26 August 2014

new paths

If it hurts your feet
get off the worn-out foot path
and walk on the grass.

I wrote this haiku walking home from the local College today.
You see, the old familiar paths have been hurting my feet lately.
The gravel and stones bruise the soles of my feet, no matter how sturdy my shoes have been.

Today, i marked out a new path.
I am hoping that the new path will be my own, although I am sharing this lovely new experience with my daughter!  We are starting out on a new adventure together - and that makes me so happy.

Co-incidentally, when I got home a letter had arrived from the solicitors telling me that my Decree Nici has been issued and now all I have to do it wait six weeks for the Absolute - marking an official end to what has been a physically, emotionally and at times, devastatingly traumatic seven years.

It all feels so right.
Which is maybe why my creative juices have been flowing again.
Don't they say that it takes seven years to grow a new skin?

This certainly feels like a brand new skin.

(I love the photograph taken by my son on a recent march to support Palestine.)

20 August 2014

a blog too far?

Do you remember me pledging to make myself more clothes? And do you also remember me sounding so  hopeful and positive that this would actually happen? Yes I know - it was a long time ago.  But now I have begun.  And  to demonstrate my commitment to the pledge I have begun a specially dedicated blog!

I know....

But it's the only way I can organize my life.  A tumblr for inspiration, a blog for my HAIKU:365 project and now let me introduce you to - "baktak"  or running stitch - a brand new place to chronicle my  amateur efforts to make my very own autumn/winter collection.  

I know that I have been moaning about losing my knitting mojo but with this icy North Wind blast - the urge to keep my fingers and lap warm in a knitting project returned - like magic - or is it a seasonal urge - who needs wool in Summer?  So the wool literally dropped on my doorstep this very minute - a gorgeous med grey marl DK and I have two patterns to toss and turn over...but all that will  be on the other blog....

So - if you're curious about my efforts or would like to leave a couple of handy hints and tips which will all be most welcome, please do visit me there.  You can find the link on the right under "other places" along with a neat Spoonflower banner with a direct link to my fabric shop.  

And -  am I the only one freezing!!!  Where oh where did Summer go??

17 August 2014

49 minus 1

It's my birthday!
I am this chilled about it.
look what I got!

I love how my daughter decorated her parcels...
and treated me to gel nails
and then I had to hammer a ring for myself.
A birthday treat to me.

(the 49 minus 1 is a reference to the birthday candle combo my parents found for my birthday cake as they didn't have number 8)

9 August 2014



These beautiful hydrangeas were from my mothers garden.
They did not dry.
Don't worry, (I tell myself) she has plenty more!!!

My son has been joining these protests - in Cardiff and in London.
They are his photographs, and I hope he took some more at the rally in London today.

Both doing their own thing - together....

A budding writer?
This one can become whatever she chooses to be.

These have been transformed into fabric.
They have been printed and shipped.
I am just waiting for the sample collection to arrive.....

25 July 2014

Happy Birthday Princess!

My youngest turned 19.
We listened to music I bought when I was 17.
I'm not sure which of us had the most fun with her birthday gifts!!

I actually pogoed to this and another three or four songs from the LP until my body told me to behave myself

It's been a lovely day.
I will not complain, ever, about the sun.....

21 July 2014

an update...

I seem to have been away forever, but it has only been a few weeks.
And I am still working on my HAIKU:365 project and have just updated the pages...

Summer has certainly arrived.
You can find me bathing in the sun, whenever she shows her face.

Have a great Summer friends.

28 June 2014


The theme DC NUDE hosted by Patrice made me think of EXPOSED.
cleared of make-up, under sky light, still growing out my grey  hair

as exposed and nude as I am daring to go.

My daughter shot these.
No editing (except cropping).

I think she captured quite a variety of mes.

Thank you for the invite Patrice!

9 June 2014

guilty pleasures...


I have bought yet another Japanese pattern book.
This one is translated to French - which is a little  lot easier to understand!

It arrived the same time as my fabric samples from the Parisienne Collection.
I couldn't be happier about them.
The colour translation is perfect - 
but I may play with scale, 
something smaller I think for a dress I have in mind.

8 June 2014

DC: Upside down

I have been designing fabric using mid century textile designs for inspiration.
The fabric samples arrived this week and they are looking good, I'm really pleased with them.

But the drawing challenge for this week was
Upside Down.
Hosted by Patrice A

So - I wondered...
upside down seed heads for earrings?

Thank you for the invite Patrice.
My apologies for the late posting!

6 June 2014


I love how my little Indigo seeds grow into tall plants with leaves that give up so many different colours.
Yellow, green, turquoise, indigo....

This yellow was obtained with cold water, dried indigo leaf and six weeks of waiting.

It seems that the leaf has stained most where it has touched the fabric.
The butter muslin was twisted and so retains some of its original white.

Alongside the indigo leaf yellow lies a very delicate lichen beige.

But its hard to call it beige exactly - there is a green tinge to the colour.
It is growing on me.

I know lichen can produce lovely reds when heat is applied, but this was also a cold water solar dye.
Six weeks on not always such a sunny windowsill.

The other two dyes were a disappointment.
The fennel seed gave a weak colour and the avocado - gave no colour (as predicted by Sonia)
I guess for solar dyes to be really effective, we need some good proper SUN!

So - not wanting to waste the dye mix or the fabric...
I turned up the heat!

The Fennel Seed and Avocado were boiled up and simmered for an hour.
Then put back in their solar dye jars.

Another week or two and I will take another peek.
The colour is looking very promising already...

31 May 2014

the solar dye project

The project is soon coming to an end.
I will be opening these jars very, very soon.

I love how the colours have developed over six weeks.

30 May 2014

wet weather

The only ray of sunshine in this wet and quite cold actually week
is that my batch of Indigo seeds seem to be the only seeds to have germinated!

And because I gave so many away - this was all I had left.
so - I will  be planting them out shortly and letting them run wild and free.

Hopefully self - seeding along the way.

(please excuse rolled up jeans - not a great look on chubby legs)

I had wanted to empty my solar dye jars this week and have them drying in the sun...

but this ray of sunshine is the only glimpse of sun we have had all week.
So I stuck in my bean poles and beans and peas with a good luck kiss.

Some lovely ceramic patterns found whilst digging through the garden cheered me up though.

26 May 2014

catching up

I just wanted to let you know that I have finally
updated my Haiku:365 posts.

It had been 19 days
and although I have still been writing
I hadn't been updating here

It has been very wet the last few days, but this morning looks promising!

Half term = no work
so I am free to dig about in the garden,
hammer away at the desk
and laze about in the sun.

My nephew took part in a football tournament and scored a couple of goals!


Veronica has been preparing for this
Sonia had been visiting this gorgeous place

Jillian has been climbing here
Suzy has been taking dreamy walks
Paula has been making these beauties.

And all I have to do is sit on my settee with a hot cup of tea
and read about it.

Thank you ladies for taking such gorgeous photos and transporting me to your far off places!

PS:  The first image is the silk square dyed in a woad seed  bath.  I left it soak for four weeks and then decided to take it out as the bath was beginning to change colour.  No adjustments were made to the image and it is a definite mauve/blue, but very light.  I think wool might have taken up the colour more deeply.