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.

17 May 2014

the view is changing

some things are shifting at last in the garden.
My mother has given me a lot of her older plants from pots...

... I am going to try to do something about placing them in the ground this weekend.
I bet they're getting really excited - I am!

Wishing you a perfect weekend.

PS: Week 4 of the solar dye  pots (even though it's almost wk 5 )

and the indigo seedlings
Sadly, the woad seeds did not germinate.

9 May 2014

week three

my daughter wanted a "battered" ring...


I made her one....

She is away visiting family again this week


week three
for indigo seedlings


solar dye jars

(they are getting a little funky in there)


and things are going to be changing this weekend
(weather permitting or NOT)

with a lot of help from my son!

3 May 2014

DC: Food

I used to have a waffle iron that made cute heart shaped waffles like these....

I'm sticking to the textile design bug for the DC this week.
Thanks to Patrice A for hosting it!

2 May 2014

a little inspiration for my garden

I am currently working as a Supply Teacher (for  my sins)
I covered for Welsh all day today at school and not speaking fluent Welsh 
the children enjoyed listening to music 
and I got stuck into making new designs for fabric.
(big happy face)

The new Parisienne Collection will soon be available to buy, 
but for now you can take a look at the other colours and designs

Have a happy May Day Bank Holiday UK readers - and happy weekend to all!

28 April 2014


These inspirational beauties have been with me since Easter Sunday!
(thank you sis)
The little milk jug is one of mine from ceramic classes years ago.
I used to have a cute little sugar bowl too...

playing with copper and look what happened - not at all finished, but promising I think.


The Witch's brew is stewing nicely
week 2
I topped up the indigo leaf (a real yellow now)
and the lichen (looking very sludgy in there)
I am so excited about the fennel
and hopeful for the avocado

these woad seeds though....
so, so beautiful....

my back garden
last week...

finally cleared of last years roof repair scraps...
not at all finished
but a hopeful beginning...

 now all I need is for my seedling to sprout up
some more dry weather
a spade, fork, and a lawn mower...

25 April 2014

I spent yesterday piecing the squares(ish)
and then placing them next to each other to see what looked best where.
I left it on the floor overnight.

When I came down the stairs this morning - I noticed that a small red square had been placed
in the middle of the quilt completely unplanned and it made me smile.

Co-incidences, happy accidents, intuition....

It is the only dark red colour (made from red onion skins) in the whole quilt, so found it's rightful place.
I am tempted to call the quilt "My Tiananmen Square".

I have also had a couple of questions about the dye colours and how I achieved them.
I had to consult my dye diary for that and then made this little visual key.

1.  Avocado skin and pits - beautiful pinks
2.  Fresh water indigo leaf tie dye (very pale blue green)
3.  Red onion skin with alum added to the pot - a bright green!
4.  Yellow Onion skin with soy pre-mordant - several shades of apricot/pinks of this in the quilt
5.  Red Onion skin dye with rusty water rinse
6.  Red Cabbage dye - gorgeous heat set blues
7.  Avocado skin with a rusty water rinse (made from rusted tin bells) - gorgeous greys and imprints from the rust.
8.  Poinsettia leaves hammered into the cloth and heat sealed - was much redder before I realised I needed to heat seal it!
9.  Crocus petals hammered into the cloth - a delicate purple.
10.  Strong red onion skin dye.

If you try dyeing cloth this way - keep a record!!
You might not be able to reproduce the exact colours, but you'll have something to aim for.