Saturday, 30 July 2011

Good for Gardeners

I visited the most delightful place today full of tempting gardening accessories and plants. The Capable Gardener is run by Philippa Hodkinson who is a professional National Trust gardener and is responsible for the up keep of the Gertrude Jekyll walled garden at Lindisfarne Castle. Not only was she stocking locally grown hardy annuals and perennial plants but had a little shed stocking a range of covetable gardening bits and bobs which were displayed to perfection. The Capable Gardener is at Kirkharle Courtyard ( ) which is close to Wallington.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Scrap Books

Someone gave me this leather bound scrap book today.

It appears to be late Victorian but the scraps have been pasted on to fabric pages rather than the usual paper support. The fabric is a cotton sateen and has been hemmed around the edges.

The pictures look as though they have been taken from books and there is some intricate cutting and thoughtful compositions

Many of the pictures look as though they are engravings which have been hand coloured.

This picture would make a great starting point for a Paula Rego painting!

I too did scrap books as a child and teenager. Here is one I did in 1970 when I was obviously an avid reader of Jackie magazine.

These pages remind me of the excitement of going to Chelsea Girl for the latest gear and spending hours at the 17 make up counter.

I still cut out pictures and enjoy organising them into inspiration books. So glad I kept this one from 1970!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Work in Progress

I am working on a garment which will be displayed in Old St Stephens as part of my Remember Me exhibition. Its not finished yet but here is how it is looking so far. It has a long train of ribbons and rags which I hope echo the maidens' garlands themselves. I am writing some text to go with the show which explains the history of these extraordinary memento mori. You'll find it on my other blog at

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Transforming junk furniture

Have just been to see an exhibition at Washington Arts Centre, Tyne and Wear called "Make Do and Mend; innovate-renovate-rejuvenate" Showing creative adaptations of existing objects for our times , it was mostly 3D recycling design or refashioned furniture. You can see an image and find out more at t
I had missed the call for artists otherwise I might have submitted this armchair which I made for Delight in Design, a Designed and Made ( a few years ago.

I picked up the chair for £15 in a junk shop

and transformed it in to this

using old head squares, given to me or acquired in charity shops.

I manipulated these into suffolk puffs which I sewed on to the contours of the chair

and did traditional hexagon patchwork in some areas which used up all the scraps.

I couldn't stop there and made a matching lampshade


I have been collecting old lace bobbins for years. At one time I used to be able to do it myself but now I just like looking at them laying in a row and I buy lace that other people have made.


Hallelujah! I think I have just figured out how to embed a You Tube video into my blog.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Stow Brow

Follow this link to read listen to the old folk song "Stow Brow". It was another starting point for my exhibition "Remember Me" at Old St Stephens. I will have sailors on one side of the church and maidens on the other. I'll post some images of the sailor's stories soon.

There are times....