Thursday 30 March 2017

Moving to the country has been a total life change and a big personal journey. Firstly, I sense it will be a place of healing for my decrepit old body, which needs peace and calm in huge quantities whilst it heals and rebuilds.

This winter (our first here) saw me walking around in the fog, letting it engulf me. Slowly breathing in the cold, fresh air, in an ethereal, white landscape, was a very mindful process. 

I couldn't walk far, so I chose short strolls but every day in lonely spots for solitude so I could stay still when I needed. My body hurt and I allowed the pain to simply do what it wanted, run riot, go buck wild, as I mentally stepped away from the aching body and focussed on the incredible and as yet unfamiliar landscape, focusing away from the pain and into the sublime.

At once it was huge and empty, stretching lazily and emptily for miles, into a great gaping.. what? 
abyss..? a big white emptiness..?

Is that what's so appealing about the spectacle of fog - a state of 'nothingness...'? Is it the nearest thing we have to walking through clouds?! 

Close up was full of detail and enchanting minutiae which pulled me in and fascinated. Teasels covered in a thousand tiny shards of frost, strung with crystalline threads of cobwebs now like silently glittering chandeliers.. the views in front of me like wet, rushed paintings, out of focus, whilst in contrast my breath was sharp and real. Not being able to see far makes everything an adventure and heightens the senses.

I trod on grasses that snapped and crunched underfoot and wandered slowly, somewhere between that meditative state and total clarity. I could hear birds rustling and faraway church bells ringing.. I was in awe of the sun rising and watched the fog begin to rise a little and roll in drifts. I knew this orange, mauve, pink haze would soon enough burn off the fog and the pageant would be over.

I briefly wondered how many people 100, 200, 300 years etc before me had marvelled at the same spectacle. I half expected to see Thomas Hardy's Reddleman, Venn, come walking towards me.

It was a quick daily exercise in meditation where for a very short period of time, the external was as vague and ambiguous as the internal. It hurt, physically, but that's ok - it was so good in every other way and took me far out of myself.

So now, this single track lane to our village means home. Along it we watch the sun rising, the sun setting, the mist rolling in, the rain pouring down. We wait as cattle pass, we watch new calves, lambs and chicks being raised.

All of that is now home.

"The quieter you become...
... the more you hear"
Ram Dass

On a less Zen note - I'm so bored with the formatting going nuts on here, so think it's time to change blog supplier!! I'll put a link on here when I change. Seems appropriate at this time to ring in the changes and start everything afresh. 

Tuesday 14 February 2017

well, well...

So I discovered I can still log on here - at some point I'll decide whether or not to continue with this blog.. I'll just see whichever way the wind blows me - I'm feeling rather floaty at the moment. Perhaps it's all the recent fog that's made me feel drifty and ethereal. Although it could be the brain fog. My life, work, future.. everything has changed, due to a health condition which slowly but surely crept up on me. I won't be able to work on my usual large textile projects any more and am thinking quietly about what my next move might be. First of all will be a nice rest.

A very positive change - last year I took up pottery with the aim of deriving some relaxation. It wasn't entirely what I expected. For a start - I discovered I'm really bad at it! It's just so haaard! It will take forever to actually get anywhere near the quality I'd like to achieve. I learnt that there's a lot of science to grasp, that it's very, very different to textiles - the way you use your body, your movements, your instincts.. that it can all be destroyed at any given moment and that it takes a long time to get a finished product - which may or may not turn out to be what you're expecting.

I like these lessons. Being rubbish is humbling, learning puts us in the moment.. it's all good.

Albeit not as often as I'd like, it's been great to be a beginner at something. That feeling of being rubbish.. full of questions, full of enthusiasm.. a sort of blank canvas. And that's where my life is at just now. A blank canvas, I suppose.

Who knows what the next chapter will bring, but it's coming for me and I choose to embrace it positively and bravely. Life is messy - but still deliciously exciting.. 

Wednesday 25 January 2017

testing, testing...

just wondering if I still know how to do this blogging malarkey after an apparent 3 year absence...
I no longer have any idea how to update my website. Grrr..

I started doing some pottery as a break from my day job and as a bit of gentle therapy when I get ill
It's another thing I won't find time for, like this blog - or working out how to update my website, which is looking as dusty and old as I am..

Wednesday 29 May 2013

my work - exterior view

This is an exterior shot of a house I worked on and haven't had a chance to show yet. 

The pieces are subtly colourful on the inside, littered with crystals, sequins and so on.

From the outside, during the daytime they are barely noticeable and opaque.

At night, when lit, they have a more graphic effect from outside.

The 9 windows portray the trees from the street, sprawling across the house.

I will upload some more detailed images soon.

 in the meantime, more are on my website
photos courtesy of the rather fabulous gary wallis
my stitching assistant was mirek lucan

Wednesday 15 May 2013

oh mister finch!

Ah.. I think we all know Mr Finch by now. So I'm not going to show you anything new here today, but I just fancied putting a few of his pics here in one place so I can look at them whenever I fancy.
Several years ago I got in touch with him about doing a lengthy interview. Then life took over and I didn't get around to it. Serves me right.
Since then.. well he's turned into the craft world's very own Mr Darcy.. instead of walking out of a lake with a dripping wet shirt clinging to his torso.. he has risen up the ranks to show us more and more of his mastery of needle and imagination. His work at times romantic, dark and brooding or playful and always technically sound and solid. Yes ladies, he knows what he's doing.. he has magic hands and he really understands how to handle a piece of fabric.
Whenever he adds a new image or passing fancy.. I see everyone's comments on facebook - an audible mexican wave - a giant collective gush (what would that be called, I wonder..) He is so loved.
So I won't waffle on about him.. I'll just put some pictures here, over which you may join me in a swoon if you so wish.

I took these images from his flickr account - 'ohmisterfinch' and from his website
'oh mister finch' indeed..