Thursday, 26 November 2015


 considering the day ahead

early morning at the vegetable market

kota dora loom weights

weaver at work


girl with sewing machine

just what you need to start the day!

Monday, 23 November 2015


welcoming Rangoli patterns on front doorsteps
beautifully made with coloured powder

Tech note - Instagram still in teething stages

A rest day today at the Most Exotic Marigold Hotel.    It's quiet, only us, the Manager and the builders.    So funny last night we had supper in the newly build restaurant (avoiding the large hole that will become the swimming pool).  Furnished in an equestrian style, complete with a view into one of the stables, housing a big black horse.   Guess what we watched?   The second Marigold Hotel film, the horse enjoyed it too.

Two weeks on the road

What a fortnight it has been.   After a a few days meeting and greeting in Udaipur, we set off in a southerly direction to the next state,  Madra Predesh.   On Diwali - were we mad, yes I think so.    The roads crowded with every form of transport you could think off, each vehicle held more people than possible, all wanting to be home with their families.

We thought the journey might take eight hours.  Ha, ha!    Some roads were brilliant, others full of potholes.  We had frequent breaks for chai and birdwatching, yummy curries in road side Dhabas.

No. 1 rule when travelling on the road, never travel after dark.   That went out of the window.

Arrived in Indore at 8pm, continued for another hour and meeting up with our host in Satawab to find everything was closed for Diwali and our host hadn't finished building the guest bungalow.  Ah, this in India.  Tomorrow is another day and we plan to visit the ancient city of Mandu, a mere five hours away.

Diwali Cows and a goats

Saturday, 31 October 2015

'tis the season

A beautiful warm blue sky day so we are in and out of the 
garden, putting it to bed, so to speak.

the beech tree is tall and beautiful

not entirely sure what this little shrub is called
it's been in the garden for ages and this year
it is very red, which is just what it said on the 
now lost label

food for the birds
the holly trees are also loaded with berries
sign of a bad winter?  hope not

I had a mad idea yesterday - I joined Instagram.   Hours were spent trying to paste
the 'button' on my blog.  I gave up.   Today, as if by magic, there it is.     

Only a 'testing' photo right now, however, we are off to India at the end of
the week and I thought Instagram might be a fun way to record our trip.
Blogging on the go just takes up too much time, that is if you can get
a good connection to start with!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

October Happenings

My last Summer 2015 workshop 'Messy Day' also known as Chaos Printing.   I like the sound of that.    It is messy, but in a creative way!    Stamps were made from thin foam, potatoes and found objects.

evidence of potatoes and foam printing blocks

printed papers using a variety of tools 

it was a great day

I dyed up a special order for threads - a little different than usual

Earth tones

the colour palate

the threads

loved the results


fish are swimming
a little kantha stitching for quiet moments
see how the needle is bending nicely!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

about time I hear you say

What have I been doing - not blogging obviously.

My room is transformed from a mess to an oasis of calm.    No piles of things to do, 
or boxes containing 'stuff'   All is pared down to essentials.  It's a good place to be.

It calmed me down.  I took the slow road through August, no rush.
Reading, gardening, relaxing by the sea and a little stitching

summer flowers

there was an indigo workshop 
hot and humid, just perfect 

the vat at the end of the day

it was still going strong 

In September, the String of Elephants workshop and some birds too.

that was fun

Little kantha bags with the lovely ladies, and young
embroiderers of Frome Embroiderers' Guild

followed by Canford Needlework Festival
a fabulous day meeting old friends and new
(had to jump of the slow road that weekend)

on my birthday we discussed perhaps a week on a Greek Island or
a few days in Normandy, instead we went on a day trip to the 
Isle of Wight to visit Osborne House.  

We found the paintings of Rudolf Swoboda who, in1886 was
commissioned by the Queen to paint a series of portraits illustrating 
the nationalities of India.  They are stunning, painted on wood
panels measuring 30x20 cm.    In 2002 the National Gallery, London
exhibited the portraits, the only time they have left Osborne House.
I found a copy of the catalogue (An Indian Encounter) on Amazon,
 and so did Keith. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


The decorating is done.    Downsizing contents of room, tick.   An amazing amount of paper work, reference materials (collected from the early '90's) about to be shredded in our new shredding machine.  I mean, ideas move on and the internet is a wonderful resource.

Boxes of materials hoarded over the years.   Oh, so 20th century!   Just let it go.

Now lean and mean in the studio.   Space to think creatively.   

All the fabric in boxes has been sorted and are (a) on holiday in the textile bank, or, (b) washed  and ironed ready to be used.

I am down to two boxes of bits and gatherings.    This is where I am going to have to be very strong!   There are just some things you can't let go.   

So it might be that this collection can be reduced and then stored in the loft.  It is fortunate that Keith has decided the time has come to get rid of old studio paperwork in the loft.  Good timing!

There have been days off to get out and about.    A wonderful day in Bath with Amanda;   a family visit to Kimmeridge  - fishing, rock pools and fossil hunting

a stone with seaweed impressions on the shore at Kimmeridge
it looks as though it is printed and is quite beautiful
(size 19 x 19)

hope you are all enjoying your summer, whatever the weather