Tuesday 28 June 2022


Continuing my map project, I wrote this piece of creative writing.  Not prose but possibly not a poem either!


Folded up.
Keeping information enclosed and secret.
Fold up.
Fold down.
Concertina folds.
Slowly unfolding.  No longer hidden.

Spread out.
Spread across a table.
Spread out on a car bonnet.

Tracing the route with a finger.
Following the blue, the red, the orange, the yellow
And even the white.
Tracing the dotted lines of pathways and bridleways.

Refolded to show the area required
Tears along the creases from frequent folding and unfolding.

Churches with spires. Churches with towers.
Viewpoints, historic houses, gardens
Symbols, names, scale.

A route from A to B.
A straight route.
A meandering route.

Rivers, canals and railway lines
Geography and history side by side.

Miles and mile of potential.
Adventures waiting to happen.
Here be dragons!

But life. 

Life doesn’t come with a map.
No manual. Just the clock.
60 seconds.
60 minutes.
60 hours.
60 days.
60 years.
Tick tock. 

J Alfred Prufrock
Measuring out his life with coffee spoons
Tick. Tock.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 25 June 2022


This month's theme has been buildings.  Yet again I haven't been out anywhere to take new photos so I searched the archives for some photographs.

I quite like taking pictures of parts of buildings as you will see.

For the summer we are going to take part in this Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 21 June 2022


Have you heard of the app what3words?   To quote the website: 'We have divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words.'  It's quite amusing - although it does have serious uses.  Amusing because if you walk around your house different parts of your rooms have a different 3 word list.  And the words are so random!

I had been thinking about mapping my life and returning to places I'd lived and taking photos.  However the teacher training college I attended has since been demolished and I'm not keen on taking photos of other people's houses without permission.  And no way was I knocking on people's front doors!  So I hit on the idea of using what3words.

However, as I mentioned each house is divided up into 3 metre squares so it was pot luck which combination I ended up with.  And time consuming to go through each 3m square to find a pleasing set of three.

Then it struck me!

Why not make up my own three words for each place based on my life or memories.  So that's what I did.  These aren't all the places I've lived and I'm not identifying them here.

Baby. Child. School 

Church. Bus. Lawn 

Bungalow. Job. Mini 

Mortgage. Property. Vodka. 

Commute. Pub. Divorce 

Lodgers. Rowan. Future 

Marriage. Masters. Baby

Retired. Admin. Travel

It's actually quite hard to sum up parts of your life in only three words.  For example, the last three words cover 33 years.  Some of the things I came up with required 2 word answers eg empty nest.  So I stuck to the challenge I'd set myself and therefore lots of areas of life got cut out.

What 3 words would you come up with?

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 18 June 2022

Another grid of grids!

This week I took part in another zoom session of Notice What You Notice.  I talked to Christine about the grid of grids I made last week and she suggested trying it on translucent fabric.  It's really difficult to photograph!

Anyhow! I put an old map on the table, stretched a piece of polyester organza over it, and taped it up with masking tape.

As with the one last week I started with indigo acrylic paint.

Added tape and printed with white acrylic.

Added more tape and printed with Payne's Grey.

I peeled the tape off carefully.

It had occurred to me that the fabric might stick to the map due to the plasticity of the paint.  However it peeled off easily.  However very little of the paint went through to the map.

Here's the painted fabric.

I put the masking tape onto a large sheet of paper and cut it into 7cm strips.  I shall probably make them into a zigzag book.  What else!

Thanks for joining me today


Saturday 11 June 2022


For the last session of Textile Explorations, Liske suggested various activities.  One was something she had learned from Jayne Emerson called 'Crashing'.

I had a go at it.  It involves a layer of fabric, a layer of Bondaweb and a layer of water soluble fabric. I machined my grid very evenly.

After steaming it looked a lot like smocking!

I used a gelli plate to print onto another piece of fabric, using the 'smocking' to make a pattern in the paint.

The paint on the 'smocking'.

One of the other activities was to repeat the grid activity that we did in January but without the watercolour wash.

I didn't do it at the Studio.  I wanted to do it at home as I wanted to use all things gridlike to print with.

I used a Posca pen to write on the fabric and then Indigo acrylic paint to print with.

When that had dried I added white.  Hard to see!  After that had dried I used Payne's Grey for the last layer of print.

Here are the masking tape strips after I had taken them off the fabric and put them onto a large sheet of paper.

And now the BIG REVEAL.

A grid of grids!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.  I could keep it as a panel and stitch it or as ever, I could cut it up!

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Choice Made!

Did you see my post about what sketchbook to use?  You'll be pleased to know that I made a decision!  This one:

Yes, the octopus one.  Mostly because it resembles - admittedly vaguely - the way maps fold up and maps are my inspiration for my next project.

I think calling it a sketchbook from now on is probably incorrect.  It's going to be a workbook, as it's the place I'm going to record my research and hhow my work is progressing.

I spent a few days researching maps and artists who use maps as inspiration and then assembled it all in the workbook.  There are lot of photographs as I have photographed the whole 4 page folded section plus double page closeups.  I hope it isn't too many.

The right hand page above opens up to reveal pages on the history of maps.  It's very incomplete - just the bits that interested me - the Mappa Mundi, Nolli, John Ogilby and the Ordnance Survey.

I found various poems and quotes about maps.

Alongside looking at artists' work, I asked the question What is a map?  They all had different replies in their artist's statement.

I started with Jill K Berry in her book Personal Geographies.

The right hand page unfolds to reveal the work of Alicia Merrett, Diane Savona and Valerie S Goodwin.

Turning over the page we come to the amazing work of Eszter Bornemisza.

Moving on now towards how I might approach the topic.

This was from a Jeanne Oliver workshop.  Is this a map?  There's room for me to answer that!

And then more on my response to the work of the artists I found.


Where all this will lead me I have no idea.

As I don't usually work in this way it will be interesting to see where it all takes me.

If you've made it all the way to the end with me, thank you.

Thanks for joining me today