Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tissue dammage!

I'm getting through loads of tissue paper at the moment - but rather than using it for wrapping presents - it's forming an integral part of my degree work collage - torn up, mosiac like, and then rubbed off and chalked over, it creates a fantastic worn/distressed surface

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tis the season for hot chocolate and marshmallows

Its lovely going out for runs right now - its not icy, there's a winter sun, lots of squirrels, and most people are busy doing last minute shopping, so there's hardly anybody about.  I've been exploring a few new footpaths too, and have got a new offroad, but not overly muddy, short cut over to the Moorgreen Reservoir. It's always beautiful there - bluebells in the spring, camellia in the summer, rich autumn leaves and now beautiful frosts. 
The great thing about running in the winter, is that even if you do a relatively short run, it still feels great, you've got out in the fresh air, and then you can come back in and really appreciate hunkering down.  We've just started making the most fabulous marshmallow hedgehogs too, ideal for dipping in hot chocolate, and, chosen carefully, vegetarian friendly

quarry tiles are for life not just for Christmas.

Wow, once again, I think how lucky I am to have such lovely friends.  Our friend Matt is donating his old quarry tiles the Brinsley wreck, with the proviso, "a quarry tile is for life, nost just for Christmas."  I don't think he realises how happy he has made us, we've been relaying the original quarry tiles back in the wreck, but the few black ones that we had were beyond repair and broken.  Almost half of these new quarry tiles are black, and so we'll be able to make some fancy star patterns in the porch area at the front door.

This morning, I squealed out loud, when I opened a Christmas card, my lovely friend, Sharyn, who makes the most beautiful pop up cards, sent me this through the post.  I don't think my camera does it justice, but believe me its fabulous.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Goats, wreaths, and icy runs

It's been really icy today, the ice only cleared off the windows at 4pm this afternoon, and some of the pavements have stayed white over all day.  I ventured out for a small run, but it was hard going, the pavements were slippy, and the fields were so hard and rutted that it was hard going, I just ended up doing a small circuit near the rescue centre.  Despite being cold, it was a lovely sunny day, and saw turkeys, sheeps, ducks, goats, chickens and ponies - the goats were actually on the track, so I'm not sure if they'd tried a half hearted escape (stoopid, they won't get better looked after than where they are) but fortunately someone was rounding them up, and the chickens were happily clucking around both there, and at the farm down the track - its really nice living here.
The house is moving on too, Colins been hanging some doors, which is keeping the house much warmer, and so now,  in time for Christmas, I have somewhere to hang my wreath!

Monday, 10 December 2012


Here's a sneak preview from "The Sheeps" collection (we've always called more than one sheep "sheeps", since going to Iceland, several years ago, where thats what they were called.  I remember someone trying to correct people, and while I know they were being helpful, actually "sheeps" is a such a nice word,  it makes me smile everytime I say it,  and it shows how impossible the English language is)
Currently I'm struggling with how lifelike versus how styelised my sheeps should be, I like the idea of a slightly scruffy, waiting to be sheared sheep, but this means that they're not the rotund sheep that are usually characterised.
The plan is to donate a £1 from each "Sheeps" sold (now thats not grammatical!) to the Brinsley Animal Rescue centre.  (If you read my earlier post from today, you'll get an idea of how moved I was by the project)
A Sheep in progress....

Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre

The Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre had an open day, and seeing as it is only down the road from us, and that we have a friend who is mad about supporting animal charities, and already sponsors the pigeons, the injured hedgehogs and Rocky the pig there, we all went along.
It's a fantastic set up there, none of the workers are paid, they all work in other jobs and work at the rescue centre as volunteers, they're for ever extending to accomodate new animals, and its obvious that all of the animals there are really cared for, and when ever possible, are released back into the wild, or if appropriate, rehomed.
I think I've talked about Boris the Blind Bull on here before, he was born blind and spent the first part of his life locked in a shed.  When he was rescued by the centre they had to teach him how to kneel down to eat grass, and while I'm normally petrified of Bulls, he is a complete softy who really really enjoys human contact.
What else was so lovely to see was the amount of support and visitors that had come to the open day, only 2 weeks before Christmas, and people had come along to the rescue centre, it was definately more of a family day out than could ever be said of traipsing around shopping centres.
The centre has 2 open days a year, and is definately worth going to and supporting.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Work is starting on extending the trams and its going to cause havoc to businesses, especially small independent businesses, that don't have the cashflow to prop themselves up while a road is closed to traffic for a year or longer. 
I'm really not convinced that the trams are a good thing, they only replicate existing bus routes, the work in installing them is chaotic for everybody that they affect, and. unlike a bus, if the road ahead is blocked, they can't navigate around the blockage, in effect causing gridlock.
I did though, have a positive tram experience today, while on my commute to the pop up gallery, a group of school children got on, and rehearsing for a Christmas concert, gave us an impromptu rehearsal - it really did put a smile on everybody's faces - its not changed my mind about the usefulness of trams, but it was really lovely

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Pop ups!

I just love the whole ethos of a pop up shop, this is the 2nd one that I've been in, on the run up to Christmas.
I love the way that they give a whole new lease of life to a building, its neighbouring shops,  and, in both of my cases, the local artists that they represent.  They make the area more vibrant, and we've had so many people coming in and saying that they really like the space, that I've just lost count of how many times I've been told it.
Obviously theres a lot of hard work behind the scenes, cleaning and renovating a space thats been empty for a very long time, co-ordinating the permits and licences needed quickly and in a short space of time, knowing that theres only a short space of time to select artists and  promote the premises, and of course the investments needed. 
What these pop ups do show, is that despite the recession, and the fact that "stack em high, sell em cheap, mass produced" superstores exist, people do really appreciate hand crafted goods, and don't want every shop to be a replica of a shop in the neighbouring town.

Dezigne, Carlton St, Hockley, Nottingham, throughout December

Monday, 26 November 2012

Blown Away

Wow it's been windy over the last few days - not the best of days for standing in a muddy marquee at an Arts and Craft Fair, still I was wrapped up in my ski trousers and coat and its been lovely. As always I've had a really pleasant time chatting and laughing with really interesting people, I was lucky enough to be next to Georgie and her friend Beth from http://www.pixel-portraits.co.uk/.  They were both really nice and have the most amazing idea - pixelated protraits, but the pixels are actually symbols (numbers, or hearts or ducks etc) if you click on the website you can play about with a photo and change the colourway and the pattern.  They had the idea after creating portraits of family actually using dice, and the more I think about it, the more I realise how difficult that must have been.
I've met some lovely people coming up to my stall and had some really interesting conversations with people who love trees, or who love playing about with different textile techniques, and of course with people who love touchy tactile things.  it's always really nice to see the people who are buying my pieces, it sounds a cliche but I love knowing that people like my work, maybe thats the warm feeling that stopped me feeling cold all weekend! 
Packing up, though, proved a challenge, the rain had started falling really heavily, the wind had picked up, and the road had closed, so I had to carry big boxes in the dark to the car park, which is a fair distance away.  I think it must be there that my TreeHuggery table cloth, embroidered and appliqued with the words "TreeHuggery. Textile. Tactile. Unique", got blown away.  With a wry smile I'm wondering it it has got blown into a tree somewhere, and if it has, what passers will be wondering if they see it. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Thank you for being my friend

I'm really meeting some lovely people at the moment, in the last week I've been given the wensleydale curls from the shepherdess, have been gifted a dyson hoover from a fellow freecycler, our hoover had burnt out, and small world that it is, the gifter was also a fellow allotmenter (although not the ones with the angry snake) and have met up with some lovely people by going to art and craft fairs.  Yesterday somebody was kind enough to take the time to email me to thank me for the cushions that they'd bought, feedback like that is so lovely - I'm extemely insecure about my work....and then somebody else took the time to contact me to tell me how I might find some inspiration from olive trees (they live on a farm in Portugal) and are going to take some photographs and forward them to me.
Another friend has spent hours constructing bags for my heart decorations, and only wanted paying for the card that she used, and didn't want a penny for her time.
In a world when so many people are rushing around, and so many people are only "out for themselves", I think I'm very fortunate to be in contact with so many generous people

Sunday, 11 November 2012

snakes alive!

I bumped into our old allotment neighbours yesterday, and they were tell me how they'd had an adder in their allotment.  We've had one down there, but ours was quite friendly and was basking on the compost heap.  Theirs was trapped in some netting and so was very very angry.  My poor old friends only had a stanley knife available to try and rescue it, and it was obviously very frightened and got very nasty - Not sure if Adders can bite?  but I'd have been terrified even if they can't/  At one point it "played dead", went very still and let off a horrible rotting smell, which is probably just as scarey as it being angry.  And when they eventually let it go?  it slithered off and got stuck in the netting on the other side......

And to think I'd been such a drama queen when I discovered a wasps nest in the box that protects the water tap!

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Well I knew this month was going to be a busy one, but its already gone through the roof!  It was really nice to have a nice calm day at Craft in the City which is inside the most beautiful church.  As always I've spoken to some really lovely and interesting people, and this time I had the added bonus of been given some wensleydale (wool - not cheese).  The woman at the stall opposite me had brought along felty soaps, but it turns out that she's also a shepherd. Like me she hates wasting anything and has been horrified that huge bags of fleece are sold for so little, sometimes only 8p a kilo, and so she's started felting soaps.  I'd always understood that this is really difficult to do, because the felting process starts as soon as you start adding the dye, but I've been told that I should try using kool-aid (the drink) rather than acid dyes and heat the combination in a microwave.  So will wait and see.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Where's the month gone

I can't believe it's November already; which means the start of a really busy month of art and craft fayres.

October has been soooo busy, we're starting to get into running again, and since moving into the countryside, we have lots of lovely new routes to explore, I've been doing some casual work for the police commissioner elections too - I can't believe how much work is involved even prior to the elections - people who haven't filled in their electoral registers get up to 3 personal visits, and then of course, all most everybody these days opts to have a postal vote, which requires a huge amount of preparation, and of course we're still working on the house (cleaning up the lovely old quarry tiles which we'll relay) and of course TreeHuggery and my degree - so much to do and so little time!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

plastic bags what are they good for? textile art!

I've just finished the first of 2 original pieces for a new green collection upcycling plastic bags into art
They are now for sale at http://www.studio61gallery.co.uk/
Its lovely turning unwanted unloved materials into something beautiful, and the frames (not shown) were made by my husband from reclaimed floorboards, I now eye up plastic bags in a totally different way, not seeing them as rubbish, but eyeing up the colours and the thickness of them and thinking how they can be manipulated

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

John Lewis County

Just come back from a few lovely days in North Norfolk (affectionately known as John Lewis County where everthing is tasteful, lovely and made to last) .  We've had lots of lovely walks, eaten nice food and generally relaxed  its the first break we've had in a while, and it was strange coming back to a different home.  We're very much hoping that our new relaxed way of life will mean that we need less "get aways" as the stresses and strains of modern day life, will hopefully get less

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Yesterday's run saw me do a bit of speedwork, when, halfway across a field, a horse that had previously been ignoring me and eating grass, decided to take a run with me.  Todays walk was a bit more sedate, and I've found a local conker tree - I stuffed my pockets with the conkers and their outers - I'll use them in a still life first, and later I'll use the conkers to deter spiders from the house (trust me it really does work)

On the design front, I've been busy, I've gone back to dyeing and sculpting fabrics in the pressure cooker, I'm making a very tactile wreath out of felty balls (pics when its complete) - think its to labour intensive to develop comercially though, and I have my winter tote bags ready for sale. (www,treehuggery.co.uk)
I'm shattered!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cold but happy

Well to say that I've got a stinking cold, I've had a lovely day today.  Col was doing the cross country race, so I decided to go over with him and take a walk while he was racing.  I got some cracking photos of autumnal trees, made friends with a huge irish wolf hound and chatted to a woman who was gathering rosehips to make rosehip wine - now thats an idea.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pumpkin fest

Pumpkin and tarrogan cobbler, pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie are all bubbling away.  Also because I have such a reputation for being a "womble" and making use out of the things that people don't want I'm making some green tomato soup, but better than that I've found a really good use for plastic bags.  I'll post a photo later

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sad news about Darren Holloway

At the weekend a friend of ours who I ran with at our local club died while out competing in a relay event for his fell running club (pennine). Darren was a well known , respected and loved person who had the time of day for everyone. His cheery way of life his knowledge of running and cycling will sorely be missed by all those who new him personally or through his blog " laidbackfellrunner" He was a modest person who probably never new how much he was an inspiration to others.  At 42 years old he had managed to pack more experiences in to his life than some will do in twice that amount. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Just walking the dog

Went a nice autumnal walk with my friend and her 4 terriers today - the sun shone and the dogs splashed about in puddles and streams, would love a dog ourselves, but probably not a terrier, lovely as they are, I'd be terriefied about them chasing animals, and as it is we have visiting squirrels coming in to our garden.

Thinking about dog names though and think Bach or Orc would be a good name for a "Ward" dog  - hmmm have probably been listening too much to "Sorry I haven't a clue"  Mr and Mrs Ward, and their dog "Bach".......

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Prizes, prizes

Ooooh exciting, I'm launching my first ever TreeHuggery competition, and a chance to enter a prize draw to win a signed, limited edition, giclee print of "The Well Walked Path".
I love draws and competitions, it really brings out the child in me - so to actually be running it, and put "The Judges decision is final" and think "oooooh that's me"  - well that's soooo exciting.
If you want to see more, here's the link
I popped over to the lovely studio 61 gallery in Holloway, to take over a new exclusive range of Autumnal cushions and tea cosies, its a beautiful drive up the windy steep roads, and was made especially lovely by the bright blue skies and brilliant red leaves on the trees.  Sadly this time I didn't stay for a walk along the Cromford canal, but went back full of ideas for new projects
Feeling very flattered that my work has been chosen to be there too,

Sunday, 30 September 2012

no news is good news

My runs are normally really eventful - nearly get stampeded by cows, (or horses), end up running through the middle of a wedding proposal, have to take photo of fisherman holding his giant catch etc.  On Friday we went for a stroll and saw fox, and then today we went for a run past squirrels, goats, pigs and cows, AND NOTHING HAPPENED.  The cows around Brinsley are really docile, and are more interested in eating than in bothering a couple of mad runners - I'm sure the recent phenomenem of cows becoming more aggressive is to do with what they're being fed, but I'll save that rant for another day, today it was lovely to be able to enjoy the countryside on our doorstep, long may it continue.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Joking Apart

It's been a pretty interesting few days, first of all I landed myself some casual working doing the electoral register work for the council, and on the first day I got myself locked into a gated community (yes it could only happen to me), then on Sunday morning, a guy came to his front door, still in his dressing gown, but didn't seem to realise that he was still wearing the remnants of fancy dress make up from Saturday night - and his "Joker" face was still pretty much in tact.  Me n Col have been smiling all day, wondering at what point he'll look in the mirror and realise that his make up is still on, and at what point in the day it will dawn on him that he answered the door still made up!
I've just logged on the interent to see that my Autumn silver birch cushions are being used in the publicity for the Craft in the City fair that I'll be doing on Sat 10th November in Nottingham - wow how exciting is that!
Winter Craft Fair at St. Peter's, Lister Gate, Nottingham

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Living the dream - almost!

Well the sacrifices are seeming worth it, today I woke up at the Brinsley wreck to see 2 squirrels playing on the garden.  Yesterday I took a series of originals to Studio 61 gallery, for the Autumn in the Dales exhibition, then had a walk in the sunshine along the Cromford Canal, life's not being easy, but it's feeling that we've made the right decision - and its one step closer to living the dream!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Where the wild things are

Well I've never been called a trend before, but thanks to www.FromtheWilde.com my Winter Silver birch cushions are being called just that and featured in Making it Magazine with some other pieces that are reall y beautiful  https://twitter.com/fromthewilde/status/246899253925015552/photo/1  I feel very lucky to be in such good company.
It's been a pretty good weekend all in all, The brinsley wreck is nearly a home, and it was lovely to be able to pop into the garden and pick fresh spinach for cooking with, its so hard to remember what a wreck it really was!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Season of mist and mellow apples

Currently working on some more prints, and it seemed obvious to do Autumn first - it's my favourite season and I love the way that the mornings have the perfect mix between sunshine and mist.  The apples are really starting to drop now, and I'm thinking of trying to make some apple cordial.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

See what I have to put up with

Just asked Col to get me some double cream.  His response?  "If they haven't got any, shall I get two singles?"

Friday, 31 August 2012

Autumn's definately arrived

So on Tuesday my lovely friends at www.fromthewilde.com had got my Autumnal cushions into Great British Life, and today they're in NorthEast Life ,   http://northeast.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/autumn-interiors--ten-great-ideas-for-revamping-your-home-43272/   At a loss to know how to celebrate (doing something Autumnal?  making cider with the windfalls maybe, going for a walk in the woods, or then again maybe making some more Autumn cushions) I just texted my sister to let her know the good news with the message "I'm in North East Life!" and she's texted back "Where? Newcastle?"  .... Hope I never get in to "The Mail" she might think I've got stuck in a postbox......

North East Life

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Man with a Van

I'm getting to quite like driving Colin's van, and thinking it has much more use than my car for moving stock around especially to craft fairs and the like, and it's even better now it has a handbrake again!  Poor Colin was very distraught all today, missing his van, at least they're reunited again, for now!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Thank you for being my friend

Thanks to my friends at the very lovely www.fromthewide.com, my autumn cushion has been featured in       "Great British Life" magazine
Walks away with big smile on face :o) but now, like a small child, too excited to sleep!

Cosy on the inside, wet and wild on the outside

TreeHuggery has been out to the Moorgreen show this weekend, and the wet weather didn't seem to put off many people at all, everyone was out in their muddy boots, and when cars got stuck in the mud, they were just pulled out by tractors. We were in the art and craft fair so we were really sheltered from all of the wet weather, but the drawback was that I didn't get to see the racing pigs, the dancing diggers or the sausage catching competition, and I didn't get chance to weave a fish or have a go at water divining (although I'm sure Col, and our plasterer (who usually gives the divining demonstrations there) will be able to show me how to do that.  The upside of being at my stall, and not walking around the show, was, apart from being dry, meeting all of the lovely people that come by, and receiving all of the lovely comments.  Its quite insular working on your own, and its difficult to know how your work will be recieved by people who don't know you, and so its always really nice when people come over and talk.  This weekend has been particularly lovely for that; one lady came over to tell me that she's seen my bags before, and we found out, that (small world) she saves onion skins for me to dye with, she gives them to her Nordic Walking instructor, who is my running buddy, who then gives them to me.  Another lady, has taken the time to email me after the show, to tell me that she liked me work, which was lovely to recieve.
 In a world where so many people shop over the internet, and scan their own goods at check outs, we're in danger of missing out on interactions, and missing out on so much more, its a bit like my descripition of the Show "cosy on the inside, and wet and wild on the outside" we're in danger of creating places where we don't leave our houses and if we do, we just hurry on by in a souless experience.

Monday, 27 August 2012

From Holloway to Botany Bay

Well not quite Botany Bay, but to Australia!  I've had a request for my silver birch prints to be sent to Australia, - I'm hoping that hand delivering them is tax deductable!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Divine Inspiration

Col's been learning how to use divining sticks with expert tuition from our Plasterer friend (is it any wonder our house is taking so long to renovate, when they're both engrossed in this!)  and the other question I should be asking, is "how come there a set of divining sticks, readily to hand, in what is esentially a building site?"
Actually though its really interesting, apparently the idea is to concentrate on a specific question, with a yes/no answer - such as "Is there a well in the garden?"  (we think there is under the old garage base), or even is "there more than well  in the garden"  - apprently the divining sticks can do more than follow water, they can follow boundary walls, or pretty much anything, and diviners follow a trail with only one of the sticks, not two. The two are used to get a yes/no response to a specific question, and they'll eitther cross each other or repel far apart. (Apparently Col is a "negative deviner" his go outwards (or repel), whereas most peoples cross (go inwards)  You can find out which you are by asking the rods a yes/no question that you already know the answer to.
The diviners were at the Moorgreen show today, and it would have been interesting to have seen them, but I was busy hosting my TreeHuggery stall, and as always chatting to some really interesting people, finding out about other peoples arty passions, and hearing about the poor little pup who came third in the cutest dog competiton - competing against two other dogs - aaaah!

Saturday, 25 August 2012


i'm taking some of my TreeHuggery collection to a stall at the Moorgreen show tomorrow, and am really hoping that the weather is kind to us - otherwise I might need to get one of the steam engines to pull my car off the field!

Autumn in the Dales

Very excited to be working with Karina at the lovely Studio 61 in Holloway on an exclusive collection of textiles pieces for the collection "Autumn in the Dales".  I've already made a start, and they're slightly more abstract than my usual work, and as always they're very tactile.  More later.....

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I'm in Holloway

The lovely gallery Studio 61, in Holloway, Derbyshire have done a beautiful job of giclee printing my fine art prints and greeting cards; all of the textures really stand out, and end up with the curious result of you wanting to reach out and touch, even though you know its paper and not material.
Studio 61 are going to stock my designs too, so all in all its been a pretty good day, I'm now busy signing my limited edition prints (I feel like a proper artist!) and mounting them ready for Sunday's show.  Its all go here....

Monday, 20 August 2012

money for nothing

An estate agent told me today, that she's had a few buy to letters pull out of sales, because they hadn't taken into account the cost of their own monthly mortgage repayments when they were thinking about the monthly rental fees that they were going to be getting from renting out properties. 
At first I thought this just showed how incredibly stupid some people are, but as I write this now, I think it also typifies the "something for nothing" mentality that so many people have;  they fixate on what somebody else will be giving them, but think there should be no cost to them ..... 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Living the Dream

Today we've swapped apples with one neighbour for a mighty fine chocolate cake, and with another neighbour for onions and garlics - it's really nice to see how happy people are giving and receiving the little things in life, and makes me think that we're  getting closer to our dream of living the good life.
I'm also really happy to have found out that my piece "Alone" which is currently being exhibited at the Derbyshire Open in Buxton has been sold.  Obviously the money is really appreciated, but just the fact that somebody likes your work enough to want to buy it, is a really really lovely feeling, that it's almost impossible to describe.  (Although Colin did joke that my parents or my sister had bought it me as a present, thinking it was the kind of thing that I might like!)

Friday, 17 August 2012

And the small hand says....

This morning I got to work for 8am.  I should start at 9am, so for a few minutes I was really impressed that I was the first one there, as that hardly ever happens, but then it slowly dawned on me, that I was a whole hour early, and really hadn't been paying enough attention to what the small hand was saying.
Still better an hour early, than an hour late, and better than what a friend of a friend did.....She had a small snooze when she got home from work on the Friday evening, and when she woke up at around 8, she got dressed for work and went to wait at the bus stop for her Saturday morning stint at work..... Fortunately the sight of lots of other people at and around the bus stop in their "going out" clothes, alerted her to the fact that it was still Friday evening, and 8pm and not 8am in the morning. Doh

Thursday, 16 August 2012

a walk on the wilde side

the lovely on line gallery www.Fromthewilde.com are now selling my silver birch tea cosies, egg cosies and cushions - that's a whole woodland of pieces!.  I'm feeling very flattered that my pieces are amongst such beautiful things, and what with the Brinsley wreck being almost habitable it starts to feel like the good life is only a small step away (and a walk on the wilde side is here already!)


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Not enough hours in the day

I have a craft fair to go to over the bank holiday weekend, and while I already have a lot of stock to take, I was anticipating that I would have plenty of time to get all of the little bits and pieces done - but I have no idea when I'm going to fit it all in, the weeks seem to be flying by and I haven't even had chance to go running more than twice a week - I really could do with creating a 26 hour in a day, theres loads of ideas I want to get off the ground for TreeHuggery, and loads of ideas for my textiles degree, but at the minute I'm having to keep them all in my head - with the occasional burst out that becomes a sketch of ideas!  Hopefully the delay will come out as some really tactile, and colourful ideas. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

ice, ice baby

Just come back from a lovely evening run across the fields - there were 100s of bunnies scampering off as we approached, and we found some new footpaths that have only just  been cleared, its lovely running in new places.
When we got back, we decided we ought to hose our legs down with icy cold water - we used to do it all the time when we were training for races, as it helps prevent injuries - to be honest I was dreading doing it, and stuffed my hand in my mouth, expecting that i was going to scream, but after such a hard run on a hot summers evening, it was a lovely refreshing feeling, and something i ought to get used to.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Hold the Front Page

After another typical day  ...go for a run and a dog tries to attack me, and a stressed out horse is on the wrong side of the electric fence, then go post to a letter, and a dog nearly knocks the door down, then go shopping and nearly get run over by a man reversing, who's oblivious to everything else apart from getting his parking spot.....and thinking here we go again, I've just had a lovely suprise.... some of my first year textile work is being displayed on the home page of the Open College of the Arts....
Daft thing is, I looked at it and thought, mmmm that looks like the kind of thing that I'd do, it was only when I checked the name, and looked back at the piece, that I managed to believe in myself enough to know it was mine. This was my working samples for the Sirens corset that I did for the final submission.
I've always thought that it would be lovely to have my work on the home page, and now I've had a piece exhibited on the home page as well as showcased during the final submission - its a nice surprise.

Textile sample

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Treetime Teatime!

because its always time for tea!, to compliment the egg cosies, I now have a range of tea cosies too  - available from http://www.treehuggery.co.uk/Tea-Cosies.html

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Death List

This morning I've been working in a pharmacy shop, earning some extra money to pay for the fine art printing.  I noticed that they have a "death list" a list of people who have died, so that they can tactfully avoid inadvertently delivering prescriptions, phoning with reminders etc, so imagine my horror when, as I was leaving, they asked if they should add me to the list.  As it turns out they were referring to a list of people who can help out, and not the list of the dead - I really shouldn't jump to conclusions.....

Thursday, 2 August 2012

where the streets have no names....

Today I've been doing a mail drop of electorial reminders - I've quite enjoyed myself walking around, first basking in the sunshine, and later being refreshed by the rain (although not so good for the envelopes) and I have enjoyed listening to a group of young lads trying to decide whether I was a postman or post lady (I can't remember ever being to PC when I was their age)
That aside I never realised how difficult it was to do deliveries - there's an enormous amount of houses that don't have numbers; some streets don't seem to have any street signs; lots of streets veer off into alleyways, that on first sight look like they're only a walk through, but actually have houses up there; letter boxes are so discrete they're almost impossible to find, and when you do eventually find them, they're so full of draft excluders, that its almost impossible to post a letter through them, and then of course there's always the fear that if you guide the letter in with your hands that a dog will take a nasty bite of your fingers (i've known it happen to far too many people)
Thankfully I didn't do what one postie friend did, which was walk half way up a drive way, before realising that he was walking in freshly laid concrete - oops.... I can't say that I blame him for swiftly retracing his steps,  chucking the junk mail and cleaning his shoes in a nearby stream.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tree Range Egg Cosies

Ta daaa - The Tree Range Egg Cosies are now available from http://www.treehuggery.co.uk/ - for people who want to keep their eggs roaming free for as long as possible!

And I've only just got them finished in time, cos I'm planning a muddy off road run with my friend in an hour - its all go here!!!

Monday, 30 July 2012

its a small world

Until last week, I'd never heard of the pretty little village Holloway, and then I went up there a few times to get my giclee prints sorted, and do colour checks, then today I find out that Holloway is the place where some of my friends have rented a holiday cottage and are staying.  Its a bit like the time when we got lost coming back from a holiday in Yorkshire and ended up in Harrogate, we'd heard of it before, but never been, then after we'd gone there it just kept cropping up in conversation again and again. 
I'm wondering at what point the 6 degrees of separation (the number of people we're all separated by) will officially drop.  It must already be less than 6 as a result of social media; there's no end of times I'll see that some of my friends, who i didn't know, knew each other, are linked to each other on facebook.
Its a small world

Saturday, 28 July 2012

And he's a runner up

Colin is far too modest to share his achievements, he didn't even tell me, until I asked him, but he's currently third in the leaderboard for this years Accelerate series of fell races in the peak district.
It's even more amazing when you know that the only fell running he does is at races, so no opportunities to  practice the hills or the technique; that he only started doing a few fell races last year, and that he's so busy working on the Brinsley wreck, that this year, he'd hardly been running at all since last August 
Personally I wouldn't recommend this approach as a model training programme, but he seems to be doing quite well out of it!

I've just returned from Holloway

I've just returned from Holloway (the village in Derbyshire, not the prison).  Its a beautiful village, near to Crich, which, if anybody is familar with Crich Stand will know, means extremely steep single track windy roads!
As well as a really beautiful village, scenic route and pretty canal, theres a lovely gallery, there called Studio 61. (http://www.studio61gallery.co.uk/) and I went to meet the lovely owner, Karina, to discuss getting some of my images giclee printed as cards and limited edition prints.
I'd popped back to approve the test colours, and I'm really excited, because the print and paper is really high quality, you can see all of the textures of the original pieces.  Here's a sneak preview of whats, very shortly, going to become cards and prints, and I'm already planning some more!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Wilde Woods

I've just had some brilliant news today, my collection of silver birch cushions have been accepted by the lovely online gallery "From the Wilde" (http://www.fromthewilde.com/), I can't believe I'm lucky enough to be featured on there, although in true understated  "Ward" style, I texted Colin the good news, he responded within seconds, which I was pretty impressed with, until I read what he'd put "No, I don't think so"  - It's a good job I realised that he was responding to an early question, of did he want me to ask for something from Freecycle.

What else.... as a result of customer feedback I'm going to start making the old Summer and Spring cushions again, and these will sit alongside the newer more tactile Spring with Blossom and Summer leaves!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Great hucklow fell race

Another fell race to try? Why did I go I wondered at the end, well the reason was it's part of the accelerate series ,I've now completed 5 races so am now eligible for a score in the series. But the main reason was it was a great day for racing. It was a lovely day with a good few hills to negotiate , Boggy under foot and narrow in places .The route was well marked and well marshaled .At six miles it was enough for me as I have had limited running since the last race. It took me just under 58 minutes  and was 11mins behind the winner,but I felt that was the best I could do,achy lungs and wobbly back legs meant it was as hard as I could push today.  I managed to see people who I have not seen for a while.
Fell racing is more sociable than road in my opinion. Although some competitors were berated by others for not using the stile and climbing over fences. You need to respect the farmers fields as that's there lively hood there trying to protect.
I also had my fingers trodden as I slipped and the following guy was eager to get on ,only trouble was he went  down the bank in his haste and ended up further back. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


It's pretty impossible to wash the pots and keep both hands dry, but since one of my hands is cut from falling over last week, whilst out on a run,  and my other hand is now bandaged after grabbing a saucepan handle that had been to close to the flames, that's what I'm doing.  Right now I'm feeling rather like Albert, the one armed pot washer, from the 1970s comedy Cuckoos Nest, and am starting to wonder if I should get my hands insured, although I'm so accident prone, it would probably cost a fortune.... Here's hoping I'm a bit safer tomorrow when I use the heat gun and soldering iron. I've got the Moorgreen show coming up next month, and so I need to make  more Silver Birch cushions

Monday, 16 July 2012


I'm very excited as I've decided to develop a range of Silver Birch greetings cards, they're going to be photographs from the existing collection, and it will be really interesting to see printed replications of them, I'm hoping that they'l look just as tactile... The hardest thing is trying to decide which designs to convert into cards, I'm keen to have at least one of each season of the cushions, possibly a few different winters (as these could be nice for Christmas cards) the Well Walked Path and  a thistle maybe, the possibilites are endless, and I'm really excited!!!
I'll post an update when I have more news.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

West Hallam Well Dressing, Art Market and Scarecrow Festival 2012

I've just had a lovely afternoon with my TreeHuggery stall at the West Hallam Well Dressing and Art Market.  The sun was shining (which was amazing given all of the recent downpours and the prediction of further rain for the weekend), the well dressings and the scarecrows were brilliant, and I met some lovely interesting people who came over to my stall for a chat.
One of my silver birch cushions has winged its way over to California to a lovely lady who is currently holidaying over here, and I chatted to some of the very talented women who make the well dressings.
This year the wet weather has made the well dressings particularly challenging as the usual flowers that are available weren't available, one of the women told me that as part of her forraging, she has been knocking on doors asking permission to take petals from gardens.  The well dressings can't be made to much in advance because the petals fade and brown, and, they need to be unattractive to squirrels too, who apparently are pesky little critters who steal the berries and seeds given half a chance....  And I thought that creating big textile works was challenging!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Making the most of things

My running buddy and I made the most of the wet weather on Tuesday, running in the pouring rain that was so heavy we couldn't see where we were going, and had lasted so long it had turned the footpaths into streams to splash through - once you get your feet wet, its actually fine,it's having damp feet that's unpleasant and causes blisters, but once you are wet, your just wet, and can't really get any wetter.  I love running in the rain, the trick is not to wear too many clothes that just get heavy and sodden, all you need are shorts and a vest, and to go somewhere off road and preferably muddy, that brings out your inner child.
Yesterdays run was much drier, and we made the most of an evening working late at the Brinsley wreck before running in the local woodlands along some paths that we'd only just discovered and admiring the evening's sunset - we really can't wait until we move house, and have this is on our doorstep everyday.
No runs today, I'm sorting out my wares for tomorrows West Hallams Wells and Art festival - I am hoping that it stays dry for that, the stalls are all in the courtyard, and all of the villagers take so much care in making the well dressings, and the scarecrows for the scarecrow festival, it would be a real shame for it to rain.
It's only for the afternoon, so fingers crossed the weather will be kind to us.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

This is an advertisement by BA, but it is very very good, so I thought I'd share it.
Click on the link below, and put in  any UK postcode or address (or try both) and  the advert will include the B777 taxiing up your road! I love it, I've just sent one taxiing past the Brinsley wreck!

See: http://taxi.ba.com/

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Where's Wally

Yesterday a guy walked down the street dressed as a very good "Where's Wally" - frankly I was a bit disappointed that he was so easy to spot, but I'm assuming that he was going to a fancy dress party where it might have been a bit more difficult to search him out. 
I love fancy dress but the moment that I'm not with my fellow fancy dressers I always feel really daft and self conscious, but this guy was looking really happy and confident in his stripey red jumper and hat, and blue trousers - I'm really intrigued to know what everybody else was dressed as.
We attracted lots of attention this weekend too, but for a different reason, Colin put in our new windows, in the pouring rain - who but a wally would do that!.  They look lovely,  - there's still a lot of work to be done on the house, but its starting to look like the cottage that we'd love to have

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Fish Slapping

Yesterday I was out, minding my own business, running along the towpath, when I got stopped by a fisherman, and asked to take a photo of him holding a giant turbot.  What is it with me and running? In the last month, while I've been out, I've been chased by stampeding cows, witnessed a wedding proposal, run through a puddle that nearly came up to my middle and now, very nearly engaged in a Monty Pythonesque fish slapping routine. 
I thought running was a solitary activity, where your mind could wonder, and you could solve all your dilemmas! 


I saw this on facebook, and it made me smile, and then I started thinking about how honesty is undervalued.
Far too many people, talk a good talk and promise the world in order to clinch a deal but have no intention of delivering what they promised - but a bad reputation travels far more quickly than a good one. Surely it's far better to be honest and be able to deliver exactly what you say your going to do and do it when you've said you're going to do.  If its delivered quicker or better, the result is that everybody is a winner, no body feels cheated or let down.  Of course half the problem is the 24/7 Culture where people want everything now and aren't prepared to wait....

Saturday, 30 June 2012

All white now

When Col said that he was going to take me painting, I was expecting a nice little jaunt in to the peak district with my easel, instead I've spent the last week putting the undercoat on to the shiny new plaster at the Brinsley wreck.  There's still a lot to do, we still only have an outside tap and a double socket spurred off from the electric meter, but its definately moving forward - in the last month we've moved from bare brick to plaster to white walls.  I've not achieved the white walled minimalism of a gallery space, well not unless you can convince yourself that the wobbley wooden shelving that is stacked with kettle, builders tea, and dirty mugs, is modern art, but maybe if I called it an installation and gave it the title "Eleven am"......

The book "From Condoms to Pompoms" is moving on - more later.....

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Derbyshire Open Art Competition, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Col and I have just been up to the opening night of the 30th Derbyshire Open Art Competition. My piece "Alone" had been accepted, and although I hadn't been awarded a prize, I was keen to go along to the award ceremony, keen to see my picture displayed there, and keen to see the other pieces that it sat alongside.
The standard of the work was exceptionally high, and the pieces were vary varied too. The only criteria was that they had to have a Derbyshire theme, but apart from that they could be anything; sculpture, textile, oil, water colour, mixed media etc. I'm a mixed media and collage artist at heart so I really loved seeing the different ways that people had expressed themselves, one of my favourite pieces was a series of maps, with footprints over the top.
Col admired the art, but typically also admired the frames, and gave me a gentle nudge when the awards speech made reference to the importance of good framing (he frames all of my pieces for me) - then even more typically, as we got in the car he turned to me and said "wow, did you see that ceiling and all of the covings, it was really impressive?" when I gave him a look of disbelief, he continued with "and I quite liked the way that they created that pattern in the carpet."
Hmmm, see what I have to put up with?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Puppy Love

Ah - have just been to see my friends pups - 5 little terriers who are only 6 weeks old, their mummy has a good running pedigree, already house trained, and they're small enough to sneak out in my pocket!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Cows, what are they good for.

So much for a nice quite run in the countryside.
I'd just started off when I narrowly avoided getting stung by a wasp, and at first i thought this was a good omen for my run, as last year I went through a stage of colliding with wasps and coming out worst!
Next I had to dodge about 15 trials bikers who were sharing the same path as me, so in a bid to get out of their way I decided to go cross country and run along some of the muddy fields.  Bad move.  I don't seem to have a lot of luck with animals when I'm out running, I love animals, but they don't seem to love me; dogs bite me, ones even knocked me over before, horses have charged at me (that's happened 3 times now) and cows have stampeded towards me, but luckily Cols always been around to make me feel safe, and to drag me out of the way, and under hedges, as I have a tendency to freeze and stay rooted to the spot.  This time I was on my own, and as I approached a field that was full of cows (it never normally is) I decided that it would be safest for everybody if I stopped running and walked.  The cows by and large seemed more scared of me than I was of them and bolted into the second field, which would have been helpful, if that wasn't where I was heading too.  As I crossed the second field I was relieved to see that most of them skitted out of my path and headed up field.  Yes, most of them.  A bull decided that it wasn't afraid of me and started walking  very purposefully in my direction, that was just the signal they needed for all of them to rush over at the same second, I've never seen cows move so quickly, although to be honest I've never moved so quickly either, thankfully I was right next to the style, and I jumped over, and then just shook and shook. 
People generally tend to laugh when you say that you scared of cows, but I've had a few really scary incidents now, and they seem to be being reported in the media with a greater frequency.  Last week there was an article in the Guardian by a farmer who had been trapped under a cow and thought he was going to die, thankfully he's alright now, but he wondered if the increase of incidents was to do with the changing cow's diets. I think the biggest worry for me is that potentially aggressive cows are put in big fields which are public rights of way, if there is a problem, you can be stuck in the middle of a very big field with no means of escape, and I don't want to be Moo-dy or cow-ardly but I don't think a cows hoof print is quite as lucky as a horseshoe. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Alone in Derbyshire

I've just received some really good news today.  I've had a piece of my work accepted for the Derbyshire Open Art Competition.  I was really scared about submitting anything, its the first time i have, and the competition from other artists was really really tough  to be honest, i felt really intimidated submitting my work.
I was allowed to submit 2 pieces, knowing that only 1 would be accepted, and so I submitted "The well walked path" which is a silver birch landscape, which I've posted on the blog earlier this month, and a more conceptual piece "Alone" which is inspired by an old peeling allotment door. 
Well, "Alone" has been accepted; with 99 other pieces it has been whittled down from over 370 other entries, so just maybe for once, I'll start believing in myself....... then and again!
The exhibition runs from 29 June to 31 August at the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, and there really are some lovely pieces there.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Edale Fell Run

After arrving and signing in for the Edale fell Run at the Edale Show, I went and sat in the van and watched the clouds going by.  The clouds were quick to hide the bright sunshine, and then the rain started.  I was thinking that this was going to be similar to the Castleton Fell race that I did last week, but it did actually decide to stop raining.  I walked up to the start and listened to the race briefing.  We were set off by the junior fell race winner, who did an excellent job of shouting 3,2,1 ....Goooooo, and we did.  The start is a straight up climb winding its way upto the top of Grindsbrook.  I am learning if people are walking at the same speed that you're running, then you should be walking too, and so for the majority of this hill, I was walking.  I think I read somewhere that it was 1300 ft, and if it is, I felt every foot of it, it was hard.  Once on to the top, you follow the edge round to the left to the top of Jacobs Ladder, and there on in its a complete downhill back to Edale, while all the time remembering an earlier warning from one of the competitors.  He'd told me to concentrate all the way, even at the grassy bank at the bottom, as thats where he'd put his foot in a sheep pat, slipped over, and broke his wrist, the last time he'd done it, 8 years ago.  From there on its to the road for a short run to the railway bridge and then a left turn into the showground which was starting to fill up.  All in all a great run, even if I hadn't realised what I'd let myself in for.

Save Brinsley's Green Spaces

Last night we went to a meeting organised by SABRHE (Save Brinsleys Heritage and Environment).  Broxtowe Council are wanting to build a whole load of houses in the village, which will mean building on green spaces.  I don't know why the Government are pushing ahead with this, even if their forecasts for the amount of new houses that are needed in the future are right (and most of their forecasts are not) there's plenty of brownfield land to build on, and there are plenty of affordable houses in the East Midlands that are for sale that aren't being bought. Yet, for some reason the majority of people want to live in new souless boxes with handkerchief sized gardens and cardboard walls - or even better a flat (sorry appartment).  There's a real danger that houses are starting to be seen as disposable items and the need to build them surpasses the need for green and pleasant land. Its not about being a NIMBY, its about realising how much we need our green surroundings, for our wildlife and for us; even the government promote the benefits of it for our health and well being and for promoting physical activity -
 I find it ironic that the plan is announced in the same week that Danny Boyle announces his vision for the Olympics Opening Ceremenony - showcasing Britians countryside.....
Anyway rant over, and a big thanks to SABRHE for all of their hard work, lets hope we show the planners just how important this is to us, failing that, I might be having to sleep in a tree!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ilkeston BDL

BDL (Booth Decorators League) was our own race as a running club. We have done this route for a couple of years now and its a tough one compared to our old course. We arrived in style with a lift of Lord Coe who was the first to put in a sick note with his Plantar faccilitis. A complaint as I understand that is very debilitating, this was not good as he's a good solid runner who the club  rely on. We then met with a good majority of the club who were also not running due to various ailments ranging from others with Plantar faccilitis   to "I've just had a new knee" (I personnally think thats going to far just to get out of a club race, although i do agree with Tonys comment that maybe we should just be a marshalling club .)

We all gathered for the 7.30pm start at Shipley country park and off we went.  It was a quick start as its an open field so no-one gets in your way.Out through the wide gate and down the path ,I'm possibly in the top 50 at this point and in second place out of our club as the young Adam had gone flying by. I,m now thinking I ought to have used my bad back as a get of race card but know it will stand for the 4.5miles. we then turn and head up a slight incline and head for the new tarmac path,this was better when it was a gravel track as it suits my running more. Next we are at the top of cardiac hill and belting down, myself and Adam are flying by a good handful of people and then it starts to level out and we resume a more level pace and push on into the loop with its undulations and turns. I'm pleasantly surprised to be yelled at by a couple of our Marshals that I've not seen for a while .At the start of the loop I'm two places behind Adam but by the next mile I manage to over take and start to pull away,trying to encourage him to work with me.

We are soon out of the loop and with encouragement of the two Marshalls I'm now heading back up cardiac hill and I'm struggling because last weeks Castleton fell race is taking it's toll, I'm passed by a Heanor runner who's flying up the hill. we get to the top and its a mile or so of undulations to get back to the start I'm over taken by another runner near the end and have a mad sprint/push to be pipped at the post to end up in 29th position in 27.59mins. Adams next back for our club in 36th place in 28.43. Good positions all round from our team.


Monday, 11 June 2012

No time to stand still

The wreck is thankfully going full steam ahead - Cols busy trying to keep up plasterboarding for the plasterer, and I'm following around with the paintbrush.  Yesterday we made the most of the sunshine and worked on the garden for a while, to be honest theres plenty enough to do on the inside and the outside isn't really a priority, but its in danger of feeling like a never ending chore if we're both always stuck inside.
I haven't got any art fairs until next month so I'm trying to get my other neglected tasks done, I haven't done a decent length run for ages, and my homework is neglected too, the problem with drawing people is that Col just won't sit still.  Even though he usually doesnt come back from the wreck until 9pm and must be shattered, he's still busy doing things when he gets home, and even if he does sit down and read a book, he's still fidgetting around.  Consequently, I'm having to do loads of self portraits, i guess this causes less ill feelings, I'm not one for doing flattering drawings, but its not easy to do.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Making fathers day cards

I can't claim the credit for this idea for a fathers day card, but I thought it was really effective, and its very easy to make - there's no need to use a sewing machine; you could hand sew it or just glue it.  You could always substitute paper for the material, or if you wanted to make a really big one and give your dad a really big suprise, you could I suppose, cut up one of his shirts!!!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Castleton fell race

I turned up for Castleton Fell Race, I was one of the first cars there and was allowed to park on the muddy field, although after 6 cars the field was turning into a mud bath and wasn't foreboding well.  The marshalls said that they'd been deliberating whether to cancel the race because of the torrential rain and the high winds.  The streets on the journey there were not to dissimillar to the waterfalls coming down the sides of the hills.  The race itself was a slow start as the beginning is narrow laned and the path was running like a river, the cold made it hard to get going and it was a long long slog up to Lose Hill, once on the top it was a head wind all the way over to Back Tor, Hollins Cross and finally to Mam Tor.  The driving rain made it really hard to see where you were placing your feet, and the wet stones were really slippy and slidey.  Once we reached Mam Tor it was a tail wind back down to Hollins Cross and the final descent down to the Rugby Club.  I'm quite slow on the downhills and so thats where I lost most of my places.  It was a good race despite the weather, it was the worst weather that I've run a race in and I felt very sorry for the marshalls standing on the hills, getting really cold - if it hadn't been for their dedication the races wouldn't go ahead - a big thank you to them all.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

All stitched up.

Today I've made the most of a bleak rainy day -
I've spent the day appliquing the name Treehuggery and stitching alliums onto a tablecloth, in anticipation for the next Art fair (it became apparent at the last fair that people seemed to really like the name Treehuggery, but because my branding was quite subtle, it wasn't really obvious)
With Colin's help my picture is now framed, and I'm trying to pluck up the courage to enter it for a competition (I haven't entered a competition since I was at Brownies - so a very long time ago!)
And I'm trying to get back to grips with the drawing module of my textile course - which has been very neglected - At the moment I'm working on self portraits, scarey stuff, and to be honest I'm starting to appreciate why Col hates me drawing him so much; my technique is always so dark, that even when I try to be flattering, my work is really heavy and lined.....Interestingly  my drawing tutor has just written a really (honest but) damning report on Damien Hirst , while some of the textile lecturers have written a really interesting report on different textilers - ones produced a deep fried jumper, another has digitally reproduced images from the contents of a found box (containing random items such as household letters and weathered spoons)- roll on the days when I can  leave sketching and get back to the textile modules.......

Monday, 4 June 2012

I bet Tracy Emin doesn't have to put up with this...

I'm sitting outside cutting out some applique letters to stitch on to a blanket, and Dave (next doors cat) is sitting on my knee, everytime I ignore him for more than a couple of seconds, he diggs his claws in - grrr, I bet Tracy Emin doesn't have this problem...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

What a difference a day, and a couple of chairs makes!

The first day of the arts and craft fair was really slow, not much footfall, and my stall felt all wrong - today I changed the look of my stall, I borrowed some fold up chairs and displayed the cushions how they're supposed to be; upright and on chairs. The effect was so much better, they were much more noticeable and people seemed to be much more attracted to them - they did the one thing I'd always intended; people wanted to touch them - treehuggery, textile, tactile and unique!!!  I got some really really lovely comments and am really hoping that its the start of something......

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Blurry eyed

I've got an art and craft fair today at West Bridgford, so have set my alarm clock nice and early, trouble is I'm not used to doing early mornings - I've just gone and put a slice of lemon on my museli, and milk in my hot water - hope the rest of the day gets better!


11.15 is the question, what is the answer, Is it
(a) the time I got back from the Brinsley wreck.
(b) the amount of plasterboards I got on the walls tonight.
(c) The cost of a Vegetarian curry (inc delivery)
(d) the amount of miles that I have just run.

If you ansrewed d then you were correct . I went out for my first run since my massage and was planning to take it easy and not get carried away. Going to the running club has an amazing way of pulling you around a run with out you realising your doing  a faster pace than normal or further milage than you thought you could do. 
So go on join your local running club and find like minded people who can pull your standard of running up and believe me when I say you don't need to be fast to join a club, they cater for as many people as they can.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

If you go down to the woods today....

I've seen quite a few exciting things while I've been out on my runs; foxes, owls, a pot bellied pig called Elvis being taken for a walk, but today we got see a proposal - almost.
My friend and I parked up in Colliers Wood, and was a bit suprised to see a bloke there dressed up very smartly with bow tie and all, and a nearby picnic table was festooned with helium balloons and champagne, and then when we told him that it all looked very exciting, he said that she'd be there in another 10 minutes or so, and he'd know the answer then/
We went off and left them to it and completed a lovely run in the sunshine, and when we got back some two hours later or so, they were enjoying a picnic hamper - aaah .  We gave them a big wave, and then headed back home.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Can You tell what it is yet

I've been working intensely on this piece for the last week; swealtering in my attic workshop with my heat gun, while the sun's been shining brightly outside.  I'm  hoping that it will be good enough to be acceoted for the Derbyshire Open Art Competition, I've not entered a competition since I was at school, so I'm really nervous.  The piece incorporates my silver birches, which I love making so much, and which I think are typical of much of the rural landscape where I live, and as I was keen to emphasise the  Derbyshire feel, I've worked on the weather worn stone wall, but was struggling to think of a name....., then on Friday night, my friend's boy saw it, and was like "wow, is that Drum Hill?"  It turns out that unknown to me I'd created his favourite scout camp, which IS in Derbyshire.  The name then became obvious "Scout to the top"
Its nearly finished now, I just hope Colin has some time to frame it, obviously its not a priority given the state of "The Wreck", so we'll just have to see.....

Monday, 21 May 2012

It would be quicker to build it...

I'm busy trying to create a mixed media landscape picture for submission to the Derbyshire Open Competition - its taken so long to create my 5 bar gate and dry stone wall that it would probably have been quicker to have actually built them.  This afternoon I allowed myself some time off for a run, with the excuse that I was researching viewpoints and thinking about how best to compose my picture.  Its been a lovely day for a plod around the woods, although in places it was much muddier than I anticipated and at one point I did wonder if I should retrace my steps, but decided muddy would be more fun!
The provisional results are out for the hilly 100, and as always Col did much better than he said he had - he actually did his very hilly 10mile stretch in 61minutes 49 secs - its one of the hardest legs of the race, and he was the quickest for team Ilkeston, and thats on the back of hardly any training - whereas I will train and train and wouldn't even be able to pull off a 6minute mile pace for a mile ..... not fair!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hilly 100

I was up at 4am and picking up another willing volunteer to run leg 2 and 3 of the hilly 100 relay around Stratford . It is as it suggests hilly and some of the runners who are making up our team I think are in for a surprise?   Well it was a little misty but not Windy like last year. I was running leg 3 the same as the previous year ,but with not much training under my belt was looking for a time of hopefully under 70 Min's . I actually managed under 72 Min's which is great .Also this year I didn't lose my support team as Mr Sharratt was made to go in the car than try and keep up on his push bike .The other bonus was that he wasn't offering cheese sandwiches on the way round (whats that all about) I now going for a cold bath to revive the legs. 


Friday, 18 May 2012

Singles night!

I'm feeling very old - a fellow freecycler has just requested some singles from the 70s and 80s because she's a teacher and her class are  going to be doing a project on "that era", and....  I'm guessing that a few of them are going to be thinking "a single what?" .  Me n Col have still got most of our old records - I threw a few away that were a bit embarrassing, and I swapped some for others, and still much regret swapping Blondie's Parallel lines, I can't even remember what for now.....  We re-invested in a record player a few years ago, its funny how records still hold their charm, even though there's the inconvience of having to change sides after only a few tracks, but even though most of my favourite stuff was on cassette, it doesn't hold the same magic....It seems a shame that we live in such a disposable era, most young people growing up today, won't even have a collection of CDs, even people of my age group seem to have chucked out their records for cds, and chucked out their cds for ipods.....  We live in an era where we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Monday, 14 May 2012

nearly there.

The thistle design is progressing - I've substituted wool for threads and I think it looks a lot more tactile - its been interesting to see, how even in a few days, the design has progressed from a clunky somewhat childish dandilion to quite a textured thistle - the basic idea is the same, but its much more pleasing to the eye.  I've only recently started sharing my ideas that don't quite work out or go wrong in some way.  We all make mistakes and backtrack at times, whether its in something like this or something completely different, after all if it was so easy to get things right straight away, I think it would hold less value to us.....

scarey news!

Very pleased to find out that Treehuggery has been selected to have a stall at the West Hallam Well Dressing and Art Market on the 14th July - the atmosphere there is fantastic, the well dressings are beautiful, there is a really big scarecrow trail, and the sun always seems to shine.  There's a lot of things coming up for Treehuggery at the moment - its exciting, and all a bit scarey too!

Sunday, 13 May 2012


Col dropped me off at Bramcote this morning so that I could run from there to home - listening to the radio on the way there, I really liked the Sunday morning quote "don't follow the path that everybody else takes, take a new route and leave a trail"  - obviously not a quote to take literally while running - not only would I get lost and probably be trespassing, but also the countryside would be destroyed by everybody's selfishness. but literalness to one side, I think its really inspiring.  It was well worth getting up early for my run too, as well as my usual friends of rabbits and squirrels, I had the rare an unexpected pleasure of seeing a fox.
Inspired by a lovely sunny morning, there's been far too few recently, I came home and carried on with the thistle idea, there's still room for improvement, but here's the first attempt