Friday, August 28, 2015

This wet-ish weather

This year has been an odd one for me because I have grown very little.  Only dwarf french beans and borlotti beans - no tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, or anything else.  So not only has the weather not been right for Summer, but also there is no great freezing going on in the kitchen now as Autumn is almost here.
The damp weather has helped me stick to my stitching - but it, and the stitching have not helped my mildly arthritic fingers.  So, today diversion tactics have been employed both in the kitchen and the workroom.
This year I have dusted off a gadget my husband gave me many years ago: the ice cream maker.  I love ice cream, but find that commercial brands are getting too sweet to taste good.  This year I have taken to making much less sweetened ice cream, frozen yoghurt, and sorbet.  This morning I made raspberry sorbet - a cool substitute for ratatouille!
In the workroom I have been building up more stitching for the future by developing some image ideas.
Now that my fingers are rested I can spend the rest of the day stitching.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Another dreich day

Stitching summer colours on a dreich late summer's day.  Lush greens abound in the garden as the leaves drip. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

A quick design

Another in the queue for vinyl (lino) cutting - always time for a coffee break!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Late Summer wayside

Today I drove along country roads, and enjoyed the last of the summer flowers.  It all felt very English in the way that costume dramas portraying the post war years tickle the nostalgia nerve endings.  What leapt to my mind was Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies - reminding me of my years working for Blackie, her original publisher. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The luck of the draw ...

... to have the leisure to sing sad songs as the world turns.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I have just finished reading a book which transported me back to one of my previous lives - the seventies when I was totally immersed in the world of book publishing.  On my office walls there were always postcards, and one constant was by Edward Gorey: his audience always there to keep an eye on me, to remind me to take everything with a pinch of cross-hatched humour.  I was very much a fan of his art and his children's books (I had quite a few before I gave my collection away to deserving sprogs).
(Image above from here - which also contains an interesting introduction to Gorey.)
The book I stumbled upon in a review page recently is Edward Gorey, His Book Cover Art & Design by Steven Heller.  I so enjoyed this nostalgic interlude: remembering the days not only when I was conversant with the family trees of publishing personnel in the UK, Boston, and New York, but also the time I spent travelling from Oxford up to London after work for my course on book design at the London School of Printing.  I was lucky enough as an editor to be able to design books and their covers for a couple of years before a design department was set up.  It was a time of great adventures, whereas now I more resemble one of these dames:
(Image above from here.  I am not a Goth fan, but the link puts Gorey in context with such, as well as the dark imagination of David Lynch and other surrealists.)
If you do not know the work of Gorey, and you like what you see in this post, there are many more chuckles here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A bit of light relief

The trouble with devoting all my work time to stitching is that my fingers and hands begin to protest.  So, in order to vary their exercise I've been working on a new design - as if the stitching queue was not long enough already!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Development of a monoprint

I seem to be working on a few pieces at more or less the same stage at present, and so I must finish them in order to space out my progress again.  Occupying most of my attention is a stitched piece developed from a monoprint.
Three years ago I produced a series of six monoprints using a repeated stencil, experimenting with effects.  I was pleased with the results, but especially so with the following three images.
And of them I decided to have the last printed onto fabric.  That's the one I'm stitching now.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


On Sunday we decided to take an outing to Wisley, a garden which we had not visited for a year or so.  It was a bright sunny day - usually not suitable for photography - but the 'prairie' planting is just stunning.  The mix of shapes and shadows, tones and colours was entrancing.
There was a duck with two teenage ducklings in the pond above.