Tuesday, 28 February 2012


In the past, I've pondered whether I could get away with calling work and saying that I'm sick with a computer virus, (at the turn of the century I'd thought about having a millenium bug) but today, on the radio, I heard a new term "skeptacemia" - the questioning of spin, bureacracy and officialdom, and especially questioning the "position" of the person or body providing the information.  I think this is a fantastic term; it addresses how I feel most aptly, it's just a shame that now I work for myself, I can't call in work, and have some days off with my new found condition!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Dying, naturally

I'm doing some dying at the moment - its part of my textiles course, but also I thought it would be interesting to consider the possibilities for my cushion covers - especially the skies.  Some time ago I'd bought some cold water dyes and had been interested to experiment, mixing them with wall paper pastes and trying to create unusual effects, but it is the unpredictability of natural dyes that is really enthralling me.  It's a difficult time of year to make the most of nature's offerings, but with a bit of imagination; onion skins, tea and coffee grinds have become my friends - the richness of the colours far beats any manmade alternatives

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Just Leaving

So much for a day of rest - Col has been working hard, helping a friend with skirting boards.  I went for a run and then started work on my cushions again.  I was unhappy with the Autumn design, it needed leaves, but didn't want to use more burnt voiles; french knots would neither be commercially viable to do, or sufficiently unusual (even when I mixed threads, string and wool, the effect still felt like it was something that anybody would be able to easily recreate.)  After a flash of insipiration I finally decided to use some of my old and largely abandoned merino wools that I use from time to time for felting.  I like to think the effect gives the impression of a blur of autumn leaves just before they start to fall.
It's taken most of the day for me to decide on this effect, but hopefully it was worth it, and that future cushions will be more efficient.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Chocolate or Chickpeas?

Col is always getting quizzed about being vegetarian, especially when he describes himself as a "vegetarian by default" meaning that he only started being vegetarian because I was, and it was more convenient for us to cook and eat the same meals.  For a while he would still eat meat when we went out for a meal, but eating meat became such a rareity to him that his body just couldn't handle it and as often as not he would be ill.  Now he doesn't eat any meat at all.  The guys at the workshop where he's currently working find it hugely funny that he's veggie, and constantly quiz him about it, and funnily enough have much stricter rules about what he can and can't eat that we ourselves do - this week they told him he can't eat an egg because it's an animal!.
Wait til they here that we celebrated our wedding anniversary last night by going to our favourite vegetarian restaraunt (at The Flying Goose, in Beeston) and that after a lovely meal of really tasty and unusual food, Col who is the  biggest chocaholic I know - he can even eat a whole bar of chilli flavoured chocolate, opted for a dessert of chickpea cake over a chocolate and tahini pud.  Chickpea over Chocolate, now there's the sign of someone who's a fully converted vegetarian, even if they do eat eggs!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

there's no such thing as a formula

Many cushions later, I've realised that there's just no such thing as a formula when it comes to being creative - while all of the cushions are based on the same theme, they're all so, so different, not just with the colour, but in how i put the collage together, the size of the trees, whether to be subtle or obvious, and that's what keeps it interesting, and means that it never feels like a production line

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Not enough hours in the day.

My new "proper" job is only 12 hours a week, so all in all I should have plenty of time to do my textiles degree, get work together for craft fairs as well as do all the nice things like go for my run in the daylight, but everything just takes longer than it should.
Jackie x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Brinsley, land of ice and fire.

Even though the temperature outside this morning was -9 C, it is still colder inside the house than outside.
This morning though there was a reason for being toasty outside, as I had a whole heap of rotten wood to burn while Col was busy stud walling the attic. 
As well as burning all of the wood, I also managed, inadvertently, to melt my plastic credit cards and the (fake) fur of my parka coat - ooops!  Fortunately my credit card is still working, just, as later in the day I popped out to do some shopping and pick up some petrol, the card is rather a funny shape, but I can just about wiggle it into the card reader.  Note to self, don't warm my coat up by hanging it quite so close to the fire when the wind is constantly changing direction.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Little boxes, little boxes

I'm currently trying to create textile boxes in the style of great Japanese textilers such as Issey Miyake - rather than create something as complicated and beautiful as his, I thought I'd resist setting myself up to fail, and would try and work them into something simple such as a bag or a cushion.  The complexity of creating these is belied by how simple they look, but I'm perservering.  More later

Sunday, 5 February 2012

It feels like Christmas all over again.

We didn't have a brilliant Christmas this year, as both of us got made redundant. Today though we had a lovely "2nd Christmas" - after 12 hours of  constant snow, we woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, with every covered in untouched virgin snow.  We decided to make the most of the day by taking a walk over to the Brinsley wreck, and having a day off from d-i-y-ing. 
As we ambled along the canal tow path through thick clean snow, the church bells rang out giving a lovely Christmassy feel, robins posed, and even the swans were busy bathing, making sure that they looked their best for us.  Later in the day as we made our way back, children (and grown ups) were busy on the hills with their sleds.  A lovely day, and made even more perfect with a mug of hot chocolate when we got back - bliss!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

time to crack on...

Unfortunately my new part time job has been pretty much full time this week, and will be next week to, hopefully it will calm down after that, and I'll be able to concentrate on forthcoming craft and art fairs.  In the meantime I'm trying to focus on using what spare time I have constructively.  Col is busy working on the house, and given that theres no heating and we're still down to bare bricks, its freezing there, its actually warmer outside!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Regrets, I've had a few.

Well me and Col have continually discussed our wish to spend less time stressing about work, and more quality time doing the things that we enjoy, but of course the lack of money is, and probably always will be, a worry, but today I read a report from a nurse in pallitive care.  She's written "a top 5" of regrets that people have when they know that they're dying, unsuprisingly the first one is "I wish I'd  not spent so much of my life  being at work".  Really sadly another common regret was "I wish I'd spent more time enjoying myself".
I need to keep remembering this, and every time I have a "wobble" about what I'm doing, I need to ask myself, will I ever use my last few words saying "I wish I'd spent more time at work?"