Making the most…

I live on the outskirts of a beautiful city, but I find that sadly I don’t make enough use of all that it has to offer.  So yesterday my friend and I decided to correct this and see the “Death on the Nile” exhibition.  It was fascinating, and amazing how well some of the painting on the coffins has survived over millennia!  We did, however, find ourselves becoming more and more curious over the pigments used for the painting!  We learned that many of the pigments were earth based.  And the blue on the newest coffins (those around 2 thousand years old) was indigo.  A different blue was used on the older coffins.  The museum has just posted an explanation of the pigments used including a video showing how Egyptian Blue was made.

Sadly we weren’t allowed to take photos in the exhibition.  However, there was no such restriction for the recently arrived Henry More sculpture:


This is “Hill Arches” and is on loan at the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge until November 2017.

I thought the patina would be a good colourway for some dyeing:


I parted company with my friend and headed back to the car.  On route I met these guys:


They decided to follow me:


Oh my, they have horns:


Fortunately they were really only interested in finding some tastier grass!

After I’d picked the children up from school we came back into town for a picnic in the botanic gardens. The ducks got bored of asking for sandwiches, so sat down to wait until we were finished:




I can never resist pinks and purples!

Round and round…

On Friday I found myself designing and printing a short leaflet to advertise the up-coming Open Studios event I’m taking part in, ready to distribute at the village plant sale on Saturday.


It’s just 6 weeks and 2 days away!  Earlier this week I made a list of all the things that need doing.  I’m going to be very busy!

On Saturday I borrowed my daughter’s hoola-hoop for a little weaving.  I knew I had to finished the weaving before my daughter missed her hoop.  So, I got straight to work, warping up the hoop with cotton yarn, and weaving in ever- increasing circles.





I succeeded in my goal, and my daughter hasn’t noticed a thing.  (She hasn’t even noticed that the hoop is somewhat cleaner than it was before the weekend!)

I then progressed another project, blending (a variety of wools, seacell, trilobal nylon and bamboo) and spinning with Teeswater locks:





I think I can squeeze a few more locks onto there before I start spinning the plying thread!

#WIDN #KeepInstagramChronological #ChangeItBack

A few days ago Instagram started shuffling the order of posts I see on my account. This is not a change associated with the latest app update (though it started happening at the same time Instagram released the updated app) because it was happening for a few days before the app was updated on my phone and the feed is also jumbled when accessing via the web interface.

I have found that I miss the synchronicity of posts. I enjoy seeing sunsets sweeping across the country. And waking up to sunrises. I enjoy seeing a beautiful sunset and at the same time seeing a friend from across the world posting an equally beautiful sunrise. I enjoy seeing projects develop (sometimes seeing them backwards as I work back through the posts). I love seeing when people are heading to the same event, at the same time, from different parts of the country (or world). And I love seeing their posts appearing together while they are there. I enjoy posting up pictures of crafting, to see other friends posting up what they are doing at the same time. I love posting pictures from my garden and enjoying seeing friends posting about their garden at the same time. At least, I used to enjoy all this a week ago. I am missing the chronological nature of the posts.  Progress on projects is shown without any order and I do not enjoy hunting around for posts I am expecting to see at the time I log on.

I’m finding I no-longer wish to post onto Instagram. So, for the moment I am going to take a holiday from Instagram and instead concentrate on making longer posts on my blog.


The last seven days I’ve been taking part in a Facebook challenge to post a photo a day for 7 days, with “no people or buildings – just nature in all its glory”.

I’ve enjoyed doing this and thought I’d share my week in photos.  (Most pictures were taken on the day, but the occasional one was from the previous day or a few days before).

5th May – A field of cowslips:


6th May – Blossom in the orchard (taken day before):


7th May – Auricula (taken a few days before, and featured in my last blog post):


8th May – Forget-me-not.  At first glance I thought this was a carpet of bluebells.  It reminded me of the flower fairy poems by Cicely Mary Barker:

So small, so blue, in grassy places
My flowers raise
Their tiny faces.

By streams my bigger sisters grow,
And smile in gardens,
In a row.

I’ve never seen a garden plot;
But though I’m small,
Forget me not!

forget me not

9th May – Bluebells (taken day before):


10th May – Raining all day – so a spot of nature from inside:


11th May – After the rain, raindrops on aquilegia leaves:


I’ve enjoyed sharing my photos during this week, and think I’ll be continuing on with the challenge.  May is exuberant and it’s proving to be a lovely month to share.

The Forget-me-not Fairy, “Flower Fairies of the Summer” Published by Blackie and Son Ltd. (My copy doesn’t have a published date, but must be nearly as old as I am).