Saturday 30 December 2023

New Year, New Word?

I have been choosing one word for the year for a while now. 

Over the years since 2011 I've chosen Restore, Focus, Present, Participate, Thirst, Purpose, Connect, Gratitude/Thankfulness, Commit/Commitment, Walk, Intentional and More.  This year's has been Connect.

I signed up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word class this year and managed to do quite a few of the prompts.  I also didn't worry if I missed out some of them.

Connect has been a good word for me.  I'm happy with how intentional it made me.  I am happy to let it go, although coincidentally 'Making Connections' is the theme for 2024 for the Midland Textile Forum and our exhibitions.

So, on to 2024 and a new word for a new year.

But what should it be?

For a while I thought it was going to be [curious] or [curiosity] but it didn't totally grab me.

Then I thought about {discover}.  There are lots of strong synonyms for this word but I thought these gathered together what I need for 2024: design, devise, explore, identify, invent, learn, notice, observe, reveal.

What can I {discover}:
about myself,
about my textile practice,
about new techniques,
about taking my ideas further.

Who knows, but it has the potential for an interesting year.

There are a couple of days left of 2023 so quite possibly there's time for a different word to crop up!

Do you choose a Word of the Year?  Let me know what it is in the comments below.

Thanks for joining me today.

PS: The name of the sculpture in the photograph is the 'Monument of Discoveries'.

Saturday 23 December 2023

Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a very

Happy Christmas

Marc Ignacio on Unsplash

with a poem I wrote at the last Theme Poetry of 2023

Tall and Slim 


if not for
the marks.
I’m tall
and slim.
A tall, slim,
white candle
Standing straight,
and tall.
But those
marks I feel
disfigure me.
What are
they? Why
are they
Did I
I’m tall
and slim?
What’s this?
A stick
of flame
my head.
It burns.
My head
And then
just as
the light’s
out. I
feel strange.
Some part
of me has
my sides.
Brightness and darkness alternate.
But as the darkness falls, a light
flares up and touches my head each time.
I am no longer tall, slim and white. I’m almost gone.
Dissolved, disfigured, pooled in the saucer I’ve stood on
these past twenty four days. There's just enough of me
For one last show of light to glow on Christmas Day. 

Thanks for visiting my blog this year

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Looking Down

The last theme for the photographic ladies this year was 'Looking Down'.

The thing about looking down is that it can be from a great height or it could just be what's at our feet.

These are views from high place down into valleys in Australia.

But this was at my feet as we walked.

In Western Australia we walked through a Tree Top Walk.  Here's the view looking down into the forest floor.

When we were in Albany (WA) we went to the top of a monument and looked down onto the port.

These were the steps we climbed up.  The photo was taken as we started the walk back down.

And finally!  From the bedroom window when the frost had melted on half the lawn!

Thank you for joining me today.

Saturday 16 December 2023

Studio Day

This week I went to Littleheath Barn Studio for a Studio Day.  This is where you take your own work to do and get the benefit of Liske's advice when you're stuck.

I started work on this new piece by 'painting' the fabric with thickened procion dye.

This piece is based on verses from Ezekiel 47:1-12 about the river flowing out.
I left it rolled up in plastic for longer than I usually do but still lost quite a bit of the green at the bottom and the rust at the top.

In the afternoon I made this grid based on the Australian Connections research I've been doing.

And later this week I worked on this sample from the Maps & More workshop the previous week. It's not particularly satisfactory so it will no doubt be put into my sketchbook.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 12 December 2023


On Saturday I went into Birmingham to a meeting.  I took the train to the Jewellery Quarter.  I loved this sculpture outside the station.

As you walk from the station past the jewllery shops you can also see this graveyard.  Warstone Lane Cemetery.

The whole side of the building had this piece of art.

The clock tower.

After the meeting I met Roger for a very late lunch and then we walked up to the Cathedral passing these angels on the way.

The Cathedral grounds had market stalls set up.

We walked through to New Street where the German Market is held.  It was so crowded.  It was almost impossible to get to see anything or to get anywhere.  However I did mange these photos.

We walked through the Bullring shoppiing area to get to Moor Street Station and the train home.

We have never been into the Christmas market on a Saturday and I think I never will again.  We have been during the week before so I'll remember that for next time.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 9 December 2023

Quick Update

I showed you a new zigzag book I'm making at the beginning of the month.  Here's a quick update on how it's going.

I continued the dotted line across the whole book but once the Posca ink had dried I didn't like it.

So I went back over the dots with a white Posca.  I wrote the words of the chorus of 'We Are Australian' in a thick white Posca and added black dots.

I added some more stencilling.  I also knocked back the copper texture paint with acrylic to soften it.

 However the words looked like Dalmations trotting across the page so I went back over the words with the original white Posca pen.

I don't know whether this side is finished.  I have the other side to do and may or may not come back to this side.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Australian Connections Update

I have continued to work on my Australian Connections worokbook that I showed you last month.

Sorry this is a bit blurry.  I've tried several times to photograph the pages and this is the best version.   The left hand page is about my dad from birth to the age of 6.

The right hand page is about the family coming back to England.

This is the start of a page on our visit to Stuart Street in Bulimba in 2008.  This is the house that was built in 1940 on the site of the house my dad lived in at some point in the late 1920s.

I started trying out some collage and stencilling.

I printed out the 4 songs I mentioned in my last post and stuck them into the book.

I have no idea where this is going.  But onward and upward!

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 2 December 2023

A new zigzag book

I discovered reels by Sue Bulmer on Instagram where she was making a new zigzag sketchbook using dressmaking patterns.  As I had just found a stash of patterns I thought I would have a go.

I started by tearing up the dressmaking patterns into smaller pieces and using matt medium, glued the pieces randomly onto both sides of an A2 piece of cartridge paper.  Surprisingly for me, I didn't take photographs!

I folded it into 4 in landscape format and into 3 in the portrait format.   I cut along these 3 folds to make the pages of the zigzag book.

I joined the 3 strips together with the packet the pattern came in.

I made covers from the thick card from the back of tracing paper pad and used the roll off paper from the gel printing I had done for my Australian Connections project.  The finished size is 15x14.5 cms.

I used copper coloured texture paste through stencils and sequin waste.

I used watercolour to colour the joins.  They look really yellow in the photos but matches the tissue better in reality.

Using ink pads I stencilled the Austalian plants.

I used a Posca pen to put dots to join all the pages.

I am thinking of putting the lyrics of Australian songs or possibly just random words from the songs.   I've got the lyrics for Waltzing Matilda, We are Australian, From a Land Down Under and Australia Fair.

I'm actually making it up as I go along so I have no idea what the finished book will be like!

Thanks for joining me today.