Saturday 28 March 2009

A Bit More Felt.

As I'm on the subject of felt, and in response to Alice, or Mrs M as she prefers to be known, I thought you might like to see this.

Thursday 26 March 2009


Just because I went to Wingham Wool Works and bought all the right materials

and equipment.. *

doesn't mean I know what to do with them.

I'm feeling like a fish with a bicycle at the moment.

I've made a few bits of felt working on this idea, but they are not so great.

The back is better,

so I did a little piece like the back, with moderate success,

but it needs more work.
They all do.

And I discovered how to print onto fabric from the computer .

But so what?

My last few posts resulted in squillions of comments which of course I replied to. (I had to!)
I also received two awards..A Sisterhood award from Lisette,
and a 'Kreativ Blogger' award from Ashley.
Both their blogs are lovely places to visit and I thank them both for their awards. I pass them on to any of my readers who would like to fulfill the condition, the main one being to link back to the person who awarded you.
That would be me.

And if you are one of the dozens(I know , I've got stat counter) who clicked on the cats face picture and got a shock, its your own fault!
I told you not to.
Back when I've got something better to blog about.

*Not an enema kit.

Saturday 21 March 2009

An Old Piece

I did this little piece a long time ago. You may have seen it before . But I am surprised it could have been done for the Moucharabia theme don't you think?

I thought yesterdays post might have seemed a bit peevish but I have had a lot of comments and intersting points made.

Of course I've shot myself in the foot now haven't I?

I will try to reply, honestly!

I have had a message from a blogger in New Zealand who says she can't access my blog because it contains pornographic content!!!!!!!!!


(All Right..I know the cats nose is pink and hairy but perleeese....)

What can I do?

Have a lovely Mothers day everyone.

I will be making sure my mother does, so my experience will not be the same as yours.

I dream of being pampered and fussed over but as my two sons are permanently broke, don't drive and live away its not going to happen.

Ah well.

Friday 20 March 2009

Moucharabia and Playing the game.

In a way these two titles are linked.

In Marrakech Iwas fascinated by these metal grilles on windows especially when our guide told us that name relates to 'seeing without being seen' and Arabic houses have these as a feature, in many shapes and sizes. This one is a 'monkeyed about with' version.

I use that term to describe my process with photoshop in which I translated the original version of this picture to the one you see above. I describe that process in more detail on flickr and if you click on the picture you will be taken there and enlightened further.

So, I am working for an exhibition with a theme of structures and will use these structures as my inspiration. we'll see how it goes and I'll keep you posted.

I suppose 'seeing without being seen' is one way to describe a person who reads blogs unnoticed by the blogger. Perhaps you do that and thats fine.

But if you make a comment I try my very best to find a way to reply to you. I click reply and then e mail a message..perhaps not every time but I hope you will agree that I usually do.

If you come up as 'no-reply' and there are a few of those, I try to find your blog and usually leave you a comment now and then. Its more time consuming to do that so there will be fewer of those from me. But there will be some. and I have little look at your blog too.

Then there are people who comment and no matter what I do I can't find a way to reply.So a general thank you in a post will have to suffice.

I like reading blogs. I like to comment if I have something to say. I don't mind being seen, and on the whole I get replies or comments back from most people. I'm not talking tit for tat, I don't need one every time and its always a bonus. It makes me feel like a part of the great blog community.

But have you noticed? There are one or two bloggers who never ever, no matter how many comments you leave, because you genuinely respect their work and what they do, deign to send a reply, or reciprocate by leaving a comment.

I mean never.

They are seeing without being seen.

They peer through their own personal Moucharabia, showing off their goods and elicting praise and comment and suck it all up, but never venture out into the bright sunlit courtyard of the comments boxes on other blogs.

Sorry to complain, but why do they bother? There is an option to 'close comments'.

The particular persons I am referring to will not be reading this I feel sure.

EDIT: TWO DAYS LATER: SECOND THOUGHTS: This post drew so many comments and private e mails from people who had no need to feel guilty at all so it made me think more about the subject.

I repeat that I don't necessarily expect replies to comments but just some sort of acknowledgement once in a while, from people whose work I have continually commented on, that I exist.

Of course, anyone can conduct themselves in any way they like. We all blog for different reasons and its not for me to dictate. I am fortunate in that I don't have to go out to work every day, so probably have more time to surf.

I had a link from Karen who has a full time job, and then spends her free time sewing exquisite work by hand, so her time is precious.(Having said that she has still found time to comment on other blogs)

I think I just wanted indulge myself with the Moucharabia metaphor....

Wednesday 18 March 2009


My wool supplies were running down so on Sunday afternoon I decided a trip across the Pennines to Wentworth was in order.
It was a lovely day just right for a spur of the moment jaunt.

I persuaded Margaret to join me and she brought her friend Forbes who was extremely bossy when I went too fast, but told us when to turn right and left so we didn't get lost.
(As Margaret will testify, I have no sense of direction and couldn't find my way out of a paper bag)

We arrived with only one 'ambiguous direction' moment, at Wingham Wool Works, the home of all things fleecy and fibrous..
(Click on the pictures to have a nosey at the goods.)

Behind this green door, (Wentworth Green of Course) lies an Aladdins cave of wool, yarn, silk, and everything one's heart could desire.

I loved these old wool hampers piled up at the back.

I spent a lot of money!

This morning, another sunny warm Spring day, I heard a parcel arrive on the doormat.
When I opened it I found this, pink tissue, patterned sellotape and a lovely typewritten message

with a pretty little sticker on the bottom , unmistakeably Viv of Hens Teeth.

Look what was inside!

Vintage tweed.

It just whispers 'Vintage' to has a beautiful soft, not exactly worn, or faded, but just old -fashioned nostalgic style.

Its absolutely gorgeous.
Thank you so much Viv.

The sun doesn't travel round to the back of the house until the afternoon so I was quite surprised when I went out into the garden to see these bright cheerful and robust Anemone Blanda thrusting themselves up into the sunshine for all they were worth.

I'd forgotten we had them.

But with the warmer weather comes other less welcome garden activity. The sun lights up the tell tale trails.

The winter ceasefire stops here.

The mollusc war begins anew.

There was someone else taking advantage of the spring sunshine from inside the house.

Oblivious to my macro lens.

(Jowls of)
Don't for heavens sake click on this picture..unless you want nightmares.

Sunday 15 March 2009

goodies from 'Abroad'

Look what came in the post last week.
Such a wonderful package even before I opened it. I only know about brown parcels.Didn't know you could get gorgeous bright ones like this.
A look at the label gave me a clue

Inside it was stuffed with lovely papers,

and an Arlee Original

Some fantastically soft copper foil

and gorgeous silver paper

There was also a huge bundle of velvets and some paper that looked like tea bag paper but I'm sure it can't be.
I approach it with timidity as I am not such an experimenter as arlee..the noted 'Mad Textile Scientist' who puts my playing safe to shame.

Thank you so much Arlee, it brightened my week and it was very generous and thoughtful of you.
There's nothing like that first day at home after a holiday and it was just perfect to cheer me up.

Friday 13 March 2009

Posters and questions.

Now trips abroad don't come cheap (although ours was as cheap as it gets!) so I was rootling around the house wondering what I could sell to start saving up for the next one.
I remembered these school posters.

I rescued 4 boxes of them from the dustbin in a
school I was supplying in.

They picture history, and geography in a very old fashioned way.
and are rather un PC but quaint.
I suppose you could say they reflect attitudes prevalent in the 1950s.

I find them quite interesting and some are better than others.

I only looked in 2 boxes today. The second box is an absolute treasure.
Its older than the rest, coming from the 1930s.

The illustrations are beautiful.
I'm certain I remember this Robin one from my own school days in the 50s.

There are 82 of them all depicting idyllic scenes of a pre world war two Britain, children, gardens,

and animals.

My Dad took me to London Zoo when I was four, and I had a ride on an elephant.

But I don't remember planes like these.

The trouble now is that I really don't want to part with these pictures . They would look lovely framed.
I suppose I ought to be more resolute and list them on that well known auction site.
I'm such a hoarder.
Has anyone received an e mail asking them to take part in a blogger personality survey?
Its from a research student and I thought there would be no harm in it but I smell a rat.
I started to complete the survey but there seemed to be an awful lot of questions so after about 50 I scrolled through and found that there were 300.
Many of them were repeated so I gave up.
Has anyone out there completed it and submitted their results? I just felt that there would be some jokey reply at the end of it but I wasn't prepared to do it to find out.

Also..I have looked at my followers list and found a strange one with a name thats just a random list of letters and numbers. Whats that all about? I checked few other bloggers followers and someone else had a follower with a different set of letters and numbers (Genie I think), but others didn't.
UPDATE: I have deleted the follower named 'Yvy6akU1kv3Y3spOgyJVhqsNQVc.nAK7***'
If its you and you are a legitimate reader please get in touch..or get yourself a less threatening name!

Any ideas?
And finally.. I had a lot of lovely comments on my Marrakech posts, some of which I couldn't reply to because you don't have a blog and were a 'no reply' commenter so thank you very much,
(postcards from wildwood!) Its lovely to hear from you all.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Marrakech in March 9: The aftermath.

(If you have clicked the picture to read about Marrakech, scroll down to the bottom of the page to start with the post there called 'Marrakech 1' and work your way up to this one. There are 9 altogether))

Despite worrying about not being able to haggle in the souks, I managed to come home with a healthy cross section of all they had to offer.

My room mate said I was talking in my sleep.
'Too much choice!'
But after my initial purchase of a carpet,yes..I succumbed, and the above gorgeous green basket at knock down prices, I was away.
A 'Silver' mirror, bought in a flurry without much choosing and I am sorry its almost the same as one my friend bought a year earlier, but once we looked at it the bargaining began.

At the carpet warehouse I thought I would not be able to able to afford one, and indeed, when I saw my hearts desire and was told it was 'Only one hundred and fifty quids' I said as much.

But I needn't have worried as I eventually paid one sixth of that.

Its beautiful, woven with silk in all my favourite colours.

But I forgot to ask if its a kilim and where it was woven.

These little beads must have taken someone ages to make, and I do feel somewhat ashamed of bargaining till they became affordable.

Then I spotted the 'Berber' bag. So unique and so decorative.
There were not many places selling these so I was excited to have something original.
A deal was struck and we were both happy.

These wooden utensils are so lovely as was the maker who did not ask a ridiculously high price so I paid the price he asked.

In the Berber pharmacy we lost all sense of value..was it the result of the shoulder massage or the hard sell?
We bought cold sore cream 'Better than Zovirax' they also had a product 'Better than Immodium' and, while not exactly 'a pill for every ill,' they at least had a 'bag of mysterious organic material for every ill.' Their fingers whizzed over the calculator keypads and some unexpectedly high numbers appeared and we handed over our Dirhams by the hundred.

But somehow, like the bottle of Ouzo you bought because you drank it in a water's edge taverna on a Greek Island, does not taste quite the same on a cold wet day in Lancashire, the creams and rose cologne and block of fragrant amber that smelled so delicious in Morocco, smell sickly and overpowering back home.
An unexpected find for my two addicted-to-irony grown up sons was this.

A train set.
Tootling round the little track were, in one carriage weilding a huge rocket launcher..
George dubya,

and in the carriage in front?

Guess who?
Well I've never seen one before I just had to get them one each.

Smaller trophies were given (for a little monetary consideration )
A piece of mosaic from the pile being cut by a man at the Saadian Tombs, and the weaver in the picture in the textile post allowed me to buy one of his spools of cactus fibre threads.

On the return journey, with a baggage allowance of 20kg I hit 19.9!

I also bought some leather slippers for my husband, which when opened almost made us high with the smell of the glue, and two woolly hats which are far too big for anyone, a lovely pair of woven scarves, and some Moroccan pastries at the airport.
Ever so hygenic.
He put on a plastic glove to help, and proceeded to hand out samples with the other hand.
Since I got home I have made some felt beads for my friend like the ones here. It has made me realise how much time and effort they take and I feel rather bad about haggling.

These aren't even as good as the ones in the soukh.

As well as all these treasures I brought home some lovely memories and its been a pleasure to share them here. I will print these posts so I can keep them as my album and journal of a very special experience.
I didn't really expect anyone to be very interested so having your comments has been a bonus.
Thank you.
The 'Prime mover' in making this little trip happen is my friend Margaret who I want to encourage to resume her lovely blog.
Thank you Margaret, for getting me to Marrakech.
watch this for a very antiseptic but evocative view.

Nuture Your Soul - Visit Morocco

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.