Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Bath & bag & bye

Nothing like a good long soak in the bath, especially when it's your friends bathroom that you just spent a long hot week slaving to transform into a lovely space. Candles everywhere give it a warm yellow glow but it is actually white with a dark wood floor. Very calming compared to the decor of the previous occupant.

Will not be blogging for at least 8 days as I'll be in France at my friends wedding. The planned 30's style dress turned into a nightmare when, after cutting up the material, I discovered I had got one dress size bigger in a week. What can I say, I was snacking a lot cause I was stressing about making the dress! But I have improvised by sewing pink chiffon bits onto a nice top and will wear it over the 30's nightie so it still looks a little old style and looks good with the blue shoes. Me in pink chiffon, I'd never have imagined it.

Details from the camera bag I made to match my wedding outfit.

At last, the cat sitters are organised, the house sitters are organised, the garden/veg sitters are organised. In fact, the only person not organised is me. There will be no sleep before my flight in the morning. I'm so much looking foarward to it all. Au revoir... x

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Trying to be greener

a saved bit of christmas wrapping paper that looked nice when I dropped it on one of my fabrics.

Graphic print based on a lovely gate I saw in Wales.

Well, since I couldn't sleep I decided to stay online for a bit longer. I've missed blogging so much and have really enjoyed my little burst of it and all your lovely responses. One comment was from Katherine who's blog Chatirywold got lost from my bookmarks when I changed browsers a while back. Glad to visit it again and particularly enjoyed her brilliant 100 point Bio about herself. It's open, homest and often very amusing, well worth a read.

If I had a 100 point list I reckon I could pinch about 40 of her points for it, like her No. 13.
"I'm trying to buy more fairtrade/organic clothes. Unfortunately it doesn't compete with the H&M sale prices..." Ha, Katherine, that one made me laugh, and then feel guilty. And thanks for the glo4life tip which was new to me. I can't be trusted in the shop under St. John's, I always leave with way too many flapjacks and chocolate!

Katherine also linked to Cityhippy a blog about striving to be greener which, if I read correctly, she is the Edinburgh editor of, what a gal. I always strive to be greener, though I've had some lapses recently... mainly due to H&M having a sale when I became thinner!


Feeling very emotional just now and can't get to sleep so a bit of unexpected image-making and blogging should help. The word is from the back of a book and the sea is near Harlech on the West coast of Wales where Mr P and I used to hire a static caravan for holidays.

Mr P's cousin and her boyfriend came from London to stay with him this week and flew home a few hours ago. It was hard to see them go. I'll call her Miss P for the purposes of the blog. Miss P is utterly inspiring and I feel privileged to have met her at last. She has the most serious health problems of anyone I've ever met, life threatening, but she handles it incredibly and is unbelievably positive and nourishing to be around, even though she must be in a lot of pain a lot of the time.

I get very low about my own health issues and feel like I miss out on so much because of them, but she deals with so much more in a way that is really quite incredible and I feel so totally moved having spent only a short time with her. If I could have half that oomph for life I think my life would be so amazing. I will try to be more positive.

I so much want to talk about her, well both of them, cause they are an amazing couple, but I don't want to go into personal details about others in such a public space. But just acknowledging their impact seems like a good thing, this blog is so much a diary of the things I love and am influenced by that they definitely deserve a mention on it.

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

More of Joels tessellations

For some reason these didn't upload on that last post...

Loving these origami tessellations, most folk take bad pics but these ones are pretty good found here on Joel Cooper's Flickr pages.

Folds Pleats Creases

Ruth Singer pleated cushion

Been meaning to mention Ruth Singer a textile designer and blogger who is living the life I really ought to be living. She ACTUALLY properly makes clothes, reconstructs old clothes, makes bags (ok I make loads, but I never quite finish anything off fully). And she teaches too, she teaches at the V&A among other places! How great is that.

I like her work beacuse we have similar taste in vintage inspiration, and she too has a thing for 'constructed' fabrics. Here's another of her pieces...

I've never really shown you any of my constructed fabric pieces (or much of any of my 'real' work) but it's one of the things I'm really passionate about. At school I remember we did a some of weaving and while everyone else went to great trouble to make their piece smooth and even and perfect, I was doing my best to make it 3D by weaving in hanks of wool, plastic bags, fine thread, paper, rags, grasses and even inserting broken slices of mirror. They never understood where I was coming from but I didn't care and have continued to work like that for (eek) 20yrs. Wow, that's shocking, in fact it's more than 20yrs!

I don't do so much weaving these days (only in mid-winter, so cosy to do in front of a fire and a good film) but I like to bring shape and texture into my sewing, especially my bags. I'm always inspired by the flowing lines of the Scottish land and seascapes, and by different kinds of sky so that often shows in the way I stitch, lots of references to fields and fences, plough lines etc. Here are a couple of things I have to hand for a piccy, sorry none of my good ones are about though I think my penny pouch is somewhere in my April blog?

Cuff detail

Felted lamp detail

And not just fabrics, paper too, I love to work with paper, folding, stitching, pleating, burning, cutting... you get the idea.

Over here is a video clip of how to 'crumple' and here is a napkin I'm in the middle of crumpling, one side is patterned and one side plain white. When I'm done I'll start to stitch into it. I plan to experiment with this in crisp translucent fabric and papers to create lighting...

But some people are better at it than others, I can only imagine the patience required to produce things like these...

Origami tesselation...

By Origami Joel

Found this one, also by Joel Cooper here

Ok folks, that's it for now, my 3 days of cramp have been bloggy bliss but now I have the serious business of a dress to make, and if I fail, the even more serious business of running around Edinburgh in hysteria trying to find something for under £30 that I can wear instead. I'll try and be online again at the weekend.

PS. Janet, yup, I got the 10% thing from Howies but too skint too buy just now, I usually get stuff in their big clearance sales online.

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Neglected lily after heavy rain, the pollen stained the petals. It's making the garden smell incredible, one day I will actually plant it in the ground.

Floor detail from Edinburgh College of Art from my trip with Daphne. Daphne has her own puppychick T-shirt, which brings me nicely to my topic of the minute...

I love my organic T-shirts (and other clothes) from Howies. They are pricey but they are well made and last. Plus they never seem to date so I get tons of use from them. If you care about the impact your clothing has on the environment here's a good blog The Perfect T Shirt.

Monday, 21 August 2006

Blues and creams

Thanks for your comments and emails folks. I am back doing a little burst of blogging, but only briefly and not doing proper replies, sorry. The computer is still on it's last legs but I have cramp and can't go anywhere so I'm prepared to wait while it slowly does it's thing. I'm even doing some random linking while I wait, which is always fun and leads to all sorts of things...

Xavier Deshoulières is a French painter who's work I have fallen in love with and would happily purchase if I had any money.
He uses an amazing technique of painting from behind the canvas and using his hands to push the paint through to the other side. Find him at
Virgil Gallery

Markus Hansen - Polluted Sky 1 at Virgil Gallery

Atta Kim. This 8hr exposure of the 57th St and Fifth Ave intersection found here on the New York Times site.

Richard Sweeney paper sculture - Icosahedron.

Fabienne Lasserre - Head III.
Made from glass and fingernails on papier mache. At Virgil Gallery.

Ova Luminaire at ITEM

Ooooh. Ova Luminaire lamp, it's eco friendly as well as gorgeous, but the decimal point would need moved before I could buy one from Item. They sell some stunning lighting. I'm a sucker for white china and light.

Kou ceramic chandelier

Susurrus detail

Susurrus in trees

Near my house

Last week they cut the 4ft high grass in 'my field' (it's not mine, but I like to pretend it is as I skip through) but this is what it was like when it was still green but I was not blogging.

I nearly always walk through there when I go for the bus even though it takes longer than going to the closest bus stop. There is a constant threat to all the fields from developers so I feel I need to really enjoy this space now and count each season it's here as a blessing.

Veg love

Mustn't forget about my veggies, who knew I could grown them with hearts inside. Had this selection (courgette, broccoli, cauliflower) steamed for dinner last night with soya mince and spicy lentils. Very tasty indeed, which is lucky cause I'm eating it most days just now.

Free food is wonderful

First proper crop of damsons from my friends 4ft high tree.

Gooseberries which I am eating in huge quantities each day. I managed to fit 50 in my mouth in one go. The initial squash once they were in was tasty, but then I was left with 50 bitter skins to chew on.

Blackberries from my garden that I have just picked for breakfast.

My health has stopped me getting much out of this summer but one thing I have been enjoying is home grown and local wild fruit. There's nothing more satisfying than coming home after a hard day and spending some time gathering together little piles of goodies from the garden, fields and hedgerows.

Heavy skies

Today has been a day of constantly changing sky with sun ans rain in equal measure. Only dawned on me to take a couple of photo's towards the end of the day when it got really moody and heavy, low rain clouds shared the space with bright sunshine. Thee two pics were taken within an hour of each other, it just kept changing, very beautiful.

Simon Norfolk

"Walking a Kabul street can be like walking through a Museum of the Archaeology of War — different moments of destruction lie like sediment on top of each other. " Simon Norfolk

This is the stunning work of photographer Simon Norfolk. (a big thank you to Camilla for posting a link to his website).

I'm tempted to talk about his work as it has made a big impression on me but since he's kindly let me post some of his images here I think their intense mix of beauty and destruction speak for themselves. I have only posted small versions but they really should be seen full size on his site. The ones shown here were all taken in Afghanistan (click on Afghanistan: chronotopia).

He is just back from Beirut and some of those pictures are on the New York Times magazine website though I haven't been for a look yet, had to blog about these first. Thanks Simon for letting us see what's out there.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Rest and be Thankful

A quick post, I've been trying to go to bed for 5hrs, and now it's full daylight outside!

Scotland is such a green country, I'm am particularly appreciating this after seeing urban areas going brown after our recent hot weather and lack of rain. I'm a gardener, I like a bit of rain each week.

The Rest and be Thankful is on the way to my Gran's house in Argyll, in the West Coast of Scotland. It came as a welcome resting place to folks in the past who used to walk their sheep (i think sheep, or cattle?) all the way up the steep slopes. When you got here, from either side, you had a good rest and were thankful knowing it was all downhill from then on.

Often it's clothed in mist but when we took a trip to my Gran's last month for her birthday it was really hot and sunny, and the clouds sent shadows dancing over the mountains.

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Emiliana Torrini

I like this image from Emiliana Torrini's website...

Happy Birthdays

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Susan (artesprit) and Samantha (whizzme) bloggers who share the 1st of August as their B-Day.
Here are two of my garden flowers for you both...

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