for space as Spring surges


a little breath of wind


a flutter in the undergrowth



light held so delicately




I have had increasing tooth problems in the past couple of weeks and months - two abscesses, two extractions, much lowness of spirit, some forbearance;

I'm on the mend

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Weaving progress and goodbye

I'm very much enjoying my weaving. I keep having to unweave and reweave as I go wrong. But I'm happy with where this is going, and am learning a lot. 


Because I'm doing the 1YearofStitches2017 project it is an easy transition moving from one thing to the next: because you are in the same room; because you see it awaiting your touch; because you have awoken the inner whatever; because colour and texture are there calling to you. 

Part of that daily practice opening doors.

We had the funeral service for Cecil this week, a gentle saying goodbye for a very few of us. Pen lead the service, as she did for Mum. She is exactly who you want to help say goodbye to someone you've loved; her kind heart shines out, she is reverent, firm, gentle in her words, gently humorous too, all expressed through the foundation of being that is her faith.

When I stitched that afternoon, I nestled in some last seeds, dispersing in the spring breeze amongst the ripe buds of new beginnings, life always arising in the release of old life passing. Part of letting go of a beautiful person, adding a little memorial - not to remember her by, she is engraved on my heart, but to say

"this person meant something"




Robin Moon


This little chap was singing his spring heart out as I walked down to the seaside last night

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Practice too

One of the pleasures of Christine's classes is the lunch time discussion. Last time we talked about the benefits of using sketchbooks and also a daily practice like 1 year of stitches. In both you take yourself out of, analytical, active rational brain mode, which tends to predominate in our day to day lives, and relax into doing and being mode. We talked about the way this sort of practice can release creativity. One of our class members was very dubious so it's got me thinking about it as I stitch or weave. What is happening here?

I would liken it, in part, to the hours spent practicing scales, arpeggios, five finger excercises and then my pieces, when I learnt the piano. I think in part you are developing muscle memory; allowing your body to do just this thing, whatever it is, without thinking about the why. You are being with your needle and thread, piano keys, the shading in this bit of the sketch, these colours of weft and the rhythm of the weave. You are getting into the zone.

But the other thing that is happening is that the act of doing allows the subconscious to make associations: it resembles when you're trying to remember something, and the minute you stop trying it pops into your head, or a day later, or the following week. The trying can act as a block, but in doing, you are opening yourself to the possibility of something, without worrying about what.

With my tapestry weaving, still very much in its infancy, I am just watching what happens as I work. My fingers are learning the shape of the weft on the loom, my eyes are absorbed in colour and form, I have a sort of plan, but mostly I am learning how to do that thing; how to make shapes, to change colours, to put colours together.

So, having noticed that my weaving wasn't covering the warp threads, I loosened out my tension, creating "bubbles" to allow the yarn to flex at round the warp, shown here before beating down.


Then I realised that my weaving was putting on weight, a diet was needed. I had begun with three colours, one thread of each, to allow a level of refinement in the shading ....... however


So I cut down to two colours on the go at a time, with the odd insertion of a single pass, or half pass in a different colour, just to see what will happen.


And meanwhile the sort of design, shady in the back of my mind, continues to emerge


Likewise, with my stitching ......