Saturday, 26 May 2012

five stones ready to skim across The Big Pond 
for Jude Hill's Magic Feather Project

Friday, 25 May 2012

time to ponder

I am loving this weather.   I feel energised.   The long blue sky hot days are full.
Tending the gardening, stitching in the shade, and, late afternoon finding time
to wake up the vat.

I have been thinking 'what if's'

putting paper under the fabric when drawing batik lines
and then dipping it into the vat?

starting the line on a scrap of fabric so I can
capture the moon flowers?

printing with old potatoes found in The Big Shed

this morning an early trip to Wimborne Market, the first 
time this year sans coat and fingerless mittens

we bought tomato, pepper and bedding plants
plus herbs, dill, coriander and French parsley

now to some housework, we have guests this weekend.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Suddenly it's Summer

Shibori Sun
with a little help from Photoshop

it is glorious and we have been waiting so long

on Sunday I shuffled between the indigo vat and the washing line
the vat lasted long enough produced a good basket of blue

the Indigo Store is ready to go

a little gardening is now on the agenda
indigo plants need larger pots
Dyers Chamomile needs tender care, after
almost drowning last week

and then I might just sit in the sun


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

what's in the shoebox?

It's one of those days where you can't quite get round to doing anything in 
particular.    Clearing paperwork, reorganising shelves and boxes filled the 
morning.   This afternoon I found a shoebox tucked away on top of a cupboard.   

Inside, I discovered............

a quilt top

About six years ago I took two two hour workshop classes with local
school children.  They were all around eight years old, and I had  twenty
of them in each session!  They were given four squares each of cotton 
sateen.   I demonstrated simple shibori patterns.  After binding, folding or
scrunching their squares, we had the excitement of the indigo vat. 

A week later, at their school, they stitched their four squares together.   
I took the piles of squares home, and stitched them into five panels
prior to making a kimono.  Is it still hanging in the school hall?!!

No photos of course of the children creating, which is a shame. although 
there must be a photo of the kimono somewhere in my records.   This
all took place pre-Blog, which is a very good reason indeed to blog.  

However, the quilt top is made up of left over squares.  Now the 
top has reappeared, it has to be finished.  No more lurking in a shoebox.
Many happy memories of the children working away;  the excitement of
the vat, and finally undoing the resists. Their squares were wonderful.

I also sorted out my indigo fabric, need more plains.   I can't wait for
the sun to shine, it just has to be warm enough for a quick dash in
and out to the vat.   No leisurely hanging of cloth on hedges!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

magnificent mosaics

and here I should acknowledge the images are courtesy of Keith,
who is a professional photographer and has a really good camera!
you might like to check out his website under Photographic 
Pictures, in a day or two when he should have downloaded
his images of Istanbul

Byzantine mosaics were designed to be seen in lamp or candle light, to show off  the
workmanship to it's best advantage.  Flickering light reflected in the pieces of glass 
and gold.   Now we have to rely on natural light and imagine the effect which, must have
been fabulous.     They are set high up, a neck craning experience.

the Virgin Mary

Emperor Constantine IX

Empress Zoe

Empress Irene

painted mural of an angel
one of four on each corner
just under the main dome

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Wandering around Sultanamet

the Egyptian Obelisk, The Hippodrome
sixteenth century BC
taken at night it looks like a lollipop

an owl on the obelisk, taken in the morning
owls are busy during the night

carpet cushions

details of a carpet - possibly not Turkish
it reminds me of wedding blankets from Mesopotamia

Monday, 14 May 2012


Home again to rain and cold.  Having said that it seems to have been a very 
sunny weekend in Dorset! 

In Istanbul cloudy skies in the morning gave way to sunny afternoons .  Outside in the
evening eating meze, accompanied by a bread called 'poof', think a very large pitta 
blown up like a balloon(!)   Watching the world go by.

One of my favourite sites is Aya Sofya, once a Byzantine church; ransacked in 1204
during the 4th Crusade;  in 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror had the idolatrous images
covered over, and 'he said his first prayer there on the following Friday'.  But a tiny
potted history! 

It continued as a mosque until 1932.  It is now a museum.   From the outside it looks
as though dodgy builders have been at work.  So many extensions.  Inside, under the
domed basilica, there are marble and mosaics, paintings and blue tiles from Iznik.
It's interesting to see the layers of history, and amazing that they have survived at all.

looking up to the first gallery

the second gallery and part of the dome

blue marble panel

blue tiles from Izmit

images from a calligraphy exhibition
with unintended reflections

detail of red stylized tulip

feeling thirsty?

marble niche with basin,
copper jug and tap
the Hand of Fatima is in
control of the water flow

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Grand Escape

with one just one click, we are off to Istanbul for a long weekend

I love the excitement of that city, so colourful, fabulous 
food, amazing architecture and history.   A boat trip on the 
Bosphorous,maybe stopping off on the European and/or the 
the Asian shore, and it will be warm!

I'm not very good with grey, elephants are the exception

There are block printed fabrics in the Bazaar.   Some from a
family run business in a small village, and other gathered on
travels in Rajasthan.    Towards the end of next week the
Indigo Store will be added to as well.

Monday, 7 May 2012

The past week has mainly been spent dodging showers and pottering in the garden.

The columbines are a beautiful splash of colour,
new additions and they were in flower as
we planted them

Clematis Montana has spread through hedges and
flows through a birch tree.

As for the rest of the plants, like me, they are in suspended
animation.   All are green and lush, ready to explode.
What we really need is for the white cloud to lift, the sun 
to shine,and the temperature to rise at least 4 degrees.
Not much to ask surely, given this is May.

Only two indigo seedling from first planting
at the beginning of April.   They are thriving, slowly.

The packet of indigo seeds I ordered was a bit
sparse in the content department.   Fortunately
I saved some and made another sowing two
weeks ago.   At last, little signs of life.