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Friday, March 30, 2007

Getting To Grips...

with Thunderbird is proving to be...interesting, but worthwhile. I love the way it eats spam! I did get a bit alarmed when all my mail disappeared, and twenty messages seemed to be around somewhere, but not findable...but I sorted that out All By Myself. If you hear a note of smugness in that last comment, you're absolutely right.

So, have a look at Around and Around, a lutradur piece which I've just finished. It started as a dark brown monoprint on white linen, which had a piece of dyed lutradur added to it. I then stitched and added embellishment using coloured gutta. You don't see the layers particularly well in the overall shot, so I've added a detail, too. Remember you can click on the images for a closer (and larger) look. Overall, I'm pleased with the result. Now to tackle the Much Bigger Piece of Lutradur that's lying on the ironing board, for which I Have Plans.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fun, Fun, Fun

with a new cloth, Evolon, which is a micromicro fibre (I think...) by the same people who make lutradur. Part of the reason I didn't use transfer dyes before, was the feel of the man made fibres...but this stuff is gorgeous, soft, with a hand a bit like velvet, though lighter and really easy to use. Or perhaps it compares better to the feel of very soft suede leather. Either way, it's fab! I started out making ATCs with it, but a couple of days ago, produced this, much larger, piece, which I'm delighted with. It stitches beautifully, too, so when it's done, I'll take it with me to France.

I have to admit to a bias; I'm sponsored from time to time by Spunart, who supply both lutradur and evolon, and they gave me some to try. But even if I wasn't, and they hadn't, I'd love this particular fabric, just as much as I love lutradur. Mervyn tells me he has it in stock...I wonder if it will become the next lutradur???

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What The Well Dressed Washing Line... wearing this year. The big chunk of navy blue cloth is for Sally, to make a binding. Out of shot is the shirt I overdyed from sludge to navy blue at the same time...Robin says he's happy to wear it now. And then there's all that paper. Given that it was such a lovely day yesterday, I went out to paint with some transfer dye. I'm designing a couple of workshops, so I needed to try those ideas out, and, to be honest, it has been a while since I was creative just for the sake of it, so that was important, too. I did have fun! Later on, I transferred some of the dye to cloth, but that's another picture for another day...

Today, I'm planning to transfer a bit more dye to lutradur, and go to the postoffice to send Sally her cloth (unironed, I know she'll only wash it again!), and maybe do a bit more dyepainting...or not...there's not much dye left of that batch, perhaps it'll have to wait til later... It feels good to be busy with these things, instead of admin or work for something else that isn't art...hurrah for Spring.

Monday, March 26, 2007

It Must Be Spring When...

Advo, the old cat, runs around in circles in the garden, chasing his tail (and any other cat within chasing distance), there are tadpoles in the pond, I can dry the washing on the line outside and leave the front windows open... It's also Spring when I wake up to bright sunshine and a sense of wellbeing that doesn't melt as soon as I get out of bed. So lets hope that all of the above are here to stay...except the tadpoles...they have to become Frogs. How else can we be guaranteed the occasional handsome prince?

I'm in the process of getting my life back in some semblance of order. I'll start with the grovelling apology. I have several little envelopes with work in them, ready to go out...and only a few addresses...blame the change in computer, please, not my incompetence. Rather than list everyone here, if you asked me for a small piece of work when it was offered, could you please email me privately with your details, so I can get them out this week, and stop feeling hugely guilty about the whole thing. I thank you.

I've been playing with some velvet; this piece, Prayer, is handdyed velvet overlayed with painted Bondaweb (fusible), stitched and painted with coloured gutta. I'm getting back to work on the lutradur book, and I'm going to dye some cloth to take with me to Lyon. I'm staying reasonably quiet, you understand, keeping myself to myself, staying in a lot...and am beginning to feel the better of it all, even the therapy. I am in a process of becoming, just like a chrysalis eventually opens to allow a butterfly to emerge. Lets hope I can be as bright as the yellow butterfly I saw today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Frothing At The Mouth?

I should be. Not only have I a new operating system, I'm now the proud (?!?) owner of a network of pcs. It took Robin all day yesterday and a lot of swearing before we could get anything much to happen...sigh. Robin's usually really good at That Sort Of Stuff, but it was not the instant success that we'd hoped it would be. Oh well. Somewhere around 2pm, I went off and pieced a top; something had to give, and it was always likely to be my temper, so I figured the best place for me was up in the studio at the top of the house.

Today, I had a visitor, Moira from next door came to play with some of my toys. She discovered something that every quilter knows; there is a wealth of exciting stuff on the floor, all you have to do is scoop it up! She asked if I'd introduce her to my textile friends, and she'd go round all their floors picking up the odd bead, sequin, scrap and leftover thread. Then she paused and said, they'd think she was strange. No, I said, but they wouldn't be too keen...they use the stuff on the floor, just like you did!

No photos today...I'm still getting my head round this computer, and I hate to think what it'll make of my camera software. And yes, I WILL get rid of's Orrible...GRRRRR. Fortunately, the change of computers was Not My Idea...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Good News...

is that I have a new computer. Amazing how small it is compared to the last one we bought. The bad news is...I have a new computer. With Microsoft Vista installed on it. And Outlook instead of Outlook Express. Sigh. New things to learn... new operating systems Shouldn't Be Allowed. Were I more computer literate, doubtless I'd know Exactly What To Do to get things How I Like Them. As it is, well, nice new computer, frazzled old me...

For your viewing delectation...or words to that effect...another picture of Monolith, which has featured on this blog before. It didn't please me, and I couldn't work out why. So, this week, I added some more marks, which seems to give it a coherence that it lacked. Perhaps that is just in my head, of course...or perhaps not. Click on the image for a closer view. And do tell me what you think. That's the joy of lutradur, of course, easy to add a layer of marks quickly and easily. Yes, I'm obsessed...can't help myself!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


to prove myself wrong, this is a less than simple piece. I'm not sure it works, but I don't want to mess with it, either. It's lutradur over a quilted piece, with silks and yarns embellished into it. It's very small, not much bigger than a sheet of paper, but it does have lots of movement in it, which is A Good Thing, I think.

It looks like I'll be going to Lyon this year, to the Expo Magic Patch. Wonder who else is going ? Last year's event looked interesting. I'd love to hear from anyone else who is going, it's always good to meet fellow bloggers and readers alike!

I'm working on various things, some of them personal, some public. We're considering the entries for 'From The Heart'; they look really good; more when the decisions are made.

Monday, March 12, 2007


is best. It may not always be easy to achieve, but it's definitely best. In management circles, they have a saying ; Keep It Simple, Stupid! or KISS for short. I try to remember it, but of course, sometimes, I forget, and get into much more elaborate work than I'd intended. But pieces like this, a small embellisher piece, are fun to make and effective just because they are so simple. Next time you find yourself bogged down in your work, try remembering the KISS never know, it might just help. That, or a good brisk walk! Or both, even!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


and I do mean very occasionally, (this one must be about eight years old, now...doesn't time fly!)I make Useful Quilts. This one, surprise surprise, is called 'The Owl And The Pussycat'. The peagreen boat opens to hold the toys; sadly, I couldn't find an owl small enough to really fit...but the thought was there. And the poem is written in the borders, or part of it, anyway. Next time, if there is one, I'll go find the toys before I actually make the quilt.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Bit Of Fluff?

Well, yes, in a way. A nest of wool, made with the embellisher. There are a couple of cornicopiae, also. Eggs are a theme for me at the moment, all that unlimited potential (besides, it's Easter, it seems appropriate...), so vessels within which to keep eggs seem a good thing to be making. All I have to do now is make the eggs. Or buy them from Mr Cadbury!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I Like It When...

I find old journals or sketchbooks, there's always something interesting to find. In this one, some questions (and we all know a good question is worth a thousand answers, right?). At what point does the mark become deliberate? Perhaps all marks are deliberate? Are all marks deliberate? What IS a deliberate mark, in the context of say, an abstraction? When does simple become complex? Whene does indiscernible become discernible?

No, I don't know either. But it's important to keep asking.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I suspect we all suffer from it. I'd forgotten, til I came upon this old disc, how many photos I have, and how well meaning I am when I take them. I always mean to use them as inspiration for new work. It never happens. But it does remind me of happy days in Scotland and elsewhere; perhaps that's enough. These are from a day we spent in the West Coast, across to Ullapool from Strathpeffer, then up on the coast as far as Lochinver (great pie shop) and back across country. Wonderful weather, great views, good food; what more could you want?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Making Excuses

We've all done it. The dog ate my homework. I missed the bus. I forgot to set the alarm clock. So, what's my excuse? Well, I was sitting ready to write this when...we had a power cut. A lovely, dramatic power cut, where the power went off...and on again...and off...and on...and off...and stayed off. As luck would have it, I knew not only where the candles were, but where the matches were also. So I managed a chapter of my book before going to sleep...and, of course, as soon as we blew out the candles, on came the power and the downstairs lights...sigh...

I don't have an excuse for not working. I am, really. Just nothing that's showable. Instead, for your delectation, I offer this fab photo of my husband in a kilt. Just for you, Dianne!! It was taken in the hallway of our house in the Highlands. He was going to a business dinner, where all the senior managers wore this particular tartan (of which I know nothing, sorry chaps...). I think he looks fab. If a bit stunned! Sarah, if you're reading, this is what he's likely to look like on the eight of the eighth of the eighth... it's not too late to change your mind!!