Tuesday 26 June 2018

Progress? Not much.

I see it is a few days since I last blogged. Not a lot of weaving has happened. An awful lot of watering the garden and allotment has happened. The allotment has turned out to be very heavily productive. Broad beans, French beans, spinach, lettuce not to mention a lot of sweet peas and cornflowers (blue and maroon!) And of course there is Jerry.

Did you know that it is possible to rent, by the hour, a large field which is securely fenced in which to train your dog. We rented one this after and it was great fun. Mind some things are difficult to train out of. What do you do with a dog last seen standing on his head in the waste paper basket and scrabbling with his back feet in an attempt to get them into the bin too?. As for the floor, the less said the better.

To return to the horticultural matters (at least it stays where it is parked.). I am growing okra this year for the first time and we have recognisable okra-ettes on the greenhouse plants.  And the squashes and courgettes are scrawling all over the allotment and looking fine.

The only point of interest in weaving is that I joined a Weave of the Month club which is Swedish. And got sent the drafts for January to June in one batch. Very well done and some weaves are interesting. 8 shafts only.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Back to normality?

Jerry is causing mayhem since he got back from the dog sitter. Today Dorothy is in Cambridge seeing friends and I am minding the dogs. So for the first time ever I took them both for a walk. I can report that no other dogs or people were inconvenienced, no vehicles ditto. The only problem is that I am laid out. 

Jerry’s legs have got longer and stronger and he will not hesitate to jump. He made it over a large fallen tree trunk yesterday with no problem. However as a result he has decided that if he needs a little nap the best place is my lap. So there I am reading the newspaper when it is invaded in a single leap and no amount of saying NO or Bad dog has discouraged him. At the moment he is sprawled over the chair arms and me and snoring.

Tomorrow I am off again, this week to Dillington Hall for a week of bookbinding, except that it is not. I want to make some boxes to hold important (to me) books. Boxes, not slip cases. The books are Duke Bluebeard’s Castle which I bound and a copy of a 1914 edition of Alice which has wonderful illustrations. They printed 500 copies then packed it in because of the war which is a dreadful shame. All the copies are numbered. I bought it from the States and it cost more than I have ever spent on a book. I was startled when it was delivered. The packaging and the insurance were quite something. I did not realise you could use a specialised. Courier for this sort of delivery.

It is six weeks before I go off again and some weaving will be done. I have wound the next warp for the Schacht which is going to be tied on to the last one. It is cashmere and cotton,has a lovely feel and has been dyed lilac. I intended to tie on this weekend but realised I might not finish it so, because of small inquisitive animals, I have put it off till next weekend. Much of my time this weekend has been spent gardening. Both the garden and the allotment are flourishing. And I am bringing produce home. Broad beans have been frozen, lettuce and radishes eaten and cornflowers and sweet peas put in vases.

The big treat in the garden is the sudden flowering of Iris ensata. I did not know that one had survived the move from Malvern. I have only one plant but it has several spikes of flowers. I am hoping for some seed. The irises really like it here. The first flower has wilted but two more will be out today so a photo will follow 

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Anglesey Day 6 Boat Trip

This morning we went for a boat trip which was much more exciting than I imagined. We left the harbour of Cemaes behind and set out into the Atlantic for a couple of small islands, Mouse Island..  these are bird sanctuaries and the birds are there breeding at the moment. Lots of sitting on eggs but a number of fledglings as well.

Then we went into the next bay and found —- a ruined brickworks! According to the guidebooks, this is very difficult to get into these days from the land side but we got marvellous views of it. There were three fishermen there setting out lines but they had clearly come in by boat. 

I have taken about 500 photos this week and am going to have to sort them. Back at home,

This satisfactory day was rounded off by buying fish and chips from the local (prize winning) chippie. And very good they were too.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Anglesey Day 5 Beaumaris Castle

Sixty years ago the family took a holiday cottage somewhere under Snowdon. We walked up and I remember my mother’s indignation when she arrived at the top to discover she could have taken the train. She took the train down we walked. One day we went over to Anglesey to see Beaumaris and I was impressed. Today we went back. Even with the scaffolding and yellowhatted workmen everywhere, it is still impressive. It is to start with enormous, then it has the outside ring of towers and then the sea moat. I walked on the top and Snowdon was just there across the water. Hardly any people up there. The staircases were narrow and slippery but I got there. 

A few residents

And lots of stone

The weather is still hot and I only hope my instructions about watering the pots and greenhouse have been followed.

Monday 11 June 2018

Anglesey Day 4 Ruined Brickworks

Today the expedition was to a ruined brickworks. This involved walking align a well tended path by a river, complete with traces of a narrow gauge railway. The walk got narrower and narrower and more over grown until we arrived at the old brickworks. The immense chimney is still intact and most of a kiln which is highly decorated with graffiti on the inside but the chimney is too big for this one kiln and there must have been a lot more once. The one kiln would hardly need a railway to take the output down to ships in the harbour.

This was all done by midday and we decided to go to the Oriel Gallery where there is a large collection of paintings and drawings by Kiffin Williams. All a bit black acrylic paint studies of Snowdon. His linocuts and ink drawings are a different matter all together and are really interesting. A bonus was a gallery devoted to the bird painter Charles Tunnicliffe. I know his work from Nature into Art which had several of his paintings. He lived on Anglesey, hence the gallery. Lovely. Very cheering. 

Sunday 10 June 2018

Anglesey Day 3 Copper Mines

A few miles away there are abandoned copper mines which have been in use since Roman times. Now there is a very large hole and modern mining happens half a mile away with winding gear to go down to the deep tunnels. the old excavations are gorgeous colours and some pits are full of water of a very unlikely and unsavoury colour. Not much grows. Some very scrubby Heather and that is it. A photographer,s happy hour though and I met another enthusiast on our walk.

We went early and were back before the sun got too hot. Have I said we are having a heatwave here? Not what I was expecting. We went out again in the evening to a nature reserve saw some very cross terns looking after their chicks. 

And yet another macro photo. This moth is about half an inch wingtip to wingtip.

Saturday 9 June 2018

Anglesey Day 2 Cemaes

Cemaes is the village we are staying and we spent today pottering about it. The locals are very friendly and everyone seems to have time to gossip with two visitors. Coffee with Welsh cakes and Bara Brith what more could anyone want?  The village has a working harbour, lots of crab pots and a magnificent village hall. I have never seen anything it. Pure 1890s built of brick with tile decoration and a clock tower!!

The beaches are the proper sort with sand and shells and seaweed and lots of rocks not to mention cliffs. And also a surprising number of families. The whole place is a photographer:s paradise. I spent the afternoon, sheltering from the sun, creating a Lino cut.

I wonder what the pork and seaweed sausages are like?

Friday 8 June 2018

Anglesey day 1

Today we started out with Dorothy’s car loaded down with two adults, their luggage and one large dog and his luggage. No small dog who has gone to stay with our favourite dog sitter, Julia and he is no doubt being spoilt rigid. I did not think he would be happy with such a long journey - seven hours. He cries all the way even on a ten minute car trip and I cannot take to hear him so unhappy. Now of course I worry all the time if he is happy and okay,

We are here in a cottage in Anglesey for a week and have seen the coast and the sea and planned tomorrow’s outing. There is a very pretty garden and I have practised with the macro lens. One of the objectives of this week is photos of the sea but today I concentrated on flowers in the sunshine. I am definitely getting better!!

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Photographic exhibition

I have got to the end of my photographic course and the grand finale is to have an exhibition. This caused a lot of heart ache as I selected a topic. In the end it was Making. I photographed people making things. The topics werer ceramics, quilting, furniture, spinning, lace etcetera up to 11 crafts. They were hung in the National Needlework archive. Below are photos of the exhibition hung in their café, one poster to a craft.


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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.