Thursday, 29 May 2008

Oh, to be in England............... that Spring is here.   The countryside is lush green, and very,very wet.  Yesterday torrential rain - and where was I?    In a tent, of course, by the duck pond in the childrens' farm play area at Stewarts Garden Centre.     Towards the end of the day the duck pond began to invade the tent.  Should have worn wellington boots!

Dyeing station

View from the tent

The ducks loved it

I had visitors to dye t shirts, in between times the farm cat kept me company.   She was not too keen on the rain, but simply loved the fact that she had a padded seat in a tent for goodness sake.

Thelma was not impressed.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Playing with blogger

Or displacement activity.   Finally sorted out the links page - more to be added soon - and I have a neo counter.   Which looks a bit sad with only one visitor, and that's me!  It might have to go!!!!!


A basket of fine muslin shibori scarves

A basket of plain dyed crinkle muslin scarves

Indigo weekend - day two.   Rust dyeing and colour stripping dyed cloth from day one.   Perfect timing, cold and rain during the morning - after lunch the sun came out, fabulous -  hot and steamy for the final dips in the indigo vat. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Out and about

Having spent weeks 'doing' in my room, I have escaped to the outside world.   Create Contemporary craft show was great.   Weather perfect, if a tad hot in the marquee, but I am not complaining.   Met old friends and made new ones - sales of scarves, dyed threads and one quilt.

The shibori demos pretty busy, but great fun.   Seventy plus 'new' dyers went off clutching precious little bags of their own shibori fabric.

Keith went off to Turkey for a week, playing golf with his chums.  Days to 'play' and prepare for the next workshop at the end of the week with Bridport West Country Embroiderers.

A grand day, all working hard on stitched, bound and folded resist.  Some impressive samples at the end of the day.
Difficult to take photos when immersed in teaching, and controlling the dye pots, but here are four pieces of arishi -
pole wrapping.

My next workshop takes place this weekend - over two days we will cover indigo, rust and colour stripping.   I so enjoy getting the indigo vats going again, a sign that the warmer weather is/has arrived.    Keeping an eye on the weather, which doesn't look too good at the moment!

My usual form of indigo powder is no longer available, so I have granules.  On Saturday I thought it a good idea to try them out, it looked good, no time to try it out, except to dip a strip of cotton to test the colour  On Sunday I had an impromptu Indigo day and invited two friends round to be my 'guinea pigs' and share the vat.  We had such fun, the garden turned into a sea of blue.
Liz and Betty with Rabari woven wool shawl - originally cream with bright woven borders

Detail of texture

Some bolsters I made earlier.   Stitch resist - ammonites, starfish and fish

Now to prepare for Dorset Arts Week

Monday, 19 May 2008

Long time - no blogging

It was always going to be a hectic May, and I am so pleased we escaped to Suffolk for two days at the beginning of the month.  Not only was it a Bank Holiday weekend, the weather was fantastic.  

We stayed in a delightful village with our friends Mary and Andrew, not too far from Aldeburgh where Mary and I went to school together.  A lot of catching up to do whilst the boys took part in a charity golf match to raise money for the church roof.   

A spring meadow with cowslips.

Swiss chard growing in Mary's garden - wonderful colours.   

And, of course, sheep!
Two of Andrew's ewe, waiting for their supper.

Mary and I had a great day our visiting Snape Maltings, now home of the Aldeburgh Festival, situated on the river Alde.  Oh, those fabulous big skies, and reed beds stretching into the distance, with glimpses of Suffolk churches on the horizon.   Lots of interest here, art galleries, craft centres, bookshops. etc.  Amazingly, apart from purchasing a few inspirational postcards, I controlled myself.  Sort of tempted in the clothes shop, but the prices were prohibitive!

On to Aldeburgh to have a mooch around the town and along the seafront.  Nothing that much has changed in the town since I was a child - the main difference, the cars parked everywhere.  

Behind the fishermans' hut.
Not unlike the state of my workroom on a good day.

Looking from Aldeburgh north to Thorpness, about three miles away, is the majestic sweep of shingle and the North Sea. Not to mention Sizewell B in the distance!      About five years ago, Maggie Hambling"s Scallop was installed midway.   This still arouses great emotions from those who think it spoils the vista. It has been vandalised many times, still remains of paint can be seen.    So, viewing the Scallop with an open mind, what did I think? 

Magnificent - from a distance it could be driftwood, nearer, perhaps a boat wreck on the beach.   Close up - wow.

The Scallop, as viewed from the sea side.
From the land side,  
The words written across the top read - I hear those voices who will not be drowned.  It was made with Sam and Dennis Pegg.  I went to school with his sister, Pamela.  Their house was next to the school, and his father was also a blacksmith.

What nicer after a busy day to return to Earl Soham, meet up with the boys in the Queen Vic, supping beer brewed in the village - perfect!