Friday, September 13, 2013

Look Back at London

I promised a while ago to show a few more pictures from our trip to London at the beginning of summer- boy that seems a long time ago.
The light wasn't great for some of the graffiti shots, (though I also think I don't have such a steady hand these days) so I apologise for the blurriness!

It feels decidedly Autumnal at the moment and I'm trying to readjust to the new term and everyone being back at school, college and work. I'm also trying to get fitter and move forward towards what I want to be doing with my life. I'm walking more with the dog again- he's not a fan of hot weather- and learning to swim better. It's a slow process though because having chronic pain means I really have to pace myself and when I do too much I am flattened by a flare-up, which is frustrating as there is always so much that needs doing.
Anyway, I'm not going to be negative. I have lots of projects in the pipeline so I'll share some progress soon.
Have a good weekend xx

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

18 Years On

My beautiful baby girl will turn 18 this week. How did THAT happen?

I am immensely proud of how she has grown into a sensible, caring, funny, hard-working and gorgeous young woman.

Happy Birthday Lovely:)xxxxx

Monday, August 5, 2013

Highs and Lows of Summer

There is a break in the heatwave for now and we seem to be galloping through the summer holidays.
Recently I have had a lot of bother with technical equipment and the computer is giving me endless frustration. Some time ago my portable hard-drive broke and I lost most of my photos. I managed to retrieve some from various places, but I had to come to terms with losing the majority.
We bought  a new hard-drive and I've been merrily saving my photos there, thinking about backing them up on Mr Dotty's much larger storage and waiting for him to have time off work so we could tick that job off our "to-do" list. He took his holiday, we all went to London for a few days, came home, plugged in my hard -drive to download my pictures of the Big Smoke and the damned thing decided it had corrupted!!! One IT expert later and I'm having to come to terms with the fact that my photos are again irretrievable :(

Anyway, this morning I have managed to sort out my London pictures which are among the very few I still have (I'm quite tempted to go back to film and having them printed onto paper- old fashioned, but reliable!).

We had an amazing, colourful time and it was so hot! We must have drunk gallons of water. The boys loved hanging out at the skate park at South bank. I have to admit I could have sat all day watching the guys perform tricks- they are so determined! (Plus it was shady!)

I got plenty of graffiti shots for future inspiration. Sorry for the blurriness- it was very dark down the Leake Street tunnel.

We had some retail therapy at Spitalfields Market, which I loved. I bought a satchel and a crocheted collar. I even found some gold DM shoes in the in the Doc Marten shop. (I didn't buy them, but I wish I'd taken a photo).

Our youngest child was getting a bit tired of the heat and all the people, but we didn't want to miss Brick Lane market, so we refreshed ourselves with iced drinks and fresh fruit.

Just the thing for the sizzling temperatures!

Brick Lane is fabulous- I loved it!! It is really vibrant... 

 full of interesting, cool people

                      and shops and stalls filled with curiosities

We came across a fashion photo
shoot, which I think sums up the brightness and fun of the whole area.

 More to follow.....

Have a great week.xx

Friday, July 12, 2013

Strawberry Theft

Those strawberries might not be ripe, but they do smell good!

It's ok- there are plenty more where that came from.

           Hope you're having a happy, sunny Friday. xx

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teenage Market

We had a busy weekend as my middle child had a stall at the Teenage Market in Stockport. Often young people get bad press, but the market was full of creative, talented and lovely young people.

We were very proud of our boy. He worked hard to create his products and his stall looked clean and professional, don't you think?

Younger brother helping (briefly!)
We needed to be around all day as he is still under 16, so we passed the hours minding the stall while he had lunch, wandering around Stockport and finding various places to sit to drink coffee and cold drinks- it got very hot!

Mr Dotty turned into one of "The Borrowers" in a well-known coffee establishment, drinking oversized cappuccino and eating the biggest marshmallow teacake I've ever seen!

I took some photos of the Stockport skyline, which might come in useful for my son's next set of drawings.

He made some sales and I think he learnt a lot in the process and we all enjoyed the day and are looking forward to the next market.

How did you spend your weekend (did it involve a little tennis?)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Arrange the Letters

Hello, remember me? I just don't seem to be able to find my voice at times, though I do keep up with reading lots of your blogs. The last couple of weeks have been hard- it would have been my Dad's 70th Birthday on Saturday, then Father's Day....

On a brighter note, we have at last had some sunny weather and my middle child has finished his GCSEs.

My latest pursuit- cutting out letters from the newspaper, resizing them and printing them onto fabric. No it is not some elaborate ransom note or a weird new wordsearch (I hope there are no rude words hidden in there!). I'll be using the text in my latest stitching project, which is still in progress for the upcoming Ten Plus Textiles exhibition at Bankfield Museum.

We have managed to visit a couple of events recently. I had a lovely time at the Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and this was one of my purchases.

I think this is such a lovely idea and the little pot is so delicate. Every couple of days I choose some different flowers from my garden to display on the bathroom windowsill and the sun streaming through the window makes them shine! It's one of those small blessings that lift your heart!
We are really looking forward to the Holmfirth Artmarket this weekend- so many lovely people creating beautiful work (and I think I might have a birthday coming up ;D )
I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, have a great week/ weekend and enjoy the sunshine xx

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Circular cushion

Do you remember this from an earlier post?

It is called "Springtime Throw" from the beautiful Cute & Easy Crochet book by Nicki Trench.

Well, it is growing slowly, slower than I would like.
The trouble is, I got a bit distracted! A friend very kindly gave me a big bag of yarns she will no longer use, lots of hanks of gorgeous Rowan wool in lovely shades. So I started to make this...
...from the same book. It really is incredibly easy, although I don't think I'm joining in each colour in the neatest way possible and my central circle went a bit awry.

My sitting room is decorated in shades of cream and very milky coffee with a hint of duck egg blue. I have two large pictures on the wall of  the deepest blue sea with a tiny, reddy, orange boat. I really wanted to use the orange to lift the other colours, which on their own are a little too subtle for me. My children like the small circle of turquoise, though I'm not too sure if it jars with the blue. I only had a scrap of that, so the other side of the cushion won't include turquoise!

What do you think?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Antibodies and Armchairs

Thank you for your kind wishes- I am on the mend now! My little pal has been keeping me company while I was sleeping on the sofa.

He hasn't complained about his shorter than usual walks, nor has he pestered to play in the garden.
He was happier this morning, walking further in spite of the rain.
Today I should be working on my Ten Plus textiles pieces...I am thinking about it, honestly. This is where I'm up to so far.
My embellishing machine has finally seen some action, needle felting strips and blocks of fabric onto wadding. It takes a while, but I find it really therapeutic and I love the texture it achieves.
The armchair was machine appliqued onto the background and I'll be adding newspaper print text, but I need to experiment with resizing the letters. I've been inspired by some "abandoned" garden chairs I see on one of my dog walks along the canal and I began collecting phrases from the memorial benches along the walk. I've been thinking a lot around the image of a chair where someone habitually sat, after they have got up, gone, the impression of them having been there and their lasting presence.
Well, I better get on so I can have more to show you. Have a lovely weekend xx

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I'm under the weather today, some kind of virus has invaded my joints and throat, sapping my energy! I've spent most of the day in bed, but I got really bored and dragged myself up to try and do something constructive. I'll try not to pass the bug on to you!!

I wish I could have gone to my meeting at Ten Plus Textiles as I wanted some feedback on my new work for the coming exhibition at Bankfield Museum. I'll show it to you after I get a few photos.

Instead, I've been looking through my pictures from Lisbon.

I'm hoping to print this onto fabric and see where it takes me.
These colours and shapes could translate into patchwork. I love that a little plant is growing out of the graffiti.
More colours and shapes.
The cat makes me smile.
Well,  that's all for now. Hoping to be back on form tomorrow......

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moment to Moment

I'm trying to find a new way of being, experiencing where I am now,

accepting my pain

living each moment as far as is possible

being kinder and not striving.

I'm trying to let go of the stream of thoughts of what needs doing next,

of what others think,

the "should" and the "ought to."

I'm trying, (but not too hard) to feel the sun on my face,

 the wind in my hair,


 the taste of each mouthful,

 fear, sadness, happiness and peace.

I'm hoping to live in this moment, the only moment I own.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Colours of the City

More from Lisbon...

We came across plenty of vividly colourful graffiti. I'm hoping to be able to use some of the images in my design work for textile art.

Many of the larger pieces (and these were huge!) had a political message and the textures they created were wonderful.
We even found some yarn-bombing!
More to come soon......

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


We have just been very fortunate to spend a wonderful week in Lisbon.
I have been very aware of how precious these family times are as the children grow nearer to flying the coop!

We walked miles, saw so many wonderful sights and of course, took time to sit outside with a drink, watching the world go by.
It is amazing how much good a little sunshine and blue sky can do!
I was really excited by the sight of orange trees growing in the city.

        They taste so lovely when they are glowing with sunlight!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Ten Plus Textiles are having an exhibition at Ordsall Hall in Salford. Some of the members have also been working on a community project with a local youth group to produce "creatures" which may be lurking behind the wattle and daub of the old building. Ordsall Hall is beautiful and well worth a visit.

My new work, "Remember", is on display. It combines many elements of my recent work- fabrics printed on the computer, graffiti and applique. The background was pieced, then needlefelted with an embellisher machine to distress it a little. The tree was cut from fabric that I had put through the printer to print an image of graffiti. I liked the idea of  blurring the boundary between a natural element like a tree with something more urban.