Winter dancers 

I don’t think of them as autumn and winter plants, but our hardy fuchsias have been flowering all month.  I love their delicate hanging blooms and long stamens. They remind me of graceful ballerinas, en pointe,  in bright tutu dresses. It has been difficult to capture the intensity of colour and dancing quality in stitch. My flowers feel a bit ploddy in comparison to the real thing; more Strictly Come Dancing then Royal Ballet. They are machined stitched with layers of sheer organza on spray dyed velvet, with a few metallic threads and beads for the bling factor.  As always I have enjoyed the making, and they are number eleven in my Weavers Flower Journal  collection.   


Printing impressions

Yesterday I received a copy of a newly published book which includes a short story of mine.

This little world” is an anthology of short stories created in writing workshops set up by The Dorset Writers Network last winter. The aim was to encourage writing about the landscape and places of this beautiful area in which we live.

It was strange and pleasing seeing my own writing in print. This time last year I was experimenting with prints of a different kind, making colographs with artist printer Robin Moorcroft. 

I loved the process of making colographs, building up the plate with different textures, cutting away, glueing, then inking up, wiping down, inking again. And then the applying pressure through the rollers of the press and impressing the design on to paper to make the print.

 By contrast, my story in this printed book, seems strangely lacking in process. I wrote the story months ago; I suppose I spent some time editing it, but I can’t remember and it wasn’t a long process.  Then I emailed it to the address on the workshop handout. And that was it, other than receiving an email telling me it had been accepted some months later.

And now I hold the printed book, and am enjoying reading the stories, but feeling strangely detached. I am left thinking that it is not the final print which is most important, but the hands on process of handling the raw materials, cutting, shaping, editing, rewriting which brings a lot of the satisfaction.

 I am pleased with the products of my labours, both my printed story and my colograph prints, but I have a feeling that the real joy and lasting impression for me is in the process.

But then the making process is all mine, whereas the product (at least in the case of my story ) is now public. I am left wondering what impression it will leave on others!

Remember November 

Over half way through November and I haven’t posted here at all this month. Sorry about the pause!

November is my birthday month, and a time for remembering all the 59 Novembers I have seen. Happy times and sad; memories of celebrations with family and friends, some no longer with me in the flesh.

We have been away for a few days, visiting our little grandson, and doing all the the grandparent things. I’m not granny but “farmor” – Swedish for father’s mother. It was great to be together as a family for a celebration and thanksgiving for this special new life. New memories being made.

Writing together with the “Just Write” group in the library this morning it was an honour and an encouragement to share both our happy memories and sadnesses.  And it made me remember just what a privilege it is to have been given the gift of life.

I know, you never intended to be in this world.

But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.

There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.

Bless the eyes and the listening ears.

Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.

Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.

Or not.

I am speaking from the fortunate platform

of many years,

none of which, I think, I ever wasted.

Do you need a prod?

Do you need a little darkness to get you going?

Let me be urgent as a knife, then,

and remind you of Keats,

so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,

he had a lifetime.

Mary Oliver 

Car boot bling

Not quite finished, but here is a little cushion cover made from my finds at the car boot sale earlier this month. The bits of brocade fabric were cut from a child’s dressing up cloak, and the shiny threads have twisted up nicely into an edging cord and tassels. And I have learnt how to sew on shisha mirrors… 

Bollywood here I come!  


Different effects… 

It’s a grey old autumn day today, with the sound of car tyres swishing on wet roads outside my window. It’s days like this when I am glad to remind myself of sunnier moments. Even though the starry eyed Micahelmas daisies in the garden are now over and gone, I have managed to capture a little of their magic in a stitched piece. 

Perhaps not the most realistic of my Weavers Flower Journal textile pieces, but I have enjoyed the process of making it, and the mixture of hand and machine embroidery, with their different textures and effects. 

So much to see if we look…

This morning we drove to Badbury Rings through the beech avenue at Kingston Lacy.

1-IMG_3432The trees haven’t reached their full spectrum of autumn colours yet, but the view from the rings towards the coast was glorious with a shadowy Isle of Wight just visible on the horizon. 1-IMG_3446

Closer to us there was much to see, fluffy seed heads and rosey hips,  and delicate flowers at our feet.

As we circled the rings we also noticed tiny  shells, now empty of the snails who had lived in them, but beautifully patterned and every one different,

So much to see….


Late figs

Our fig tree has produced some lush, brown figs this year. I went without much hope yesterday to see if there were any left; it is a bit late in the season now. There were many small figs, hard and green, stiffly sticking to the branches. Definitely not for eating. But hidden under the fading leaves there were a few, heavy hanging fruits. Skins bronzing into a purple tinge, and slightly soft to squeeze. I found five, and brought them inside, where sliced open they revealed their sweet rosy velvet secrets.

Delicious with bread and cheese for lunch!