Friday, 30 March 2012


I'm trying to dye with grass today, but its not going to well - I've used allum as a mordant to prepare my cloth, and I've had my grass bubbling away in an old pressure cooker that we found in the garage of the new home, but its all just looking a bit dingy to be honest.  I'd prepared myself not to expect the lovely bright green that stains your clothes when you sit down, and don't want to be dyed green, but I had anticpitated a more yellowy green than the straw like substance that I've got at the moment - cos to be honest once its out of the water and dried, it will be even lighter than it is now.
Well at least its not cost anything, apart from my time, and the gas for the stove, but frankly i'm a little disappointed, lets just hope that nobody with hayfever come's to the front door

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Blue and Green should always be seen and so should yellow!

I'm busy dying again, at the moment I'm only hand dyeing the vintage fabric, to make the alliums, but I've got a load of grass cuttings ready, and somebody from Freecycle has kindly volunteered me their dandilions and their daffodils when they start to wilt - I love Freecycle, while there are minority few people that ask for all singing all dancing flat screen plasma televisions, the majority of people clamber after the small things like jam jars for pickling, and old greenhouse glass, and are really happy and appreciate somebody making use of the littler things in life.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How can it be that a treehugger doesn't like trees

Thankfully I've nearly finsished the drawing outside part of my drawing module - I've really struggled with it, I've felt self conscious drawing outdoors, I cant recreate clouds and I certainly struggle with trees - which is so disappointing, and particularly ironic, seeing as how I'm happy recreating silver birches in stitch.
The next part of my drawing module is drawing people, which I am looking forward too, and then I'll be even happier when the drawing part is complete, and I can go back to concentrating on textiles

Friday, 23 March 2012

Jeepers Creepers

I've just given myself a right shock - I was sweeping up after the shed's been dismantled, and nearly stood on a huge bug, that I thought was a giant cockroach.....After doing a scooby doo style jump (and the associated noise), I realised that it was one of the metal bugs that we'd previously decorated the shed with.  Doh!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

All washed out

Well its been a bit of a trying week to say that I'm trying not to buy anything.
My trusty nokia 3310 has finally died a death - I inadvertently put it in the washing machine - twice - my first thoughts on hearing the second wash cycle was that the washing machine had broken, but fortunately it was the bumping about of the phone instead.  I wasn't sure whether my friend's advice to put the phone in a sealed container of rice was a joke or not, but given that I don't want to unnecessarily  buy a phone, I thought I'd give it a go, having said that  I'm such a technophobe that at first I didnt realise that I would need to dismantle the phone..... I've now taken it to pieces and left it in rice (long grain brown) for over 24 hours and its still not looking hopeful  -
My watch has broken too - I'm not doing too well with watches - mine broke a month ago, so I looked around for an old watch to use - I found one of Colins but the strap broke within a day, I then found an old one of mine and paid to have a new battery, then the strap broke so I reglued it, then the strap broke again, so I reglued it again, and this morning it isn't working at all.
Obviously things could be a lot worse than a wet nokia 3310 and a broken watch, and obviously the first incident is down to pure muppetry, but its interesting how almost everybody is trying to persuade me that I now need an all singing all dancing phone.  Out of interest I've had a look on the web at new mobile phones, and am horrified to find that some of them are in excess of £300! - in fact only yesterday on a radio pbone in I heard a woman with a small child describe how after paying for her mobile phone and internet access she's in the position where sometimes she can't afford to feed herself.
The world's gone mad!

Thursday, 15 March 2012


As if its not bad enough that I used to have the nickname "Jesus",  (yeah I do look a bit like him) and as if its not bad enough that Easter is around the corner - today I am scarred with  thorny barbed wire sores.

After doing most of my run, I decided to come back along one of my favourite muddy fields tonight.  I know it was dark but there was enough moonlight to see the track that I was following.  I noticed that the council had put in a bridge and a stile at the edge of the field but  I didn't notice, until I hit and bounced off it, the new, barbed wire, fence - which was going straight across the footpath with a new stile 10 meters to the right. 
To be honest, I guess I was really lucky that I didn't come off worse than I did, but, I don't feel that lucky right now.

Never mind the book - see the cushions!

My book "From condoms to pompoms" about making the decision to leave the field of teenage pregnancy work, and move towards the goodlife and try and sell my textiles, is, unfortunately proving to be one task too many at the moment.  I've spent the day designing and making allium cushions, and have just realised that the pompom like alliums that I'm creating could be an excellent image for the book.
I really need to get back to writing it.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Wolfs pit fell race

I went for a run this morning in the peak District at a place called Shatton near Bamford.  To me this was going to be and defiantly was a tough race.I'm not race fit so I took it steady to start with and then got down to being down right slow going up the first big hill. I dropped quickly in to a run /fell walk (hands on knees bent forward). and just opted for keeping moving. After the initial biggy I trotted on up the less severe incline and followed around the back of the hill. Then came the bit I'm really bad at, the descent bit, it was a controlled adventure, which for once no one passed me on, then it was back to the climbing up hill and more run walking. and then the final descent back down the step first climb. As the normal down hill manoeuvre took place of me not running well and other competitors over taking me I opted for the I just need to finish approach it was soon to come and I finished in a heap with totally tatered legs.
I'd do it again but I need more fitness than I currently have after three runs in the last few weeks.


When You wish upon a Star

If only everything I wished for came true.  Only yesterday I was saying how I was waiting for Summer, and today is a glorious day.  I've just been for a run, Cols gone to a fell race (more on this later), the sun is shining, everybody I came across was happy to be out; the sun just seems to make people smile and say hello.  I've been able to leave my dyeing outside, knowing that it will dry quickly and that the dye bath won't get diluted with rain (I'm going to make allium cushion covers) and I've just counted nearly 100 ladybirds in the back garden. 

Saturday, 10 March 2012

When will it be Summer?

Since being made redundant the plan was to pick up a part time job and spend the rest of the time doing what I enjoy doing; pursuing my textiles degree and setting up my textile business "Treehuggery".  So far, so good.  The only surprise is how busy I am - sometimes my 12 hour a week job requires me to cover holidays and becomes full time, I've got a diary full of craft fairs for this year and am very busy preparing for those. I've taken over the running of my website, and just haven't had nearly enough time to look at the drawing module of my textile degree.  I'm tempted to put it off until the summer. This particular module requires me to draw outside, and although I've overcome my initial self consciousness and now feel confident enough to ignore the curious looks of passers by, its oh so cold.  I love being outdoors, but drawing outdoors is very different to being active outdoors.  Where do I sit?  If I stand I tend to rush, how do I transport all of my large sketch pads to remote places without curling them up in a ruck sack, when it rains everything smudges.  Roll on the summer weather when it will be lovely sitting outside

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Nice and Clumbsily does it.

I was in the middle of hand painting pieces of material blue (for the skies in my silver birch tree cushions), when I accidently knocked the blue dye over.  Not wanting to leave a stain, or to waste any dye, I rather hastily grabbed the cloths that I'd been intending to dye; scrunched them up and mopped up the spillage.  While on the down side, I still have a stain on the floor - on the Up side, I have some lovely natural looking cloud formations, that it would have been really difficult to achieve otherwise.
Mind you, while I'm very happy with the cloths, I won't be doing it again in a hurry, I've just noticed that I also have the blue hands of a smurf!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

lady bird nest

Hanging out the washing, I noticed about 15 or so ladybirds on the lemon balm plant - on starting to count them all, I've found a cluster of 20 or 30 all under one single leaf of ivy.  We shouldn't suffer with aphids this year.