Sunday, June 29


I've been to Woolfest. Can you tell?!
Oh, it was like all the sweetie shops in the world, rolled into one! It's been running annually since 2005 and I've only missed one year, so far. In my view it gets better each time. though maybe it helped this year that I knew what I wanted to look out.
There are textile shows in other parts of the UK but none like Woolfest which takes place at Cockermouth, in the Lake District, a little under two hours' drive for me. So it's virtually on the doorstep, and it only costs £5 to get in! For those of you who may be thinking, yeah, but, so what? who wants to look at wool and sheep? I would say GO NEXT YEAR! Chances are if you are reading this you have an interest in handmade textiles in some form, and Woolfest is so much more that wool! As well as the bigger companies (that's big in this field, I don't mean multi-nationals!) there are lots of stands with individual makers' goods for sale - everything from kits to yarns to embroidery silks and fancy beads and fair trade buttons, beautiful rag rugs and felts in glowing hand dyed colours, stunning handknits, amazing angora and cashmere and silk fabrics and so on and on, as well as all the raw materials to make your stuff from scratch, and spinning wheels and knitting needles in all shapes and sizes, and demonstrators and workshops and live music and sheep's milk ice cream...... I've been doing quite a bit of spinning lately and my stocks were getting a bit patchy (honest) so I bought some lovely bright colours of wool fibre, either as tops or carded. There's Merino, Shetland, Corriedale and Wensleydale in the top pic, as well as angora and silk waste.
Below you can see a close-up of some super fine dyed Merino in palest pink and pistachio on the left. Along the top is dyed angora and below and two little heaps of dyed Wensleydale locks. I am itching to get started on new yarns now! And finally, how could I resist Herdy? I mean, no-one needs another mug, do they, but he's designed in Cumbria and made in Staffordshire, and a proportion of the sales gets channeled back into Lakeland causes. Check out the light-hearted website for more info.

Saturday, June 21

Art is in the Air

Well, first off, I need to tell you about the great day out Hugh and I had last Sunday - visited a whole stack of artists participating in The Art Tour in Northumberland. First stop was The Hearth at Horsley - a converted church, church hall and ancillary buildings now housing artists' workshops and a very fine coffee shop - saw some excellent painting, etching, pottery and textile work. And met Carol Nunan and Rebecca Vincent who are Horsley Printmakers - you may hear more about this great venue as I am sorely tempted to do a two day course in collography that they are running later in the year....

Headed off to Langley Village Hall then, where I checked out the work of Mandy Patullo in particular - a textile/paper artist whose work is happy and colourful and full of retro images and machine and hand embroidery. Then a quick trip across the road to explore the delights of The Garden Station before searching out the shed which is Katie Jackson's studio.In Katie's words.... Welcome to my magic shed, where I take jumble sale finds and mat them into bold designs, where damaged books find a new use and old recycled objects get another chance to shine. I love paper, fabric, wool and above all ...colour! A popular destination, [it was already full up when I took this pic] inside was a treat for all textile and paper recyclers. You'll see what I mean if you look at What Katie Did.... . I could have moved in happily. Poppy the collie was delighted to see so many people though she was curtailed behind the fence - probably for her own safety!

Hugh drove us home - I was too busy looking at the booty I had acquired during the day.

The Borders' own Art Studio tour is well advanced in planning now - two exhibition venues and studios from Berwick to Hawick and beyond will all be opening their doors in early September. Crossing Borders' members reach from Lowick in Northumberland to Peebles, so far, and membership is increasing all the time. The website will be live very soon - I'll let you all know! Hugh and I will be participating - the arty cabin will be throwing open its doors to welcome you all.
I met up with Anne and Fiona this week to say farewell to Helen as she and Stevan and the dogs head north to live permanently in their gloriously located but'n'ben in the North West of Scotland . We'll miss her but through blogs and Ravelry we'll be keeping in touch to watch her new business unfold. Good luck!

Sunday, June 8

Spreading the word...

Well, I mentioned last time that I had been the surprised recipient of an AWARD! It's all thanks to Gretel who had a fine time selecting creative textiley people for her 5 blogging honours.
Anyway, now that I have this on my virtual mantelpiece I get to select my own choice of worthy winners...
The rules iz az followz:
1) Pick 5 blogs who deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material and who also contribute to the blogging community no matter what language.
2) Each award must have the name of the author and also a link to their blog.
3) Each award winner must show the award and put the name and the link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) The award winner and the one who has given the prize must show the link of the “Arte y pico“ blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Show these rules.
Closest to home for me is Katie of What Katie Did- So far I have only eavesdropped on her wonderful tales of Northumberland life, creativity and the glorious pink shed but next weekend Hugh and I are planning to call in and see her and her hens as she is taking part in The Art Tour.
In Scotland, and next closest, there's Rima at The Hermitage. Such talent, such originality and such fantastic tales. Her work is addictive - once you've looked you'll be back for more.
After that it's another continent - I may just conceivably have mentioned a wonderful painting I received from Suzi, busily Arty Fartying Around, in South Africa. Well, her blog makes pretty damn interesting reading too, not to mention the opportunity to see all those covetable artworks.
And finally, across the pond, the ever creative Terry at Bent Objects for creating cool stuff from the everyday...
Go on, follow some links and find new and exciting STUFF!