Saturday 29 April 2023

Natural Creatures

This month's 'Write Poetry' zoom had a link with the creatures in the natural world.  Sara-Jane introduced each exercise with a 'mentor' poem.  One about fish heaven, one about a fly on a battlefield and the third a series of poems that were words-as-animals-as-words.

The first exercise was to choose an animal, insect or other creature and write about what that creature would think was heaven for them.


No more twilight barking
Full sun
Warm on the coats
Of dogs.

Bountiful balls
To chase and retrieve.

A cacophony of barks, shouting
The same joyful tune.

More balls, abounding treats,
No shortage of flavoursome food.
Unending playtime.
Unceasing sniffs.

Rolling in the sticky mud, clogging
Fur and feet.
Running in the ripples
Of the ocean.
Digging in the sand
Snout covered, sniffing the detritus
Of dead fish and seaweed.
Back fur squirming into the malodourous heap.

No humans threatening a bath.

The second poem inspiration was to look at a human event through the eyes of a creature.

The Dove

Drifting over the Mount of Olives
The dove eyed the quiet of the Garden.
Gently alighting on a branch
The dove prepared to rest.
Hidden by the foliage.

The peace disturbed
Marching, shouting
Lamps aflame.
Swords rattling.

The dove marked the moment
The man was constrained.
Peace returned to the garden
As the rabble move on
Rushing the man to judgement.

Catcalls, whistles, shouts of derision
As the man stumbled through the masses
Carrying his own device of death.

The dove attracted by the possibility
Of food, followed the masses
To the hill.
But frightened by unnatural darkness
The dove remained aloft
Soaring to find another rest.

Fragments of fractured wood
Pounded into dust and mixed
With myrrh, lovingly prepared
To preserve the body.
Carried carefully by women
To the burial ground.

On her olive branch
The dove spied the women
Coming nearer to her roost.
The cries of the women
Disturbed the bird.

The dove took flight
Soaring above the empty tomb.

And lastly we were asked to write a poem using words-as-animals-as-words.  To be honest, my poem doesn't really reflect the task.  To find out the inspiration for words-as-animals-as-words look for poems by Barbara Juster Esbensen from her collection 'Words With Wrinkled Knees'.

Why butter?

Why not flutter?
Flutterby, not


Bouncing, flitting

Kissing, caressing
Dancing along the flowers
Tasting with their feet.

A proboscis ‘straw’ to slurp
The nectar, juice or sap.

Why butter?
The gossamer winged beauty’s
Excreta resembles butter!

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Eclectica Exhibition

Last weekend was the British Quilt and Stitch Village show at Uttoxeter Racecourse.  I was there stewarding the Eclectica exhibition on Friday and Saturday.  Sarah and Rob put up the exhibition.  It looks really professional.

Some close-ups of my work

And finally a photo taken by Anne Armes.  I have followed her on social media for a while and was pleased to meet her in person on Saturday.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Spring has sprung!

The theme for this month in our photography group was Spring. These are my photos taken in my back garden.

This next photo is actually two photos taken one after the other and edited together.  I had to zoom in a bit on the right to be able to capture the rainbow.  I wanted to show a typical Spring day with the sky either side of the tree.  Nice day on the left.  Not so good on the right.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Depression is a liar

Every now and again I veer away from art, textiles and travel and wander into serious stuff. Today is one of those days. 

Depression is a liar.  It tells you that you’re not good enough.  It makes you withdraw into yourself.  It makes you withdraw from family and friends.  It tells you that you are not loved because you’re unloveable.  It isolates you.

Why have veered into serious stuff?

Last week someone I knew took his own life. It came as a great shock to his family and friends. It was his 40th birthday earlier this year and he had at least another 40 years ahead of him.

As I've read the tributes written by his friends on his Facebook page, I've seen how loved he was and how much people are going to miss him.   He was funny, he was kind.  He was a nurse and his colleagues loved him because he was so supportive.  I'm sure his patients thought he was great too.

He loved my work and had two of my pieces on his wall.

I've no doubt his friends and family are asking themselves whether they could have done more.  I don't know.  And that's part of the problem.

Depression is a liar.  It heaps shame on you.  Shame on the person with depression.  Shame on the people left behind if it gets to the point of suicide.

It's essential to talk.  But depression says your friends have so much going on in their lives they don't have time for your troubles.  When you 'count your blessings' depression says you should be ashamed to feel so low when you have all these things going for you.

In case you are wondering what right I have to write about this, you are welcome to read other blog posts of mine:  Time to Talk and the follow-up More Talk.  There's also this one: Mental Health Awareness.

One of the things we can do is tell our frineds and family how much we appreciate them.  Honour them.  And why keep it just for friends and family - show appreciation to those you meet fleetingly that help you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression get help.  I know that's not easy.  It's easy for me to write but it's not an easy thing to do.  It takes courage.

I'll leave you this from The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse.

(c) Charlie Mackesy/Ebury Press

and this

And the story behind the song.

Saturday 15 April 2023

More silk pages

After my last post I continued to set up the fabric collages on the silk noil 'pages'.

I started stitching the collages using threads supplied in the Inspiration Pack. I've used extended fly stitch, running stitch, whipped running stitch, seed stitch and cross stitch.

I'm showing you the pages laid out but when I assemble the book these will be folded in half.

I'm not keen on the collages on the right of the next two pages.  I think it's because I like things to be quite geometric - as in square or rectangular - whilst these two have curves.

I like these next two.

All of these are still works in progress.  I may put more stitches.  Possibly beads.  Or maybe some text.

I think I'll work on all the remaining pages first and then see what is needed before assembling the book.

Thanks for joining me today.