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Happy New Year

Here is wishing you all a very happy new year!

Its always fasinating to think of what the year ahead might hold.  This time last year we did not know that our bonny adorable baby girl would join us.  So the beginning of this year is full of beautiful liquid smiles and occasional protests which state clearly that the available staff are simply not fulfilling their duties fast enough!  We try…………

Christmas was spent house sitting.  It was peaceful and a lovely change.  New walks for the dogs and us.  Evenings spent knitting in a different setting.  Refreshing.

We had a family meal when my son and his wife came down from the Isle of Skye, it was so good to see them.  Island life has fully infiltrated them, running through their blood in every sense.  Their remote croft on the north of the island sits next to the sea and re-defines the term ‘windy’.  They describe the boulders which have to be placed on absolutely everything to keep within walking distance!  The pictures of their life and views are the stuff that dreams are made of, it is simply stunning.

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To start the new year I decided to follow a tradition which I started when the children were young.  We went to one of my favorite places in Somerset, Kilve.  The rocks and contours of this landscape never fail to inspire.

I thought perhaps that this year I should try to revisit places which resonate with me deep down.  Places to revisit which touch me deeply for one reason or another.  All of these are not too far from where I live.  I have never yearned for far off places, I have never been on a plane, I just live and love the areas around me.

 

I have been using up my stock of wool in creative ways.  Finishing another batch of cardigans and dyeing them for a shop in London where they sell well.  Each individually handmade, dyed and finished.

I have plans afoot for smaller projects and very individual ‘art’ pouches and bags.  Landscapes, lines made by walking and a tribute to local, in every sense.

I do wish creative dreams being realised for everyone for 2019.  Let the journey continue!

Tattered

My ongoing textile work is finding a direction at last.  I have done a piece a week.   I am currently about to start piece 44. The piece starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.  I set myself the boundaries of between 10 and 30 mins a day.  I have become quicker and now the boundaries have changed to 3 arm length threads a day with the set up day being Sunday.  The work is about landscape and is personal and intimate to me.  It is abstract, but the content is about boundaries and walking journeys across the landscape I live in.  Daily routines of stepping across the landscape with the dogs.

 

To prepare some of the fabric I dye it with plants found in my landscape close to home.  I also bury the fabric.  Today I dug up 2 lots of fabric which I buried around Christmas time.  Here is the result of one – in tatters!!  The other fell apart as I tried to handle it.  Lesson learned?  Dont leave it too long!!

 

Stitch has moved into the house.  She has a crate to sleep in for a while as grumpy granny is a bit too grumpy at times.  Stitch decided that this was a good place to store mum, and shut her in this morning!  Not quite the idea, but creative!

Aug 5th Stitch into house 014

Butter wouldn’t melt?

The garden is looking great – well where we had reasonable control over the pups at least –

 

Four and a Half Weeks and Growing…..

Pups are growing and adventuring now.

Playing at eating………….

Playing at playing………

Looking cute!!

This is how I found Granny

And mum

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Pictures speak volumes!

Other work:  Sorrell dyeing, blanket patches and sketchbook.

To be honest most of the time is taken up with canines at the moment and to finish this week here are some portraits of some of the pups:

This boy we call Bobby because it rhymes with Dobby, his grandfather.

Tabitha who is behaving beautifully this week!  No longer the mischief maker.  Very friendly and fun with a beautiful coat.

Balou!  Mr I AM JUST SO COOL!!

Bye for now!

Eyes Open and Opinions Forming

Our puppies are now 2 weeks and are opening their eyes.  They are sort of mobile in a rather drunken kind of way.  They are talking and voicing opinions too.  They are growing so fast and are incredibly strong.

One little chap has a name, Merlin.  He has chosen himself a lady to be much loved by.  He is a lucky little chap being much adored already!

Moving briefly aside from puppies………….

My meditation pieces, of which I create one a week, are now numbering 34.  This is a year long project for me to experiment with mark making in stitch on cloth.  The pieces reflect my week and my surroundings.

Dye bath on the cooker, this is a glorious mustard yellow from Euphorbia.

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Meanwhile………. back to puppies!

Re-entering

Re-entering my life after a period of absence.  Trying myself out again. Do I still engage with knitting, spinning, art, creativity?  How have these elements changed in my life during my period of vacation?

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Let me re-introduce myself.  I am re-grounding.  I set up perimeters to establish routine, ritual, habits.  Boundaries and disciplines enabling devices to think straight and channel direction.

First on the list is walking.  Daily.  Not just walking, which has to be done everyday with the dogs, but walking with awareness and attention.  I notice the ordinary becoming extraordinary.  Smells, sounds, sights.  I am gaining a sense of place which reflects in my work.

April 17 183

Second, I love what is around me and take time to enjoy the everyday stuff of life.  Feeding the birds, growing plants, trying to engage with details.  I have slowed my pace.

April 17 152

I am working again.  Drawing and making art.  I established a routine of between 10 and 30 minutes a day.  This has become a ritual.  Already I have worked everyday for over 22 weeks.  To my astonishment I find that I am establishing a body of work.  Out of the discipline of everyday work new ideas emerge and forge forward.  I am excited and feeling positive.  I am becoming the artist I am but it is happening from within, quietly, surely.

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Spinning and knitting have slipped into new roles of calm and purpose without any rush, comparison.  Like the art, they are acts more of meditation and reflective process than about the need to complete and critique.

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I am reading…………….. consuming words and concepts as if I was back at uni again!  Discovering like minds and companions who speak the same or similar language to me.  Also those who dont.  Other minds, disciplines, ways of seeing.  Lifelines.

Not so much hands to hold but lights in the darkness.

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Early Autumn Inspirations!

What a glorious start to autumn this year! I feel optimistic and inspired which may not be a good thing for my family! The colours in early turn are gorgeous and they have inspired lots of action on the knitting front.

Here are some new designs and new colourways and inspirations ………

I also recovered from my single crochet attempt which turned into a bathmat. The bathmat is successful since it lies beautifully flat if you stand on it! Result!!

Now I am on to new pastures. I saw the Lorna Doone shawl from Natural Dye Studio and I love it. Being a mostly wild child at heart, everything appeals about this design including the name. So for my second attempt I am trying this. As a ‘ps’ I think possibly one should have crocheted a bit more before attempting this! I have reduced the time on a motif from one and a half days to 4 hours now! And have completed in my fashion 8!! This may be my life times work since there are a lot of motifs in the shawl! BUT I still want it and so will plod on…………..