I dream of a world where love is the answer…

One of the beautiful and powerful aspects of blogging, and of following artists blogs, occur when opportunities are offered to join circles of stitchers from around the world. For me, Mo Crow is one strong articulate creative woman who I love to follow. She inspires me greatly.

So – when the opportunity came up to be involved in Mo’s work, I jumped in eagerly! This is the work and some detail about it – ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer‘ – Wander and browse if you haven’t already.. there are plenty of rich details and narratives to follow…

My piece, my pennant of the gifted wedding dress arrived in the post, and – as ever – I thought for a long time about it. Ideas in gestation – embryonic but growing, always with the same seed of beginning, lots of musing. It took me a season to think it over. Mo talks often of the moon, we link up talking about the moon – it is a strong common thread for us. I decided to steep the dress fragment in a solar bath and a moon bath from Beltane to Solstice. I wanted to send Mo something that had weathered, had absorbed our rays, was imbued with a sense of place different to where it will be, but deeply connected – from the northern hemisphere to southern..

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The dandelion – sun and moon together, from the flower to the seedhead.

The jar warmed outside in my garden in the sun, was cooled inside on my kitchen table by the moon. I carried it in and out, watching it carefully. When I finally opened it at Beltane it was warm in my hands from the sun and the lid whispered as I released it. Two bees came to look and we always have crows overhead. The cloth had taken on a subtle ‘barely there’ colour. I knew this would be the case as it is a ‘synthetic’,  for me that was part of my thinking about what Mo calls our ‘beautiful broken world’ – would it respond, could it change? It took colour, gentle but there…

And so, as Autumn colour develops outside, I laid out the piece on my table. I found the words ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer’ echoing and circling in my mind for months. On the bus, out walking, I repeated them in sequence, out of sequence, in a rhythm.. and the final piece reflects this.

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The backing cloth is silk organza dyed with woad. The magical moments of pulling the cloth from the dye never fail to excite me, the yellow is dandelion solar dye.

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The thread was a gift from my wonderful friend Kay Swancutt .

And the stitch that holds it all together? French knots are a vital and enduring part of  my stitch language. For me they are about thoughts, they are a tactile embodiment of these, they are like prayer beads..

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So, it wings its way to Mo to be part of the ‘gathering’, to join the circle. Go well little piece, play your part in mending our world. And a heartfelt thank you to Mo for your inspired work, your integrity and your creative spirit, hands and heart…

 

 

 

 

 

golden yellow…

I took a blog break… Interesting how the instant ease of Instagram can entice away from blogging… I realise much has been posted about these matters. The balance doesn’t feel right yet for me – composing words and image for this blog gives me space to go deeper but of course now I have so many images that I am wondering where to start!

So.. after the cool blue and snows of the last post I decided on the golden yellows of the summer dye pots.

Let’s see how I go…

Coreopsis – a mass of sunshine globes – so stunning I nearly couldn’t bring myself to cut any flower heads! A bowl for me and leave the rest and the buds for the pollinators. Such a generous plant..

Slow gentle heat and time – to watch to almost simmer, to deepen.

I have a growing precious stack of colours from this spring and summer.. and a drawing of my winter quilt stitch plan..

This practice has drawn out a more glimmering understanding of a sense of place …

Tulips…

https://www.dorothyhouse.org.uk/?p=55096

This link takes you (hopefully it will work!) to the Dorothy House  website.

Last year I exhibited some work in an Exhibition at 44AD – Tulip – to raise money for the hospice. They were my rock of support as Hospice at Home when caring for my mother.

I posted about the work here

I was searching for links and found this page with the image of my tulip work as the header – it warmed my heart to see it and to be part of supporting this wonderful place.

ideas that brew…

I have needed some time.. To understand how ideas form brightly and keep glowing, and that the processes that underpin them may take some long and slow time before the first stitch begins.. And that this is ok, all part of the whole..

It began with the cauldron and the fire. The sound of the wood crackling and the smell of the smoke filling the air mixed with the scents of turmeric and tea. Thinking back to the prayer flags in woad and turmeric .. Then the dress and then thoughts of a quilt.. Many considerations, many questions .. 

The calendula needed time and care to grow and flower. Collecting the flower heads and drying them, then storing them in paper bags strung indoors has been a process in itself to think about. I have recorded so many images of their beauty. They give so generously – will carry on till the first frosts. Here are the last flowerings – they are still offering up to the bees and other insects. Picking only what I need so as to share with the bees and other pollinators and learning more about folk medicine.

The cauldron isn’t deep or wide enough for this next plan, so some thrifty research yielded (after yet a fair amount more time!) an old wash boiler! My grandparents used one for Monday washdays. Now I need time to get it working.. to prepare the cloth, then I will dye petals and leaves and other gatherings..

The drawing fills the wall – more than a dream in my head. More research and rich discussions particularly with my friend Kay Swancutt.

Meanwhile I think that by the time the calendula has died back and all the seed is stored for next year, then the stitching can start..