Tuesday, August 28

An art extravaganza...

 ....awaits you in just a few days' time! 
Crossing Borders members are throwing open their doors this weekend.
We're sweeping and vacuuming, dusting and polishing, frantically finishing off, hanging and arranging and generally putting on a show - so whenever you see a sheep sign, take a little time to look in and meet the artists in workshops and studios and village halls across the Borders and North Northumberland.

The naked sheep above is waiting for visitors to sew a few stitches, add a button or a patch or two in Tart HQ. I hope by the end of three days we'll have ourselves a collaborative cushion to mark the 2012 Art Trail!
 Parts of my beloved old caravan are looking very organised and shop-like. Other areas are a work-in-progress but I'm nearly sorted. I look forward to welcoming old faces and new to HQ this weekend.

Saturday, August 25

Art Trail just around the corner...

Five days to go until we launch into the fifth annual Crossing Borders Art Trail. 

 Here at Chesters Hugh's been working in a bolder style than before - he's really enjoying this freer approach and the results are dramatic so there's lots of great new artwork on show.
 And as Hugh's work gets looser, mine gets more fiddly... 
I've been having fun with smaller framed collages.

Friday 31st - Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd 
10 am till 5pm each day (later on Friday)

Lots more to see, including our quality 'garage sale', and fresh coffee and cake to wash it down with. Whatever the late summer chooses to throw at us all, you'll get a warm welcome in our cosy workspaces. And we're open late on Friday night till 8.00pm so grab a glass of something stronger and linger a while.

Saturday, August 18


Today I drove to Broughton in depressingly damp conditions, following yet another night of heavy rain. But the day improved hugely! Not only did the sun split the sky from lunchtime onwards, but I was surrounded by happy textilers from Edinburgh, Dumfries and Tweed branches of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. 

Broughton Hall echoed to the sound of many varied spinning wheels, and quite a babble of excited textile talk. Fleeces, wheels, and essential supplies changed hands and were washed down with tea and fine Scottish home baking. Some lovely person had even made tablet, which gladdened the heart and widened the hips of this particular attendee...
My fellow stall-holders, Natalie of The Yarnyard and the girls from Colorimetry, and I ensured that the room was bursting with colour, and we all had a busy day.

And then, I got to drive home through my beloved Borderland, bathed in late afternoon sun. It was glorious. I sang along at the top of my abysmal voice to this, and smiled inanely at the rolling hills and sweeping valleys of my country!

Thursday, August 9

Playing houses

Two warm sunny days in a row! That means outdoor duties so no advances in Tart HQ but lots of shed walls painted. At least outside will look tidy for the Art Trail...

A Woolgathering to look forward to on Sunday (12th) -  a great catch-up with textile friends and another excuse for me to talk about India

And next weekend (18th) I'm off to Broughton to meet up with lots of spinners, weavers and dyers and sell my fibre supplies and probably the odd button or two.

I have been working on these - do you like them? Little house collages, each with its own number, made from salvaged offcuts from a furniture-maker-with-attitude! They'll be in HQ for the Art Trail on August 31, and 1/2 September.

We're staying open late on Friday 31st so do come along and have a glass of something as you wander from Hugh's cabin to Tart HQ or linger over the 'garage sale' under cover in the woodshed. If we can't sell you some artwork, maybe you'll succumb to a bargain there!

Download a guide to all the open studios here

Friday, August 3


are supposed to be our day off but it seldom works like that. This week, though, we combined some hill-checking with exploring. Hugh needed to see if he could find a safe way up a particular hillside  in the Ettrick Valley in a 4x4 (with the farmer's consent!) so we drove part of the way and walked the rest. 

Then we were free to head off past Megget and Talla reservoirs (vowing to come back and do some walking there) and almost to the junction with the A701. That's when we spotted the single track road to Fruid. A few miles later we had this place all to ourselves. I think it looks like the setting for a modern day John Buchan tale of derring do in the lowland hills.