Sewing: a skill for life.

Sewing is a fundamental skill for life. In almost every household, the girl learnt from the mother and grandmother how to stitch. In the more affluent homes, girls were taught by the governess the more decorative arts of embroidery, tapestry and lace making for example, as a way to occupy their time. In poorer homes, villages and amongst indigenous peoples, sewing was and still is, how they made their clothes, the very fabric being made from the fleece of their animals and the fibres from plants. Dressmakers and seamstresses were from the so called lower classes. It was their life’s blood, their income and therefore a skill for life. Continue reading Sewing: a skill for life.

A New Journey

Wet Felting
Wow October disappeared under clouds of wool! For many years I have wished to be able to felt and a friend gifted me some merino felting wool recently. I had no idea how to start but a few tutorials later and I dived in. I made my first wet felted neck warmer. Followed swiftly by a second pushing into new techniques and incorporating hand dyed wools of my own. Another tutorial later and I had to try making a bowl. I love bowls. I cracked it! I love affair is born. Continue reading A New Journey

At summers end

Children are back to school, the sun is shining and that gorgeous autumnal light has returned. The berries are ripe for picking, butterflies are everywhere, the bees are busy and the land is showing signs of slowing down for the winter sleep. It is harvest time, foraging time and jam making time. I am holding … Continue reading At summers end

Dyeing silks and things in the microwave

I had some fun experimenting this last week dyeing various items in the microwave. I use Dupont silk dyes for all my dyeing projects and these are steamed fixed in a pressure cooker which can take up to an hour plus the use of water to rinse. Some time back I learnt that you could fix dyes in the microwave… but I was reluctant to try not being a fan of microwaves anyway.
However… having seen another textile artist posting gorgeous pieces on Facebook and learning that she had fixed them in the microwave, I vowed to try the very next day. A bit of googling and I found some basic instructions which I followed. This was not enough for my enquiring mind though. I wanted to test other materials that I had previously steam fixed successfully. Continue reading Dyeing silks and things in the microwave

Natures Jewels.

I absolutely love this time of year when natures jewels are ripe and ready for picking. Elderberries, blackberries and rowan mountain ash all grow nearby where I live so I am super lucky to have these to forage. I don’t think I have missed more than a handful of years since being a small child to pick blackberries. It’s almost a ritual. I think perhaps bordering on addictive. Who can resist those juicy black berries. One for me and one for the bucket! Risking brambles and nettles to reach the prize. Continue reading Natures Jewels.

Mixed Media Textile Bundles on Etsy.

These are a wonderful way of gathering gorgeous bits n bobs without having to invest loads in large amounts of things.

As a textile artist I use a large range of products and materials across my various projects and have therefore amassed a vast pile of goodies. I decided to make up these textile bundles as inspirational packages for mixed media textile workers, or anyone who might find them a great resource. They can be used for junk journals, jewellery, scrap-booking, bags, wall art pieces, clothing, needle books and whatever your imagination creates.
These are available to purchase from my Etsy shop. Continue reading Mixed Media Textile Bundles on Etsy.

Back to Dingle

Last week we managed to take a few days away and headed for the ancient lands in the Dingle peninsula. The Kingdom of Kerry is steeped in traditions and culture, history and folklore with a landscape to match. We booked four nights at the Rainbow Hostel, a lovely rural setting surrounded by fields of yellow flag irises and bounding lambs. Continue reading Back to Dingle

Can you make tea with that?

More and more people are looking to what grows wild for an alternative source of teas. The need for a calmer lifestyle away from caffeine enriched drinks and medications is calling people back to the hedgerows. Foraging is re-emerging. As a young child, I remember my grandfather teaching me about the edibles in the woods, fields and lanes. He used to make his own wines and was happy to pass on his knowledge. I am now doing the same for my young grandson. At three and a half, he already knows many names of plants and trees and is aware of the spring growth appearing when we are out and about. This is so important to pass on. This knowledge passed down through generations. I have a Korean friend who always asks when I talk about a plant… Can you make tea with that? Often the answer is yes! Let’s take a look at some of those plants, flowers, trees and leaves. Continue reading Can you make tea with that?