Friday, 24 April 2015

Time to Come Clean.....

....about my absence from the blog.

Unfortunately, the day surgery was not the end of it all; the biopsy showed some abnormalities which led to an MRI and blood tests which led in turn to a gynae-oncology consultant and finally to surgery.

On Tuesday I had a total hysterectomy, the wonderfully titled 'bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy' and biopsy.

Yesterday (Thursday) I was discharged with a HUGE bag of drugs - sixteen pills and one injection per day (I was somewhat apprehensive about doing it myself, but it was OK), a bit tired and sore. Every single member of staff that I encountered was kind, efficient and lovely. I cannot fault the care I received in any way. The NHS is a marvellous thing and we are very fortunate to have access to such excellent care without the worry of how to pay for it.

Today I managed to make a cup of tea for myself, though The Boy is being a splendid nurse in every way. I also swatted a moth with a rolled up magazine (fellow wool workers will understand the pathological hatred of wool moths, who are getting frisky at this time of year). Said swatting did cause some alarm to The Boy as he was in the other room and only heard the thud and victory cry of 'hahaa!!'.

The excellent news is that my physio has said that it is fine to try weaving as soon as Monday.  I can do 45 mins and see how I feel on Tuesday. If OK then can gradually increase the time, in short stretches. Very happy beaming face to be told that, especially as I will be off work for some weeks and not allowed to drive for a few. If I can weave then I will be content. I have a piece already started on the loom as well as a frame with the handling samples for the Cathedral. Warping would be out of bounds! I have also been stashing some good books for my recuperation time, so I will not get bored.

Friends,family and colleagues are being very supportive.

I feel very blessed.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Experiments (or, 'why my home smells like a chip shop')

Sample strip woven on a raw silk / unbleached linen warp. The weft is spun silk, raw silk, linen and wool. Wires are either embedded or wrapped. Now soaking to see what happens when the verdigris and rust form on the wires and leach through........

I can now reveal that the 'large pointy building' mentioned in the previous post is Chichester Cathedral. The first of three textile art workshops for beginners and intermediates will be on June 13th; subsequent ones in September and November. Flyers are going out in the next newsletter mailing. Nurturing creativity in others is one of my passions, so I am very happy :-))


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Tired, Feeble and Otherwise Lacklustre...

.....I had really begun to think that I had lost my creative mojo. Not a nice feeling! At the beginning of December I found out that there was a reason for this - I am quite badly anaemic. I have been having some tests and there is some investigative surgery to come at the beginning of March; the results of that will determine whether further surgery is required (am hoping not, obviously!) Nothing life threatening, thankfully, just a (mal)function of my age and gender. By dint of chewing iron bars (or the dietary / pharmaceutical equivalent) I seem to be gradually coming back to life and the enthusiasm for it, a HUGE relief. Cue much smiling:-

Smile One: I have started doing some small experimental weavings as planned earlier, and, depending on the results, expect to revisit some past drawings as cartoons for small tapestries. Verdigris and rust are brewing in my kitchen, yarn bundles are wound, the loom is tightened, HOORAH!

Smile Two: planning some paintings-as-cartoons for some exposed coloured warp tapestries for a joint exhibition in November with my painting friend CJ. I shall be getting a parcel of coloured 16/2 linen from Sweden, HOORAH!

Smile Three: designing and delivering some Adult Ed creative workshops at a certain large pointy building to the east of here. Nurturing creativity n others is one of my favourite things, HOORAH!

Smile Four: the possibility of some dedicated studio space to share with another painter friend, SM. HOORAH in waiting.

Smile Five: attending a symposium at Goldsmiths on 'Threads and Codes' which sounds most interesting. HOORAH!

And the sun is shining outside, I have made some changes to my son's bedroom which I commandeered the studio, and have a full day available for weaving tomorrow. HOORAH!


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

September Sunset 804045

My latest small (18x30) piece which will be on show at 'Fifty Pieces of Gold', Chichester Yacht Club, 26th November to 3rd December.

The number is the grid reference of the place I took the photo from.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

New Toy!

A new and improved ring loom for weaving 3D. I still have the one made for me to weave the smaller standing stones in 2009/2010, but there were some flaws because it was made from recycled wheels and had no base. I designed this one and it was made for me by Stephen in the WD workshop.

I shall do some sampling on a frame to establish the warp ( which will be exposed) and weft combo to be used for a series of pods. What I have gathered for trial is some fine spun silk, raw silk with slubs of cotton and cashmere (Skye II by Texere - an old favourite), 18/2 undyed wool from Weavers Bazaar and some natural linen from Bockens. After all the red of 'Shrapnel' and 'Greater Love', I will enjoy working with neutrals for a while. There will also be some copper wire incorporated ready for verdigris.

Before I allow myself to start 'playing' I have to complete some sewing projects - revamping my wardrobe and a long overdue blind for the kitchen window. Now that stocktaking the shop is over I have some more studio days in prospect and a couple of exhibitions to work towards.

And if anyone messes with me I have that lovely Monkey's Fist door stop to defend myself!


Friday, 3 October 2014

And On to the Next Thing

Well, it's all taken down and packed away. Apart from the piece that I SOLD. Hoorah and much rejoicing! 'Greater Love' has gone to a lovely lady.

'Shrapnel' (see fragment above) is going to be in Guildford Cathedral for a few days in November. I hung it in the gallery in very fragmented form, but will arrange it more obviously as a poppy as it is to form the backdrop for some children's workshops.

The exhibition seemed to be largely well received, going by the appreciative remarks in the comments book. Sufficient people 'got' it for me to consider it a success.

I have very few pictures because it seemed that both my cameras had died. Upon a visit to the nice man at Sussex Camera Centre, it transpires that my pocket camera is indeed beyond rescue, but that the SLR was simply a victim of my ineptitude. Good news then!

Today I have been writing and uploading a residency proposal. I have a love-hate relationship with such tasks, but they are a necessary part of the portfolio life. I would be thrilled to get this particular one; the potential for a creative match between the location and my practice is great. Let us hope that the commissioners see that too!

I plan to do a bit of playing experimentation with some 3D and exposed warp using raw silk, natural linen and copper wire, followed by a vinegar bath - how I love verdigris. That and a Chichester Harbour sunset piece for an open submission next month should keep me out of mischief.


Monday, 1 September 2014


Sections 17 and 14 completed in today's studio day.


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