Tuesday, September 29, 2015

weekend in the country

We had a lovely, long weekend in the country.
 There were gentle walks

 to see the sunset and the perigee full moon rise
 There was companionable sitting on the verandah, reading, writing and drawing
 This was the view from my chair

 And I wore my new favourite t shirt.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poetry Thursday : Unending Love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age-old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

Rabindranath Tagore

This poem was read by my lovely sister-in-law at our English wedding in December 2012. So perfect and right.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday evening in the studio

After coming home from work yesterday with a vast and crushing data analysis induced headache, I was very pleased to feel comparatively sprightly this evening and I went into what is now grandly called the wet studio and played with paint.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday night stitching

working on the Wedding Dress tonight

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Poetry Thursday - Borges "Afterglow"


The sunset is always moving
however gaudy or impoverished it is,
but even more moving
is that  last, desperate glow
turning the plain rust colored
once the sun has at last gone down.
It hurts us to bear that strange, expanded light,
that hallucination infusing space
with unanimous fear of the dark,
which suddenly ends
when we realize it's an illusion,
as dreams end
when it dawns on us we're dreaming.

Jorge Luis Borges Poems of the Night

Monday, September 14, 2015

A little light working

I did get to play in the studio a bit over the weekend - it wasn't all reclining on the chaise!

I am doing another wonderful online course with Karen Ruane and made some class samples,
and did some more stitching on my rather nebulous linen strips project.

Friday, September 11, 2015

supine blogging

Long term readers may remember my dodgy back and its capacity to suddenly fold up like a cheap deckchair.

Well, it's had a fit of the vapours again after I unwisely moved a book awkwardly last week. Rest, osteopath and some very comely painkillers helped it recover, but not quite enough as this morning when I bent forward to dry my hair I felt a sort of structural landslide that left me gasping. 

So, ice packs, drugs and rest are back on the menu. At least I have the lovely W to help me put my socks on, and my new studio has a chaise longue where I can recline and draw.
 And I can be soothed by my mobile of feathers.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Poetry Thursday


L'invitation au voyage
Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble!
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
À l'âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l'humeur est vagabonde;
C'est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu'ils viennent du bout du monde.
— Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
D'hyacinthe et d'or;
Le monde s'endort
Dans une chaude lumière.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Charles Baudelaire

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

studio fabric storage #1

One of the luxuries of my new studio is having a cupboard to store some of my fabric where I can see it. This is much more important than you might think because unless I can see something, whether it's fabric, paint, thread, or books, it might as well not exist. So filing cabinets, opaque boxes and drawers are no good for me - I need to be able to see all the possibilities.

Here is my fabric wardrobe with some of my more precious bits: on the left is the Wedding Dress Project which is gradually evolving, behind that are rolls of fusible web, sinemay, bookbinder's mull and buckram (aren't they wonderful words??)

Then there is a wooden shoe rack with wool blanketing, damask tablecloths and some vintage Japanese hemp on the bottom shelf: cottons and vintage French hemp on the next shelf up and silks on the shelf above that. On the top shelf is my mending basket, cotton and silk organdies, mulberry bark and a reel of feathers bought at a bargain price from Clegs' closing down sale.

Hanging from the rail above is my feather collection gleaned from quite a few beach visits. And hanging on the back of the door is my studio apron, two largeish pieces of hemp, and stitched and dyed strips from another project that is evolving.

Monday, September 07, 2015

spring has definitely sprung

The grass is emerald green in the park near my office, where I often have lunch. And in the distance you can see this year's crop of ducklings - 14 of them being taken for a carefully supervised walk. The drake is fiercely protective and chases away over-curious bureaucrats who try to get too close a look at the ducklings.
And the leaves are unfurling at a rapid rate.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

new studio news

As in "new studio"! The eldest sprog moved out a few weeks ago and W suggested I needed more creative space (I know!!)

So here is the new "dry studio" mostly moved in:
Lots of room and light
And here is the "wet studio" looking rather shambolic (although it's a lot easier to get to the washing machine). I'll be playing with paint, dye and clay in here and doing some printing.
It has been rather sobering to move the stitching and drawing stash - I have a LOT of silk chiffon.

 And now my studio table posts will look rather like this:

Friday, September 04, 2015

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Poetry Thursday

  The Walrus and the Carpenter
 The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Lewis Carroll