19 April 2014

day 6

day 6 on my windowsill and I am more in love than ever.
I thought that I would take full length glamour shots today.

Have you read the fennel seed label?
It struck me as very funny today.
(maybe I'm going to have one of those days today)

I hope your day and weekend is filled with light and fun!

17 April 2014

Meet Holly Alfton

Holly Alfton is the designer behind the amazingly successful Etsy store Modified Tot
Here's what she says about how she got started.

"(mod)*ified tot is the place to find fab ready-to-ship and custom made nursery items for your little tot. I started my shop when my husband and I were expecting our first little one. After months (and months!) of searching locally and online I discovered there were very few places to buy modern, funky nursery items to match my contemporary home. So I ordered up a bunch of fabric and got out my sewing machine...the problem was that I didn't know when to stop! I ended up with several full bedding sets for my son, so I started gifting and selling...and here I am now, hoping to help (mod)*ify everyone's nursery!"

And now you are wondering how I came to know Holly?
Well, see the orange, grey and blue fabric around the crib.
That's one of my designs in the flesh!
I think it looks great.
(even if I do say so myself)

I couldn't help but notice that Holly is my best customer at the Spoonflower shop and finally wrote to ask her what she did with all that yardage, and of course thank you very much.  I was delighted to see my fabric in her collection and to discover that it is a popular choice with her clients.

So - no baby on the way for me
but, if you are expecting, or know someone who is....

Thank you Holly for allowing me to talk about your shop and for kindly giving me permission to use your photographs.  I think your crib-sets are beautifully coordinated and finished.  
Congratulations on your hard earned success!

15 April 2014

witch's brew

Witches Brew is what my children call these concoctions sitting on the window sill.

I get it.

I love the old idea of women concocting medicine and dye recipes from herbs and nature.
It is in it's way a kind of magic.

I took these images at the beginning of the process.
Day 1 on a sunny shelf and the colours are already seeping out...

I'll post a regular update on flickr.
It's so exciting to see the daily change.

Yesterday was a great day.
Filled with lots of sunny walks, exciting makes, and considerations about work
(by that I mean my creative work)

Also - did you know that Woad Seeds give a gorgeous blue colour?
I did not know, but found out while soaking the husks in a saucer before planting.

Because they were in a yellow saucer, I couldn't tell the colour but saw the water get darker.
I slipped a piece of paper into the saucer last night and woke up to find it blue.

So - although woad leaves only give colour in their first season - harvest the seeds, 
and you can extract blue through a cold water dye process.

Something for me to try next time.

14 April 2014

rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb....

say it too many times....

I've been picking daisies and admiring their delicate pink tips.
Isn't nature amazing?

The new direction is taking shape, and I've been giving my blog (and myself) a bit of a make-over.
(The salad would have been a whole lot healthier without the slathering of mayo wouldn't it?)

My back is feeling strong enough for more yoga poses.  I have missed it so much - I've never been a jog around the park kind of body, but hiking and yoga - yes please 
(and thank you my body says.)

I'm loving the sunny weather that we had yesterday and it is forecast for the rest of the week so I'm preparing my fabrics and dye materials today hoping to let the sun help the solar dye processes get a good head start.  I am also going to attempt to regenerate my frozen indigo dye using the frozen flowers method described by India Flint in her book Eco Colour.

It feels so lovely having this break from the school term.
I almost don't want to go back to work.

12 April 2014

preparing to dye

French butter muslin arrived yesterday;
and one silk square which was not the fabric I was hoping for.
Dried dyeing ingredients.

Eucalyptus leaves, windfall lichen, pine, fennel, avocado and japanese indigo leaves.

The muslin is soaking in the tub to remove the white starch, then going in to an alum mordant.
The weather is not great, so just the mordanting at this stage, but dyeing is definitely on the agenda!

Have a happy weekend all, whatever your plans.

11 April 2014

sunlight and shadows


First of all, thank you for all your kind comments and helpful advice about my back.
It is still sore and I am restricted in my movements but I am getting there....

You may have noticed that the shop is closed for the moment
while I pull together a new direction

I am making a shift in attitude and approach to my work.
I hope you will like it.


Thank you for your encouraging comments about my Haiku:365 project.
It is something I am enjoying immensely at the moment.

101 days have gone by already....
can you believe it?

8 April 2014


Her bedroom window is the perfect space to watch the sky from.
I go home tonight.

Yesterday morning I bent down to pick up the little one
and then crumpled to the floor as my back seemed to concertina.

Such terrible pain.
Thankfully my mother and other sister were there to pick me up.
They always are.

Whilst here and laying in bed, because sitting is impossible,
I have been turning over some plans 
sketching out some ideas...

It's time to shift up a gear or two.

2 April 2014

A quick wave

I am just catching my breath here and getting used to the interrupted nights and laundry that seven little people + me and my daughter make! Oh and the shopping bill....do you know how to make a loaf of bread disappear in 3 minutes flat?  

It's fun though.  The garden is huge and the weather has been so mild and sunny that we've all been soaking it up one way or another. I've been waking up to cooing wood pigeons and blackbirds and watching them busily collecting twigs to rebuild their nests.  Many, many signs of spring everywhere - I even spotted a ladybird.

Although there is not much time for anything else here - I have been trying to keep up with you all.

I ordered a tea light from OTCHIPOTCHI that I always wanted and is now on sale soon to be discontinued.

My friend Sonia has updated her shop with wonderful hand made items.  And I especially LOVE this print.

Annie has been designing new knitting patterns and tempting me to my needles from which I have been away too long.

I guess I'm just trying to let you know that I miss you guys and although I am not updating posts or shop for a while, I am still here or at least I think I am...has anyone seen the lamp-post?

29 March 2014

DC Challenge: Water

Hosted by Patrice A

Living in Wales, we are never short of H2O.  And having had three months of non stop rain and floods this Winter, we ought to have enough of the stuff to quench the entire plant!  The water here tastes wonderful!  It is bottled from these hills, and in some places, you can drink it pure and fresh straight out of the stream (just have to be careful of dead sheep and other debris above.  I remember a couple of Winters ago, sucking an icicle that had formed around a blade of grass at the very top of the mountain.

Water is a liquid I neglect to drink enough of.  I hear models drink at least 5 litres a day!  Can that be possible?  I struggle with 5 glasses full.  Though I drink gallons of it with herbal tea - do they count?

I am looking forward to using it to dye with very soon...

26 March 2014

I'm revisiting this place and these people again for a couple of weeks to babysit while my sister and her husband have a well deserved break in Utah.  I'm taking my daughter with me - so that's half the work done already.  I don't anticipate having a lot of spare time on my hands to post here, but I'll certainly be keeping up to date with my friends.  I'm taking my camera, so be prepared for lots of update when I get back.

20 March 2014


The wind has been whipping up some treasures for me.  These beautiful pine twigs were irresistible.
The pine needles smell amazing.  I picked them up and swung them by my side as I walked with my mother around the lake this morning.  The geese, pigeons, and ducks were all showing off to each other and pairing off ready for Spring.  A little black moorhen had waddled ashore - which was a rare sight, they usually hide away in the reeds and willow branches.

No 'proper' work on offer again today - but I worked in the 'studio' this morning while the sun shone - and enjoyed being at home.  I am starting to think about dyeing again - I have been gifted two bunches of eucalyptus leaves to play with, I have a store of dried lichen, avocado pips and skins waiting, but I am uncertain just what I want to dye.  I have lots of scraps of fabric from experiments and have no idea what to do with them.  

I think these are wonderful though from this talented lady's blog.

18 March 2014

Spring is budding

Spring has certainly arrived here in our tiny part of the world - though it's a little cooler today.
The white petals have made way for bright daffodils - yellow petals on the gorse bushes and the lichen seems even brighter under the sun.

There was no work on offer today, but instead of worrying about it, I wrapped up a couple of orders, and finished making this ring.  I don't often bake, but clicking on The Pastry Affair blog in my reading list led me directly to this irresistible cake.  The smell of it cooling in the kitchen is making my stomach rumble.  I don't know how I'm going to frost it yet, as I try to keep away from dairy - but some kind of chocolate ganache filling and covering must be found!  I am torn between crushed cocoa nibs or sea salt as a topping...

Wishing you all a lovely day - and hoping you are finding ways to make the best of things too!


post scriptus:
I went with the crushed cocoa nibs....yum!

(my daughter took the photo quickly - hence the lack of light, but you get the picture...)


16 March 2014


My father came home this week. and is recovering well after having two stents and angioplasty to clear out his blocked arteries.  His right arm is swollen and bruised almost as red and blue as the sky last night.

Mum refurbished the bedroom, rearranged furniture and made a cake for him.  

10 March 2014

misty-eyed beauty...

A little peak into where I was hiking Saturday, with my son Joshua.  We left early, the fog barely lifted, and the wind pushed me uphill - unfortunately I had to battle against it on the way down, but downhill is so much easier isn't it?

Brecon Beacon in the fog and mist.  Very beautiful as far as I was concerned.