Monday, April 23


We've been back ten days and slipped all too quickly into the familiar territory of lists and tasks and places to be and things to do. So here, as much for me as for you, are some snaps. 
The stylishly painted cruise ship we motored past on the 'river' bit of the a canal cruise
Embroidered felt hats in the window of a fascinating shop in Prinsengracht. Perhaps as well it was closed at the time.
Flamingoes at the Artis Zoo, visible from the road. From the canal on the other side of the zoo you can see giraffes and zebra as you glide along...
Fantastic felt walls in de Oranjerie at the Botanical Gardens. It doubles up as the cafe so was our first port of call when the heavens opened one day. The chocolate mousse cake was almost as impressive as the flowery felty walls (scoffed before the camera came out the bag).

Since we've been back Tart HQ has been well used. I've been stitching and packaging up new goodies, and worrying over the size of the fibre order I need to place very soon. 
On Friday Linda, Janet, Ali and I spent a fine day selling our wares to the textile/creative types who visited us in Jedburgh. In between visitors we mulled over names for our new Artists Book Group and planned our foray to the Glasgow International Artists Book Fair next Sunday. Excitement is high! 
It's early days but do put a date in your diary for 19th October when we will be launching our first handmade books, selling supplies and promoting related workshops.

Sooner than that, though, I am running two different workshops. Fancy a day's play?

Saturday 9th June at Paxton House - (contact Paxton House here)
Taking inspiration from the Paxton estate and costume exhibition, try out some simple handstitching techniques and easy embroidery to personalise your own clothes and home decor, or to stitch up a unique softie to take home.
Saturday 30th June at The Forman Hall, Roberton - (e-mail
Explore the use and re-use of all sorts of paper. Themed decorations, gift boxes and envelopes and other packaging, notebooks and albums using simple binding techniques.
And finally, do you know anyone in search of a floor loom? A generous lady in the Borders is parting with hers free to a good home so if you fancy a Douglas Andrew loom let me know and I'll pass on her e-mail address.

Sunday, April 15

The Wanderer Retuns

Well admittedly it wasn't a long absence but it was a busy one. Amsterdam was excellent fun though my legs are inches shorter from all the walking we did. We managed some culture, lots of window shopping and gawping at the street theatre (cyclists, scooters, trams, tourists, the occasional juggler, the inevitable exhibitionist in a Spiderman costume...) We're already scheming how soon we can get back for more Dam-time as there's still so much to see and do there.

I didn't take nearly enough photographs but I couldn't resist snapping this - it's a mobile of tiny toy yachts hanging from the light in the shop of the newly renovated Het Scheepvartmusuem

The museum itself we found really confusing though the replica of the Dutch East India Company trader 'Amsterdam', the cafe and the shop were all winners!

We managed not one but two canal cruises - the one by night with accompanying wine and cheese was particularly fine.
 I'll spare you every last detail of the trip this time because I need to remind you all to come along to Ali's on Friday for a textile extravaganza. See you there, I hope!