Month: November 2012

Travel Theme – Hot!


It’s cold here at the moment, so heat has to be found in other ways. A trip to an eating place fills the need, especially when it serves a dish that is not only hot to touch, but seasoned well with spices. It may not look much, but it was delicious. No, that isn’t chocolate that you see around the edge – it’s balsamic vinegar!

The Travel Theme can be found here. Take a look and find some more links too. Why not join in?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflection

You might have to look hard to see it, the reflection, that is. But it is there…

reflection 1

Full details of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge can be found here where there are also lots more entries.

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You can’t

‘Oh yes you can’, I can hear you say, but read on, you might just agree with me. I’m going to make a statement – with no argument – and comments are more than welcome, in fact I’d love to hear what you think. So….


You can’t judge someone else’s actions by your own standards.

(That doesn’t mean you have to agree with their actions, by the way, just that you can’t JUDGE them)


Some lovely and unusual work here. I thought you would all like to see it.

Originally posted on Dawn Whitehand: Visual Artist:

Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was invited to exhibit in the Cutting Edge exhibition, and now I leave for the airport tomorrow night at 10pm – and I’ve not even started packing yet!

I intend to post images of my time in Italy on both my Facebook page and this blog, hopefully my ‘intention’ happens!

I am spending five weeks in Italy: the first two weeks in Florence for the duration of the exhibition, and then off to Rome. We have friends in Rome, and we will use this as base to do day and overnight trips elsewhere in Italy. We will also have Christmas and New Years in Rome, so that is exciting!

Below are images of the works I am exhibiting. The exhibition is a group exhibition of twenty international artists.

All works are for sale – so hopefully… fingers crossed.

View original

Today’s 100

I’ve been thinking a lot about design. I have an exhibition coming up, and, of course, lots of teaching, so I’m always on the look out for ways of showing things. We’ve had a very wet few days, no floods, but there is a fair bit of water around on our local (within walking distance) nature reserve, and also along the canal. I went for a walk along the latter today, and have to say it was a very informative walk. I managed to count out 4 separate sections of 100, so I have some ‘in the bag’ for future posts. I’m looking at them with a view to using them in textiles, but you may be able to use them for other crafts too.

My alternative title for this post would be ‘behind bars’, and that doesn’t signify that I’ve misbehaved, the reason will become obvious quite soon. This first picture shows the road bridge at the start of my walk. The path to the right is currently blocked as there is a lot of work going on. It was difficult to take a picture of the whole area, so you will have to put it together bit by bit. All those pipes are connected to pumps which are removing the water from under the bridge. Note the angular lines, the perspective of the bridge, all of these are easy to translate into a design.

Now you can see the level of the water a little more clearly. Sludgy colours, browns, green, greys and a touch of blue with mustard at the bottom. The strong lines lend themselves to patchwork. The colours could be interpreted in the same technique, with artistic licence you could move them around a little, but it would all work.

When this barrier was inflated I’m presuming that the engineers hadn’t expected so much rain. You can see that the water level on the left is very close to the top. The blue is temporary, but a bit of a blot on the landscape. it is however, a contrast to the copper which is just in vision, also on the left.

This above, and the previous two pictures, are all elements of the same photograph. Blue greys, blue, silver, cool colours warmed with a flash of copper and yellow.

Greens, yellow, gold, copper and blue. The reflections suggest stitching, maybe some seeding, running stitches….. And look closely. Reflections. Different shades and tones. Just what an artist needs!

The water from under the bridge is being pumped back into the canal. Every now and then it pushes out a little burst which causes lovely ripples in the water. These would be wonderful reproduced in machine stitches. Analagous colours, hilighted with silver.

And there is that copper again! The blue/green of the plant on the right is a good foil for that. More stitching patterns in the water. Do you get a feel of what I am doing?

The ducks are just there for good measure! This is really a colour study. Find threads of the same shades and wrap them around a card. It’s a permanent keepsake while the day is fresh in the memory. You can even try to wrap a proportionate amount, but this isn’t easy.

This view shows a strong foreground. This could be portrayed with applique or hand stitching. The patches of light in the sky are echoed in the reflections, the copper on the right is also on the left in the bottom corner. Strong verticals at the top are echoes of the foreground. There are some really strong design elements here.

Horizontal and vertical lines. Reflections, foreground, contrast, analagous, break the picture down and you can almost make it fit into any format. I love the strong uprights at the top and the echoes of them reflected in the water. The grass at the bottom just helps to soften the edge.

And here endeth the first 100! You can see the bridge on the left in the middle, and the puddles show how wet it was overnight. Fortunately one of the householders is well prepared. The boat is there for all eventualities – rain or shine! I hope you enjoyed the stroll with me. It’s surprising what you can see if you actually look, and even if this 100 doesn’t result in a work of art many of the elements will remain with me and be present in others. I hope you will take part and go on a walk of 100 steps. You don’t need to break it down in the way that I have, just show us what you find. More details are here, but don’t forget to return and leave your link for this week here in the comments below.

Enjoy you walk, and I look forward to coming with you……

And now he’ll never know.

Dallas was one of the iconic tv series of the past. My memory is so bad that I don’t even remember when it was aired, but a search on the internet will reveal the answer with no problem, I’m sure. The bad evil character was played by Larry Hagman whose death was sadly announced today.

I once had an aunt who was a social climber. She had a silver teapot that shone like no other, struck the fear of death into anyone with bad table manners, and was loved in spite of everything. Sadly she too is no longer with us, but I thought of her this morning. You see, due to my relationship to her – I was related to Larry Hagman.

No, I’m not making this comment to ensure that I see a part of his fortune, but just to show how tenuous a link can be for someone to be proud of that link. I can’t remember the full story, but somehow it goes through Jack Jones and Maria Martin. I think it had something to do with a cousin who was related to Jack Jones’ Grandfather, and I believe that JJ was a step-brother of Larry Hagman, but I’m not doing the research, it would be a waste of time. Auntie Anne, however, would practically hug the screen when JR was in the scene – because ‘we are related, you know’.


RIP Larry Hagman

Weekly Photo Challenge – thankful

The weekly photo challenge is ‘up’! All the information is here if you would like to join in.

The theme is ‘Thankful’.

This textile hanging was commissioned for Amnesty International. It depicts a prisoner of conscience.The artist is Jane Lemon. Whether or not I have a conscience is not the subject of this post, but the fact that I have freedom. I am SO thankful for freedom.

Some related posts:

Travel Theme – Liquid

I didn’t have to go far to find a photograph to fit this theme. I’ve just returned from a walk to prepare for my ‘Today’s 100‘ theme which will be published on Sunday. It fits in perfectly.

The last 48 hours have been very wet. Strong winds and driving rain has swept through the country causing many problems, including loss of life. I’m glad to say that we don’t live in one of the areas affected, but we do have water nearby. Today I went on a stroll with design in mind. You will have to come back on Sunday (and maybe join in?) to read what was going through my mind as I walked, but here is one of the pictures that I took

For more information about this week’s travel theme take a trip over to Where’s My Backpack where there are full details.

Special Photo Challenge – Inspiration

Unpredictibly, WordPress threw in an extra photo challenge. What inspires you to blog? Well, if you know my blog you probably know that I have more than one, so this post is really to explain why I have so many, and to hopefully give you just a little insight into what makes me ‘tick’. I don’t often post pictures of myself here, so make the most of these! The next might be a long while coming!!!

Many of my blogs relate to my teaching. I teach adults a variety of textile subjects ranging from the embellisher (a needlefelting machine) to dyeing

with not so swift passes through journalling, and various stitching techniques. These have resulted in a constant hunt for inspiration, and as I find it I photograph it!

Somehow I find myself in all sorts of strange and unexpected places when I do all this

I’ve met some wonderful people, each one an inspiration in themselves.

Home and family are very important too, from the oldest family member to the youngest

I enjoy my time with them, and whether at home or away there is always something to blog about somewhere.

Similarly, meeting up with friends and colleagues brings back memories, and I’ve shared many of them on this blog and on others.

Blogging inspiration can be found anywhere if you look, if it seems mundane, just try to add a touch of humour to the post. Even something like a meal with friends or family can result in an unexpected post.

I believe that surroundings should be your main source of inspiration, so to this end I recently began to investigate an area in close detail. The first few results can be found here. Maybe you would like to join me? To paraphrase Piccasso: ‘Inspiration comes, but it has to find you working.’

That’s why I have so many working blogs!

Check out this link too to find out more about some of the other hundreds (thousands?) of WordPress bloggers: and the following to find some related articles

You never know what you will find on Google

Don’t ask me about popular music. I’m am totally ignorant on the subject. I can never remember who sang what, or even hum a few lines if asked to do so. I don’t just mean the current collection, I’m talking about that from ages ago too.


….. when I was asked ‘Who sang ‘The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore’ I had to consult Google.

Obligingly Google provided the answer with great speed and alacrity. It was the Walker Brothers – but then you probably already knew that! The interesting thing, though, was the first link, which was to YouTube

And the significance?

Back in the ’60s my father worked for Rediffusion. One of his programmes was ‘Ready Steady Go’, so he would have been working on the evening that this was recorded.

Incidently, he was also working on the evening that a well known group, who’s lead singer was reknowned for his large lips, was appearing. It was the night that the crew refused to work because the smell of the ‘unwashed’ was too bad to tolerate. What happened? No, they didn’t make them take baths, it was decided to pump deodorant out through the air conditioning.