Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Draw.

I really would like to share these with you, but due to distance and my husband’s appetite that will
 be impossible. Instead I have made the Give Away Draw using a random number generator and the
winners are:


Charlton Stitcher.

Please email me with your address and I will send the stitching to you.
For those of you who were not lucky I have something sure to cheer you up, and I assure you this is not an early April Fool’s Day joke; have you ever heard or even thought of printing using an octopus ,first ink up your octopus ( of course). Unbelievable isn't it, but I must say the results are impressive. I am pleased to say that even I can resist this novel idea. Take a looks at this SITE

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lacy Grid

I think the Lacy Grid is now finished. I do have to work on the edges and there is one spot where I may add some stitches in black wool. I am tempted to fill in all the little shapes because it is fun to do so, but I am mindful of the fact that it is good to have some clearer less cluttered areas.

 Photos taken using the ipad are so seductive with the optimum resolution for the retina display, so much so that it is tempting to never use ones camera, but unfortunately they do not look quite as good on the computer. I really like taking pictures with the ipad and seeing them in the origami slideshow. Yes, I am still hooked.

If you are a new technique junkie like myself you will like this Pinterest site which I found the other day; you can have hours of fun just flicking through all the techniques but don’t try them all at once.

 Don't forget the Give away.
 You will need to leave a comment on the previous 'Give Away' post and either have your name on the Followers list or add it.  I will make the draw at the end of the month.

My son very kindly printed and stretched one of my rust prints onto a canvas and here it is in my new, nearly finished, kitchen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'Colour in Textiles'

 'Colour in Textiles' by Susan Kay-Williams.

I was pleased to read a review copy of this book.
Just dipping into the book is fascinating, it is a research based book suited to academic settings, however, because of the clear descriptive style it grabs your imagination. It is beautifully illustrated, with extensive references and bibliography. There are so many interesting facts related to the subject which I certainly never knew; for instance did you know that the Spartans had severe laws against dyeing, as the Spartan word ‘dolun’ meant both to dye and deceive, so that as ‘deceivers’ dyers were banished. That the Romans are believed to have worn cloth dyed red using madder to instil terror in their foes during battle.
Don’t for a minute think that this is a dry subject, there was much intrigue and secrecy linked to the lucrative dyeing trade. One chapter is entitled ‘Mystery, Art and Science, the 17th century’. Cochineal was thought for a long time to come from ‘berries’ which Cortes was said in 1519 to have seen Aztec farmers harvesting. Commercial protectionism meant that no one in Europe outside of Spain knew that cochineal was an insect until the development of the microscope. When countries other than Spain began to want access to the New Worlds’ riches, including cochineal, its trade was prohibited on pain of death and could only be purchased once it reached Seville. So much intrigue. A King’s inspector was appointed in 1631 to check on imports of madder which was being adulterated with sand.

Having just read Hilary Mantels’ books ‘Wolfe Hall’ and Bring up the Bodies’ I am particularly interested in the colour of clothing and tapestries in the time of Henry VIII. There is an illustration showing a portrait of the king with Jane Seymour his third wife; to see her portrait and a discussion of the colours worn was particularly interesting as I felt like she had become a real person to me. They are not portrayed in purple, which was the royal colour, but rather in reds and golds. Red is thought to have been favoured due to its link to the red rose of Lancashire and also represents the Divine Right of Kings.
I am a big fan of the ipad, even though I like to read fiction on my Kindle, I like to see illustrations, maps and family trees on the Kindle app on the ipad. I was also surprised to find that via the app I can do a search which gives me a list of quotes , for instance of the many references to weaving, tapestries and colours in Hilary Mantels books; Thomas Cromwell having ‘grown up’ in the  cloth trade in The Netherlands. Passages you mark as you read are clearly bookmarked in the app... Here are one or two that I liked and which link to the theme of colour in textiles:

There is a description of Thomas Cromwell’s loose Lemster wool jackets which he wore at Court, ‘so fine they flow like water, in purples and indigos so near black that it looks as if the night had bled into them’.

There are ‘vestments of red turkey satin and white lawn wrought with beasts in gold’.

If you then want to know more about the history of turkey red or Indigo it’s all in Susan Kay-Williams book.

You will probably feel near tears at Ann Boleyn’s beheading, and then interested to know that she left huge debts not least owed to her ‘dyer, her farrier and her pinmaker’ and ‘ fifty-five pounds to her embroiderer’.

Don't forget the Give away.
 You will need to leave a comment on the previous post and either have your name on the Followers list or add it.  I will make the draw at the end of the month.

Monday, March 04, 2013


Perhaps like me you need a bit of cheering up at this time of year, a bit of sunshine, a few birds tweeting, a daffodil nearly in flower, will do it. Perhaps a give-away will help too.

I will give away two pieces of my textile work, in fact the two pieces used for the covers of my blurb book.
 They are unframed.
 You will need to leave a comment on this post and either have your name on the Followers list or add it.  I will make the draw at the end of the month.

I have supported Jane Davies with her campaign to keep open the cute and I am sure really useful Post Office in Rupert, Vermont. If you have not heard about this, she asked for people to send post cards to boost the business at the Post Office and sent the first two hundred a post card in return. Well she has been overwhelmed and attracted 1200 cards from all over the world. If you have not seen it take a look here.

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