Saturday, 26 May 2018

change and a comforting light bulb moment

an excellent read: Julian Barnes' The Only Story, of course tea from the beautiful tea mug, made by a local ceramist Anne - have forgotten her surname - tastes especially good

 my, it has been a while since I last posted, not there isn't lots to tell, there is, but I just couldn't get back into the posting/surfing mode necessary for the without a steady job is without structure and without that I have to reinvent one for myself; I have a pretty good routine to start the day off with: 10 minutes stretching exercises, 15 minutes intense yoga session, then a hearty breakfast, followed by a brisk walk with Django! then it all becomes muddled and ad hoc: the garden needed attention, as did the house and studio! there was a family holiday in Greece, a visit with Danish relatives and all the rest of life, not to mention the setting up of my small tidying-up business, which is still in it's early stages.
The molar implant journey which lasted one-and-a-half-years, has reached it's final stage, as I now have a tooth crown since last Thursday: I am, so to speak, complete once more, although this has not meant I'm completely pain free in the mouth! oh how one suffers.....more on that later 
a bright and cheerful new table cloth, a birthday present as I turned 55 last Saturday, even though each year I say I don't want to celebrate, I find myself doing just that, this time just a small circle of family & friends, made all the more special by Meghan and Harry's Royal Wedding, which I of course watched, I even took some pics of the telly!
tada the kiss


all the outdoor chairs and benches are covered in new pillows, some of the covers even hand-sewn by me, and the east terrace is almost smothered by the potted plants, we reinforced the fence along the east side, and I was then able to construct a plant carrier/porch structure alongside the terrace, plus a raised bed in the lower front garden, it keeps me busy.....
I have just now taken a few photos to show you, but this laptop has become increasingly annoying and uploading takes forever; I most definitely need a new laptop! the boys are helping me choose one as I have no interest in such matters, alas, but I do need one that's for sure. Hopefully I'll be posting soon with images on this subject.

Fortunately I do have something else to present to you

In the studio, a major change has occurred: The Dwelling has moved from the East to the West wall.
It seemed perfectly okay where it was, but I had to be able to reach the wiring which runs at the back of the cupboard The Dwelling was built in (the cupboard was originally built to hide the wiring, as my husband plans to build an office in the garden instead of his shed, and we need to sort out electrics, another story!)

So now that I had decided to move The Dwelling, I could also custom build it, and as OldBirdKing, or OBK was the start of it all and his room the beginning of The Dwelling, it made sense to build a structure around his room, all with reclaimed wood of course:

it's twice as wide so the units can close, and as you can see there's more space on the shelves and even room for more boxes to be added on, if we need them

OBK was very relaxed about it all and slept through most of the noise, moving, refurbishing etc

this morning he inspected our collection of tiny horse chestnuts, I suspect the tree dropped them due to the dry and hot weather, it feels like Summer over here I can tell you
another reason for not blogging is the fact I'm outdoors most of the time in a bikini
the moment of truth, last evening as I was cooking and had had a sip or two of the Sauvignon blanc, it hit me, as in an actual physical opening up of head space, a sense of lightness: yes there's still tooth/gum ache and it comes and goes and maybe it will for the rest of your life, duh, life is suffering, why did I ever imagine I was exempt from that?
I have said it many times but never felt it as acutely as I did then, I wrote it down as it had entered my thoughts, in English - no kidding - and what made it special was that it comforted me, knowing that Buddha had realized this and said it out loud and that 
I am not alone

Tuesday, 3 April 2018


 at the bottom of one of my baskets, the one I carry back and forth from studio to house, and back again, containing several small 'cloth projects' various needles, a pair of strong reading/stitching glasses, a pair of sharp tiny pointy snipping scissors, lots of small strips of cloth and a multitude of threads all caught together, in said basket I found a small bundle of assorted fabrics Jude had sent me more than a year ago, one of several she sent me in fact, tucked away in other baskets no doubt! to my shame I must now admit I had completely forgotten about this particular bundle, which is kind of weird as I do remember being quite excited on unwrapping and unfolding it, to find tucked in there this patched piece and thinking to myself: from the hand of our Teacher, here for me to observe and learn from!
And I had done nothing with it for over a year now......that was about to change

I looked at the piece,and noticed it was machine stitched, which surprised me a bit, maybe it was an old piece, maybe not even stitched by Jude, anyway all of a sudden that no longer mattered; how to make it mine as it were, how was I going to use it? I first tried sewing it onto another thin bit of fabric, I actually did, looked at it and it just didn't feel right
so I pulled out all that stitching and undid the machine stitches and started to hand-stitch the parts back together again, Jude-style so the seams fold flat of themselves, thus making it mine in a manner of speaking, something I could work with
 then for my favourite running stitch in 4 directions, the patched piece was sewn onto a thin piece of cotton, lovely to work with; it had now become a 2 layered piece, the start of a new small pillow; I looked hard for a piece to match this one and found a hand-dyed piece from I believe Maria's though I'm not quite sure; this was sewn onto the same thin cotton cloth, again running stitch in a square, starting in the middle; colour wise all very subdued; for a final flourish, a dash of colour: threadbeads and I miscounted thinking I had made 7 red ones adding on 7 orange and 7 green ones only to realise once I started with the blues I had in fact sewn 8 red ones! 8 blues then....having made up my mind that the patchwork was out of kilter as well, so asymmetrical thread beads were imperfectly perfect; I also thought it needed a bird, stitched one and thought the better of it, cut it loose...hmm sounds friendlier than it was: there no longer exists this particular bird

front and back the two sides are united and stuffed, and there we have it: another Small Pillow

Saturday, 17 March 2018

sometimes i need quiet

snow is fluttering, very lightly, over here
most of the garden is still green and mud brown
wind blowing from the north east
cold and noisy
the studio is a sanctuary
where needle & thread, paintbrush and paper, gifts from friends
offer the hands a way out of overthinking mind
and the heart solace

Friday, 16 March 2018

a small goodbye

 my mother-in-law died Wednesday 14 March, in the afternoon, surrounded by a couple of close family members myself included; what you could claim to be a 'good death' she breathed her last gasping breath and then as we sat watching and listening: nothing, not a sound and we knew

she was gone

apart from our dog Tungsten I have never witnessed a death of a living being I have been emotionally attached to
it's unnerving and moving in ways I hadn't considered possible

I know I'm not saying anything new here, but for me this actual experience was an unknown

we have been sad and out of kilter, none too much though, as her passing was expected and in a strange way even welcomed; she suffered from dementia and had long gone, in a sense

I say to self how I must remember to embrace the living whilst they are here

always when I feel at a loss I go for long walks, being outdoors and breathing in and out is all it takes; and then in the evening, sitting and stitching, making a small pillow 

the pale yellow and blue fabric comes from Dee, the brighter blue from Jude, the polka dots are from a scarf that happened to come my way, the rust resist is from one of my own dye pots

Sunday, 11 March 2018

ever more small pillows, unexpected presents & a minor cheat

packed snugly together within a frame, thinking of how best to display them; above themed according to a pale palette

here the blues are telling their own tale

 a week ago (or more?) a box, full of - as it turned out - delightful presents; completely out of the blue, and all the way from  over the ocean, from lovely Dee (one of my favourite (blogs)) above everything still wrapped and then below partly unwrapped, small offerings for The Dwelling & a couple of items I am likely to use for other creative activities....


loving these tie dye results,  using previously plant dyed cotton shirts and a silk blouse, they were all turning into a rather sickly yellow/brown and so I decided to dye them with commercial dye: jeans blue for the silk blouse and the shirt on the left below; a mix of olive green and royal blue for the vest and other cotton shirt (I also dyed several pairs of trousers plus a faded, favourite towel, which turned out absolutely fabulous and thoroughly refreshed, nothing to post about though) I really like how the plant dye still shows in parts

back the The Dwelling and some of the presents
the small porcelain bird has taken up residence in OBK's room, where he is enjoying a sandwich and tea whilst waiting for OBK to wake up; I am sure they will have loads to twitter about, world politics and the likes.......

cheeky Cupid has landed in Ms Smith's Studio, where he imagines he'll make interesting modelling material for her, hmph.....

Sunday early afternoon mini-concert: the violinist Hippo plays a merry yet spiritual tune for an impromptu Jolly Cactus Gathering(in the far right notice mr. PR is dozing off)

the wooden church found a spot in the temporary Buddha space, we're not particularly devout here, nor very strict in our dogmas, living as harmoniously as is possible with such a mixed bunch of critters!
always remembering:
breath in breath out

ah, mr PR decided to skip the concert; here he is, sitting on the new green chair, drinking tea/milk/coffee with BigBaby and Woodstock, in the posh new cups (we do so like to be surrounded by beautiful things!)

a BIG thankyou from all of us here Dee, a small token of our gratitude is on it's way to you

Sunday, 28 January 2018


ms Smith has been busy and highly productive: she has already finished several colourful paintings and 2 small pillows; the tiny birds love being in her studio, in part because that's where I moved their staircase to; Woodstock and BlueOwl are big fans as well, and have become her assistants (wish I had a couple of those!) 
the yellow wooden bird on the right plus what I think is a hedgehog are queuing up, eager to pose for their portraits.....  

have been sewing and stitching as well, adding to what I like to call my installation, titled: