30 Sep 2011


I'm off on my holidays tomorrow to the border country of Scotland. Today the temperature is 28F in the south of England - a real indian summer. I wonder what it will be in Scotland...

23 Sep 2011


I saw this incredible birch bark one day while out with my dogs but didn't have my camera. The next time I went on that walk I took my point-and-shoot camera and took these two photos. That was a mistake. The picture is nowhere near crisp enough and doesn't show the wonderful red colours running deep in the bark grooves. Still, the tree's going nowhere so next time I'll take my beloved Canon.

22 Sep 2011


This is what I did with the materials I collected together the other day. It's my first go at applique and the inspiration was the lake that I walk around each day with my dogs.

At this time of year it's crammed full of Canada Geese and I love their constant chatter and the sound of their wings as they fly overhead.

I think I have a colour balance problem here though I'm not quite sure how to improve it so at the moment I'm going to leave it alone and maybe come back to it when I've sat and looked at it for a bit.

16 Sep 2011


These are the fabrics I've chosen for my new stitching project. The silk strips are really difficult to work with because my fingers are so dry I keep getting stuck to the fabric! If anyone has any really good ideas of what to use as a deep moisturiser for hands I'd be grateful to hear.

This project is going to be an applique piece - another first for me!

13 Sep 2011


In my defense, I've only recently bought a sewing machine and am still getting to grips with it. It took me at least an hour to thread it up and another half hour to get the tension on the bottom bobbin right. In the end I took a photo of the bobbin and pasted it into my sketchbook so I have a visual record of which way the screw head points for this type of machining!

After all that, as you can see, I had trouble getting control of where the needle went. The idea was to sew a couple of circles just inside each fabric patch and then join them all with circular stitching outside of the circles. I think this is going to take as long to master as driving a car! I was a little more happy with the line of circular stitching on the left but I need to think more about stitch length and also buy some more threads so I have something that will show up better. The lines of hand stitching at the top were a breeze in comparison and I used some gorgeous hand-dyed linen thread from Stef Francis again. It varies between purple and orange. Unfortunately the scan (it's easier sometimes than photographing) doesn't pick up the subtle sheen on the thread.

I have so far to go, but I'm so enjoying playing!

9 Sep 2011


These are so pretty and delicate. Caught on the spikes of the dead teasels before they fly away into the wind to take seed ready for next year.

8 Sep 2011


I have no idea why I'm so drawn to photographing nature in decay but I just am. And I honestly think it's beautiful.

Summer's definitely over - the nights are longer, the temperature's lower and my beautiful dead things are slowly re-appearing.

6 Sep 2011


This is my stitched response to Kat's lovely photograph. I hope she likes it!  Fabrics are a hand-dyed openweave fabric from Stef Francis with a background of dupion silk. Applique felt and onion bag. Yarns and threads used are Stef Francis's hand-dyed 6-ply cotton, coton a broder and couched hand-dyed cotton texture yarn.

I used Kat's photo as an inspiration so this isn't representational!

2 Sep 2011


There are still lots of blackberries on the bushes but most of them are past their best. I need to pick loads to use for fabric dying experiments before they're completely over. Also elderberries although these are only just starting so I have some time.

I wonder how similar/different the colour from the two types of berry will be.  And I wonder how simple I can make the process. I believe salt can be used as a fixative for berry dyes so that's where I'll start.