Friday, 28 February 2014

new arrivals!

Woody and Buzz have arrived, they hitched a ride out of Gorinchem with friend J. and her dog Porter, Tungsten's old mate; whilst we three went for a walk they were welcomed by the Twins and made to feel at home straight away......

Buzz even has his own pink sleeping bag, handknitted by friend J.
Woody can't carry one, so he hasn't got one, but as he is such a slim character we imagine he'll be able to slip into bed with anyone he chooses without anybody noticing.......or if they do, without them being bothered by his presence......
You see them here looking for a place to kip ; they claim the travels have worn them out and they want to be fit to party later on, expecting a festive dinner from all the other gang members to celebrate their arrival, we'll just have to wait and see

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

mini quilt no.2

mini quilt no. 2
I love making these small quilts; I'm learning a lot about the different ways of bringing fabrics together; as I have no patchwork/sewing background I sometimes feel like I'm learning backwards, making these small quilts is a really good way to doing just that

details: the quilt measures 16,5x17cm; it consists of three layers, a thin patterned cotton woven together with a square of pomegranate dyed cotton (with a green ink lino print and blace ink lace flower print, same as middle square from no.1) kantha-stitched together with the blue silk backing using single strands of embroidery thread

here's the beginning of no.3, again a patchwork, handstitched with the seams hand-pressed and basted flat; I intend to leave the edges 'open' in contrast to the 'neat' look of the patchwork.....

sooooo, after having been cooped up indoors these past couple of days due to the Bug, I let myself out: first an afternoon in the office, yep back to work!
but afterwards OUT into the woods, the days are lengthening once more and the lure of the outdoors could no longer be ignored....the lightness of the light the BARE trees the bird SONG the promise of SPRING and longer days spent out HERE

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

patchwork (mini)quilt

first finished small quilt for the Project; I do believe this is the first ever quilt I have actually managed to finish
reference details: measurements 14,5x15,5cm, the middle square is pomegranate-dyed with a green ink lino-print and a black ink lace-flower-print; the 4 pale yellow linen squares are comfrey dyed; the 2 mauves come from the acorn-plus-iron-tin-can vat; the stripes are a Kaffe Fasset from Julie; the 4 outer squares plain cotton with beige-ink-lino-print; the backing and filler are two squares of very thin blue silk, both came in a bag of fabric-goodies from Jet

looks who back!!

how one of the tiny creatures might view the quilt

I have been and still am at home felled by a stomache-bug, so after the horrible first day&night of just sleeping and loo-visits.....I now have more time to sit and sew, together with our eldest who has also been infected by same bug!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

tickled pink

what a result! the coin-clamped cotton from the avocado/onion peel dye, no mordant - if I remember well it was in there since wednesday

another so-called 'itajime' or clamp resist from the same dye bath, but steeped for only 12 hours, resulting in a very delicate mother-of-pearl pink; the flowery clusters are from the first black-bean-dye last summer

 the bound fabric from the walnut dye: on the left a hint of pink/violet, browns of course and very subtle greens from the tulip leaves

gathered together

yet another block into the avocado/onion peel dye, the folded fabric square is too large for the wooden boards and the wrapped string will add markings to the end result

I love these colours, their modest natural presence

Friday, 21 February 2014

busy day

high up in the tree a huge nest; I was walking with friend J, her daughter J plus their dog Porter in the woods this morning where we spotted this enormous nest, whilst wondering what bird it belonged to a magpie landed on a branch close by and gradually moved upwards towards the nest calling to his/her mate

several strips of cloth anticipation 

pinned onto the dyed and printed linen a cut-off from a silk/felted shawl I made a few years ago, not a great success if I'm honest and as the silk was disintegrating I decided to put it to good use, this bit might work here, other bits are to been seen further down

block clamp dipped into walnut dye, quickly removed as i sensed the dye was seeping into the fabric way too fast too much, the string wasn't tight enough!.....but i do like the result, as seen below:

 another experiment with an ironed and folded strip of cotton (already dyed with a black-bean-dye last summer, but the colour has faded)bound with goat's wool, which i assume will also take on the dye; it is half submerged into the acorn-dye

 here you can see the dye seeping into the fabric that hasn't been submerged:

a coin-clamp and a block clamp simmering in the onion-peel/avocado-dye, will check on those tomorrow, am curious to see how they'll turn out:

what i thought was going to be the living room, I think studio/living space is a much better idea, tiny birds have arrived as have various other objects, they will probably move about a bit, until things settle down for real; in the pic below three stools with a felt cover (from the shawl) and three books, made by our boys when they were a lot younger in the library...aha books are starting to materialize; Frog's poor relations have also taken up residence

the OldBird King in his own bed with Frog lying on the felt-floor-flower on the right; ShadowDog has been joined by several of his English cousins, they can all share a spot underneath the bed.

a happy Malle with a rainbow necklace, I enjoyed a masterclass today with teacher J after the walk

the young teaching the old new skills! it's pretty fiddly, but the results are fun, you see me wearing a bracelet J made and gave me

finally a photo of the second knitted and felted blanket hanging to dry in the library

Thursday, 20 February 2014


after several comments I just had to look at what it is that we love about small things and dolls' houses and what I choose as a decorative theme within such a house; I believe it has in part to do with our past, childhood memories that accompany us throughout our adult lives; for me a hollow tree in the orchard in the huge garden that came with our house in Brigg U.K. has for many reasons stayed imprinted in my mind's eye; it was a magical tree for me, I would spend hours outdoors mixing water and 'herbs' in pots and pans, concoctions not dissimilar to the dyeing vats I experiment with nowadays; this hollow-tree-memory allows me to notice them everywhere I go and I looked back at a trip I made with then-boyfriend-now-husband D in Nepal (and India) because of the memory of such a tree and also their buildings: the stones piled one upon the other, an organically growing assembly of buildings; a pic of me standing next to an elephant, I like this photo because I'm laughing and look really happy (I was to be sure, very much in luv')

shrines like this one within the trees with roots above earth were a common sight, the young man is D of course, also looking very happy