Friday, June 20

Glorious June

How easily we all slip into summer mode - expecting to wake each morning to warm dry days. I think we are well practised in the art of relishing every minute, knowing only too well the huge variety of alternative climates we will wake to the rest of the year...

 Hedgerow and home

I was in Peebles for a few hours on Thursday, meeting my Working Perspectives hosts. Hugh grabbed a lift and went cycling off along the quieter roads for a while.
Peebles – Creative Place is a year-long programme of events which aims to bring creative work into public spaces, work places and private houses so that everyone living in, working in, or visiting Peebles in 2014 has unexpected chances to experience the arts.

Working Perspectives is a project that takes individual artists into all sorts of businesses and workplaces in the town. I have been paired with the Castle Warehouse and I love it! On Thursday I met lots of the staff and saw behind the scenes. Everything from attic offices to cellar storerooms, and even a secret painted vennel. So much scope for inspiration. 
Over the next few months I will travel up and down to the town as I work on the pieces I want to create. I may give you sneak peeks if I am brave enough.

Home again and Hugh has set to work to create a doorway into what will be my new workshop. This is hugely exciting for me. Tart HQ has been quirky and fun to work in but this space will suit me better. The caravan will be up for grabs in another month or two (ideal playroom/hideaway/spare accommodation - wired and with working gas fire and hob...)

Off out tomorrow. A long long awaited trip to Bridge of Allan to the one day wonder that is World Textile Day - Scotland. A handful of highly regarded traders and a couple of talks which promise to intrigue and inspire. My pal and I are heading off early to ensure we get seats for the first talk!

Monday, June 16

Cut and punched

.. and folded and assembled. All in a day's (entertaining) work at Roberton on Saturday. 

I led a thoroughly enjoyable workshop at the Forman Hall. It was a claggy rainy day - no fun for gardening, or sheep clipping, or much else outside so we were all pleased to spend our time creating masterpieces from salvaged papers.
We started with simple notebooks punched and bound with bamboo skewers and elastic bands, and proceeded to fold-out books with covers and ties, and folded album pages which linked together, ready to display photographs. The most popular were the zigzag constructions; the inventive group were soon adapting them to all sorts of purposes and conjuring up new ideas.
As the afternoon progressed everyone seemed to work faster and faster - such industry! Maybe it was the chocolate digestives. 
Normally I am pleased when participants go away with one finished object and another in progress but this gathering produced stacks of impressive designs between them.

Elsewhere, spinning continues and button packaging, and decorating of the cottage. None of the latter is very photogenic but I will being showing it off as and when rooms merit it. After all, you may want to stay there some time and enjoy a wee break in this lovely part of the world.

Here's another yarn-in-progress to be going on with.

Monday, June 2

Textiles Rock!

So much good stuff happens round textiles, it's uplifting. Maybe it's a very basic human need for warmth and reassurance; sometimes it's an equally powerful need to make, to be creative, to conjure something beautiful from the mundane. 
Whatever, it's there in abundance when you look closely.
Back of the sample hat I have knitted in indigo dyed chunky merino
At Dingwall's Highland Wool Festival I had a great time yarning with all sorts of happy people who flocked to the event. My handspun sold, my buttons sold, but what I particularly loved was that my indigo yarn was so popular. I foresee much dyeing in the next few months as well as planning of the online shop for my website.

Recently I had an e-mail from B, a lady more normally creative in other fields. She had seen my Indian block print packs and kits and wondered if I would sell bigger pieces. She went on to order enough to make herself a quilt, to fulfil a long-held dream to recreate a quilt she remembered from childhood.

The multi-talented Pat Douglas attended a Warped Workshop run by Ali at the weekend, where she learned to block print on fabrics. Before you could blink she was home and stitching into her newly created linen fabric, and loving it!

This weekend too, I had an e-mail from a Finnish lady enquiring about my handspun yarn - so pictures will be wending their way to her tonight.


Yesterday I spent a happy afternoon in the garden with two dogs for company, spinning yarn. 
Simple pleasures...