30 Dec 2013


This is my absolutely unprofessional workspace:

The frame is warped. The orange at the bottom is cut up Sainsburys carrier bags and it's used to form a nice straight base. Above that is a row of twine and then it's ready to start weaving. The cartoon is clothes pegged to the warp and I have a selection of wools ready. I'll have to combine some of these to achieve the shades I'm looking for. The tub on the right holds my bobbins and beater. The frame has to sit on top of a couple of blocks of wood until the weaving gets higher, otherwise I'll be bent double trying to weave the bottom few inches.

No excuses not to start now. I registered my entry on the 22nd December so I'm committed. Here goes...

22 Dec 2013


I have nothing to show yet but am thinking about designs and colours and have some outline ideas. I've warped the Mirrix loom and woven in the base of plastic to keep the bottom firm and straight (at least that's the idea!). It's the day after Winter Solstice so I'm going to sign up for the exhibition online and then it's a case of sticking with it and keeping the Gemini part of me in line.

19 Dec 2013


This is my first post - just before the Winter Solstice, a time where the old is finished and the new begins.

My beginning is a journey through the art of Tapestry Weaving. I am a complete beginner, self-taught, and my intention is to record my journey from that point to, hopefully, someone who can call herself a tapestry weaver.

The moment I decided to start recording my progress was the day this week when an email newsletter from American Tapestry Association (ATA) dropped into my inbox with notification of an Untitled/Unjuried exhibition for 2014. The only requirement is small format (up to 25cm square) original recent work.

Recent for me means I must start now. Small format it may be but it's still a huge planning exercise before I even start weaving. So, sketch book first for the design followed by cartoon and then weaving.

My entry must be in by January 31, 2014 and the tapestry by March 31. I am going to fill in the entry form on Sunday which is the day after Winter Solstice therefore, for me, the first day of the new year.

This was a sample I did a little while ago - not something I'm proud of but a good reminder of how far I have to go!

23 Aug 2013

Sloe Berries

The sloe bushes at the bottom of the field are absolutely laden with berries this year. The first time I walked past I thought I must take a bag and collect some before someone else does! But the next day I had a closer look and they're nowhere near ripe enough to pick yet so I just picked a small branch so I could draw them. It's said the best time to pick the sloes is just after the first frost so I'll be lurking with my carrier bag in the wee small hours one day soon.

19 Aug 2013

From the Fields

I collected a couple of bits & pieces from the field where I walked Rosie today. This one looks like an Oak Apple but I'm sure it isn't because it's too late in the year. The leaf is certainly oak-like but the acorns are growing now so this can't be oak.

This one is definitely a meadow thistle - so delicate and pretty. Both sketched on Khadi paper which loves water and is quite happy to be stitched into which I may decide to do. I'll post the results here if I do.

29 Jul 2013


I left a couple of my leeks in the ground when I noticed they'd started to develop seed heads. I just had to see how they were going turn out.

And this is what happened - isn't it beautiful! I'm not sure what will happen next but I'll make sure to photograph it.

8 Jul 2013

Results of an online course

These are a few of the experiments that resulted from an online course I recently took. It was great fun but I didn't quite finish it because there was an unexpected break of one week just before the last two weeks' classes and it threw me. I am very easily put off finishing things but was going great guns on this course until the halt and I just couldn't get myself going again.

This something that I must address - again!

13 May 2013

A week's sketching

These are some pages from my sketchbook from the past week. I've really been enjoying myself!

A sketch of my camera (rather simplistic!) 

These are some of my mugs stacked on a shelf (not so colourful in reality)

Had to sketch the rhubarb before it became a crumble

Some of my art supplies...

... and some more

8 May 2013

A whole mess o' bowls

A lot of messy bowls for the Sketchbook Challenge. Ink, watercolour and Zig art pens.

1 May 2013

Desk, study and irish wolfhound

This is one of my trays of art stuff. I'm very overdue for a tidy up! My little study room (I daren't call it a studio - it would make me feel as if I was pretending to be an artist) is difficult to navigate with a huge Irish Wolfhound lying behind my chair. I get pinned up against the desk unable to move anywhere :-)

29 Apr 2013


This was great fun to do and is part of the Art of Abstraction course I'm doing. It's acrylic paint on a Gelli printing plate, scribbled over with a cotton bud and printed twice which is why one of the prints is paler and less textured. I love Gelli plates - they're so easy to use and worth exploring using different mediums.

Oh, and I fiddled around designing a new banner for my blog!

25 Apr 2013

Oil & Vinegar

This is sherry vinegar, not rice wine vinegar as my notes say. But either are great vinegars to use in dressings. The rice wine vinegar is a little softer than red or white wine vinegars and the sherry vinegar packs a bit of a punch but nothing like balsamic.

24 Apr 2013

La Mer

My husband reckons this looks like a croissant! I have a tiny, sneaky little feeling he may be right :-)

22 Apr 2013

Happy Earth Day

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.”
Chief Seattle, 1855

18 Apr 2013


This was an exercise in using line for shading and no colour. I used pen and ink, pencil and water-soluble marker.

16 Apr 2013

Falling Leaves

This was inspired by a silver pendant I have and love dearly. I also have a feather pendant so who knows - maybe I'll sketch that too.

15 Apr 2013


This is one of the exercises I've done for my Sketchbook Delight online course with Alisa Burke. I love her courses - there's no pressure but lots of inspiration which I need at the moment until I find my muse.

I threw the whole lot at this - watercolour pencils, watercolour paint, Zig Art Pens, and ink!

12 Apr 2013


Design taken from an old photo of honeysuckle in my garden last year. I'm beginning to despair of anything ever growing in my garden again after this freezing cold spring and now constant downpour of rain. It looks like a lake!

I used Ecoline watercolour inks for this. They are beautiful intense colours which can be diluted with water or not. I'm going to have to explore my love of bright colours.

11 Apr 2013


I've picked up my sketchbook again with a promise to myself to try to keep it up for a bit. Good tip to start with if you can't think of any inspiration - paint your tools!

8 Feb 2013

Start of another Tapestry experiment

This started off as a planned tapestry with a cartoon which I inked onto the warps (you can just see the marks) but seems to be turning into an experiment. I've played around with colour gradations and different types of joining verticals (both sewn slits and interlocking. The interlocking seems to give a much smoother result but that may be because my sewing wasn't brilliant so this needs more work. I also wove some gold floss through in a couple of places but my photo hasn't really picked that up very well.

The really strange thing is that it's developed an extremely droopy bottom (wonder where it got that from!) and is now also developing a rounded top - both of these anomalies on the left-hand side. I can see how the bottom started bending - probably because I didn't tie off the base wefts tightly enough - but I can't figure how the top started bulging. Maybe when it's finished I'll call it a shaped piece and pretend it was always designed this way!

4 Jan 2013

Winter Fungus

Growing on the side of one of my wooden barrel planters. We've had so much rain this year the whole character of my garden seems to be changing.