Simple pleasures from the Auvergne

Got to start with the blossom: blackthorn, plum, peach, rosemary – and the tiniest glimpse of the stunning pink quince we won’t actually get to see:

 

Wild orchids, violets and cowslips:

 

Plenty of these little fellows scuttling around:

IMG_3132

The best wood burner ever (came from the Far East!):

Version 2

Bitter black coffee in my favourite china…

IMG_3082 (1)

And finally can’t resist this picture:IMG_3045Because it is so crazy – it’s the reflection of a tree in a muddy puddle. (Yes, there was a LOT of water around). I am working out how to get those colours together…I feel another dyeing session coming on as soon as I get home – maybe silk and alpaca for that one?

The Answers to Two Questions

Question one:
Version 2
The rather magnificent piece of furniture (see other picture below) is a cope chest – obviously, you don’t want to get your copes in a twist! I was told that it is certainly medieval, probably as early as the 13th century and, apparently, one of only seven surviving. I have seen a similar chest in Wells and another in York Minster but I think this Salisbury one is my favourite. Anyone know where the other four are lurking?
Question two:

IMG_1951Yes, the colour that I need to include in every dyeing session is BLUE – all shades from aquas to violet purples and real indigo – someone will buy it!

Not Brighton this time

IMG_2586

IMG_E2588

But over 150 miles west, along the rather amazing Jurassic coast, just over the border into East Devon. We spent a week there last month, in a pretty little fishing village called Beer. Apparently the name is not derived from the drink but is an Old English word which has something to do with forests.

I realise that I much prefer to visit these places out of season. Then you get a real sense of community, as well as, in this case, a lingering nostalgia for the days of smuggling, stone quarrying and lace making (the locals claim that Honiton was merely the marketplace for their own labour – all the famous lace was actually made in their village of course….!)

By sneaky detours we scored two cathedrals en route:

IMG_2625Exeter, with its fabulous fan vaulting

IMG_2627 (1)and Salisbury, just before the recent dramas

IMG_2651

Any idea what this is ? I had to ask. Obvious once you know though….

IMG_2662I’d better answer a few questions next time! But it might have to wait – I’m off on my travels again tomorrow. Rural France, probably very dodgy internet, so may be some while…. Have a good Easter.

Beware yellow….

IMG_2975Because it doesn’t sell!

It seems that few people (apart from me) are impressed by yellow socks…. or cowls, or mittens. But that doesn’t stop me gazing at my daffodils every Spring and thinking why not…?

This yarn above was achieved by a combination of dip dyeing and hand painting .

IMG_2968This plum and lime one has more intense colour sections and was done by injecting the dye in several stages.

The yarn below (a rather subtle colourway called crocus – note the sneaky touch of yellow…) was almost entirely painted by hand, using a small brush.

IMG_2989

If you are curious, take a peek at my Etsy shop (button top right) to see some other techniques.

PS. If yellow is the least popular colour, which set of shades do you think regularly flies off the shelf – and not just off Etsy? Please comment with your guess.

Answer next time!

Made it!

IMG_2899Perfectly formed and stunningly simple, despite the snow and high winds.

My batts, however, are neither of those things – nothing to show at the moment as I haven’t quite dug my way through to the drum carder.

But I have been dyeing – five different techniques over the weekend. Several batches currently drying – pictures to follow!

Circles, squares, lines, ripples…

 

 

 

 

 

Some recent geometrically inspired pieces, mixed with angles from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna – mostly taken around the famous tea room.

The building is as splendid as the exhibits – late 19th century Viennese marble, stucco, gold leaf, over-the-top painted surfaces including the Klimpt decorations around the main staircase.

We spent a memorable week in Vienna just after Christmas. So much to see – three art galleries/ Hapsburg palaces¬† meant we walked over 11 miles one day. Maybe the highlight was managing to get tickets for a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in the Karlskirche. But just wandering around was fun too – and you have to keep scuttling out of the way of these!

IMG_2478