Pugs, gout and taxidermy

 

end of the day
Ulas and Merve photographer duo

Back at home with the folks after a tremendous week of cushion dealing at Ely Cathedral Flower Festival 2018. And not just cushions, a new range of screen printed, embroidered textiles in the form of light shades and footstools has been launched and warmly received by all the curious and discerning customers this week. As promised bespoke orders are now being taken.

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screen printed embroidered light shades

Rook customers, as well as being both curious and discerning bring with them unusual and challenging requests, gifts of wool blankets, chocolate, strong coffee, fudge and quotes.

And the quotes…

walking past – a double take – ‘they’re slightly more appealing than taxidermy’

and late in the day after a number of hours in the increasing heat of the craft marquee a fellow stall holder on my shiny new footstools…  ’almost worth getting gout for’

In the future I will be offering a discount for gout sufferers.

Now order must be restored in the workroom ready for July’s Cambridge Open Studios. Download the app and come on over, I will be here with the whippet and new work. See you soon.fower festival

 

 

venus

 

Three cheers for the Red Cross jumble sale!

Waiting just inside 19 West Fen Road at 10am this morning (first Saturday of the month) were these two beautiful blankets.

spooner spooner2

There will be hares with green stripes later today.

I use Lutrador as a stabiliser for machine embroidery; Lesley at Sew Much To Do  suggested it when I was searching for something that would help the blankets keep their shape. I love the way it slides smoothly across the machine bed as I stitch over and over in different directions making my scribbley stitching more fluid.

goat back

Does this goat (wrong side) remind anyone else of Botticelli’s Venus….

extraordinary tails

This week two blankets arrived by post from Opusanglicanum, thank you thank you.

blue blanket

I am very grateful to everyone who has responded to my request for blankets, they are not the easiest of items to post but they are hugely appreciated.  Cushions are being sent out in return – a slow start but now the holidays are here production is speeding up; hares, foxes, goats, badgers and ring tailed lemurs are being delivered far and wide.

tail

notes from the A14

A trip to Craftco to top up their supplies.  We plugged in the ipod, turned on the windscreen wipers and headed east.  Whilst driving I reflected on how bad we are at time management; this journey was only necessary because I had missed successive last posts. Osborne Central has been intense of late (I am not the only one with deadlines to meet), sleep patterns disrupted, late late nights, early mornings, extra journeys, odd food and not enough dog walking. I am an eight hours a night person and the strain was starting to show…

In Southwold the sun was shining and the people were smiley, Sue Ryder had two woolly blankets, crayfish sandwiches were being served in The Lord Nelson and there is nowhere better to drink Adnams Spindrift.  Order has been restored.

I am working on new designs.

linen hare

Rather than wait for the UK’s supply of blankets to dry up I have started looking at other background fabrics.  Dustsheets are still in mind but between me and the hardware shop are two fabric shops… and this beautiful, beautiful linen.

linen

I am imagining French seams, covered buttons and hand stitched button holes…

From Life In An English Village:  by Edward Bawden
From Life In An English Village: by Edward Bawden

I may outsource the button holes.

objet trouvé

We set out in search of blankets

and came home with:

One moon map, one hand painted jug from A.E. Gray, Stoke on Trent, three white cotton sheets, one large cotton cushion cover (habitat), one shovel, various soldering tools, bag of assorted stuff (10p, irresistible), one linen dress, one very comfortable twirly chair,

shopping 2

one map – Dacca to Alice, one large white damask tablecloth,

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two 1950’s Shell posters with paintings by John Nash and  Keith Grant,

chair 2

a lot of books and a reel of tickets.

Thank you to the retiring US serviceman having a yard sale; I brought your chair from under you and I am loving it!

blanket appeal…

A weakness for Witney blankets means that for months the long suffering cast and crew have humoured me; never complaining/noticing  that every corner of our home is stuffed with wool. But now I am shocked to find I am down to the last, you know the one with the beautiful mending.  So I am sending elves to all corners of the globe in search of supplies.

And I am offering a swap…

longshot

If you can find and send me a blanket (wool only – I am quite particular), postage should be approx. £8 depending on size, I will send by return a cushion or two depending on your expenses, with beast of your choice. When I say choice I mean a beast we agree on, there are some critters I have no empathy with and therefore rarely work for me.  Blankets in any condition considered, probably best to email me a photo first, even the most distressed items are welcome here. If you are able to deliver in person even better, you will be welcomed with enthusiasm, and served tea and cake on the Moomin tray.

What do you say… up for a challenge?  I hope so because Plan B is vague and involves dust sheets.

blanket appeal
There will be regular Blue Peter style updates and a totaliser.
Spread the news people 🙂

 

sides to middle

I have lost hours, probably whole days, looking at images of mending past and present on Pinterest. From Japanese Boro, too good to waste and visable mending to things repaired so many times they have been remade completely.

mend 1

I found ths woollen blanket under a pile of sheets in Oxfam the other day.

mend2

I took my find home and spread it out.

mend 4

And saw for the first time the carefully mended patches.

mend 3

This blanket may stay whole.  Or maybe a pair of cushions sharing my work with someone elses.

mend5

Such careful invisible mending deserves to be noticed.