19 October 2014

in print






Between my son, daughter and I, we have a lot of books; this is just a peek.
He left a collection of DH Lawrence's poems "Birds, Beasts, And Flowers" in my bedroom a couple of days ago.

I like to read poetry at night.
I like to write poetry at night too.

I've read some of his poems before of course, but I don't remember reading his "Figs" poem before.  It struck me as very sad.  Maybe, it's my age...

This extract particularly captured my imagination; perhaps because I've been sewing a lot lately....



"...When Eve once knew in her mind that she was naked

She quickly sewed fig-leaves, and sewed the same for the man.
She’d been naked all her days before,
But till then, till that apple of knowledge, she hadn’t had the fact on her mind.
She got the fact on her mind, and quickly sewed fig-leaves.
And women have been sewing ever since.
But now they stitch to adorn the bursten fig, not to cover it.
They have their nakedness more than ever on their mind,
And they won’t let us forget it.
Now, the secret
Becomes an affirmation through moist, scarlet lips
That laugh at the Lord’s indignation.
What then, good Lord! cry the women.
We have kept our secret long enough.
We are a ripe fig.
Let us burst into affirmation.
They forget, ripe figs won’t keep.
Ripe figs won’t keep...."


                From “Birds, Beasts, And Flowers: Poems By D. H. Lawrence.”


Photograph with permission from Patrice A Arts 

I've also been so happy to find my friend has opened her own ETSY shop!
Hurray!
I've been waiting for this to happen for ages.

Her work is amazing.
And her printing press is a beauty!

Please take a look, if you haven't already.
(I bet you have!)

Patrice A's website
Patrice A's Etsy Shop!!!

Congratulations my friend
xx

9 October 2014

in support of makers...




 I have found an artist I can sometimes afford to collect.
And I have found that my friends enjoy collecting her work too!
Every Christmas I buy something from Paula's shop Otchipotchi and am really fond of her beautiful porcelain decorations and tea lights. I am hoping that she will make something similar again this year. 

I don't think of myself as materialistic.  In an emergency, my heart would not  break at losing these possessions.  But when I can afford to, which is not as often as I would like, I like to support the work of people I admire and at the same time understand that I am supporting them in my small way, so that they may continue to make their beautiful things, which I can enjoy in  my home - or give as gifts to those I love. 

The supermarkets are already filling up with cheap chocolate and gaudy wrapping paper, and it won't be long before the rows of plastic toys displayed in plastic wrapping take over the aisles.  I feel sorry for the young struggling families that live here in my financially deprived neighbourhood, where food banks are sprouting up to feed those people unable to buy enough to feed themselves or their families.  Even Supermarkets have trolleys to support these charities.

Christmas day is the only part of the whole countdown that I enjoy, and I spend it with my family.  We have Boxing day too, a unique British extension of the Christmas period.  I enjoy receiving gifts that are thoughtfully handmade as opposed to bodywash and flannels marketed and packaged especially for christmas.  I'm sure that you do too.  Which is why I wanted to add my voice to Sonia's and state that I will be supporting makers this year as far as my purse will allow, and give handmade gifts as tokens to my family and friends. 



5 October 2014

giveaway...

enter giveaway on instagram: http://instagram.com/laccentnou

Not mine, but my lovely blogger friend Anastasia at L'accent Nou  I love her jewellery and now she has made these beautiful ceramic pods laced with gold lustre.  I think they are beautiful and would love to win one myself!  If you would like a chance to win one too, visit her instagram account and start reblogging :)

Like a lot of bloggers lately, instagram seems to have become the place to check out my friends and what they've been up to during the week.

Hope yours was good, and that you enjoy today!

1 October 2014

just saying hello...































I don't know how time goes by so quickly.
It's been a busy week or two!


I've updated the Haiku:365 blog if you follow
 and have not abandoned my sewing machine altogether either.
(if you like freebies, there's a good link there)


I want to write a little more about my Haiku:365 project at some point soon.
Perhaps nearer publication date in the new year...

Keep sage safe!

(I liked the accidental typo)


24 September 2014

found on the roadside





     





The fallen patterns of these dried pine needles fascinate me.
They literally stopped me in my tracks.
I find them extremely beautiful.
together or alone.

Such stunningly elegant lines.



16 September 2014

this week...


This weekend a lovely parcel arrived all the way from sunny Montpellier.
So many parcels!
My children get jealous when these lovely gift parcels arrive in the post, but they happen because of the friendships developed over years of following each other through our blogs and creativity.




I have always admired Sonia's beautiful naturally dyed linen scarves - and now because of another gift swap we agreed upon, I am the delighted owner of this avocado dye, linen scarf!  It is beautiful Sonia, thank you!  I love how the grey pink tones, coordinate perfectly with my recently made "et voila" skirt.  Even though there will only be a few short weeks left of warmer weather, I am making the most of them.  It is sunny today, but when the clouds come, the northern chill is quickly felt and the scarf is perfect.  You can guess that the delicious honey nugget was speedily scoffed (and not shared) and all the other parcels torn open.  I was very moved by the necklace included in these precious parcels.  Having so many beautiful handmade creations around the house remind me of the people that made them and they are some of the things that are held onto and not so easily discarded as shop bought items are.  I think that is why I am trying hard to make my own clothes.  I am not great - at all - with the sewing machine, but selecting the fabric and pattern, sitting in the evenings to wrestle  patiently struggle with the machine all require deliberate choices and time.  When these clothes are made, and the season for wearing them is over - I carefully store them away for next year, hoping that I don't gain too much weight over Christmas to wear them again - (it happens...).  

You can  be sure that the necklace is being almost constantly worn - and the pin-cushion was put to good use immediately on my current sewing project.

Enjoy the rest of your week friends - and if anyone else is interested in a handmade gift swap - let me know - I'm in!





5 September 2014

Autumn Term




New things arrived in the post this week.

An irresistible wool purse, hand-dyed and sewn by my talented friend Sonia
(the phone is ancient - but it's practically indestructible)

A free sample of Eco - Canvas, using 45% recycled  content from Spoonflower - an excuse to see what one of my new designs print like.  I was beaming when I saw how bright and clear the line and colours turned out!  It's a good fabric for sturdy bags or upholstering chair seats.










And an update on how my garden is looking lately.  Remember this:





Yesterday I finally finished painting the fences in "Rustic Brown".  When the sun shines on them, they practically glow.  I even washed and cleaned the windows so now everything seems bright and shiny.

The back fence will have to wait until Spring - the tree that is growing out of the back wall is being taken down soon after a kind neighbour tracked down the owner of the garage and showed him what his wall was looking like - so anything could happen - the wall is almost falling down.



And the new term begins Monday - only instead of the supply teacher, I will be the student - studying a subject completely alien to me.  I intend to be très chic at class - with a slightly longer length skirt.

I have made the decision to change what and how I do things in order to change the trajectory of my life.  It's a theory that I am putting into practice.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.






30 August 2014

DC: Japan




cherry blossom moon





Nadia's   Nadine's theme for this week is Japan.
So of course, I am excited....
I first learned origami at school, when I was about 8 years old, and loved the intricate Japanese paper designs.  My first introduction to Japanese design I guess.
Then lately learning about Indigo dye and shibori techniques - so painstaking and intricate again, with the boro style of Japanese mending.  It goes without saying that Japanese ceramics are inherently beautiful and if I had the money...boy if I did.

We are doing everything Japanese these days.
From watching Akira Kurosawa films to eating for the first time at well known noodle bars, sampling sake.

I am also captivated by my small collection of Japanese Haiku and Tanka books which inspired the HAIKU:365 project.

I think a visit to Japan is in the cards and something to definitely plan for.  The architecture, gardens, design and philosophies are all so attractive and compelling...

You already know about my love of Japanese sewing books, and now I have been influenced by the textile designs of Mina Perhonen to make bolder, more free style textile designs for myself although her fabrics are so much finer, and embroidered, and heavier.  I love discovering new artists that hold my attention and draw me in new directions.

I have watched this video of her Summer Collection over and over - so hope you like it too.
Thank you Nadia Nadine (!) for another opportunity to share my love of all things Japanese!

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!

Yes!
"sigh"
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.
and
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

lately...


 



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.....