Thursday, 30 May 2013

earth mother continued, not yet finished!


we are the child bearing vessels
they grow within our bodies, our bodies grow with them
even if we have not borne them, once placed in our arms, 
all we can do is nurture them
we feed, love, hate, love, feed, need them
we watch over them, care fear fight for them
we watch them crawl and bawl and walk and cry,
we see them grow and run, love, laugh, suffer,
win lose carry on and fail; lean on us and walk away
we catch glimpses of ourselves,
we see the world through their eyes
we watch, sometimes we must watch them die
I am the child bearing vessel
this is my body, yet it belongs to them
for a short while they need feed love hate my body
crawl towards me, cry out for me, walk, laugh live with me
one day they have outgrown this body
I can no longer hide behind them
my body is mine once more
this empty vessel

who am I?

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


what fun: on the right here we see a Dutch girl embroidering, although if I'm honest I have never seen such a scene in my life, the image is rather dated

 in a very short period of time I've gone from owning hardly any books on textiles to buying three brand new ones online!

those in pics above and below are from Thames&Hudson, in my opinion always good value for money; both books are chock-a-block with scrumptious full colour photographs, offering visual inspiration as well as solid back ground information. I know I can find it all on the web, but I also like to have the actual books within arm's length and be able to go back and forth and keep on reading etc.

Karen Nicol is an artist I happened to discover somehow, somewhere online, I can't remember where; her work is amazing, versatile, meaningful and cheerful at once, there is so much to enjoy and be inspired by and to aim for oneself.

 I especially love her monkeys; I apologize for the poor quality of the photographs but the light is very dull this evening.

Monday, 27 May 2013


 yes we really did have sun today and after work T and I went for a walk and just look at this view: lush and green and fertile, you can't see them but there were lots of geese and goslings about

we weren't the only ones enjoying the sun: this tiny hedgehog was snoozing in the sun and I managed to get very close to him for this pic
small cloth with an earth  mother; the body was folded double and cut in one go, the head was added later and tilts to the left because it wouldn't fit otherwise; I started out sewing the three patch, on which she's standing, together with the thin white fabric onto the cream backing, only then did I add the figure and that is why she's almost too big. I intend to sew more figures; a baby and maybe a tree on her belly and I want to continue the stitches around her body

sunlight falling on front

front, light shining through: a lot more colour and now I notice that the blocks left and right are flowers, very fitting for earth and the blue square in the middle could represent water.
I love what I'm learning over in Jude's What If Diaries class; the layering of the very thin fabrics, using white or very little colour, working with light through and on cloth, the cutting out to create 'lace' and adding literal depth, the cutting through and layering, it is a cloth-whirlwind happening through fingers and imagination, exploring and looking (at my own work and that of others!) and experimenting and not knowing what the outcome will be, unforseen as Grace would say.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


friends S&M sent me this ukulele tune

so this is what I bought in the Villa Augustus shop: jute, such a useful purchase

Saturday, 25 May 2013

music and cloth and a visit to a wonderful garden

'clueless' or that's what I've named her; we met in Villa Augustus yesterday, the V.A. is an experience rather than a place: in the enormous restaurant one can enjoy delicious home made cakes, salads, lunch, dinner, high teas, wherever possible ingredients come from the vast kitchen gardens and greenhouses you can walk about in and fantasize how you're going to copy this at home.....; wander about in the formal gardens and mazes, admire the stone walls built  from bits of rubble from the site, sit in the sun on quirky garden furniture, shop till you drop, then recover yet again in the cafĂ©-restaurant with cappuccino and the most chocolaty chocolate cake ever! belly and mind full, body tired after all these impressions, you could even stay the night in the hotel, located in the former water tower.  The whole lay out is incredibly inspiring and it is also a very happy place to be thanks to the interiors designed by artist Dorine de VosAs you may imagine I couldn't wait to get home and start creating again; it was a birthday treat from my friends M, J & J. Ah, being 50 is turning out very nicely indeed!

a small piece, a little bird piece actually, started yesterday evening, wanting colour more colours and still experimenting with sheer fabrics, 'lace' and see through imagery

front held against light

back held against light

glue stitched with double dark blue and a single cream thread: in both cases the bird can still be seen

Laura Marling 'I am a Master Hunter'

Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling 'The Water'

Friday, 24 May 2013

a very full post

 gorgeous sky, blustery winds, a fresh and springlike morning; T's leg has improved somewhat, we are now able to walk together for about half an hour; I have to monitor him closely and check we don't go too far as he is always eager to just keep on going
'hazemannetje' finally finished! 38x52 cm/15x20in 2013

now he can begin his adventure and wander off into the wide world, at times filled with strange beings, headless deer - or is that due to carelessly cut off cloth - dogs that can walk upwards, flowers forever blossoming; not to worry Hazemannetje, you are ready for this land of ours and what lies beyond......

Hazemannetje's faithful companion Sparky

the yellow bird, if so inclined,
could of course follow and report back to us; he promises me nothing in this respect (nor does he promise anything else either) Hazemannetje says to me not to worry and I agree outwardly, but you know how it is with one's children: 'tis not easy letting go. So 
I salute you both, Hazemannetje and Sparky, and wish you well; I have but one hope: that you may some day return safely to share with us the stories of your travels!

 More experiments with whites and see-through fabrics: the burnt and tree trunk stencilled fabrics are sewn on to a piece of white cotton with dashes of bright colours, that could suggest all manner of things/beings; I'm not yet sure the blue roses are going to remain here; top photo is of detail, bottom pic is the whole piece

 in 'Grace does(n't) do white' more animals have appeared; the cat at the bottom is sewn in between layers, with a sewn outline like the previous lace experiments; the small red dog is sewn on top of the larger dog-spirit, so he is in the outside world, but still dependent on his mother/father?

above bird shadow I've added bits of white cotton and a lace experiment 

 interesting bit of fabric from the latest addition to my stash; it's curtain fabric (a cotton/polyester mix) with circles that are half see-through, and the other half has two shades of colour; just to see what I might do with it in bottom pic: hanging in front of a piece, very evocative I feel 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

latest pendants


solitary crow

tiny dragon



circus mouse

fabrics galore, from my sister-in-law, my mother, my niece, my friend J., colleague R.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


showing off dress (in bag full of hand me downs from sister-in-law), second hand boots I bought at the car-boot-sale yesterday! and ukulele: birthday present from husband, now I HAVE to learn how to play!

T graciously agreed to wear a party hat and  join in the party fun, amazing how he manages to stay cool-looking, no matter what!