Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Reunion

I am thrilled to have been able to get together with my good frien Marilyn after a few years gap as she lives 200 miles off the North East Coast of Scotland !
The Shetland Isles are nearer to Norway than Scotland and in fact it used to belong to Norway until I think it was given as a dowry.

I have visited twice and loved it! The bird and wildlife is just amazing and everywhere, the people friendly and there is just so much going on!
Lots of art, music and culture, crafts abound,wool playing a huge part in all aspects of life and industry.
Fair Isle is just a short hop south and there are tweeds and wool mills on Shetland itself.I came home with both from visiting the Jamison's Mills and shop and they have been incorporated in my throws and bags over the years.
Marilyn runs a superb friendly B&B with a view down the Voe to die for and just within easy reach of Lerwick , which is both picturesque and thriving. Have a look at her web site www. click on the web links there for more on Shetland.
It still has strong links with Norway( Viking remains abound ) and a great link with "downunder" as many Shetlanders went there for work in the wool trade so there are relatives in both Australia and New Zealand and lots of to-ing and fro-ing between there and Shetland.
On one trip I met a weaver who experimented in weaving with all sorts of unusual materials and on her floor was a rug made of recycled fair isle sweaters and it has stayed with me in my mind all these years and with the help of my friend Eileen Sarup textile artist weaver and felter I have started my own with pieces left over from my patchw
ork Fair Isle throws this is no 9 above

The result is really interesting, I think if it is felted down a bit it will make a hard wearing rug. I look forward to experimenting with perhaps a mix of tweeds too.
The rug frame was made for me to make " proddy " rugs copied from an old Northumbrian frame , something I not done yet dispite my Geordie background.
I am pleased to be able to put it to use in this way for now.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Another rescue project !

I can't resist trying to rescue an abandoned piece of handworked textile ! all that thought and effort often deserves another life.
This is a really fascinating mixture of pieces of canvaswork and embroidery ,some of quite an age I would imagine. It came to me in a sorry state ,found on the floor of a market,the colours caught my eye and dispite the really horrible cheap covering that it was mounted on to make it a cushion cover I could picture it on the wall as a piece of art.
David made me a wooden frame so it would stand away from the wall which we painted matt black and I fabric glued it to the front ,I did not want to lose the origional backing fabric of the piece which was revealed when the rest was removed.
I am really pleased with the result and it is now on my kitchen wall where I can study it and muse as to it's age and who did the work. My god daughter was the first to see it and was so enthusiastic I have offered her the second piece that came with it.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

My latest "baby"

This is my first blog and a bit daunting, First of all Happy Christmas to all my friends and collegues and visitors to my web site which gives you a clue to my interests!
It has been an extremely busy year with lots of buying trips to France with my travelling mate vintagelizzy which we really enjoy .
Already the Fairs Diary is filling up next year, keep an eye on my diary page on my web site for details of events, if you need information or invitations please e mail me .
I am using this period of being homebased to tidy my studio at the end of the garden and spend time really getting my web site up to date and more pro-active, and to try some new ideas on the design front
My latest passion is "redwork" ,comes of being in the inspirational atmosphere of Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall for Jo's Christmas Fair ,you can't fail to be caught up in wanting to creat something ! I am hooked on the simplicity and the fact I love red and white.