Planet Textile Threads

January 17, 2017

Neki Rivera

take 2

shorter,narrower and in different colors.oops,blocking too long on one side,problems ahead.

turning a page.
finally gathered courage and turned on the works! seems that either the movers were careful or the loom is sturdier than what one tends to think. need to start planning a warp to take both the sectional beam and the underslung beater on a maiden voyage.

today is one of those northern days; foggy and wet. very conductive to hot tea and soup.
don't know whether it's the novelty, but i like them.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at January 17, 2017 09:00 AM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - King's Place

Some discoveries on the way to the venue - a little canalside park, with mosaics made by children at the local school -

 Converted warehouses along the canal, and the inevitable swans -
 A boat that knows it's a boat, not a castle or jug of roses -

The interior of Kings Place offers impressive opportunities for perspective drawing -

A nice display of prints caught my eye - artists include Ann Christopher, Breon O'Casey, Peter Randall-Page, Jeff Lowe, Brian Kneale, Geoffrey Clarke, WilliamTucker, Anthony Abrahams, John Buck - all in a few square metres! -

Terence  Coventry's "Choughs"

Perspectival print of a gasometer, simple but complicated (or vice versa)

The artist is Zachary Eastwood-Bloom
 More Ann Christopher in the Pangolin Gallery, with major window-cleaning going on, an improvisation in swoops and transition of states that made an ephemeral contrast to the static drawings and sculptures -

 Now to the work -
Janet K found the "insect" downstairs
(actually it's Ark by Steve Dilworth)

Joyce caught some people (perhaps a staff meeting?) and added sepia

Sue went outside and shivered through two drawings of  Post Inert Phase II Disc
by Geoffrey Clarke

Carol, too did "people and poufes" ... as well as "drums or seats", an improvisation
resulting from someone sitting down and blocking the view of the empty chairs she was about to draw

Judith rose to the spatial challenge

Jo's series of drawings of the paintings of north Cornwall artist Leo Davy

Najlaa  found a sculpture by Geoffrey Clarke - very different from the one Sue drew

Michelle's technicolour version of "the red thing"
And here's "the red thing" in red - a popular subject! -

I took a few notes from the wall of prints, then put graphite on a page and used the
rubber to emulate Peter Randall-Page's scarabs, experimenting with ways of making them visible

Tools of the week -

Chunky felt tip markers - in bright, neon colours

The Rotring Art Pen takes ink cartridges - of any colour

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 17, 2017 08:52 AM

Gerrie Congdon

More Making While Snowed In

We are hoping that this is our last day of below freezing weather. We are due for warmer temps and torrential rains and flooding, now. I guess I am glad we live on a hill! We did get out and about this week-end. We found that our car, which has 4 wheel drive, handles the snowy and icy roads quite well.

I finished the Arty Oven Mitts that I started. They needed a binding around the opening.

I also have made some good progress on knitting two more pink pussy hats. I think I can finish them by Saturday. I made the ribbing white for one of them because I did not have enough yarn of that color for a whole hat. I think it will look great.

I have made progress on the Silk Stitch Along with Laura Wasalowski. First is my practice piece. Just a reminder that I am using the same colors on each piece. They look so different in some cases.

Tomorrow, I am going to do some work on my Indigo Moon house. It needs a more rigid interior. Here is a photo of it. We are going to share 3-D work at a SAQA meeting on Wednesday.



by Gerrie at January 17, 2017 07:05 AM

January 16, 2017

Dijanne Cevaal


I have slowly been organising my workspace in my shed. Everything has to be placed in containers as unfortunately natural vermin abounds especially when I am not there and of course plenty of spiders, other insects and an overabundance of ants. This morning I found a green spider- never seen one of those before! It was outside.

I found one of my shaped linocut printed cats I made ages ago. I obviously started stitching it but did not finish.Must finish it one of these days!

I am teaching  at Linocutting at Open Drawer in Camberwell on the 25th of January. There is still one place available if you are interested. We will be doing a little more advanced linocutting  and of course printing.  And on Friday the 3rd of February I am teaching a half day class on embellishing the bush project panel- there is a materials fee which includes a bush project panel. You can chose whether you would like to join the project  or not. here is one of the panels that I am working on.

 I still have panels available or simply  tell me what colour you would like for the background and I can print you a panel.  There is information on the Aussie Bush Project Page on my blog- just use the tab at the top of the page. You have until  mid June to finish the panel.

I also printed up some more Florentine panels on different colours.

If you are interested in buying one simply use the Paypal Buy Me button below or email me if you would prefer to pay in another way. The bottom print is actually a more orangey/green colour.


by Dijanne Cevaal ( at January 16, 2017 11:49 AM

Neki Rivera

swinging again

the rains have finally arrived; the supply of green fields is guaranteed.
no cabin fever here because i took to the studio for a much longed studio session.
 the result: an earphone pouch.

nice outcome, however, a tad big. back to the machine for a second take maybe using other colors.
the pattern comes from some experiments using cell automata there are apps on the sidebar if you, like me want to disregard the math and just go for the graphics.

percolating an idea to be worked for the whole year in different mediums.  
snow forecast for this week.more time inside!

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at January 16, 2017 09:00 AM

Margaret Cooter

Jogging the memory - three exhibitions from 2015

Bits of paper turn up, info from exhibitions seen ... but not remembered ...

White Cube Mason's Yard, 8 Oct 2015-9 Jan 2016 -- Losing the Compass - a group exhibition that focuses on the rich symbolism of textiles annd their poliical, social ad aesthetic significance through both art and craft practice ... it traces the poetic and subversive use of the textile medium ...
Are you shocked at the way the quilts are displayed?

Embroidered Minds: William Gowers and the Morris Family - Queen Square Library, Archive, and Museum, Nov 2015 - Feb 2016 - "renounded figures of the 19th-century artistic and scientific world conspire to hide a tragic secret"
The project is about what might have happened (via)

View Seven - The View from Here - Menier Gallery, 24-28 November 2015 - textiles by Claire Benn, Karen Farmer, Claudia Helmer, Claire Higgott, Daline Kiff-Stott, Susie Koren, Leslie Morgan. The work was individual, but it felt like the artists benefited from interacting with each other.

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 16, 2017 08:37 AM

January 15, 2017

Sarah Ann Smith

Productive procrastination

So, I am supposed to be working on something that has a FIRM due-date of mid-to-early-ish March.  I have dyed the fabric and know what I’m going to do, but got sidetracked for a few days doing something I’ve wanted to do for eons:  paint the basement room that has the furnace, water heater, fuel oil tank, and water pump in it.  WHY?  Well, it’s where I do my fabric dyeing.   Since fabric is a lot more attractive than cement, here’s my last two batches of fabric.  Remember them, you’ll see them transformed at some point this year.

My time at the dye pots was FUN! And more interesting than a basement utility room which is what this post is really about.

What provoked this flurry of activity?  The Elfa sale at the Container Store, where good quality closet storage stuff goes on an annual 30 percent off sale.  Decided after much research it would be the best option for getting some shallow shelves above my “not a legal sink but a a basin” in my dye room because it would require the fewest screws going into the cement foundation walls and those few could be above grade (important for when the ground and snow melt in spring).    Here’s the before:



Panorama shot of the basement in the before stage…which I remembered to take only after I had started putting the DryLock paint around the window.  Click to make larger.  

I decided that I couldn’t stand putting the Elfa stuff in without finally painting the walls white (which will help with light and visibility in the room), so I started painting.  Four days ago!

First coat of DryLock paint partly on.  Better already!

Just about done except for the cleaning and moving stuff back in place and waiting for the shelf stuff to arrive.  A vast improvement (did another coat of primer on the wall at the far left).  Now, if I could just convince Paul to let me paint our dark living room……

I finished the last of the painting/priming today.  I used DryLock which helps keep water out on the cement walls.  It is like trying to paint with sludge/mud/thick paste.   ICK.   Primer on the base of the chimney/stone fireplace, and semi-gloss on the wall behind the sink as well.    I’ll post pics of the shelf stuff once it arrives and is installed.   It will require a masonry drill bit and Advil for the arthritis in my hands that will be aggravated from drilling the holes!

by Sarah Ann Smith at January 15, 2017 08:57 PM

Olga Norris

Tadek Beutlich: an upcoming exhibition this Spring

Tadek Beutlich was an extraordinary weaver of bright constructions, and also a printmaker.  I mentioned his work in a Ragged Cloth Café post, and Liz Hankins, daughter of his assistant got in touch with me then, and again now to let me know of an upcoming exhibition and opportunity to buy his work.

The exhibition will be on from 3 - 12 March this year at The Jointure Studios, 11 South Street, Ditchling, Sussex BN6 8UQ - more information from the Emma Mason Gallery.
From Liz Hankins' email to me:
My mother Fay was assistant to Tadek in his Ditchling studio at Gospels (formerly Ethel Mairet's home and studio) and I had a few of his textiles come to me at my pop up gallery (Vision Gallery) about 6 yrs ago, which I sold, hence his widow Ellen Beutlich asking me to help find homes for the remainder of his studio works.when Tadek died in 2011.

The upshot of it all is that I have identified and catalogued all his works and taken on print specialists Emma Mason Gallery,fortunately based in Eastbourne to sell Tadek's prints and I am delighted that the V&A are taking some more textiles and prints to add to the ones they already hold by Tadek. I have found other Collections who will take pieces too, such as Folkestone Creative Foundation and Farnham Craft Study Centre and Ditchling Museum, but a large selection of the remainder will be on exhibition at The Jointure in Ditchling for one week 3rd to 12th March 2017.
Work will be for sale, so apart from being a chance for you to buy an original Beutlich, it is also a chance for admirers of Tadek's textiles and prints to get a closer look at his work before it is dispersed. We will have talks and workshops too including a talk by Fay Hankins about working with Tadek at Gospels and answering any questions.
There is also an exhibition at Ditchling Museum running until mid April with a selection I have given them to show, of Tadek's prints and smaller textiles as well as Ethel Mairet's own annotated copy of her Book of Vegetable Dyes from Gospels, which Ellen Beutlich donated to the Museum.
We would be glad to let as many people know as possible if you could share this on your blog and on Ragged Cloth and with any other groups or artists etc who might be interested, since our exhibition at the Jointure is only open for the one week and so many have been waiting for news of this.
Biography of Tadek Beutlich, 1922 - 2011 from the Emma Mason press release:

Tadeusz Franz Beutlich was born in Lwowek, Poland in 1922 moving to

Poznan in 1930 and it was in Poznan at age 15 that Beutlich started a
foundation course at art school, initially fascinated by painting, sculpture
and stained glass. His studies were halted by the outbreak of the Second World War leading Tadek to join the Second Polish Corps, part of the British 8th Army.
At the end of the war Beutlich was one of forty-nine officers and soldiers
selected to study art at the Rome Students Centre, which in the following
year moved to the UK. Arriving in Britain by ship in 1947, Beutlich took up a government grant offered to all ex-servicemen initially studying painting and drawing at the Sir John Cass Technical Institute.

In 1948 after seeing French tapestry weavers demonstrate weaving at the V&A, Beutlich was inspired to seek out the textile department at his college where he started by weaving small kilims. In Poznan, weaving was still a male profession and it was popular to display the kilims they wove on the walls of houses, including Beutlich’s own family home, which would have a lasting influence on him. Beutlich transferred to study textiles at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, London where he graduated in 1950.  He subsequently taught at Camberwell from 1951 to 1974.
I was particularly interested to read about his printmaking, about which I had not really known before:
During this time he also experimented with printmaking, making large and very striking relief prints, most printed in the 1960s and 70s building on the early success of his print ‘Fish’ which was awarded second prize in the Giles Bequest Competition when it was exhibited at the V&A in 1956. Beutlich printed his prints by hand, without a press and many were printed for the print publishers, Editions Alecto.
As a student his tutor Barbara Sawyer had taken him to meet the weaver
and dyer Ethel Mairet at her home and workshop, Gospels in Ditchling,
Sussex. Mairet’s use of unusual fibres such as jute and sisal had a great
influence on his work and he also briefly experimented with some of
Mairet’s natural dyes. Some years after Mairet died the trustees of Gospels decided to sell the house and workshop but wanted it to pass to a weaver and they offered it to Beutlich, who moved there with his family in 1967.The space at Gospels gave him the opportunity to work to a larger scale, often making ‘off the loom’ wall hangings.
In1974 he and his family moved to Spain where he discovered new materials such as esparto grass, which enabled him to work without any looms. He and his family moved back to the UK in 1980, where he continuing to develop his work and ideas.

by Olga Norris ( at January 15, 2017 04:06 PM

Margaret Cooter

Lazy Sunday

There comes the morning when your neglect of the Five A Day rule hits home - you wake up craving vegetables! Fortunately I had some in the fridge, and fortunately(?) enough of the morning had already gone that by the time the oven had heated and they'd been peeled, cut up, and nicely roasted, it was late enough to call the resulting meal Brunch. Or even, Early Lunch.

The veg make a sort of bacon substitute ( the roasted leeks are particularly delicious). The cheese is a nice Cheshire, paired with seven-grain toast. One cup of coffee wasn't enough...

Later I'll be doing a tax return; till then, my laziness includes finishing reading a book (review here and elsewhere)
and pootling about on the computer ... as you do ...

Meanwhile I've been on to Freecycle and offered my collection of woolly jumpers, for making stuffed cuddly toys or hot water bottles or some other sort of recycling ... will there be any takers?

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 15, 2017 03:00 PM


A tangle of protective mesh -
I can't see "orange fence" without thinking of Jeanne Williamson's  textile work, but that's by the by. Here, photo taken, the building that it's beside turned out to be a disused tube station -
York Road, opened 1906, closed 1932; it was on what became the Piccadilly Line.
Being sited in a poor industrial area, the station saw little use, and Sunday services were withdrawn entirely from 5 May 1918. The station remained open for weekday and Saturday traffic only until 19 September 1932, when it was permanently closed.
At the start of the King's Cross redevelopment, there was some interest in reopening the station to reduce pressure on King's Cross St Pancras, but to date the proposal hasn't been taken up, despite a proliferation of high-rise living spaces in the past 10 years, filling the "poor industrial" space -

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 15, 2017 08:34 AM

January 14, 2017

Margaret Cooter

At the flat

During December, the flat made great progress, thanks to Tom working on it weekends and evenings. (Hopefully all the sawing is finished and the neighbours can relax now.) 

I visisted occasionally, even cleared a path to my bed and used it, but there was plastic over the stair carpet for a long time, and strips of wood - indeed the planks for an entire floor - piled up at the sides of the stairs. Not to mention the books (which still had plastic under them even though the rest had been ripped away) -
The only untouched area was the kitchen, which did seem to gather "stuff" (washing up!), and I took great pleasure in clearing the counter whenever I came -
You'd never know that the rest of the room was a total tip, would you? Furniture pushed out of the way, and tools everywhere -
That was before we (er, Tom, actually) got the floor in, to cover the gold underlay. 
 While all that was going on, good things were happening, like the building of 18 drawers along one wall -

Making headway with any sorting or decluttering was so difficult - there was just no space for making useful heaps, for that preliminary assemblage of categories. Occasionally I'd see something that could go in the charity shop bag or even the bin, but those were rare. As soon as I entered the studio

(nope, not showing that, too sordid)

a very despondent feeling came over me - and this has continued till just recently, but more of that part of the story later perhaps. Not wanting to be in the room. Not knowing where to start. Wondering how it got like this. Thinking I just didn't want to deal with it. Wishing we'd thought to move things out of the rooms in a more deliberate way (but there wasn't time). Regretting ever buying anything. Feeling a great deal of sympathy, or possibly empathy, for people with hoarding disorder....
Gradual return of furniture
We had a deadline - the xmas eve dinner, very important. By dusk, it must be done - all the tools out of the living room and stashed in Tom's room -
Even at this stage the living room was looking (and feeling) so much better - the xmas tree helped, and the ersatz coffee table, covered in The Special Xmas Tablecloth That Grandma Made, gave it a burgeoning cosiness. 

Carpenter and client
My xmas wishlist had just one item on it - skirting boards. Once they were up, the books could be gathered from the stairs and various rooms and piled around the walls, awaiting their bookshelves -
The rug returned, and a reading lamp, and the chest, and "Dan Hays" and the little lamp with tree branches painted inside. Suddenly it's "Home" again -
Upstairs, Tom's room waits for his return -
 and his toolboxes wait to go to the next job -
He might be surprised to find that a few piles of his things have reappeared....

The towers of books in little bedroom are elsewhere, and the heap of bags in the "hell hole" is gradually getting sorted -
 Down in the studio - brace yourself - there has been definite progress, from this, months ago -
 to utter chaos a few months later, and piles of fabric that really did cut out the daylight -
 Major mental gymnastics were needed to get going on this room. The precipitating event was the need for a chunky pen ... there was one in there somewhere, and the search involved a lot of moving items to different rooms - after all, there was lots of floor space available upstairs. Gradually floor space appeared in the studio -
 and after a bit of fabric sorting, daylight appeared again -
... even to the point - hallelujah! - of being able to use the table and sit reasonably comfortably (on the rediscovered kneeling chair) -
The sorting job varies between microsorting - those disparate sheets of paper found in a heap and needing to be dealt with - and mere categorisation, such as adding yet more books to the towers in the living room. It's not very efficient to be constantly on the move between rooms as things turn up - much better to have a box for the room, and then move quite a few items at once ... but I'm afraid that system would lead to the box staying  where it is because finding proper places for all those things at once would be daunting. Though, thinking about it, it's also daunting to remember just where "those things" were put last time. Probably the emphasis should be on saving energy - and I don't have a lot of rooms, so three boxes shouldn't be an impossibility! 

The charity shop bags are on the landing outside the studio, and get taken out two at a time (very, very satisfying). 

Yesterday - a dry day - the surplus mop and bucket was put out by the gate and disappeared in no time.  How kind of people to do the job of removal.

I am left with some big categories to deal with "later", among them ...
The books, of course

Several bags of notebooks and sketchbooks going back to the 1980s
- my "external brain"

More magazines than these, collected for decades
Worst of all - "miscellaneous"  - these are the items that require tough decisions -

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 14, 2017 08:32 AM

January 13, 2017

Dijanne Cevaal

Shed and Old Photos

I have been slowly sorting through all my things and found an old Ipod I had years ago. I was absolutely delighted when I charged it up on my 21st century solar power to find  hundreds ( actually thousands of photos) that I thought I had lost with  the demise of my laptop and  the back-up hard drive that I had purchased especially to save said photos. So I found photos of my shed when it was being put up and then lined with the slab in place. It is  strange to look at it and realise that I am now living in it.

There is still a long way to go to make it more liveable and there is a very long wish list of 21st century amenities. I have been writing that list down, and it started me thinking about how  women in days gone by ( pioneering days or even great aunts etc) coped with the lack of amenities. I remember living in houses in the Netherlands that didn't have bathrooms as such- just a sink in the toilet.  Like my great aunts and uncles at the turn of the 20th century- what did they have available to them- yet look at their immaculate clothes. They would have had no electricity I suspect, their irons would have been heated on wood stoves- everything would have been starched- there would have been no running hot water, showers or baths, no flushing toilets. I am not sure how their water would have been supplied. Anyway food for thought, but given that we are experiencing quite a wet summer, a ride on mower is catapulting to the top of  the list of amenities. An acre and a quarter is a lot to mow by hand- phew!

I have a bit of a thing about wooden spoons, and it is nice to be reunited with them. The round pale wood ones are Moroccan soup spoons bought many years ago. The others are hand carved.

My Italian storyboard is starting to come together- I have got the thinking cap on to make work inspired by Italy for another book effort in the future. I am going to find myself spending some more time in Italy in May/June 2017. I thought I  had read my airfare booking conditions properly ,hit the pay button and when the ticket arrived realised that instead of coming back in May I am coming back in June. Because I selected a fare that allows no alteration,I will be spending more time in Europe than planned, so may as well make it be research!So any suggestions for budget accommodation  would be most welcome as it is starting to get into the expensive tourist part of the year around that time!

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at January 13, 2017 01:41 PM

Neki Rivera

re inventing the wheel

need i comment?

have a great weekend.  take care it's friday13th

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at January 13, 2017 09:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Snowed In and Making

We are still snowed in here in Portland. Schools will be closed again tomorrow. We ventured down the hill to the grocery store this afternoon. The streets are all packed snow. By Monday, we are supposed to finally get above freezing with rain and it will soon disappear. Today the sun came out and it was beautiful to see the trees and buildings shrouded in snow.

I am so glad that I have lots of projects to work on. I have two sides of one of my oven mitts ready to stitch together.

I did free motion quilting first and what a mess. I ripped it all out and did some more sensible straight line quilting.

I have both trees finished for my silk stitch along with Laura Wasalowski. And I have been working on two more pink pussy hats. The top embroidery is my practice piece and the other one, I try to remedy the mistakes I had in the first.

Thanks for stopping by!!

by Gerrie at January 13, 2017 06:59 AM

January 12, 2017

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - Sonnet 55 by William Shakespeare

In Artful, Ali Smith talks about form, asking why prose can't manage "greater verbal exactitude" than poetry:
Simply because we don't allocate to prose the lingual attention, the aura, the essentiality, that we do to poety: Because we want the forms to be different?

Then she quotes Shakespeare's Sonnet 55:
Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

and she goes on:
The power of the artform is stronger than stone, the poet says, and chooses the sonnet, a form concerned with argument and persuasion, to say so. This sonnet, he says, will last longer than any gravestone - and you'll be made shinier, brighter, by it. In this form it will - and therefore you will - avoid destruction by war, history, time generally; it'll even keep you alive after death; in fact it'll form a place for you to live, not die, where you'll be seen in the eyes of and the context of this love right to the end of time.
But there's always another story, there's always another way to see the shape of things: up against Shakespeare's overweening gorgeous sweet arrogant protective and still very well functioning preservative form
It's here (page 68) that she presents a "jarring anecdote from Wallace Stevens". This poem, about the jar and the hill.... (Get the book to read more...)

As for the photo - Adam Buick has placed some of his well-shaped moon jars on hills to weather -
He says: "Placing your work in a kiln, relinquishing control of its final aesthetic takes a certain mind set, patience and a certain amount of faith. Placing a jar on a hill to weather away is a similar process. I am still committing the jar to the elements, air and water instead of fire and there is still a transformation."

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 12, 2017 12:08 PM

Neki Rivera

hello from lala land

it was fun and very intense. so fun that the americanos are contemplating a move here.
we were in barcelona for a few days and comparing the city that was and the city that is broke my heart. happy to be back in oviedo.
just wanted to start with a weave related post. husband san was in the market for a kilim pillow. to me that is an aberration, but this is a free's pretty though.

neki desu
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by (neki desu) at January 12, 2017 09:00 AM

January 11, 2017

Margaret Cooter

Revisiting old magazines

From Fiberarts, Summer 2010 - Daniealla Simonsen, she of Elk Flight -

turns out to be Daniaelle Simonsen, and now "works with unruly materials" - see them here.

Work with snakeskin by Pat Hickman

"Black and White Grosgrain Ribbon Fold" 1983, by Warren Selig, made me think about displaying work to show both the front and back -

SAQA Journal, Winter 2010, has "30 ideas for newsletter or blog content", including
- creative projects for those who are not artists
- history of a colour, art medium, or technique
- notes about an art lecture you attended

I also liked the photo of Helen Gray's silk pieces, inspired by Aboriginal baskets -

but can't find her online.

Surface Design Journal - I did love getting that magazine, it crossed boundaries. From the Fall 2009 issue, Kiki Smith's "Tidal" - the dimensions confuse me, but I love the simplicity -
10.25" x 9 1/16" (boxed); 19.5 x 126.25 (open)
Ah, this version explains the dimensions given ... it folds and unfolds ...

Surface Design, Summer 2011 - Marguerite Jay Gignoux - "artist, teacher, collaborator" - uses fabric, she makes books, and much more - and signs herself Peg.

The Quilter, Summer 2010 - Rhiannon Williams made an enormous patchwork piece involving lottery tickets (My Loss is My Loss), but now seems to have moved on, via a degree at the Royal College of Art, to narrative textiles. 

In the Autumn 2011 issue, the story of how Linda Seward made a huge patchwork in wool for a Wool Board promotion - she mentions that I passed the job on to her (someone had passed it on to me), and what a time she had of it!

Embroidery, Autumn 1992 - this issue has a review of the show at the Commonwealth Institute that was so important for me. I looked at the beautifully displayed, beautifully finished work and thought "these people have all sorts of mess in their studios, but finished work comes out into the world - I want to do that". The magazine has a colour cover and 8 pages of colour in the middle ... and a lot of detailed (but somewhat fuzzy) black and white photographs. 

and Anne Bourbeau's rediscovery and reinterpretation of possessions she hadn't seen for ten years -

July/Aug 2011 - Evelin Kasikov's CYMK embroidery - reinterpretation of the four-colour print process into stitch -

(And that's quite enough for now!)

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 11, 2017 12:57 PM

Olga Norris

Trees in Winter

Yesterday we felt like visiting some winter colour in the form of Mottisfont Abbey's collection of cornus plants
Midwinter fire (top) makes the most dramatic show especially amongst the white birches and the white-stemmed bramble. But I also like the range of subtle green and yellow-stemmed varieties they have, as well as the 'common' dark red.
Mottisfont has beautiful old trees, and how grateful we should be for all the planting that was done in the past. 
The huge plane tree (below) unfortunately now has some disease and is randomly dropping branches.  It was planted hundreds of years ago, and I was imagining the scene of Jane Austen's heroines strolling, chatting, amongst young saplings.
I am lucky enough to have an extra wide postcard of this magnificent tree in my print kitchen.

by Olga Norris ( at January 11, 2017 10:13 AM

Natalya Aikens

gathering inspiration

Getting ready to dive into art making full force here. I don't mean that I have stopped... I just mean that I want to start on a new batch of work that I want to have ready by a certain time, so that I'll be all set for any of the shows that I'll be participating in. I'm gathering my tools, materials and inspiration around me.

I gather inspiration by going on a photo safari of NYC or digging into my photo archives. These are few of the photos that are inspiring the upcoming works.

I think I can pretty much guarantee that there will be water towers represented. There will also be fire escapes, bridges, street signs and maybe even buildings, and perhaps scaffolding!

by Natalya Aikens ( at January 11, 2017 10:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Stitching and Knitting and Coping

It is snowing again in Portland. This is a photo taken from our dining room window tonight. I was so happy to get out and take a long walk with Mr C and Scooter and not worry about slip sliding. Schools are closed again. Trinity is closed and we will not have our lovely Wednesday night community meal and classes.

I have been getting some stuff done. I finished the first round of stitching on the background up above. I started stitching on the second one tonight. It is interesting to see how the same color thread looks different on the two backgrounds. It probably doesn’t show in the photos.

I also cut and pieced some more fabrics to make two more arty oven mitts.

I knitted a pink pussy hat to wear to the Portland Woman’s march on January 21. I used the Prisma app on the photo. It makes a photo look more arty!! I am knitting two more hats, hoping some family members will wear them.

I have lots to do while I am snowed in. But, I really am getting tired of this winter weather. I did not sign up for this.

by Gerrie at January 11, 2017 06:56 AM

January 10, 2017

Virginia A. Spiegel

Boundary Waters 83 Juried into H2OH!

BWaters83web500Boundary Waters 83
39.5 x 40 inches
Materials:  White cotton fabric, non-woven fabric, Lutradur, ink, gel medium, acrylic paint, miniature paper fasteners.  Techniques:  Screen print, paint, collage, cut, punch, fasten.
Virginia A. Spiegel

Boundary Waters 83 is one of 34 artworks from 522 entries juried into H2OH!, a Studio Art Quilt Associates traveling exhibit focusing on water. A list of all the accepted artists and venues already scheduled for the next three years are here.

I SOOOOOOOO wanted to be in this exhibit because when I am by or on a lake, river, or ocean I feel I have arrived exactly where I need and want to be.  And, of course, the waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are near and dear to my heart. I continue making artwork in this series not just as an artistic expression of how I feel about the landscape, but also as witness to an area that must be cherished and protected from development and exploitation.


Boundary Waters 83 – Detail 1

There are three artworks in this series within the series.  The other two are under wraps until I enter them a few more places. There is no stitching in the three artworks. Let’s just say THOUSANDS of miniature paper fasteners would not be an exaggeration. The action of punching small holes and inserting the fasteners is actually quite similar to hand-stitching and equally time consuming.


BWaters83Dtl2500webBoundary Waters 83 – Detail 2

by Virginia at January 10, 2017 12:05 PM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - shadow puppets at British Museum

It's hard to know where to start with these - they're so gorgeous, I want to show them all!

A ghost spirit
Another ghost spirit, with a modern flashlight and show-off watch!
I got into the drawing mood by starting with something "easy" - top left, looking for the cut-outs, progressing to adding the outline of a different puppet, then getting more "realistic" with  depictions of a modern pair. That made me bold enough to fit a single image, hopefully in full and in detail, onto the right-hand page. Time ran out, and my good intentions to finish at home have yet again come to naught ...

 Sue S was drawn by the airplane puppet and its shadows -
Sue M's clown from West Java is made of hide and gold leaf, 1700-1800 -
 Joyce mixes her colours from a very limited range of pencil crayons -
 Michelle enlarged the gold carving on a box -
 Najlaa's Malayan offering -
Janet K in colour and monochrome -
One of the modern characters, by Janet B - Wayang Hip Hop
Details of animal puppets by Carol -
Mags was in a nearby exhibition (Modern Design and Graphics: Objects and Prints from Post-War Europe), looking at birch bowls and baskets - she's written about it here -
A few more photos of those complicated shadow puppets -
A procession of shadows

Intricate cutting!

Scene from the Balinese tradition of the Mahabarata - Arjuna is shooting
his magical arrow during battle; the blue Krishna is his charioteer
The body of the clown Semar (painted on glass) is made up of Arabic calligraphy spelling
out the Islamic declaration of faith

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 10, 2017 08:27 AM

January 09, 2017

Margaret Cooter

Historic dresses

As I sort out the accumulated souvenirs of my life so far, items large and small come to light. These dresses emerged from a plastic bag, smelling a bit musty - but the washing machine sorted that out. What to do with them now?

This folksy smock is of my own design, and I made quite a few of these either short or long, to wear when I was pregnant. Very 70s, don't you think? 
The sleeve attaches to the yoke in a way that makes the join at the underarm a little tricky - the body doesn't have a side seam, instead the seam follows on from the line of the yoke, and there are pockets in that seam (must have pockets!). Apart from that one point needing attention, it was quick and straightforward to sew. They looked good with a jumper underneath, and a short red version was my favourite, I wore it forever -
5 Dam Head, Holmbridge, W.Yorkshire, 1977
Dress #2 is from Monsoon, at a time when I'd stopped sewing. The thick cotton fabric has floating white threads on a black background; it still looks like new (and doesn't need ironing). I wore red beads with it, and wore it often - first to the job interview at BMJ and thereafter to work. Loved the dress and loved that job.
Happy memories ... but what to do with them now?

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 09, 2017 08:19 PM

On being "in the paper"

In early December the Family section of the Guardian had a little piece on fridge magnets, and called for readers' stories and photos. On Saturday the compilation was published - including my story about Tony's collection of "arty" magnets.

Opening the paper as soon as the shopping was done and the coffee was to hand, I was thrilled to see the story and photo -
It appeared online too, and the photo with it -
Ah, those 15 seconds of fame. It's happened before, this printed alter-ego thing... chance took me to the Durham museum when a photographer from the local paper needed someone to hold a toy from the current exhibition - this was in 1971, back in my sweet-young-thing days! - and the photo was printed at quite a large size. Of course I sent it "home", and my parents had it on their wall, getting yellower over the years. [Rather irrelevantly ... I had been wearing a yellow crocheted waistcoat - not that you'd know, all newspapers were black and white in those days. But I'd loved making, and wearing, that garment during my one-and-only year of teaching in Vancouver; it arose from close inspection of a similar, trendy, crocheted "vest" in an expensive shop, and I went out and got some wool....]

Before we left Canada, in fact while I was doing postgrad teacher training, I'd been mentioned in our very local, very small-town newspaper as the recipient of a (small - but important to me - I was funding my studies) scholarship - that clipping turned up among the family photos. (The foundation still gives scholarships. Good stuff.)

Back then, being "in the paper" was a big deal, especially to a teenager. Suddenly you were known about by strangers. You were important, you'd achieved something ... or else your name wouldn't be in the paper, would it?  Of course there could be a downside, names of victims of traffic accidents etc were often in the paper, especially the local paper - out in the farmland of that small town, some of the young men and their dates ended up "in the ditch" at weekends, drink-driving and misjudging the sharp corners of those country roads. Mostly everyone got out of the car, and it made a funny story at school on Monday, but now and then someone died.

So you'd want to be "in the paper" for non-fatal reasons. Appearing in the paper was something that wasn't in your hands; it was mysterious how "the paper" knew what to write and about whom. With social media, personal publicity is mysterious no longer and very much in your own hands; the mysterious gatekeeper has disappeared. The thrill of suddenly bursting upon the world is a thing of the past.

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 09, 2017 08:14 PM

Dijanne Cevaal

Florentine Inspired Print

It's been a bit gruelling in the shed with the heat, the coolest place is in the shade of the trees, so yesterday's much cooler weather was very welcome! At least I could sit at my table and do things!

I am in the middle of writing my Traveller's Blanket book for Editions de Saxe, but just needed to do something else, and as I am beginning to research my Italian book. I have this wonderful book from 1923 entitled  Historic Textile Fabrics by Ralph Glazier, who sadly passed away before  the book was published, which is a history of woven textiles and including some block print. There is a section on Lucchese and Florentine  woven fabrics. So one of the textiles ( many of which as in the Victoria and Albert  Museum ) has really caught my eye for many years so I decided to try and adapt it for a linocut. The first drawing is  taking some of the elements from the image pictured in the book- but it needed changing , or in the words of Gianni Verni- "Grafico!"

Fine lines without  adding some extra weight to the lines or positive space areas do not translate well to lino. The  drawing in the top right is too squiggly and too light and not a good balance for the other heavier designs- so what to do? Pomegranates were a very popular motif in the 15th and 16th centuries- so I decided to add some pomegranates to the image which will sit nicely with one of the chapters I am planning. I thought i was drawing a square but it turns out  the print measures 11.5 inches x 12.5 inches.It took quite awhile to cut out this print.

I could not wait to print it and must say I can see lots of embroidery possibilities for this print. I have printed it on four different colours and it is for sale for $23 inclusive of postage. I only have the four colours shown at present and the blue print is on indigo dyed hand woven khadi form the Stitching Project.

You can buy by clicking on the Paypal  button- the different colours are listed. There is also still time to join the linocutting class which runs for 8 weeks - you work at your own pace.


by Dijanne Cevaal ( at January 09, 2017 11:35 AM

Sarah Ann Smith

Published in Australia’s Quilters Companion!

It’s been rather the international year for me, since my Milkweed No. 2 art quilt, in “a matter of time” exhibit curated by Australian Brenda Gael Smith (no relation alas!) has also been published in Quilters Companion, an Aussie magazine!

Cover of Quilters Companion; first line item on the red banner at the bottom is A Matter of Time.

Opening pages of the article.

and here’s “my” page, with my new friend and fellow exhibitor Mirjam Aigner.   I have to say I love the internet…how else would I have found this call for entry, sent my quilt off to the other side of the world to tour, and made new friends without having met them in person?

My Milkweed No. 2, on the left, and Mirjam Aigner’s multi-layered work on the right.

You’ll have to track down a copy of the magazine to see the other quilts.  I do miss the days when international postage wasn’t insane!  I used to subscribe to an Aussie and a New Zealand quilt magazine, but the  price became prohibitive.  But for an issue in which I’m published, yep, I’ll take that!

by Sarah Ann Smith at January 09, 2017 10:34 AM

Margaret Cooter

Walking in town

Victoria Station, linear walk to Camden Lock via Regents park

Sunday, 8 January 2017
Start time: 10:30
Moderate 6 miles / 9.7 km
Morning linear walk with lunch at the end of the walk. Meet in Victoria Main Line Station outside W H Smith
Lunch: various places near Camden Lock at the end of the walk

There always seems to be construction around Victoria

Eye-catching! Black and white patterning
 Past Buckingham Palace and into St James Park -
We're in royal ceremonial territory here, just beyond Buckingham Palace
As we hurried past, the Guard was getting ready to change. Musical support for the changing of the guard was provided by the Band of the Irish Guards  and the Band of the Grenadier Guards; they escort the New Guard from Wellington Barracks -

The bearskin hats cost over £1000 each!

No traffic flows along The Mall on Sundays; the police presence is quite noticeable.

Beside 9 Carlton House Terrace, a little memorial to Giro, "ein treuer Begleiter" (a faithful companion). The German ambassador's beloved dog stepped onto an electrical cable and was electrocuted in 1934; the ambassador, von Hoesch, died of heart problems in 1936.
 Drizzle had made the pavements into mirrors -
 Mosaic floor of the porch of one of the gentlemen's clubs at the foot of Regent Street -
Memorial plaques along Pall Mall -
Frederick Winsor, pioneer of gas lighting

Blue plaque for artist Thomas Gainsborough came into view after this photo was taken -
it's cradled in the arm of the far statue
From Piccadilly, it was through the Burlington Arcade (opened 1819) and on to Hanover Square -

More black and white patterning

A cardboard home on Savile Row

 Up Marylebone Lane, which ran along the Tyburn River -
One of the outrageous shops
 Past Baker Street station and on to Regent's Park -
Sherlock Holmes,larger than life

Dog walker's delight

Past the football pitches ("booked games only") are some wooden
sculptures of animals on the west ...

... and zoo structures on the east of the path
 Up Primrose Hill to have a look at the view -
Then the group went to Camden Lock for lunch, and I headed for home.
Large houses, lovely windows etc etc, in St Johns Wood

This house looks rather out of place
(Is this really a painting of the interior, or is it of the interior of Rosenstead,at the same address - possibly an earlier house on the site, home of art dealer Ernest Gambart)

Outside Swiss Cottage School

Swiss Cottage Underground
 I found myself near Camden Arts Centre and had a quick look at the Matt Mullican exhibition. The "codified language" rather defeated me -
but the ways of displaying all those sheets of drawing and collage gave food for thought -

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 09, 2017 08:29 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Arty Oven Mitt


I had so much fun making this arty oven mitt. I selected some heavier fabrics from my stash of scraps: bark cloth, upholstery fabric, drapery fabric.

I pieced them into two sections large enough to cut the glove.

Then I layered them with Insul-Bright and some cotton ticking for lining and quilted the sandwiches together.

Next I cut out the glove shapes and stitched them together. I just have to bind the open edge.

I have done the first set of stitches on the silk backgrounds for the silk stitch along  with Laura Wasalowski. We were told to do a simple horizon line.

It has been good to have projects to work on because the weather here has been miserable. It has been below freezing for a week and then it snowed, sleeted and rain so everything is coated in ice. I am getting cabin fever.

by Gerrie at January 09, 2017 06:11 AM

January 08, 2017

Margaret Cooter


Keeping my eyes and mind open for ideas for developing my ceramic "chimney pots"... I'm looking for simple but robust shapes and wondering how they might be made of fabric and be firm enough to keep their shape when dipped in clay.

Seen in the British Museum (exhibition of prints and objects from post-war Europe - till 22 January), these vessels are built of slabs of porcelain. They reminded me of strips of fabric, perhaps of creamy woolly blankets -
 This carefully shaped basket sits on a window sill, at the moment - it's made with paper yarns by Polly Pollock, twined around handles from carrier bags. The knots are on the outside, and the inside is smooth, pristine -

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 08, 2017 08:01 AM

January 07, 2017

Olga Norris

Dreich without, drama within

Today was really dreich: thoroughly grey and miserable all the way to Tate Britain, and not cleared much on return home.  But that was just outdoors, and to be expected at this time of year.  It simply makes being indoors even more of a delight.
Druid landscape (image from here)
For a few reasons I was looking forward to the Paul Nash exhibition.  I am fascinated by English artists of the early 20th Century, I was intrigued and excited by Laura Cumming's review of the show, and I have been drawn to several of Nash's individual paintings over several encounters.  Many of his paintings are famous, but this exhibition showed so much more, in the context of his own development and in one room in particular with the work of his contemporaries - fellow members of the Unit 1 Group, and with the Surrealist Eileen Agar.  An excellent blog post on the exhibition can be read here.
Winter sea (image from this review)
The landscapes are what I knew of Paul Nash, including the war paintings.  I admire his coastal pieces (as mentioned in Mags Ramsay's post on the exhibition.), as well as his landscapes with megaliths. 
Landscape of the megaliths (image from here)
And although I had seen several of his Surrealist landscapes, I had not really had a good look at them - especially in the context of his interesting still life paintings.  I was definitely intrigued.
Dead spring (image from here)
Month of March (image from this article)
I was also interested to see this magnolia in the sky above the sea - it reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe's work.
Flight of the magnolia (image from here)
The exhibition made quite an impression, and I have been energised to revisit a previous intention which I let slip - gosh, it's two years ago now!

by Olga Norris ( at January 07, 2017 10:18 PM

Margaret Cooter

Walking across bridges


Wednesday, 4 January 2017
Start time: 10:00
Moderate 12 miles / 19.3 km
Group South Bank
At a moderate to fast pace, starting at Tower Bridge on the north bank and walking westwards along the riverside crossing bridges for as long as we feel inclined. Stopping for refreshments along the way. Drop out points.

In my hurry to get to the meeting point in time, I left behind my hat, gloves - and camera. Which restricted photography, as we were walking briskly and navigating to the camera on the phone is a slower business than just whipping out my little Lumix.
Tower Bridge

Heading west and looking across  to the City
My geography of bridges across the Thames was shaky, and still is. A list is here: I don't have photos of all that we crossed, nor did we cross them all (left out Waterloo Bridge and Hungerford Bridge ... and possibly another?).
Southwark Bridge (1921); at low tide you can see pilings of old docks

Sculpture under the north end of Millennium Bridge (2000)
(no time to stop and read about it!)

Along the South Bank - the London Eye

Looking west and hoping the rainclouds are dispersing

Photoshoot on Westminster Bridge (1862)

Obelisk at the north end of Lambeth Bridge (1932)

Restaurant boat left high and dry by the tide

Battersea Power Station under redevelopment

Chelsea Bridge (1937) came under discussion as the location of a book
no-one could remember the title or author of (it wasn't Offshore)

Lunch stop at Battersea Park's Pear Tree cafe, beside the boating lake

Albert Bridge (1873)

Statue of Whistler at the north end of Battersea Bridge - he famously
painted the old bridge (Nocturne in Blue and Gold) in the early 1870s

The walk continued over Battersea Bridge (1890) but I dropped out
and headed for Imperial Wharf overground station

A Whistlerian type of river scene

A jumble of walkways to the houseboats
Along Cheyne Walk, a plethora of blue plaques, among them these -
Artist William Greaves and (prolific) writer Hilaire Belloc

Painter Philip Wilson Steer next door to sculptor John Tweed

Suffragist Sylvia Pankhurst
(her daughter-in-law was my boss in my 1980s library job)
This mirrored contraption -
gives a view of the river through the skylights -
On past Lots Road Power Station, now derelict and being redeveloped -

Much building in the Chelsea Wharf area -

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 07, 2017 08:38 AM

January 06, 2017

Natalya Aikens

slow art

Happy New Year! Wishing you all lots of love, peace and creativity this year!

I wanted to share the progress of my current XL artwork. I started it sometime in November, and if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you may have seen a few posts about it. It's truly slow art... it's quite large (for me) and is all hand-stitched so far. Thus the time factor. I am working on it in bits and pieces and sometime spurts of time. I take breaks to work on other art, some faster more immediately gratifying art. But I am really enjoying the pace of it.

This piece is a continuation of the experiment that I started last year with this piece. It's coming back soon from a photoshoot with Quilt National, and I cannot wait to see how it works with this new piece.

So here's how it's been coming along...
I cut out a very large paper stencil of a fire escape and traced in thread

audio books are great to listen to when I do this type of work, podcasts are great also

it started to look like this

the base is a very old linen bed sheet from my family, it might have even been used a drop cloth once as there are white paint splotches on it. I spent some quality time mending all the worn spots.

this is what it looked like when the stencil outline was done

then I started pinning bits and pieces of vintage lace to it

I intend to cut away some of the lace after it's stitched down

this is what it looked like at the beginning of the process. The idea behind all the lace layers is that I want it to resemble/represent a wall behind the fire escape

just lace didn't work, so the fabric scraps came out to play

this started looking better!

and better!

somehow it took on a spring like feeling... I don't think it'll stay...

this is when I got done layering my scraps and lace. Now I have to stitch it all down and cut away the excess so that the fire escape can be seen again

it's off the wall and on my dining room table, and I'm auditioning threads. Not only will they need to keep it all together for me, but they'll need to add color and texture
Stay tuned! I am trying to stick to working on it for at least an hour a day. I have lots of other projects that I have to be working on, but I don't want this to stagnate. Or keep taking up my dining room table....

by Natalya Aikens ( at January 06, 2017 03:40 PM

Gerrie Congdon

Gathering Stuff

Yesterday, I went to my new studio to get some things done for a couple of projects I am planning to do. I gathered some of my more heavy weight scraps and fabrics to piece for making the oven mitts. I also, pulled out some of my hand-dyed silk fabric to use for Laura Wasalowski’s silk stitch along.  We were to fuse the silk to wool batting. I didn’t have any so I used wool felt for one piece and a scrap of something that looked like it would be easy to stitch through. I prepared two backgrounds because I like to practice on one.

I also pulled out all of my Perle cotton in sizes 8 and 12. I am missing some colors I think I might want to use. I will need to go down the hill to In Stitches and do some shopping.

I didn’t accomplish much today because I was feeling a bit slammed. I went back to boot camp at the condo gym yesterday morning, and we did weight training. I am feeling it today plus the really cold weather we are having is aggravating my sinuses.

Last night I started a great class at Trinity – 4 weeks of studying the work of Bach. The teacher is an organ virtuoso and a Bach expert. We sat around our beautiful organ as he demonstrated many parts of a famous Bach toccata and fugue.  I took some photos of the organ and the Christmas decorations.

Some of you may remember the quilt I made from a photo I took of the pipes.

by Gerrie at January 06, 2017 04:00 AM

January 05, 2017

Virginia A. Spiegel

2017 – Off to a good start!



It’s the start of my studio season with hardly any snow, but temps in the single digits.  It’s such a joy to be once again inspired and working in the studio every day.

Above is an artwork I just started for the Studio Art Quilter’s Spotlight Auction at their annual conference.  It’s two layers of Lutradur stitched together and burned.  The inserted fabric is hand painted and I added ink highlights.  Now on to hand-stitching!  Title: December 21.

I also have in the works two new Boundary Waters – one of which I am sure to bring to completion, the other is a bit shaky at the moment.  Onward!

by Virginia at January 05, 2017 02:40 PM

Dijanne Cevaal

Linocutting On-Line Course

 A Happy and Creative 2017 to everyone!

Well it was pretty hot in the shed yesterday! But I have joined the twenty first century  and have a solar panel and so have lights and can charge my phone. However a  power point for the sewing machine will have to wait  for a little. But it has begun and that is a good thing!

I am busy trying to finish my book on the Travellers' Blanket for Editions de Saxe-it all takes time!

There is still time to join the online linocutting class. I do intend to add a video to the class though most of the class is delivered with pdf files outlining different exercises to increase your skills. You can work at your own pace but  notes are delivered fortnightly for 4 sessions. I also set up a Facebook group where we discuss and trouble shoot and share inspirational linocut artists around the world. The cost of the class is $60AUS. If  you use the paypal button it will take you to the payment page.

Below are some images of the linocuts I have made in the past. We have been sorting through things because after three years of having things in various places you lose track of what is where. MY daughter is in the process of building me a website- which I hope to launch soon. But meanwhile it is possible to purchase linocut panels.

The printed fabric  below was inspired by the weeds I encountered on my morning walks in the shadow of Pic St Loup last year. I have used the Carrotte Sauvage part of the linocut ( by masking the other weeds out) for an article I have written for Magic Patch. Each colour is a separate panel. The button will take you to the payment page- but you will need to tell me which colour you would like. The panels are A4 size ( legal paper) and have been hand printed. The price includes postage.Each panel is $18.00AUS

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at January 05, 2017 11:35 AM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - My Father's Hair by Deryn Rees-Jones

The best way to encounter this poem is through the ear, and you can hear the poet, Deryn Rees-Jones, reading it at

You'll see immediately that it's based on Christopher Smart's "For my Cat Jeoffrey", and much as I like the Jeoffrey poem, this one takes the emotional cake (so to speak). And it wears its wit lightly:
For it has a grave insouciance,
What they call in Sassoon's "a natural air".
It's from Signs Round a Dead Body (Seren, 1998), which "was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. In a review, Anthony Wilson wrote: "Most admirable about her work is that she goes for it in nearly every poem, truthfully and unashamedly singing. One of her titles, 'What It's Like To Be Alive,' could summarize her whole project." "

The Poetry Archive site also says: "Born in Liverpool in 1968, Rees-Jones spent time back and forth between Liverpool and a family home in Eglwysbach in North Wales. After reading English at the University of Wales, Bangor, she did doctoral research on women poets at Birkbeck College, University of London. Bloodaxe published the highly-praised fruit of this pioneering research Consorting with Angels, along with the anthology Modern Women Poets (2005). Both books bring to light the virtuosity of two centuries of British and American women's poetry."

In case you were wondering about Vitalis ...

by Margaret Cooter ( at January 05, 2017 08:40 AM