30 April 2015

Thank goodness for a RAM upgrade….

Have been working with HUGE Photoshop files today - 4GB each - I could hear the Mac creaking! These are the images..... Blaewearie or Blewearie (depends which book you read) an old homestead high up on the bleakest, most beautiful moor you can image - Old Bewick. Close to a prehistoric cairn, double hill fort and carved rocks (how perfect is that?)

The second image was taken near Kirknewton - a lovely atmospheric old stone built cottage.

So what I am planning do to with these? Well I’m hoping to have all ready to reveal at the EG Regional Day on May 16th.

Crafts Council Directory

I’ve been accepted!
Into the Crafts Council Directory of Makers that is.

Whoo hoo and happy dancing.
You can see the full page here

27 April 2015

Sketchbook Work; Poppies

I have almost finished the sketchbook! A huge A3 Moleskine hardbound type, I can hardly lift it now. Just one more page to go.

(P.S using a new Blog Editor and I hope it works OK - don’t seem to be able to centre text, which is rather annoying as it wasn’t cheap!)

26 April 2015

Logwood and rust dyeing part 2

1 Logwood 3b

 After leaving the fabrics in the dye pans overnight it looked like this (sorry for the blur - must have been taken B.C. (before coffee).
I pulled the fabric out and left the liquid in the pan for later. 

1 Logwood 1a

After a wash at 40degrees C it looked much better!

2 Logwood 2a

And out on the washing line in the bright warm sun it looked fabulous.

3 Logwood 3a

Can’t say I was very successful at getting a different hue on each piece - I KNEW I shouldn’t have panicked and put more nails into the second pot!
It wasn’t too pink after all.
But I am very pleased with each piece of material.
Perfect for my plans. 

4 Logwood 4a

I added some more fabric to each pan for s second day of dyeing.
Same principle, boil up, add fabrics, turn off the heat and leave overnight. 

2 Logwood 2c

Those “marks” on the fabric are where the rusty items were directly in contact with the cotton fabric.

A lighter shade and most beautiful grey-purple colour.

21 April 2015

Logwood and rust dyeing part 1

Todays recipe;

Pre-washed cotton muslin, about 3 metres x2
Selections of rusty nails
Logwood in muslin bags
Old pot and jam pan. 

1. Buy Logwood from Just Ingredients (website or the Cult of Amazon).
SO much cheaper than buying from “arty” stores or natural dyeing websites.
02 logwood 2

 2. Roughly sew and make muslin bags, add required amount of logwood chips, seal with string.

03 Logwood3

3. Add nails to the pan along with the logwood.
(Add a few more nails than shown here and use different amounts of nails in each pan to give a different hue).

08 Logwood 6

4. Add one or two full kettles of boiling water.
Take out Logwood sachet to have a look at the stunning purple colour.

04 Logwood 4 
6. In the Jam Pan we have lots of rusty nails and a generous dollop of logwood.
Note the purple colour and the  grey.
Logwood + Alum (another mordant) = Pink
Logwood + Iron = Purple-Grey
Logwood + More Iron = Grey-Purple

Bring to the boil for a few minutes, switch off and leave at least 12 hours.
NOTE: this will produce a “space -dyed” effect, not an even colour on the fabric - to do that you need a huge pan, more water and constant stirring. 

05 logwood 9

7. In the large pan we have fewer nails but the same process as above.
Add the fabrics slowly to avoid air pockets.
Enjoy that colour! 

09 Logwood 11

8. Might be a little too pink

9. Add more nails until desired colour is reached.

11 Logwood 13

Part two following soon. 

First talk of the season

At Guisborough EG.
A lovely group, friendly welcome and interesting questions afterwards.

Thank you for inviting me.

If your group is interested in hearing one of my lectures you can find details here on my website.

IMG 5741

Here’s the set up, costume, table full of things to mooch through and a stand with larger pieces (partly seen),
along with the screen for the slide show. 

20 April 2015

Table runner

If you’re in Northumberland and visiting Wallington (NT property) you’ll see my table runner in the dinning room.

This is my second commission for the National Trust.

“Use your Vote"

Absolutely agree, women died so that we could vote and we should all use that privilege won through suffering and perseverance.

IMG 5706


15 April 2015

Repeating and chopping it up

Playing with colours and circles.

A lot of the textile work I have planned is very muted, so its good for the soul to play with bright paint colours!
And you know I love circles.

1 DL repeating elements close1

4 DL repeating elements close2

5 DL repeating elements close3

6 DL repeating elements full

And if something doesn’t quite work out then, in good City & Guilds fashion, chop it up and stick it back down!

2 playing with gold leaf1

3 playing with gold leaf2

Textile work coming very soon, just having to get back to normal after the Easter holidays and also settling my father into a new flat.
Time…… bit elusive for the studio atm. 
But next week it WILL happen. 



14 April 2015

Bathroom overhaul

Over the winter we have replaced the bathroom suite (I now have a lovely little P-shaped bath to fall asleep in and because its small i don’t drown!)

I blatantly pinched the idea for the silver mirror from my friend Angela…. taught myself to tile and grout and had fun with these iridescent tiles.
and finally got around to making a bathroom blind from a mix of silks, sari scraps and woven ribbon - with elephants.

I love it. 
My Bohemian Bathroom. 


1 B House


13 April 2015

Twizell Castle

New post on my photography website Land of the Far Horizons - a walk to Twizell Castle
C13th original build with C28th “folly” attachments.


3 3 inside Twizell1

12 April 2015

Dyeing fabrics outside

1 Rust dyeing fabric1

One of four rusty trays sitting by my back door.
Who cares what visitors think!

Cottons and silk, with rusty things and a touch of cheap black dye (which is blue, not black.  Never buy cheap dyes).

Water occasionally,  (if nature doesn’t) add a sprinkling of salt and leave for four or maybe five weeks to cook.


10 April 2015

Early April in the garden

The garden in early April on my gardening blog;


1 DSC 0579




9 April 2015

An Inspired Life

"To create is to breathe… live a life inspired".
I went completely off piste with the suggestion for this weeks Inspiration Wednesday course with Donna Downey.
And I’m really pleased with my creation.

2 IW wk 5 close1 001

Btw these rings are for braiding pony hair, I saw them in the farm shop and knew they would be useful!

7 April 2015

Bee Hive

Detail from one of the spreads from the 48 weeks course - of which I am almost finished!

1 Just bee

3 April 2015

Rowan Trees

To keep the witches away….?

Rowan trees action 221

1 April 2015


Thinking of Spring…
Planning the garden in my head and have opened the Sarah Raven catalogue for seeds and seedlings….

But haven’t found time to plan or order anything.
Still feel as if I’m walking through treacle.

Wildflower colour wash close 2

Wildflower colour wash close1