Wednesday, 26 September 2012


tomorrow we leave for the annual pilgrimage to the Lakes, via Hodgkinson's

there will be tranquility, flowing water, hills, trees, clumps of walkers, great great space and quiet. I'm hoping we are strong enough to walk through some of it this year, but my feet aren't too robust at the moment, and neither is my good soul's knee

today there were
seagulls wheeling

the faintest of ice~bows

piles of light

far flying

crows heading for their roosts
and the wind rushed about the world, tossing the treetops, flinging leaves through the air, 
while a thrush really did sing, just before the storm swept almost horizontally across the landscape, washing the sun drenched fields
and a rainbow
leapt into the sky
and mirrored itself, just for us, because were were there

I may be off line for a while, but I promise I'll be enjoying myself

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

dyeing drying

We really did have a delightful time with Christine yesterday. A select group, all enthusiastic, each with our own ideas and reasons for being there.

As you can see the workshop is a lovely place, full of light (much brighter than it appears in this picture), well set up and with plenty of space for being everything from very precise to making a mess. Rubber gloves are essential at least for some part of the day!

I had come with my pre prepared Shibori as I knew what I wanted to do with some of my cloth - still Harry and Connie's sheets by the way! (I really should get round to telling you about them). But I brought some along as well to play with as well.
One particularly contorted preparation took life, Pygmalion like, and marched across the table! OK, it's not quite Burne Jones, but ... maybe, a giraffe or two?

There were a number of other bits of tying, wrapping, rubber banding, kebab sticking and otherwise manipulating fabric. My final show of things ready for pots various looked like this
Because there were four of us and Christine there was room for more than two colours each, in fact there were a whole variety of dye colours to choose from once we'd all made our own colour decisions
And once brought home, rinsed, rinsed again, then run through a hot but not boil wash, all these varied colours and patterns emerged from the washing machine.

Kebab sticks folded randomly into fabric
purple in the pot, it has washed to a rather pleasant blue
I've included all my bits there, with apologies for the odd layout. I find Blogger a bit eccentric about where it puts stuff sometimes!
The stitched Shibori

folded, rolled then alternately
knotted and rubber banded

The linen took up very little colour

The silk, on the other hand, was delightful. These bits
were wrapped around the bit of blue pipe above

goldfish or autumn leaves
round acetate pieces each side of folded cloth,
elastic banded, not clamped


a faint hint of moon

crumple wrapped in a stocking

can you see the face peering out at the top?

layered whirligigs twisted and bundled into a fruit next
if you enlarge you can see the mesh in the outer corners

lolly sticks and fan folding then the triangles of the
other stitched piece. The stitches didn't show

and finally - the giraffe - explosions of green!

What delights for a day of fun.

Oh, and in the last class, Christine emphasised how important it is to clean your machine between each project
a bit of fluff
She was right

Sunday, 23 September 2012


Tomorrow, I'm going to my next workshop at Studio 11. Colourfun, once a month for the coming year. What pleasures to come!

The first session is resist dying, which was what I did for the mini quilt workshop, so I've been preparing.
pre-stitched/tied pieces waiting for tomorrow

I've done
cotton stitched in wavy lines, with points pulled up to make spiderswebs

the wavy lines all drawn up into exotic looking ruches

Silk wound round a plastic tube, then bound with, in the one case, fine cotton, in the other, rough thick twine. I'm interested in how the different binders affect the pattern; whether the texture of the twine will appear in the resist.

 More cotton, a strip this time, folded into triangles, concertina style, then stitched right through at the borders with, perhaps, the arms of a snowflake pattern. The stitching then drawn up on two sides, and on the snowflake arms, for texture. I'm hoping the stitches on the long edge will resist right through and leave a little ant trail at the folds end make the final arms of the snowflake. Alternatively, there'll be a jumble of textures, reading as nothing!

Then there's the old linen tea towel, probably Ganna's; folded, again concertina style, (linenfold) then folded again and wrapped, not too tight, with a rubber band
Lastly, some leaves, perhaps, or maybe little fish ...
stitched into the single layer of fabric, drawn up tight and tied off, with a little spin round the nubbin for added texture
 then I pleated (as best I could) the fabric across it's width, leaving the little nubbins sticking out. We'll see.

Where are the ideas coming from? From Janice Gunner's Shibori for Textile Artists. It is full of so many interesting things. You may remember the video I posted on Shibori a while back. It's the Japanese art of tying  binding, pleating and otherwise adding resists to cloth with thread, clamps and "stuff". Having absorbed plenty from Christine's last workshop, I really wanted to have some ready prepared cloth as well as doing some more folding and clamping tomorrow, with the other bits of cloth I've not shown you!

I wonder what pictures I'll be posting on Tuesday!


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another transformation
almost Suffolk Pink

Monday, 17 September 2012

a little time with slow trees

A number of things are giving me delight in the garden at the moment;

Woodpecker is getting bolder, perching at the very top of the two tall spruces, even when we are in the garden. Hawthorn berries are dancing down onto "Things Stored Behind the Shed", pinging off the ladder, knocking on wood

the tomatoes are ripening and butterflys flutter by in delighted, tumbling clusters, shimmering over the verbena's purple nodding heads
Today after work, I spent some time talking with my slow trees
fly away
Pruning; editing; no wiring, it seems too forced; just taking what nature offers and refining it to a more considered shape. Asking them how they feel; what's rubbing, what's blocking the light, how air could circulate more freely, which branch is feeling awkward

slightly less fuzzy!

 being quietly, midfully outside, you notice the planes flying overhead, on their way to Gatwick or Heathrow
and the sunset this evening was simply lovely
Tomorrow, this blog will be two years old!